Overview

Get off the beaten path to catch the Northern Lights! Explore Iceland in 8 days on this incredible road trip on the Ring Road.

Highlights

  • Small Group Experience
  • South Coast (Seljalandsfoss, Reynisfjara)
  • Golden Circle (Þingvellir, Gullfoss, Geysir)
  • Skaftafell National Park
  • Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
  • Deildartunguhver Hot Spring
  • Mývatn (Myvatn)
  • Whale Watching in Dalvík
  • The Diamond Beach

Enjoy the city lights of Reykjavik before you head out into the countryside to see the Northern Lights. This tour is ideal for travelers looking to see all the diverse landscapes the country has to offer!

Strap on your hiking boots as we travel the Golden Circle, hike impressive volcanoes, and trek across glaciers. We take you out to sea to hunt the aurora borealis, go whale watching and try your hand at sea angling.

Make the most of your time in Iceland with these bucket-list adventures!

Snæfellsnes – West Iceland in the Winter destination of 2019

  • Personal Experience
  • Trusted Tour Operator
  • Small group experience
  • Expert guides
Availability Sept-Apr
Duration 8 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
Pick Up Yes
Meet on Location No

Customer reviews on TripAdvisor

Excellent tours and the best guide Biggi!

I've joined the 8 Days tour to hunt Northern Lights that included the ring road around Iceland with the guide Biggi. Every thing was very well organized - small group of 18 beautiful people; the accomodation was very good and the stuff friendly; the bus comfortable with wi fi on board and plugs to charge the phones if needed; the itinerary was covering the main highlights and even though parts of the tours were cancelled because of bad weather we had the possibility to re-book for free; the best was Biggi - an experienced driver as we arrived always safety at each destination even in times of snow storm and an excellent guide who fulfilled our journey with great stories about his country and great music on board. He managed perfectly the time at each destination in order to enjoy every landscape and the amazing nature surrounding us...

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What's included

Included

  • Hotel room with private bathroom (7 nights)
  • Breakfast each morning at hotel
  • Guided minibus tour
  • Free Wi-Fi onboard the bus
  • Whale Watching in Dalvík
  • Visit to UNESCO World Heritage Site, Þingvellir National Park
  • Glacier Hike on Vatnajökull
  • Free photos with the Northern Lights

What to bring

  • Warm outdoor clothing
  • A waterproof jacket and pants
  • Headwear
  • Gloves
  • Good hiking boots are recommended

Not Included

  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Contact us for more Information about this tour

Itinerary

Information

Embark on a memorable tour that will take you to the best of Iceland’s highlights. You’ll see waterfalls, hot springs, ancient volcanoes and more on this 8-day guided tour from Reykjavik. Each evening on the road, you’ll spend the night in a country hotel for a chance to glimpse the elusive Northern Lights!

Reykjavík 

Reykjavík is a bustling metropolis where city life meets nature. Though one of the smallest capital cities in the world, this urban hub ranks as one of the cleanest, greenest and safest metropolitan areas on Earth.

You’ll have a free day in Reykjavik and in the evening, a boat tour to hunt the Northern Lights!

Northern Lights

The Northern Lights are a major highlight of this tour. Throughout the tour, you’ll have multiple chances to see the emerald lights. 

During your first and last night in Reykjavik, we offer short Northern Lights excursions with expert aurora guides. Hop on a boat tour from Old Harbor and sail under dark clear skies or bump along rugged terrain on a minibus tour outside the city. Both tours take you far from the city lights, perfect conditions to witness this glowing solar display 

On our tour around the Ring Road, each night we stay at a remote countryside hotel far from light pollution. Step outside your room on a clear evening and you might find the sky lit up with green auroras. 

Each day, our aurora experts scout out the best viewing spots and check the aurora forecasts to make sure you have an unforgettable experience.  

