Find out more details about the tour and its highlights.
We’ll kick off the adventure from Reykjavik with a drive past fjords and bays on our way up North. We pay our respects to Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Kirkjufell, the most photographed mountain in Iceland. Then it’s time to head back to the Golden Circle and neighbor waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. On the fourth day, we drive eastward to Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and go spelunking in an ice cave. The whirlwind expedition wraps up with a glacier hike with a certified glacier guide!
You are picked up from your hotel or a nearby meetings point in Reykjavík. We introduce ourselves and head out of the city, along the way you will see Mount Esja, Reykjavík´s famous mountain. You will also see Borgarfjörður, a scenic fjord on your ...)
Next, you will visit Reykholt, an important place in the history of Iceland, and the site of Snorralaug, a famous hot spring pool, where it is said Snorri Sturluson bathed. Dabble your fingers and feel the temperature of the water, and learn about Snorri, a very important saga writer, lawyer, and historian.
The two waterfalls we shall visit each offer something very different. Barnafoss waterfall is picturesque with a fascinating Icelandic legend attached to it. In English the name means ‘Children´s Falls’, you will be told the story explaining how it acquired this name. Hraunfossar waterfall is totally unique, thousands of small streams flow out through the edge of the lava, creating the dramatic and very wide arc-shaped falls. The pure glacial water has traveled through the lava field from its source at Langjökull, Iceland´s second largest glacier.
You are driven to Snæfellsnes peninsula, on the way to the country hotel where you will spend the night we make a stop to view the stunning basalt columns at Gerðuberg. Hopefully, the northern lights forecast will be favorable and a northern lights watch will be on. You get the chance to enjoy dinner (not included), and a little relaxation time. Your guide will go over the northern lights forecast with you.
You also have a chance of visiting the geothermal baths at Krauma. If you choose to skip taking a swim, we'll go visit a nearby horse farm and pet some Icelandic horses instead!
We enjoy breakfast at our hotel then head through absolutely epic coastal and mountain scenery to the far west of Snæfellsnes. We will visit the traditional fishing community in the charming village of Arnarstapi, we give you time to take a walk, so ...)
We enjoy breakfast at our hotel then head through absolutely epic coastal and mountain scenery to the far west of Snæfellsnes. We will visit the traditional fishing community in the charming village of Arnarstapi, we give you time to take a walk, so you will really be able to appreciate the fabulous scenery. Next up, is an optional tour (extra cost) with a qualified caving guide to explore the subterranean world within the Vatnshellir Cave, in the heart of Snæfellsnes National Park. You will learn how the cave was formed when molten magma flowed beneath lava which was already cooling, there are many incredible lava formations to be discovered. Maybe, you will feel like the character in the Jules Verne story, A Journey to the Center of Earth! You can book the caving tour as an extra when you book your tour.
We enjoy lunch at Hellnar, a really picturesque village surrounded by sensational scenery. Traveling a little more around the coast we will stop to explore the beautiful black pebble beach at Djúpalónssandur. We take a short hike down to the beach to watch the white-tipped ocean waves flowing onto the black pebble beach. These smooth black pebbles are known as Djúpalóns Perlan (which means ‘Deep Pool Pearls’), the beach slopes steeply and the ocean becomes deep very quickly, so those black pearls really have emerged from the deep! The amazingly-shaped cliffs which frame the beach add to the beauty and drama of this place. In the olden days, the local fisherman would test their strength using the ‘lifting stones’. Those stones have been made famous by numerous World´s Strongest Man competition, maybe, you would like to test your strength?
Next, you will visit the famous and much photographed, Mount Kirkjufell, which has featured in so many photos and paintings. On our journey back to the Reykjavík area, where you will be spending the night, we keep an eye out for the northern lights if the forecast is suitable.
Your day begins with the famous sights of the Golden Circle. Þingvellir (Thingvellir, also occasionally known as Þingvellir) is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, due to its unique history and amazing geology. The Eurasian and North American ...)
