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About tour

Our five-day tour from West to East is a great way to explore some of the most staggering and coveted sights in Iceland. Snaefellsnes Peninsula, named the ultimate winter destination by Travel & Leisure, invites you on a journey through unique and offbeat rural landscapes. Besides, the South Coast is a sightseeing paradise with a vast amount of marvels: waterfalls, glaciers, national parks, and black volcanic beaches - sights that’ll take your breath away.

Highlights

  • Visit Golden Circle
  • Hike on Vatnajökull Glacier
  • Explore Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
  • Walk the shores of Diamond Beach
  • Visit Natural Ice Cave
  • See Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
  • See Mount Kirkjufell
  • Enjoy Reynisfjara black sand beach
  • Witness Hraunfossar and Barnafoss Waterfalls
  • Explore highlights of Snæfellsnes Peninsula
  • Northern Lights (during winter & under the right conditions)
  • Soak in Krauma Nature Resort (optional)
  • Get inside Vatnshellir Cave Tour (optional)

Included

  • Pick-up & drop off from Reykjavík
  • Guided tour in a minibus
  • Accommodation with private bathroom - 4 nights
  • Breakfast
  • English speaking tour guide
  • Free WiFi on board

What to bring

  • Warm outdoor clothing
  • Waterproof jacket and pants
  • Headwear and gloves
  • Good hiking boots

Tour Snapshot

Availability All Year
Duration 5 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

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  • Top Winter Destination - West Iceland
  • Bestseller
  • Expert Guides
  • Small Group Experience
  • Free Wifi
  • No Booking Fees

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Itinerary

SNÆFELLSNES PENINSULA

Snæfellsnes has a tremendous diversity of scenery. Anything from jagged yet tranquil bays and rugged cliffs to lustrous glacier tongues can be found here. We’ll go caving in an ancient lava tube cave, traverse a black pebble beach with the most stunning cliff formations, and visit that favorite mountain of photographers, Kirkjufell. During wintertime, there’s another special activity that awaits. At night, we’ll embark upon a chase for the Northern Lights if the weather conditions allow us.

BORGARFJÖRÐUR AREA

You’ll start your day with the breathtaking view of Mount Kirkjufell and continue with your adventure that’ll take you to Hraunfossar waterfall, which promises you lunch with a view. What’s a trip without some interesting history? The village of Reykholt is where you get to know all about the famous Icelandic poet and historian Snorri Sturluson. After this, you can either soak in Krauma geothermal baths or continue with activities at Sturlureykir horse farm. Nearby is where you’ll see the most powerful hot spring in Europe – Deildartunguhver.

THE GOLDEN CIRCLE

On the third day of our tour, we’ll hit the Golden Circle route. There, you’ll find the enchanting Thingvellir – one of the most geologically wonderful places in the world. You’ll have a chance to stand right where two tectonic plates meet, explore the geothermal energy plant and dip a foot into Iceland’s biggest lake, Thingvallavatn.

We’ll also visit Gullfoss, a truly majestic waterfall, located in the Hvita River canyon. This magnificent torrent falls down 105 feet (32 meters), in surges of raw, untamed power. Neighboring hot spring Strokkur spouts magnificent jets of steam upwards every few minutes in a spectacle that will leave you slightly damp yet stoked, so make sure you bring waterproof clothing.

Afterward, as we travel deeper into the South of the country, we’ll witness Seljalandsfoss waterfall: an adjacent waterfall that hides treasures in its depths. The day will be capped off with the famous black sand beach, Reynisfjara. As we wave goodbye to the trolls turned into stone in the water, the Sun sets, hinting that tonight might be a good time to get a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

JÖKULSÁRLÓN GLACIER LAGOON AND ICE CAVE

On the fourth day, once well-rested, we’ll continue our tour to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, where you’ll be left awestruck by the icebergs of various shapes and colors, floating in the lagoon. Afterward, we’ll look for scintillating ice monoliths on the glistering-in-the-dark Diamond Beach. 

Next, we’ll explore a natural ice cave in Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe. Our guide will provide you with all the necessary equipment and instruct you on the safety guidelines before we head off. As he’s leading us through the cave, he’ll also share some fascinating information about the age and formation of the glacier. During the summer months (until Sep 30), we’ll visit Katla Ice Cave instead.

SOUTH ICELAND SIGHTSEEING

On the final day of your tour, as we travel deeper into the South of the country, we’ll witness the magnificent Skógafoss waterfall. The day will be capped off with the famous black sand beach, Reynisfjara. As we wave goodbye to the trolls turned into stone in the water, the Sun sets, hinting that tonight might be a good time to get a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

On our way back to Reykjavik, you’ll have a chance to soak in more of the incredible landscapes of South Iceland. The bus will pass by remarkable moss-covered lava fields and snow-capped mountains.

We’ll pick you up at 9:00 A.M. at your hotel or your chosen pickup point in Reykjavik. Please be aware that the entire pick-up process might take up to 30 minutes.

Your first stop of the day will be at Borgarnes, a village that’s famous for its rich Viking history. Before making your way to the golden-sand beach in Ytri Tunga, you’ll also visit the majestic basalt columns of Gerðuberg.

