3 Day Private Tour | The Golden Circle, South Coast and Glacial Lagoon
Groups private guided tours in a Luxury Van : Minibus : Super jeep.
On the booking page you can choose a Super Jeep 3 days trip for an extra cost.
Get the essential Icelandic experience on this three-day private tour. See the famous Golden Circle and travel the amazing South Coast to a stunning glacier lagoon. This tour is perfect for those who want to discover the country’s magnificent landscape, without having to worry about travelling on anybody else’s terms.
You will start your adventure in Reykjavík city, where you will be picked up by either a Luxury Van; 4x4 Jeep extra, or a bus, according to your wishes.
Your private driver and guide will then drive you out of the city to some of the county’s most beautiful places.
This family-friendly tour will take you to all the key locations for an amazing Icelandic holiday; you’ll visit the UNESCO world heritage site Þingvellir and the geothermal area of Geysir. You’ll see the famous waterfalls Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, the black sand beach of Reynisfjara and the beautiful Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.
You will also get a chance to see some lesser known locations. Hidden gems that are not often visited, such as the waterfall Foss á Síðu and Orrustuhóll; a scenic cliff-sided hill, making this private tour feel even more exclusive.
Along the way, you can add some icy adventures to your journey. You can whizz across the ice cap on Langjökull glacier, hike up a glacier tongue at Skaftafell nature preserve, or take a scenic boat ride on Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. Your tour guide can also take you to various museums and working farms around the area if you'd like to learn more about the country's history and culture.
We also offer a range of activities. Which you can book as soon as the trip.
Glacier walk; Snowmobile trip on the glacier; Boat trip on Jökulsarlon.
Dog Sledding trip; Ice cave trip, in Jokulsarlon; Horseback riding
But keep in mind that it's only time for one activity per day
Don’t miss out on this chance to see Iceland’s most beautiful attractions with your favourite people on this private three-day tour. Check availability by choosing a date.
- Available: All year
- Duration: 3 days
- Activities: Glacier Hiking, Snowmobile, Sightseeing, Boat Trip, Northern lights hunting, Cultural Activity
- Difficulty: Easy
- Languages: English, Icelandic
- Highlights: Jökulsárlón,
Jökulsárlón is Iceland’s most famous glacier lagoon. Conveniently located in the southeast by Route 1, about halfway between the Skaftafell Nature Reserve and Höfn, it is a popular stop for those travelling along the South Coast or around the circular ring road of the country.
It stands out, however, due to the fact that it also fills with icebergs breaking from the glacier, some of which tower several stories high.
These icebergs, other than their scale, are notable for their colouration. Although they are, as expected, largely white, most are also dyed electric blue in part, with black streaks of ash from eruptions centuries past.
When the icebergs finally make it across the lagoon, they either drift out to sea or wash up on the nearby shore. Because of the way they glisten against the black sands of Breiðamerkursandur, this area has been nicknamed ‘the Diamond Beach’.
In spite of being a rather recent formation, Jökulsárlón is the deepest lake in the country, with depths reaching 248 metres. With a surface area of 18 square kilometres, it is also growing to be one of the largest.
Jökulsárlón has not been around since Iceland’s settlement; it only formed around 1935. This was due to rapidly rising temperatures in the country from the turn of the twentieth century; since 1920, Breiðamerkurjökull has been shrinking at a dramatic rate, and the lagoon has begun to fill its space.
Today, the expansion of Jökulsárlón is accelerating. As recently as 1975, it was just 8 square kilometres, and now that size has more than doubled.
In the relatively near future, it is expected that the lagoon will continue to grow until it becomes a large, deep fjord.
Though a dark omen for Iceland’s glaciers and ice caps in general, the retreat of Breiðamerkurjökull has resulted in an incredibly beautiful, if temporary, site. This has not been overlooked by Hollywood.
Jökulsárlón has been featured in the James Bond films A View to Kill in 1985 and Die Another Day in 2002, 2001’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and 2005’s Batman Begins.
