Join this best value tour from Reykjavík to explore the South coast of Iceland, glaciers and volcanoes. On it you will reach all the way to the incredible Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in Southeast Iceland. On your way you will see beautiful mountains, explore waterfalls and experience fantastic scenery.
Driving through the black volcanic sand desert of Skeidararsandur is also an exhilarating experience. You will see the fishing village Vik, the waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss as well as Vatnajokull National Park: Europe's largest glacier.
Join this extremely popular tour to reach the glacier lagoon Jökulsárlón and to see some of the best attractions in Iceland. Check availability by choosing a date.
From Reykjanesta and the next 100 km onwards, the south shore is characterized by lava formations constantly battered by the wild ocean waves (‘brim’ in Icelandic). For the next 300 km after that the shore consists of sands with hardly any harbours.
Along with the powerful brakers, there is rich birdlife in the lava shore area. As for the sand shores, despite the lack of harbours, people would set off for fishing there anyway, at tremendous risk and this would indeed often result in great losses of life.
Jokulsarlon is a glacier lagoon in the south of Vatnajokull national park that is easily reached by the Ring Road.
Covered in thick glacial ice until the 1930’s when the glacier started retreating, the lagoon today measures 7 square miles (20 km2). More than 300 feet of ice still breaks away each year, reshaping the lagoon and filling it with icebergs - causing an alarmingly beautiful sight.
The water is freezing cold and contains a mixture of salt and freshwater giving it a blue-green color. There is plenty of fish and birdlife by the lagoon and the vast sand area of Breiðamerkursandur, and hundreds of seals stay there in winter.
Vatnajökull is the largest glacier in Europe covering 8% of the island of Iceland. Vatnajökull National Park - which encompasses the earlier national parks of Skaftafell and Jökulsárgljúfur - is the largest protected area in Europe and believed by many to be the most beautiful place on earth.
In this area you'll find some of the most stunning and diverse sights in Iceland. Among those are Iceland's highest peak, Hvannadalshnjúkur, its most active volcano, Grímsvötn, beautiful waterfalls such as Svartifoss by Skaftafell and Dettifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall, stunning canyons such as Jökulsargljúfur and Ásbyrgi, and the breathtaking Jökulsárlon, an ice-riddled glacier lagoon that is one of the most beautiful attractions in Iceland.
The glacier itself covers a surface area of about 100 km2. The thickness of the ice is generally around 400-600 meters, at its thickest around 950 meters. Under the glacier are valleys, mountains and plateuas as well as active volcanoes, most notably Grimsvotn and Bardarbunga, both the largest and most active of these. Then there are Esjufjoll, a glorious volcanic mountain island, surrounded by the glacier on all sides.
Vatnajokull has over 30 outlets, some of the major ones being Dyngjujokull and Bruarjokull to the north and Breidamerkurjokull, Oraefajokull, Skeidararjokull and Sidujokull towards the south. On the west side from the north are smaller glaciers Eyjabakkajokull, Hofsjokull, Flaajokull Heinabergsjokull and Skalafellsjokull.
The highest peak of Iceland then lies to the south, Hvannadalshnjukur in the Oraefajokull outlet, reaching 2109 m, according to latest measurements.
Many rivers have their sources at Vatnajokull, including some of the greatest glacier rivers in the country. To the North are Jokulsa a Fjollum and Skjalfandafljot, to the Northeast are Jokulsa a Bru, and Jokulsa i Fljotsdal and to the south are Jokulsa i Loni, Hornafjardarfljot, Jokulsa a Breidamerkursandi, Skeidara, Nupsvotn, Hverfisfljot and Skafta.
The area around the glacier is highly varied. The highland plateu to the north is divided by glacier rivers which see massive floods in the summer. This is a highly volcanic region, where the volcanoes Askja, Herdubreid, Kverkfjoll and Snaefell tower over the scene. In this area is also the Jokulsargljufur preservation area with its magnificent canyon and the mighty glacier ricer Jokulsa a Fjollum where you'll find stunning waterfalls such as Dettifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall. Further north are the Hljodaklettar echoing caves and the horse shoe-shaped Asbyrgi canyon, among other incredible sights.
Broad wetlands lie near the glacier and in the vicinity of Snaefell, further east. Particularly notable is the Eyjabakkar oasis, one of the largest nesting places for pink feeted geese in the world and located north of the Eyjabakkajokull outlet. To the east is also the stunning Jokulsarlon.
South of Vatnajokull, majestic mountain ridges characterise the scene, with outlet glaciers lying between them and reaching onto the lowlands. The Skaftafell preservation area is located there, with its rich flora and home to the beautiful waterfalls Hundafoss and Skogafoss, the latter famed for its with its magnificent columnar basalt formations.
