This Iceland Must See 6+ Day Private Tour Winter Itinerary is designed for people who want to see the absolute best things in Iceland in one incredible week. This itinerary is a combination of popular sights, nature and adventure. From the mighty glaciers in the south east to the Valley of Thor in the forgotten highlands to the dormant volcano in the south west. And let’s not forget the Northern Lights.
This trip covers a blue ice cave visit, two of Iceland’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the ever popular Golden Circle with its erupting geysers, thunderous waterfalls, natural hot pools and the scarred ground between two diverging tectonic plates. The Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach situated within the Vatnajökull National Park will leave you spellbound as enormous icebergs float past you and wash up on the black sand shores. Dormant volcanoes, lava tunnels and incredible snowcapped mountains will remind you of the remoteness of this little island. As you venture into the remote Highlands of Iceland at Þórsmörk (Valley of Thor) you’ll feel like you’ve experienced real Iceland. In essence, everything that is an absolute must see in Iceland. To top it off, we’ll hand pick remote accommodation to give you the best chances of seeing the Northern Lights.
ICELAND MUST SEE 6+ DAY PRIVATE TOUR | WINTER ITINERARY
Day 1: Explore the entire south coast of Iceland
Day 2: Adventure day with a blue ice cave tour, designed for first timers, and the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Beach
Day 3: South Coast Half Day with optional activities e.g. snowmobiling, horse riding or a real Lava Show
Day 4: Journey into the highlands of Thórsmörk (Valley of Thor) through rivers and deep valleys
Day 5: Golden Circle with Friðheimar Tomato Greenhouse Lunch
Day 6: Reykjanes Peninsula with the Lava Tunnel, recently erupted volcano and Blue Lagoon
Please note: Arrival day, departure day and additional days are not part of the proposed itinerary but will be planned by our Trip Planners for you in your first quote. We also recommend having at least one full day in Reykjavík before or after your tour.
Day 1 | South Coast Sights
On our first day we travel the entire south coast of Iceland. This is the longest day of driving but don’t worry, there’s plenty of incredible stops along the way. We start at the impressive Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls. Then onwards to the Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach with its unique hexagonal basalt columns and turbulent crashing waves. We continue our drive further east where we’ll soon start to see the spectacular glaciers and Iceland’s highest mountains as we come to our accommodation for the night. The dinner at the hotel showcases traditional Icelandic meals using local produce. The hotel is in a great location for seeing the northern lights on a clear winter’s night, with a wake up call list offered by the hotel, if you haven’t spotted them before bed.
Where do we stay?
We stay at the Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon on our first night of the tour (or equivalent)
Day 2 | Ice Cave in the Vatnajökull National Park
Today is all about glacier adventures! This is a true must see Iceland sight. After breakfast this morning we make our way to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon where we’ll be spending most of the day. It’s here that we meet with our partners for an Ice Cave & Super Jeep Adventure. Together in their specialised super jeeps we travel over the rugged terrain to the more remote parts of the glacier. From here it’s only a short walk until we get to witness the blues and textures of the inner workings of the glacier in one of the ice caves of the area located on the vast Breiðdalsjökull Glacier. To learn more about what the ice cave hike entails, check out our Glacier & Ice Cave Guide.
Once we come back from the ice cave, we spend the rest of the daylight hours by the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and watch the giant icebergs float around and wash up on the black sand shores of Diamond Beach. Today is the most adventurous day but is also the most rewarding. Especially with the views of the surrounding area from the the glaciers.
Where do we stay?
We stay at the Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon on our second night of the tour (or equivalent)
Looking to customise this day?
Alternatively to the ice cave options above, we can join our helicopter partners who are based in the south east who will fly us to more of the more remote ice caves in the area, more specifically 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.
Day 3 | South Coast Half Day with Optional Activities
Let’s take this day a little easier after such an epic day yesterday. We’ll start with an easy hike along the feather like ridges of the canyon with the impossible to pronounce name; Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon. We stop by a few more south coast sights as daylight hours allow until we come to the picturesque town of Vík. For those choosing to take it easy today, we will have ample time to get some souvenirs, try the ‘best coffee in the south of Iceland’ at the Skool Beans converted school bus café. Our hotel for the night is just a short drive from here where you can spend the afternoon relaxing and revisiting all the pictures taken for the past couple of days. For those wanting to squeeze in even more into your trip you can choose between 3 optional extras, all as exciting as the last.
The Icelandic Lava Show in the town of Vík where the locals will share tales of past eruptions before pouring re-melted lava over ice just metres from your face. A great family friendly experience on a cold day.
Take a horse ride on the famous Icelandic horse with its smooth 5th gait. These docile animals are as friendly as they are fast. This is a great way to see Iceland’s hidden landscape off the beaten path.
Snowmobile on top of one of Iceland’s ice caps. To get there you will jump in the back of a super jeep before swapping over to a snowmobile where you will zoom across this snowy landscape. Recommended between November and June. ATV tours are available as an alternative outside of these dates.
Where do we stay?