Your day will continue with a stop at Búðir – a hamlet with breathtaking landscapes of Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Next on the agenda is Arnarstapi, the small and charming fishing village where you’ll be having lunch.

After lunch, you’ll have a chance to wander through Vatnshellir Cave (an optional activity with extra cost), which lies under the ground in Snæfellsnes National Park. The cave is a lava tube tunnel around 8,000 years old. Your certified caving guide will explain its formation and the fascinating features that lie in hidden spots. This experience takes you about as close as you can get to the story of Jules Verne’s book A Journey to the Centre of Earth.

A free alternative to Vatnshellir Cave is the Malarrif visitor center and its lighthouse which is free of charge.

The last attraction of the day is the black sand beach – Djúpalónssandur, where you can see the remains of the shipwreck that dates back to 1948. After adventures here, you’ll be taken to the Hellissandur Adventure Hótel (or a similar hotel).

If you’re traveling from late September to early April, you'll get a chance to look for the Northern Lights if the conditions are suitable.

Day Highlights
  • Borgarnes village
  • Gerðuberg basalt columns
  • Ytri Tunga beach
  • Deildartunguhver Hot Spring
  • Búðir
  • Arnarstapi fishing village
  • Vatnshellir cave (optional extra)
  • Djúpalónssandur beach
  • Northern Lights (during winter and if weather conditions allow it)
Included
  • Pick-up from Reykjavik
  • Guided tour in minibus
  • One night in a hotel room
Accommodation
Adventure Hotel Hellissandur
or similar
Kirkjufell Mountain and Waterfall in Iceland

After breakfast, you’ll start your day with a bang by visiting probably the most “photogenic” mountain – Mount Kirkjufell. The fans of the TV show “Game of Thrones” will recognize this place as it was one of the locations where the show was filmed.

Next will be a short stop at Grundarfjörður, a town in Iceland, where you’ll have a break and a possibility to buy some snacks or other necessities. 

The agenda follows a stop at Hraunfossar and Barnafoss Waterfalls. Hraunfossar (“the Lava Waterfalls”) is a vast collection of smaller waterfalls cascading through the cracks of lava formations. Barnafoss (“Children’s waterfall”) is known for a folk legend as the site where two children tragically drowned once upon a time.

After this, you’ll head out to the historic site of Reykholt, where you will find a hot spring pool, Snorralaug, treasured as the bathing spot of Iceland’s most famous poet and politician, Snorri Sturluson.

You’ll also get a unique opportunity to relax at Krauma Geothermal Baths for an additional fee. But if you much rather continue exploring the area, you’ll be taken to Sturlureykir horse farm, where you’ll be met by its Icelandic horses and learn all about the farm's geothermal heating system.

After, you’ll visit Deildartunguhver – the most powerful hot spring in Europe.The hot spring keeps at a constant 206 degrees Fahrenheit (97 degrees Celsius) and pumps out a whopping 47.5 gallons (180 liters) of water every second. The hot spring is used to provide heating and hot water to neighboring areas. 

Your day will end with a trip back to the capital at around 6 P.M.

Day Highlights
  • Mount Kirkjufell
  • Grundarfjörður
  • Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls
  • Historic site of Reykholt
  • Krauma geothermal baths (optional extra)
  • Sturlureykir horse farm (alternative to Krauma)
  • Deildartunguhver hot spring
Included
  • Breakfast in hotel
  • Guided tour in minibus
  • Drop off in Reykjavik
Accommodation
Hotel Island
or similar

First on our agenda for today is the Golden Circle. We’ll start with Thingvellir National Park, one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites because of its complex geological nature and history. The unique landscape of the rift valley was created over time by continual turbulent interactions between the two tectonic plates underneath: the North American and the Eurasian plates.

It’s also home to the world’s longest-running parliament, the Althingi, established in 930 c.e. Don’t forget to look out for the largest natural lake in Iceland, Thingvallavatn.

After exploring this marvelous rift valley, we’ll continue southwest toward Haukadalur Valley and the geothermal area of Geysir. We’ll spot Strokkur, a still-active geyser, which still erupts up to 25 meters every few minutes without fail.

Next, we’ll visit the majestic waterfall, Gullfoss (the Golden Waterfall). At the beginning of the 20th century, a few Englishmen sought to acquire the waterfall and build a hydroelectric plant, taming the power of the Hvita River. Fortunately for everyone, due to lack of funding their plan fell through and to this day the waterfall remains untouched and in all of its natural glory.

Seljalandsfoss

As we continue along the Ring Road, a view to the infamous volcano Hekla opens up as we drive to our next stop, Seljalandsfoss Waterfall. The path leading up to the waterfall is brief and it takes us right behind it. There, breathtaking views of the surrounding areas are exposed and on a sunny day, a rainbow can be seen encircling the waterfall. Seljalandsfoss drops for about 196 feet (60 meters), so waterproof clothing is recommended.

