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Frequently Asked Questions

About Winter Packages in Iceland

Winter packages allow you to explore Iceland’s winter landscapes and partake in activities such as northern lights hunting and ice caving. Transfers, tours and accommodation are planned for you in advance so that you need not worry about any organisation.

1. Where can I see the northern lights in winter?

The northern lights can be seen anywhere in Iceland when the sky is dark, when solar activity is optimal and when there is no cloud cover. They will appear brighter where there is no light pollution, so it’s better to look for them out in nature. Winter packages that have accommodation outside of the capital area provide ample opportunities to see them.

2. 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. They can not be seen in May, June, July and early August because the nights are too bright.

3. Can I book winter packages for Christmas or New Year's Eve?

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.

4. What kind of shoes should I wear on an ice cave excursion?

Thick-soled hiking boots with ankle support are essential when going on an ice cave tour.

5. Can I rent winter clothes?

Yes, you can. Most glacier hiking operators rent out hiking boots, but you can also rent shoes and clothes from equipment rentals in Reykjavík, such as Gangleri and Outfitters.

6. 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 aeroplane 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 Reykjavík or store it in town for a small fee, in places such as the BSÍ bus terminal.

7. Which languages does the tour guide speak?

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.

8. How much time do we spend at each location?

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.

9. How many people are usually on these tours?

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

10. 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.

11. Should my accommodation be in Keflavik before or after the trip, could I be dropped off or picked up from there?

We only offer direct Keflavík International Airport transfers to and from Reykjavík accommodations. You would, therefore, do well to book accommodation in Keflavík that offers an airport shuttle since you will be dropped off and picked up from there. Another option would be to make use of a taxi transfer, which is not included in any of these packages. Please note that the operating hours of Keflavík International Airport transfers are more limited in winter time than in summer time.

Customer reviews

Read reviews by travellers from across the world

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Overall, it was a fantastic 3 day tour . Although the weather is changeable, our tour guide Heimir rearrange the order of the stops flexibly to make sure we could join both glacier hiking , ice cave and other spots. To be honest, I felt a little disappointed about the glacier hiking due to the time we staying on the glacier. The time was quite short but I thought is was disrpted by the bad weather. The storm came right away when we arrived the parking lot. As for ice cave, we were really lucky to see a quite big and beautiful one . And we had enough time to take pictures in the cave and there were only our group. We finished these two activities on the second day because the weather was awful on the third day. Besides, we were unlucky that it wasn’t the right time to see the dimonds on the beach ,which I eager to see, however; our gide Heimir took us to another place th see the dimonds near the glacier . Dimonds there were really spectacular and was one of my favorite spots in Iceland . To conclude, I felt thankful for the all arrangement of our guide , or we might miss those activities and amazing sceneries if I we went by ourselves . I definitely satisfy this 3 day tour!

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Our tour was in early March 2018. We were lucky with the weather and it was beautiful every day. The tour was easy to setup up just note the communications might not be immediate depending on time zone (I am in US). It did not affect any of the travel. I recommend at your hotel to ask where the tour buses pick up passengers. Ours was not clear and our guide Sveinbjorn had to search us out. Sveinbjorn was a fantastic guide. Was a safe driver and could definitely relax and watch the scenery without worry. He takes pride in his country and enjoys talking about it with a passion. He made sure were on time and had it set where we arrived earlier at places then other tour groups which made it easy for us to get around. If the place was dangerous he made sure the group knew (multiple times). What I liked is I learned more about Iceland from him then any other resource. Now more about the trip. Each day we were on the road by 8 local time so the day starts early. All the hotels were nice and there were some brand new ones. A travel note is once you are at a hotel expect to be there and no other exploring since they are isolated. I personally was nervous about hiking the glacier but our guide (did not remember his name) kept me at ease and it was a great experience. The ice caves were fantastic and a lot of it was due to our guide Faye. She kept us entertained and played Icelandic rock music for us. All the places we stopped were interesting and we were glad we did the extended tours to the east side of the island (away from most of the tourists). I think my only frustrating thing was the end of the tour from Akureyri back to Reykjavík. We did not spend any time in Akureyri because our plane left about 11:00am local time. Might have been nice to seen more of Akureyri. And once we arrived back in Reykjavík we assumed there would be transportation since the tour asked where we were staying once we got back in Reykjavík but we had to find it ourselves. Plenty of taxis just be aware. I recommend a new visitor to the island to use a tour company and I think you will enjoy your stay

