This Iceland Must See 6 Day, 5 Night Private Tour Winter Itinerary is designed for people with over a week to spend in Iceland. This itinerary is a combination of must see sights, nature, adventure and culture. From the fishing villages nestled in the Snæfellsnes peninsula in the west to the mighty glaciers in the south east.
Although this trip is a similar duration to our popular Grand Circle tour, there is a lot less driving involved, giving us more flexibility with the weather. It can be tricky completing a Grand Circle tour in winter, so this tour is the perfect alternative. On this itinerary we still cover a large part of the country but focus on the must see highlights of Iceland.
The main difference between this tour and our Grand Circle tour is that on each day we want to spend a little more time in each area. Less driving, more exploring and experiencing. The trip covers all two of Iceland’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the ever popular Golden Circle region, the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon situated within Vatnajökull National Park, geothermal hot springs, rural villages and so much more. In essence, everything that is an absolute must see in Iceland. To experience this trip is to experience Iceland in all its raw natural beauty.
The itinerary below lasts for 6 incredible days of tours, plus your arrival and departure days. However, if you want to add in some extra activities like snorkeling, snowmobiling, horse riding, Blue Lagoon or additional hikes, it can easily be extended to 7, 8, 9 or even 10 days. Conversely, if you prefer the trip to be a little shorter let us know which day you want to take out and we’ll see if it’s possible. Simply, when you send us a message just let us know how long you have and what else you’re excited to do. We’ll do our best to include all of the must see Iceland sights in the time you have.
Please note that at certain times of year we may need to swap some activities to cater for the changing seasons. We will notify you of any changes when your first query is made.
Must See Iceland | Tour Highlights
• Hiking on the Falljökull glacier. This glacier is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Vatnajökull National Park. This can be upgraded to an ice cave tour, if you were hoping to be mesmerised by the blues of the glacier.
• Staying in wonderful countryside accommodation. In the fall you can marvel at the northern lights straight from your window.
•Taking a stroll on the Reynisfjara and Djúpalónssandur black sand beaches
•Walking behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall and getting to the edge of the roaring Skógafoss waterfall
•Exploring the depths of the underground Raufarhólshellir Lava Tunnel
•Seeing the glacier icebergs up close at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach
•Bathing in the Secret Lagoon geothermal hot pool
•Tasting locally sourced food at the Friðheimar tomato farm and Narfeyrarstofa restaurant
•Revealing the Golden Circle sights; the ever erupting Strokkur geyser, the powerful Gullfoss waterfall and Þingvellir National Park
Private Must See Iceland 6 Day Tour | Winter Itinerary
The Day To Day
Day 1 / 6
South Coast Sights
On our first two days we travel the entire south coast of Iceland. These two days gives you the time to take in the impressive Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls. Not to mention the Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach with its unique hexagonal basalt columns.
Later in the day, you’ll be amazed by the giant icebergs floating around the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. A definite must see. If you’re lucky, you will spot some curious seals swimming around the lagoon, as well as large crystals of ice washed up on the nearby Diamond Beach. On a clear day they sparkle in the low sunlight. On top of that, you get to explore the endless moss covered Eldhraun lava fields from the devastating Laki eruption. Finally, you will take an easy hike to the feather like ridges of the incredible Fjaðrárgljúfur gorge. We then come into our accommodation for the night. The hotels in this area are in a great location for seeing the northern lights on a clear winter’s night, often being able to see them right from your room window.
Where do we stay?
Reynisfjara Black Beach. South Coast. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Paul Fencaros
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Norris Niman
Seljalandsfoss waterfall. South Coast: Fire & Ice Tour. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Norris Niman
Diamond Beach. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon 2 Day Tour. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Emily Sillett
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon 2 Day Tour. Hidden Iceland. Paul Fencaros
Skógafoss waterfall. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon 2 day tour. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Brendan Bannister
Fjaðrárgljúfur Gorge. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon 2 day tour. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Brendan Bannister
Northern Lights over Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Tom Archer
Day 2 / 6
Glacier Hike and Vatnajökull National Park
Our second day will focus more on adventure, namely, hiking on a glacier! This is a must see Iceland sight. Our breathtaking hike on the Falljökull glacier is designed for first timers with good mobility. For around 4 hours you will explore crevasses (cracks), moulin (holes) and seracs (ice sculptures) as you hike on the ice. Today is the most adventurous but also the most rewarding. Especially with the views of the surrounding area from the top of the glacier.
