5 Day Winter Minibus Tour: Blue Ice Cave, Snæfellsnes, Golden Circle, South Coast & Northern Lights Guided Tour

Our partner: Troll Expeditions

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Description

We start with a two day tour in west Iceland. Prepare to explore amazing things like, lava fields, dreamy waterfalls, dark caves, black and white beaches, historical locations and the mighty Snæfellsjökull glacier of the west.

You will be picked up in the morning by a guide and a driver and you will be heading straight towards the mountain Esja, which overlooks Reykjavík. Driving along side it you will reach Hvalfjörður fjords, the name of it translates to “whale fjord”. You will enjoy the features of the area, towering snow capped mountains and open fields. You will be able to see an old abandoned naval base, which was occupied by the British during WWII.

After Hvalfjörður you will head on to Borgarfjörður, a region filled with historical heritage, Viking sailors reached land and settled there after leaving their homeland.

Reykholtsdalur valley is your next location, there you can learn all about the forces of Deildartunguhver, Europe’s most powerful hot spring. From there you will journey to the village of Reykholt, where Snorri Sturluson, the poet, lawmaker and historian used to live during the Middle ages. Snorri wrote many codices that are invaluable records of mythology and the Old Norse language.

Not far from there are you will find two very different but equally beautiful waterfalls, Hraunsfossar and Barnafoss. Hraunfossar are a series of streams rushing through dark lava fields and Barnafoss, a bright blue stream speeding through a narrow ravine.

You will then head to your accommodation for a restful sleep. Keep an eye out for the magical Aurora at night, especially if the sky is starry and clear. 

Day 2 - The glacier of the west, Snæfellsjökull towers over the Peninsula in all its glory. The glacier played an important role in the novel Journey to the Centre of the Earth, by Jules Verne, where it was the opening point to a great underground journey. You will have a nice breakfast and then head out for a adventure where you will be exploring the underground.

Once you have reached the Snæfellsnes Peninsula you will visit Gerðuberg Cliff, a large basalt column wall. Next you will be able to explore a white sand beach at Ytri-Tunga, which is unusual for Icelandic beaches, most of them have black sand. The sand in Ytri-Tunga is golden and the location is great for spotting seals.

The village of Arnarstapi is your next destination, a small fishing village surrounded by basalt ravines and lava pillars. You can see old fisherman landing spots and you can follow a path leading you along the coast with the Atlantic Ocean waves crushing against Gatklettur arch rock.

You will head to Djúpalónssandur, a black pebble beach, to get there you will trek through a unique field of lava pillars and rocks, a very special location, unlike anything else. When you reach the beach you can walk on the pebble shore and take in all the incredible features of the location.

As the Professor Otto Lidenbrok along with his uncle Axel from Verne’s novel, you will venture into the volcanic tube towards earths core, you wont reach the centre of the earth but Vatnshellir lava cave is an exhilarating experience. In the cave you will follow a path of lava that was created over 8,000 years ago.

After you resurface from the lava cave you will continue to explore Snæfellsnes and head to the northern part of the Peninsula. The iconic Kirkjufell mountain will welcome you with all of its unique features. As you may know, the mountain was featured in the popular series, Game of Thrones and has become one of Icelands most popular sites.

On your way back to the capital, you will past Hraunsfjörður, a beautiful fjords surrounded by mountains covered in snow you will be able to see the dark lava field of Berserkjahraun, and your guide will give you some knowledge about the road’s construction.

Remember to keep a look out for the magical sight in the sky when it gets dark, the Northern Lights with their unbelievable colours cant wait to put on a show for you. You then will reach your accommodation in Reykjavík in the evening where you can relax, that concludes your journey to West Iceland. 

Day 3 - The Golden Circle an unforgettable expedition with a small group on the ultimate Golden Circle tour. You will visit the famous Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir and the surrounding geothermal area. The day also includes a visit to Kerið volcanic crater, and a stop at a traditional Icelandic farm to see and pet some horses and get a taste of home made Icelandic ice cream.