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8 Day Winter Excursion | Guided Circle of Iceland Minibus Tour

4.9 average rating | 17 reviews

8 Day Winter Excursion | Guided Circle of Iceland Minibus Tour

We joined the 8-day tour with our guide Svein in March, hunting for amazing Aurora and beautiful landscapes. In the end, I left my camera on the minibus. Svein was so kind to send it back to me. I was really appreciate it.

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I really want to take the time to write a proper review for this awesome tour. I just got back home to the USA last night, and am off again tomorrow on a business trip to TX, so this has to be brief right now! It's not difficult to give this tour 5 stars ! Our guide, Olafur Valtyr Rognvaldsson (better and more easily known as OLI) was awesome! He kept us entertained throughout the tour, and was a font of all knowledge relating to Iceland and its heritage. He was also our driver (we did not have both a driver and a guide, Oli did double duty) and we felt very safe with him driving through the snow and rain. I was glad I was not driving in that! Our minibus seated 20, and there were 18 of us on the tour, so it was a little snug in the bus, but not too bad. (The worst part was the couple who kept eating dried fish - the smell of very fishy dried fish in a warm bus was a little nauseating to say the least!) Oli was pretty good at keeping us on schedule, and was very flexible in moving things around so that we were able to see all the major sites in reasonably good weather. We did the Ice Cave Walk on the second day rather than the third day to take advantage of the fact that it was the end of the season and it would be closing on our last day. We also went to a different glacier from the original one on our schedule because the snow was coming down thick and fast on the one we were supposed to climb and it would not have been a pleasant trek. We had an awesome guide for the glacier walk - he made sure we were all safe, and gave us lots of information about the glacier. We also had the opportunity to sample nature's 'champagne' - 700yr old crystal clear ice! Big G (our guide) climbed up a ways to hack out some clean and clear ice for us to try. We were glad of it at that point, as the climb up the glacier left us all hot and sweaty, despite the cool weather! All of the areas we visited were outstanding. The waterfalls, the beaches, the national parks were spectacular and we had plenty of time at each to enjoy the sites. The Geyser was interesting ... I expected something like Old Faithful, but it was a much tamer version! Still fun, though! One of the most fun parts of the trip was when Oli took us to a 'secret' waterfall - we waded through a stream and climbed over rocks to get through an opening and when we entered through the gap in the rocks, there was a fantastic waterfall hidden from the road. Really cool way to end our tour! Oli also took us to see the Icelandic horses, which wasn't technically a part of the tour, but was a testament to his flexibility and him wanting us to have a great experience. He also pointed out a great place to see the Aurora, but unfortunately, we had cloud both nights and so we were not able to view that natural phenomenon. Although we were there at the beginning of April, it was still pretty chilly in the mornings and evenings, and when the wind blew it was bitingly cold! I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the two hotels we stayed in. Both were very clean, and while the rooms were small, modern and minimalist, they were very comfortable. Be warned, though, that the food in the hotels is VERY expensive! We were a captive audience at the first hotel and dinner was $US44 a person - a small bbq chicken breast, three boiled potatoes and a scoop of boiled vegetables!! Tasty, but extortionately priced for what really could only be described as Diner food. The second hotel, in Hofn, was expensive too, but the food was stellar and much better value than the first hotel. Regardless, both hotels were very nice and food in Iceland is very expensive everywhere. The breakfasts in both hotels were very nice and you could certainly eat a substantial amount to keep you going throughout the day. I would, without a shadow of doubt, recommend this tour if you want to experience Iceland at its best. Our guide, Oli, was excellent and from what I am reading from other reviews, so are all the other guides used by Aurora Hunters. But, of course, we think we got the best one!!! Thanks to Oli (Olafur Valtyr Rognvaldsson - I sure hope I spelled that correctly!) we had a fantastic trip.

