Winter in Iceland is a fantastic season to experience the majestic might of glaciers, these powers of nature which have forcefully carved Iceland‘s landscape on their march to the sea. Explore the regions surrounding Europe's largest glacier, experiencing its ever-changing angles and fantastic photo opportunities, as well as the Golden Circle and the impressive natural wonders of the Borgarfjordur region.
Day 1 Reykjavik Arrival
On arrival at Keflavik Airport collect your rental car and proceed to your hotel in Reykjavik. The city centre is a small area characterised by eclectic and colourful houses, good shopping, dining and drinking. Reykjavík has recently established itself as a haven for food lovers, with numerous restaurants taking advantage of the abundance of local seafood, meat and game. Reykjavik has many wonderful museums including the National Museum displaying artefacts from the first settlement to the modern age, giving an excellent overview of Iceland's history and culture, the Reykjavik 871+2 Settlement Museum, an archaeological museum based around a tenth century Viking longhouse unearthed in 2001, the Reykjavik Art Museum and the National Gallery. Overnight in Reykjavik.
Day 2 Reykjavik - Borgarfjordur: Deildartunguhver, Hraunfossar & Barnafoss 155km
Today leave Reykjavik and head to scenic Borgarfjordur, via the scenic Hvalfjordur (Whale Fjord) and its intriguing undersea tunnel. Or take the scenic coastal road instead. Drive to Borgarnes, where you can stop at the Settlement Museum to learn about the first Viking settlers in the area. Visit Deildartunguhver, Europe's most powerful hot springs, as well as two beautiful waterfalls, Hraunfossar (the Lava Falls) and Barnafoss (the Children's Falls). Two nights in the Borgarfjordur area.
Day 3 Borgarfjordur Valley and Langjokull Glacier or Snaefellsness - variable mileage
Today you can choose to continue to explore the Borgarfjordur valley region or you can visit the scenic Snaefellsnes Pensinsula.
Borgarfjordur: Here’s a hidden gem filled with enchanting volcanic scenery, glacial views, and Viking age history. Langjokull glacier offers exciting adventures such as exploring an ice cave and tunnel built into the icy-blue heart of the glacier. Start with an adventurous ride up the glacier in a monstrous 18-wheeled vehicle. Once in the tunnel, you’ll view a glacier from the inside and learn how these icy wonders are formed. Another interesting area activity is a guided visit to the colorful Vidgelmir lava cave. Another beautiful place to visit is the scenic Husafell nature area. An exotic experience is a guided winter hike to the Husafell Canyon Baths, stone-lined hot pools in the secluded highlands.
Snaefellsnes: This peninsula is known as “Iceland in a Nutshell” because it contains so many different types of Icelandic landscape in one location. Give yourself an early start since there is so much you can see in this beautiful area. We recommend you stop at the wind tangled Arnarstapi sea cliffs and the rocky beach of Djupalonssandur. The beautiful Snaefellsjokull glacier-volcano is the crown jewel of the peninsula. Legends say that the mountain is home to a benevolent half-troll guardian. Drive along the north coast through bustling fishing villages, stopping to look at Kirkjufell, the most photographed mountain in the country. 2nd overnight in the Borgarfjordur area.
Day 4 Borgarfjordur - Hella/Hvolsvollur: Golden Circle Thingvellir, Gullfoss and Geysir 200km
Today, visit three of the most renowned sites in Iceland! Start with Thingvellir National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), famous for its history and geological wonders. Onwards to the majestic Gullfoss Waterfall, formed by the waters of a glacial river. Continue to Geysir hot spring area with its lively bubbling pools and spouting geyser. Overnight in the Hella/Hvolsvollur area.
Day 5 Hella/Hvolsvollur - Hofn: Waterfalls and Glacial Horizons 380km
Travel along the south coast, one of Iceland's main farming areas. You'll see many farms and shaggy herds of Icelandic horses as you head along the Ring Road. View the magnificent waterfall Skogarfoss, site of hidden treasure. Nearby is Skogar Folk Museum, with a great collection of mementos from Iceland's past and beautifully preserved turf-roofed buildings. Make a stop in Vik village, where you can admire stunning views of the black sand beach and the black basalt columns of Drangey. You'll also see glaciers from the road, including Myrdalsjokull and Europe's largest glacier, Vatnajokull. Overnight in Hofn area.
Day 6 Hofn - Kirkjubæjarklaustur: Glacial Wonders 209km
Today explore the glacial wonders of Vatnajokull National Park, Europe's largest national park. Visit the park's majestic Skaftafell area, located between two glaciers and offering many hiking possibilities. Continue to Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, where blue, white, turquoise and black-streaked icebergs shift and dance. Don‘t forget to keep an eye out for seals resting amid the glaciers. If you want a different glacial lagoon photography experience, the Fjallsarlon Iceberg Lagoon is beautiful and often has fewer visitors. Nearby is the Diamond Beach, an area where icebergs rest on black sand. Visit Vatnajokull National Park’s majestic Skaftafell area, which is located between two glaciers and offers several winter hiking possibilities. Depending on your schedule, Skaftafell is an excellent place to try a guided hike on a glacier. There are few better ways to really get close to a glacier and learn about their formation. Overnight in the Kirkjubæjarklaustur area.
Day 7 Kirkjubæjarklaustur - Reykajvik: South Coast 265km
Drive along the scenic south coast. En route, visit Seljalandsfoss, a waterfall that you can walk behind. At the Thorvaldseyri Volcano Visitor Centre located beneath Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, you can experience both in pictures and film the 2010 eruption and its impact on the area and the world (closed in December and January and on weekends). Or visit (by appointment only) the new Bobby Fischer Centre in Selfoss, dedicated to the world-famous American chess master. Continue to Hveragerdi, a hot springs village famous for its geothermal greenhouses, where flowers and vegetables are grown year-round. Return to Reykjavik for overnight.
Day 8 Reykajvik Departure
Arrangements end with the return of your rental car to Keflavik Airport.
2023-2024 departures: daily 01 October - 30 April
Accommodation: choose from two levels of accommodation:
Comfort: accommodation with private facilities in a combination of standard hotels, farmhouses and guesthouses, with first and last night in a 3 star hotel in Reykjavik.
Quality: accommodation with private facilities in quality hotels and guesthouses, with first and last night in a 4 star hotel in Reykjavik.
Additional nights can be added in Reykjavik at the beginning or end, or anywhere else already on the itinerary along the way.
The names for individual accommodations are not available prior to booking, as the tour package is based on specific hotel/price categories and not on specific hotels/accommodations and the exact location of your hotel will vary according to availability. The itinerary indicates the region only for each overnight stay (with the exception of the first and last nights which are always in Reykjavik itself).
For other car types and accommodation prices please enquire. Rental car must be a 4WD.
If you would like to have dinner in the hotel restaurant, we recommend making a reservation with the hotel reception desk at the time of check-in at each hotel en-route.