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3 Day Snaefellsnes, Northern Lights & Golden Circle

Follow the trail of the famous Game of Thrones characters as you thread the most stunning Icelandic sights!

Iceland-map-destinations

Traveling in Iceland is winter shouldn’t stop you from going further. On this amazing 3-day adventure you will get to explore the ultimate classics along with some stunning off the beaten track locations. Enjoy the epic Golden Circle sights and let the Snæfellsnes peninsula surprise you with alluring views and breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls. Make the most out of your days in Iceland and reflect on life under the dancing Northern lights!

  • Availability

    October - April

  • Duration

    3 days

  • Level

    Easy

  • Pickup

    Yes

  • Meet on location

    No

  • Min. Age

    6 years

  • Departs from

    Reykjavik

  • Price from

    69.990 ISK

Tour highlights
Þingvellir National Park (Thingvellir)
Gullfoss Waterfall
Geysir hot spring area
Northern Lights hunt
Deildartunguhver hot spring
Hraunfossar waterfall
Barnafoss waterfall
Gerðuberg basalt columns
Snæfellsnes peninsula
Vatnshellir cave
Djúpalónssandur beach
Mt. Kirkjufell
Small group experience
Included
Hotel Accommodation - 2 nights
Private room
Breakfast in hotel
Visit to all the highlights
Reykjavik pick-up and drop off
Minibus transport
Guided tour in a minibus

The Golden Circle

The pick up is at 1 pm making it the perfect for the ones arriving the same day or just like to sleep in. You will start with a scenic drive in beautiful landscape out of Reykjavík past Gljúfrasteinn, home to the one and only Icelandic Nobel Prize winner, author Halldór Laxness and into Þingvellir national park. Þingvellir or Pingvellir like many like to write it is one the UNESCO World Heritage sites here in Iceland and the place where Icelanders founded their first parliament. This was in the year 930 making their parliament, Alþingi, one of the first parliaments in the world.

Þingvellir located in a continental plate valley  is a fertile place, with a few beautiful waterfalls and amazing history that your guide will tell you all about. The perfect first stop to your adventure ahead!

Next up you will visit Geysir, the one that gives name to all geysers in the world. Unfortunately the old Geysir stops erupting in 2000 but as a result his baby brother, Strokkur, gained power and now puts up quite the show every 4-10 min spouting into the sky like a rocket!

The stop that closes the circle is the famous and powerful Gullfoss waterfall or Golden Falls. The Hvítá e. White river source originates in the second largest glacier in Iceland Langjökull, and cascades water down two 32 meter cliff drops with a golden hue spray going all over the breathtaking canyon. This sure is a magical sight and one not to be missed!

Northern Lights

In the evening you will meet up again for the Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights. They are a natural phenomenon so a sight cannot be guaranteed but with our expert guides you are in the best hands possible and the will take you to the ultimate spots and with their professional knowledge you will be provided with the absolute best chance of seeing the glittering, colorful dancing lights. The Northern Lights can appear in many colors and even though green is the most common color, Iceland is the best place to see red lights as well!

After staying the night at your hotel in Reykjavík you will start your trip to the beautiful West Iceland. Prepare to be amazed as we will make our way along the scenic west coast stopping at all the best spots and enjoying the unbelievably charming Iceland.

Snaefellsnes peninsula – The West of Iceland

Snæfellsnes peninsula is the perfect place to get in rhythm with the Icelandic nature and tranquillity and this two-day exploration of the location will be sure to get you there.

On the morning off we will head out of Reykjavík past the infamous Reykjavík mountain Esja and into the picturesque Borgarfjörður. In this fertile, hill and river filled fjord you will find some of the most stunning spots in the West including the historic Reykholt, home to the historian Snorri Sturluson, who wrote many of the sagas, and the powerful Deildartunguhver hot spring. Deildartunguhver is the largest volume hot spring in all of Europe to see it in action is a memorable sight. Next up on the agenda are two of Iceland’s most incredible waterfalls, Hraunfossar and Barnafossar. These two stunners are nothing alike but equally magnificent and they truly have no comparison.

Next up we leave the stunning Borgarfjörður and finally, head onto the Snæfellsnes peninsula where we will make the final stop for the day. This stop will be at the amazing Gerðuberg basalt columns a true natural wonder in Iceland. Those cliffs formed when flowing hot lava met up with ice cold sea and somehow turned into these perfectly shaped columns. This place really shows you the contrasts here in the Icelandic nature and your guide will tell you all about it.

The night will be spent at a charming farm accommodation out of the city lights to up our chances of catching the Northern lights!

