Customer reviews on TripAdvisor
5 DAY SNÆFELLSNES PENINSULA, SOUTH ICELAND, AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOUR
A well organised tour, which we thoroughly enjoyed. We saw lots of spectacular places along the way, and were given reasonable amounts of time to see each. Our guide, Þröstur, was very professional and friendly, telling us about Iceland and the sights as we were travelling. The hotel rooms booked for us were all very pleasant and larger than I expected. However, the buses were almost full to capacity, and a little cramped, but this is no different to other, similar tours I've been on...
We’ll take off from Reykjavík around 9:00 a.m. and start our thrilling adventure exploring the sights of West Iceland. First, we’ll visit the dramatic Hraunfossar Waterfall, where the water cascades through a semicircular, arc-shaped stack of black lava rocks. Next on our agenda is Reykholt, a small, historic town that is pivotal to Iceland’s past, and its famous hot spring pool, Snorralaug.
If the weather conditions allow us, we’ll cap the day off with a pursuit for the Northern Lights. We’ll spend the night at a hotel in Snæfellsness Peninsula where tomorrow’s adventures await.
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. At night we’ll embark upon a hunt for the Northern Lights.
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 wonderous 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 in 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 clothes.
Afterward, as we travel deeper into the South of the country, we’ll witness Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss: two adjacent waterfalls that hide treasures in their 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.
On the fourth day, once well-rested, 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.
Next, 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, as the dusk takes over, we’ll look for scintillating ice monoliths on the glistering-in-the-dark Diamond Beach. We’ll spend the night at a hotel in Skaftafell.
On the final day of your tour, unforgettable experiences await you as we’ll go on a thrilling glacier hike. Glacier hiking is a bit more challenging than regular hiking as specific gear is required and the path is ever-changing. On-site and once equipped with necessary gear, your tour guide will lead you across the top of Vatnajokull Glacier. An hour of walking on ice between awe-inspiring glacier mountains is something you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
On our way back to Reykjavik, you’ll have a chance to soak in more of 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. We’ll drive along the scenic West Coast where you’ll be able to soak in the beautiful rural scenery of Western Iceland. The first stop of the day will be at Deildartunguhver, t...)
We’ll pick you up at 9:00 a.m. at your hotel or your chosen pickup point. We’ll drive along the scenic West Coast where you’ll be able to soak in the beautiful rural scenery of Western Iceland.
The first stop of the day will be at 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. We will stop at Krauma Geothermal Baths where you can relax. The entrance ticket is an optional extra. For those that do not wish to visit Krauma, we will stop at a nearby horse farm where you will be able to pet Icelandic horses.
In the area around Deildartunguhver, there are a number of walking paths to protect you from getting too close to the hot spring. While the landscape is very picturesque, you should always stay on the pathways. Our next stop will be at the historic site of Reykholt, here you will find a hot spring pool, Snorralaug, treasured as the bathing spot of Iceland’s most famous poet and politician, Snorri Sturluson.
Hraunfossar and Barnafoss Waterfalls
Our next stop will be 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.
The falls create a very dramatic landscape, cradling the waters that flow from Langjokull Glacier. Our day ends with a visit to Gerðuberg, a cluster of basalt columns. This majestic wonder of nature was formed by flowing lava that was perpetually cooled by the sea water.
If the northern lights and cloud forecasts are favorable an evening northern lights hunt will be on!
Your accommodation for the night will be in Borgarnes.
*Please note that the order of the itinerary can change, we do sometimes start with the South Coast part of the tour and end with West Iceland.
After a hearty breakfast at our hotel, we’ll continue our tour towards the western part of Snæfellsnes. On the way there, you’ll be taken back by stunning marginal and alpine scenery. Our first stop of the day is at the small and charming fishing vil...)
After a hearty breakfast at our hotel, we’ll continue our tour towards the western part of Snæfellsnes. On the way there, you’ll be taken back by stunning marginal and alpine scenery. Our first stop of the day is at the small and charming fishing village, Arnarstapi. Here, we’ll take a short walk and explore the surrounding area.
Then, you’ll have a chance to wander through Vatnshellir Cave, 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 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.
Our next stop will be at Hellnar, a picturesque village where we’ll have lunch. Then we’ll continue to the beautiful black pebble beach at Djúpalónssandur. The beach is landlocked by tall, rugged cliffs that look outward to the Atlantic Ocean. There, you’ll notice inky, sleek pebbles and the roar of waves as they wash the shore.
When traversing the beach, be careful not to be drawn into the ocean as the power of the water is truly majestic. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the remains of an antique British trawler Epine, shipwrecked in 1948.
