Winter in Iceland is hard to beat for magical landscape. From icy lava fields to partially frozen waterfalls, Iceland is stunningly beautiful in its winter „clothing“. Spouting geysers, soaring waterfalls, black sand beaches, ice lagoons and the chance to search for the Northern Lights are some of the many natural wonders you can expect on the Glorious Glaciers and Northern Lights road trip.

During winter, the most majestic of all Icelandic natural sights are the glorious glaciers spread across West and South Iceland. These forces of nature have carved Iceland‘s landscape on their ponderous march to the sea. Discover their ever-changing beauty and the importance of glaciers to both Iceland and to the entire world.

On the „Glorious Glaciers and Northern Lights“ road trip, you will get the chance to see Langjokull glacier, Eyjafjallajokull glacier, Myrdalsjokull glacier and Vatnajokull glacier, the largest glacier in Europe.

Winter is also the best season to try out some glacial activities such as snowmobiling on a glacier, glacier hiking or going into the heart of a glacier on an ice caving tour! Afterwards, taking a dive into the natural hot springs or geothermal swimming pools is the perfect way to end the day.

Stay overnight in stunning locations that make a fabulous backdrop for the elusive Northern Lights.

 

What’s in it for you? 

  • Flexible stress-free travelling. With a comprehensive map and your own vehicle, drive at your own pace and choose your own stops and activities along the way.
  • Digital itinerary with the Iceland Travel Companion App pre-installed on a tablet.
  • An electronic version of the Iceland Travel Road Guide. Prior to your arrival, we will send you an electronic version of our Iceland Travel Road Guide. You can start preparing yourself for your upcoming Iceland trip and be prepared for your Iceland adventure.

 

Highlights:

  • Travel at a leisurely pace, with more time to enjoy the glacial wonders
  • Explore the hidden treasures of beautiful Borgarfjordur in West Iceland, including views of Langjokull Glacier
  • Visit the world-famous Golden Circle natural wonders
  • Walk on the black sand beaches of Iceland’s south shore
  • View Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull glaciers on the south shore
  • Visit Vatnajokull National Park and see the gigantic glacier that gave the park its name
  • Take in the majesty of the Glacier Lagoon, Ice Lagoon and the Diamond Beach
  • Overnight in good locations for evening Northern Lights viewing (if nature cooperates)

Included

  • 2 nights accommodation at hotel in Reykjavik including breakfast (except arrival day)
  • 2 nights accommodation in West Iceland, including breakfast
  • 3 nights accommodation in South Iceland, including breakfast
  • Rental car for 7 days with unlimited mileage, CDW, theft protection and VAT
  • GPS system with car and additional authorized driver**
  • Car pick-up/drop-off at Keflavik international airport.
  • Airport Service Charge.
  • Customer Care service during office hours
  • Emergency phone line open 24 hours, including weekends and public holidays.
  • Service fee and taxes
  • Tablet with a new travel app called Iceland Travel Companion (picked up at Keflavik airport with your car rental). The app includes:
    •  Thousands of points of nature sites, historic places, and road side services that can be filtered to suit your interests
    • Highlight section for each day of the tour
    • Your hotel bookings with check-in and check-out dates
    • Safety guidelines and the apps of the Icelandic Meteorological Office and The Icelandic Road Administration
    • A map view of the Iceland road trip
    • Iceland Travel Road Guide about Iceland in English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and French

**Please note that the package price is based on 7 x 24-hour rental days starting at the time of rental. If your flight arrives early on day 1 and departs late on day 8, an additional supplement will be charged unless you choose to return the car in Reykjavik when the 7-day rental is up and use our FlyBus departure transfer.

Not Included

  • Breakfast on arrival day
  • International airfare
  • Personal travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Petrol
  • Admissions and activities
  • Beverages, snacks, lunches, dinners unless otherwise noted in itinerary
  • Guaranteed early check-in (check-in time for most hotels in Iceland is 2:00pm)
  • Guaranteed late check-out
  • Any service not specifically listed under “included”

Important

  • Due to high demand, accommodation in Reykjavik for New Year’s Eve cannot be guaranteed. A holiday travel supplement may be charged for travel dates around Christmas and New Years, depending on accommodation availability.
  • Must be 21 years of age to rent a car, 23 years of age to rent car cat. 5.0 or higher.
  • Please note that this package can only be booked online.
  • Our road trip packages are designed by our team of travel experts. They are created for people like you who want to experience the very best of what Iceland has to offer. To get the best value Iceland Travel has to offer, book our road trips online.
  • With our exclusive Iceland Travel Companion appyou don´t have to worry about missing out and you will always find your way to your hotel after a full day of traveling. It is easy to book day tours and activities in the app when you are on the road.
  • Please note that changes to the packages will incur a service fee. Your Iceland Travel Companion app will also not reflect the changes.
  • The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon and sightings cannot be guaranteed.
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Day 1: Arrival

Arrival in Iceland – The world’s northernmost capital city

Approximate distance: ca 50km / 30miles

Once you have landed at Keflavik Airport in Iceland, please pick up your luggage and head through customs. Collect your rental car at the airport make sure you receive a tablet with protective case and chargers, and proceed to your hotel in Reykjavik. The rest of the day is yours to rest and use at your own leisure.