Your day begins with the famous sights of the Golden Circle. Þingvellir (Thingvellir, also occasionally known as Þingvellir) is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, due to its unique history and amazing geology. The Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet right here in Þingvellir National Park. However, they have been slowly moving apart, creating the rugged cliff of the Almanngjá gorge, you actually walk through this rift valley when you explore Þingvellir. Alþingi, the historic Icelandic Parliament was founded here in the year 930, making it the oldest still operating parliament in the world.
We pay a visit to the Geysir area in the scenic valley of Haukadalur. Great Geysir, the hot spring which gave us the English word ‘geyser’, is not active now, Strokkur, a nearby geyser erupts every 5 to 10 minutes, sending superheated water around 25 m high - a moment not to be missed. Next on the agenda, and completing the sights of the Golden Circle, we will stop at Gullfoss Waterfall. You will feel the power at the roaring Hvítá river (‘the White River’) thunders through the majestic canyon, dropping 32 m in two stages.
If visibility is good, you will see views of Hekla, a notorious volcano mountain. Next up is an opportunity to walk behind the cascade of the unique Seljalandsfoss waterfall, giving really unusual photo possibilities. We recommend you put on rainwear for this activity! We will also stop at Skógafoss waterfall, these voluminous but graceful falls descend 60 m into the calm Skógará (river) below. Finally, on a day with so many highlights, you will see Reynisfjara, one of the most beautiful black sand beaches in Iceland, with great basalt columns, and a basalt column cave. Off-shore you will see the towering Reynisdrangar basalt peaks out in the oceans like the Atlantic waves power onto the soft sand. Crafty ‘sneaker’ waves appear from nowhere so stand well back from the tide-line!
Your accommodation for the night will be at a country hotel near Vík, a little coastal town. We hope the northern lights forecast will be good!
We continue our journey through glacial desert scenery, the like of which you have probably never seen, as we head towards the first glacier adventure - exploring a natural ice cave in Vatnajökull glacier. Your certified glacier guide will issue your...)
We continue our journey through glacial desert scenery, the like of which you have probably never seen, as we head towards the first glacier adventure - exploring a natural ice cave in Vatnajökull glacier. Your certified glacier guide will issue your ice caving equipment and take you through the safety information before escorting you into the magic blue/white world of a natural ice cave. Every winter fresh ice caves are formed by the forces of nature, but this is an evolving world with new ice features appearing. Your guide will explain how the cave and its features were formed, and why blue ice is blue! Sometimes your guide will pick an ice cave that combines the glacier hiking and ice caving activities, depending.
The Icelandic weather is unpredictable and we want you to have the best possible experience traveling in Iceland. Therefore, your guide will decide the best way to organize the tour, so it is possible that you might visit an ice cave on day three if your guide feels conditions would be better then. We have a little leeway which allows us to make the best of things. You need to make sure you are dressed warmly for your ice cave visit, the temperature inside is always below freezing.
The final glacier highlight of the day is Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. You will see incredibly shaped icebergs, some larger than houses, floating on the glacier lagoon, sometimes seals can also be seen. The icebergs calve off the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, an outlet glacier of Vatnajökull, they then float slowly across the lagoon to the nearby ocean. Some come to rest on the black sands of the nearby Diamond Beach, where they glitter like diamonds, a stunning sight in the mystical late afternoon light.
Your hotel will be in the Skaftafell area, hopefully, the conditions will be good for a northern lights watch, we have to wait and see but fingers crossed!
Please note: ice caves are natural wonders which are constantly changing and are, thus, unpredictable. We will visit an ice cave on the tour and the choice of a cave is based purely on the conditions and safety considerations.
We enjoy breakfast at our hotel then get on our way to the glacier! The great ice-dome of Vatnajökull is the mightiest glacier in Europe. There are many glacier tongues or outlet glaciers which reach down from Vatnajökull, stretching out like the fin...)
We enjoy breakfast at our hotel then get on our way to the glacier! The great ice-dome of Vatnajökull is the mightiest glacier in Europe. There are many glacier tongues or outlet glaciers which reach down from Vatnajökull, stretching out like the fingers of an icy hand. These outlet glaciers are fabulous for glacier hiking, our specialist glacier guides will choose the most suitable one for your hike. Your guide will issue you with all necessary equipment, including ice crampons, then you are off on an exciting walk across the ice! See and learn all about the wonderful ice features including the networks of crevasses which riddle their way through glaciers. Marvel at this white wonderland which is always evolving and moving - your time on the ice will pass very quickly!
