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3 Day South Coast - Golden Circle, Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon & Ice Cave

Three-day tour along the south coast taking you to some Iceland's most precious jewels - glaciers, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, magnificent waterfalls, an ice cave, the Golden Circle and the Northern Lights.

Glacier-Hiking Geysir Ice-Caving Northern-Lights Sightseeing Tours waterfall
Iceland-map-destinations

This small group 3-day tour is fabulous for those with limited time to enjoy the best of Iceland. An unforgettable adventure, the most popular attractions, spectacular waterfalls, glacier hiking and a magnificent ice cave in Vatnajökull, Europe’s biggest glacier. Your nights are spent away from the city, giving you the best chance of seeing the glittering northern lights.

  • Availability

    October 15th - March 31st

  • Duration

    3 days

  • Level

    Easy

  • Pickup

    Yes

  • Meet on location

    No

  • Min. Age

    10 years

  • Ratio

    1:18

  • Price from

    87.900 ISK

Tour highlights
Þingvellir National Park (Thingvellir)
Geysir hot springs
Gullfoss Waterfall
Seljandsfoss Waterfall
Skógafoss Waterfall
Skaftafell - Vatnajökull National Park
Jökulsarlón Glacier Lagoon
Ice Cave visit
Reynisfjara - black beach & basalt columns
Northern Lights
Small group experience
Eyjafjallajökull - volcano/glacier views*
Hekla - volcano views*
Included
Guided Minibus Tour
Golden Circle (Gullfoss, Geysir & Þingvellir)
Highlights of the south coast
Ice Cave visit and Glacier Hiking
Certified Glacier Guide
All necessary glacier equipment
Hotel room with private bathroom for 2 nights
Hotel breakfasts on days 2 & 3

Pick up will be early in the morning from your hotel or a nearby meeting point in Reykjavik. This process can take up to 30 minutes, so you may need to be patient, but you do need to be ready at the time stated on your itinerary.

For details of daily schedules and more information please see the itinerary. This trip really is the cream of South Iceland 3-day guided tours!

Golden Circle and the South Coast 
The Golden Circle has three outstanding natural attractions: Geysir, home to Strokkur, the most active hot spring nowadays, see torrents of boiling water being erupted 25 m high every 5 to 10 minutes! Þingvellir National Park, has a dramatic cliff running through it where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates have been moving apart. Iceland´s historic parliament was founded in 930 CE, making it the oldest still existing parliament in the world. Þingvellir is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Finally, Gullfoss waterfall, (the Golden Falls), see the golden-hued spray as the roaring water crashes through the rugged canyon, dropping 32 m in two stages.

If the day is clear we will get fabulous views the volcano mountain, Hekla, on our way to Seljalandsfoss, a totally unique waterfall. You can walk behind the powerful cascade, a great way place to take photos. We will visit Skógafoss, an elegant 60 m high waterfall on the Skógará (the Forest River), which flows all the way from Eyjafjallajökull glacier. We also see the little town of Vík, your country hotel will be nearby. If the forecast is good this is a great location to look out for the northern lights.

Black Sand Beach and Jökulsárlon Glacier Lagoon   
We stop at Reynisfjara black beach with the incredible black basalt Reynisdrangar peaks rising off the coast, before heading to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, one of the most famous glacier lagoons in the world. The surreal beauty of majestic icebergs of all shapes and sizes, some with amazing blue tones, floating on the huge lagoon, as Vatnajökull glacier lurks high above, is impossible to imagine. Your hotel will be near Skaftafell, another great location to spot the northern lights, will they show up? Hopefully, but as always, we will have to wait and see.

Glacier Hiking and Ice Caving
You will go on a never to be forgotten glacier hike with a certified glacier guide. Learn all about the moving, living world of the glacier, the great labyrinths of crevasses and moulins which reach down deep into the glacier. Next, you go into the ice! Your ice caving guide will explain the extraordinary features and how they were formed, an ice cavern is not pure white, you will see astonishing blue ice. We return to Reykjavík between 20:00 and 23:00.