If you have arrived early today, you have a treat waiting for you! Though Reykjavik may be small, it is a vibrant city full of culture and activities. A great way to shake off jet lag is a swim in one of the city’s outdoor geothermal swimming pools. Swimming areas have lap pools, hot tubs of various temperatures and often a steam bath. This is a great way to enjoy daily life in Iceland.

Since you’re going to be visiting areas with glaciers, we suggest visiting the interactive Wonders of Iceland exhibit at the Perlan museum. There you will learn interesting facts about glaciers in a fun way, including visiting a man-made ice cave. You can also get a great intro to the power of volcanoes, earthquakes and geothermal areas. After visiting the exhibit, we recommend checking out the observation deck which provides a 360° view of the city.

The Reykjavik City Hall is also a nice place to visit to get to know more about Iceland.  A huge 3-D relief map of Iceland shows you the location of the glaciers, mountains and coastline you will see on your trip.

Please note check-in for most hotels begins at 14:00 (2:00pm)

Overnight in Reykjavik.

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Day 2: Borgarfjordur

Whale Fjord – Europe´s Most Powerful Hotspring – Magical waterfalls

Approximate distance: ca 101 km / 63 miles

Today head to scenic Borgarfjordur via the Hvalfjordur tunnel. If you don’t want to take the tunnel, you can take the scenic coastal road instead (adds additional 17 km/10 miles to trip). Drive through the town of Borgarnes where you can learn about the first Viking settlers in the area at the popular Settlement Museum. Visit Deildartunguhver, Europe’s most powerful hot spring, as well as two beautiful waterfalls, Hraunfossar (the Lava Falls) and Barnafoss (the Children´s Falls).  Near Deildartunguhver you can indulge in hot spring relaxation at the new Krauma natural geothermal spa.

Tonight you are well situated to catch a glimpse of the famous northern lights, if Mother Nature decides to cooperate.

Overnight:  Borgarfjordur area for the next 2 nights

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Day 3: Borgarfjordur and Langjokull Glacier

Langjokull Glacier and  Icelandic Sagas

Approximate distance: ca 50 km / 31 miles

Today explore the Borgarfjordur valley region and nearby areas. This area is a hidden gem filled with ever-changing scenery, glacial views and Viking age history. Langjokull Glacier offers exciting adventures such as exploring a man-made tunnel built into the icy-blue heart of the glacier. You can reach the tunnel by taking an adventurous ride up the glacier in a monstrous 18-wheeled vehicle. Once at 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 cave visit at the colorful Vidgelmir lava cave. If you‘re interested in culture, visit nearby Reykholt, home of a medieval chieftain who penned some of Iceland‘s greatest Sagas. Visit scenic Husafell, and stroll on paths with colorful stone paintings created by a local artist.

Overnight in Borgarfjordur area

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Day 4: The Golden Circle

National Park with Geological Wonders – The Golden Falls – Spouting Geysers

Approximate distance: ca 290 km / 180 miles

Today, visit the must-see sites in Iceland! Start with Thingvellir National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site), famous for its history and geological wonders. This is a great place to linger, especially if you enjoy geology and history! You can visit the Mid-Atlantic ridge and walk between the North American and European tectonic plates. An easy walking trail also will lead you to sites of important historical happenings. Continue your exploration of the Golden Circle area, visiting majestic Gullfoss waterfall, formed by the waters of a glacial river.  Just a short drive away is the Geysir hot spring area with its lively bubbling pools and spouting geysers.

While in the area you can enjoy two interesting hot spring bathing experiences. Laugarvatn Fontana has natural steam baths and pools with a nearby lake where you can cool off after a steam bath. The Secret Lagoon is a historical stone-lined natural pool that was once a community swimming pool. Today it has modern facilities but has kept its original old fashioned natural charm. A tiny geyser nearby erupts as you relax in the waters, making for a unique Icelandic experience.

If you want to try Icelandic treats stop at Efstidalur dairy farm, where you can have delicious ice cream in the dairy barn. The building lets you look in on “the girls,” the Icelandic cows whose milk is used for the ice cream.

Continue to your overnight accommodation in the South of Iceland.

Overnight at Hella/Hvolsvollur.

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Day 5: South Coast

Thundering Waterfalls – Black sand beaches – Sea Cliffs & Stone Arches

Approximate distance: ca 435 km / 270 miles

Travel along the south coast, one of Iceland’s main farming areas. You will see many farms and shaggy herds of Icelandic horses as you head along the Ring Road. See the magnificent waterfall Skogarfoss, site of hidden treasure. Nearby is Skogar Folk Museum, well known throughout Iceland for being the best of its kind with a collection of mementos from this region’s past housed in beautifully-preserved old turf-roofed buildings.

