See the famous Golden Circle attractions and a winter adventure in the remote highland mountains - Ice caving, snowmobiling, hiking and snowshoeing
Explore geological wonders at historic Þingvellir, watch an erupting geyser and feel the power of Gullfoss Waterfall. Your highland guide will drive you to Kerlingarfjöll, journeying through the really rugged outback, way off the beaten path. Nature and the weather play a big role.
Ice caving, snowmobiling, mountain hiking, snowshoeing, hot pool bathing and northern lights watching are all on the agenda. Your return to civilization is crowned by a visit to the Secret Lagoon!
October - April
3 days (2 nights)
Meet on location
- Tour highlights
- The Golden Circle: (Gullfoss Waterfall, Geysir, Thingvellir)
- Super Jeep remote highlands adventure tour
- Snowmobile riding
- Ice cave
- Mountain hiking
- Hot spring pool bathing
- Northern Lights watching
- Minibus tour to the Secret Lagoon
- Pick up and drop off in Reykjavík
- Golden Circle tour
- Highlands Super Jeep adventure tour
- Hotel room with private facilities - 2 nights
- 2 dinners, 2 breakfasts and 1 lunch
- Snowmobile riding (helmet and suit)
- Minibus tour to the Secret Lagoon
Þingvellir National Park
Your first Golden Circle attraction is Þingvellir National Park (Thingvellir), a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site. This is the place where Iceland melded together as a nation, when Alþing, the historic Icelandic Parliament was founded here in the year 930. The Eurasian and North American tectonic plates continue to move part, you will see the cliff of the Almannagjá gorge.
Your next stop is at the Geysir hot spring site in the Haukadalur Valley. This area is filled with steam and bubbling otherworldly hot springs. You only have to wait 4 – 10 minutes to watch Strokkur erupt, projecting massive torrents of scalding water and steam 20/25 m high.
A short drive brings us to Gullfoss, a favorite waterfall of the Icelanders since Viking times, now it is your turn to watch the thundering torrent drop 32 m through the canyon in two stages. You have the opportunity to buy yourself lunch at Gullfoss Café before your highland wilderness adventure gets underway.
Kerlingarfjöll Mountains and the Icelandic Highlands
A specialist highland guide will drive you in a super jeep way up into the remote highlands, into the real outback of Iceland. The drive to your comfortable highland hotel will take you through some really harsh and challenging terrain. Mount Kerlingarfjöll is very beautiful but this is real outback country – the journey takes as long as it takes – don´t worry the skill of your driver will ensure you arrive in good time for your three course welcome dinner!
Your cozy hotel room has a private bathroom, there is a restaurant, bar and a steaming outdoor hot tub. You are in a fabulous place to watch out for the Northern Lights if the forecast is good!
Ice Cave Visit
Your first activity on day 2 is a visit to a natural Kerlingarfjöll ice cave. Getting to the cave by super jeep is an adventure in itself. The thirty minute journey each way is a tough one which will test the skills of your driver/guide. You get an hour to explore and photograph inside this extremely remote, peaceful and very beautiful ice cave. You guide will explain the features of the cave and how these were formed.
Day 2 continues with a guided hike will take you exploring this sensational wilderness area.The hiking route is selected with the weather in mind, if the conditions allow we hike on snowshoes – the hike usually lasts between 4-6 hours. Sometimes there is a stop at a natural bathing pool with 35°C hot water. We enjoy snowmobile riding to explore the pristine Ásgarður Valley, snowshoes, hiking poles and all necessary snowmobiling gear are provided. Dinner and the welcoming bar await you back at the hotel! In the evening you can enjoy the hot tub and watch out for the glittering swirls of the northern lights, in the depths of the countryside they are at their most vibrant – of course, you need a clear sky and a little aurora luck!
On the morning of day three we go with the flow, maybe a little more snowshoeing, snowmobile riding or hiking. Before noon your guide will, once again, drive you through the rugged mountains back to Gullfoss Waterfall ready for your minibus tour to the Secret Lagoon.
The Secret Lagoon
Our minibus will whisk you from Gullfoss to the Secret Lagoon, a wonderful hot spring pool in the picturesque geothermal region of Flúðir. This charming bathing pool is surrounded by beautiful nature with pathways leading around hot springs and gurgling geysers.