We’ll finish the day off with the Northern Lights if the forecast is good and continue to our hotel close to a small town, Kirkjubæjarklaustur.

Day Highlights
  • Þingvellir National Park
  • Geysir Hot Springs
  • Gullfoss Waterfall
  • Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
  • Northern Lights (winter only)
Included
  • Hotel Accommodation
  • Hotel Breakfast
  • Visit to all Highlights of Golden Circle
  • Visit to Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
  • Hotel Near Vík
Accommodation
Adventure Hotel Geirland
or similar

We continue through the rural landscapes, passing farms here and there, onward and eastward. On the drive, we’ll pass magical, moss-covered lava fields.

Today we’ll embark upon glacier adventures, exploring a natural ice cave in Vatnajokull Glacier and the magical Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. Ice adventures are always somewhat flexible and very dependant on the local weather conditions, which can be unpredictable.

We’ll visit Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and nearby Diamond Beach. There, you’ll encounter icebergs in many shapes and sizes floating in the lagoon or resting on the black sand beach in the elusive fading late afternoon shadow. If you’re lucky, you might spy a seal bathing among the gilded grains of black sand.

After that, we’ll go to Skaftafell and on to Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajokull. We want to make sure you have the best time exploring the glacier, so your certified glacier guide will decide when it’s best to embark on your adventure. Also, keep in mind that the temperature inside the ice cave is well below the freezing point, so please have warm clothes with you.

Vatnajokull Glacier Hike and Ice Cave Visit

We strap on our ice crampons and get ready for the magic moment – setting foot on the glacier! Your experienced guide will explain this unbelievably vibrant, moving, and living world. You will see incredible crevasses which wend their way, twisting and turning through the glacier. These labyrinths are constantly forming in tune with the dance of nature. See the great moulins, which descend deep into the glacier, and the stunning naturally formed ice cave. Make sure you have your camera with you’re sure to catch some truly inspiring photo opportunities throughout your hike.

The accommodation for the night will be in Kirkjubæjarklaustur. If the forecast is favorable, we’ll keep our eyes out for the Aurora Borealis.

Please note: the glacier hike is a very weather-dependent activity, so if the accessibility and weather conditions would be inappropriate, the glacier hike will be replaced with similar activity.

Day Highlights
  • Vatnajökull National Park
  • Skaftafell Nature Reserve
  • Natural Ice Cave
  • Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
  • Diamond Beach
  • Northern Lights (winter only)
Included
  • Breakfast at a Hotel in Vík
  • Guided Glacier Hike tour
  • Visit to a Natural Ice Cave
  • Certified Glacier guide
  • Specialized Glacier Hiking Gear
  • Hotel in Skaftafell
Accommodation
Adventure Hotel Geirland
or similar

After nourishing breakfast, we’ll slowly make our way back to Reykjavik by visiting the main highlights on the south shore of Iceland. If the road conditions allow it, we’ll make a small detour to Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon first. After that, we’ll stop at the iconic Elhraun lava field before heading to Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach.

Here at Reynisfjara, you’ll be able to witness the immense power of the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll also be able to visit a black basalt cave and admire Reynisdrangar basalt stacks rising from the sea. According to the legend, it’s nothing else than trolls who were turned into rock by the rising sun.

Hálsanefshellir Cave at Reynisfjara Beach in Iceland

After that, our tour takes us to Skógafoss, an amazing 60-meter tall waterfall falling into the pool below. It is believed that deep into this pool, below the waterfall, lies the Viking treasure. You’ll also be able to take 527 steps leading to a panoramic view above the falls.

After the South Coast tour, we’ll begin the journey back to Reykjavík. We’ll have a chance to visit more sites as we travel through the south back to the city. We’ll get back to Reykjavík between 16:00 (4:00 p.m.) and 19:00 (7:00 p.m.).

Tourist standing under the giant Skogafoss Waterfall in Iceland
Day Highlights
  • Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon
  • Elhraun lava field
  • Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
  • Skógafoss Waterfall
Included
  • Breakfast at Hotel in Skaftafell
  • Guided Tour
  • South Coast Highlights
  • Drop off in Reykjavík

Proper hiking boots are absolutely essential for glacier hiking, as it’s not possible to fit crampons on any other kind of footwear. If you don’t have hiking shoes, you can rent some from us when booking the tour. Please keep in mind that hiking boots cannot be rented on the day of the hike.

Have warm outdoor clothing, a waterproof jacket and pants, headwear and gloves with you at all times. Good hiking boots are recommended.

Attractions Map

Explore the top attractions of the tour with our interactive map

Reviews

4.9
Based on 11 reviews

5 Day Snæfellsnes Peninsula And South Iceland Tour

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 for spotting 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; therefore, we can unfortunately never promise 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 look at our blog about Northern Lights.

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 starting by using our customer portal - My Adventures, or contacting our customer care.

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). If you have more or heavier luggage with you, you will need to book storage for the surplus luggage before you arrive, there is a small fee for using this facility. Luggage storage in Reykjavík can be added during the booking process of your order in the extras section.

* The combined dimensions of each bag must not exceed 158 cm (62 in).

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. 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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