We have plenty to choose from in this area from the quaint Hotel VOS guesthouse to the Skálakot Luxury Manor or the pristine Hotel UMI (or equivalent). All great options based on your budget and preference.
Day 4 | Þórsmörk (Valley of Thor) Highland tour
Today we truly go off the beaten track going into Þórsmörk, a lushly vegetated mountain valley in an off road 4×4 vehicle that enable us to cross deep glacial rivers and handle nearly any terrain. On the way, we head all the way up to Gígjökull, one of the outlet glaciers of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Here, you will get an idea of the forces that were at play during the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull. Next stop, we will explore Stakkholtsgjá canyon, a beautiful natural wonder. Walking to the end of the canyon is one of the most rewarding short hikes in Iceland. After our walk in the canyon, we will make our way deep into Þórsmörk, a nature reserve in the southern Icelandic Highlands, nestled between the Myrdalsjökull, Eyjafjallajökull and Tindfjallajökull glaciers. You have the opportunity to enjoy the amazing landscape and take nice short hikes around the area, and really take in the beautiful unspoiled nature of Iceland.
Where do we stay?
We return to the same hotel tonight.
Day 5 | Golden Circle
After breakfast, we get to witness the force of Gullfoss, one of Iceland’s most powerful waterfalls. From there, we drive to the must see geothermal area of Geysir. The geyser Strokkur erupts every 5 to 10 minutes.
Afterwards, lunch will be served nearby inside the tomato greenhouse farm of Friðheimar Tomato Greenhouse. Surrounded by busy bees and tomato plants. We will be able to try their famous tomato soup, ravioli pasta, grilled tortilla pizza and homemade bread. Maybe must eat is a better description than must see for this experience. Make sure to pop outside to say hi to the Icelandic horses before leaving.
After all this, we drive to the famous Þingvellir National Park. Þingvellir is the site of the first known parliament in the world, where many of Iceland’s most important decisions were made. It also sits in the rift valley of the separating North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. We return to Reykjavík in the evening to give you the chance to have dinner in the city one final time.
Where do we stay?
Tonight we either skip straight past Reykjavík towards the world renowned Blue Lagoon, where you’ll stay for two nights at the 4 star Silica Lagoon or the 5 star Retreat. Alternatively, if you want one last chance to explore Reykjavík and try some of the best restaurants in town we can end the day here instead. The choice is yours.
Day 6 | Lava Tunnel, Volcano & Blue Lagoon
The Reykjanes peninsula and LAVA Tunnel tour is all about the tectonic effects on the island. We spend the day visiting the UNESCO Global Geopark of Reykjanes Peninsula which is home to some incredible sights.
We start with a visit to Raufarhólshellir, or the Lava Tunnel. This is one of the longest lava tubes in Iceland and a must see Iceland spot. Here we will explore the depths of this colourful lava tunnel. You will witness the inner workings of a volcanic eruption from 5200 years ago.
Afterwards, we will take part in a moderate hike to the newest lava field on the planet at the dormant volcano, Geldingadalur. We will walk around the lava field learning all about the eruption that started on the 19th of March 2021. There is no hot lava on the surface these days but you’re likely to see some steam coming from the rocks. On a clear day it’s possible to hike to the top of the nearby hill for a view of the volcanic crater. Please note, although the volcano has stopped erupting it is not always possible or safe to visit the site. On these days we would add in other great spots on the Reykjanes Peninsula before finishing the day at the Blue Lagoon.
Where do we stay?
Your guide will drop you off either at the luxurious Silica by Blue Lagoon or the 5 star Retreat by Blue Lagoon for a unique treat to wrap up your stay in Iceland. Both these hotels give you access to their own secluded pools as well as access to the Blue Lagoon itself. If you are on a budget you can always opt to stay at the nearby Northern Lights Inn once you’ve finished bathing in the lagoon. Alternatively, we can head back to Reykjavík.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
Depending on availability we will stay at a combination of Reykjavík hotels, Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon (or equivalent), luxurious Hotel UMI, unique Skálakot Luxury Manor or the more comfort level Hotel VOS. The final day will be at the luxurious Silica by Blue Lagoon or the 5 star Retreat by Blue Lagoon or the comfort level Northern Lights Inn for a unique treat to wrap up your stay in Iceland. All hotel choices are modern, spacious and comfortable with private bathrooms, and include breakfast. The ice cave tour will have all necessary safety equipment provided. Lunch at Friðheimar Tomato Greenhouse (all inclusive except from alcoholic drinks). 4×4 off road trip to Thórsmörk with lunch. Private transportation in a modern and comfortable vehicle and one of our wonderful English speaking guides for the duration of the 6 days.
Flights to and from Iceland, meals unless otherwise specified. Reykjavík based activities and accommodation.
Extensions / Add-ons
We can include Reykjavík based accommodation and activities upon request
This trip can be shortened to 6 days or extended to 7 or more days upon request
Additional or replacement activities can be requested (see form below)
Ready to make this your dream trip?
Please try to give us as much information in your submission as you can. We respond to all tour requests within 7 days, but please reach out to us if your request is urgent, or you want to provide more info.