Jokulsarlon, Golden Circle and Ice Caving - Three Day Tour - EI40
South Coast of Iceland, glacier hiking and ice caving + northern lights tour
All-in-one package tour: This 3-day winter tour along the South Coast has it all! Stunning landscapes, the Golden Circle, glacier hiking, ice caves, the Jökulsárlón Iceberg Lagoon and northern lights watching. On the way we see waterfalls, volcanoes, floating icebergs, cliffs, black sand beaches, geysers, hot springs and so much more.
99 900 ISK per person
Minimum age: 10 years old
Duration: 3 days / 2 nights
Maximum: 20 persons
Pick-up: 09:00 - 09:30
Drop-off: flexible* (see below)
Available: Nov - Mar
*Drop-off information: We drop you off at your hotel sometime between 20:00 - 21:00 on day three, OR we take you to our northern lights restaurant, where you can buy dinner and refreshments, and then after dinner join our Magical Auroras northern lights tour free of charge. If you choose to go on the northern lights evening tour then drop-off is estimated between 00:00 and 01:00.
You can let the guide know which option you choose on the second day.
Included: Hotel pick up & drop off, minibus tour, English guidance, accommodation with breakfast (2 nights), glacier hiking equipment, super jeep ride for some km, specialized guide to ice cave, and aurora tour.
Map: (click here)
Bring with you: Warm clothes, sturdy shoes (you can rent boots from us). Spikes that fit over shoes to provide extra grip on ice
For further information:
Note: Due to weather and limited daylight during winter time the itinerary can vary between days. Our guides evaluate circumstances and take the best informed decision possible.
Day 1 - Golden Circle, South Coast
Fortunately, there's a degree of flexibility in this tour. The weather in Iceland is ever changing and we want to ensure that your traveling experience will be optimal. Your guide will therefore decide how it's best to operate the tour each time.
We begin on the Golden Circle and the first stop is Thingvellir National Park. Here Iceland’s first parliament was founded in the year 930 AD and here Europe and North-America meet in a stunning landscape. Thingvellir has a place in every Icelander's heart, the beauty of the place and the country's history. But the geologic history is well known and the natural wonders of Thingvellir are visible in every step.
Our next highlight is the Geysir hot spring area. It is from the Icelandic word "Geysir" that the English word "geyser" (a spouting hot spring) is derived. You can walk through the area and admire the geyser Strokkur burst into the air every 5-7 minutes, so have your camera ready.
Gullfoss waterfall (the Golden waterfall) is next on our agenda. It flows down the river Hvítá – coming from Langjökull glacier – in several huge "steps".
Along the way we will have a view over Hekla volcano and eastbound where our next stop will be at Seljalandsfoss waterfall. Enjoy the 18-story high waterfall from the other side – without getting wet – not many waterfalls in the world that you can admire from two sides, front and back!
Skógafoss waterfall, with glacier water streaming from Eyjafjallajökull catches our eyes at first glimpse. This majestic waterfall is one of the most visited sites in Iceland and for a good reason. Skógafoss is enchanting in a way that can only be experienced at first hand. Legend says that a treasure is buried behind it and in spite of locals finding the chest they could not take it with them before it disappeared again.
Reynisfjara is the name of the famous black sand beach. Here you can get up close and personal with the Atlantic ocean, but be aware of the powerful waves that can sweep you of your feet if you go too close – do not turn your back to the sea. In Reynisfjara beach you encounter beautiful basalt columns on the sand and have a great view of the magnificent basalt pillars Reynisdrangar, rising from the sea.
We pass Vík and we will be staying overnight at Hotel Katla, just outside of the village. Pictures of the country hotels. Your guide will check out the aurora forecast for the evening and be on the lookout for northern lights if there is a clear sky around the accommodation.
Day 2 - Sightseeing & Ice Cave
Are you interested in geology and volcanic eruptions? Listen to your guide! Today we see a giant lava field as we drive. It was formed from the largest volume lava flow from a single eruption on earth in historic times. We'll witness the instability of the glacial rivers when we cross the long bridges over enormous sand plains, the debris of glacial floods past and present.
This afternoon we will explore the ice cave. We'll have an expert local glacier guide take us by super jeep and lead the way into this world of dreams. Our expert guide is a highly qualified mountain guide, and ice cave specialist. It's in his hands to decide each time which cave is best to visit depending on weather conditions and other issues. Sometimes the caves are very special, sometimes not as special, but become very special in the right light and conditions.
Your hiking shoes will come in handy now, since there's some hike to the cave. You'll need to wear water resistant hiking shoes that cover your ankle. This is not the time to wear city leather boots!
We stay inside the ice cave for at least 45 min, and it's cold inside. Your winter hat should not be too bulky though, as it needs to fit under the helmet.
But why is the ice so blue?
The color and transparency of the ice caves has everything to do with time, pressure, and secrecy.
As the glacier travels and winds its way down the slopes of mountain ridges, the air bubbles trapped in the ice are squeezed out, and the size of the ice crystals increases, making it clear. The real beauty of the centuries old compressed ice lies underneath the damaged outer surface.
This intense blue color can be seen for example in ice caves and on floating icebergs that reveal their lower side when they have recently rolled over or split in two.
After being inside the glacier itself, it is time to continue to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon where we'll make a stop. It's a really deep lagoon, some 75 stories below the surface. Then you know what the expression means, "the tip of the iceberg". The lagoon is particularly beautiful in low light.
Our accommodation for tonight is either at Country Hotel Gerði or Country Hotel Hali. Both are 14 km away from the iceberg lagoon. The rooms are basic, with bathroom, and the all-important WiFi connection is available. Breakfast is included. Located between the mountains and the sea, the view from these properties is simply terrific. Our accommodations.
Again we will check for the northern lights in the evening if the sky is clear and the aurora forecast shows activity.
Day 3 - Skaftafell Glacier Hike & Sightseeing
We will have time to look out for seals by the Jökulsárlón Lagoon as we go there a second time. We'll admire the icebergs' proportions and their hues of blue. Please take care not to walk out on the frozen lagoon as the ice can easily twist.
Today we take a 1-2 hour glacier hike in Skaftafell Nature Reserve. There's no need to be in a particular good shape for this activity, but we urge you to dress warmly. You'll have crampons and axes for support. Please follow the instructions of your experienced guide - the glaciers are ever changing and wandering off by yourself is dangerous. This new hiking adventure is worth every second of the tour.
We start heading our way back towards Reykjavik but stop at Ingolfsskali, a viking style restaurant close to the town of Hveragerdi. This is our switching point for the northern lights tour but before we go out to the dark people can recharge their batteries, enjoy a dinner (not included) or eat their own food. From there the real search for the magical auroras begins.
Drop-off at your accommodation in Reykjavik is estimated to be between 00:00 - 01:00 in the evening of the third day. We hope you've had a great time and that the memories of this tour will stay with you forever! :)
click to enlarge
Read about important winter information
Note: If you're in a rush, you always have the option of skipping the Magical Auroras part and go straight to Reykjavik on the third day.
*** To be able to participate in the glacier hike you will need hiking shoes of similar type as shown on the picture at the bottom. If you don't have good hiking shoes you can rent them from us when you book the tour online.
Disclaimer: 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 and/or ice caving tour is cancelled because of weather and/or safety reasons. Then we will find other activities when possible, and refund the cost of the cancelled activity.
Jokulsarlon, Golden Circle and Ice Caving - Three Day Tour - Book here...
Note that selected departures during the holidays can be more expensive.