After three days and two nights your tour returns to Reykjavík around 18:00 in the evening.
Pick up is at 9:00 AM from our available Reykjavik pick-up points. Picking everyone up can take up to 30 minutes so your patience is much appreciated.
Available pick-up points: Arctic Adventures’s pick-up list.
What to bring: Warm layers of clothes, such as wind and rainproof outer shells, warm wool socks, hats and gloves, thermal or wool middle layer and inner layer. Sturdy and waterproof hiking boots are essential. (Spikes which fit on your boots to provide extra grip on the ice are useful.) Don’t forget your bathing suit, towel, slippers to wear at the hotel, nightwear and anything else you need.
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. We don’t rent gear from locations, it must be ordered in advance.
The accommodation is in twin rooms
Day 1 - The Golden Circle-Mount Kerlingarfjöll
You are picked up in Reykjavík at 9:00, picking everyone up can take up to 30 minutes. Your tour begins with Golden Circle sightseeing, your first stop is at Þingvellir National Park (Thingvellir), the place where it could be said that Iceland came together as nation. The Icelandic Parliament, established in 930 AD/CE is the oldest still existing Parliament in the world. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is recognized for its unique geological, historical and cultural importance. The unique geology where two great tectonic plates have moved apart has produced some extraordinary scenery, you will see the rift valley and the magnificent Þingvallavatn Lake.
Geysir is your next Golden Circle attraction, the famous Great Geysir is no longer active, its nearby brother, Strokkur, reliably spouts superheated water skywards every 4 to 10 minutes – make sure you are ready with your camera to capture the moment! Just a short drive away we come to Gullfoss Waterfall, the ‘Golden Waterfall’ on the River Hvítá, this crashing torrent is close to the heart of every Icelander. Feel the spray in the air as the water thunders through drops of 21 m and 11 m. You get the chance to buy lunch at Gullfoss Café.
Your highlands guide will meet you at Gullfoss Waterfall ready for your exciting super jeep journey into the highlands. You will be heading for Mount Kerlingarfjöll, a cluster of mountains close to the center of Iceland between the Hofsjökull and Vatnajökull Glaciers. It does not get more remote than this – the all terrain features of the super jeep will be well tried and tested! Your expert guide/driver will adapt to the conditions and take the best route through the outback to the comfortable hotel which will be your base for the next couple of days. You are right out in the wilderness but you have a room with private facilities, a restaurant serving an excellent three course dinner, a bar, an outdoor hot tub and just outside the door the most amazing nature imaginable. If your northern lights luck is good magical aurora could even paint the sky! Often, so far from sources of artificial light, these show up as great swirling curtains unfolding across the sky. Each time is different, sometimes they do not show at all, other times they are magnificent.
- Þingvellir National Park (Thingvellir)
- Gullfoss Waterfall
- Super Jeep trip to Mount Kerlingarfjöll
- Pick-up in Reykjavík
- Guided Golden Circle minibus tour
- Visits to Golden Circle highlights
- Adventure tour to the remote Highlands (Kerlingarfjöll)
- Hotel room with private bathroom
- Three course dinner
- Hot tub bathing
- The Northern Lights (in the right conditions)
Day 2 - Mount Kerlingarfjöll Adventures - Ice cave, snowmobile & hiking
Today is all about wilderness exploring and adventures. After a nourishing breakfast we set off for our first adventure of the day, an incredible ice cave visit. The fun-packed 30 minute journey to the Kerlingarfjöll Ice Cave will really test the all-terrain features for which the super jeep is renown. You get an amazing 60 minutes to explore the pristine blue/white world of this breathtaking ice cave – it really is draw-droppingly astonishing! Learn how it was formed and why the extraordinary ice features within it are always evolving.
We sort out our plan for the rest of the day, in this part of the country, particularly in winter, the weather will always have a say. This is always exciting, we make the best of the opportunities on offer to schedule our activities, no two days are exactly the same. Snowmobile riding, guided hiking and snowshoeing are all part of the action, when conditions allow we often hike to a hot spring bathing pool with 35°C hot water. Bring your bathing suit and towel.
