Overview

Swing by the Best of Iceland on this 3-day tour: waterfalls, ice lagoons and black beaches. This is the ultimate Icelandic Winter Bucket List tour!

Highlights

  • Small Group Experience
  • Afternoon Departure
  • Blue Lagoon
  • The Golden Circle
  • Northern Lights Hunt
  • Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
  • Skógafoss Waterfall
  • Reynisfjara Black Beach
  • Reynisdrangar Basalt Columns
  • Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
  • Diamond Beach
  • Knowledgeable Guides

Check off your bucket list with our Highlights of Iceland tour, including the famous Golden Circle, mystical Northern Lights, the achingly beautiful South Coast, Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and an extraordinary ice cave at Skaftafell National Park. Wander inside glaciers and behold sculpturesque ruins of a volcanic past in the land of fire and ice!

Perfect for those who arrive in the morning – Pick-up starts at 12:00 pm.

If a morning departure is more suitable to your schedule, have a look at our morning version instead –

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

Make the most out of three full days in Iceland on our 3 Day Golden Circle Afternoon Tour. We kick off with world-famous sights of the Golden Circle, then after nightfall take to the roads for a Northern Lights hunt. The following day, we explore the highlights of the South Coast, trekking around waterfalls, Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and a magical ice cave. 

  • Personal Experience
  • Trusted Tour Operator
  • Small group experience
  • Expert guides
  • Small group (minibus)
Availability All Year
Duration 3 days
Departs From Reykjavik
Level Easy Suitable for most people in fair condition.
Minimum age 8 years
Ratio 1:18 Guide to client ratio
Accommodation Included
Meet on Location No
Pick Up Yes

From

585
Per Adult
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Discount valid for travel time: from July 1 to December 15, 2020 Apply the promo code in step 2 of the booking process.

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BOOK WITH 10% DEPOSIT
Worried that your travel plans might change? Book your tour more than 21 days in advance with a 10% deposit & pay the rest 14 days before departure. Alternatively, you can pay full price and get a 5% early bird discount! Choose the deposit or full payment option in the third step of your checkout.

What's included

Included

  • Pick-up & drop off from Reykjavík
  • Accommodation with a Private Bathroom - 2 nights
  • Breakfast at the Hotel
  • Private Bathroom
  • English Speaking Tour Guide
  • Admission to the Blue Lagoon
  • Guided Minibus Tour
  • Guided Golden Circle (Gullfoss, Geysir & Þingvellir) tour
  • Highlights of the South Coast
  • Guided Ice Cave Tour
  • Certified Glacier Guide
  • Northern Lights Tour
  • Free WiFi on Board Your Bus

What to bring

  • Warm outdoor layers (wool,fleece or synthetic are best, not cotton)
  • Waterproof jacket and pants
  • Headwear and gloves
  • Good hiking shoes are recommended

Not Included

  • Lunch & Dinner

Contact us for more Information about this tour

Itinerary

The Golden Circle

Your first stop is the unique Thingvellir National park. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Thingvellir is home to Iceland’s first parliament, founded in 930 c.e., as well as enchanting lakes, rivers, and waterfalls. It’s also noteworthy as the meeting place of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.

Next up, we have the king of all geysers. The English word geyser derives from this particular geyser in Iceland, known as Geysir. Though now dormant, its nearby brother Strokkur never fails to disappoint. Strokkur erupts every 4-10 minutes, bursting through the sky like fireworks.

Last but not least, we stop by the majestic Gullfoss Waterfall, the Golden Falls. The water originates from the second largest glacier in Iceland Langjokull, and culminates in these beautiful cascades, tumbling about 32 meters over two tiers. Feel the power of Icelandic nature up close!

After the Golden Circle, you’ll be dropped off at BSI bus terminal in downtown Reykjavik. From here you’ll take a shuttle bus to the Blue Lagoon at 19:00 pm. If you’re lucky, you may even get a chance to see the northern lights from the lagoon, and what a sight to see!

After an overnight in Reykjavík, you’ll start your journey to the exciting South Coast on the Ring Road. We’ll stop at all the highlights of the South Coast, including waterfalls, lava formations, and ice lagoons.

