This is an overnight tour along the South Coast, all the way to Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. A glacier hike is included, and you get the chance to sail on the glacier lagoon. See glaciers, black sand beaches and see the icebergs up close.
One of our bestsellers. Operated in a minibus.
An optional boat tour on the glacier lagoon
is available during summer, from May - Sept.
"...Black sand and white ice. Wow. Then there was the glacier hike. I thought this would be really naff as it was part of this two day package. I was very wrong. Absolutely out of this world! The landscape is surreal. We all said we could have had a lot longer out there. An hour seemed to go so fast..."
- Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon
- Skaftafell wilderness area
- Vatnajokull glacier
- Glacier hike
- Reynisfjara black sand beach
- Seljalandsfoss waterfall
- Skogafoss waterfall
- Vik village
- The Diamond Beach
- Country hotel accommodation
- Optional boat tour
- Small groups
Included: Hotel pick up, transportation in a mini-bus, English speaking guide, hotel accommodation with private bathroom, breakfast, glacier hiking for 1 hour (crampons included).
Not included: Meals (except breakfast on day 2)
Optional extra: You can buy a boat ride on the glacier lagoon from May - Sept (summer). See Extras in booking engine for prices.
Bring with you:
Warm clothes, sturdy shoes. You need real hiking shoes for the glacier hike, that have a thick sole and cover your ankle. We provide the ice crampons, and they cannot be attached to normal shoes. Waterproof parka, warm hat, warm gloves, wool or fleece sweater / jacket, no jeans or trainers. Warm socks.
You can rent hiking shoes and waterproof clothing in the booking engine.
Winter version: Click here for the winter version of this tour (Sept - Apr)
For a single room you have to book the Single room extra (since single rooms are more expensive).
If you are staying downtown Reykjavik please read this information about pickup.
South Coast and Jokulsarlon - Overnight tour
Day 1 - South Coast & Black Sand
Our two-day tour takes us along the beautiful south shore of Iceland. Our tour takes us over the river Thjorsa which is the longest river in Iceland, around 230 kilometres long, where around 370 cubic metres of water flows per second. Several large hydroelectric plants are located around Thjorsa River. In good weather we can see the central volcanoes Hekla and Tindfjoll.But our first stop is at Seljalandsfoss, a very photogenic waterfall that plunges from ancient sea cliffs down over 60 m to a shallow pool. It is possible to take a walk behind the waterfall and enjoy the beautiful scenery from there. The water comes from the infamous volcano and glacier Eyjafjallajökull.
East of Seljalandsfoss waterfall lies a fertile countryside where the beautiful glacier of the central volcano Eyjafjallajokull rises to 1666 metres over sea level, just north of the waterfall. The glacier is the sixth largest in Iceland. The glacier covers the mountain top like a white cloak and the great magma chamber is located beneath the mountain - there have been 3 eruptions at Eyjafjallajokull during historical times, in the year 1612, from 1821 to 1823 and the most recent and famous one: from 13th April to 22nd May in 2010. The islands of Vestmannaeyjar which were formed in a sub-aquatic eruption are situated off the coast to the south. The last eruption was in 1973 but 10 years earlier the island of Surtsey was dramatically formed in a sub-aquatic eruption. That island is the southernmost point of Iceland.
Our next stop will be at Skogar where we will see the Skogafoss Waterfall. It's also 60 m in height and is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. Make note of another secret keeper: Myrdalsjokull Glacier is hiding Katla. She's a very explosive and active volcano.
Our next stop will be at the village of Vik where you will find a black sand beach with some fantastic sights such as the picturesque basalt column formations and the magnificent Reynisdrangar sea stacks.
Are you interested in geology? Pay attention to your guide when he / she starts speaking of "Jökulhlaup" and you see enormous devastated areas of sandy plains and ash. 'Cause not all effects of glaciation take place over thousands of years.
When our volcanoes erupt under a glacier, they might destroy an ice dam or release massive volumes of melt water by heat alone, causing a devastating flood, a Jökulhlaup. The term is Icelandic and has been adopted by the English language.
The longest bridge in Iceland (900 m) is over one of those areas of glacial floods.