Even with ideal conditions sometimes the lights aren’t visible. If you don’t see the Aurora Borealis during the seven days of your tour, we’ll give you a free Northern Lights day tour! This voucher is valid for two years.

Golden Circle 

The Golden Circle is the most popular route for tourists to Iceland.

We first stop at Gullfoss (“the golden falls”), where a narrow winding path leads you to the mainstage of the two-tiered waterfall. Located in the mammoth Hvítá river canyon, the cascade begins at the Langjökull glacier and leads into dramatic cascades down Gullfoss. 

Then we’ll head to the world-famous vistas of Thingvellir National Park. In 2004, Þingvellir National Park was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its geological, cultural, and historic significance. 

On this spot, the oldest surviving parliament in the world was founded in 930 CE. And history isn’t  the only noteworthy feature in Þingvellir! Here you can also stand between two continents at the point where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet.

On the last leg, witness Iceland’s most active geysers at Geysir Geothermal Area. Strokkur Geyser shoots water 40 meters in the air every 10 minutes.

South Coast 

Iceland’s South Coast is a shining example of the country’s contrasting landscapes. 

The Reynisfjara black sand beach is an unmissable attraction in the region. Covered in ink-black sand and lined with basalt sea stacks, this unusual beach was voted one of the 21 Best Beaches in the World by National Geographic. 

Your next stop is Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and its famous floating icebergs. A short walk from the lagoon takes you to the magnificent Diamond Beach, where clusters of white and blue icebergs span across the black sand. 

East Fjords 

Bask in the warmth of Iceland’s sunniest region and glimpse spectacular wildlife in the East Fjords. Herds of wild reindeer graze along Iceland’s east coastline! 

Hike to the second-highest waterfall in Iceland, Hengifoss (128 m). We stop on the hiking trail to marvel at Litlanesfoss Waterfall, a stunning cascade positioned between large basalt columns. 

We’ll also stop by the fairytale fishing village of Djúpivogur. 

Lake Mývatn & North Coast

The crowning glory of North Iceland is turquoise Lake Mývatn. Dip your toe in the geothermal waters of the Mývatn Nature Baths. 

Swing by Dimmuborgir curious rock formations and take in the cool volcanic scenery around Krafla Caldera and Víti Volcano. 

Ocean views and marine wildlife provide an idyllic setting for North Iceland’s fishing villages. Sail away on a whale watching adventure to see humpback whales, minke whales, white-beaked dolphins, and even blue whales. 

West Iceland

Lonely Planet voted West Iceland a top destination of 2016 for its stunning natural attractions. Look no further than Borgarfjörður Valley for a snapshot of what makes the region so popular. 

Borgarfjörður is an agricultural haven brimming with horses, sheep, and geothermal greenhouses. 

Immerse yourself in the fuming waters of Deildartunguhver Hot Spring, the most powerful hot spring in Europe. The spring pumps out 180 liters (47 gallons)  per second and reaches 100°C (212 °F). 

As the final stop, you’ll get to visit West Iceland’s two most famous waterfalls: Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. After a day of sightseeing in this diverse region, we head back to Reykjavik for our final day. 

Your journey begins in the lively capital of Reykjavík. Your hotel is centrally located, providing easy access to the best museums, galleries, shopping areas, restaurants, and historic landmarks. 

Walk along the offbeat Laugavegur shopping street, one of the oldest streets in Reykjavik. Satisfy your culture craving at one of the city’s excellent museums, such as the National Museum, the Reyjavík Museum of Photography, or the Culture House. For a more eccentric cultural experience, check out the Phallological Museum, which began as one collector’s strange hobby and evolved into the world’s only museum on the subject. 

Catch a birds-eye view of Reykjavík from the iconic Hallgrímskirkja church, inspired by Svartifoss Waterfall at Skaftafell. When the sun goes down, dive into the vibrant nightlife of the capital. 