The first stop in South Iceland will be at the ever-so-lovely Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, often nicknamed as “the one you can walk behind.” Next, on the waterfall menu, we have the powerful and alluring Skógafoss Waterfall. There is something truly magical about this place. Local folklore speaks of a golden treasure hidden under its powerful curtain. If you hike up to the crest, you get a chance to see a troll’s face that legend says turned into stone after losing track of time staring at its beauty in the water.

Next, we go down to the sea into the black sand beach of Reynisfjara. With its dramatic Reynisdrangar basalt stacks and dramatic caves, this place is quick to capture attention. Hugging the beach, we have the charming little village of Vík, where we'll stop for lunch. Be sure to look out for the picturesque little church that stands tall on a hill above the village. Afterward, we continue along the road, through lava fields, bright green from the moss, that somehow manage to be soft and rough at the same time. We pass awe-inspiring glacier tongues before reaching the town of  Kirkjubæjarklaustur. We’ll spend the night in a country hotel or guesthouse in the Skaftafell area, and, if the forecast looks good,  your tour guide will show you the best spots to watch out for the Northern Lights.

In the evening, we’ll test our chances with the Aurora Borealis. As a natural phenomenon, we can’t guarantee a sighting, but our expert guides will make sure you stay in the best spots and keep a close watch on the cloud and aurora forecast. We can basically say that with us you are in the best hands to see the Northern Lights!

Next morning, we wake up to a hearty breakfast before heading back on the road for the amazing Vatnajökull National park, the largest glacier in Europe. Before, though, we take a much-deserved detour to the dazzling Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, known as a Hollywood filming location for movies like James Bond Die Another Day, Tomb Raider and Batman Begins. It’s one of the most beautiful places in Iceland. The lagoon is enormous, with floating blue icebergs that slowly glide out onto a black sand beach out to the Atlantic. A few end up beached here, leading to the location’s nickname, The Diamond Beach.

And now the adventure you have all been waiting for: The Ice Cave!

The natural ice cave of Vatnajökull will completely blow you away with its gorgeous blue colors and crystal-like ice. We’ll join an expert glacier guide for this part as the caves are so unique and extraordinary, and we want to ensure you to get the absolute best experience possible. Your guide will take you through safety instructions, equip you with the necessary gear, and educate you on the nature of ice caves in Iceland.

With stars in your eyes and memories in your hearts, we’ll start to head back to Reykjavik, keeping an eye out for the elusive Northern Lights.

Our small-group, highlights tour of Iceland is a perfect introduction for like-minded travelers who have limited time to explore.

Arrival in Reykjavík is expected between 21:00 and 23:00. The Icelandic weather can sometimes influence schedule a little in winter.

The trip starts with the wonderful combo of a Golden Circle Afternoon tour plus the Northern Lights tour. This tour is perfect for those who are arriving in the morning the same day.

You travel through beautiful countryside to Þingvellir National Park, the amazing site of Iceland´s historic parliament, Alþingi, the oldest still existing parliament in the world, founded in 930 AD. This incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site is also one of the great geological wonders of the world. The Eurasian and North American tectonic plates have slowly moved apart creating an incredible rift valley which runs right through Þingvellir.

Stokkur Geysir

Next on the agenda is the Geysir hot spring area. Great Geysir is no longer active, but Strokkur, a nearby erupting hot spring, spouts huge jets of superheated water every 8 to 10 minutes. These scalding expulsions often soar to 25 m and sometimes even 40 m skywards. Watching a geyser erupt is always a stunning and incredible moment.

You will visit the magnificent Gullfoss Waterfall (the Golden Falls), the river flowing through the falls originates at Langjökull glacier. That river is called Hvítá, meaning ‘the White River’, and there is certainly plenty of white water. The roaring river thunders through the rugged canyon, dropping 32 m in two stages. You will see the golden-hued spray which gave this waterfall its name, and, maybe, a rainbow – remember to make a wish!

After your Golden Circle tour, we will drop you off at BSI bus terminal. From there you will catch a shuttle bus towards the Blue Lagoon.

The tour returns to Reykjavík around midnight.

Day Highlights
  • Þingvellir National Park
  • Geysir Hot Springs
  • Gullfoss Waterfall
  • Blue Lagoon
  • Expert Guides
Included
  • Pick up and drop off - Minibus transport
  • Golden Circle tour
  • Admission to the Blue Lagoon
  • Certified Guides
  • Certified Guides
  • Private Bathroom
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
Reykjavik Lights Hotel
or similar

Pick up is at 9:00 am from your hotel so everyone will gather to start their south coast exploration.