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7 Day Northern Lights Self Drive Tour | Destination Ice Cave

4.8 average rating | 92 reviews

7 Day Northern Lights Self Drive Tour | Destination Ice Cave

Just came back from the tour and everything was great. The whole trip was well organised and we were also very lucky with the weather .... I'm sorry to say it is of great importance. We started early and I strongly recommend to do that to beat the biggest crowds. Do double check the roads while you have Wifi as the GPS took us on a closed road and we ended up doing a little 100 km detour... We had the comfort package and all hotels were great except the last one. First five nights were all at nice clean hotels but the last one in Reykjavik was at the Fosshotel Baron, great location but not very updated or clean. Definitely not a comfort hotel but more of a budget. As many others noted food is expensive, even if you eat hamburgers and pizza. I would absolutely recommend to book with Guid to Iceland as this tour really gets yo to see the major attractions. We drove 1600 km in 5 days so get ready to drive :-)

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6 Day Guided Winter Tour | Highlights of South, East & North Iceland

4.9 average rating | 18 reviews

6 Day Guided Winter Tour | Highlights of South, East & North Iceland

We completed this tour in March 2018 and our tour guide was Hildigunnur(Hildi). The whole tour was an amazing experience from start to finish. Our wonderful guide Hildi was a great ambassador for her country and ensured that we not only enjoyed the trip but also received a great insight into the history, culture and geography of Iceland. Nothing was too much trouble for her as she would help us with scheduled or unscheduled stops for photos, trying local produce and understand in local folklore. The trip was well planned with convenient stops and lovely accommodation. The atmosphere which Hildi created was one of comfort and relaxation while enjoying some unbelievable scenery. We enjoyed not having to rush which we would have done if we did day tours from Reykjavik. All in all a great tour with an excellent, caring and fun tour guide.

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Wasn't sure whether a tour was the way to go but it was great. Our guide Hilmar navigated some ferocious weather expertly and then adjusted our schedule the next day when the roads closed. That let us get in all we were promised plus some bonus sites despite the delay. His stories and knowledge enhanced the trip for sure and having a driver let me concentrate on the sights. Great trip.

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Ragnheiður was a fun and great guide with an amazingly positive attitude and we enjoyed the trip immensely. She kept us very comfortable and made the most of our time with good pacing of the viewpoints and visits with plenty of rest-stops in between. The sights were all well picked and provided a wonderful view into the natural treasures of Iceland. Very happy with the tour and our wonderful guide Ragnheiður.

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2 Day Ice Cave Tour | South Coast Waterfalls & Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

4.8 average rating | 195 reviews

2 Day Ice Cave Tour | South Coast Waterfalls & Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

Amazing tour!! We were able to see everything listed as well as some other places since we had a bit of free time. Our driver/ guide was very knowledgable and gave us a lot of history and insight into the land and culture. Very glad we chose to do it, well worth the money

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8 Day Winter Wonderland | National Parks & Ice Cave

4.6 average rating | 15 reviews

8 Day Winter Wonderland | National Parks & Ice Cave

This was a great trip, Francisco at Guide to Iceland was a great help and answered a whole bunch of random questions from us over the course of planning our trip. All of the tours and accommodations went nice and smoothly. We went with the mid-range hotel options and were placed in the Hotel Klettur in Reykjavik which was an awesome location. It was just a 2 or 3 block walk down to the main shopping/dining street and all of the tour buses picked us up right in front of the hotel (as opposed to meeting at a bus stop like it seemed some of the other hotels had to do). Our kids had really pushed for the high-end hotel option, but I think we picked the right one - we didn't fly to Iceland to have a fancy hotel experience after all. We went on 2 over night trips with Troll Expeditions. The buses were nice, though the "south coast tour" involved a lot more time sitting in the bus than I expected (we were driving through a nasty storm both days) but was worth it. I think the only mistake we made was opting for the northern lights by boat trip. We had figured that a boat would have more freedom to move around and find clear skies, but we basically motored out of the harbor and then made a couple of big circles in the same place for a while, all the time socked in by clouds. I think we'll try a mini-bus northern lights tour on our next visit, other travelers generally gave them more positive reviews.