But before that, be sure to hunt for the magical Northern Lights Iceland on a boat tour! Set course for pitch-black skies, the perfect setting for the emerald light show. An expert aurora guide tells you everything you could wish to know about the lights.

You’ll spend the night at Reykjavík Lights Hotel.

Day Highlights
  • The cultural wonders of Reykjavík
  • Northern Lights boat tour
  • Today you choose your highlights!
Included
  • One night accommodation in Reykavík
  • Private bathroom
Accommodation
Reykjavik Lights Hotel
or similar

On day 2, we’ll pick you up from your hotel and head straight for Iceland’s most iconic attractions. 

We start at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Þingvellir National Park and absorb its geological, historical and cultural impact. This is the site where the historic Icelandic Parliament, Alþing, was founded in 930 CE. This governmental body is the oldest existing democratic parliament in the world. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge runs right through Þingvellir, the spot where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet. 

The adventure gains steam as we head to Geysir Geothermal Area. This is the home of the famous Great Geysir, the hot spring that gave us the English word “geyser.” Witness the spectacle of Strokkur, the area’s most active geyser. Scorching water bursts from Strokkur every 5 to 10 minutes.

The final stop on the Golden Circle is Gullfoss Waterfall, or “the golden falls.”’ Observe the golden mists that surrounds the waterfall and the chaotic Hvítá river that crashes below. 

On the way to your hotel in the area near Kirkjubæjarklaustur, we’ll stop at two other stunning waterfalls: Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. Both falls stand 196 ft (60 m)  high but possess their own distinct features. Skógafoss cascades peacefully from former sea cliffs. Seljalandsfoss hides a secret pathway that leads behind the falls, offering adventurers a rare view of nature.

Day Highlights
  • Þingvellir National Park
  • Geysir Hot springs
  • Gullfoss Waterfall
  • Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
  • kógafoss Waterfall
Included
  • Breakfast at your accommodation in Reykjavík
  • Hotel with private bathroom near Vík
  • Guided tour in minibus
  • Visit to the highlights of the Golden Circle
  • Visit the most famous South Coast waterfalls
Accommodation
Hótel Geirland

We continue along the South Coast route to the famous Reynisfjara black sand beach. Just offshore, catch a peek of the majestic Reynisdrangar peaks that shoot out of the sea. 

We then leave the beach behind and head for icy glaciers. Embark on a three-hour hike glacier hike at Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park. Discover Europe’s biggest glacier, Vatnajökull, which covers 8% of Iceland’s landmass.

Along the way, witness the jaw-dropping Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, home to the infamous Katla Volcano. Mt. Katla isn’t the only fire spitfire in the region. You also will see her neighbor, the notorious Eyjafjalljökull. 

We depart from fire and return to ice at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, the most famous ice lagoon in the world. Behold crystalline blue ice-floes as they meander through the lagoon. Then we’ll walk over to Diamond Beach. Another coastline with coal-black sands, this beach is dotted with glittering blue and white icebergs washed ashore by the tide. 

Your accommodation for the evening will be in Höfn, a quaint town known as the lobster capital of Iceland.

Day Highlights
  • Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
  • Vatnajökull National Park
  • Jökulsarlón Glacier Lagoon
  • The Crystal Beach (Diamond Beach)
  • Höfn - Lobster capital of Iceland
Included
  • Breakfast at hotel near Vík
  • Visit to Reynisfjara
  • Guided Glacier Hike on Vatnajökull Glacier
  • Certified glacier guide
  • Glacier gear
  • Visit to Jökulsarlón and the Diamond Beach
  • One night accommodation in Höfn
  • Private bathroom
Accommodation
Hofn Hotel
or similar

Today’s journey takes us to the picturesque East Fjords. As we drive through the eastern countryside, we’ll pass the diverse scenery of Lón, the Þvottárskriður landslides, and Álftafjarðar Fjord. 

