Iceland Winter Adventure

Iceland Winter Adventure

9 Days From



Iceland Winter Adventure

9 Days Starting and ending in Reykjavik

Visiting: Reykjavik, Akureyri, Mývatn, Egilsstaðir, Höfn, Vik, Reykjavík

Tour operator:


Tour code:


Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 18

Physical rating:


Age range:


Special diets catered:

Vegetarians, Vegans

Tour operated in:

From: $4030 $3657 Operator discount: -$270 Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$103

NB: Prices correct on 24-Jul-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

Follow Iceland's famous Ring Road and discover the volcanoes, waterfalls and glaciers that make up the countries dramatic landscape. Walk between two continents at Thingvellir National Park, see the mighty Gullfoss Waterfall and watch Strokkur Geysir erupt.

Northern Lights - Stay up late and watch the Aurora Borealis light up the sky
Hrisey Island - Discover Hrisey's laid back pace of life with a Viking guide
Snow cat or super jeep ride - Take an exhilarating ride up Kaldbakur Mountain


  • Explore this spectacular volcanic isle in winter

  • Discover Iceland's famous highlights, hidden gems and unique culture

  • Several night stops offer the chance to see the captivating Northern Lights


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Day 1: Join Trip In Reykjavik

Location: Reykjavik

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel Klettur

Today the adventure begins with a transfer from Keflavik Airport (KEF) to our hotel on the public FlyBus shuttle bus service. On arrival at Keflavik Airport please proceed to the FlyBus desk which is located in the arrivals hall. A FlyBus representative will give you a voucher and direct you to the buses which leave every 35-40 minutes. The drive to the hotel will take approximately 45 minutes, via the main bus terminal where you may be asked to board a smaller bus for the final part of the journey to your hotel. On the drive from the airport to the hotel you'll get your first glimpse of the blackened and rocky volcanic scenery found on this part of the island.

There are no activities planned today so you are free to arrive at a time that suits you. After checking-in to the hotel, you may have time to explore a little of the world's most northerly capital. Bustling with cosmopolitan energy and surrounded by pure, unpolluted nature, Reykjavik is a city of striking contrasts. Small colourful corrugated iron houses nestle next to futuristic glass buildings; state-of-the-art facilities lie beside rugged volcanic terrain and international influences mingle with Icelandic national traditions. All this creates a unique culture where old embraces new.

On this holiday you'll be accompanied by a local Leader from days 2 to 8, so this evening you are free to settle in and enjoy this charming city.

Day 2: Travel To Akureyri 'The Capital Of The North'

Location: Akureyri

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Icehotel Akureyri

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Your leader will meet you in the hotel reception at 08:30am this morning and we'll drive to Iceland's second city, Akureyri where we will spend the next two nights. The journey will take between five to eight hours, depending on road conditions. However, there will be plenty of opportunities to stop along the way to stretch our legs and take photos of the stunning winter scenery.

One of the scenic stops along the way will be in the small fishing town of Akranes, just north-west of Reykjavik. This traditional town is home to two of Iceland's 104 lighthouses and from where they stand on the edge of the peninsula we will be afforded panoramic views over the fjord. If we're lucky enough to have a clear sky we will be able to see across the fjord to Reykjavik.We'll stop at a local farm in Hraunsnef for a relaxed lunch before continuing north.

Standing on the shores of the country's longest fjord, Akureyri is a pretty town, with a thriving arts community. It is seen as the cultural heart of the north of the island and its galleries and Lutheran cathedral are worth a visit.

Day 3: Explore Hrisey Island And Sample The Local Beer

Location: Akureyri

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Icehotel Akureyri

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

After yesterday's long drive we have a relaxed start to the morning. After breakfast we'll make our way to the harbour, stopping at a viewpoint and an old fish factory along the way. The factory is no longer in use but is a great insight to the regions main industry.

From Arskogstrond we take a 15-minute ferry ride to Hrisey Island. Here, together with a local guide, we will have the chance to experience the slow pace of life on the island, discover some of the rich Viking history and try a traditional fish lunch. After exploring the island we return to the mainland, where we will visit a small brewery for the chance to taste the locally produced beers before heading back to Akureyri for the evening.

Day 4: Experience Iceland's Snow Tractors And Visit Godafoss Waterfall, Lake Myvatn And The Nature Baths

Location: Mývatn

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Sel Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

Today we will ride into the mountains on a snow cat vehicle. The journey to the summit of Kaldbakur Mountain takes around 45 minutes and we will be rewarded with spectacular views of the snow covered peaks. .

After fulfilling the tradition of signing the Kaldbakur guest book that is kept in a cairn on the top of the mountain, we begin our descent back down the mountain. This is a true snowy adventure, so make sure you wrap up warm and get ready for a thrilling ride!

