Enjoy South Iceland with your family, the Golden Circle sights, whale watching, the Secret Lagoon and the South Coast sights and waterfalls.
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This tour package will give the whole family a fabulous opportunity to see and experience the very best of South Iceland. This package is an amazing short break if you have only a little time to spend in Iceland, or it can form a sensational part of a longer holiday in Iceland. Join us on this family-friendly excursion to make memories that will last a lifetime.
Please note: If you’re traveling with a party of 2 or more, be sure to book everyone under a single reservation. Otherwise, we can’t guarantee you will all be on the same tour activity.
This itinerary does not include hotel stays. For multi-day trips with accommodation, check out our Multi-Day Tours.
Meet on location
Departs from Overwrite
- Tour highlights
- South Coast
- Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
- Skógarfoss Waterfall
- Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
- Vík - Coastal Village
- Golden Circle
- Thingvellir National Park
- Geysir Hot Springs
- Gullfoss Waterfall
- Secret Lagoon
- Whale Watching
- Small Group Experience
- Visits to all Highlights
- Golden Circle & Secret Lagoon Tour
- South Coast Tour
- Whale Watching Boat Tour
- English Language Guidance
This tour package will give the whole family a fabulous opportunity to see and experience the very best of South Iceland. This package is an amazing short break if you have only a little time to spend in Iceland, or it can be a sensational part of a longer holiday.
The Golden Circle and the Secret Lagoon
The three very different attractions on the Golden Circle are the most-visited places in Iceland, we promise you will be blown away! People of all ages are always amazed when they witness a geysir erupting for the very first time. The geothermally active valley around Great Geysir, has many hot springs but Great Geysir is dormant now. We will see Strokkur, a neighboring hot spring which erupts every 5 to 10 minutes, sometimes these boiling spouts blast to heights of 30 m or more. At Þingvellir, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will see the biggest natural lake in Iceland and the stunning scenery around the rift valley. It is here that the tectonic plates have been steadily moving apart, you can even walk a pathway between the two continents. Alþingi, the Icelandic Parliament, is the oldest established still governing parliament in the world. It was established within the dramatic landscapes of Þingvellir in the year 930. Gullfoss waterfall is the most popular waterfall in Iceland, the powerful glacial torrent descends 32 m in two drops. The power of Gullfoss has to be seen to be believed!
The Secret Lagoon is the oldest swimming pool in Iceland, hidden away within the natural beauty and idyllic scenery around the village of Flúðír. The pool is filled with natural geothermal water at 38 C to 40 C, this is an area with very high geothermal activity, you can even see hot springs and a small geysir as you relax in the spacious pool.
The South Coast
Day 2: We will take you to the most sensational landmarks on the South Coast. You will see Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls and also great views of Sólheimajökull, an outlet glacier of the 4th largest glacier in Iceland, Mýrdalsjökull. Reynisfjara black sand beach is the most famous beach in Iceland – the features include a basalt column cave, and the brooding and troll-like basalt sea stacks, known as Reynisdrangar. We also stop to explore Vík, a scenic village.
On day three we take you out on Faxaflói, the bay on where Reykjavík is situated, to search for whales. Humpback and minke whales are usually spotted together with porpoises, dolphins and other sea life. We recommend you wear warm layers, and we provide an insulated suit to wear over them, keeping you cozy. The whales watching boats have expansive windows and comfortable seating, so those who prefer to can watch from inside, hot soup and drinks can be purchased from the onboard café.
For fuller details please view the itinerary. The order that the tours appear in will vary between departure dates.
What to bring: Warm layers, waterproof top layer, headwear, gloves, scarves and hiking shoes. Don´t forget your bathing suit and towel for the Secret Lagoon!
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.
Accommodation and meals are not included. All tours commence from Reykjavík, so you will need to arrange accommodation in the city. Pick up and drop off is available from various points in the city for all minibus tours. You meet us at Reykjavík´s Old Harbor for your whale watching boat tour.
Day 1: The Golden Circle and Secret Lagoon
The Golden Circle is a 300 km route through beautiful Icelandic scenery, there is always something beautiful and interesting to see on your way to the three great attractions. Your guide will tell you some fun local facts and interesting stories as you travel from place to place. In good visibility, you will even get a view of the Hekla volcano!
Our first stop is at the Geysir geothermal area at Haukadalur, the valley which is home to Great Geysir and Strokkur, the latter is, nowadays, the most active geyser hot spring in Iceland. Watching Strokkur propelling powerful jets of scalding water up to 30 m high is an amazing experience – children of all ages love to try to second guess the moment! Don´t worry, you never have to wait more than ten minutes to witness Strokkur´s eruptive fury! Just a short drive from Geysir will bring us to Gullfoss, undisputedly the most famous waterfall in Iceland. The powerful Hvítá river drops 32 m in two steps, the power and grandeur as the glacial flow crashes over vast lava rocks is breathtaking. The golden-hued mist which gathers around the falls adds to the mystical grandeur of Gullfoss – the name means ‘Golden Fall’, in Iceland aspects of the landscape often inspire the names of places. Þingvellir National Park is your other Golden Circle stop, you will have great views over the largest natural lake in Iceland and the traditional Þingvellir Church. Þingvellir is a UNESCO world heritage site for two reasons, its extraordinary geology and its exceptional cultural and historical significance to the Icelandic people. The Viking settlers of Iceland established Alþingi, the oldest continuously existing parliament in the world here in 930 CE / AD. The craggy cliff of the Almannagjá gorge adds greatly to the dramatic scenery at Þingvellir, the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates have separated, they continue to edge apart at a rate of around 2 cm each year. Although the lava which spewed from ancient volcanic eruptions is softened with green moss and shrubbery, you can never forget these vistas were fashioned by great volcanoes.
