Spend 5 exciting winter days exploring the best of Iceland's stunning western and southern coastlines. This program highlights the natural beauty and adventure that Iceland is known for, and you will experience some of the island's most iconic and coveted sites. Visit the rugged cliffs of Snaefellsnes Peninsula, tour the famous Golden Circle, and experience glaciers from above and also below on memorable ice adventures. Iceland's South Cost and Snaefellsnes Peninsula are a sightseeing paradise, but keep your eyes peeled north for a possible siting of Aurora Borealis!
Hike Vatnajökull Glacier and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
Meet your transfer at 9am, setting out along the scenic West Coast of Iceland toward the famous Deildartunguhver hot spring. Deildartunguhver pumps out 47.5 (180 liters) of hot water every second, and it's no surprise this hot spring holds the title as Europe's most powerful. Learn about the importance Deildartunguhver holds to the neighboring communities before heading to Krauma Geothermal Baths to relax (entrance ticket optional extra). We will stop at a local horse farm for those not wishing to visit Krauma.
Our next stop is the treasured historic site of Reykholt, known as the bathing spot of Iceland's most famous poet and politician, Snorri Sturluson. Enjoy the historic importance of this iconic site before continuing onward toward Hraunfossar and Barnafoss Waterfalls. Hraunfossar, meaning the "Lava Waterfalls", is a mesmerizing collection of smaller falls cascading beautifully through cracks of lava formations. Barnafoss, meaning "Children's Waterfall", is the site of a tragic Icelandic folk legend, of which you will learn upon your visit. Enjoy the beautiful landscape around these two famous falls, exploring and taking photographs, before heading to the dramatic Gerðuberg basalt columns.
Settle in at our country hotel for the evening. If conditions are favorable we will set out in search of the northern lights!
Overnight at Hotel Rjukandi or similar. Please note that the order of the itinerary can change, and we may start with the South Coast and end with West Iceland.
Rise early for breakfast at the hotel and head toward the western Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Our first top is the charming fishing village of Arnarstapi, where we can stretch our legs and explore the beautiful surrounding area. From here we journey deep into the Vatnshellir lava tube cave (optional/extra fee), an 8,000 year-old cave located under Snæfellsnes National Park. Learn about this fascinating geological formation from our expert guide, exploring toward the center of the earth! After a full morning of adventure we stop at Hellnar village for lunch. Continue onward toward the black pebble beach at Djúpalónssandur and take in its unearthly beauty of sleek black pebbles and rugged cliffs. Try your hand at the famous lifting stones - in historic times men of nearby fishing villages were challenged to test their strength here.
Our day concludes with a side trip to the photogenic Kirkjufell Mountain. Take time to snap photographs before returning to Reykjavík for the evening.
Today we visit one of Iceland's most famous attractions - the Golden Circle. The Golden Circle is home to unforgettable natural sites and memorable experiences. Our first stop is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Thingvellir National Park. This park hosts complex geological nature and history, including a rift valley and the site of the longest-running parliament in the world. Don’t forget to look out for the largest natural lake in Iceland, Thingvallavatn.
Continue southwest toward the Haukadalur Valley and the geothermal area of Geysir. Visit the Strokkur Geyser, and wait for its timely eruption of an impressive 25 meters every few minutes. Next, we visit some of Iceland's most prominent natural wonders: waterfalls. Explore the magical Gullfoss(the Golden Waterfall), Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. Admire the thunderous power of these magnificent falls, spending time to take photographs and enjoy the power of nature.
Our final stop today is the Reynisfjara black sand beach. Wander this unique coastal landscape before retiring to our hotel for a restful evening.
Rise early for a full day of adventure and glacial exploration, covering a natural ice cave in Vatnajokull Glacier and the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. Meet your expert glacial guide before heading deep into a natural ice cave, learning about the stories behind the brilliant blue ice. Make sure to bring your camera and plenty of warm layers for this unforgettable experience! Next we will visit the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and nearby Diamond Beach. Here we will encounter ice bergs of all shapes and sizes floating in the lagoon or coming to shore, their blue hue juxtaposed against the darkness of the black sand beach. If we're lucky, we might just 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.
Ice adventures are always somewhat flexible and very dependent on the local weather conditions, which can be unpredictable.
Overnight at Adventure Hotel Hof or similar.
Day 5: Glacier Walk and the South Shore
Set out after breakfast for the imposing Vatnajökull Glacier and our final day of adventure. This is the biggest glacier and Europe, and its landscape features many glacial tongues perfect for glacier hikes. Meet your specialized glacier guide and gear up in necessary equipment, setting out for a magical hike on one of the many tongues. Explore this vast area of ice as we learn about the glacial wonderland beneath our feet. Our tour ends when we return to Reykjavík. Spend one last evening in Iceland on your own, or extend your trip to continue exploring!
Proper hiking shoes are required for this hike and can be rented prior to your arrival in Iceland.
Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.