Ring Road Tour - Winter Adventure with Northern Lights Hunt

Zip up your warmest jacket and embark on this winter adventure of the one and only ring road of Iceland. The land has a lot to offer in the winter when the waterfalls are frozen, and the Northern Lights graze the night sky. This tour is for anyone wishing for that unique winter experience while allowing the experts to carry you safely through the temperamental weather and icy roads.

Get ready to circumnavigate the entire island on a guided and personal mini-bus tour, where you will visit all the most popular attractions, such as the Golden Circle and Lake Mývatn and its Nature Baths. You will also be treated to less-visited and more hidden treasures of the island found off the beaten path.

Every night of your voyage will conclude with a hunt for the Northern Lights, a celestial and natural phenomenon that can never be guaranteed, but travelling for a full week in winter time is perhaps your surest bet of catching them.

Allow your expert tour guides to read the aurora forecast each night, while you relax in an attentively chosen and local accommodation. The winter nights are dark and mystic, so get ready to bundle up if the weather gets frightful.

Don’t hesitate to book this tour now, for the extraordinary chance of experiencing the wonderland that is Iceland in the winter. Check availability by choosing a date.

Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: Dec. - Jan.
  • Duration: 7 days
  • Activities: Hiking, Sightseeing, Northern lights hunting, Hot Spring Bathing, Cultural Activity
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age: 10 years old
  • Languages: English
  • Highlights: Golden Circle, Akureyri, Jökulsárlón, Vatnajökull, Mývatn, Dimmuborgir, Goðafoss, Dettifoss, Drangey, Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Geysir, Gullfoss, Eyjafjallajökull, Þingvellir, Hraunfossar, Deildartunguhver, Strokkur, Hvalfjörður, Skaftafell, Möðrudalur, Eyjafjörður, Borgarfjörður, Höfn, Reykholt, Borgarnes, Skeiðarársandur, Grjótagjá, Vík í Mýrdal, Sauðárkrókur, Laugarvatn, Eldhraun, Flúðir, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Reynisdrangar, Hvítserkur, Námaskarð, Myrdalssandur, Lagarfljót, Hengifoss, Borgarvirki, Djúpivogur, Þorvaldseyri, Stokksnes, Hallormsstaðaskógur, Reykir
Pickup information:
  • Starting time : 09:00

  • Fully escorted 7-day bus tour with an English-speaking guide.

  • Accommodation with breakfast and private facilities for 6 nights

  • Entrance with towel at Myvatn Nature Baths

  • Entrance to all museums

What to bring:
  • Warm clothes

  • Hiking shoes

  • Packed lunch (we also stop at local restaurants/shops)

Good to know:

Remember that this tour is interchangeable with the weather conditions

Daily itinerary

Day 1 - The Golden Circle

Ring Road Tour - Winter Adventure with Northern Lights Hunt

After getting picked up from chosen locations in Reykjavík City, get ready for the prime attractions of the entire island, found on the Golden Circle route. You will begin by visiting Þingvellir National Park, a venue rich in history, and a unique terrain where the two tectonic plates meet to drift apart.

You will then visit Lake Laugarvatn, a small village built in an area of geothermal activity. You will witness how even though the surface of the earth is frozen, its interior remains heated throughout the entire year.

Then, it is off to marvel at the geysers in the geothermal valley of Haukadalur, where the fountain geyser Strokkur erupts every 10-15 minutes, as high as 20 metres into the air. Next up is the majestic Gullfoss Waterfall, the island’s most visited attraction.

After lunch, you will continue to Flúðir, a charming village that relies on geothermal energy for its vast production of greenhouse produce. You will then get back on the ring road and head south, stopping at Seljalandsfoss, a beautiful waterfall which you can walk behind.

Your accommodation for the night will be under the impending cliffs of Eyjafjallajökull, the active volcano ice-cap. If the Northern Lights decide to show that night, you will witness them dancing on top of the glacier before calling it a day.

Day 2 - The South Coast

Ring Road Tour - Winter Adventure with Northern Lights Hunt

Your second day will be a busy one, as you will start by visiting Skógafoss Waterfall before continuing your exploration of the south coast. You will stop at the family farm Þorvaldseyri and attend a screening of a documentary on the infamous Eyjafjallajökull, that nests in the very backyard of the farm.

Continuing to the village of Vík, you will visit the black sand beach Reynisfjara, frequently voted one of the most beautiful non-tropical beaches in the world. Visible offshore are the Reynisdrangar basalt sea stacks, which according to local legend are the stony remains of two trolls dragging a masted ship to shore.

Leaving Vík, you will venture across the sand fields of the south coast, formed by flash floods from sub-glacial eruptions. You will explore the clusters of pseudo-craters in Mýrdalssandur and Landbrot, and drive through the lava field Eldhraun while learning about the history of its formation in the 18th century.

After a stop at the tiny village Kirkjubæjarklaustur, you will drive across the vast expanse of Skeiðarársandur where Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest ice cap, covers the left horizon. Your day will conclude with a visit to the glacier’s roots, where icebergs have broken off to gather in the glacier lagoon Jökulsárlón.

Your accommodation for the night awaits in a country hotel in an isolated part of the area, perfect for viewing the auroras should they decide to appear.

Day 3 - Mountainous Terrain

Ring Road Tour - Winter Adventure with Northern Lights Hunt

On your third day, you will proceed east towards the village of Höfn. You will then detour east to the Stokksnes Peninsula, a particularly desolate part of the country.