Proper hiking boots are required, it is not possible to fit ice crampons to any other kind of footwear. You can hire sturdy hiking boots when you book your tour or on location on the day of the hike (although keep in mind that we cannot guarantee that your shoe size is available on location). The glacier hike is easy if you are capable of hiking at a slow pace for an hour you can do it.
At the end of your glacier hike, we need to think about heading back to Reykjavík. There is an opportunity to see more places as we journey back to the city, with the chance to make some additional stops – fitting around the weather and conditions, we know that during the winter, in Iceland, the forces of nature are somewhat in charge.
We will also stop at the amazing pearl of nature called Fjaðrárgljúfur, a gorgeous canyon with a river running through.
We get back to Reykjavík in the evening between 16:00 and 19:00, the timing depends upon the conditions on the day.
The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon and we cannot guarantee that you will see them during the tour. However, the tour takes place during the winter months, giving you an excellent chance of seeing them. We cannot tell you which glacier we w...)
Shortened Tour due to Weather
Reviewed on April 28, 2019 by Susie Piggott From our post-trip system
Unfortunately our flight got cancelled & rescheduled twice, so we missed the first 2 days of our tour. However, I was able to coordinate over the phone and via e-mail so that we could meet up at the start of the 3 day part of the tour in Reykjavik. We arrived extremely early that morning & Hotel Cabin had an open room, so we were able to check in around 6 am for the following night. We did join up with our tour group for the Southern Coast, Ice Cave, Glacier Hike part of the tour and loved it despite a lot of rainy weather. Our tour guide was great - fun, knowledgeable and always joking. He also gave us choices during some of our flex time in what we wanted to see. We even got to check out a "secret" ice lagoon after Jokulasaron did not have many icebergs. Although we are still sorting out our refund (hopefully) with the airline, we really enjoyed our Arctic Adventures tour and would recommend and/or do another one ourselves.
Reviewed on April 18, 2019 by shalaka desai From our post-trip system
I would highly recommend this tour. You get to see the best of Iceland in these 5 days. The trip is not fast paced and gave us ample of time to explore the place. This trip was split into 2 tours - one was a 2 day trip to the Snaefellsnes plateau and the other one was the 3 day tour to the South of Iceland with the northern lights. Both the tours were very organized and the stay at the designated hotels was very comfortable too. Our guides, Pascal and Aaron, were very knowledgeable, patient and made everything very easy and simple. They made a big effort to show us around even when the weather was little unstable, on a few occasions. We had an amazing time. A big thank you to Artic adventures team for these beautiful memories !
Reviewed on April 07, 2019 by Jon From our post-trip system
Our guide Olli was amazing, and managed to mix up the activities across the days to ensure the weather was a minimal factor. This was the first time for me to be in Iceland in the winter and it did not disappoint! Of course there were some sketchy days of cold, wind, snow, rain, and sun. If you don't like the weather right now, just wait 15 minutes! Would definitely be interested in going back after these amazing five days.
Reviewed on April 05, 2019 by Edward and Ellen Nadeau From our post-trip system
My husband and I toured Iceland in March 2019. I recently read the United Nation’s World Happiness list and Iceland was number 4. Not a surprise. Where do I begin? The incredible beauty and natural wonders, the food and native people. We were so delighted with the staff members of Artic Tours who were so well informed about the history, geology and the culture of the Icelandic people. Your group size limit of 18 is a winning strategy and the Mercedes Touring van is a good vehicle choice. Not only did that make for a manageable group of people to be “guided” through our adventures but, but our travel mates were from all the parts of the world and we immediately bonded with many of them and enjoyed the beautiful journey along the way. While Artic Adventures could not promise us that we would see the Northern lights – we did! We would like to return someday to Iceland and bring along our friends and family and we know they will be just as impressed as we were. Give our best to our guide THOR! He made our journey most memorable. Ellen & Ed
Reviewed on March 10, 2019 by Nicole Miranda From our post-trip system
The 5th day tour was a great experience, it is super complete, allows you to go to different places in Island. Each place has a magic combination, all of them are worth it. And Artic Tours make everything perfect!!