If you are travelling in October-December or there hasn't been enough snow to operate the snow cat, will we visit an alternative mountain and enjoy an exciting super-jeep excursion instead. These 10 feet high monsters can cross glacial moraine, lava flows and fast-flowing rivers with relative ease. In fact, you won't believe what the drivers can make them do, but fear not - they do this for a living!

We leave the mountains behind and spend the afternoon discovering Iceland's waterfalls. Starting with Godafoss, known as 'the waterfall of the gods', it is particularly spectacular in winter when the clear blue waters partially freeze.

In the afternoon we explore Lake Myvatn. This active volcanic area was formed 3800 years ago when a lava flow blocked the valley. Here we will be treated to the surreal sight of steam rising from ground vents through the snow-covered ground. We will also see a variety of fascinating rock formations caused by past lava eruptions.

After a day exploring, we take a soothing dip in the Nature Baths, where we will find a man-made lagoon to swim in and natural steam baths to relax in. Your leader will endeavour to time this visit with sunset so you can relax below the red and pink skies and watch the sun go down over a beautifully frozen Lake Myvatn. The Nature Baths here are a great quieter alternative to the busier Blue Lagoon in Reykjavik - they offer the same wonderful experience but with fewer people around you.

Day 5: Visit Dettifoss Waterfall En Route To Egilsstadir

Location: Egilsstaðir

Accommodation: Guesthouse

Accommodation Name: Hotel Eyvindara

Meals Included: Breakfast

Today we have a longer drive to the small village of Egilsstadir. Depending on the road conditions the drive will take approximately 7-8 hours, there will be plenty of stops along the way to break the journey, including a lunch stop at Mordudalur, a mountain based farm, weather permitting.Then, as long as the weather and road conditions are favourable, we'll visit the thundering giant that is Dettifoss Waterfall, Europe's most powerful waterfall known as Iceland's 'Beast' due to sheer cliffs and clouds of mist that can be seen from several miles away. If the road to Detifoss isn't passable, your tour leader will adapt the itinerary accordingly, possibly with a visit to Rjukandi Waterfall.

Our accommodation is well positioned for viewing the Northern Lights so if the conditions are right it's worth staying up late!

Day 6: Coastal Road To Hofn; Chance To See The Northern Lights

Location: Höfn

Accommodation: Guesthouse

Accommodation Name: Hotel Smyrlabjorg

Meals Included: Breakfast

Today, we drive along the eastern coastal road to the fishing town of Hofn, admiring the wind-swept sea views along the way. We also hope to catch our first glimpses of Vatnajokull - the largest ice cap in Europe.

On the way we will stop in small villages and walk along the deserted beaches of the east coast. We arrive in Hofn in the late afternoon and the evening is free to relax.

Day 7: Visit Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon And Travel To Vik

Location: Vik

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel Vik

Meals Included: Breakfast

Continuing our circumnavigation of the island, we'll see more of the Vatnajokull Glacier before stopping at the Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon. Here, we can marvel at newly formed icebergs as they make their way out to sea. The ice is breaking off from the Breidamerkurjokull Glacier and the icebergs then slowly float through the lagoon and out to sea under a road bridge. On one of the bridge's pillars there is a painting, supposedly by Banksy, of a headless polar bear pushing a shopping trolley.

You can see the icebergs drifting out into the ocean whilst others sit lazily on the black sand beaches waiting for the current to sweep them away. The sparkling ice gives the beach its name - Diamond Beach.

Tonight's hotel is in the remote countryside, providing us with another chance to look out for the Northern Lights.

Day 8: Golden Circle Tour Of Geysir, Gullfoss And Thingvellir

Location: Reykjavík

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel Klettur

Meals Included: Breakfast

Today, we take a tour of Iceland's 'Golden Circle', which includes many of the natural wonders which make the country so famous. Thingvellir is a rare site of both historical and geological importance. Meaning 'Parliament Plains', this was the location of Iceland's first National Assembly from 930AD until 1798 and, as such, is hugely significant in the country's cultural heritage. What's more, the impressive landscape sits on a unique spot where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge can be seen on dry land before disappearing to the ocean floor. This provides the quirky opportunity to place one foot on the North American tectonic plate and one foot on the Eurasian plate.

We move on to the Gullfoss, known as the 'Golden Waterfall', due to the way it cascades into a deep gorge with tremendous force. Regarded by many as one of the most beautiful falls in the world, it often remains partially frozen during the winter months. Geysir is our next stop, with the claim to fame that, as the first spouting spring known to Europeans, it gave all such springs their name. However, it is the Strokkur, meaning 'The Butter Churn', which is the main attraction these days, due to its impressive 100 feet eruptions every few minutes.

We return to Reykjavik this afternoon, where we will have a short sightseeing tour by bus to help us orientate ourselves before checking in to our hotel. The food scene in Reykjavik is impressive and this evening is free for a final dinner in one of the capitals many restaurants.