What to bring: Warm outdoor clothing including layers, a waterproof jacket and pants, headwear and gloves. Sturdy hiking shoes are essential for glacier hiking, it is not possible to fit ice crampons to any other kind of footwear.

What if I don’t own all of these clothing items?
Don’t worry, you can always rent sturdy hiking shoes, waterproof jacket and pants in the booking process. Please note, we do not rent gear from the locations, this must be booked in advance.

 

Please note

Arctic Adventures reserve the right to alter the itinerary and/or take different routes due to weather and/or road conditions. Also, due to limited availability of accommodations in Iceland, we may need to re-arrange the itinerary. However, our experienced travel planners aim to optimize your experience of the tour and make sure it’s always the best possible.

Food is NOT included on this tour, with the exception of breakfasts on days 2 & 3.

The short periods of daylight in December and January can cause some alterations to the itinerary.

Ice caves are ever-changing and unpredictable natural phenomena. We usually visit the Crystal Cave at Breiðmerkurjökull during this tour, however, which ice cave is chosen will depend upon the conditions and safety considerations on the day, sometimes a different ice cave is visited.

*Views of Eyjafjallajökull Glacier and Hekla Volcano will only be seen if the weather conditions offer good visibility.

Day 1 - The Famous Golden Circle Route

Your tour begins with the three famous Golden Circle attractions:  Þingvellir (Pingvellir), Geysir and Gullfoss.  Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site, is the place where the Icelanders founded their historic Parliament, Alþingi, in the year 930. This is the oldest continuously operating Parliament in the world, it is certainly situated in one of the most geologically amazing places on the planet. The boundary between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates is here, they have been slowly edging apart creating a rift valley, and a great cliff right behind where the Law Speaker would stand in the olden days. Þingvallavatn is a very beautiful lake set within this incredible landscape.

You will visit the geothermally active area of Geysir, this is the erupting hot spring from which the English word, Geyser, has been taken. Great Geysir is not active now, so we will visit Strokkur, a nearby spouting hot spring. You will not have to wait more than a few minutes to see Strokkur erupt scalding water up to 25 m skywards. Next, is Gullfoss (the Golden Falls), the most often visited waterfall in Iceland. See the golden spray around the waterfall, and feel the water droplets in the air as the amazing powerful Hvíta (the White River), roars through the rugged canyon, dropping 32 m.

On a clear day, we will get great views of Mount Hekla on the way to Seljalandsfoss, one of the most unusual waterfalls in the world. You can walk behind the powerful but graceful falls to enjoy the view from both sides. Next up, is Skógafoss, a really impressive waterfall which drops 60 m into the tranquil pool below. There are 527 steps leading to the top giving another vantage point. The famous volcano, Eyjafjallajökull, lurks high above the waterfall, if visibility is good you will get a view of this magnificent mountain glacier.

Your country hotel will be close to the small coastal town of Vík, a really great place to catch the mesmerizing northern lights if the conditions are right. A little northern lights luck is very useful!

Day Highlights
Þingvellir National Park (Thingvellir)
Geysir hot spring area
Gullfoss Waterfall
Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
Skógafoss Waterfall
The small coast town Vík
Included
Guided Minibus Tour
The Golden Circle (Þingvellir, Gullfoss and Þingvellir)
Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss Waterfalls
Northern Lights Hunting (in good conditions)
One night at a hotel near Vík

Day 2 - Black Sand Beach & Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

After a nourishing breakfast we head off to the dramatic black sand beach at Reynisfjara. The powerful, rolling waves of the Atlantic Ocean really show their force here. Watch as these roaring white-tipped beauties crash onto the black beach – a word of warning – follow the advice of your tour guide and stand well back. These fierce waves can be very unpredictable! You should visit the amazing black basalt column cave before you leave the beach. You will see incredible black basalt pillars rising from the sea just off the shore at Reynisdrangar, these will give you a good idea of where some Icelandic toll folklore sprang from!