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7 Day Northern Lights Self Drive Tour | Destination Ice Cave

4.8 average rating | 92 reviews

7 Day Northern Lights Self Drive Tour | Destination Ice Cave

Guide to Iceland was excellent to work with. The tour was very well arranged, all reservations went off without a hitch. David was prompt to reschedule a tour when requested. The hotels were all top-notch, and at the IcelandAir Hotel in Vik, we clearly had the best room in the whole place. The itinerary summaries were really helpful and all of the tips and tricks were great. I highly recommend reading up on driving habits in Iceland (how to pass on 2 lane highways, right of ways for traffic circles, etc), as it is a bit different from US and other parts of Europe. The 4x4 Toyota from MyCar was nearly brand-new, had winter studded tires, and served us very well. Guide to Iceland was a great way to make a well-organized visit to Iceland. It was especially nice though to go off the list to some less crowded hikes and sites as well. Thanks!

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It was a wonderful experience. The tour guide of my trip was excellent and knowledgeable. We made good friends and so as the other members of our trip. We saw beautiful aurora in two nights at our hotels. The last day in Akureyri is a bit disappointing due to the accomodation. Point to note is that the 6 days 7 days and 8 days tour were grouped together. I could recommend an 8 days tour so that you do not have to take a flight from Akureyri back to Reykjavik. Instead you could travel to the west a bit and back to Reykjavik by the bus.

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6 Day Guided Winter Tour | Highlights of South, East & North Iceland

4.9 average rating | 18 reviews

6 Day Guided Winter Tour | Highlights of South, East & North Iceland

We had a wonderful 6 day tour with Ragnheiður. She is a fantastic guide, giving us extra time at places and showing us special places not on the itinerary. Our group of 9 bonded well, in part by our guide and we had a lot of fun seeing the sights of such a beautiful country, taking selfies, playing in the snow, exploring ice caves, hiking up a glacier...the list goes on! The accommodations were fantastic and really added to the experience. We were also fortunate to see the aurora which was a highlight of the trip. I had a wonderful trip and many stories to take home.

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6 Day Winter Trip In Iceland | From Reykjavik to the Ice Cave

4.7 average rating | 45 reviews

6 Day Winter Trip In Iceland | From Reykjavik to the Ice Cave

Simply incredible. My wife and I would wholeheartedly recommend Guide to Iceland, as they delivered on every single promise they made in their descriptions of this tour. A bit of background: We are seasoned international travelers who aim to visit at least one or two new places each year. There are a few reasons we would recommend Guide to Iceland, based on our recent experience: 1) We had never been to Iceland before, and only when we arrived could we imagine how challenging it could be to try and arrange excursions once you were already there. There are many enticing attractions that book up quickly; some require arrangements months in advance. The fact that Guide to Iceland arranged everything and sent us a comprehensive itinerary meant we could relax and make the most of the days we had there. 2) Small group size -- this was absolutely key. While we were there we witnessed many large groups, and while those tours were probably great as well, it was hard to imagine that they provided the same one-on-one interaction with the guides, as well as the added level of attention at attractions that, quite frankly, could be as hazardous as they were beautiful. The small group model also allowed for minor changes to the itinerary based on things like weather and the desires of the group. 3) Responsiveness. In the days leading up to the tour we had several questions and a few adjustments to our plans. David and his colleagues responded promptly and effectively, every single time. In short, this tour was worth every penny, and we were so happy that Guide to Iceland was able to help us make the most out of our trip.

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On a 3 day tour, a guide can really make or break your experience and ours (Oddur) was TREMENDOUS!!! Kept us on schedule, allowed sufficient time at each sight, was happy to chat about anything and everything Iceland. If you only have 3 days in Iceland - do this tour! You see so much in a short amount of time and it was the tour of a lifetime.

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Winter Travel in Iceland

Winter sees Iceland blanketed in a thick layer of snow, and tempered by notoriously unpredictable weather; be it high winds, blizzards, or a dazzling 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, be it in sunlight or darkness.

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 their 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.

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