In 2017, Jökulsárlón was enveloped into the Vatnajökull National Park, thus it is now fully protected by Icelandic law.
Because of the wealth of herring and capelin that the tides bring into the lagoon, Jökulsárlón is somewhat of a hot-spot for Iceland’s wildlife.
In summer, it is a nesting site for Arctic Terns; stay well away from this area, as these birds are notorious for the fierceness with which they protect their eggs, dive-bombing the heads of any they see as a threat. Skuas also nest on the lake’s shores in this season.
Seals can be reliably spotted here throughout the year, swimming amongst or else hauling out on the icebergs. Jökulsárlón provides them with a safe haven to rest and socialise, especially considering the waters of southeast Iceland are renowned for their population of orcas.Skógafoss,
Skógafoss is one of the country’s biggest and most beautiful waterfalls with an astounding width of 25 meters (82 ft) and a drop of 60 meters (197 ft). Due to the amount of spray the cascade produces, a rainbow is present any time the sun emerges from behind the clouds.
Located on the Skógá river, this mighty cascade is clearly visible from Route 1 and is an excellent place to stop and stretch the legs while travelling Iceland’s South Coast. The river below Skógafoss holds a large char and salmon population and is thus a favourite spot for fishermen in the summer.
The land underneath the waterfall is very flat, allowing visitors to walk right up to the wall of water. Keep in mind, however, that this will get you drenched. Skógafoss can also be viewed from the top as a steep staircase leads to an observational platform above the cascade.
Skógafoss is located near the small village of Skógar, south of the Eyjafjallajökull glacier volcano. There you’ll find the Skógasafn folk museum, an open-air museum with both old wooden houses and turf houses, as well as a regional museum with various artefacts from this area.
A part of the Skógasafn Regional Museum is the Museum of Transportation, which showcases the history and evolution of transportation, communication and technologies in Iceland. There, you can see how this nation evolved from the age of the working horse to the digital communications of the 21st century.
The Skógasafn museum also includes a café and a museum shop, and in the village of Skógar, you will find both a hotel and a restaurant.
At the eastern side of Skógafoss, you will find one of Iceland’s most famed hiking routes; the Fimmvörðuháls pass. The 22 km (14 mi) trail takes you along Skógá river, between two glaciers, Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull, before ending in the beautiful Þórsmörk valley.
A gold ring is on display at the Skógasafn museum. According to legend, the ring is from a chest that was owned by Þrasi Þórólfsson, one of the first Viking settlers in the area. Folklore states that before his death in 900 AD, Þrasi buried a chest filled with gold in a cave behind Skógafoss waterfall.
Many attempts were made to retrieve the chest after Þrasi’s death, and years later, locals managed to grasp a ring on the side of the chest. As they pulled, the ring broke off, and the treasure was lost forever. The ring was then given to the local church before it made its way to the museum.Seljalandsfoss,
Seljalandsfoss in the river Seljalandsa in South Iceland is one of the most sought waterfalls in the country.
Seljalandsfoss has a narrow cascade but is one of Iceland's highest waterfalls, at 63 meters. The waterfall is highly picturesque and has the rare distinction that one can actually walk behind it.Geysir,
Geysir is a famous hot spring in Haukadalur valley in South Iceland. Part of the ‘Golden Circle', Geysir gives its name to hot springs all over the world.
Though Geysir itself is hardly active anymore, the area features spectacular hot springs such as the powerful Strokkur, which spouts a vast amount of water every 10 minutes, around 15-20 meters into the air, Smidur and Litli-Strokkur.
North of Geysir are fumaroles, i.e. unlike the hot springs that emit hot water, only steam and gas emanate from these. You may be able to observe bright yellow stains at the fumaroles, this is native sulphur, which crystallizes from the steam. At the southern part of the geothermal area, called Thykkuhverir, you‘ll find various mud pots. Such mud pots are actually fumaroles that boil up through surface water/groundwater and may become steaming fumaroles during dry spells, rather than the usual boiling mud pots.