The Kerlingarfjöll mountains were created by repeated volcanic eruptions, they are very colorful and are characterized by their un-eroded shapes. The hotel by Kerlingarfjöll is situated within the Ásgarður Valley. At the northern edge of this cluster of mountains, a hydro-power plant is part of the sustainable infrastructure in this area. This has been constructed with great respect for the stunning mountain scenery, it is a really great example of what can be achieved without spoiling nature.
After a day of outdoor adventures and mountain exploring a warm welcome and a delicious 3 course dinner awaits you at the hotel. There is the bar and the hot tub to enjoy, will the northern lights display their brilliant colors? We have to wait and see! One thing is for sure you, well away from artificial light, you will be in an excellent location to get a grandstand view if they show up.
- Snowmobile riding
- Guided hiking
- Visit to an ice cave
- Snowshoeing (in the right conditions)
- Hot spring pool bathing (possibly)
- Hot tub bathing
- Hotel room with private bathroom
- All snowmobile gear
- Hiking poles
- Visit to an ice cave
- Hot tub bathing
- The Northern Lights (in the right conditions)
Day 3 - Kerlingarfjöll-Gullfoss-The Secret Lagoon-Reykjavík
We enjoy a nourishing breakfast and plan the morning. There is time for an adventure activity before we leave this wild mountain paradise. We consider the conditions, any preferences and choose our final highland highlight! Snowmobile riding, snowshoeing or hiking – what will it be? One thing is for sure, we really make the most of our final hours in the highlands. Just before noon our Super Jeep will transfer you back to Gullfoss – we adapt to the conditions and take our time – this is slow travel at its best!
At Gullfoss Waterfall our minibus will be waiting to whisk you away to the Secret Lagoon. This is the oldest swimming pool in Iceland, its Icelandic name is Gamla Lónið, which literally means the ‘Old Pool’. It came to be known as the Secret Lagoon because so few people knew about it, hidden away in an idyllic landscape, by the trees at Flúðir, a very active geothermal area. There are hot springs all around the area, poolside pathways take your around them and bubbling geyser springs. Enjoy a coffee or drink in the refreshment area – we will get you back to Reykjavík around 18:00 after three extremely varied and action packed days!
- Snowmobile riding
- Super Jeep drive back to Gullfoss
- Bathing at the Secret Lagoon
- Super Jeep transport to Gullfoss
- Minibus tour from from Gullfoss to Secret Lagoon
- Entrance to the Secret Lagoon
- Drop off in Reykjavík
We offer pick-ups from most known hotels, hostels and guesthouses in the capital area. We do not pick up from Airbnb. To make the process of finding the nearest pick-up location to your accommodation easier we have made a map of the locations.
This is a great question. We would like to ask all participants to be ready from the start of the pick-up time as you could be our first pick up.
Please be at your assigned pick-up location from the start time of your pick-up and wait for your guide to arrive.
Have your email and phone number listed with us so we can contact you if we run into any trouble finding you.
No, absolutely not. Due to safety reasons, it is strictly prohibited. If we suspect that participants are intoxicated we will prohibit them from joining the tour.
Yes, we do. Langjökull Ice Cave is a magical experience, the tour has no minimum age and is a wonderful option for the whole family. Whale Watching with our partner company Elding, has been a favorite with families traveling with young children, these guys have a great success rate in seeing whales (upwards of 98% in the summer time). Another option would be the Landmannalaugar Safari on this tour you get to explore parts of the Icelandic highlands and bathe in natural hot springs (the hot spring part is particularly popular with the kids:)). Most of our jeep tours (to be found here) are also suitable for all ages. If you would like a nice and relaxing experience we would also recommend the Golden Circle & Secret Lagoon tour.
We recommend that you have personal health insurance coverage when participating in any adventure activities in Iceland, we actually recommend that whenever and whereever you travel you take out a good travel insurance, as world travelers ourselves it has saved us money and aggravation many times.
Before starting any of our more technical trips, participants will receive a safety briefing highlighting the safe and proper use of equipment, the role of guides during the trip, and the significant risks and hazards involved in their particular trip. The safety briefing will also cover potentially foreseeable scenarios that may arise and explain how participants should react in such circumstances. Our guides will also outline their expectations of participants during the trip where needed and address any specific questions or concerns that may arise during this time.