Day 4- The first stop is at Seljalandsfoss waterfall where you can walk behind the tumbling water flow and feel the vibrations of the water hitting the ground. Thirsty? Just open your mouth. Right next to it is the waterfall Gljúfrabúi which snugly tucked in a gorge hidden from most. Gljúfrabúi actually means Canyon Dweller in English. To reach the waterfall, you must first test your balance by bouncing on rocks lying in the river bed. A failure means instant foot wetness and a good laugh by your co-travellers. Skógafoss Prepare to meet the pearl of the South Coast, Skógafoss waterfall. Majestically tucked in a wide gorge, the waterfall tumbles down 60 metres from up above a cliff into a small river, producing a cloud of mist and spray that rainbows like to dance in during sunshine. Try to warm up for the glacier by running up the 527 steps to the top... Your guide will be timing you! Reynisfjara - Black Sand Beach Heading further east, we visit the black sand beach of Reynisfjara where the Atlantic coastline presents massive waves hitting the unique basalt columns in the cliffs above the sand. Rock pillars in the water and the cliffs of Dýrhólaey are seen in the distance.  Glacier Hike complete our perfect adventure we will hike an outlet glacier spawning from the one of the largest glaciers in the country. After meeting our highly trained glacier guides and strapping on our safety and glacier equipment, including helmets, harnesses, crampons and ice axes we hike on the ice for an hour and a half. A spectacular experience and opportunity to learn more about this breathtaking and increasingly rare natural phenomena.  

Day 5 - Jökulsárlón - The Glacier Lagoon, a 200m deep glacial lake fed by Breiðamerkurjökull, an outlet glacier of Europe’s largest glacier. Fed enormous icebergs all year round the lagoon is usually filled with ice that floats south. Tröll Expeditions will give you the opportunity to book a boat ride between the icebergs during summer time and get a closer look of the millenary ice. If boating is not your thing, then we walk alongside the glacier lagoon enjoying the magnificent views and dead silence of Icelandic nature. Diamond Beach On the other side of the road the icebergs from Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon float into the Atlantic Ocean where they are quickly thrown back to shore by the tide and winds. This black sand beach is full of smaller ice rocks in all shapes and sizes, sparkling like diamonds in the daylight. The ice itself comes in all shades of white and blue forming beautiful contrasts, guaranteed to make your Instagram account pop!  

And to make the experience even better we end with an Ice cave tour from Jökulsárlón, where you'll meet our guides, hop into our super jeep and take on an amazing journey up the glacier where the blue ice caves are. There you'll enter the unique phenomena which is the blue ice cave. What are you waiting for? Come and join us to check all the fun stuff we can do in the southern region, including glacier hiking! This is the ultimate Icelandic experience with a small group and experienced guide guaranteed. Start your adventure now by booking a date.  

Itinerary

DAY 1
Day 1 - Vikings on the West Coast
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Day 1 - Vikings on the West Coast

Today your two day sightseeing of the west begins. You will go from Reykjavik to exploring lava fields, waterfalls, lava caves, white and black beaches and much more.

On your way from Reykjavík you will drive along mount Esja that looks over the whole city of Reykjavík. Soon you will enter the scenic fjord of Hvalfjörður (whale fjord). Once you are out of Hvalfjörður you will enter another fjord, Borgarfjörður.

The first attraction of the day is Europe's most powerful hot spring, Deildartunguhver, where bailing water is bubbling from the ground, you will feel the heat from the hot steam. Next stop is Reykholt, one of the most important historical locations in Iceland. This was the home of Snorri Sturluson who was one of the most significant figures of the Middle Ages. After leaving Reykholt you will see two waterfalls, Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. Hraunfossar is a series of rivulets that stream through the dark lava field. Barnafoss waterfall is a light blue waterfall that rushes through a narrow gorge.

You will stay the night in Borgarfjörður area. Since this is a winter tour, you will have a chance of experiencing the northern lights if the weather and northern lights forecast allows.  

DAY 2
Day 2 - A Journey to the Centre of the Earth
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Day 2 - A Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Today you will explore the magical peninsula Snæfellsnes. The first stop of the day will be Gerðuberg cliffs, from there you will go to Ytri-Tunga white sand beach. White beaches are not common in Iceland so this is a really interesting stop. Then it's off to Arnarstapi with its magical coastline. This area is surrounded by basalt ravines and caves, you can see the Atlantic ocean rushing against the dramatic cliffs.

Next stop will be Djúpalónssandur, black pebble beach. Yo get to the beach you will have to walk through a maze of free standing lava pillars.

Throughout the day you will have Snæfellsjökull glacier watching over you. Snæfellsjökull was used as the entrance to the center of the earth in Jules Verne's classic sci-fi novel. You will actually have the change of entering the center of the earth through Vatnshellir cave if you fancy.

The last but not at all least stop of the day is the most photographed mountain in Iceland, Kirkjufell.

