Three-day tour along the south coast that brings you to some of the most precious jewels of Iceland - Glaciers, waterfalls, Ice cave, the Golden Circle and Northern lights.
If you have limited time in Iceland this 3-day tour is a great option. In the comfort of a small group we visit some of the most popular attractions in Iceland and explore a magnificent ice cave in Europe’s biggest glacier. By spending the nights out of the city we maximize the chance of seeing the shimmering northern lights.
November 1st - April 15th
Meet on location
- Tour highlights
- Þingvellir national park (Thingvellir)
- Geysir hot springs
- Gullfoss waterfall
- Seljandsfoss waterfall
- Skógafoss waterfall
- Skaftafell - Vatnajökull national park
- Jökulsarlón glacier lagoon
- Ice Cave
- Reynisfjara - basalt columns & black sand beaches
- Northern lights
- Small group experience
- Eyjafjallajökull glacier / volcano view*
- Hekla volcano / volcano view*
- Guided tour in a minibus
- Visit to highlights of golden circle
- Visit to highlights of the south coast
- Ice cave and glacier hike
- Certified glacier guide
- Hotel room with bathroom for 2 nights
- Breakfast for day 2 & 3
What to bring: Warm outdoor clothing, a waterproof jacket and pants, headwear and gloves. Good hiking shoes are recommended. Please note that the tour does not include meals.
What if I don’t own all of these clothing necessaries?
Don’t worry, you can always rent sturdy hiking shoes, waterproof jacket and pants in the booking process. We do not rent gear from location.
For more details please see the tour itinerary!
Food is NOT included on this tour, except breakfast on day 2 & 3
The lack of daylight might cause some changes in the itinerary in December and January.
Ice caves are an ever changing natural phenomenon and, therefore, unpredictable. We will visit one ice cave during the tour and the choice of a cave is based on conditions and safety.
Views of Eyjafjallajökull glacier and Hekla volcano are subjected to weather conditions.
Day 1 - The Famous Golden Circle rout
The Golden Circle is first on the agenda with its three main attractions; Thingvellir, Geysir and Gullfoss. Thingvellir National park, one of UNESCO’S world heritage site Is our first stop. Here Icelanders founded their parliament in the year 930, making it the world’s oldest running parliament. Thingvellir is rich of geological wonders and national history. The Eurasian and North American tectonic plate meet in Thingvellir and you can clearly see the drift that has occurred over the years. Lake Thingvallavatn is the largest natural lake in Iceland and the whole area is covered with birch bushes that are very characteristic for the area.
Next we visit Haukadalur valley geothermal area. The renown hot spring Geysir, the one all other hot springs have their name from, lies dormant at the moment. But Strokkur, spouting water up to 25 meters into the air every 5-8 minutes, is very much alive and has taken over as the king of the area. Explore the Geysir area on your own and walk among springs of all shapes and sizes with a great opportunity in every footstep. Gullfoss, the golden waterfall, is the last site on the Golden Circle route. This magnificent waterfall is the most visited one in Iceland and for a good reason to. The amazing site of the roaring water rushing into the canyon is definitely something to write home about. From the Golden circle, we drive through the fruitful agricultural area of south Iceland towards ring road nr. 1. On our way, there will be possibilities for great sights all around, Mt. Hekla being one of them on a clear day.
Our next stop will be Seljalandsfoss waterfall – the one you can walk behind and enjoy from both sides. Skógafoss is a site not to be missed while in Iceland. Running from Eyjafjallajökull glacier the water in Skógafoss has come a long way. This impressive cascade falls 60 meters into the calm Skógará river. The mesmerizing view of this majestic fall can keep you captured for a while, but make sure to be back on the bus in time because there is so much more to see.
We spend the night in a country hotel just out of the small coastal town of Vík where we will have the possibility of catching the Northern lights if the conditions are right.
- Thingvellir National Park
- Geysir Hot spring
- Gullfoss Waterfall
- Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
- Skógafoss Waterfall
- The small coast town Vík
- Guided tour in mini bus
- Visit to all traditional golden circle attractions
- Visit to Seljalandsfoss & Skógafoss
- Hunt for northern lights (if conditions are right)
- One night in hotel room in Vík
Day 2 - Black sand beach & Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
We start the day at Reynisfjara black sand beach . The Atlantic Ocean really shows its force here, so be careful to follow the guidelines from your tour guide. The basalt pillars Reynisdrangar, rising from the sea just off shore, gives you a good idea where some of the Icelandic folklore springs from. Don’t miss the basalt column cave before you leave the black sand beach. From Reynisfjara, we continue our journey towards the east through enchanting lava fields and desert glacier sands. A wonderful contrast of scenery. Vatnajökull glacier dominates the area we are approaching in all its glory. The magnificent Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon is our next stop. The lagoon and a close by beach, filled with icebergs of different size and shape, are dreamlike sights in the twilight of the afternoon. Sometimes seals can be spotted in the lagoon. After this day’s adventures, we head to the hotel in Skaftafell area where we will spend the night. We will, of course, also keep an eye out for the Northern lights that night for the darkness of the countryside offers a great opportunity for Aurora spotting.