Any medical conditions or personal health concerns that may jeopardize your well-being or affect your ability to meet the physical demands of the trip must be clearly communicated to the trip leader before the tour start. Any medications you may require for minor medical conditions (asthma inhalers, etc.), should be kept close and you should bring it with you on the trip if possible. It is important that you notify your guide about such medications and their whereabouts before setting off.
Last we would like to underline how important it is to dress according to instructions of the tour and the weather of the day. Always read the “what to bring” very well.
Your safety is our number one priority! Keeping this in mind, Arctic Adventures reserves the right to adjust the itinerary and/or take different routes. Please read more information in our cancellation policy.
The Northern Lights are natural phenomena and we unfortunately cannot promise you will see them. Their appearance depends upon atmospheric and weather conditions.
Unfortunately there isn’t just one simple answer to this question.
There is not just one single setting for your camera that ensures great captures. but if you have manual options, you are probably best served with experimenting with various combinations of ISO, aperture, and exposure settings. As a rule of thumb, ISO setting between 800 and 3200, aperture between f/2.8 and f/5.6, and shutter speed at between 15 seconds and 30 seconds have proven effective.
Nonetheless if you have manual options, you are probably best off with experimenting with various combinations of ISO, exposure and aperture settings. , ISO setting between 800 and 3200, aperture between f/2.8 and f/5.6, and shutter speed at between 15 seconds and 30 seconds have proven effective.
A good thing to keep in mind, ISO setting between 800 and 3200, aperture between f/2.8 and f/5.6, and shutter speed between 15 seconds and 30 seconds have given great results.
Different combinations may give very different results. Higher ISO setting will allow you to capture faster exposures, but the downside to this might be for example grainier images.
If the shutter speed is above 15 seconds it will result in slight star movement.
Wider angle lenses are usually more versatile in low light settings, but longer lenses give you different options for compositions. Make sure that you remove all lens filters, as they may distort images. You will probably get the best results with manual setting for infinite focal length
Be sure to remove all lens filters, as they may distort images. You will probably get the best results with manual setting for infinite focal length
Yes, you can. The plus side to being a cold country is that our glacier are here all year around and we can go snowmobiling in every season.
What time are we dropped back to Gullfoss cafe from the Glacier Snowmobiling from Gullfoss if we are collected at 12:30?
You will be returning back around 16:30, but this can vary depending on the conditions (+/- 60 minutes).
We don’t exactly have a weight restriction but participants need to be able to fit in our winter overalls. The largest size we have is 3XL. As for the physical level, the tour is listed at a the level moderate and anyone in average physical condition should be able to complete the tour without any trouble.
Yes, we have toilets at the base camp where the tour starts that you are more than welcome to use before and after. Unfortunately we cannot offer any bathroom breaks during the tour itself.
We provide you with an overall, a balaclava, gloves and a helmet.
This is all included in the price of the tour.
First and foremost warm clothing.
Upper body: Thermal shirt and a fleece or a thick sweater over.
Lower body: Warm pants.
If you get easily cold, also thermals.
Shoes: It’s best to wear boots as it’s pretty cold on the glacier and they can get wet.
NOTE: You need to bring a lunch or some snacks. Lunch is not included in the tour.
Yes, if traveling solo you will need to purchase the single ride extra.
Yes there is, safety is always our number one priority and after looking closely into this the age limit was set to 8 years, of course in company with a guardian.
You do not need previous snowmobile driving experience. Your guide will provide easy to follow operating instructions.
However, you do need a valid Driving License if you intend to drive. If there are two of you, only one of you needs to bring a Driving License but if you both bring one, each of you can take a turn at driving.
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.
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.
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:
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.
When booking with Arctic Adventures you are guaranteed an accommodation at a nice country hotel in one of the most popular parts of Iceland. The hotels we have partnered with are all of the same standard and offer nice hotel rooms with made-up beds with private or shared bathrooms, depending on your booking.
Hotel breakfast is included!
- The combined dimensions of each bag must not exceed 158 cm (62 in).
- It’s possible to store your luggage in Reykjavík while you are on your tour, for a small fee. We highly recommend storing the luggage in Reykjavík to help us reduce our carbon footprint.
- Please note that luggage storage is not refundable.
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.