To the south lies the vast sand desert Skeidararsandur, reaching all the way to the sea. The glacier river Skeidara runs through it and the sand was indeed created by great glacier bursts from Skeidara, with its origins in volcanic activity at Grimsvotn.
To the west of Vatnajokull there is strong volcanic activity as well. Some of the world's greatest fissure and lava eruptions happened there, at the Eldgja volcanic chasm and the Lakagigar craters in the 18th century. Vonarskard pass, to the northwest is also worth checking out, a highly colourful geothermal area that connects the North and South of Iceland.
Fans of the James Bond films might recognize the glacier from A View to a Kill and the stunning Jokulsarlon from Die Another Day, though the events of the former were supposed to take place in Siberia.
Scenes by the Wall in the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones were also shot by Vatnajokull and further scenes were shot at lake Myvatn, another Iceland's major attractions.
Skogafoss is one of the biggest and most beautiful waterfalls of the island with an astounding width of 25 meters and a drop of 60 meters.
This is one of the most popular waterfalls in Iceland for travelers to visit. It is located in South Iceland, not far from Skogar, which itself features a highly interesting regional museum. Due to the amount of spray the waterfall often produces a single or double rainbow on sunny days.
Seljalandsfoss in the river Seljalandsa in South Iceland is one of the most sought waterfalls in the country.
Seljalandsfoss has a narrow cascade but is one of Iceland's highest waterfalls, at 63 meters. The waterfall is highly picturesque and has the rare distinction that one can actually walk behind it.
Skaftafell is a nature preserve in Oraefasveit. It used to be a national park of its own but joined the larger Vatnajokull National Park in 2008.
Skaftafell is notable for its rich flora, growing between sands and glaciers, and overall for its amazing and contrasting scenery. You can take short and easy trails to the waterfalls Svartifoss and Hundafoss, as well as Skaftafell glacier, with the mountain Kristinartindar and Morsardalur valley further off.
Skaftafell is also the perfect base camp for those seeking to climb Iceland’s highest peak, Hvannadalshnukur.
Skeidararsandur is a vast sand plain, formed from alluvial deposits. It covers 1300 km², making it the largest sand in the world.
There is little vegitation in general to be found at Skeidararsandur. It is very rocky near the glacier, becoming more muddy and gravelly further on and made up of of sand and clay where it reaches the sea. Carex does however grow to a degree at Skeidararsandur and it is one of the largest nesting places for the Great Skua. There is also an abundance of seals by the shore.
Eruptions under the Vatnajokull glacier have caused many glacial bursts, the latest one being in 1996. They start at the Grimsvotn volcanic area and are known as Skeidararhlaup.
Oraefajokull is a glacier volcano in South-East Iceland. On its north-western side is Iceland's highest peak, Hvannadalshnjukur (2109 m).
Oraefajokull, which has several glacier tounges of its own, is considered a part of the larger Vatnajokull and thus belongs to Vatnajokull National Park. It has erupted twice, in 1362 and 1727.
Vik in Myrdalur valley is the southernmost village on the Icelandic mainland, located around 180 km from the capital Reykjavik.
Vik is important as a service center for the inhabitants and visitors of the marvellous Reynisfjara beach.
Reynisfjara is widely considered one of the most beautiful beaches on earth (see for example Islands Magazine). This black pebble beach boasts an amazing cliff of regular basalt columns called Gardar, which resembles a rocky step pyramid and out in the sea are the spectaculary shaped basalt sea stacks Reynisdrangar. The area has rich birdlife, including puffins, fulmars and guillemots.
Starting time : 07:00
Pickup from Reykjavík
Rain wear or waterproof outer layers
You will stop at all the main attractions in South Iceland between Seljalandsfoss and the glacier lagoon Jökulsárlón
We did this tour at the end of January so naturally light wasn't in our favour. We still managed to see everything along the way as the route is very well planned with ample stops for toilet breaks etc. Seeing the glacier lagoon at Jökulsárlón was amazing, I'd never seen anything like it and was very impressed. We were very fortunate that we had a clear night on the way home so the guide & driver made special allowances to let us see the Northern lights. Our guide also gave fantastic tips on how to make the lights really show up on our camera. The guide was very knowledgeable & I can only assume was some kind of geologist expert. You may be put off by the length of this tour, and you're right, it is a very long day to be on a cramped bus. All I can say it is definitely worth it & you wont regret it. Tips: Sit on the drivers side as that's where all the good views are, and bring a packed lunch/dinner/snacks with you. You'll realize very quick that eating out in Iceland is very expensive so bring a lunch box with you and head to a supermarket.