DAY 3
Day 3 - The Golden Circle
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Day 3 - The Golden Circle

Today you will be set out to see Iceland’s most famous route: The Golden Circle. You’ll get the chance to experience everything that the area has to offer, including geothermal areas, waterfalls, and our favorite locals. 

The Geysir geothermal area hosts hundreds of colorful hot springs and two geysers, erupting hot springs. One is called “Geysir” and name giving for all the geysers in the world. Today, however, it erupts very seldom. The other geyser is called “Strokkur” and erupts every 5 minutes up to 40 meters. 

A  stunning volcanic crater with a lake in the middle which formed in an eruption 3,000 years ago. Some believe that it was formed in a vast explosion. The more likely theory is that the volcanic cone collapsed into its own magma chamber after the eruption finished. Kerið is the perfect location to learn more about Icelandic geological history and observe a mind-blowing natural wonder 

The melting water from Iceland´s second biggest glacier, Langjökull, falls into a deep canyon forming the majestic “Golden Falls”. On a sunny day, you can see the glacier Langjökull in the distance and enjoy a rainbow in the mist of the waterfall, an Instagram blockbuster waiting to happen! 

We visit the place where the two tectonic plates, the North American and the Eurasian plate, are moving away from each other. Few places in the world offer a better and clearer view of this massive geographic activity. The biggest natural lake in Iceland is also located at Thingvellir National Park and hosts a great variety of fish and bird life. Thingvellir is also an important place for Icelandic national history. At Thingvellir Icelanders founded their parliament in 930 a.d. where the chieftains had their annual meeting every summer. The name “Thingvellir” translates to “Parliament Plains”. 

DAY 4
Day 4 - The South Coast of Iceland
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Day 4 - The South Coast of Iceland

The adventure begins with he powerful theatrics of Seljalandsfoss. Bring a raincoat and you’ll be able to make the short hike behind the falls. The scene behind the fall and the trembling ground from the power of the falling water makes for an automatic Instagram blockbuster! 

Further east along the coast is Skógafoss waterfall. Skógafoss is an incredibly picturesque sight. Tucked in a little gorge, the river Skógá tumbles down a 60 meter cliff before continuing down the landscape towards the Atlantic Ocean. Alongside the gorge a staircase can take you to the shelf above the waterfall for stunning views. See if you can count your steps on your way up. 

We will hike an outlet glacier spawning from the one of the largest glaciers in the country, Vatnajökull. After meeting our highly trained glacier guides and strapping on our safety and glacier equipment, including helmets, harnesses, crampons and ice axes we hike on the ice for an hour and a half. A spectacular experience and opportunity to learn more about this breathtaking and increasingly rare natural phenomena. Skaftafell area has been used as a filming location for many famous TV shows and films, such as Game of Thrones, Interstellar, James Bond, and others… Follow the steps of your favorite characters into the glacier! 

The journey continues with a super jeep ride to explore the ice cave. We recommend wearing waterproof hiking boots that cover your ankles and have hard sole. Iceland’s nature is dominated by glaciers and it is only possible to explore them with a certified guide and safety equipment. Your guide will share with you his expertise about the ice caves, allowing you to truly appreciate this amazing natural phenomenon – spoiler alert… it will be blue. 

Arriving at our hotel in the Southeast, you will move into your room, have dinner and then meet your guide for further information about the Northern Lights. If the sky is clear and the forecast is good your guide will walk out with you in the vicinity of your hotel a good spot to hunt the famous Aurora Borealis 

DAY 5
Day 5 - Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and Crystal beach
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Day 5 - Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and Crystal beach

The first stop of the day is Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, a 200m deep glacial lagoon fed by Breiðamerkurjökull, an outlet glacier of Europe’s largest glacier. Enormous icebergs come from Breiðamerkurjökull all year round so the lagoon is usually filled with ice that floats south. Try walking alongside the glacier lagoon enjoying the magnificent views and dead silence of Icelandic nature. 

On the other side of the road the icebergs from Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon float into the Atlantic Ocean where they are quickly thrown back to shore by the tide and winds. This black sand beach is full of smaller ice rocks in all shapes and sizes, sparkling like diamonds in the daylight. The ice itself comes in all shades of white and blue forming beautiful contrasts, guaranteed to make your Instagram account pop! 

Later, we visit the black sand beach of Reynisfjara where the Atlantic coastline presents massive waves hitting the unique basalt columns in the cliffs above the sand. Rock pillars in the water and the cliffs of Dýrhólaey are seen in the distance. This area of the south is also a paradise for bird lovers, as puffins and dozens of other unique species nest on top of these cliffs in the summertime from June to August.