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13 Day Northern Lights Package | Guided Tours to the Ring Road & Snaefellsnes Peninsula

The fabulous Northern Lights dance across the sky behind one of the most photographed mountains, Mount Kirkjufell on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.
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Perfect travel plan
Fully customizable
24/7 customer support
Tour starts
Keflavík Airport
Starting time
Flexible
Duration
13 days
Ending place
Keflavík Airport
Languages
English
Difficulty
Easy
Available
Sep. - Apr.
Minimum age
12 years old

Explore the natural beauty of Iceland on this 13-day winter package that will take you around the island to the country's most famous destinations such as Reynisfjara black sand beach, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, and Lake Mývatn, as well as a few hidden gems. This holiday is perfect for those who wish to discover a winter wonderland at a relaxed pace without having to worry about driving in icy conditions.

After you arrive at Keflavík International Airport, your pre-organized airport transfer will deliver you to your hotel in Reykjavík. You will then have a full day to recharge after your flight and to visit one of the top spas in the world, the Blue Lagoon.

Fully rested and ready for adventure, you will embark on an expertly guided 8-day minibus tour around the famous Ring Road, which will also include the well-loved Golden Circle route as well as a day on the spectacular Snæfellsnes peninsula.

Every evening your accommodation will be taken care of, and you can choose to enrich your days with action-packed adventures that you can decide upon as you make your booking. These include horse riding, snowmobiling, glacier hiking, and even the chance to enter an ice cave inside a glacier! As well as daily opportunities to search the skies for the alluring and elusive Northern Lights, there will be several opportunities to unwind in geothermal pools and hot springs.

Once you have circled the island, familiarise yourself with the northernmost capital in the world, Reykjavík. You will have two whole days to fill with a choice of exciting activities such as a day trip up to the Highlands in a super jeep or a geothermal helicopter tour. Even if you would rather relax in Reykjavík, this winter tour presents you with no lack of choice.

Discover Iceland in all its winter glory, and book this vacation package today! This is one of the most popular winter excursions available, so wrap up warm and hop on. Check availability by choosing a date.

Included

Airport transfer on arrival/departure
5 nights of accommodation in Reykjavík (different levels available; breakfast not included for Super Budget or Budget levels; breakfast included for Comfort and Quality levels; more detailed info below)
8 day small group guided minibus tour of the ring road of Iceland and Snæfellsnes Peninsula
7 nights of accommodation in various country hotels (breakfast included, private bathroom)
Northern lights spotting
Detailed itinerary
Personal travel agent
Taxes
Glacier hiking tour
Whale watching tour
Ice caving tour

Activities

Glacier Hiking
Caving
Snowmobile
Super Jeep
Horse Riding
Whale Watching
Sightseeing
Northern lights hunting
Hot Spring Bathing
Cultural Activity
Ice Caving

Daily itinerary

Day 1
The most recognisable landmark in Reykjavík is hand down Hallgrímskirkja church which is visible from most places in the city.

Arrival to Iceland

Welcome to Iceland. Once you've made your way out of Keflavík International Airport, climb aboard your bus to Iceland's capital, Reykavík. Bus times are flexible and reflect arrival times, so there's no need to hurry or worry if your flight should happen to be late.

On your way to Iceland's capital city, you could choose to make a stop at the Blue Lagoon. This world-renowned spa is known for its healing waters, vivid azure colors, and luxurious treatments. It is located in the middle of a moss-covered lava field, giving it an otherworldly atmosphere. If you add the Blue Lagoon, it will be arranged according to your flights. If there is no time to visit the lagoon today, it can be added to another day. Your travel consultant will be able to arrange this for you. There is still plenty to see and do in Reykjavik if you have extra free time.

Enjoy the colorful houses of downtown Reykjavík and stop by one of its countless bars or restaurants to quench any post-flight appetites. If the sky is clear of clouds, make sure to look up in the evening, there is always a chance the Northern Lights will show up, even in the city.

Day 2
The mesmerising Blue Lagoon is rich with minerals and silica which is said to have healing properties.

The Blue Lagoon

Today, you will have the pleasure of visiting one of the most stunning spas in the world, the Blue Lagoon. Decide whether you would like to visit its milky azure waters in the morning or afternoon, and look forward to the ultimate relaxation experience.

Due to the popularity of the Blue Lagoon, an exact departure time cannot be guaranteed. However, your personal travel agent will try their very best to reserve your preferred time slot and help you create the perfect holiday.

