Join us for this great two-day tour along the south coast and enjoy all the best sites the south has to offer. This tour offers the unique opportunity to see a natural ice cave and a great chance of catching the northern lights!
On this two-day winter tour in Iceland, you have the best option to explore the South Coast, a natural ice cave and Jokulsarlon Lagoon. It’s a group tour where you explore all the highlights of the Icelandic South Coast and visit a magical ice cave in Vatnajökull Glacier, making the most of your short holiday in Iceland.
Meet on location
- Tour highlights
- Small Group Experience
- Natural Ice Cave
- Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
- Skogafoss Waterfall
- Vatnajökull - Europe's biggest glacier
- Skaftafell Nature Reserve
- Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
- Diamond Beach
- Vík - a coastal village
- Reynisfjara - basalt columns & black sand beaches
- Northern Lights*
- Eyjafjallajökull - glacier volcano views*
- Hekla - volcano views*
- *Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Boat Tour (optional)
- Pick-up & drop off from Reykjavík
- Hotel Accommodation with a Private or a Shared Bathroom
- Breakfast at the Hotel
- Guided Group Tour in a Minibus
- Visit to all main highlights of the South Coast
- Guided Ice Cave Tour
- English Speaking Tour Guide
- All Necessary Safety Equipment
- Free WiFi on Board Your Bus
South Coast Highlights
This tour will show you the scenery and highlights along the south coast of Iceland and take you into the shimmering blue/white interior of a magical ice cave. The drive along the coast will take you through farmlands and a few small towns on your way to visit Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, here you can walk behind the cascade to look out through the ‘curtain of water’. Next up, is Skógafoss Waterfall, you can also view this waterfall from an unusual point if you wish, a pathway with many stops leads up the eastern side!
We will head on to the black sand beach at Reynisfjara, with the dramatic Reynisdrangar basalt sea stacks rising off-shore. The basalt column cave and formations here are stunning, just make sure you stand well back from the powerful Atlantic waves when you are exploring. We stop for lunch at the town of Vík, with the picturesque church standing high on the hill.
We drive onwards through breathtaking lava and volcano mountain landscapes to Kirkjubæjarklaustur, an attractive village with an interesting history, the name means ‘Church Town Monastery’. You will spend the night at a country hotel or guesthouse in the Skaftafell area, arriving early evening. If the forecast is hopeful your guide will show you the best spot to watch out for the northern lights, we can never promise, hopefully, glittering jewel-bright swirls will ripple across the night sky.
Vatnajökull, Jökulsárlón and Diamond Beach
After a good breakfast we get on the road, today is centered on Vatnajökull National Park and the majesty of the glaciers. We visit Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, one of the most surreal sights in the world, let alone Iceland. Huge icebergs which were once part of the glacier float on the enormous lagoon as they slowly make their way towards the open sea at the nearby Diamond Beach. Some icebergs float ashore, where they sit glittering like diamond jewels on the black sand. The extraordinary vistas here have been very popular with the makers of famous action movies, including James Bond.
You will explore a natural ice cave in Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe with a qualified glacier guide, with light flooding through blue ice an ice cave is one incredibly photogenic. Your experience and knowledgeable guide will safely and confidently guide you through the wonders of the glacier with fascinating information, including how ice caves are formed each year and the story of the cave you are visiting.
Heading back to Reykjavík a stop is made at Skaftafell National Park, in good visibility there will be fabulous views of jagged-toothed mountains and famous glaciers. We will keep an eye out for the Northern Lights on our way back and will make a short stop if conditions allow for it.
Arrival in Reykjavík is expected between 21:00 and 23:00. The infamous Icelandic weather can sometimes influence the schedule a little in winter, but don’t worry, our expert travel planners always have a plan B – it’s all a part of the exciting Iceland experience.
Here you can find a detailed list of information about everything you need to know about this tour:
2 Day South Coast Guide
Pick up is at 08:00 am 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’s pick-up list.
What 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.
If you do not choose the single supplement you will be paired in a twin room with another participant of the same gender.
Our main ice cave to visit is the Crystal Ice Cave. At times it is inaccessible however and in that case we will visit another ice cave. During the summer months (April-October), we will go to The Ice Cave Under the Volcano ice cave. If it is inaccessible, we will do a glacier hike instead.