I love Iceland! Definitely coming back for the summer time. A week was not enough. It showed me how beautiful nature is. Amazing people & amazing attractions. Was lucky enough to see the northern lights from the Seljalandfoss waterfall on our way home. Our tour guide was GREAT & thoughtful for letting us stay later so we can enjoy the once in a lifetime view of the northern lights. The pictures can't describe how great & beautiful this whole experience was!
Great trip overall! We went during the winter time, so the hours of daylight were not in our favor. But, we still got the chance to see all of the attractions. The tour guide was very good on timing it so we would see everything within the limited hours of daylight. He was also very entertaining on the bus, as he told us stories about Iceland and its history. Jökulsárlón was absolutely AMAZING. It should be a wonder of the world. Breathtaking. We even got the chance to see the Northern Lights on the way home, thanks to our bus driver and our tour guide. The best tour I have taken in Iceland by far! Would highly 100% recommend.
For a long trip on a crowded coach, Jökulsárlón was the highlight of my time in Iceland. I've never seen anything like it. The guide was fantastic, the best one we had actually - very funny and knowledgable. Absolutely would recommend!
Just one word: WONDERFULL/FULL OF WONDERS!! This trip was really amazing and we've seen the most beautiful things. The guide shared many stories about the surroundings and the Icelandic culture, so we've seen and learned a lot about Iceland in one day. On our way back home we went on a hunt for the Northern Lights, even when the trip should be over and the time has past, and we have seen them!! Absolutely amazing trip that I recommend everyone to do.
One of my favorite tours in iceland. It lasted most of the day but lots of stops for breaks and food really made the drive bearable. The guide was super informative and even sang some Christmas songs along the way. The views were absolutely beautiful and almost surreal. 10/10 would do again.
We had an amazing trip to Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. The drive was long and I was advised many times to not try to do it in one day, but with that being our only option due to our time frame we booked anyway and I am glad we did. We stopped several times which helped break up the long drive. The lagoon was beautiful even though when we first arrived it was raining. After about 30 minutes the rain stopped and we were able to enjoy the views of the beautiful glacier ice. We walked down to the black sand beach and had fun taking pictures with the huge chunks of glaciers that had washed up on the beach. The views of the mountains and waterfalls was great. Our guide was good to give us time limits and everyone was good to follow them so we moved from one place to another smoothly. Our guide had a great sense of humor and was knowledgeable about the area as she was from that part of Iceland and knew the area well. She even sang Christmas songs in Icelanic which was awesome. The one negative I have is the price and variety of places to stop to eat. We paid $25 USD for a small bowl of lamb soup and a small dinner salad. It was way too expensive. If I had to do it again, I would take my own food. We did have our own snacks so didn't have to spend a fortune for that. Thank you for a great day.
Fantastic day out! Jökulsárlón is amazing and well worth the long drive. I was lucky enough to go on a beautiful, sunny day. Minibus picked me up from the hostel around 7.20am as I was the last stop before Bsi. At Bsi we boarded the coach, which was very clean and tidy, comfy, had wifi and USB ports to use as chargers. Very nice! I would recommend sitting on the left hand side as this is where all the amazing views of the mountains, waterfalls and lava fields can be seen best. We drove through the most amazing places and landscapes. Breath-taking! We stopped at some lovely sights. The tour was busy but our guide was really great at instructing everyone on time limits and had a lot of knowledge about the various places we saw. She was very friendly and funny which provided a great atmosphere. There were plenty of rest stops and places to buy refreshments, although I took my own snacks as this was cheaper. The prices seem to get higher as we traveled into more remote areas. It was a very long day and lots of people were sleeping on the coach... Which I couldn't understand as I wanted to keep my eyes open the whole time! Everything was so beautiful, I didn't want to miss a thing! Great day out, reasonably priced compared to other tours and a great way to see a lot of Iceland in one day! I was last to be dropped back to my hostel around 10pm ready for bed.. But as it was Saturday night, I went out into Reykjavik anyway! :)
We had a fabulous time in Iceland even though the weather was quiet windy and probably the rainiest day in Iceland we managed to cover most places and well in time
The tour guide was also our driver and he was amazing, very funny, knowledgeable, helpful, everything! As for the lagoon itself.... Oh boy.... truly nature's masterpiece... This is definitely one of my highlights during my trip to Iceland. Mind you, the trip is very long (4-5 hours) but I tell you, it is very well worth it. I'll definitely visit Jökulsárlón again when I come back. I just know I will never get tired of this massive beauty! As for bathroom and food breaks, I assure you it is all well planned into smart stops along the way. This is definitely a trip you must not miss!