After that we go to Skaftafell Nature Reserve in the Vatnajokull National Park, where we'll have a short stop. The glacier tongues there give the national park a majestic fairy tale scenery.
The National Park of Skaftafell (now named Vatnajokull national park) was established in 1967 and it is the largest park of its kind in Europe, at around 5000 square kilometres. The glacier tongues of the Skeidararjokull, Morsarjokull, Skaftafellsjokull and Svinafellsjokull glaciers give the National Park majestic scenery and there are few places in Iceland where you can get in touch with the great white heartland of Iceland more easily. In this tour we usually have glacier hiking on Svinafellsjokull for about 1 hour.
Jokulsarlon has been the film location of many Hollywood movies. It is located at the end of an outlet glacier of the great Vatnajokull Glacier. Huge pieces of ice calve from the glacier and end up floating in the lagoon and out to sea.
The glacier of Breidamerkurjokull is the largest of the Vatnajokull ice cap's glacier tongues. Around 100 years ago this glacier tongue almost reached to the sea but at that time there were only about 200 metres separating the surf of the ocean from the tip of the glacial tongue. The glacier started to retreat in the beginning of last century. The lagoon of Jokulsarlon formed in front of the glacial tongue in 1935. The lagoon was 8 sq. kilometres in 1975 but today it is 20 sq. kilometres.
The lagoon is the deepest lake in Iceland, around 248 metres deep. Countless icebergs float on the glacial lake of Jokulsarlon and we will have ample opportunity to take a close look at them. During summer it is possible to have boat tour on the lagoon.
After we have enjoyed the lagoon with its icebergs we will drive to our accommodation at Country Hotel Gerði. Free WiFi is available in the dining room, and the restaurant uses mainly local products on the menu. Breakfast is included in the price.
We enjoy dinner upon arrival (not included in tour price).
Day 2 - Glaciers & Icebergs
After breakfast we spend more time at Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon where it is possible to buy a 40-minute boat ride among icebergs of all shapes. We also take a walk alongside the lake and on the black sand shores and look for seals which may be spotted in the lagoon.
One of the highlights of the trip is awaiting us. We're going to get up close and personal with the glacier. It's made up of fallen snow, not frozen water, as some might think. But how does it turn into ice then? Simply by compression due to the weight of the snow as it keeps accumulating. It's just like taking a handful of fluffy snow and squeezing into a hard snowball, and keep doing so for hundreds of years.
The ice eventually gets so compact that most of the air is forced out of it. This is the reason why glacial ice alone can have that fascinating crystal blue color - and the older the ice, the better.
We pull out the crampons for one hour long glacier hike in the Skaftafell area - enjoying fabulous views all the way. In order to join the glacier hike you will need to have good hiking shoes. The crampons cannot be fitted onto sneakers or other light walking shoes.
At locations where the glacier flows more rapidly, giant cracks called crevasses are formed. So this is why it would be so dangerous to walk on a glacier without a specialized tour guide - the crevasses can get covered over by snow.
The estimated arrival time back to Reykjavik is between 19:00 and 21:00. We usually stop for a quick late afternoon or early evening snack on the way.
We hope you have had the time of your life with us! The magnificence of Iceland's nature is more than likely to stir your sense of wonder :)
It varies from one trip to another where we stop and for how long. It depends on weather, the group, how much daylight we have, etc. During summer months we usually have the boat tour on Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon in the morning of the second day. And we usually have the glacier hike on Svinafellsjokull glacier on the second day as well. If the weather is good on the first day, and the weather forecast is bad for the second day, then the guides often put the glacier hike on day 1. During winter (15th September to 15th April) we hunt for the northern lights in the evening of the first day (if the sky is clear). In the tour description here below you can read about the areas and places we see during this tour, but it does not mean that we stop at all those places.
click to enlarge
Glacier trips are undertaken at the responsibility of the participants. Extreme Iceland does not assume any responsibility for accidents which are caused by its customers.
It can happen that the glacier hike is cancelled because of weather and/or safety reasons. Then we will find other activities when possible, and refund the cost of the glacier hike.