3 Day Winter Self Drive Tour | Jökulsárlón & Vatnajökull Glacier Ice Cave

Based on 1 traveller reviews

Jump in your car and make your way down the south coast, where you’ll meet your guide to enter a rare, wondrous ice cave in Vatnajökull National Park. This tour is for those want to explore an ice cave and the wonders of the south coast at your own pace.

Enjoy the splendid waterfalls and black sand beach along the south coast, all the way to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and Diamond Beach.

You'll meet up with the glacier guide for the ice caving on your second day, hop in a heavy-duty Superjeep, and plow across the countryside to the ice cave. The ice here is around 1,000 years old. 

At night, go hunting for the Northern Lights. The area of the National Park is optimal due to its isolation and wide open spaces. You should be able to see the auroras, provided that the skies are clear and geomagnetic activity is high enough to cause this fascinating reaction that results in brilliant, dancing lights.

On your third day, you can explore the glacier lagoon, Jökulsárlón, before heading back to Reykjavík. It is one of the most popular spots in Iceland, so give yourself enough time to enjoy the serene beauty of the lagoon.

Iceland's pristine natural environment is its greatest treasure. These places are beautiful beyond measure, and it can be hard to appreciate among chattering sightseers and long lines. 

That's why we've included some lesser-known sites alongside the popular places in the tailor-made itinerary for this tour. You will be virtually alone in these locations so that you can enjoy the surroundings properly.

Don’t miss your chance for great value and extraordinary sights on this tour of Iceland. There is very limited availability, so reserve your spot now by pressing "Choose a date" above.


Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: Nov. - Mar.
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Activities: Glacier Hiking, Super Jeep, Sightseeing, Northern lights hunting, Ice Caving, Self drive
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Highlights: Jökulsárlón, Vatnajökull, Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Dyrhólaey, Black Sand Beach - Reynisfjara, Fjaðrárgljúfur, Vík, Íshellir (Ice Cave), Svartifoss waterfall, South Coast, Diamond Beach
Pickup information:
  • Starting time : Flexible
Included:
  • Accommodation for 2 nights in country hotels
  • Buffet Breakfast (if you select budget accommodation, breakfast is not included)
  • 4x4 Toyota Rav4 or similar for 3 days
  • CDW and SCDW insurance along gravel protection for car rental
  • GPS system
  • Car colleted at airport / Hotel pick up
  • Travel plan
  • Emergency phone number
  • Ice cave tour - Ride on a Super Jeep to the cave
  • Crampons and glacier gear
  • Hands-on travel agent to oversee your itinerary
  • Dinner
  • Lunch

What to bring:
  • Warm clothing and outerwear suited to rainy or chilly weather
  • Sturdy shoes for walking/hiking

Good to know:

Lunch and dinner can be purchased in a number of places. Accommodation is close to the glacier lagoon Jökulsárlón. Prices are listed per person in double rooms. Please add an extra supplement if an odd number is chosen. Reserve early as there is very limited availability. Please be aware that the ice cave tour can be canceled due to severe weather and/or safety reasons. In that situation, your tour provider will find other activities when possible and refund the price difference to you.



Daily itinerary

Day 1 - The South Coast of Iceland




You can start either from your hotel in Reykjavik or Keflavik International Airport.

On your first day, you will drive down the south coast of Iceland to see all the famous waterfalls there and the black sand beach of Reynisfjara and the cliffs of Dyrhólaey.

The drive to the glacier lagoon is in total about 6-10 hours, depending on how long you decide to stop at each of the attractions, which is the great thing about this self-drive tour. You choose how best to spend your time!

The Golden Circle is here for you, from Þingvellir National Park to Geysir geothermal area, to Gullfoss waterfall. In addition to these famous sites, there are many waterfalls, pretty scenes and small villages for you to stop for a cup of coffee or a short rest from the car at a local museum.

Keep your eyes open for auroras during the night - you'll be in a great location in the town of Höfn.


Day 2 - Ice Cave Tour with Super Jeep Ride




You can choose between a few departure times for the ice cave tour, but we advise you to show up for the ice cave tour at least 15 minutes before your departure. You will reach the ice cave tour on a modified Superjeep, and while you're there, you will be able to enjoy the ice cave and surrounding area for more than an hour. Don't forget your hiking shoes!

The Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and Diamond Beach are fantastic locations where to spend the rest of the day. You can admire the sunshine gleaming on the ancient ice that breaks off the glacier and makes its way to the lagoon, take pictures of the seals and gulls that play in the area or just take a stroll.

Leave some free time in the late evening for Northern Lights hunting; if there's a clear sky you may see a good display!

You will spend another night in Höfn.


Day 3 - Skaftafell Nature Reserve - South Coast Attractions




Today, you have an optional extra activity in the Skaftafell Nature Reserve, where you can go on a glacier hike on the Svínafellsjökull glacier. The hike is not very demanding but rewards you with spectacular views!

Driving back along the south coast of Iceland, you're sure to discover plenty of great attractions that you didn't see on your way to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. For example, the beautiful canyon Fjaðrárgljúfur is a short drive from the main road, near the village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur.

At night, when you're back in Reykjavík you can drop your car off at your hotel, or even at the airport in the morning.


Car

Guide to Iceland has a wide selection of vehicles and seeks to provide you with the best available car from our preferred rental operators, who offer the highest quality vehicles and service to our guests. Our self-drive packages include a newer model, usually a maximum of 2 years old and equipped with a GPS and basic CDW insurance. See the categories of available vehicles below. We recommend a comfortable 4X4 as a minimal standard for winter traveling due to icy and challenging road conditions. In the booking process, you can also upgrade to an automatic model for free.

Comfort 4X4

A medium sized jeep or SUV with 4WD (4x4) fit for most travel, and good for snow and off-asphalt travel, such as Toyota Rav4 or similar. This vehicle has basic highland capabilities.

Luxury 4x4

A large sized jeep with 4WD (4x4) such as Toyota Land Cruiser or similar, fit for nearly all traveling. This vehicle has full highland capabilities to drive on accessible mountain roads.


Accommodation

Due to increased demand for travel services in Iceland and low availability, travel companies in Iceland can not guarantee specific accommodations. However, given the wide influence of Guide to Iceland within the travel industry we can always provide you with the best available accommodation at the time of your booking. Below you can see our first choice of accommodations that are on offer. Otherwise we will find you alternatives of the same standard. The earlier you book the higher quality we can provide. Our first choice is a standard room at Hótel Höfn and during holiday season (Christmas time) it is a standard room at Smyrlabjörg.

Hótel Höfn

Standard rooms with a private bathroom in a three star hotel in the largest town in southeast Iceland. Breakfast is included.

Smyrlabjörg

Standard rooms with a private bathroom in a country hotel ideally situated near the glacier lagoon in southeast Iceland. Breakfast is included.


Map


Reviews

Overall, We had a great trip! The car rental company met us right at the airport. Our questions were answered promptly and a lot of detail was given. The hotels were arranged by Guide to Iceland all great, very clean and comfortable (especially Fosshotel, love it !) , and the car were nice and comfortable as well but GPS are not really help and we lack of addressed on some hotel and location, it bring us to the wrong direction. The ice cave tour was also a lot of fun. Tour guide are really friendly, but the cave are too small and crowded only can fit 2 groups of people but it is a good experience to go into the cave, probably Once in a Lifetime. The sights were all magnificent, unfortunately we could not see the northern lights due to weather condition. I would definitely recommend this service to anyone thinking of exploring Iceland.

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