The Snæfellsnes peninsula offers amazingly diverse vistas, with Snæfellsjökull glacier as the crowning glory standing tall in the centre. The glacier is world known and probably one of the most famous places in Iceland as it was featured in Jules Verne’s novel a Journey to the Centre of the Earth. There it was recognized as the place you would enter earth’s core and your next optional activity perfectly aligns with it. The Vatnshellir lava tube is about 8000 years old and for an optional extra fee, you can join for a guided to inside it!

As we continue our journey along the stunning peninsula we will make a stop at everyone’s favourite mountain the photogenic Kirkjufell and its stunning waterfalls, Kirkjufellsfossar. Here you will again get to experience the true uniqueness of Icelandic landscapes and this view is sure to stay in your memory for a lifetime.

Djúpalónssandur black pebble beach is the last stop of our journey. This alluring beach with crazily-shaped cliff formations and glossy black pearls has been a local favorite for centuries and you will see why when you visit. Just make sure you stand well back when visiting the beach, those waves are powerful and unpredictable as well as stunning!

After two days filled with sensational and extremely varied sights and experiences, we return to Reykjavík in the evening between 19:00 and 20:00.

Remember to bring: Warm outdoor layers (wool, fleece or synthetic are best, not cotton), a waterproof jacket and pants, headwear and gloves. Good hiking shoes are recommended.

Note: This is a combination tour which means that you will participate in three different tours. This also means that you, together with other participants on three-day day tour, will have three guides that specialize in different areas for each tour, an experienced Golden Circle guide, expert Northern Lights guide and knowledgeable Snæfellsnes guide.

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

Please note

Meals are not included in this tour except for breakfast on day 2 and 3

We will do our absolute best to make sure you will see the northern lights but we cannot promise you will see them, whether they are seen depends on the atmospheric and cloud conditions.

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.

Day 1: Golden Circle

Hraunfossar-Snaefellnes-Iceland

You will be picked up at 1 pm making this the perfect tour for those arriving on the day or just like to sleep in. Ahead is an exciting adventure and Þingvellir National Park is first on the list. Þingvellir is an amazing site and home to Iceland’s historic parliament, Alþingi, one of the oldest still existing parliament in the world, founded in the year 930. This incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site is also one of the great geological wonders of the world as it is located in a continental valley where the Eurasian and the North American tectonic plates meet. Numerous river, lakes and waterfalls can be found in the area and a fascinating story at every corner that your guide will tell you all about.

Next up you have the infamous Geysir hot spring area. The 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 skyrocket water shows often go up to 25 meters and sometimes even 40 meters, watching a geyser erupt is one for the books!
Third, you will visit the magnificent Gullfoss Waterfall (the Golden Falls), the river flowing through the falls originates at the glacier Langjökull, the second largest glacier in Iceland and is called Hvítá, meaning the White River. The roaring river cascades through the canyon, dropping 32 m in separate two stages. A golden-hued spray which gave this waterfall its name surrounds the falls so this is the time to put on a raincoat and make a wish if you spot a rainbow or two!

Right after you will be dropped off downtown Reykjavík so you can grab dinner at some of the local restaurants before being picked up again at 20:30 (8:30 pm) at the City Hall for a Northern Lights tour. You are in the best hands possible as our Northern Lights experts will take you to the ultimate Northern Lights spotting locations for the evening and tell you all about these extraordinary natural phenomenons. After hopefully a long night of dancing, glittering and multicolored lights in the sky we will return to the hotel (included in tour) around midnight.

Day Highlights
Þingvellir National Park (Thingvellir)
Gullfoss Waterfall
Geysir hot spring area
Small group experience
Included
Reykjavik pick-up
Hotel Accommodation - 1 Night
Minibus transport
Visit to all highlights of the day
Certified Guide

Day 2: Exploring the west of Iceland

Hraunfossar-Snaefellnes-Iceland

In the morning you will be picked up from your hotel after having filled up your energy bar at the breakfast buffet at the hotel. You will be driven along the scenic west coast of Iceland and your guide will tell you all about the surroundings and sights to see along the way. Our first stop of the day is in the beautiful Borgarfjöður valley at Deildartunguhver, the most powerful hot spring in Europe. The hot spring provides 180 l/sec of 100°C hot water and it’s used for heating all the neighbouring towns. A truly amazing place to visit and to witness the powerful sources Icelandic nature possesses. Next up, we visit the historic site of Reykholt, the name actually means Smoky Hill giving you an idea of the geothermal activity in the area. Here the famous author, poet, politician and historian Snorri Sturluson lived in the medieval ages so the place is not only historic but also well kept and a true highlight.
The mesmerizing and photogenic waterfalls Hraunfossar and Barnafoss are our next stops. There you can see how the water flows from underneath the lava fields and hear the story about Barnafoss waterfall. Now we leave the beautiful Borgarfjörður area behind and continue to Snæfellsnes peninsula. Before we reach our hotel for the night we will stop at the stunning basalt columns Gerðuberg which formed in an unbelievable matter when hot lava met the ice cold ocean and these perfectly formed columns were made. In the evening we will hunt for the northern lights.