About 2 km from Geysir is an old preserved natural pool called Kúalaug. One can bathe in it and it has room for 3-5 people at a time, but care should be taken, as the area around the pool is very delicate. The temperature is 39-43°C, depending on how you are positioned in the pool. The water is slightly muddy, as the pool is built on soil, and the bottom is slippery due to algae, so caution is advised.
In Haukadalur there has also been tree planting in recent times and today the forest Haukadalsskógur is one of the largest in South Iceland. Aspen, various types of pine, and other plants have been tried out there and experiments and research continue. We also recommend visiting the tree museum, built in the memory of forester Gunnar Freysteinsson. There are good paths and roads in the forest and the wood is specially designed to accommodate wheelchairs.
Haukadalur has been a church site since ancient time. The current wooden church was last rebuilt in 1938 but the variety and appearance of the church dates back to 1842, making it one of the oldest of its kind in Iceland.
Haukadalur is indeed a historical place. It was settled during the age of settlement and scholar Ari “The Wise“ Thorgilsson grew up there. The first pastoral school in Iceland was also built there.
For accommodation, Hotel Gullfoss is about 7 km from the Geysir area, and closer still is the Hotel Geysir.Gullfoss,
Gullfoss (translated to ‘Golden Falls’) is one of Iceland’s most iconic and beloved waterfalls, found on the Hvítá river canyon in south Iceland. The water in Hvítá river travels from the glacier Langjökull, finally cascading 32m down Gullfoss’ two stages in a dramatic display of nature’s raw power.
Because of the waterfall’s two stages, Gullfoss should actually be thought of as two separate waterfalls. The first, shorter stage of the waterfall is 11m, whilst the second stage is 21m. The canyon walls on both sides of the waterfall reach heights of up to 70m, descending into the 2.5km long Gullfossgjúfur canyon (geologists indicate that this canyon was formed by glacial outbursts at the beginning of the last age.)
In the summer, approximately 140 cubic metres of water surges down the waterfall every second, whilst in winter that number drops to around 109 cubic metres. With such energy, visitor’s should not be surprised to find themselves drenched by the waterfall’s mighty spray-off.
In the early days of the last century, Gullfoss was at the centre of much controversy regarding foreign investors and their desire to profit off Iceland’s nature. In the year 1907, an English businessman known only as Howells sought to utilise the waterfall’s energy and harboured ambitions to use its energy to fuel a hydroelectric plant.
At the time, Gullfoss was owned by a farmer named Tómas Tómasson. Tómas declined Howell’s offer to purchase the land, stating famously “I will not sell my friend!” He would, however, go on to lease Howells the land, inadvertently beginning the first chapter of Icelandic environmentalism.
It was Tómas’ daughter, Sigríður Tómasdóttir, who would lead the charge. Having grown up on her father’s sheep farm, she sought to get the lease contract nullified, hurriedly saving her own money to hire a lawyer. The ensuing legal battle was an uphill struggle; the case continued for years, forcing Sigríður to travel many times by foot to Reykjavík if only to keep the trial moving. Circumstances became so difficult that Sigríður threatened to throw herself into the waterfall if any construction began.
Thankfully, in 1929, the waterfall fell back into the hands of the Icelandic people. Today, Sigríður is recognised for her perseverance in protecting Gullfoss and is often hailed as Iceland’s first environmentalist. Her contribution is forever marked in stone; a plaque detailing her plight sits at the top of Gullfoss.
Restaurant / Cafe
Besides Gullfoss, visitors can enjoy the views from Gullfoss Cafe, a locally run delicatessen that serves a wide variety of refreshments and meals. The menu has options to tantalise everyone’s taste buds; hot soups, sandwiches, salads and cakes. There is also a shop on site where visitors’ can browse and purchase traditional Icelandic souvenirs.Þingvellir,
Þingvellir is one of the most important sites to visit in Iceland for its landscape, history and cultural value.
