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

6 Day Guided Winter Tour | Highlights of South, East & North Iceland
The aurora only occurs in locations at high-altitude (Antarctic or arctic.)
Iceland has a number of geothermal areas, providing an insight into the country's geological history.
Going into an ice cave is one of the most memorable experiences available to those visiting Iceland.
Vestrahorn is immediately recognisable on the landscape.
Vestrahorn, in the East, is one of Iceland's most visually stimulating mountains.
Geyser makes up one of the stops on the famous Golden Circle route.

Hop on board this unique minibus journey around Iceland, exploring for six full days the country's most popular destinations. After visiting a plethora of incredible sights, and partaking in a wealth of activities, you will finish your tour with a flight from Akureyri back to Iceland's capital city, Reykjavík. 

This tour is the perfect option for those visitors looking to maximise their experience in Iceland without the hassle of driving the winter roads or organising their own accommodation.

For those who want to stay longer and explore the North, there is also the option of a 7 Day Guided Winter Tour | Half-Circle of Iceland and Flight back to Reykjavik. For the truly adventurous, who want a comprehensive, all-encompassing experience of Iceland, the 8 Day Winter Excursion | Guided Circle of Iceland Minibus Tour is the perfect option.

On this 6-day tour, you'll visit the world-famous Golden Circle where you will discover the mighty waterfall Gullfoss, the Geysir geothermal area, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Þingvellir National Park. Then, you'll be off to the South Coast where you'll find Reynisfjara black sand beach and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. After traversing the remote Eastfjords, you'll end the tour by the otherworldly Lake Mývatn area.

Asides from some incredible sightseeing, you will also have the opportunity to book extra tours and activities to make your holiday that little bit more special such as a visit to a natural ice cave, horse riding and glacier hiking. Every night can then be spent gazing into the sky in search of the beautiful Northern Lights.

So hurry now and book so you too can experience this incredible winter tour, journeying around Iceland during the Northern Lights season. Check availability by choosing a date. 


Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: Sep. - Apr.
  • Duration: 6 days
  • Activities: Glacier Hiking, Horse Riding, Sightseeing, Northern lights hunting, Cultural Activity, Ice Caving, Airplane
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age: 8 years.
  • Languages: English, Icelandic
  • Highlights: Golden Circle, East Iceland, North Iceland, West Iceland , Reykjavík, Akureyri, Jökulsárlón, Vatnajökull, Mývatn, Dimmuborgir, Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Geysir, Gullfoss, Eyjafjallajökull, Dyrhólaey, Þingvellir, Strokkur, Sólheimajökull, Mýrdalsjökull, Skaftafell, Sólheimasandur, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Vík í Mýrdal, Egilsstaðir, Akureyrarkirkja, Reykjavík Airport, Reynisfjall, Reynisdrangar, Öxarárfoss, Haukadalur, Námaskarð, Lagarfljót, Hallormsstaðaskógur, South Coast, Diamond Beach, Ring Road
Pickup information:
  • Pickup time : 08:00.

Pick up might take 30 minutes. Please be ready at your selected location. Read carefully if you will be picked up at your hotel or at the nearest designated area (Bus Stop). For walking distance to bus stops, please check busstop.is.

Included:
  • 6 day guided tour of South, East and North Iceland

  • 5 night of accommodation in various country hotels with breakfast and a private bathroom

  • Flight from Akureyri to Reykjavík

  • Northern Lights spotting

  • Taxes

  • Any additional activities (can be added when booking)

  • Flights other than listed above

  • Lunch and Dinner


What to bring:
  • Camera

  • Swimsuit and a towel

  • Warm clothes

  • Winter hiking shoes

  • Good waterproof outer layers


Good to know:

Customers travelling on their own will receive a single room. Reservations for 2 people will be allocated a double room. For bookings of 3 or more, triple rooms will automatically be allocated. For example, a group of 8 will receive 2 triple rooms and 1 double. If these arrangements do not meet your requirements, please contact the provider.

The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, and therefore cannot be guaranteed, but this itinerary is designed to maximise your chances to see them if weather allows.

It can happen, in the case of extreme weather, that an activity is cancelled. If your chosen activity is cancelled, 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.

Please note that only pick up and drop-off from designated pick up locations in the greater capital area is available, not from Keflavík International Airport. Therefore, we do not recommend attempting to start this tour on your arrival day in Iceland. Arrival time back to Reykjavík at the end of your tour can vary depending on weather and traffic.



