The Essential Iceland 3 Day Winter Tour is perfect for the shorter days of the Icelandic winter, when it can be difficult to fit all you want to see and experience within a short holiday. This trip is ideal for couples, friends or families that want to immerse themselves in Iceland’s awe-inspiring nature despite having only limited time in Iceland. With the help of a private guide your winter getaway will be a fun and safe experience including the most celebrated sights while going a little off the beaten path and hopefully seeing the Northern Lights!
This 3 day winter tour takes you across the entire south coast of Iceland and includes an ice cave tour in Vatnajökull glacier, within the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel as icebergs float around on the Diamond Beach and the shores of the famous Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. We will also witness the power of numerous waterfalls, bathe in a geothermal hot pool, watch as geysers erupt within the Golden Circle area and with luck see the Northern Lights dancing across the sky. All this within the space of 3 action packed days!
This adventure is a combination of two of our most popular, and unmissable, tours. We combine our Golden Circle: Platinum Tour with our Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Ice Cave Discovery two day tour ensuring you experience Iceland’s foremost destinations, without being rushed, during your escape to Iceland. These three days are designed for winter, however we have a summer and spring version if you are visiting Iceland in another season.
South Iceland 3 Day Winter Tour Highlights
Ice Cave Tour with super jeep transfer within the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Vatnajökull National Park
Golden Circle sights; the erupting Geysir, mighty Gullfoss waterfall & the historical Þingvellir National Park
Taking a walk on Reynisfjara black sand beach, going behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall and seeing the powerful Skógafoss waterfall up close
The icebergs at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and on the black sands of Diamond Beach
Relaxing in the beautiful environment of the Secret Lagoon geothermal pool and tasting geothermally grown food at the Friðheimar greenhouse & tomato farm
Accommodation in wonderful countryside hotels ideally located for marvelling at the Northern Lights
Essential South Iceland 3 Day Winter Tour
The Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1 / 3
South Coast Sights
We embark on our 3 Day Winter tour from your pick up location in Reykjavík to explore the entire south coast of Iceland. The first day has us ticking off some of Iceland’s most iconic sights. We visit Seljalandsfoss waterfall, commonly known as the waterfall you can walk behind. We also visit Skógafoss waterfall, which is the perfect photo location, standing right in front of the thunderous sheet of water as tit falls from 60 metres above. This is all before taking a walk on the black beach of Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach. The unique rock formations and powerful waves ensures this stop is always a favourite.
We continue our drive further east where we’ll soon start to see the spectacular glaciers and Iceland’s highest mountains. We hike along the ridges of the gorge with the impossible name, Fjaðrárgljúfur, before coming into our accommodation for the night at Lilja Guesthouse where we stay in their deluxe rooms. The dinner at the guesthouse showcases traditional Icelandic family meals using local produce. Lilja Guesthouse is a perfect spot for seeing the northern lights on a clear winter’s night, often seeing the lights right from your room window. On clear nights and favorable conditions you’ll be able to stargaze or see the northern lights dancing across the sky from right outside your room, an unforgettable experience.
If preferred we can also look to upgrade accommodation to the top hotel in the south-east, the Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon. The vast and diverse landscapes of south-east of Iceland make it one of our favourite areas. You will find out why over these first two days of this 3 day winter tour.
Where do we stay?
We stay either at the wonderful Lilja Guesthouse or at Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon (upgraded) on our first night of the tour.
Day 2 / 3
Vatnajökull National Park & Ice Caves
After a good night’s rest we set off on another amazing day. We start the day with the delicious buffet breakfast (included) from our accommodation. We then go to one of our all time favourite locations in Iceland, the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. Here we take some time to explore this enormous glacier lagoon and the icebergs which float around here glistening in the winter sun. Seals can often be spotted swimming amongst the icebergs. From there we make our way over to the Diamond Beach, where the icebergs from the lagoon flow with the tide out to the ocean and wash up on the shores of the black sand beach. This makes for some spectacular photos and one unique beach visit.
From here we have three options to add in an ice cave experience. This is sure to be the highlight of this 3 day winter tour. We can either meet with our partners from Local Guide of Vatnajökull who get us to a remote part of the glacier in their amazing super jeeps, so we can access one of the ice caves in the region. From where their rugged super jeeps take us it is only a short walk to witness the blues and textures of these natural works of art. We can either visit Blue Diamond Ice Cave for a shorter cave tour that has minimum walking involved, or explore the Sapphire Ice Cave where there is some hiking involved over the rugged landscape within Vatnajökull National Park. Alternatively we join our partners from Atlantsflug who will fly us to more of the more remote ice caves in the area to Blue Dragon Ice Cave. From the helicopter landing spot there is just a short walk to the cave entrance to the massive opening of the enormous Blue Dragon Ice Cave.