The nature of this route is none other than extraordinary, where narrow roads cling to the hillsides, the sand plains glisten, the looming cliffs of Mt. Vestrahorn cover your left, and the ocean goes on endlessly to your right.

After venturing through these deserted fjords, your next stop will be in the small town Djúpivogur. Depending on the weather and road conditions, you will work your way from village to village, learning about each place’s history along the way.

Along the way, there is a fine chance of spotting the reindeer that reside in the area. Your final destination will be at Lake Lagarfljót in the East.

The Icelandic counterpart of the Loch Ness monster, called Lagarfljótsormurinn, allegedly resides in the depths of the lake. It is perhaps likelier to spot the Northern Lights than the cryptic lake serpent come nightfall.

Day 4 - East to North

Ring Road Tour - Winter Adventure with Northern Lights Hunt

Your fourth day begins with an exploration of the East. By the banks of Lake Lagarfljót rests the picturesque Hallormsstaðaskógur, one of Iceland’s larger forests. A short hike will then bring you to Hengifoss, a narrow but high waterfall surrounded by red layers of clay and basalt.

Once you get back on the bus, the route points north so get ready to head for the wasteland. You will drive through an uninhabited and mountainous area for several hours, taking in the beauty of isolation and the frozen moors of Möðrudalsöræfi, home to roaming reindeer.

You might be treated to a stop at one of the most remote and deserted farms of Iceland, where an odd church built in the 19th century still stands. Once you have crossed the mountains, your next destination is a special one.

The falls of Dettifoss are reputed as the most powerful waterfall in Europe. Vatnajökull Glacier provides the water source for this roaring display of unharnessed energy, and standing by them you can feel the earth trembling beneath your feet.

Your destination for the night is at Lake Mývatn in the North, but along the way you will stop at a hut reputed for being hunted, so get ready for some authentic Icelandic ghost stories. Your day will conclude with a much-needed soak in the Mývatn Nature Baths.

Also, make note that all the plans for this day are interchangeable since some of the roads in this part of the country are prone to be closed due to weather conditions. As always, your guides will do their very best to navigate the route and read the aurora forecast.

Day 5 - Capital of the North

Ring Road Tour - Winter Adventure with Northern Lights Hunt

Today you shall explore the wonderfully varied surroundings of Lake Mývatn. These include the mystic lava formations that make up the rocky citadel Dimmuborgir, and the underground hot spring in cave Grjótagjá. This very lava cave was the location for one of Jon Snow and Ygrette’s more intimate moments in HBO’s Game of Thrones.

After getting back on the bus, you will drive through Reykjadalur to Goðafoss Waterfall. With a name that translates to ‘waterfall of the gods’, it was the location where a pagan chieftain, over a thousand years ago, threw in statues of the old gods to make way for Christianity.

You will also visit a nearby church dedicated to the memory of the chieftain, the one and only Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði. You will then continue to the fjord Eyjafjörður, where you will eventually reach the community of Akureyri, often called the capital of the North.

Feel free to explore the town and its many shops, cafés and restaurants. It is also the location of the most beloved ice-cream shop in the entire country. You will spend the night in Akureyri, perhaps witnessing the dancing green veils of the northern sky before turning in.

Day 6 - Historic Locations

Ring Road Tour - Winter Adventure with Northern Lights Hunt

As you leave Akureyri behind, you will drive through the countryside past sleeping farms and Icelandic horses, sporting their winter coats. You will stop at the small town Sauðárkrókur for coffee and learn about the life of local outlaw Grettir the Strong.

You will continue driving through small villages, each rich in ancient history, stopping at Þrístapar, the atmospheric and desolate location of the last public execution in Iceland. You will then visit Borgarvirki, home to the remains of an ancient fortress from the Age of Settlement.

Driving along the eastern shore of the Vatnsnes Peninsula, you will stop to awe at the famous basalt sea stack Hvítserkur, a peculiar rock formation with the resemblance of a drinking dragon. You will end your day at Gauksmýri, a quaint country hotel and home to renowned seafood restaurant Sjávarborg.

As always, you might enjoy the aurora display before turning in to gather energy for the last day of your ring road adventure.

Day 7 - Back to Civilization

Ring Road Tour - Winter Adventure with Northern Lights Hunt

On your seventh and last day you will slowly make your way back to Reykjavík City, but not before enjoying several stops en route. First up is a visit to the local museum at Reykir, where you will learn about ancient methods of shark catching and driftwood ship building.

After crossing Holtavörðuheiði, you turn off the main road to visit Reykholt in Borgarfjörður, former home to the renowned medieval author and scholar Snorri Sturluson. His personal hot spring, the oldest man-made structure in Iceland, still stands so get ready to enjoy one last soak in a geothermal pool.

From Reykholt you will proceed to Deildartunguhver, an extraordinary hot spring credited with the highest flow in all of Europe, where 180 litres of boiling water steam from the earth every single second. Close by are the waterfalls Hraunfossar, unique in their unusual setting where they pour into the river Hvítá from ledges of lava rocks.

Before reaching the capital, you will drive through fjord Hvalfjörður, a scenic fjord of intrinsic historical connotations having to do with the Second World War.

You will reach Reykjavík City around dinner time, where you will be dropped off at your accommodation. Why not hit the downtown for a much-deserved pint of local brew, as you go through your photos and reminisce about your memorable ring road winter adventure.

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Ring Road Tour - Winter Adventure with Northern Lights Hunt

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