To learn more about what the glacier hike entails you can check out our Glacier Hike Guide here.
Where do we stay?
Looking for a little bit extra?
During the winter months we can swap the glacier hike tour out for an ice cave tour in the area, these caves are accessible from mid October through March. Another incredible upgrade that we can work in is a scenic helicopter ride to nearby glacier to visit Blue Dragon Ice Cave! The ice caves can vary in difficulty, with easy options available for those that prefer less hiking.
Hike to Falljökull Glacier. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon 2 Day Tour. Hidden Iceland. Photo Dennis Stever
Falljökull Glacier. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon 2 Day Tour. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Amy Robinson. Feature
Sapphire Ice Cave Tour. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Sarah Rodgers
Falljökull Glacier Hike. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon 2 Day Tour. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Paul Fencaros
Blue Diamond Ice Cave 2020. Local Guide & Hidden Iceland. Photo by Elliot J Simpson
Sapphire Ice Cave Tour. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Helen Maria Björnsdóttir
Ice Cave Discovery Tour. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Ömar Acar. Feature
Day 3 / 6
Golden Circle Sights, Friðheimar Tomato Greenhouse and Secret Lagoon Geothermal Hot Pool
After breakfast we head straight to relax in the warmth of the natural hot springs of the Secret Lagoon, the perfect way to start the day. This is Iceland’s oldest natural swimming pool, opening its doors back in 1891.
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.
Next, 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.
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.
Where do we stay?
Tonight we stay at Icelandair Hotel Hamar located right outside of the small town of Borgarnes. This hotel is perfectly located to see the northern lights when aurora forecast is favourable. Alternatively we can have a night in Reykjavík on this night to get a sense of the city life and try some of the best restaurants in town.
Gullfoss in winter. Golden Circle: Platinum Tour. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Norris Niman. Feature
Friðheimar Tomato Greenhouse Lunch. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Kat Craats
Strokkur at Geysir. Daniel Guindo Amezcua
Friðheimar Tomato Soup. Golden Circle: Platinum Tour. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Vala Fanney
Icelandic Horse by Brendan Bannister
Þingvellir National Park. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Dennis Stever
Secret Lagoon. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Kat Craats. Feature
Day 4 / 6
Enchanting Snæfellsnes Peninsula Sights
Today it’s all about the incredible views and the breathtaking drive. We’ll spend a little bit more time in the car as we wind around the steep cliffs and through the deep gorges of this lesser explored part of the country. On the Snæfellsnes Peninsula day you will witness fjords, mountains, volcanoes, endless lava fields, glaciers, and dramatic coastal cliffs all in one amazing peninsula. We start by visiting Selvallavatn lake and lava fields, before having lunch at one of our favourite local restaurants, Narfeyrarstofa, who use fresh seafood and produce straight from the Breiðafjördur bay.
Then it is on to the famous Kirkjufell mountain, depicted in the hit TV series Game of Thrones as the Arrow Mountain. Another must see Iceland spot. This is a prime ‘must see Iceland’ spot. Next is the lava fields and black sand shores of Djúpalónssandur beach and the small village of Arnarstapi, which is surrounded by impressive basalt sea cliffs plummeting into the ocean.
Where do we stay?
Ending the day at the beautiful Hótel Búðir for an overnight stay make the Snæfellsnes experience even more special.
Kirkjufell Reflection in Winter. Snæfellsnes Peninsula Tour. Hidden Iceland. Photo Brendan Bannister. Featured
Kirkjufell Mountain. Northern Lights. Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Tom Archer. Featured
Selvallavatn waterfall by Dennis Stever
Búðakirkja Black Church by Norris Niman
Arnastapi by Norris Niman
Day 5 / 6
Snæfellsnes Peninsula and whale watching
After breakfast at the wonderful Hótel Búðir we’ll make a quick photo stop by Búðakirkja black church before heading out for another day of exploring. We will make our way back to the northern part of the peninsula to sail out on Breiðarfjörður bay for a whale watching tour to see the wild mammals in their natural habitat, without disturbing the orcas while we enjoy the spectacle of them feeding, traveling or playing. Snæfellsnes Peninsula is the only place in Iceland where Orcas (Killer Whales) are regularly seen all year round.
Where do we stay?
In winter we can maximise our chances of seeing the northern lights by spending another night at Icelandair Hotel Hamar. Alternatively we can come into our Reykjavík before embarking on our last day of touring.