- Reynisfjara black sand beach
- Balsalt pillars of Reynisdrangar
- Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon
- Breakfast at hotel in Vík
- Guided tour in minibus
- Visit to Reynisfjara black beach
- Visit to Jökulsárlón glacer lagoon
- Hunt for northern lights (if conditions are right)
- One night in a hotel in Skaftafell
Day 3 - Glacier Walk and Ice Caving
Today will go for an ice cave and glacier hike adventure. After a thorough safety briefing and gearing up, we set foot on the glacier and hike up to the cave. The hike takes about 45 minutes and you will be moving through stunning glacier landscape. Once in the cave, you will have plenty of time to explore the magical ice and take photos. Our certified glacier guides will lead you on the glacier, ensuring your safety at all times. New ice caves are formed each winter and we have to rely on nature to keep the temperature below the freezing point to make the scenery in and around the cave the best. Fortunately, there’s a degree of flexibility in this tour. The weather in Iceland is ever changing and we want to ensure that your traveling experience will be optimal. Your guide will, therefore, decide how it’s best to operate the tour each time so you might visit the cave on day two if the guide estimates the conditions to be better then. The temperature inside the glacier is well below the freezing point so please dress accordingly. After our time at the glacier, we will head back to Reykjavík. This day gives us a chance to visit some of the sites from day one again on our way to Reykjavik. There will also be possibilities for some additional stops – all in accordance with the weather and conditions for we know that the forces of nature are in charge of all our actions during the winter. We will be in Reykjavík between 8 and 11 PM, depending on weather and conditions.
- Glacier walk on Vatnajökull glacier
- Natural Ice Cave
- Breakfast at hotel in Skaftafell
- Guided glacier walk on Vatnajökull Glacier
- Guided tour in Ice Cave
- Certified glacier guide
- Guided tour in minibus back to Reykjavík
Iceland is known for colorful weather. It can sometimes show you all 4 seasons in one day.
Dressing for this sort of weather can be a challenge so we always recommend to dress in layers. Dress is 3 or 4 upper layers such as a light t-shirt (preferably wool) next to the skin, then a fleece or heavy wool garment, topped off with a waterproof wind-breaker. Jeans are not recommended for our trips as they become very heavy, cold and uncomfortable to wear when they get wet. Lightweight hiking pants, track pants or long cotton pants are best and then wind/waterproof pants over. We also recommend using sunglasses and sunscreen even if it is cloudy due to the high UV and sunlight reflection off of the glacier.
We can rent out good hiking boots as well as a waterproof raincoat and trousers for all of our trips.
We recommend bringing your own backpack on our full day or 1/2 day tours. It’s great to carry a small lunch or some extra clothing.
You can bring you camera along, and you should definitely bring one since the setting on the tour is full of amazing, scenic views.
This is, of course, a personal choice, we have often had pregnant women on our trips and we have also gladly refunded our guests that had booked well in advance of finding out the happy news. We recommend you take a close look at our trip description and difficulty rating, they will hopefully give you a better idea. It is also good to contact your physician, pregnant women’s health can be quite different. Feel free to contact us if you have further questions or concerns.
We do not provide lunch on any of our trips, so we recommend you bring your own lunch (for the longer trips), snacks and a bottle of water (you can refill it on the trip).
Crampons are metal spikes that we attach to the soles of your hiking shoes, these enable you to walk on the glacier ice without slipping.
Yes, there is a specially trained and certified glacier guide on each trip glacier tour we offer.
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:
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
Golden Circle and Caving
Golden Circle and Rafting
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.
Nice hotel rooms with private bathrooms which includes breakfast. For the south coast we usually go for Hotel Dyrhólaey and Hotel Skaftafell, on Snæfellsnes peninsula we usually book Hotel Rjúkandi. If they aren’t available we book very similar ones.
Does the 3 Day South Coast – Golden Circle, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Ice Cave tour include glacier hiking?
Yes, the tour includes a glacier hike on Falljökull glacier in Skaftafell – Vatnajökull national park.
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.
Price from 89.990 ISK per person.
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“Worth your money!”
Just got back from a 3 day South Coast tour. Our guide was Hilmar and he was absolutely wonderful. He was very patient and full of knowledge. He made frequent stops during the tour for restroom and food breaks, and still was able to follow a schedule where we could spend about 40 minutes at every destination. He was also the reason we were able to see the Northern lights. When we were in Skaftafell, he took out time after dinner to show us an area behind our hotel where we could probably catch the lights the best. When the lights came out, we were able to see them perfectly from the location he directed us to. He also so kindly came knocking at our doors when the lights came out to make sure we didn’t miss it.
Arctic adventures valued our safety and switched our glacier hike day around with the glacier lagoon day because of the possibility of rainy/bad weather. We really appreciated that because that allowed us to see and do everything we had planned without running into problems. I was skeptical about a long journey in a van throughout the coast, however the views were BEAUTIFUL, the ride was smooth, and I could not stop looking out the window. One of the best guided trips I have taken! Would recommend to anyone wanting to see the south coast of Iceland!
“Great 3 day tour”
We had an amazing time in our 3 day tour. When we decided to go to Iceland we were scared to drive by ourselves during the winter and we’re pretty excited to see the northern lights. We selected the dates carefully to go during new moon and prayed for clear skies. We had an amazing time with out tour guide Oliver. He was kind and knowledgeable, helping us from camera settings for the lights to additional secret spots whenever the weather was good. The group had 16 people, hotels were good, lunch food was ok (mostly small cafeterias by the road) and we got super lucky with northern lights, seeing them on two nights. Be prepared for a long drive and unpredictable weather.
Our excellent three day trip around the golden circle was made epic with our guide, Christian, and friends we met along the way.
During the winter season, when weather makes ALL the difference and can change from green fields to a hailstorm in five minutes, we seemed to find every rainbow.
Under massive waterfalls, up close and persobal with geysers, along a black sand beach, to the glacier (above and below), and into the bay where the seals were swimming, our guide provided history, humor, and a steady hand through the storms.
A must for lifelong memories, and yes, we did get that shot of the Northern Lights!
Thanks for everything!