The Icelandic parliament was founded in Þingvellir in 930 and remained there for centuries. Þingvellir is surrounded by a beautiful mountain range and is the site of a rift valley, marking the crest of the Mid-Atlantic range. Today it is a natural park, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and considered a vital part of the ‘Golden triangle’ (with Geysir and Gullfoss). Of particular note is the magnificent gorge Almannagjá, which marks the eastern boundary of the North American plate and into which the beautiful waterfall Öxarárfoss falls.
Other notable attractions within the park include the beautiful lake Þingvallavatn, the largest lake in Iceland, the Silfra fissure, one of the world's top dives, Þingvallakirkja Church and Gjábakkahellir, one of Iceland's most interesting lava tubes.Skaftafell,
Skaftafell is a nature preserve in Oraefasveit. It used to be a national park of its own but joined the larger Vatnajokull National Park in 2008.
Skaftafell is notable for its rich flora, growing between sands and glaciers, and overall for its amazing and contrasting scenery. You can take short and easy trails to the waterfalls Svartifoss and Hundafoss, as well as Skaftafell glacier, with the mountain Kristinartindar and Morsardalur valley further off.
Skaftafell is also the perfect base camp for those seeking to climb Iceland’s highest peak, Hvannadalshnukur.Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach,
Reynisfjara is a world-famous black-sand beach found on the South Coast of Iceland, just beside the small fishing village of Vík í Mýrdal.
With its enormous basalt stacks, roaring Atlantic waves and stunning panoramas, Reynisfjara is widely considered to be the most beautiful example of Iceland’s black sand beaches. In 1991, National Geographic voted Reynisfjara as one of the Top 10 non-tropical beaches to visit on the planet.
Reynisfjara is found around 180 km from Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik, and is a popular stop-off for those taking a sightseeing tour along South Coast. Driving to the beach is particularly easy, taking an approximate two and a half hours from the capital.
Upon visiting the beach, travellers will immediately observe rocky sea stacks sitting off the shoreline, known as Reynisdrangar. According to local Icelandic folklore, these large basalt columns were once trolls engaged in trying to pull ships from the ocean. However, as bad luck would have it, the dawn quickly arose, turning the trolls into solid stone.
Another legend tells of a husband whose wife was kidnapped and killed by two trolls. The man followed the trolls down to Reynisfjara where he froze them, ensuring that they would never kill again.
The sea stacks themselves are home to thousands of nesting seabirds. Species that can be found here include Puffins, Fulmars and Guillemots, making it a must-see location for all birdwatchers out there.
Visitors to Reynisfjara must be made well aware of the potential dangers present at the beach. First of all, the rolling, roaring waves of Reynisfjara are particularly violent, often pushing far further up the beach than many would expect.
Visitors are advised to never turn their back on the waves, don't go chasing after them and keep a safe distance of 20-30 metres.
Aside from these sudden and dramatic shifts in tide (known as “sneaker waves”), the currents off the shore are infamous for their strength and ability to drag helpless people out into the freezing cold open ocean. A number of fatal accidents have occurred at Reynisfjara, the last of which occurred in January 2017.Vík í Mýrdal,
Vik in Myrdalur valley is the southernmost village on the Icelandic mainland, located 186 km from the capital Reykjavik.
Vik is important as a service centre for the inhabitants and visitors of the marvellous Reynisfjara beach.
Reynisfjara is widely considered one of the most beautiful beaches on earth (see for example Islands Magazine). This black pebble beach boasts an amazing cliff of regular basalt columns called Gardar, which resembles a rocky step pyramid and out in the sea are the spectaculary shaped basalt sea stacks Reynisdrangar. The area has rich birdlife, including puffins, fulmars and guillemots.Kirkjubæjarklaustur
Kirkjubæjarklaustur (referred to locally as ‘Klaustur’) is a village of approximately 120 inhabitants in the Skaftárhreppur municipality of south of Iceland. Situated by the Ring Road, approx. 250 km east of Reykjavík, Klaustur is one of the few villages providing amenities—eg. fuel, post office, bank, supermarket— between Vík í Mýrdal and Höfn.