At the end of the beach, you will also find famous lifting stones. Back in the day, men of a nearby fishing village were challenged to test their strength by lifting the stones. Would you be able to lift them? After the strength contest is over, we’ll head to the photogenic Kirkjufell Mountain and cap off our day with a stunning view of the mountain. Then we return back to Reykjavik for the night.
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 ...)
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 and Skogafoss
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.
Another waterfall, Skógafoss, is right next to Seljalandsfoss. Both of the waterfalls are fed by glacier water from Eyjafjallajökull and carry a sizable char and salmon population. Skogafoss is one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland, and local folklore says that one of the first Viking settlers in the area, Thrasi, buried a chest filled with gold at its base.
Our last stop on this magical day is at Reynisfjara, where you’ll witness the powerful Atlantic Ocean waves relentlessly washing this otherworldly black sand beach. Make sure you keep a watchful eye on the sea, as the ocean has been known to crash over unsuspecting visitors and draw them straight into the current.
Peeking over the shore to one side are the magnificent Reynisdrangar basalt peaks. Local legend claims that they were once trolls, turned into stone when the Sun touched their cheeks. We’ll finish the day off with a hunt for the Northern Lights and continue to our hotel close to a small town, Kirkjubæjarklaustur.
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 a...)
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 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 freezing point, so please have warm clothes with you.
Vatnajokull Ice Cave
Once at the entrance to the natural ice cave, your guide will instruct you on the safety guidelines and provide you with all the necessary equipment. The ultimate stroll in the ice cave will take about 45 minutes. Your guide will point out some awe-inspiring features, you’ll learn how the cave was formed and the story behind its brilliant blue color. Make sure you have your camera with you’re sure to catch some truly inspiring photo opportunities throughout your hike.
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
Finally, 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. If the forecast is favorable, we’ll keep our eyes out for the Aurora Borealis.
The accommodation for the night will be in Kirkjubæjarklaustur.
Please note: ice caves are an ever-changing natural phenomenon and, therefore, unpredictable. We will visit one ice cave during the tour and the choice of cave is based purely on conditions and safety considerations.
After breakfast, we’ll head off to the glacier lagoon for the final rendezvous. The imposing Vatnajökull is the biggest glacier in Europe, with many glacier tongues stretching out of its huge, lily-white hub. These outlet glaciers are perfect for hik...)
After breakfast, we’ll head off to the glacier lagoon for the final rendezvous. The imposing Vatnajökull is the biggest glacier in Europe, with many glacier tongues stretching out of its huge, lily-white hub. These outlet glaciers are perfect for hikes!
Our specialized glacier guide will pick the best feasible glacier tongue for your hike. Before the hike, you’ll be provided with all the necessary glacier equipment, some of which you’ve already mastered in the ice cave. During the hike, your guide will provide some fascinating insights about the glacial wonderland beneath your feet.
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 it when booking the tour. Nevertheless, please keep in mind that hiking boots cannot be rented on the day of the hike.
After the hike, 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.).
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 boot...)
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.
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:
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!
Reviewed on March 19, 2020 by Ron Settle From our post-trip system
Tour Iceland with Arctic Adventures
Reviewed on March 14, 2020 by Poh, KokThim From our post-trip system
This tour from Arctic Adventures is very well organised and executed extremely well with a super passionate and experience driver cum guide, Mr Jonas Abel Mellado. we are able to understand more about Iceland's history and culture with his clear and sometimes witty explanation along the route. To enhance this tour closer to perfection, would like to suggest a hotel dropped off should be offered to all guest after a fun, enjoyable but tired 5 days tour. Kudos to Arctic Adventures and the whole team for a job well done. Warmest regards from Malaysia Poh
Fantastic, well organised tour
Reviewed on March 07, 2020 by Darren Cummings From our post-trip system
A well organised tour, which we thoroughly enjoyed. We saw lots of spectacular places along the way, and were given reasonable amounts of time to see each. Our guide, Þröstur, was very professional and friendly, telling us about Iceland and the sights as we were travelling. The hotel rooms booked for us were all very pleasant and larger than I expected. However, the buses were almost full to capacity, and a little cramped, but this is no different to other, similar tours I've been on. The highlight was the combined glacier hike and ice caving tour on day four: the guides there were great and it was a very unique experience. We even got snowed in on the last day, when the ring road 1 was closed until 3pm, but we still got to see our last couple of stops and our guide got us back into Reykjavik soon after 7pm. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see the Northern lights as such, other than some faint green streaks on a couple of photos. The itinerary suggests you go out hunting for them, like some tours from Reykjavik, when actually you just stay at the hotels, which isn't ideal when one has lots of outdoor lighting and the other has a mountain immediately to the north! It is a natural phenomenon, so entirely down to chance, but I feel we would have had a better chance if we had been able to travel around for an hour or two after dark.