Your tour will then take you through enchanting lava fields and incredible desert sands, formed by enormous glacial floods, knows as Jökulhlaups, as we head east. We continue to Breiðamerkurjökull, a glorious outlet glacier which reaches down, like an icy finger, from Vatnajökull, the second largest glacier in Europe. The magnificent Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and the nearby Diamond Beach are our next stop. The lagoon is filled with icebergs of all shapes and sizes, as they glide in a dreamlike procession towards the salty waves of the Atlantic. They are often washed ashore at the Diamond Beach, where they shimmer like diamonds on the back sand. You will be amazed at the bright blue tones which glitter within many icebergs, these colors are caused by a combination of factors including ice compression. Ocean birds are abundant and seals can sometimes be seen. Your hotel will be in the Skaftafell area, a great place to test your northern lights luck! If the forecast is good you need to keep an eye on things, will shimmering colors dance across the sky? We can never say for sure, but you don´t want to miss them!

Day Highlights
Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
Balsalt pillars of Reynisdrangar
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
The Diamond Beach
Included
Breakfast at hotel near Vík
Guided Minibus Tour
Reynisfjara Black Beach
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
Northern Lights Hunting (in good conditions)
One night in a hotel near Skaftafell

Day 3 - Glacier Hike and Ice Caving

Today you will explore two of Vatnajökull National Park´s stunning natural jewels:

Accompanied by a certified glacier guide you will explore the mesmerizing world inside an ice cave. Usually, we visit the Crystal Ice Cave in Breiðamerkurjökull, a glacial tongue of Vatnajökull. Other times a different ice cave will be chosen, your guide will choose the cave with the best conditions at the time. Ice caves change a lot, both from year to year and within each winter. Your guide will explain how these caves and the incredible formations in them are formed. Photographers will get a rare opportunity to capture the shimmering blue light which passes through the glacial ice. Surprisingly, deep shades of jewel blue will surround you, these tones are caused by ice compression, the way we perceive light and color, and the blueness can sometimes be intensified by algae.The temperature inside the ice cave is well below the freezing point so please dress accordingly.

Now for glacier hiking! Your guide will give you ice crampons and everything you need to explore Svínafellsjökull glacier. The glacier is dynamic, it is always moving and changing, incredible ice features are constantly being formed. Your guide will explain all about sink holes, crevasses, ice falls and ridges, and how climate change is impacting upon the glaciers in Iceland. Your 45 minutes on the ice will be filled with wonder and fascinating facts. Stand still and you will hear the ice groaning at it moves – on the glacier there is peacefulness but, in a true sense, never complete stillness!

We will return to Reykjavík between 20:00 and 23:00, depending on the conditions. We make some stops along the way, the weather is somewhat in charge, particularly during the winter!

Please note: If the conditions are expected to be better, this tour will sometimes visit an ice cave on day 2, your guide will make the most of the opportunities available.

Remember to bring: Warm layers, waterproof top layer, headwear, gloves, scarves with non-cotton thermal underwear if you have it. Good hiking boots are absolutely essential, it is not possible to fit ice crampons to any other kind of footwear. You can hire good boots from us in the booking process, we do not rent from the locations, so such items must be booked in advance.

Day Highlights
Glacier walk on Vatnajökull glacier
Natural Ice Cave
Included
Breakfast at hotel near Skaftafell
Guided Glacier Hike on Vatnajökull Glacier
Guided Ice Cave Tour
Certified Glacier Guide
Guided Minibus Tour/Return to Reykjavík
What should we wear on our glacier trip in Iceland?

Iceland is known for colorful weather. It can sometimes show you all 4 seasons in one day.
Dressing for this sort of weather can be a challenge so we always recommend to dress in layers. Dress is 3 or 4 upper layers such as a light t-shirt (preferably wool) next to the skin, then a fleece or heavy wool garment, topped off with a waterproof wind-breaker. Jeans are not recommended for our trips as they become very heavy, cold and uncomfortable to wear when they get wet. Lightweight hiking pants, track pants or long cotton pants are best and then wind/waterproof pants over. We also recommend using sunglasses and sunscreen even if it is cloudy due to the high UV and sunlight reflection off of the glacier.
We can rent out good hiking boots as well as a waterproof raincoat and trousers for all of our trips.