The history of Kirkjubæjarklaustur differs, in many respects, to the traditional Icelandic settlement. “Papar”, the Icelandic title for travelling Irish monks, were thought to have settled the area long before the Norsemen. In that tradition, it was claimed that pagans of no kind would set foot in Klaustur; this was a strictly Christian area.
Stories have permeated, with one telling of a pagan, Hildir Eysteinsson, who attempted to move there in the 10th Century. Upon setting foot across the border, he fell instantly dead and was buried on the neighbouring hill, Hildishaugur (“Hildir’s Mound.”)
Despite twisting the tongue, the full village name 'Kirkju-bæjar-klaustur' actually tells the story of the area well; 'Kirkju' means church, 'bæjar' means farm and 'klaustur' means convent. The word 'Klaustur' was added to the original name 'Kirkjubær' in 1186 AD when a convent of Benedictine nuns settled there.
In the 364 years leading to the Reformation in 1550 AD, Klaustur did much for the oral history of south Iceland. Systrastapi (Sister’s Rock), the Systrafoss waterfall and lake Systravatn all take their names from the nun’s settlement.
The folklore relating to these sites are rich in tales of religious heresy, superstition and death. Sister’s Rock, for instance, has been said to be the burial site of two nuns executed for sinful behaviour. Selling their soul to the devil, removing communion bread from church, carnal knowledge with men, blasphemy toward the pope; these were just some of the accusations brought against them. Guilty or not, the nuns were swiftly burnt at the stake.
Following the Reformation, one of the nuns was vindicated for her actions, and it is said that flowers soon bloomed on top of her grave. The other’s grave has remained barren, a continuing reminder of the lady’s ethereal disapproval.
Despite its petite size, Klaustur is an important crossroads to the attractions nestled at the centre of the island, namely the Laki Craters in Vatnajokull National Park and the Landmannalaugar hiking trails in the scenic Fjallabak Nature Reserve. Only a few kilometres from the village itself lies the spectacular Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon.
A short walk east of Kirkjubæjarlaustur will take you to the fascinating Kirkjugólfið “Church Floor”, an 80 square metre flat of basalt columns, shaped and formed naturally by tide and glacial melts.
Pickup time : 09:00
Pick up from Reykjavík
English speaking guide
2 night accommodation with breakfast
Northern lights hunting in the winter
Boat trip on Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon
Glacier hiking tour
Accommodations before and after the tour
Special hiking shoes
Lunch and Dinner
What to bring:
Warm and waterproof clothes
Good hiking shoes
Good to know:
We arrived at the hotel in the late afternoon, giving you a good time to relax and enjoy what the place offers
The rooms are very good, clean beds and private rooms with bath for couples and families, while friends in a group sometimes share a room. Once you have booked, we will always find the best accommodation for you.
Day 1 - Golden Circle and the South Coast
You will be picked up from Reykjavík in the morning. Depending on the size of your group, you will either be travelling in a Luxury Van : Minibus : Super jeep. You will then head on out of the city to the first part of your adventure; the famous Golden Circle.
The first stop of the day is the UNESCO world heritage site Þingvellir National Park. Þingvellir is where Iceland’s parliament was founded in the year 930 AD. The site is located in a rift valley that sits between two tectonic plates that are drifting apart. This drift can be seen in faults and cracks that traverse the area.
Your next stop is the Geysir geothermal area, where you can find bubbling mud pools and erupting hot springs. One of those hot springs is Strokkur, which erupts every 5-10 minutes, creating a column of water that reaches 15-20 metres in the air.
