Winter Tours & Packages in Iceland

Winter Tours & Packages in Iceland

Winter tours & vacation packages in Iceland are tailored to those seeking travel during the magical Northern Lights season in Iceland. Discover the largest selection of tours in Iceland!
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Winter Tours & Packages in Iceland

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Rhonda Wylie

Rhonda Wylie

26/09/2023, 12:20
Review of 9-Day Northern Lights Self-Drive Tour of the Complete Ring Road with Waterfalls & Hot Springs

I recently had the privilege of embarking on a breathtaking journey through the stunning landscapes of Iceland, and I cannot express how truly remarkable this trip was. From the moment I set foot in this land of fire and ice, I was utterly captivated by its beauty and unique charm. Our adventure began in Reykjavik, a vibrant and welcoming city that perfectly blends modernity with a rich cultural heritage. We explored its colorful streets, and even had the chance to soak in the world-famous Blue Lagoon, an otherworldly experience that set the tone for the rest of our trip. One of the highlights of our Iceland journey was the Golden Circle tour. This full-day excursion took us to three incredible destinations. First, the awe-inspiring Geysir geothermal area, where we witnessed the powerful eruptions of Strokkur, a moment of nature's grandeur frozen in time. Next, the majestic Gullfoss waterfall, whose cascading waters left us in awe of the Earth's raw power. Finally, the historic Thingvellir National Park, where we walked between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, truly feeling the earth's constant transformation beneath our feet. Our journey continued along the stunning South Coast, where we encountered black sand beaches, towering waterfalls, and glaciers that seemed to stretch to infinity. The breathtaking Seljalandsfoss waterfall allowed us to walk behind the cascading water curtain, a moment of sheer wonder. The nearby Skogafoss waterfall was equally impressive, and the panoramic views from the top of its staircase were breathtaking. I highly suggest spending as MUCH time as possible on the South Coast! It's remarkable! Exploring the otherworldly landscapes of Vatnajokull National Park was another unforgettable experience. We ventured into the icy heart of the park and marveled at the mesmerizing blue hues of the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. The boat tour amidst the floating icebergs was a surreal and serene experience, making us feel like explorers in a distant, untouched world. Our local guides were knowledgeable, passionate, and eager to help throughout our journey. My Iceland trip was an adventure of a lifetime, a journey that left me with memories I will cherish forever. If you're seeking a destination that will both awe and inspire, I wholeheartedly recommend embarking on your own Icelandic adventure. This is a place where the natural world reigns supreme, where every turn offers a new and astounding vista, and where the magic of this extraordinary land is sure to leave an indelible mark on your heart.

Winter Travel in Iceland

During winter, Iceland is almost always blanketed in glimmering layer of snow, and tempered by unpredictable weather; be it a frozen starlit stillness, blizzards of dazzling white, or a magnificent display of the Northern Lights, there’s no exact telling what the skies will be up to.

The height of winter only provides a few hours of sunlight each day, meaning you’ll need to be acutely aware of your scheduling, but the majority of Iceland’s attraction, including an abundance of crystal blue ice caves, are accessible.

This also goes for a great number of activities. It is, for instance, a popular choice to go on a snorkelling tour in Silfra fissure during the winter months (many, in fact, believe the cold weather makes the glacial water feel warmer), as well as such activities as dog sledging, whale watching and hot spring hunting. 

By opting for a package, travellers rest easy knowing all accommodation, transfers and tours are prepared and confirmed by Guide to Iceland prior to their arrival. This removes the pressure of logistical planning and dealing with third parties, leaving you free to enjoy Iceland’s frostbitten landscapes to your heart’s content.

Naturally, wintertime means cold temperatures, so you will need to pack the proper clothing for your trip to Iceland. Be sure to include a waterproof jacket and pants, a woolly hat, scarf, gloves, thick socks and sturdy hiking boots.

Frequently asked questions

What's included in a winter vacation package in Iceland?

A winter vacation package in Iceland includes a full itinerary of things to do, a rental vehicle to drive around the country and accommodation along the way at each town or village you will stay in for the night.

During which months can I see the northern lights in Iceland?

You can see the northern lights from mid-August to the end of April when the night is dark. During the summer it is simply too bright for the aurora borealis to be visible in the sky. Therefore a winter tour in Iceland is ideal to gaze at the northern lights.

Can I book winter packages for Christmas or New Year's Eve in Iceland?

Yes, winter packages are available during both Christmas and New Year's. Please note that Christmas and New Year's are extremely popular travel seasons in Iceland so we recommend that you book as early as possible to secure the best prices and spots.