Day Highlights
Deildartunguhver hot spring
Historic site of Reykholt
Hraunfossar and Barnafoss Waterfalls
Borgarfjörður area
Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Basalt columns Gerðuberg
Northern Lights hunt (if conditions are right)
Included
Hotel Accommodation - 1 Night
Breakfast in hotel
Visit to all highlights of the day
Guided tour in minibus

Day 3: Snæfellsnes peninsula

Hraunfossar-Snaefellnes-Iceland

After breakfast at our charming farm accommodation, we drive west from the hotel, going along the coastline of Snæfellsnes peninsula. The first stop of the day is at the little fishing village of Arnarstapi, there we will walk around the surrounding area and enjoy the beautiful landscapes. From there we go underground, where you have an option (at an extra cost) to go into Vatnshellir cave which is located inside the Snæfellsnes National Park. The lava tube cave is around 8000 years old and this experience is as close as you will get to the Jules Verne story, A Journey to the Center of Earth. If you are not joining the caving part, then the guide will take you walking around the area.
Next, we have a stop at Hellnar for lunch before we continue to the beautiful Djúpalónssandur beach. Here we will have a short hike on the pebbles stone beach and explore the remains of the ship wreckage. On the beach, you may also find the lifting stones, where you can test your strength like the fishermen used to do in the old days. From Djúpalónssandur, we continue our journey around Snæfellsnes peninsula and our next stop is at the famous Mt. Kirkjufell, a favourite spot for many photographers and a new favourite for many as it was featured in season 6 and 7 on the show Game of Thrones. On our way back to Reykjavík, we will try to spot some northern lights before we arrive at Reykjavík in the evening. The perfect ending to our adventurous 2 days in the winter paradise of Snæfellsnes.

Day Highlights
Arnarstapi Fishing Village
Vatnshellir cave (optional)
Snæefellsnes National Park
Djúpalónssandur beach
Mt. Kirkjufell
Northern Lights hunt (if conditions are right)
Included
Breakfast in hotel
Guided tour in minibus
Visit to all highlights of the day
Lunch break at Hellnar
Drop off in Reykjavik
Where do you offer pick up’s from 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.

How is it best to be ready for a pick up for a tour with Arctic Adventures?

This is a great question. We would like to ask all participants to be ready from the start of the pick up time since you could be our first pick up. It’s usually best to wait outside your pick up location but if it’s cold the lobby is perfectly fine.

Note that if the lobby up a couple of floors (like for example at Loft hostel) it’s best to come down.

Have your email and phone number listed with us so we can contact you if we run into any trouble finding you.

Can I drink alcohol before or during Arctic Adventures tours?

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.

Do you offer any family friendly tours, for younger children?

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.

Do I need an insurance before going on an Arctic Adventures trip?

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.

What is a safety briefing?

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.

How do I know if the Northern Lights tour is on for the evening?

Like you might have heard, the northern lights are a pretty difficult thing to predict. You can check en.vedur.is to see the forecast and if the level is high and the skies are clear then it’s very likely that the tour is going. We do update our website’s tour departure sheet with the information at 17:00 the latest. If the canceled you will receive an email telling you so.

If we think there is no chance at all of seeing the lights we will cancel the tour. We don’t want to bring you out and disappoint if there is no chance to see the light

Will I definitely see Northern Lights on the tour?

The Northern Lights are natural phenomena and we unfortunately cannot promise you will see them. Their appearance depends upon atmospheric and weather conditions.

What are my options if my Northern Lights tour gets cancelled?

If we cancel the tour it’s because in our opinion there is no chance of seeing the lights and we don’t want to bring you out for nothing.

Then your options are:

1. Reschedule for another day.

2. Find another tour to do and use the deposit for it.

3. Get fully refunded.

In all cases you will need to contact our sales desk via email (info@adventures.is) or phone +354-562-7000.

What are the best camera settings for photographing the Northern Lights?

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

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 multi-day tour with Arctic Adventures?

The hotels we have partnered with are all of the same standard and offer nice hotel rooms with private bathrooms.

Breakfast is included.

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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