Daily itinerary

Day 1 - The Golden Circle Route 


Visitors across the world will testify to Gullfoss' power and simultaneous beauty.


You will begin your journey in Reykjavík. After being picked up by bus, you will head out towards the world famous Golden Circle. If you wish to spice up your already exciting day, you can opt for a horse riding tour where you'll get to meet the gentle Icelandic horse and ride around the beautiful countryside.

The first stop is Þingvellir National Park which is surrounded by mountains and snow-laden volcanic fields, making it one of the most beautiful locations in the whole of Iceland. It is also one of the most culturally important, as it is where Iceland's parliament, Alþingi, was formed in the year 930 AD.

To make the area even more spectacular, the geology here is truly unique; as the park is set atop the Mid-Atlantic Rift, visitors can see for themselves the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates exposed on the surface. It is for these reasons that Þingvellir National Park is a UNESCO designated World Heritage site.

Your next stop along the Golden Circle is Haukadalur geothermal area, home to the hot springs Strokkur and Geysir (the latter lending its name to all geysers worldwide). Strokkur erupts every five to ten minutes and reaches heights of 20-metres, creating plenty of opportunities for you to take some fantastic photos.

The final stop is Gullfoss Waterfall, one of the most beautiful and most-visited waterfalls in Iceland. Here, you will witness the incredible power of the cascading glacial Hvítá river as it topples over two tiers of the 32-metre waterfall. 

You will once again hop on your minibus to head for your accommodation for the evening. Make sure you keep your eyes on the sky for a chance to spot the dancing Northern Lights. Your accommodations throughout this trip are located far away from any light pollution, providing a fantastic opportunity to see the beautiful Auroras.


Accommodation

Fosshótel Hekla

Fosshotel Hekla is a 3-star hotel in the Golden Circle area. The hotel has a restaurant which serves traditional Icelandic cuisine, a bar and a lounge. Free access to hot tub. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Stracta Hotel Hella

Stracta Hotel Hella is a 3-star hotel in the town of Hella. The hotel has an on-site bar with a lounge for guest and a sun terrace. Free access to hot tub. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 2 - South Coast, Waterfalls and Glacier Hike


Reynisfjara is known for its dangerous 'sleeper' waves.


You will begin the second day of this tour travelling along the scenic South Coast towards Seljalandsfoss waterfall, one of the highest features in Iceland. With a drop of 65-metres,  the picturesque Seljalandsfoss makes for incredible photographic opportunities. 

Your next stop is another equally beautiful waterfall, Skógafoss, one of the largest falls in the country. Ancient folklore dictates that the first Viking settler that arrived in the area buried treasure in a cave behind the cascading water.

If you'd like to add a touch of adventure to your day, you can opt for a glacier hike up Sólheimajökull glacier. This exciting opportunity allows for you to follow a trained and highly experienced guide across the blue crevasses and frozen sculptures of the ice cap. This extra activity can be added upon booking.  

Your final stop of the day is Reynisfjara black sand beach which is famous for being enclosed by black basalt columns and widely regarded as one of Iceland's most beautiful locations. From Reynisfjara you can look east to the Reynisdrangar rock formations which boldly rise out of the ocean as well as to the Dyrhólaey Peninsula to the west, which features an enormous black lava arch, eroded away by the lapping Atlantic Ocean. 

You will then retire to your accommodation for the evening in or near the town of Vík.


Accommodation

Puffin Hótel Vík

The Puffin Hótel Vík is a country hotel and guesthouse situated in the coastal village of Vík. Located next to a restaurant, museum and swimming pool. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to outdoor hot tubs. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Hotel Katla

Hotel Katla is a 3-star country hotel situated 5 km east of Vík. Comfortable private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to a hot tub and a sauna. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 3 - Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon & Ice Caving


The South Coast of Iceland is brimming with amazing natural attractions.


Today, you'll have the option of adding a visit to an ice cave to your journey. If you are travelling to the country between April and October, you'll start the day with a stop in a cave in Mýrdalsjökull glacier. If you are in the country outside of those months, you will visit a cave in the glacier Vatnajökull in the afternoon. 

These rare, naturally occurring structures are formed each fall when meltwater from glaciers freeze, creating new and unique caves. A guide walks you through these stunning and dazzling ice formations while sharing with you his expertise of the glacier.

You will then head to the crown jewel of Iceland, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. Here you will witness enormous icebergs of marvellous shapes and colours lazily drifting towards the sea.