After the lagoon, spend your free time exploring the charming downtown center of Reykjavík. You can, for example, make the most of the precious daylight hours and ascend the capital’s most famous monument, Hallgrímskirkja church, to enjoy 360° views of the city.

If it’s dark already, you could venture out and enjoy Reykjavík’s dynamic and often quirky nightlife. Just be sure to be well rested, as you will be whisked away for your trek around the island early the next day.

Day 3
The frozen facade of Gullfoss waterfall in the chilly winter sunshine.

The Golden Circle & Optional Horse Riding

Your 8-day adventure on the road begins, and your first route will be the most traveled in Iceland, the Golden Circle. You will meet your expert guide and acquaint yourself with your fellow travelers once you've been picked up in the morning.

The comfortable minibus will take you to your first location on this infamous route, Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the setting for the formation of Iceland's first parliament, the Alþingi, which is still in operation today, although now located in Reykjavík.

Furthermore, the park sits upon the continental rift where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet, and you can walk straight down the middle! Walk between continents and enjoy the abundant natural and cultural qualities of the area.

Then it's only a short drive to two more stunning attractions; Geysir and Gullfoss. The first is a geothermally active area home to many hot springs and geysers. The most active of these is Strokkur, which blasts water up to 66 feet (20 meters) in the air every five minutes or so.

You will feast your eyes upon Gullfoss at the next stop, which translates to 'Golden Falls'. Prepare to be awe-struck by this monster of a waterfall that spits out glacial torrents into the vast canyon beneath it. In the winter months, you can admire the icy sculptures around the rocks heading off the falls.

Today, you also have the option to join a horse riding tour. Saddle up and take in more breathtaking sceneries from the back of an Icelandic horse. The breed is one of the oldest and purest in the world, famous for its calm and friendly temperament and preparing for the cold with its thick shaggy coats.

You will then retire to your accommodation in the Golden Circle area or the quaint village of Hella. Don't forget to cast your eyes skywards in the evening to search for the elusive Northern Lights.

Day 4
Admire the panoramic views that being on top of the world afford you.

The South Coast Adventures

Wake up and discover the South Coast. Watch out the window as you zoom through vast valleys covered by snowy jackets and dotted with rustic farms. Impressive waterfalls cascade down from the interior, including Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls.

You will have opportunities to get off the bus and immortalize some of these fantastic features with your camera. The frosted black beach of Reynisfjara will undoubtedly be one of the highlights as it is renowned for its impressive basalt columns and defiant Reynisdrangar sea stacks.

Should you select it as an extra in the booking process, the highlight of the day will inevitably be your ascent onto the glacier Sólheimajökull. By booking the glacier hike with this package, you'll not only get to experience the immense beauty of glaciers where you'll enjoy uninterrupted views of the mountains and coastline, but you'll also get a hefty discount.

After this thrilling adventure, you will go to your accommodation for the evening close to the coastal village Vík. The central feature of this picturesque settlement is the church which sits on top of a hill, and it makes for a perfect picture, especially if the Northern Lights are out.

Day 5
Glacial ice caves are formed by melt water tunneling through the glacier during the summer months.

The Vatnajokull National Park

Continuing your journey, you will cross the black sand desert Skeiðarársandur as the wonders of Skaftafell National Park come into view. Gaze out of the window and feast your eyes upon the diverse natural features, including timeless mountains, frozen forests, and glittering ice caps.

Your first stop for the day is by far one of Iceland's most impressive, which is why it's nicknamed the 'Crown Jewel of Iceland'. Jökulsárlon is a glacier lagoon, formed as huge icebergs break away from the glacier Breiðamerkurjökull and float on serene water before they drift off to sea.

You will undoubtedly feel enchanted as these lazy giants pass you by and marvel at their tranquil grandeur. Remember to watch for resident seals, sometimes visible from the shore, playing among their icy neighbors.

For a taste of adventure, you have the opportunity to enter some of the most amazing natural phenomena Iceland has to offer; the otherworldly ice caves. The mesmerizing cave walls and stunning surrounding nature are guaranteed to leave you spellbound.

If you are visiting between November and March, you will visit the Blue cave in Vatnajökull glacier. During any other month, you will visit the Katla ice cave inside Iceland's fourth largest glacier, Mýrdalsjökull.

Your evening will be spent in the realm of Vatnajökull glacier, a perfectly remote location to enjoy any Northern Lights that may be shimmering across the sky.

Day 6
The brilliant Northern Lights dance across the remote and mountainous Eastfjords.

