During the shorter days of the Icelandic winter 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 driver 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 three day trip takes you across the entire south coast of Iceland and includes a hike on an outlet glacier within the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Vatnajökull National Park, which holds Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier. Marvel as icebergs float around on the Diamond Beach and the shores of the famous Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. We will also see and hear the bellow of numerous glacial river waterfalls, bathe in a geothermal hot pool within the Golden Circle area, watch as geysers erupt and with luck see the dance of the Northern Lights. All this within the space of 3 action packed days!
This three day private tour combines 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.
• Ice Cave Tour and super jeep transfer with a short glacier walk on the moving Falljökull glacier within the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Vatnajökull National Park and Skaftafell Nature Reserve. Relatively easy and designed for first timers. If you want a more adventurous trip we can go on a longer Ice Cave Discovery tour with an extended glacier hike.
• Accommodation in wonderful rural hotels ideally located for marvelling at the northern lights.
• 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 Diamond Beach, the black sand dotted with ice glittering like diamonds.
• Relaxing in the beautiful environment of the Secret Lagoon geothermal pool.
• Taste geothermally grown food at the Friðheimar greenhouse & tomato farm.
• Golden Circle sights; erupting Geysir, mighty Gullfoss Waterfall & the historical Þingvellir National Park.
The Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1 of 3
We embark on our adventure at 8:30 am from your pick up location in Reykjavík to explore the entire south coast of Iceland. We visit Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls before taking a walk on the black beach of Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach. 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. If preferred we can also look to upgrade accommodation to the top hotel in the south-east, the Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon.
On clear nights there’s a chance you’ll be able to stargaze or see the northern lights dancing across the sky, an unforgettable experience. The vast and diverse landscapes of south-east of Iceland make it one of our favourite areas. You will find out why over these two magical days.
Day 2 of 3
After a good night’s rest we set off on another amazing day. We visit Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon first thing and watch the giant icebergs float around and wash up on the black sand shores of Diamond Beach, glistening on the sand. From here we meet up with Local Guide of Vatnajökull, who you will join along with your Hidden Iceland guide, to go on the Ice Cave Discovery tour. We hike across the glacier to reach a remote ice cave, that is more secluded and spectacular than most short ice cave tours, being perfect for photography. A higher level of fitness is required for the hike to the ice cave. The hike is around 1.5 hours of relatively easy walking to get to the cave, but you will walk around 8- 9 kilometres (approx 5 miles) over the entire day. You will be left in awe by the colours and texture of the ice in the cave. The ice cave experience can be customised and changed to this shorter ice cave tour where little walking is involved.
After the breathtaking ice cave visit and exciting super jeep ride on the second day we head back west 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.
The Day to Day Itinerary
Day 3 of 3
On the third day we embark upon our favourite version of the famous Golden Circle. To make this already amazing region even more special we include a relaxing bath at the Secret Lagoon 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, as 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, thanks to the natural sources of hot water.
After breakfast we say goodbye to our comfortable accommodation on the south coast and drive through the beautiful country side on our way to the Secret Lagoon, 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.
Once we are ready to leave the warm pool we will visit the tomato greenhouse farm Friðheimar and 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 its surrounding steam vents and bubbling hot springs. From there it is only a short drive to be awed by the force of Gullfoss waterfall, one of Iceland’s most powerful waterfalls, equally stunning on sunny days, in the midst of a rainbow, as 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 and we’ll reach Reykjavik in time for dinner.
Operates: Late October to March
Duration: 3 days
Minimum age: 10 / 16 years old (depending on type of Ice Cave Tour)
Level of difficulty: Easy to Moderate (depending on type of Ice Cave Tour)
Included: Accommodation at the recently opened Lilja Guesthouse (or similar) on first night including breakfast. Rooms are all new with private bathrooms. Accommodation at Hotel VOS with private bathrooms on second night, including breakfast. 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) and entrance to the Secret Lagoon geothermal pool on Day 3 in the Golden Circle. Private transportation in a comfortable vehicle (type of vehicle is dependant on group size) and our wonderful English speaking glacier and driver guide for the duration of the three days. Pick up and drop offs in Reykjavík, airport pickup and/or drop off can be requested.
Exclusions: 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 location of these hotels is unbeatable and their suites or superior rooms are elegantly designed and inspired by Icelandic nature with 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!
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