Fantastic Tour- beautiful country!
Reviewed on February 27, 2019 by Lesley From our post-trip system
We had a brilliant 5 day tour around this beautiful country. Our guides were friendly, efficient and very knowledgable. They were also very good drivers and we felt very safe even in some very harsh weather. The hotels outside Rejkavic were lovely and we saw so much. Thoroughly recommend this company- booking and communications were excellent.
Reviewed on February 24, 2019 by Morgan Leger From our post-trip system
Palmi, our tour guide, was absolutely wonderful! All the sites we stopped to visit were beautiful, and well chosen. My only complaint is that I wish I could have spent even longer at each site (this is not meant as true criticism - given how much we saw each day, I don't think we could've stayed longer and had time for everything else). Getting a more exact itinerary of our trip once the tour had started would have been welcome.
Reviewed on February 08, 2019 by Jessica From our post-trip system
This is an amazing trip. We had the best tour guide, Siggi, who knows so much and made this a very pleasant experience. We were lucky and got to see the Northern Lights, while they are not a guarantee, we had the perfect combination and we saw the most beautiful show. Every place we went was magnificent and the activities are definitely worth it.
Reviewed on February 01, 2019 by Lisa From our post-trip system
This was an incredible experience! Our guide, Hilmar, was amazing. By the end of the tour we all felt like family. I would definitely recommend this tour. So if you're thinking about it - do it!! And ask for Hilmar. He's great!!
Reviewed on January 16, 2019 by Janet innamorato From our post-trip system
Our guide was warm charming and friendly he added significantly to our enjoyment of the trip. Loved the stories the geysers the glaciers the ocean the lagoon and the waterfalls. Thank you Palli.
A great trip and a great guide
Reviewed on January 08, 2019 by Stacy Wallace From our post-trip system
My husband and I had a fantastic time on our 5 day tour. Biggie kept us entertained during the drive with interesting Icelandic stories, facts, and traditions. Even with the minimal daylight hours, Biggie ensured that we made it to all of the attractions and even some nice little out of the way places. Thank you for a great vacation!
5 Day Tour - Highly Recommended
Reviewed on December 30, 2018 by Andrew G From our post-trip system
I highly recommend this tour and this company to anyone. We opted for the 5 day tour and it was absolutely amazing. The driver, the vehicle used, and the hotels we stayed at were great and I have no complaints. When we return to Iceland we will definitely be using Arctic Adventure again.
Still got questions about the tour? Hopefully you will find the answer here.
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.
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.
When booking with Adventures.com, you are guaranteed accommodation at a nice country hotel and/or a guesthouse. The hotels we have partnered up with are all of the same standards 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Don’t worry, you can always rent sturdy hiking boots, a waterproof jacket and pants in the booking process. We do not rent these items from the location, they must be ordered in advance.
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.
Iceland is known for unforeseeable weather. It is likely that you can see all 4 seasons in one day.
Dressing for that kind sort of weather can always be demanding so we always suggest dressing in layers. 3 or 4 upper layers are highly recommended, for example, a light t-shirt (preferably wool) next to the skin, then a fleece or heavy wool garment topped off with a waterproof windbreaker.
Jeans are not recommended for our trips as they are not suitable for the weather conditions, they become very heavy, cold and uncomfortable to wear when they get wet.
Lightweight hiking pants, track pants or long cotton pants are convenient and wear wind/waterproof pants over. There is high UV and sunlight reflecting off on the glacier so we highly recommend using sunglasses and sunscreen even if it is cloudy.
You will need sturdy hiking shoes that fit crampons for the glacier hiking tours. If you do not own a pair then we rent out suitable hiking boots as well as a waterproof raincoat and trousers.
It is good to bring your own backpack on our full day or half day tours. It’s the best carry-on for a small lunch, extra clothes and other necessary items.
The scenery on the tour is full of stunning, scenic views that are photographable so you should definitely bring your camera along.
This is surely a personal choice, we do not deny pregnant women on our glacier trips but we highly recommend you to take a closer look at our trip description and difficulty ratings, they will hopefully give you a better idea. We also recommend you to contact your physician, as pregnant women’s health can be quite different. If you have any further questions or concerns then feel free to contact us.