Are there any luggage restrictions on the 2-3 day minibus tours?

Yes, you are allowed to bring a single bag that fits in the overhead compartment of the minibus. Your bag may not be larger than standard airplane cabin baggage. Standard Cabin baggage has a maximum length of 56 cm (22 in), a maximum width of 45 cm (18 in), and a maximum depth of 25 cm (10 in). You can leave your extra luggage in your hotel in Reykjavik or store it in town for a small fee, in places such as the BSÍ bus terminal.

How much time do we spend at each location for my winter tour in Iceland?

It depends on the tour, the location, the weather and the group, but your guides will always allow ample time at each location, taking the tour itinerary and group morale into account. If you'd like longer time at each location, you can of course book a winter self-drive tour in Iceland where you can explore the country at your own pace.

What are some popular hot springs spas to visit in Iceland during winter?

Popular hot spring spas in Iceland include the famous Blue Lagoon, the beautiful Sky Lagoon and the unique Hvammsvik Hot Springs, all located within a half-hour drive from Reykjavik. If you're visiting the north of Iceland, you can also check out Myvatn Nature Baths or the Forest Lagoon.

Which languages does the tour guide speak for my winter tour in Iceland?

All the tour guides speak excellent English, and most speak Icelandic as well. Some guides also speak other European languages such as Danish, French, German and Spanish, but this varies between tours.

What kind of shoes should I wear on an ice cave excursion on my winter tour in Iceland?

We recommend wearing thick-soled hiking boots with ankle support when going on an ice cave tour for your winter tour in Iceland.

Can I visit the ice caves in Iceland during winter?

Winter is the best time to visit natural ice caves in Iceland, as they are more stable due to colder temperatures. Popular ice caves can be found in Vatnajokull and Langjokull glaciers. Always book a guided tour with a certified operator to ensure safety and proper equipment usage.

How many people are usually on winter tours in Iceland?

Day tours and tours that go out of Reykjavik for 2-3 days are operated in minibusses that can accommodate 12-19 people.

What happens if I arrive late to a tour or cannot make it to a meeting point because of bad weather or road closures?

If a road is closed, we will try our very best to assist you with all the necessary arrangements. Our capabilities, however, depend on the availability of hotels and tours. If new hotels or tours have to be booked, there might be extra charges, but we always try to provide assistance and rearrangements without any extra cost to the customer.

What is the weather like in Iceland during the winter months?

Winter in Iceland typically lasts from November to March, with average temperatures ranging from 28-38°F (-2 to 3°C). Expect some snow, ice, and short daylight hours, with weather conditions that can change rapidly. Remember to dress well and be prepared for anything.

Is it possible to drive the entire Ring Road in Iceland during winter?

Driving the entire Ring Road in winter is possible such as on this 8-day self-drive tour of the entire Ring Road, but it can be challenging due to unpredictable weather, road closures, and limited daylight hours. It's essential to be prepared for winter driving conditions, plan extra time for travel, and be flexible with

What clothing should I pack for a winter trip in Iceland?

It's essential to pack warm and waterproof clothing for a winter trip to Iceland. This includes insulated layers, a waterproof and windproof jacket, thermal base layers, waterproof boots, warm socks, gloves, a hat, and a scarf.

How are driving conditions in Iceland during the winter?

Driving conditions in Iceland during winter can be challenging due to snow, ice, and limited daylight hours. It's crucial to familiarize yourself with local driving rules, monitor weather and road conditions, and equip your vehicle with proper winter tires.

Are there any winter festivals or cultural events in Iceland?

Iceland hosts several winter festivals and cultural events, including the Reykjavik International Film Festival, Iceland Airwaves Music Festival, the Reykjavik Winter Lights Festival, and the celebration of Thorrablot, a traditional Icelandic mid-winter feast.

Can I participate in a whale watching tour during the winter in Iceland?

Whale watching tours are available year-round in Iceland, including winter. While the variety of species might be lower compared to summer months, there is still a chance to spot orcas, humpback whales, and various seabirds.

Are there any guided photography tours available in Iceland during winter?

Yes, guided photography tours are available during winter in Iceland, taking advantage of the unique landscapes, lighting conditions, and natural phenomena like the northern lights. These tours are led by experienced photographers who guide participants to capture Iceland's stunning winter scenery.

What wildlife can I expect to see during a winter tour in Iceland?

During winter, you may encounter seals, various seabirds, and whales such as orcas and humpbacks. You might also see wild reindeer roaming in the Eastfjords. However, some migratory bird species, like puffins, are absent during winter.