After your Golden Circle sightseeing, we will take you to the Secret lagoon, the official name is Gamla Lónið which means the Old Lagoon. This is the oldest swimming pool in Iceland but it was known by very few people outside of its immediate neighborhood. You have the opportunity to bath in these idyllic surroundings, with Icelandic nature and geothermal landscapes all around you. The geothermal water is a perfect temperature, 38 C to 40 C, after you have luxuriated in the glorious water we will take you back over the Hellishieði pass. You can expect to arrive back in Reykjavík around 18:00, we drop you off where we picked you up.
On this tour we stop at a local café so you can buy lunch, you are also very welcome to bring a packed lunch with you if you prefer.
Pick up is at 8:00 from mid-May to mid-September, and from mid-September to mid-May at 09:00, from your hotel or nearby selected meeting point in Reykjavik. Picking everyone up can take up to 30 minutes so your patience is greatly appreciated.
Available pick-up points: Arctic Adventures’s pick-up list.
Day 2: The South Coast
On this tour we will take you to stunning highlight after stunning highlight giving you a great snapshot of the diverse and magnificent Icelandic nature. Everything from great views of magnificent glaciers and famous volcano mountains and getting really close to sensational waterfalls, to walking on a black beach and exploring a basalt column cave.
We pick you up and head out of Reykjavík towards the east, through the southern lowland areas sandwiched between the mountains and the ocean. We stop at Seljalandsfoss waterfall, giving you the chance to get really close to the grand cascade which drops around 60 m. We recommend you take the pathway behind the falls, there is some spray, so wearing your rainwear is best! We have not one, but two great waterfalls for you today, Skógafoss waterfall is every bit as special as Seljalandsfoss, but you cannot walk behind it. Instead, a pathway with many steps heads up the steep hillside on the right-hand side of the scintillating falls. This trail continues between great mountain glaciers, the scenery around Skógafoss is sensational. On this tour we want you to see a glacier at close quarters, so we will take you to the Sólheimajökull glacier, a glacier tongue of Mýrdalsjökull. A short walk will take you from the parking lot to the edge of the glacier, giving you great views and photo opportunities.
We will go as far as Vík the southernmost settlement in Iceland, stopping at the beautiful church and taking a look around this attractive village. Another highlight today is the incredible black sand beach at Reynisfjara, the fierce Atlantic ocean hits the shore quite forcefully, so stand back a little way from the water´s edge! There is plenty to enjoy, the amazing basalt columnar formations of the cave are large, unusual and spectacular. Out in the ocean you will see the Reynisdrangar basalt stacks standing majestically above the waves, their shapes very much resemble the trolls of Icelandic folklore.
This tour is packed with unique sights and attractions, we make sure you get enough time to look around them and take photos.
Pick up is at 08:00 most of the year, between 1st November and 31st January it begins at 07:00 to make the most of the daylight. We pick you up from your hotel or a nearby meeting point in Reykjavik. Picking everyone up can take up to 30 minutes so your patience is appreciated.
Available pick-up points: Arctic Adventures’s pick-up list.
Day 3: Whale Watching
Minke whales, humpback whales, dolphins and porpoises are seen most frequently on these tours across Faxaflói bay. The weather and the ocean conditions will always determine what we see, so these tours are always exciting. Our qualified and enthusiastic whale watching guides will make sure you get great information about the whales and other ocean wildlife. Of course, they will do their absolute utmost, using all their skill and experience to maximize your chances of seeing magnificent whales. Coasting through the bay, usually within 15 km of Reykjavík, each whale watching trip offers a totally unique experience, so this tour is always well worth booking, no two whale watching trips are the same! We will give you the best possible opportunity to see whales, and we always take impending weather forecasts and sea conditions into account when organizing our trips.
For your comfort we offer special suits for you to wear on board to keep you warm. We also advise that you wear your warmest clothes – hats, scarves, gloves etc – as it can get very cold (even on really warm summer days) when the boat is out on the ocean. Those who prefer to be more sheltered can enjoy watching the whales from inside, our boats are built with very large windows and comfortable seating, giving you the option to stay inside to watch the whales – you will still have a grandstand view. Hot drinks and soup are available to purchase from the onboard café. This is a very comfortable way to enjoy the animals of the North Atlantic! Each trip takes between 2.5 and 3.5 hours. This family-friendly boat tour is great for everyone!
This tour has various departure times depending on the day and the season of the year. Pick-up is not included with our whale watching tours but it is possible to get picked up at your accommodation for an extra charge.
The order of the day trips listed in this itinerary may vary depending on availability on each tour.
Our multi-day tours are operated in a minibus which will give you a small group experience and a better connection with the guide.
Accommodation is included during your multi-day tour which is often booked far in advance. By booking with us, you don’t have to worry about finding an accommodation during the time of the tour. Staying overnight in the countryside gives you the opportunity to explore Iceland further and experience places that you would normally not be able to on a one day tour. Note that Adventure packages do not include accommodation.
You’ll have an English speaking licensed adventure guide throughout the tour that will be able to tell you about everything you will see along the way and knows where the best locations to stop by are to give you the absolute best experience.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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Pick-up at BSI Bus Terminal in Reykjavik. Drop-off at KEF airport. Note you can change the drop-off location to Reykjavik (see confirmation email for details).