Day 9: Trip Ends In Reykjavik

Location: Reykjavik

Meals Included: Breakfast

Our trip ends after breakfast this morning. The transfer back to Keflavik airport (KEF) will be on the public FlyBus shuttle bus service and your leader will provide you with the details of your pick up time and with your voucher for this service.

Please note: The itinerary for this tour is subject to amendment due to weather or road conditions. Winter is a beautiful time to visit Iceland, but the weather can be unpredictable and snow can have a big impact on travel times. Consequently, it may be necessary to alter the order of the itinerary or to change inclusions whilst on tour.

What's Included

  • Meals – Breakfast Only

  • Airport Transfers at Destination

  • All Domestic Transportation (including internal flights)

  • Accommodation

What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • Country Entry Visas

  • 1 bottle of Mineral Water per person per day

Why Book this Tour

An ideal tour for anyone with a sense of adventure! This tour offers the best of Iceland at a spectacular time of year when the tourists are very few and far between. Although the itinerary is hugely weather dependent, keep an open mind because every day brings a new experience and the local crew work tirelessly to ensure you get the best out of your time in their country. And of course the chance to stand under a clear sky and see the Northern Lights is a tick off your bucket list!


Breakfasts: 8
Lunches: 2


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  • I'm going on a walking/cycling trip-do I need to train?

    It will depend on the grade and how fit you already are. Check the trip page for details of the walking or cycling grade and how far you’ll be walking/cycling each day. For moderate or challenging trips in particular we’d recommend doing some walks or cycles before you leave to build up your fitness and prepare you for the distances being covered.

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    We have a wide range of ages nationalities on our small group trips and they come from all walks of life.

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    Yes–it is a condition of booking that you are fully insured when travelling with us

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    At Explore, we're the experts in adventure travel. Our small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981. Today, Explore is one of the most trusted travel companies in the UK with over 500 trips to more than 120 countries.

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    Being a responsible company is a large statement, something that has to be entwined within the very fibre of a company. Discover the charities and partnerships we support as part of this at

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  • What is the accommodation like?

    We choose comfortable accommodation in the best locations possible. We opt for small, local and family-run accommodation where we can, as opposed to large chain hotels. We typically use hotels that are the equivalent of European 3-star, and you’ll usually have an en suite room. Occasionally, where we want to get off the beaten trail we may stay in more basic accommodation.

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    Sustainability is embedded within the fibre of Explore, it emanates from the inside out. But as we enter a new decade it is clearer than ever that our world needs help, and Explore has created a sustainability strategy based on the 2015 UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

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    All our trips require some level of active participation. This could be on a cultural trip, trek, safari, expedition or voyage. It is in the interests of all members of the group that everyone should be capable of fully participating in the activities of their chosen trip.

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    Final documents will include a comprehensive trip itinerary, climate and country information, budgeting and packing advice visa and passport information and details on optional activities available.

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    Yes on most of our trips. Most trips are based on customers sharing twin-bedded rooms. If you book a group trip as an individual, you will share a room with someone of the same sex. However, on many trips we offer the opportunity to pay a supplement to pre-book a single room, known as our single room option. On some trips a single room will be provided every night, on others it will be provided o

  • Do we have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel

    It’s now a condition of booking a trip with us that customers should have one of the following before they travel - — Be vaccinated against COVID, having received the full recommended course, and allowing enough time for immunity to take effect. Full vaccination includes any booster required to keep the vaccine valid. — Have taken a negative test (rapid antigen or PCR) within 72hrs of departure.

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Explore will only offer hotels that have specific COVID-19 protocols in place and comply with local government guidelines. We will ensure these measures include; enhanced room cleaning, ventilation, social distancing, regular cleaning and disinfection of high frequency touch points in public areas, food safety, staff re-training and minimising contact within the properties.

Reviews from travellers on this tour


Icelandic Winter Adventure


Icelandic Winter Adventure

Really impressed to be given crampons to wear for

Really impressed to be given crampons to wear for slippery walks. Great addition.


Icelandic Winter Adventure


Icelandic Winter Adventure

Paul’s sis and BIL, Jim and Donna Krupp from Massa

Paul’s sis and BIL, Jim and Donna Krupp from Massachusetts, have taken several Explore trips and suggested we join them on the Iceland adventure. So glad they did! Would definitely be interested in future trips...especially Chernobyl and Kiev!


Icelandic Winter Adventure

Really impressed to be given crampons to wear for

Really impressed to be given crampons to wear for slippery walks. Great addition.


Icelandic Winter Adventure

The provision of crampons by the local staff was e

The provision of crampons by the local staff was essential for safety. Perhaps should be mentioned as a requisite for this trip if not being provided by Explore

Read all 6 reviews

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Operator discount: -$270

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$107

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Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$115

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Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$122

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Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$122

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Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$122

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