Our first stop is the charming fishing town of Djúpivogur. This traditional community has earned a reputation for its eco-conscious efforts and welcoming attitudes. Djúpivogur may be quaint, but it also has fascinating culture spots. 

Explore museums, parks, and sculptures. Make sure to check out the famous Eggin í Gleðivík (The Eggs of Merry Bay), a 34-piece outdoor sculpture dedicated to the area’s birdlife. 

Then put on your hiking shoes for a three-hour trek to Hengifoss, the second-highest waterfall in Iceland (128 m). On the trail we’ll pass Litlanesfoss Waterfall, a hidden gem tucked between basalt columns. We’ll also come across a vibrant gorge. Ash layers from an ancient volcanic eruption are still visible, making these rock formations even more unique. 

Our last experience of the day is a tour of the Iceland Wilderness Center, or Óbyggðasetrið. Opened by Icelandic movie set designer Denni and historian Arna, this immersive exhibit is a portal to the past. We’ll tour the center’s fascinating basement exhibit, hailed the “best museum in the whole world” by Cosmopolitan Magazine. Spanning a 3 kilometer (1.86 mile) long trail, discover the ways of the previous inhabitants. To top off our visit, enjoy a snack of coffee/tea and waffles. 

Finally we make our way to Egilsstaðir, where you’ll spend the night in a country hotel.

Day Highlights
  • Djúpivogur Fishing Village
  • Hengifoss Waterfall
  • Icelandic Wilderness Center
  • Litlanesfoss Waterfall
  • The town of Egilsstaðir
Included
  • Breakfast at the guesthouse in Höfn
  • Visit to the small fishing village of Djúpvogur
  • Guided hike to Hengifoss Waterfall
  • Admission to Wilderness Center Exhibit (optional)
  • Private bathroom
  • One night at a Hotel in Egilsstaðir
Accommodation
Hotel Valaskjalf
or similar

Day 5 is devoted to the serene vistas and iconic nature of North Iceland.  

From Egilsstaðir we forge through the wilderness to reach Möðrudalur, the highest inhabited farm in Iceland at 469 meters (1,539 ft) above sea level. The farm is also home to the highest coffee house in the country!

Our first nature stop is Dettifoss Waterfall, the most powerful waterfall in Europe. You’ll be in awe of the intense roaring waters, another example of Iceland’s ferocious beauty. 

Next we head to mystical Lake Mývatn. We’ll wander just outside the lake to Námaskarð, a wonderland of steaming oases and bubbling craters. For more fiery views we take you to Hverfjall Crater and the Dimmuborgir lava formations, also known as the Dark Castles.

Then we’ll blow off some steam at the Mývatn Nature Baths, or Jarðböðin in Icelandic. The mineral-rich blue waters shoot right out of the earth. Soak in the hot alkaline water (36 – 40 C) for a moment of true tranquility. 

Bathing in the Nature Baths is an optional activity that you can add when booking your tour.

Our last stop before we continue to Eyjafjörður is Goðafoss, a historic waterfall. You’ll spend the night at a country hotel in Akureyri.

Day Highlights
  • Dettifoss Waterfall
  • Mývatn Lake
  • Námaskarð geothermal area
  • Hverfjall Crater
  • Dimmuborgir formations
  • Goðafoss Waterfall
Included
  • Breakfast at Hotel in Egilsstaðir
  • Guided visit to all the highlights
  • Time to explore the magnificent landscapes
  • One night at a hotel close to Akureyri
  • Private bathroom
Accommodation
Icelandair Hotel Akureyri
or similar

Day 6 takes you to the traditional fishing village of Dalvík. The town has a bustling harbor and stunning views over Eyjafjörður and Hrísey Island. 

Your adventure highlight is an optional three-hour whale watching tour from Dalvík harbor. Marvel at majestic humpback whales, minke whales, white-beaked dolphins and, on occasion, blue whales. Dalvik whale watching tours have a 98% success rate!