This jewel of Iceland tour packages will take you south before continuing to the east as we whisk you away for two days of amazing adventure sightseeing. We drive towards the slowly rising sun on the way to our first stop, the very unusual Seljalandsfoss waterfall, you can actually walk behind the gracefully falling cascade. It is well worth getting a little damp for such an exciting experience!

Our next highlight is another waterfall, Skógafoss, located at the foot of a very famous volcano, Eyjafjallajökull.  On a clear day, you will also get a great view of another volcano mountain glacier, Mýrdalsjokull. As we continue on, we come to Reynisfjara, a black beach where some fantastic sights, such as the picturesque basalt column formations and the famous Reynisdrangar peaks, will greet us. We will drive through the charming small town of Vík on our way to our accommodation.

Throughout the entire day, you can expect to see breathtaking landscapes consisting of vast lava fields, waterfalls, black sands and glacier tongues. We will enjoy a relaxing evening, if the conditions are right we will hunt for those northern lights! The countryside close to Vatnajökull glacier, away from the city lights, is perfect for spotting this natural phenomenon. Your hotel will be in a small town, Hof.

We will take you to the best places out in the country to see the aurora. The moment when you spot their shimmering, jewel-bright colors is always awe-inspiring and magical. Green, yellow, white and sometimes blue auroras are usually seen. Violet, purple and rose northern lights happen less often. Really red auroras, from rose to stronger reds, are more common in Iceland than anywhere else in the world, although they are still quite rare. We can never promise that you will see the lights but we always do our very best.

Day Highlights
  • Seljalandsfoss waterfall
  • Skógafoss waterfall
  • Reynisfjara Black Beach
  • Village of Vik
  • Northern lights hunt (if conditions are right)
Included
  • Pick-up in Reykjavik
  • Guided tour in minibus
  • Visit to highlights of the south coast
  • Accommodation
  • Private Bathroom
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
Adventure Hotel Hof

Today you will really get to know the glacier, venturing into the sparkling, blue/white world of an ice cave with a qualified guide, and visiting the extraordinary glacier lagoon, Jökulsárlón. Getting up close and personal with a vast glacial tongue of the great Vatnajökull glacier does not get any better than this!

The renowned Jökulsárlón Ice Lagoon, made famous by several blockbuster movies including Batman Begins and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, to name just a couple, is a totally mind-blowing place. Splendid icebergs of amazing shapes, some incredibly large, have calved off the receding Breiðamerkurjökull glacier. They jostle one another in the huge lagoon before gliding on their surreal and stately journeys to the Atlantic ocean. Many of these natural ice sculptures are washed onto the nearby Diamond Beach, you will see them glittering like diamonds, as they rest on the dramatic coal blackness of the beach.

Next, you go into the glacier with a qualified guide! Ice caves are fascinating. New caves are formed each winter by the melt/freeze cycle of the glacier, they are always changing, both from year to year and within each winter. The journey into an ice cave will give photographers the most amazing 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.

After visiting the ice cave we head towards Reykjavík. We stop at Skaftafell Nature Reserve in Vatnajokull National Park, a green area in the midst of amazingly jagged mountains and glacier-topped peaks, the splendid scenery of Skaftafell is certain to be a highlight of your tour. As darkness falls we look out for the northern lights.

We return to Reykjavík around 21:00 pm.

Day Highlights
  • Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
  • Natural Ice Cave
  • Vatnajökull Glacier
  • Diamond Beach
  • Skaftafell Nature Reserve
  • Northern Lights Hunt
Included
  • Breakfast at hotel in Skaftafell
  • Visit to Jokulsarlon
  • Guided tour in Ice cave
  • Certified Glacier Guide
  • Necessary glacier equipment
  • Drop off in Reykjavik

Pick-up is at 12:00 pm from your hotel or a nearby meeting point in Reykjavík. Picking everyone up can take up to 30 minutes, your patience is much appreciated.

Available pick-up points: Arctic Adventures’ pick-up list.

This is a combination tour, which means that you will participate in three different tours. This means that you will have three different guides who specialize in different areas: a Golden Circle guide, a Northern Lights guide, and a South Coast driver and guide. Your group will also get our very own certified Glacier Guide, based in Skaftafell, for the ice cave part of the tour.

