This Private South Iceland & Northern Lights 2 Day Tour is the perfect short trip that gives you the chance to explore the celebrated sights of the South Coast of Iceland and the Golden Circle, while staying in a secluded hotel overnight to give you the best chance to see the Northern Lights.
Over two relaxed days you will travel along the south coast of Iceland and into the famed Golden Circle. You will get to; walk along the Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach with its crashing waves and basalt columns, sneak behind a 60 metre waterfall at Seljalandsfoss (if it isn’t too icy), be mesmerised by the powers of the Skógafoss and Gullfoss waterfalls, take in great views of the Sólheimajökull glacier, witness the erupting geyser of Strokkur in the Geysir Geothermal Area, and walk between separating continental plates in the Þingvellir National Park. Oh and don’t worry, we will stop off at the Friðheimar Tomato Farm for a unique tomato based lunch and to pet the local Icelandic horses along the way too.
Please note: This is a 2 day, 1 night tour with one night accommodation included. Check out our longer multi-day tour options for longer tours.
PRIVATE SOUTH ICELAND & NORTHERN LIGHTS 2 DAY TOUR
Day 1 | The Golden Circle
Depending on the time of year, we like to start our two days in the mid-morning by travelling into the UNESCO Heritage Site of Þingvellir National Park where we will learn all about the longest surviving democracy in the world and see the effects of diverging contintental tectonic plates. The national park sits between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates which are separating at around 2cm per year.
We then go straight to the most unique lunch you will have in Iceland at the Friðheimar Tomato Farm (all inclusive except alcohol), where we dine on their delicious tomato inspired menu right inside the greenhouse amongst all the plants. They grow over 1 tonne of tomatoes every single day (yes, even in winter) thanks to the geothermal energy in the area.
Next up we head onwards to the vast Gullfoss waterfall, one of Iceland’s biggest waterfalls. The tinted glacial water appears golden in the summer and a vibrant blue in the winter. Nearby we change the temperature and watch the regularly erupting geyser of Strokkur in the geothermal area of Geysir. It erupts every 5 – 10 minutes at varying heights and quantities.
Day 1 Evening | Northern Lights
Once the daylight begins to fade, which can be quite early in the midst of an Icelandic winter, we will start to drive towards our hotel for the night in the south of Iceland. This drive gives us the chance to search for the Northern Lights before dinner if anything has appeared already.
Once we arrive at our hotel, we will have dinner together and assess the likelihood of seeing the Northern Lights that night. If the weather and solar forecast is looking promising then we will step out after dinner into the open fields around your hotel. You won’t have to walk far though as you’ll already be in the perfect place for night time gazing.
Due to maximum working and driving rules, your guide will need to retreat to bed at a reasonable time, rested and ready for tomorrow. But you are of course welcome to stay up all night popping in and out of your hotel room as much as you please. Good luck!
Where do we stay?
There is a big list of hotels in the Golden Circle and South Coast area that ticks all the boxes we need for a triumphant night of Northern Lights hunting, great tasting food and comfy beds. Our favourites range from the comfort level accommodation at Hotel VOS and Hotel Lækur to the more luxurious Skálakot Country Hotel and Hotel UMI.
Day 2 | The South Coast
We will wake up a little later than normal today to account for your late night escapades. This can be discussed with your guide the night before. If you weren’t lucky enough to see the Northern Lights last night, don’t fret. Today will be an incredible day nonetheless.
We start by sneaking behind the 60 metre (200ft) waterfall at Seljalandsfoss. On icy days, going behind isn’t possible but is still an unbelievable experience. Next up will be the similar height but far more powerful Skógafoss waterfall, made famous in TV Shows like Game of Thrones and Vikings. For lunch we will stop by one of Iceland’s many local cafés before walking along the turbulent but stunning Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach. The ever present crashing waves and angular basalt columns make this one of the most unique beaches in the world. As we start to drive back towards Reykjavík in the afternoon, we’ll make sure to stop off for a nice walk to an incredible viewpoint of the Sólheimajökull glacier. Your guide will discuss the science and history of this melting and moving giant. We should be back in Reykjavík in time for dinner.
We hope you managed to see the Northern Lights but regardless, we know you’ll had a great time with us!
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
Lunch at Friðheimar Tomato Greenhouse (all inclusive lunch besides alcoholic beverages), one night accommodation, private transportation in our luxurious vehicle with wifi, led by one of our wonderful guides for the day.
Accommodation, dinner and any re-run of the northern lights
What if the Northern Lights forecast is bad?
This tour is designed to be a great two day break even if the Northern Lights become unlikely to see. We will run the tour as intended but may amend start times to maximise day time sightseeing if it’s unlikely that you will stay out at night.
How long do we spend hunting for the Northern Lights?
Once you’ve had dinner, your guide will assess the likelihood of seeing the Northern Lights and make a plan to venture out into the nearby fields outside of your hotel. This will be on foot. Your guide will remain with you until a reasonable time (no later than 11pm). Thankfully, the hotels we choose are ideal for simply stepping outside of your hotel room and looking up. Please note, we cannot drive you to different areas after dinner due to laws regarding legal driving times for guides. Don’t worry, you’re already in the perfect spot.
What if we go hunting but don’t see the Northern Lights?
Being in a secluded hotel overnight means that you are never more than a few minutes away from your hotel room so you’ll never be aimlessly outside for hours on end. We can’t guarantee you’ll see the Northern Lights on any of our tours but do our best to maximise your chances.
Will I get a second chance to see the Northern Lights if we aren’t successful on our trip?
We don’t provide Northern Lights only tours so this will be your only chance to see them with us if you aren’t successful. We prefer to only offer Northern Lights tours as part of a package, so if you don’t get lucky at night you at least still had a fantastic day leading up and after it. There are a number of other companies that offer Northern Lights only tours if this is your top priority on other days.
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.