As you sail around Eyjafjörður, the longest fjord in Iceland, you will get the opportunity to try your hand at sea angling. When we come back ashore, we’ll cook up your catch of the day and taste quality fresh fish.

For a small extra fee, you can upgrade your whale watching tour from a regular boat to a speedboat or RHIB boat (between April and October), which allows you to travel faster and get even more closer to the whales!

Next, we drive to Siglufjörður, a quaint fishing village with a rich history. In the early 20th century, life in the town exploded when the small, isolated community became known as the herring fishing capital of the Atlantic. 

Riding along Tröllaskagi (the Troll Peninsula), you’ll pass incredible ocean panoramas and mountains. Get an inside look at daily life in tight-knit, isolated Icelandic villages when you visit Siglufjörður.

Your accommodation for the night will be in Laugarbakki.

Day Highlights
  • Akureyri - Capital of the North
  • Whale Watching from Dalvík
  • Siglufjörður Fishing Village
Included
  • Breakfast at a Hotel close to Akureyri
  • Akureyri & Eyjafjörður Fjord
  • 3 hour Whale Watching sail tour
  • Opportunity to try out sea angling
  • Visit to Siglufjörður
  • One night at a hotel
  • Private bathroom
Accommodation
Hotel Laugarbakki
or similar

The final day before we return to Reykjavik features the phenomenal sites of West Iceland.  Lonely Planet voted this region one of their best destinations in 2016 and it remains a traveler favorite. 

Your first stop is at Grábrók, an ancient volcanic crater formed by a fissure eruption and enveloped in lava. Your guide leads you on a hike to a birds-eye view of the crater and surrounding area. 

You’ll also see the fascinating Hraunfossar cascade, a wide curtain of water made up of tiny rivulets that careen out of a lava field. Then we’ll stop at  Barnafoss waterfall, or “the children’s falls,” named for a tragic folktale. The next point of interest is Deildartunguhver Hot Spring, the most powerful hot spring in Europe.  

History, literature, and nature meet in Reykholt, home of Snorri Sturluson, a famous Icelandic saga writer and poet. Gaze into the natural pool of Snorralaug, where Snorri is said to have bathed. 

Our ride back to Reykjavík take us through the scenic Hvalfjörður (“whale fjord”).  We arrive back in the city at approximately 5 – 6 pm. Drop off is at Reykjavik Lights Hotel.

Once you’re back in the city, leave the bright lights behind on a hunt for the Northern Lights. Our minibus tour takes you deep into the wilderness for the best views of the aurora. Our expert guides check the aurora forecast to find the best place to marvel at this spectacular light phenomenon.

Day Highlights
  • Borgarfjörður
  • Deildartunguhver hot spring
  • Barnafoss Waterfall
  • Hraunfossar Waterfall
  • Reykholt
  • Hike up to Grábrók, a volcano crater
  • Northern Lights bus tour
Included
  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Visit to the highlights of Borgarfjörður
  • Visit to the historic sight of Reykholt
  • Drop off in Reykjavík
  • One night at a hotel in Reykjavík
  • Private bathroom
Accommodation
Reykjavik Lights Hotel
or similar

We return to Reykjavík for one last chance to explore the vibrant capital. Wander down new paths on foot or by bike. Haven’t had your fill of Iceland’s natural scenery? Seltjarnarnes and Mosfellsbær are both mountain-view peninsulas easily reached by bus from Reykjavik.

 Visit the Reykjavík Botanical Gardens for a snapshot of Iceland’s biodiversity. Discover the hot spring pools where women in Reykjavík used to do their laundry. These impressive gardens grow next to Laugardalslaug, Iceland’s largest swimming pool. 

Whether you want to take in more nature, shop, relax in coffee shops or restaurants, check out another museum, or embark on one final day trip – it’s up to you!

Day Highlights
  • Reykjavík delights - your choice!
Included
  • Breakfast at hotel/guest house in Reykjavík

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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