The Eastfjords

Proceeding along the Ring Road today, you will be making your way to the remote Eastfjords. This area is characterized by inspiring mountainscapes, far-flung fishing villages, and stunning coastal views.

An area still relatively wild, the region is known for its abundant animal activity; you may be able to spot reindeer roaming the wintery open plains. Brought initially to Iceland from Norway to be farmed, the reindeer now roam freely as their agricultural value failed to prosper.

There will be several stops throughout the day, the most prominent being the lake Lagarfljót, rumored to be inhabited by a mythical sea snake and quintessential fishing villages. You will end the day in accommodation in the Eastfjords.

Day 7
Lake Mývatn is named after the flies that usually buzz around the water in summer, but all that hovers in the winter are the majestic Northern Lights.

Myvatn and Akureyri  

Today, you will travel from the Eastfjords to Iceland's unofficial northern capital, Akureyri, stopping en route at countless attractions near the stunning Lake Mývatn.

For instance, you will visit the red, Martian-like sands of Námaskarð Pass, a geothermal area in the Lake Mývatn area. Here, you will have a first-hand view of the steaming fumaroles, bubbling mud cauldrons, and climbing pillars of steam that make this place so interesting.

Another lake's most interesting site is Dimmuborgir, a field of dark volcanic rocks known as the "Black Fortress." HBO's Game of Thrones fans might recognize this area as Mance Rayder's wildling camp from Season 3.

While in the area, you can choose to visit Mývatn Nature Bath, a quieter but just as cozy alternative to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland's South. From your luxurious bathing spot, you will have staggering views of the lake and surrounding scenery. How revitalizing is that?!

You will then visit Goðafoss, known as the waterfall of the gods due to events that happened here over 1000 years ago, which your guide will tell you all about.

Following your time here, you will retire to accommodation in Akureyri for the night. In the evening, feel free to explore the town's vibrant local nightlife.

Day 8
The Troll of the Northwest

Hauganes and Hvitserkur 

From Akureyri, you will head west to the picturesque village of Hauganes. Here, you are free to explore the village or choose to go on a tour.

For example, this area is perfect for embarking on a whale watching tour, allowing you to get up close to Iceland's gentlest giants. Another option is to visit the relaxing Beer Spa, where you can revitalize your mind and body and try out their famed restaurant. The choice is entirely up to you!

When your time in Hauganes is over, you will head to the "Troll of the Northwest", Hvitserkur rock stack. This peculiar miracle of nature stands at 49 feet (fifteen meters) high and resembles a horse, elephant, or dragon bending down to drink.

In the evening, you will stay in accommodation at Borganes, where you are free to enjoy the relaxing hot tubs and look out for the Northern Lights above.

Day 9
Icelandic horses on a winter's day.

West Iceland  

Today, you will explore the beautiful west coast of Iceland with all its magical natural attractions. You will drive up and down the roads throughout the region, appreciating the gorgeous scenery and sites.

You will make a stop at Deildartunguhver, Europe's largest hot spring. Feel the heat from the hot spring's steam (a warm welcome on a cold winter's day) as you take in the sights of bubbling water and colorful rock formations.

Then it is off to the settlement, Reykholt, which is as beautiful as it is historical. Onsite is a museum on Snorri Sturluson and his legacy as a writer, politician, and historian. Without him, we wouldn't know as much about Norse mythology or European and North American history as we do today.

Your last stop is at the waterfalls Hraunfossar and Barnafoss, two equally stunning but vastly different waterfalls.

You can admire the breathtaking scenery of the region as you cruise towards your accommodation for the evening.

Day 10
Mount Kirkjufell in known for its strange angular shapes which makes it a popular location for photographers.

Snaefellsnes Peninsula 

You have almost made it the whole way around the island! You will now head over to the exhilarating Snæfellsnes peninsula, characterized by its diversity of features leading to it often being referred to as "Iceland in Miniature".

Admire the rustic fishing towns and immortalize the peculiarly shaped and 'most photographed mountain in Iceland', Mount Kirkjufell, which stands tall over the village of Grundarfjörður.

As you make your way through Snæfellsjökull National Park, you can admire the mountain's stark and looming beauty, which bears home to the magnificent ice cap that the peninsula is named after.

Here, you will descend 200-metres towards the center of the earth into one of the largest lava tubes in Iceland, Vatnshellir Cave. Follow your expert guide into the fantastically colored subterranean dome for an afternoon of pure adventure.