DAY 1: The Grand South Coast & Northern Lights
Pick up is at 8:00 am from your hotel or the Reykjavík meeting point you have chosen. Please note: picking everyone up can take up to 30 minutes but you do have to be ready and waiting at 8:00 am.
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 the Skaftafell area.
- Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
- Skógafoss Waterfall
- Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
- Villages of Vik
- Northern lights search
- Pick-up in Reykjavik
- Guided Tour in Minibus
- Visit to Highlights of the South Coast
- One night in a country hotel in the Skaftafell area
- Private or Shared Bathroom
Day 2: Land of Ice
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. We will keep an eye out for the Northern Lights on our way back to the city and will make a short stop if conditions allow for it.
We return to Reykjavík around 21:00 – 23:00.
- Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
- Natural Ice Cave
- Vatnajökull Glacier
- Diamond Beach
- Skaftafell Nature Reserve
- Northern Lights search
- Hotel breakfast
- Visit to Jokulsarlon Lagoon
- Safely guided tour in a natural ice cave
- Certified Glacier Guide
- Necessary glacier equipment
- Drop off in Reykjavik
Breakfast is included on day two at your hotel restaurant. Meals and beverages are otherwise not included on this tour. We will, however, be making stops where you will be able to purchase all necessities.
This is a great question. We would like to ask all participants to be ready from the start of the pick-up time as you could be our first pick-up.
Please be at your assigned pick-up location from the start time of your pick-up and wait for your guide to arrive.
Have your email and phone number listed with us so we can contact you if we run into any trouble finding you.
View our pick-up locations in Reykjavík.
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.
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 Special Tours, 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 are also suitable for children over the age of 6 years old. If you would like a nice and relaxing experience we would also recommend the Golden Circle & Secret Lagoon tour.
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.
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 depending on conditions. Please read more information in our cancellation policy.
Yes, there is a specially trained and certified guide on each of our tours. The only exception to this is for our self-drive tours.
All of our tours are guided in English.
The Northern Lights are natural phenomena and we unfortunately cannot promise you will see them. Their appearance depends upon atmospheric and weather conditions.
For more information on the Northen Lights, please have a look at our Northern Lights information.
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
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 an accommodation, breakfast is included during the tour at the hotel/guesthouse restaurant. Meals and beverages are otherwise not included on your tour. However, 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 travelers 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 they 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.
- The combined dimensions of each bag must not exceed 158 cm (62 in).
- It’s possible to store your luggage 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.
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.
“Incredible 2 Day Tour of the South Island!”
Outstanding tour and our guide Erla was excellent. She was bubbly, fun, attentive and drove us to our destinations smoothly and quickly.
This tour showed us waterfalls, black sand beaches, iceberg lagoon, walked a glacier, explored an ice cave, viewed the glaciers and volcanoes from afar, and saw the Northern Lights. It was everything we wanted, packed into 2 full days.
These are busy days, you will have things to do all day and end the evening around midnight (if you want to see Northern Lights) well worth the price.
We stayed the night at a pleasant hotel overlooking the mountains, outstanding dinner and breakfast, very comfortable clean accommodations.
If you want the South Island highlights in a quick couple days this is the tour for you. Not very challenging hiking, moderate on the glacier, my mother is 72 years old and she did it with minor difficulty.
“2 Day - South Coast, Ice Cave, Skaftafell, and Jokulsarlon Ice Lagoon”
This was the best part of our trip. The Ice Lagoon is beautiful and awe-inspiring. We had a fantastic guide in Hugrun, she was great and if you are offered the chance at a nighttime glacier hike, take it! With the full moon lighting the way it was something I won’t soon forget.
“2 Day - South Coast, Ice Cave, Skaftafell & Jokulsarlon Ice Lagoon”
This was the highlight of my trip to Iceland in winter! Our guide, Adolf, was amazing and so knowledgable. Every stop was gorgeous and it was so nice to experience more than just Reykjavik and the places nearby. The hotel we stayed in was also very nice and clean. We were able to stay up and watch for northern lights right outside the hotel – the hotel will do a wake up call if they see some action! Overall, I thought it was a little pricey at first, but definitely worth every cent and made my trip a wonderful experience. I suggest everyone go.