After the breathtaking ice cave visit and exciting super jeep ride we continue our journey back west. We head to Hotel Vos where you’ll stay in their superior room for the night. We’ll have dinner in their restaurant once you have settled into your room, showered and refreshed after a long day of exploring the magnificent glacier landscapes that we have here in Iceland. If you wanted to upgrade to the wonderful Skálakot Manor Hotel then this is also a great option. The rooms and restaurant here are fast becoming known as some of the best in South Iceland. Both hotel options are perfect for spotting the northern lights on a clear night!
Where do we stay?
Tonight we stay at Hotel VOS, Hotel UMI or the wonderful Skálakot Manor Hotel
Looking to customise this day?
If you don’t want to do the ice cave tour then we can easily swap it out for other activities or sights. There are also 3 different ice cave tour options.
Day 3 / 3
Golden Circle Sights, Friðheimar Tomato Farm and Secret Lagoon
On the third day we embark upon our favourite version of the famous Golden Circle. We add in our handpicked sights to make this region even more special. We’ll include a relaxing bath at the Secret Lagoon hot pool and lunch within the greenhouse of Friðheimar Tomato Farm. The diversity of the attractions of the Golden Circle is a great part of its charm. It is rich with history and geological phenomena, boasting geothermal hot pools, erupting geysers, powerful waterfalls, separating continental plates and, of course delicious food production.
After breakfast we drive through the beautiful countryside on our way to the Secret Lagoon. This is Iceland’s oldest natural swimming pool. There we relax and enjoy the surroundings of this astounding natural pool, when it is quietest. The perfect way to start a day of exploring. After the swim we visit the tomato greenhouse farm Friðheimar to refuel with a unique lunch inside the geothermal greenhouse amongst all the tomato plants. You can taste their famous tomato soup with homemade bread, ravioli, or grilled tortilla pizza, as well as hot beverages, as a part of your included lunch.
The next stop is the geothermal area of Geysir, the original exploding geyser, and it’s bubbling hot springs. Next we are to be awed by the force of Gullfoss waterfall, one of Iceland’s most powerful waterfalls. Gullfoss is equally stunning on sunny days, in the midst of a rainbow, as it is on more moody afternoon when you really appreciate its glacier origins.
Finally we head onto the UNESCO Heritage Site and National Park Þingvellir. This National Park holds a special place for Icelanders due to its historical and geological significance. It is also a place of astounding contrasts and beauty, sitting in the rift valley of the separating North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. From there, it’s a short drive over rolling hills back into the capital, reaching Reykjavik in time for dinner.
Where do we stay?
Tonight we say goodbye to your Hidden Iceland guide and settle into your accommodation in Reykjavík. It would be possible to instead stay at Silica by Blue Lagoon or The Retreat by Blue Lagoon this night.
Looking for a little bit extra?
If you would like to amend this tour to fit with flight times we can easily amend this. It is also possible to experience the renowned Blue Lagoon on the final day, or stay at the hotels here. Staying at Silica Hotel or Retreat by Blue Lagoon is a truly unique way to cap off your trip. We recommend spending two nights at The Retreat by Blue Lagoon to get the full experience.
Operates: Late October to March
Duration: 3 days, 2 nights
Minimum age: 10 years old (depending on type of Ice Cave Tour, can be customised)
Level of difficulty: Easy to Moderate (depending on type of Ice Cave Tour, can be customised)
Essential Iceland 3 Day Winter tour Inclusions
Accommodation at the recently opened Lilja Guesthouse and Hotel VOS. Both hotels are modern, spacious and comfortable with private bathrooms, and breakfast included. Small group Ice Cave tour with super jeep transfer with all necessary safety equipment provided (crampons, helmets, harness and axe). Lunch at Friðheimar Tomato Greenhouse (all inclusive aside from alcoholic drinks) is included. As is entrance to the Secret Lagoon geothermal pool with towel hire. Private transportation in a comfortable vehicle (type of vehicle is dependant on group size) and one of our wonderful English speaking guides for the duration of the three days. Pick up and drop offs in Reykjavík, although airport pickup and/or drop off can be requested.
Hotels can be upgraded, see the possible customisations below.
Flights to and from Iceland, meals unless otherwise specified.
Customise this Trip?
A private tour allows you to customise this trip to ensure your Iceland experience is perfect. We can arrange pick up or drop off at the airport for those on a tight schedule. Are you feeling adventurous? We can add a longer Ice Cave Discovery Tour with a glacier hike, either as a private departure or a small group tour.
Want to make this trip even more luxurious? We can upgrade the accommodation to stay at Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon and at UMI Hotel. The hotel locations are unbeatable, with rooms elegantly designed and inspired by Icelandic nature taking in amazing views. The options are endless, utilise our expertise to help you come up with the perfect experience.
Have more than 3 days to explore? Contact us below and we can help you come up with best plan to maximise your time, or continue looking through more of our private tours here for further inspiration!
Ready to make this your dream trip?
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