3 Day Golden Circle & South Coast Tour | Northern Lights, Ice Cave & Glacier Hiking

3 Day Golden Circle & South Coast Tour | Northern Lights, Ice Cave & Glacier Hiking
This map shows your journey including the Golden Circle and South Coast routes.
Seeing the Northern Lights often tops many people's bucket lists.
How often do you normally get to venture inside of a glacier?
The dazzling blues, imprinted deep in the ice, make for fantastic photographs.
Gullfoss, 'The Golden Falls', only an hours drive from Reykjavík.
Seljalandsfoss, on the South Coast of Iceland.
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Jump aboard this three-day excursion, to see the famous sites of the Golden Circle and South Coast, as well as Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon to explore a blue ice cave, glaciers, and to increase your chances of seeing the Northern lights. This tour should appeal to anyone looking to pack the best attractions in Iceland in just a few days.

On this tour, you will have the opportunity to see popular sites such as the Geysir geothermal area, Gullfoss waterfall, Þingvellir national park and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, which are world famous for a reason. You will also see all of the attractions on the south coast of Iceland, like the waterfalls Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss, and the black sand beach, Reynisfjara.

The experience of exploring an ice cave in Europe's largest glacier is what makes this tour even more special. Ice caves only form throughout the winter months, so only a few people are fortunate enough to be able to witness their beauty first hand.

By reserving this tour, your three days in Iceland will be fully organized for you. You need not worry about negotiating the winter road conditions or arranging your accommodation, everything will be taken care of! During your trip, you will stay at the best accommodation available, providing a comfortable and relaxing end to each day.

All equipment will be provided for the glacier hike and ice cave exploration. The only things you need to remember are your hiking shoes, warm clothes, a camera and your sense of adventure.

Book this action-packed and great value three-day, two-night, trip in a winter wonderland as soon as possible to avoid missing out. Check the availability by choosing a date.


Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: Nov. - Mar.
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Activities: Glacier Hiking, Sightseeing, Northern lights hunting, Ice Caving
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age: 8 years.
  • Languages: English
  • Highlights: Golden Circle, East Iceland, Reykjavík, Jökulsárlón, Vatnajökull, Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Geysir, Gullfoss, Eyjafjallajökull, Dyrhólaey, Þingvellir, Strokkur, Sólheimajökull, Mýrdalsjökull, Þingvallavatn, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Vík í Mýrdal, Hvolsvöllur, Reynisdrangar, Öxarárfoss, Haukadalur, South Coast, Diamond Beach
Pickup information:
  • Pickup time : 08:00.

Pick up might take 30 minutes. Please be ready at your selected location. Read carefully if you will be picked up at your hotel or at the nearest designated area (Bus Stop). For walking distance to bus stops, please check busstop.is.

Included:
  • All accommodation in hotels with breakfast

  • Ice cave tour

  • Glacier hiking

  • English speaking guide

  • All transport

  • Dinner

  • Lunch


What to bring:
  • Warm clothes, layers of wool and fleece. Windproof and rainproof clothing.

  • Winter hiking shoes

  • Camera with extra batteries


Good to know:

Customers travelling on their own will receive a single room. Reservations for 2 people will be allocated a double room. For bookings of 3 or more, triple rooms will automatically be allocated. For example, a group of 8 will receive 2 triple rooms and 1 double. If these arrangements do not meet your requirements, please contact the provider.

The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, and therefore cannot be guaranteed, but this itinerary is designed to maximise your chances to see them if weather allows. Please be advised that there is no specific Northern Lights hunt on this tour, but your guide will notify you if the conditions are favourable and advise you on how to best spot them

It can happen, in the case of extreme weather, that an activity is cancelled. If your chosen activity is cancelled, we will assist you with rearranging or booking other activities when possible, and any potential price difference will be refunded to you.

Please note that only pick up and drop-off from designated pick up locations in the greater capital area is available, not from Keflavík International Airport. Therefore, we do not recommend attempting to start this tour on your arrival day in Iceland. Arrival time back to Reykjavík at the end of your tour can vary depending on weather and traffic.

It is highly recommended that you do not book your flight home the same night as bad weather or delays could affect your journey. Please be sure to arrange accommodation for this evening and an airport transfer the next day to take you to Keflavík International Airport for your departure.

For your convenience, it is recommended that you pack lightly for this tour, in a small bag or backpack. If you have large luggage with you, please check with your accommodation if they offer luggage storage for your time on this tour. If that is not a possibility, you can take your larger luggage along for a small fee.

Note that Icelandic roads and pavements can be slippery in the wintertime. We recommend you bring shoes with slip-resistant soles or ice-grip shoe covers. The covers can be purchased in most supermarkets and gas stations around the country.



Daily itinerary

Day 1 - The Golden Cirlce


The Golden Circle is Iceland's most popular sightseeing route.