Make a stop in Vik village where you can admire stunning views of a black sand beach and the black basalt columns of Reynisdrangar. You will also see glaciers from the road, including Myrdalsjokull and Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajokull.

Continue on to Hofn, a bustling fishing town located under the watchful gaze of Vatnajokull Glacier. It is always interesting to take a walk by the harbor and see the daily life. The town is known for the excellent quality of its langoustines (Norway lobsters). Several restaurants serve this specialty. One place popular with locals and visitors alike is Pakkhus, a casual restaurant located in a renovated 1930s warehouse. It has a relaxed charm and decor that people enjoy, as well as a great selection of courses.

Overnight in Hofn area.

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Day 6: Vatnajokull National Park

Vatnajokull Glacier – Western Europe’s  Largest National Park – Glacial Lagoon with Icebergs

Approximate distance: ca 200 km / 125 miles

Your hotel is perfectly situated to make a full day of exploring glacial wonders in Vatnajokull National Park, Western Europes largest national park.  Visit the parks majestic Skaftafell area, which is located between two glaciers and offers several winter hiking possibilities. Continue to Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, where blue, white, turquoise and black-streaked icebergs shift and dance. The mystical lagoon is enormous and has been the backdrop for many major feature films and programs, including Game of Thrones. It is a special place for photographers who enjoy the challenge of catching the icebergs in just the right light conditions. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for seals resting amid the glaciers.

The Diamond Beach nearby has recently become popular, especially for photographers. Icebergs from the Glacier Lagoon wash up on the beach here. The contrast of crystalline ice against the black sand is striking.  This is also a good area to glimpse seals.

Another intriguing area to see floating glaciers is the Fjallsarlon lagoon (The Iceberg Lagoon). The nearby Fjallsjokull glacier is the source of the huge chunks of ice drifting in the lagoon. Fjallsarlon is often much quieter than the Glacier Lagoon, so a great place to visit if you want to experience the mystic beauty of glacier lagoon in a quieter setting. During the day you can get something to eat at the new Frost restaurant located near the glacier (generally open between 10:00 and 17:00 (10am and 5pm).

Another interesting place to visit is the Thorbergur Centre, dedicated to the life a popular 20th-century Icelandic author. The building has been designed to look like a shelf of old-fashioned books and is a popular photo stop.  The restaurant is also a great place to visit and features meals made with ingredients from nearby farms. One of the specialties is farm-raised Arctic char. The museum and restaurant are open in the winter daily except Mondays and holidays between 12:00 and 17:00 (12pm to 5pm).

Tonight, if the weather conditions are optimal, you might catch northern lights playing across the sky.

Overnight at Kirkjubaejarklaustur area.

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Day 7: South Coast to Reykjavik

Seljalands Waterfall – Volcano Center – Geothermal Village

Approximate distance: ca 344 km / 214 miles

Drive along the scenic south coast back to the west.  En route, visit Seljalandsfoss, a waterfall that you can walk behind.  You will also be passing through the landscape of Eyjafjallajokull volcano, famous for its 2010 eruption.  Perhaps you will visit the new Lava Centre, an interactive exhibit where you can learn about how powerful volcanoes and earthquakes have formed Iceland.

The Bobby Fischer Center in Selfoss is dedicated to the world-famous American chess master who defeated Russian Boris Spatsky in the 1972 Match of All Time in Iceland. Bobby Fischer lived his last years in Iceland and is buried in a nearby cemetery. During the winter, you can call in advance to make an appointment to visit the museum.

Visit Hveragerdi, a hot spring village famous for its geothermal greenhouses where flowers and vegetables are grown year-round. You might visit the historical Skyrgerdin (Skyr Factory), where you can see the original way that skyr (a delicious dairy product unique to Iceland) was made—and sample some of the products.  Return to Reykjavik in the late afternoon/early evening.

Overnight in Reykjavík.

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Day 8: Departure

Return to Keflavik International Airport**

Approximate distance: ca 50km / 30miles

Breakfast at your hotel. Drop off your car at the airport before your flight home. We recommend leaving your hotel approximately 3 hours prior to the departure of your international flight. The rental car should be returned to the airport service area which is located only 2 minutes from the airport building. A shuttle will then transport you to the departures hall.

If your flight departs late in the afternoon, we recommend spending the morning either exploring the city of Reykjavik or explore the Reykjanes Peninsula. Several natural wonders such as Gunnuhver hot spring, the Bridge Between Continents, Reykjanesta cliffs and Reykjanesviti lighthouse can be found in close proximity to Keflavik International Airport. You could also use the time to visit the famous Blue Lagoon or Viking World Museum before heading to the airport.

**Please note that the package price is based on 7 x 24-hour rental days starting at the time of rental. If your flight arrives early on day 1 and departs late on day 8, an additional supplement will be charged unless you choose to return the car in Reykjavik when the 7-day rental is up and use our our FlyBus departure transfer.

Please note: The northern lights are a natural phenomenon and sightings, therefore, cannot be guaranteed.

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