Finally, you will be finishing your tour of the island and returning to Reykjavík for the evening.

Day 11
Tjörninn pond in the centre of Reykjavík freezes over in the deep winter, providing a slippery diversion for many.

Free Day in Reykjavik

Back in the world's northernmost capital, you now have a couple of free days to explore the city, as well as many extra activities to choose from.

You could take a helicopter ride and watch Reykjavík get even smaller as you ascend to the heavens to explore nearby geothermal areas. Your ride will even make a stop on a mountaintop for you to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views in total isolation.

Prefer to keep your feet on the ground? Why not bound through the wintery countryside in a super jeep as an expert guide takes you to one of Iceland's most beautiful regions, Landmannalaugar. Located in the remote Highlands, this region boasts many natural hot springs, so don't forget your swimsuit!

If you would prefer to stay in Reykjavík over the next couple of days, make the most of the many historical and cultural attractions, all within walking distance in the tiny central Reykjavík area. You can choose between museums and galleries or relax in one of the several luxurious geothermal swimming pools.

Whatever you get up to, be sure to visit the warm and welcoming bars and cafés that contribute to the spirit of downtown Reykjavík.

Day 12
The colourful houses of downtown Reykjavík can be seen from the top of its most iconic landmark, Hallgrímskirkja.

Another Free Day in Reykjavík

Another day and another chance for adventure!

You could opt to go snorkeling in some of the most transparent water in the world at the Silfra fissure. As the tectonic plates pull apart, fresh spring water rushes into the divide, giving way to one of the best dive sites in the world with unparalleled visibility.

Alternatively, for a more adrenaline-packed experience, you could choose to go rushing over Langjökull glacier, the second largest glacier in the country, on the back of a snowmobile.

Another excellent option for today is to visit a series of human-made ice tunnels carved into Langjökull glacier. There you can admire the magnificent masonry and ambition behind the tunnels as your guide ushers you through this intricate system of ice.

Otherwise, you can get to know Reykjavík a little better. Visit the places you missed yesterday or go for a swim. Or you can leisurely sightsee, taking the city in your stride on your last full day in Iceland.

Day 13
Looking out to Reykjavík's most famous mountain, Mount Esja from the shoreline.

Departure Day

For those who have a later flight and choose to visit the Blue Lagoon today, you will finish off your stay unwinding before you head to the airport. This is the perfect place to relax as you bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters as you look back on the incredible adventure you have just taken in the land of fire and ice. If your flight is later, there are plenty of things to do in Reykjavik. If you have an early flight back home, we wish you a pleasant journey.

When the time comes, you will take your airport transfer to Keflavík International Airport to board your flight home or your next adventure.

What to bring

Warm and waterproof clothing
Winter hiking shoes
Your Camera
Swimsuit & towel

Good to know

The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, and therefore cannot be guaranteed, but this itinerary is designed to maximize your chances to see them if the weather allows. Please be aware that your itinerary may have to be rearranged to better fit your arrival date and time.

Some optional activities might need a valid driver's license, or you might need to send additional information to your travel planner. Please note that you need to know how to swim and present medical documents should you choose to go snorkeling or diving.

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

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.

Accommodation in Reykjavik

See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary. Super budget level accommodations will be arranged in hostel dorm beds. For budget and comfort levels, bookings for one person will be arranged in single rooms, and bookings for two or more people will share a twin/double or triple room(s). For quality level, odd number groups will always be allocated a single room. If you are travelling in a group, but prefer a single room, please make separate bookings. Teenagers and children will be arranged in the same room with parents. If additional room(s) is needed, additional costs will incur. For multi-day guided tours, accommodation cannot be upgraded and the levels below do not apply. Guide to Iceland will provide you with the best available accommodation at the time of your booking from our preferred partners. If our preferred partners are fully booked at the time of your booking, we will find another suitable accommodation for you of similar level. We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs. Press choose a date to find availability.

Super Budget

Dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels, such as HI Hostels. Located in the capital region. Breakfast is not included.

Budget

Private rooms with shared bathroom in guesthouses or hostels such as Capital Inn Guesthouse. Located in the capital region. Breakfast is not included.

Comfort

Rooms with a private bathroom at three-star hotels such as Hótel Klettur, or quality guesthouses. Located in the city center or in close vicinity. Breakfast is included.

Quality

Rooms at four-star design hotels in the city center with a private bathroom at the absolute best locations downtown such as Hotel Alda. Breakfast is included.

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