Looking for something extra?
Alternatively to whale watching we can look to spend the day in the Húsafell area. This area is further inland and explores the Borgarfjörður region, starting by visiting the nearby Hraunfossar and Barnafoss, which are some of the more beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. Next we would grab lunch nearby before making a quick stop at Deildartunguhver hot spring, the most powerful naturally occurring flow of boiling water in Iceland. We can end the day with a wonderful soak at Krauma Spa for the afternoon.
Orca Whale Watching Iceland
Búðakirkja black church in winter. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Scott Drummond
Stykkisholmur Fishing Village Harbour. Snæfellsnes Peninsula Tour. Hidden Iceland. Photo Dennis Stever
Orca Whale Watching Kirkjufell Mountain. Picture from Laki Tours
Snæfellsnes drive. Winter Lights photo workshop with Tom Archer & Wahyu Mahendra. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Tom Archer
Last but not least | Day 6 / 6
Reykjanes & Lava Tunnel
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 short stop to Bessastaðir, Iceland’s White House, where our president lives. From here we continue on to the Bridge Between Two Continents. This is a small bridge linking the continental tectonic plates. Nearby is Gunnuhver, the largest steaming hot spring in Iceland. Alongside this there are spectacular ocean views. Not to mention Iceland’s oldest lighthouse, Reykjanesviti.
After lunch we’ll head on wards to the geothermal area Krýsuvík, with its bubbling mud springs and mars like landscape. Finally, our true highlight of the tour, 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.
Where do we stay?
After today you’ll say goodbye to your Hidden Iceland guide and settle into your accommodation in Reykjavík. Alternatively we can drop you off either at Silica by Blue Lagoon or The Retreat by Blue Lagoon for a unique treat to wrap up your stay in Iceland.
Looking for something extra?
If you would like to amend this tour to fit with flight times or experience another must see like the Blue Lagoon on this final day we can amend the tour accordingly. Staying at Silica by Blue Lagoon or Retreat by Blue Lagoon is a truly unique way to relax after a few adventure filled days while traveling around Iceland. We recommend spending two nights at The Retreat by Blue Lagoon to get the full experience.
If you have an early outbound flight the following morning we can then look to stay at Hotel Berg, located close to the airport and offer free shuttle service from the hotel to KEF Airport.
Reykjanesviti Lighthouse. Reykjanes & Lava Tunnel tour. Hidden Iceland. Photo Norris Niman
Seltún, Krýsuvík. Between Continents Reykjanes & Lava Tunnel tour. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Norris Niman
Reykjanesviti Island by Norris Niman
Gunnuhver by Norris Niman
LAVA Tunnel Walk by Norris Niman
Kleifarvatn. Between Continents Reykjanes & Lava Tunnel tour. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Norris Niman
LAVA Tunnel lights. Between Continents Reykjanes & Lava Tunnel tour. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Norris Niman. Feature
Operates: Autumn, winter, spring (with modifications according to different seasons)
Duration: 6 days of tours
Minimum age: No minimum age, though some activities have a minimum age (10 years old for glacier hike for example)
Level of difficulty: Moderate (glacier hike, can be moderated)
Accommodation, activities requested and private transportation in a comfortable vehicle with wifi. Type of vehicle is dependant on group size. Led by our wonderful English speaking glacier and driver guide for the duration of the trip. Pick up and drop offs in Reykjavík, airport pickup and/or drop off can be requested.
Flights to and from Iceland, meals unless otherwise specified.
Customise Your Must See Iceland 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. Don’t think you are up for a glacier hike? We can take that out and add in more sights as there is so much to see in the south of Iceland. Want to make this trip even more adventurous? We can work with our partners to add in snorkelling between the tectonic plates at Silfrá or snowmobile on top of one of Iceland’s glacier covered volcanoes.
Want to make this trip even more luxurious? Let us know that you wish for 4 star and above type of accommodation. These hotels are some of the best located in Iceland, with the highest class rooms to take in the surrounding view. The options are endless, utilise our expertise to help you come up with the perfect experience.
If your budget doesn’t quite allow you to do all these wonderful places with us you can look to combine a number of our scheduled, small group tours that travel to some of the same areas. For our scheduled, small group tours our maximum group size is 12 guests and for our semi private tours the maximum group size is 8 guests.
Ready to make this your dream trip?
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