Do I need to bring a backpack on a glacier trip in Iceland?

We recommend bringing your own backpack on our full day or 1/2 day tours. It’s great to carry a small lunch or some extra clothing.

Can I bring my camera along on a glacier tour?

You can bring you camera along, and you should definitely bring one since the setting on the tour is full of amazing, scenic views.

I am pregnant, can I still join a glacier hike?

This is, of course, a personal choice, we have often had pregnant women on our trips. We recommend you take a close look at our trip description and difficulty rating, they will hopefully give you a better idea. It is also good to contact your physician, pregnant women’s health can be quite different. Feel free to contact us if you have further questions or concerns.

Do I need to bring a lunch with me on the glacier tours?

We do not provide lunch on any of our trips, so we recommend you bring your own lunch (for the longer trips), snacks and a bottle of water (you can refill it on the trip).

What are crampons?

Crampons are metal spikes that we attach to the soles of your hiking shoes, these enable you to walk on the glacier ice without slipping.

Is there a guide on each Arctic Adventures glacier tour?

Yes, there is a specially trained and certified glacier guide on each trip glacier tour we offer.

What is the Golden Circle tour in Iceland?

The Golden Circle is a name for the very popular sightseeing route that connects Reykjavík with Þingvellir National Park (Thingvellir), Geysir Hot Springs and Gullfoss Waterfall. We offer several Golden Circle trips that combine sightseeing with some of our adventure tours.

Do you offer a tour this is solely the Golden Circle?

Yes, we offer the tour Golden Circle small group tour which is basically the Golden Circle with some extra stops. This tour is focusing on sightseeing and the history of Iceland. Our stops are Gullfoss waterfall, Þingvellir national park (home to one of the first parliaments of the world), Geysir hot spring area and the historic Skálholt cathedral.

I want to book the Golden Circle with an activity combines to the tour, what are my options?

We offer numerous options to spice up your Golden Circle tour and to make the most off your day. Some are season depending but others are operated all year around. Here is a list of all of the tours.

All year around options:

Golden Circle, Super Truck and Snowmobiling
Golden Circle Small group tour
Golden Circle and Snorkeling
Golden Circle Food Tour
Golden Circle and Secret Lagoon
Golden Circle and Super Jeep tour

Winter season:

Golden Circle and Caving

Summer season:

Golden Circle and Rafting

What are the main advantages of booking a multiday tour with Arctic Adventures?

Our multiday tour include accommodation during you tour which is often booked far in advance and expensive so by booking with us you don’t have to worry about that.

The tours take you further away from the capital to explore some of the most beautiful highlands Iceland has to offer.

You will have a guide for the whole time who will tell you about everything you will see along the way and know where to stop to get the absolute best experience.

What kind of rooms can be expected when booking the multiday tour with Arctic Adventures?

Nice hotel rooms with private bathrooms which includes breakfast. For the south coast we usually go for Hotel Dyrhólaey and Hotel Skaftafell, on Snæfellsnes peninsula we usually book Hotel Rjúkandi. If they aren’t available we book very similar ones.

Does the 3 Day South Coast – Golden Circle, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Ice Cave tour include glacier hiking?

Yes, the tour includes a glacier hike on Falljökull glacier in Skaftafell – Vatnajökull national park.

Disclaimer
All our tours are undertaken on the responsibility of its participants. Arctic Adventures does not assume any responsibility for accidents that are caused by its customers or can be traced to their own actions. Participants have to sign a waiver before undertaking all trips stating that they realize that all outdoor activities carry an inherent risk.

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Price from 87.900 ISK per person.

If you are staying downtown Reykjavik please read this information about pickup.

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