You will be picked up from your accommodation, and from there, set out to explore the most popular tourist trail in Iceland: the Golden Circle. Three sites make this trail world-famous, all of which you will get the chance to visit.

The first of these is Þingvellir National Park, the only UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Icelandic mainland. Sitting directly between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, it is an area of fascinating geology and stunning nature; it is the best place in the world to see the edges of these continents. It is also the original site of what is now the world’s longest-running, ongoing parliament. The Alþingi that was formed here in 930 AD and still continues in Reykjavík today.

The second site you will visit is the Geysir Geothermal Area. The largest geyser here, Geysir, gave all others around the world their name. It is mainly inactive these days, but the nearby Strokkur erupts every 5-minutes or so, blasting water as high as 30-metres. The surrounding area is beautiful, with the earth dyed in the colours of the elements, and many hot springs dotted around.

The third and final classic location on the Golden Circle is Gullfoss. Otherwise known as ‘the Golden Waterfall’, this feature is iconic. Tumbling down two steps into a dramatic ravine, its scale and might are mesmerising. There are several viewing platforms that you can admire it from; in good weather, one opens right beside where it’s falling.

As you head in for the night, keep an eye on the skies for the Northern Lights.


Day 2 - The South Coast and glacier hiking


Jökulsárlón is, without doubt, one of the most special locations in Iceland.


On your second day, you will explore the South Coast of Iceland. This area is famed for its wealth of landmarks and dramatically diverse scenery, all of which is visible from the road as you drive.

The first places you will stop at are two impressive waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. Between these waterfalls, you may see Eyjafjallajökull, the sub-glacial volcano that erupted in 2010 and famously halted European air traffic.

Your next stop, however, will be at Sólheimajökull, the glacier tongue upon which you will be hiking. When here, you will be provided with all your equipment, and receive a safety briefing. Following this, you will ascend the glacier, and be rewarded with some spectacular views. The colour, shape and scale of the ice is awe-inspiring, and you will be told all about the history, future and science of the glaciers.

After this adventure, you will continue exploring the wonders of the South Coast. The next stop is the black sand beach Reynisfjara, which is renowned for its fascinating geology, with the Reynisdrangar sea stacks and Dyrhólaey rock arch. After a short stop in Vík, you will continue onto the spectacular Vatnajökull National Park.

Following your time here, you will head onto the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. This is often referred to as the crown jewel of Iceland’s nature. Here, hundreds of great icebergs litter a serene lake, creating an otherworldly spectacle. When these bergs eventually make it out of the lagoon, they wash up on the nearby shore, lending it its name, the Diamond Beach.

You will spend the night in the Jökulsárlón area.


Day 3 - The ice caves and return to Reykjavík


The ethereal interior of one of Iceland's glaciers.


On your third day, you will get to explore one of the magnificent ice caves of Vatnajökull glacier. These incredible natural features only appear over winter and are weather-reliant, so the chance to enter one is an incredibly rare opportunity. You will be provided with crampons and helmets, before following your guide into this ethereal space.

Once you have revelled in the beauty of the ice caves, you will return to your van and return to Reykjavík. This drive is long but promises to be spectacular. You guide will point out anything that you missed the day before.

You'll arrive in the city in time for a late dinner, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the famous Reykjavík nightlife. It is highly recommended that you do not plan to fly out the same night in case of any delays or bad weather. Enjoy the charms of Iceland's capital and visit one of its many restaurants and bars.


Accommodation

Due to increased demand for travel services in Iceland and low availability, travel companies in Iceland can not guarantee specific accommodations. However, we can always provide you with the best available accommodation at the time of your booking. Below you can see our preferred partners for accommodation. For the first night, they are Hótel Hvolsvöllur and Hótel Eyjafjallajökull. For the second night, they are Hótel Höfn and Hótel Vatnajökull. In the case of these hotels not being an option, an alternative of the same standard will be arranged.

Hótel Hvolsvöllur

Standard bedrooms with private bathroom in 3 star hotel in Hvolsvöllur. Breakfast is included.

Hótel Eyjafjallajökull

Standard bedrooms with private bathroom in a country hotel on the south coast of Iceland. Breakfast is included.

Hótel Höfn

Standard bedrooms with private bathroom in 3 star hotel in the largest town in southeast Iceland. Breakfast is included.

Hótel Vatnajökull

Standard bedrooms with private bathroom in 3 star hotel close to Höfn. Breakfast is included.