Our main ice cave to visit is the Crystal Ice Cave. In the event that it is inaccessible, we’ll visit another ice cave. During the summer months (April-October), we will go to the Ice Cave Under the Volcano. If this is inaccessible, we’ll do a glacier hike instead.

FAQ

We always recommend booking a multi-day tour starting at least one day after arriving in Iceland. If you’re flying in from the US or will be landing early (4-6:30 am) you should be able to join the tour, but some risks would follow (i.e if the flight gets delayed) and could, therefore, miss out on the tour.

Most of the hotels we use during our tours are remotely located and therefore ideal to spot the northern lights. If the forecast is in your favor, then it is more than likely that you will be able to see the magical show put on by the dancing northern lights during your tour with us. Most of the hotels offer a Northern Lights wake up call up on request if the lights are spotted.

The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon and therefore we can unfortunately never promise that they will be seen. Their appearance depends upon atmospheric and weather conditions. The best time to see them is between September and March when it’s dark and clear. The sky needs to be as dark as possible, so the best places to see them are well away from city lights (that’s where we are going!).

For more information on the Northern Lights, please have a look at our Northern Lights information.

If you are not sure that you have suitable gear for your tour, we offer some necessary items for rent. For most of our multi-day tours, we rent out waterproof jackets and pants as well as hiking boots. You can book these items and more under the selection “Extras” in the booking widget when booking your tour on our website.

If you have already booked the tour and wish to add some rental gear to your booking, you can do so at least 24 hours prior to your tour starts.

For further information about rental gear:

2 Day Tours – Rental Equipment & Upgrades

3 Day Tours – Rental Equipment & Upgrades

4 Day Tours – Rental Equipment & Upgrades

5 Day Tours – Rental Equipment & Upgrades

6 Day Tours – Rental Equipment & Upgrades

We drive on average around 300 km (186 miles) per day on our multi-day tours. You will be spending approximately 4-5 hours in the car each day. We do of course stop on multiple locations throughout the tour for sightseeing, activities, bathroom breaks and lunch stops.

We do welcome participants of all ages older than the listed minimum age for each tour. We have people of ages ranging from 8-99 years joining our multi-day tours.  Our average group usually consists of participants between the age 20-55 years. We do get a lot of solo travellers joining our tours, as well as families and friends.

If you have difficulties participating in any of the activities included in the tour, for example, a glacier activity, you are more than welcome to skip it. You can explore your surroundings in the meantime or wait elsewhere. Our guide should be able to drop you off at a nearby place where there are some services available.

For multi-day tours, each participant is allowed to bring a small backpack and 1 piece of luggage weighing a maximum of 20 kg (44 lbs).

* The combined dimensions of each bag must not exceed 158 cm (62 in).

* It’s possible to store your luggage with us 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.

Breakfast is included at all the hotels we stay in during the tour. The breakfast will be a typical breakfast buffet, offering bread, toppings, cereal, yogurt, fruits, coffee, and tea etc.

Your guide will also find a good place for the group to eat lunch. We always try to choose places that have a wide selection of dishes on the menu, so there will be options available for everyone. The dinner is usually at the hotels we stay at for the night.

If your tour includes accommodation, breakfast is always included during the tour at the hotel/guesthouse restaurant.

Meals and beverages are otherwise not included on your tour. (Unless it’s specifically stated in the description of the tour)

On our multiday tours, we will be making stops at restaurants and convenience stores where you will be able to purchase all necessities.

You should count on spending around 8,000 ISK (80$) on food each day per person. Cash is not necessary, as credit cards are almost always accepted. Having a small amount of cash doesn’t hurt though.

A single supplement is available if you want to have your own room, but you are not required to pay a single supplement. If you are a single traveler and do not wish to book a single room, you’ll be roomed with another traveler of the same gender.

When booking with Arctic Adventures, you are guaranteed an accommodation at a nice country hotel and/or a guesthouse. The hotels we have partnered up with are all of the same standard and offer nice rooms with made-up beds. The rooms come with private or shared bathrooms, depending on your booking. The standard room is a twin room but it’s possible to request a double room or a triple room, with no extra charge.

If you are traveling solo, you will have to add the single room fee if you wish to have a single room.

All hotels have free Wi-Fi. Towels, a hairdryer and a kettle are accessible at all of the hotels. Hotel breakfast is included!

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