You can follow their path from the lagoon down to the Diamond Beach, where ice chunks have stranded on the black shores, resembling precious stones on black satin.

You will spend the night in this beautiful area.


Accommodation

Fosshótel Vatnajökull

Fosshótel Vatnajökull is a country hotel situated near the coastal village of Höfn. Europe’s largest icecap Vatnajökull can be seen from the location. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included

Hótel Höfn

Hotel Höfn is a 3-star hotel located in Höfn town central. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included


Day 4 - The Eastfjords


The East Fjords contains some of the most dramatic scenery available in Iceland.


You’ll spend your fourth day travelling the East Fjords, home to some of Iceland's greatest diversity of wildlife. It is, after all, the only place in the country where you can catch a glimpse of wild reindeer.

While traversing these mighty fjords, you’ll pass high mountain ridges with the great Vatnajökull glacier to the west. The many tranquil fishing villages on the way will give you an excellent opportunity to learn more about Iceland’s history, culture and sleepy way of life. 

The road will lead you past Iceland's largest forest,  Hallormsstaðaskógur, a large recreational area with many footpaths and trails leading to diverse sites such as waterfalls, moors and coves. You will also travel along the banks of Lake Lagarfljót, where a wyrm-like monster is said to live.

You’ll spend the night in a charming town in East-Iceland.


Accommodation

Fosshótel Austfirðir

Fosshótel Austfirðir is a picturesque country hotel in the fjord of Fáskrúðsfjörður. Guests can enjoy Icelandic cuisine at the elegant restaurant L’Abri. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Lake Hótel Egilsstaðir

Lake Hotel Egilsstaðir is a 3-star hotel located right by the lake Lagarfljót. It is also within a short walking distance from the centre of Egilsstaðir town. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Spa on site for an additional price. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 5 - Lake Myvatn, Dimmuborgir Fortress and Namaskard Pass


Lake Myvatn has a number of nearby geothermal areas.


Day five will be spent exploring the staggeringly beautiful geothermal region around Lake Mývatn. This area has everything that makes Iceland so unique: gurgling mud pools, incredible lava formations and more geologically intriguing features.  

You will visit the Námaskarð pass, a high-temperature geothermal area where you can actually see the earth boiling and smoking up close. The dark red and orange of the landscape here proves just how eclectic the Icelandic countryside can be. 

You'll journey to Dimmuborgir, a field of strangely shaped lava pillars and cliffs forming a labyrinth of unbelievable beauty. These oddly shaped formations are believed to be the home of many mythical creatures, such as trolls, elves and the Icelandic Yule Lads.

Today you will have the opportunity to experience the geothermal nature of the area up close by opting to visit Mývatn Nature Baths, a geothermally heated spa guaranteed to leave you feeling completely relaxed.

If the sky is clear of clouds, remember to look up for a chance to see the Northern Lights before you turn in for the night to your Mývatn accommodation.


Accommodation

Fosshótel Mývatn

Fosshótel Mývatn is situated by Lake Mývatn in North Iceland. All rooms include a flat-screen TV with private bathrooms and a hairdryer. Breakfast is included. Free Wi-Fi.

Vogafjós Farm Resort

Vogafjós is a family-run guesthouse on the shore of Lake Mývatn surrounded by unique landscapes. Free WiFi. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Breakfast is included.


Day 6 - Akureyri & Flight Back to Reykjavik


Reykjavik has a number of cultural attractions to fill your last day in Iceland.


On your last day of this journey around Iceland, you will make your way from the Mývatn region to the capital in the North, Akureyri but not without a stop along the way!

You will disembark from the minibus to marvel at one of the most magnificent waterfalls in the North of Iceland, Goðafoss, a feature known for its history as well as captivating beauty.

Once you arrive in Akureyri, you will board a plane bound for Reykjavík. How you choose to spend the rest of your time is up to you entirely; you could visit the city's museums and art galleries, go on a whale watching tour, try your hand at some shopping in town or experience Reykjavík's cafe culture. 


Cancellation Insurance

This insurance guarantees that you can cancel the booking of this package and receive a full refund, minus the insurance cost of 5,000 ISK per person. The cancellation must be made within a minimum of 48-hours before the listed starting time. To cancel your booking and claim your refund, simply contact our service desk by writing to info@guidetoiceland.is no later than 48-hours before departure and declare the cancellation. Please note that this insurance only covers the full cancellation of this entire package. It does not cover cancellations of individual activities and services within the package. The cost of the Cancellation Insurance is neither refundable nor transferable.


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