The guide is nice. The glacier lagoon is very worth to go although the long travelling time.
Tour guide keep checking the weather for us, introducing all beautiful waterfalls & offering help :) super nice :)
I never saw a landscape alike! I am totally touched when I saw the mountain, the glacier, the spring during the tour. The guilder is a gentle, nice and good at talking.
Excellent! Although it's a long time travel, the glacier was quite worth to have a look!
I went on this tour with two friends in September. The bus was a good size and they didn't try to cram too many people in. The tour guide was not only friendly and professional, but was a wealth of knowledge and did everything he could to make us feel comfortable. Some people on our tour were a bit difficult but our guide handled it wonderfully and they did not disturb the rest of the group. The guide went out of his way to try to avoid rain to the extent that he could. As a result we ended up having blue skies for each stop on the trip - all beautiful/breathtaking. We tried two other tour companies and preferred GeoIceland. Highly recommended.
It was a really long day and the tour guide provided many info. In general the trip was good. Yet in the morning when the minibus picked us from the hotel something unpleasant happened. We were on time (7;00 am) when we went out the hotel but the driver was really grumpy and shouted that he had waited for a long time. Then on the way to picking other passengers he drove extremely fast and applied a lot of emergency brakes, besides that he also shouted to other passengers to "just go and sit inside" when they tried to ask something, which really left an unpleasant start for the tour. I sincerely suggest the company to pay attention to the service since Icelandic people are very nice in general. If it was not the driver in the morning the tour would be great. Also I understood that within one day we have a lot of plans so the time schedule seemed quite tight, but that's the same to all travel companies. If you want to explore the glacier lagoon and had an unique experience on the boat with the wonderful guide on the boat and try the one thousand years old ice, it will be the suitable tour.
many views on the way and the Jökulsárlón is awsome
This was an amazing experience. The seals swimming around the bay were so cute. My luggage was delayed so the nice people at the tour lent me a warm jacket from the lost and found :) Let's prevent global warming and preserve the beautiful Icelandic nature!
The landscape and the boat tour were magic! We came from Costa Rica and the glaciers are not commun in our country. The sense of humour of the guide was a good sample of Icelandic philosophie. We recommend this trip to all visitors! and hold your camera ready to shoot every little detail you could see when the bus are driving.
I never saw a landscape alike! I enjoyed the trip a lot and met nice people on the tour, which is great when traveling solo. One advice: try to pick a seat on the driver's side on the bus. The view is better there ;)
this tour was great, we had limited time in Iceland but really wanted to see the glacier lagoon. this tour took us there in one day, and it was amazing. the most beautiful place i have seen. if you have the chance, go there.
First, this tour is a MUST-DO. It is something of the most beautiful scenery and sights I've ever seen. That being said, I would not recommend booking through this company! Despite booking through 'Guide to Iceland,' (a company I enjoyed using for other tours), this tour was run through Reykjavik Excursions. It thus was conducted on a large, full coach, which--inexplicably--made a point to stay with the other large, full, Reykjavik Excursions coach that was going on the same route. The result was that there was a huge amount of people at every stop, huge lines for everything, and a ton of people in all of the photos. Although having other people there wasn't unexpected, of course, it made absolutely NO sense to try to stay together. Why not stagger the two coaches (even by half an hour) so each coach could enjoy the attractions without the huge lines and with fewer tourists in all of the pictures?? This was particularly striking (and frustrating) at mealtimes. When we stopped for lunch, it was at a small, order-at-the-counter restaurant with the other large coach and at least 4 smaller van tours. The result was a HUGE crush of people, waiting and cutting in line for almost an hour for some pretty mediocre food. There were a ton of restaurants along the route--why would EVERY coach stop at this one at the same exact time?? I've done a million tours in a number of countries, and this was the most illogical, poorly run tour I've ever been on. There just was no need for it, and no identifiable benefit to running it this way! The same thing happened at dinner, just without the smaller coaches. The amount of time it took to get food meant you missed looking around more, shopping in the gift shop, etc. I would recommend picking up something hot to eat at one of the bathroom stops, and not waiting for the lunch restaurant. Finally, this tour was made even more horrible because the driver could not figure out the heat in the back of the bus--resulting in cold air being blown on us the entire time (despite NUMEROUS people asking for it to be adjusted). This was particularly challenging given we had been rained/snowed on and were all quite wet. The front of the bus was very warm, and I think the people up there were a little too hot. Because the bus was fairly full, there was no option to change seats. All in all, given the crowds, long lines for food/bathrooms, freezing coach, and general disorganization, I would STRONGLY RECOMMEND taking a smaller, more personalized tour. We simply tried to avoid Reykjavik Excursions for the rest of our trip.