Iceland Complete in the Winter
Reykjavik | Hveragerði | Dyrhólaey | Vík | Höfn | Egilsstadir | Lake Mývatn | Akureyri | Siglufjördur | Skagafjördur | Borgarfjördur | Borgarnes
Tour begins in Reykjavik on Wednesdays
8 Guaranteed Departures Oct 3, 2018 – Apr 10, 2019
A winter version of the classic summer Iceland Complete circle tour! This extensive winter escorted tour of Iceland’s majestic landscapes and local culture operates during the heart of the Northern Lights season, providing you with an excellent opportunity to experience both Iceland as a whole and one of her most breathtaking phenomena.
Day 01: Arrive Reykjavik
Upon arrival, optional Flybus or private car/driver transfer to Reykjavik City, see below optional services. Check in to your four star hotel.
The afternoon is free on own to explore Reykjavik. Spend your first night in Iceland in the capital, keeping a sharp eye out for the Northern Lights before you sleep. The next few nights will afford you better chances to spot them in the countryside.
Icelandair Hotel Natura
Day 02: Reykjavik – Hveragerði – Gullfoss – Vik
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before a short Reykjavik city tour. Travel by coach on a short city sightseeing tour of Reykjavik, seeing sights such as Hallgrímskirkja, the views from Perlan, Old Höfði, Alþingi, and Old Town, and hearing some of Iceland’s most famous folk stories along the way (route and sites may change depending on time and availability).
Depart the area and head through the geothermal village of Hveragerði to explore Gullfoss, the ‘Golden Waterfall’, and the nearby Geysir hot spring area to see the famous Geysir and Strokkur, and numerous other hot springs and boiling mud pool. The area is delightfully mysterious and breathtaking in the winter: snow blankets the mountains on either side of the pure blue-green of Gullfoss, and gusts of steamy water from Iceland’s famous geysers skyrocket from the ice-covered ground.
You’ll drive along the south coast, stopping at both the snowy Seljalandsfoss and Skógarfoss waterfalls. Continue eastwards to Dyrhólaey Nature Reserve (closed during the summer nesting period but open in the winter), a solitary cliff with interesting formations and teeming bird life.
Arrive at Vík, a good location for spotting the Northern Lights at night. Enjoy dinner and then overnight.
Day 03: Vik – Skaftafell National Park – Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon – Höfn
Today after breakfast at your hotel you will cross Eldhraun—a deceptive 232-square-mile-square ‘field of moss’ that is, in actuality, the largest mass of lava ever to flow on earth in recorded history—before you reach the small village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur.
The tour continues over Skeiðarársandur, vast tracts of black sandy desert near Skaftafell National Park washed down by torrential glacial rivers. In the winter, Skeiðarársandur—sometimes referred to as the ‘braided river’—is often outlined in sharp relief by snow. You’ll stop in Skaftafell National Park for a walk, and then continue to the magnificent Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon, where huge icebergs float and grind together in the still waters.
Throughout the day you’ll take in views of the mighty Vatnajökull Glacier, underneath which three of Iceland’s most active volcanoes—Bárðarbunga, Grímsvötn, and Öræfajökull—regularly try to break free from their icy cage. Continue on to the fishing town of Höfn for dinner and overnight.
Day 04: Höfn – East Fjords – Egilsstaðir
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel. Touring today over the Almannaskarð pass to Lónsöræfi, a mountainous wilderness ringed by extinct volcanos. Towering mountains, their bare rock faces ridged by nature, plunge vertically into the sea to form Austfirðir, Iceland’s stunning East Fjords. In the white of winter, this fantastic landscape is a stunning contrast to the sea by which it resides, as you are continuing on to Egilsstaðir for dinner and overnight.
Icelandair Hotel Hérað
Day 05: Egilsstadir – Lake Mývatn
After a good breakfast at your hotel, we continue the tour by traveling to and exploring the vastness of the highland desert plateau Möðrudalsöræfi. Home of the highest inhabited town in the country, farm settlement Möðrudalur, it is also home to one of the rarest types of volcanoes on Earth: the tuya volcano, Herðubreið, a sleeping giant formed during the last Ice Age. Snow covers this flat-topped, steep-sided mountain like a crinkled white sheet in winter, and clouds drift near the summit.
Head to the Lake Mývatn area with your group. On the way, stop at Dettifoss—Europe’s most powerful waterfall—and admire the winter snow and ice partially covering the rushing waters. Visit Námaskarð Pass, with its boiling mud pools, vibrant colors, and surrounding mountainous landscape covered in snow.
Continue to explore the natural beauty of the Lake Mývatn area, including the pseudo craters at Skútustaðir and Laxa Salmon River. One of Mývatn area’s claims to fame is that it is home to more species of ducks than any other place on Earth, with very diverse bird life in general.
Overnight and dinner in the Mývatn area, an excellent location for Northern Lights viewing!