Lunch is not provided on any of our trips, therefore we recommend you to bring your own lunch especially for the longer trips, snacks and a bottle of water (you can refill it on the trip).
Crampons make you enable to walk on the glacier ice without slipping. They are metal spikes that we attach to the soles of your hiking shoes.
Yes, we have specially trained and certified glacier guide on every glacier tour that we offer. And for our 3rd party tours we only partner with operators that meet our quality and safety standards.
Yes, we provide you with all necessary glacier gear for our glacier hiking tours. Ice axe, harness, and helmets are provided. This will help you to complete the tour safely.
Iceland is known to have a lot of snow and when the snow stays long enough in one place than it turns to ice. Over long periods of time, the ice layers up becoming huge blocks called glaciers. It forms to create ginormous glaciers that sweep across huge masses of land. Iceland is home of the largest glacier in Europe that is called Vatnajökull. The Glacier Guides can tell you more about and everything you need to know about the Glaciers.
Rain is common in Iceland but we never let the rain be in our way to go forward with our tours.
That’s why we highly recommend appropriate clothing so you can be warm and dry on the tours.
Nature is out of our control and therefore we need to adapt to the weather. Your safety is our first priority so if your safety is compromised by going on the tour then we will cancel it and you will get full reimbursement.
The guide on your Glacier Hiking tour will provide you with all the information you might need when preparing for a glacier hike.
The Northern Lights are natural phenomena and we, unfortunately, cannot promise you will see them. Their appearance depends upon atmospheric and weather conditions.
For more information on the Northen Lights, please have a look at our Northern Lights information.
We, unfortunately, do not have one simple answer to this question.
There isn’t just one single setting for your camera that ensures great photos. However, if you have manual options, you are probably best served with experimenting with various combinations of ISO, aperture, and exposure settings. As a rule of thumb, ISO setting between 800 and 3200, aperture between f/2 8 and f/5.6, and shutter speed at between 15 seconds and 30 seconds have proven effective.
A good thing to keep in mind, ISO setting between 800 and 3200, aperture between f/2.8 and f/5.6, and shutter speed between 15 seconds and 30 seconds have given great results.
Different combinations may give very different results. Higher ISO setting will allow you to capture faster exposures, but the downside to this might be for example grainier images.
If the shutter speed is above 15 seconds it will result in a slight star movement.
Wider angle lenses are usually more versatile in low light settings, but longer lenses give you different options for compositions. Make sure that you remove all lens filters, as they may distort images. You will probably get the best results with manual setting for infinite focal length.
Reimbursement is not given if the northern lights tour goes ahead and no lights are seen but we do offer you the change to join a Northern Lights Minibus tour free of charge.
Please contact our Customer Care to re-book your tour.
When Northern Lights tours are canceled it’s usually due to unfavorable weather conditions.
In that case, your options will be to:
Please go to customer portal to re-book your tour or contact us by phone +354 562 7000
The northern lights are a pretty difficult thing to predict. We recommend you to check en.vedur.is to see the forecast and if the level is high and the skies are clear then it’s very likely that the tour is going ahead. We do update our website’s tour departure sheet with the information at 17:00 pm the latest. If your tour is canceled then you will receive an email from us.
If we think there is no chance at all of seeing the lights we will cancel the tour. We don’t want to bring you out and disappoint if there is no chance of the lights to be seen.
Yes, the guide on your tour will take a photo of you with the northern lights in the background.
These can be single or group photo’s and are free of charge.
The Northern Lights season is from late August until mid-April. However, if you want to increase your changes of seeing them, it is best to wait until the clear winter months of mid-September until March.
The northern lights depend on luck and weather if that is in your favor than you will be able to see the Aurora Borealis above the inviting streets of Reykjavík. Whether you see the lights or not they depend on two different factors. The first being the weather. If the sky is clear, no clouds, then you are halfway there to seeing the astonishing spectacle that is the Northern Lights (although light pollution can sometimes be a problem). Increased solar activity is the second half so, if these two merge together you may well be able to see the Northern Lights from Reykjavik.