The last stop on the Golden Circle route is the gorgeous waterfall Gullfoss. The river Hvítá, fed by Langjökull glacier, rushes southwards before dropping 32-metres into a canyon creating this stunning cascade.
Those wanting a little more thrill on this day can take an optional snowmobile tour to Langjökull glacier from Gullfoss, which can be added for an additional price. A large truck will take the adventure-seekers up to Langjökull where they will get warm overalls, a helmet and instruction on snowmobiling.
While the daredevils are whizzing through the white expanse of the glacier, the rest of the group will get to fully take in the magnitude of Gullfoss waterfall or relax at the Gullfoss café which not only sells refreshments but also books, souvenirs, jewellery and clothing.
After you’ve visited the Golden Circle, it’s time explore Iceland’s South Coast. You will drive on out to the unique Seljalandsfoss waterfall. If the weather allows, you’ll be able to follow a pathway that leads you into a cave, behind the cascading water. So you’ll get to see the surrounding landscape through a veil of fresh spring water, falling from the cliffs above.
Next up is one of Iceland’s biggest waterfalls; Skógafoss, with a width of 25 metres and a 60-metre drop. It is located near the museum Skógar, which you can visit if it strikes your fancy.
From the cascading waterfalls, you’ll travel further east to Dyrhólaey peninsula. There you’ll find spectacular views of lava rock formations in the east, the coastline in the west and Mýrdalsjökull glacier in the north.
You’ll stop at the village of Vík, where close by is the famous Reynisfjara black sand beach. Edged in by cliffs of basalt columns, this beach is one of the most beautiful locations in Iceland. Out of the ocean rises the strangely shaped lava rock formations of Reynisdrangar.
You will spend the night in a comfortable country hotel on Iceland’s south shore.
Day 2 - Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and Skaftafell Nature Preserve
On your second day, you’ll continue your journey east. You’ll visit an area called Fossálar. This is a river containing several little waterfalls and is one of Iceland’s hidden treasure as it is not often visited by other tourists. You’ll also visit another lesser known location, Orrustuhóll, a tuff cliff-sided hill with a stunning view.
You’ll travel further east, stopping at Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, where ice chunks from a nearby glacier break off and drift slowly out to sea. You will get a chance to see these icebergs up close on a boat ride of the lagoon.
From the lagoon, you’ll visit Skaftafell nature preserve, located in the Vatnajökull National Park. This beautiful area is filled with stark contrasting scenery. It is where lush flora grows between the black sands and a glacier tongue.
Skaftafell is filled with excellent hiking trails, and it is a popular area to go hiking up the glacier tongue. You will have the option of doing just that. You could also hike up a trail that leads to Svartifoss waterfall. This stunning cascade is framed by cliffs dark basalt columns and was the inspiration for the famous Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavík.
Next up is the historic village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. You’ll get a chance to stop there and learn about the site’s history and its folklores before heading to your accommodation for the night.
Day 3 - Heading back
On your last day of the tour, you will travel west, heading back to Reykjavík. Before you arrive in the city, however, you will get a chance to visit some new sites and get better acquainted with others.
You’ll start the day heading west to the village of Vík, where you can get a better look at the roaring waves at the black sand beach Reynisfjara, and see the towering Reynisdrangar lava formations one last time.
You will get a chance to visit the geothermal pool of Seljavallalaug for a relaxing dip in the geothermal hot waters. You can also visit Þorvaldseyri Visitor Centre, a farm located under the infamous Eyjafjallajökull glacier volcano, where you can learn everything about life under an active volcano.
As you head west, you’ stop at the villages Hvolsvöllur and Hveragerði. At Hvolsvöllur, you can learn about the famous Icelandic Viking Sagas in the town's museum, and at Hveragerði you can visit a geothermal power plant.
Some of these venues are only options governed by a 9-hour day trip.
You’ll arrive in Reykjavík in the late afternoon, so you’ll have some time to unwind in the city before dinner.