Sel Hotel Mývatn
Day 06: Lake Mývatn – Akureyri – Siglufjordur
After breakfast today you explore the peculiar lava formations at nearby Dimmuborgir before heading towards the northern capital of Akureyri. On the way, we’ll make a stop at Goðafoss Waterfall – the famed “Waterfall of the Gods” – as well as the old turf farm Laufás, now a museum. Due to its excellent natural harbor and good accessibility, Akureyri has become the northern center of education, culture, trade and industry.
After spending some time in Akureyri, continue along the coastal roads of Eyjafjorður and the Troll Peninsula. This is a beautiful drive along steep mountains with amazing views over the Arctic Sea and black sand coastline. The destination is Siglufjörður, set in a beautiful fjord of the same name. This town has some of the finest timber buildings in the country, beautifully restored to their original glory.
Dinner and overnight in Siglufjördur.
Day 07: Siglufjordur – Skagafjördur – Borgarfjördur – Borgarnes
Enjoy breakfast this morning at your hotel in Siglufjörður before continuing the tour. This morning visit Siglufjörður’s award-winning Herring-Era Museum. The museum recreates the atmosphere of the early 20th century, when Siglufjörður was transformed into a herring boom town, thanks to a large migration of herring.
Majestic mountains and narrow passes lead to Skagafjörður for an introduction to the unique Icelandic horse that has a special fifth gait – the tölt. Afterwards, continue towards the village of Blönduós, built on both sides of the Blanda River. Hrútey Island – a protected nature reserve – is situated in the center of this popular salmon river.
Cross the Holtavörðuheiði Plateau through Borgarfjörður to reach the beautiful town of Borgarnes. Overnight and dinner in the Borgarnes area.
Icelandair Hotel Hamar
Day 08: Borgarnes – Pingvellir National Park – Reykjavik
Breakfast at your hotel before embarking on a drive to Deildartunguhver, the most powerful hot spring in the world. A stop to admire the beautiful Hraunfossar Waterfall is included before we continue over the breathtaking Kaldidalur mountain pass. Head to Lake Pingvallavatn, Iceland’s largest lake, and Pingvellir National Park, the ancient site of the world’s first parliament held outdoors. In the afternoon, we arrive back in Reykjavik at a four star hotel. Dinner is on your own this evening.
Icelandair Hotel Natura
Day 09: Depart Reykjavik
The morning is free after breakfast for an optional Blue Lagoon Tour or some last minute shopping. We can assist with optional Flybus or private car/driver for transfer to Keflavik Airport and your afternoon flight back to the U.S.; please see below optional services (Meals are an in-flight charge).
Price includes: (maximum group size 36 persons)
- Full Scandinavian breakfast buffet daily and 6 dinners
- Accommodations in rooms with private facilities
- English speaking tour escort on tour portion, days 3-9
- Reykjavik guided short city sightseeing tour
- Entrance to Herring Museum incl. refreshments
- Entrance to Laufás Folk Museum incl. refreshments
- Horse show in Skagafjörður
NOTE: Prices do not include airfare, extra beverages, extra items, or any services not listed in the program above. Select departures are also operated in reverse. Prices do not include any services not listed in the program. Tour operator reserves the right to alter routes without prior notice due to road conditions. Please also note that, while this tour occurs during the Icelandic winter and the Northern Lights season, sightings of the Northern Lights are dependent on weather and atmospheric conditions and therefore not guaranteed.
2018-2019 STARTING PRICES | GUARANTEED DEPARTURES
Please note: 15% discount offer is for select departures dates (see below) and cannot be combined with any other discounts. Offer may be withdrawn without prior notice. Discounts are subject to availability of individual tour during the duration of the listed offer window on our Specials page, and apply only to new bookings made during that window. Select departures are marked with an *asterisk.
Departure Dates and Information
| All departures are guaranteed and in USD. Departure is a 36-person max. tour. Optional tours are listed below and available on request. Tour space is not guaranteed until booked and confirmed. All tours are guided in English.
Child discount available! Discount for child under 12 available upon request.
Transfer add-ons available. Scheduled airport coach transfer: from $62 p.p. round trip. Private car/driver transfer: from $238 one-way (1-3 persons).
NOTE: Optional tours are booked through your guide at the start of the tour. Optional tours include a boat tour of the Glacial Lagoon, super jeep tour on Vatnajökull Glacier, an extension to Mývatn Lake, the Nature Baths, and horseback riding.
|Tour Type:||Escorted Tour / Winter and Northern Lights Tour|
|Cities Visited:||Reykjavik - Gullfoss - Vík - Skaftafell National Park - Jökulsarlon Glacial Lagoon - Höfn - Egilsstadir - Lake Mývatn - Akureyri - Siglufjordur - Skagafjörður - Borgarfjördur - Borgarnes - Pingvellir National Park|
|Departures:||February - March - April - October|