Map


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Firsthand reviews

Average4.9638 reviews
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Had a great vocation with Guide To Iceland, the schedule is very well arranged, even the weather is unbelievable changeable in Iceland( like, changes every 5 minutes )which make people can’t make a perfect plan and follow it, but I can feel that GTI has a very mature system to deal with it and thy’ll definitely try their best. Gotta to mention our tour guide, Hugi, who’s a experienced driver and a good bus DJ:) super funny, helpful, and you can tell he doesn’t take this work only as a job, he really CAREs and tried every way to make the whole experience to the best for the travelers. Big thanks to GTI, Hugi, and those lovely people that were on the same tour with me, I had great time! For people who’s hesitating: Iceland is an amazing country with nature views that nowhere could compare with, people there are chill, nice and genuine, as a female solo traveler, I had a wonderful time there and never encountered any danger. And Guide to Iceland is very organized and reliable, 100% recommend!
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We highly recommend the 3 days tour. Our guide, Fridjón, was amazing and he is a really fun and knowledgeable person. The places we've been to were breathtaking and the historical background that Fridjón gave us made it even more magical.
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our guide Arnold is awesome. He is very funny and helpful. We experienced 2 bright sunny days, but haven't got the luck to see any trace of northern light.
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I highly recommend this 3 day tour to people who want to explore Iceland and visit all the must-go places within a short period of time. Our tour guide Rocky was amazing and planned very well during the trip. Because the first day of our tour was very windy and rainy, he saved all the good places for the second day, so we could take some great pictures "with the yellow thing in the sky". The driver was also very nice and we were able to arrive at every single place safely and quickly. I have one very important tip for you, bring waterproof jacket or a raincoat!
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Carlos , the Guide , was Great. Gave us lot’s of information about the island. Great places you visit on the tour. We had a small group of only 6 people, that was quite nice as well. Hotel where okay. Hotel in Höfn seemed relatively new. Breakfast there was amazing (unfortunately we had little time there). The trips (Ice caves and glacier walk) where also awesome. 5 stars totally.
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Our guide was very good, the trip design is excellent , which allows us to see the amazing landscape in Iceland. However the weather in Iceland is unpredictable, the first day was heavy rain with strong wind, but the second day was sunny. I recommend to bring water proof and wind proof clothes to the trip.
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My girlfriend and I had dreamed of visiting Iceland for years, so when we saw this tour and all it had to offer, it seemed perfect. Pickup was easy, right at the bus stop next to our guesthouse. After that, everything (outside of lunch and dinner) was completely planned out for us in a way that allowed us to see some of the best that Iceland has to offer, with reasonable amounts of time at each stop to see the sights. Our guide, Sica, gave us as much knowledge throughout the trip about Iceland, its history, geography, and information about the places we stopped at, while still also finding time to be able to go to a couple extra places along the way. Our trip was truly an amazing experience, and my only wish is that we could have stayed longer. If I were to do it all over again, I would 100% use GuideToIceland (and honestly, possibly even this tour) to plan everything out. Saying it was incredible is an understatement, due in part to how carefully planned everything was for us.
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Amazing trip for nature lovers. Very convenient to have a guide (who was lovely btw), gave commentary and drove us from one place to another. You could sleep and relax inbetween the sight seeing. Bus & the hotels were comfortable too. There is plenty of rest breaks so you can get out to stretch your legs during the longer legs of driving. In terms of the sightseeing, we covered lots of places in the 3 days. Definitely a recommended tour for the convenience & great service.
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Despite the chilly weather and the magnificently frozen land and seascapes, our guide managed to make us feel the warmth that seemigly emanates from Iceland’s geysirs. Other than the informational aspect of the tour, our guide Sicca also excelled in making us feel very safe even with the snow, rain and tough terrain. We learned that the northern lights which we were hoping to set our eyes on are indeed a challenge. Though we failed to see them, the chase was exhilirating by itself. The tour was very organized and that no time was wasted. No glitch, no worry throughout our stay. Guide to Iceland is superb!
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This was an amazing, bucket list experience and well worth it! Ranka was our tour guide and we started our tour with a big bonus of meeting her beautiful horses! She was very informative, kind and funny. She would give us info about various things we were passing as we went. She also stopped a few extra times, for instance, to see reindeer or multiple scenic views. The stops we made in the tour were mind blowingly beautiful! We kept asking ourselves everyday and every activity if it could get any more beautiful and Iceland delivered! From the Golden Circle, multiple beautiful waterfalls, Black Sand Beach, Diamond Beach and Glacier Lagoon, hiking a glacier to going inside ice caves inside the largest glacier in Europe... I mean wow! Yet another big bonus was that at one of the pre-booked hotels, the front desk gave a Northern Lights call meaning that if they were out, no matter the time, they’ll call your room and let you know and we DID get to see them that night! There is even more than that to process! The beauty is quite immense! If you only have a few days in Iceland, it is well worth it to book this tour!!!
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3 Day Golden Circle & South Coast Tour | Northern Lights, Ice Cave & Glacier Hiking
 
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