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Iceland Full Circle - Winter

(10 days / 9 nights)

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Take the wheel and prepare to be amazed this winter

This classic tour around Iceland’s “Ring Road” offers winter nature at its very best. Along with a detour to the magical Snæfellsnes Peninsula, you’ll visit spectacular natural attractions like powerful waterfalls, hot springs in moonlike surroundings, majestic glaciers, iceberg lagoons, volcanic beaches and more. And with accommodations in rural areas—far from city lights, you’ll also have some opportunities to see the northern lights.

Looking for the summer version of this tour?

Type

Self-Drive

Interest

Best Seller, Classic, Northern Lights

Season

1 Oct - 30 Apr

Departure

Daily

Driving distance

1700/1068 km/mi

Price p. p. from

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Highlights A selection of the many incredible things you can see while in Iceland.

Itinerary

A day-by-day plan to guide your journey.

  • Day 1: Welcome to Reykjavík

    On arrival to Keflavik Airport, you will be greeted by a driver who will take you to your accommodation in Reykjavík. After settling in, the rest of the day is free for you to explore the vibrant city centre and its many museums, restaurants and bars for all tastes. If you're interested in checking out Icelandic design or experiencing the city's thriving coffee culture, head to the main street, Laugavegur, to enjoy its various shops and cosy cafes.

    Spend the night in central Reykjavik.

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  • Day 2: Wonders of the Golden Circle

    Collect your rental car in the morning and begin your journey on the classic “Golden Circle” route, starting with the fascinating Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you can walk on a path in the rift valley between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Next is the Haukadalur geothermal area, home of Geysir—the original “geyser”—and the more active Strokkur, which spouts water every few minutes. End the circle with visits to the majestic Gullfoss waterfall and the implosion crater of Kerið. 

    Spend the night in the Hvolsvöllur area.

    Driving distance approx. 250 km / 155 mi. 

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  • Day 3: Waterfalls and Volcanic Beaches

    Visit the fairytale-like Seljalandsfoss waterfall, where you can walk right behind the misty cascade, then head to the equally gorgeous Skógafoss waterfall just a short drive down the road. South of the village of Vík, make a stop at the volcanic black sand beach for dramatic views of the Dyrhólaey and Reynisdrangar rock formations rising above the crashing waves. You can even take part in an optional guided excursion by foot or snowmobile on a glacier today!

    Spend the night in the Kirkjubæjarklaustur/Skaftafell area.

    Driving distance approx. 220 km / 137 mi. 

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  • Day 4: Glaciers and Floating Icebergs

    Spend some time exploring Skaftafell, part of the immense Vatnajökull National Park and a place of great natural beauty. Here you’ll find many interesting hiking trails, including a short path leading to the Svartifoss waterfall and its unique basalt columns that resemble organ pipes. Then head to the famous Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and enjoy the view of floating icebergs under the glow of the setting sun.

    Spend the night in the Höfn area.

    Driving distance approx. 210 km / 130 mi.

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  • Day 5: Fjords and Fishing Villages

    Your drive along East Iceland today is characterized by long and narrow fjords with steep mountainsides and rugged tundra. Each fjord has its own unique qualities, with small fishing villages in postcard-perfect settings and friendly locals. Other notable sights on the route today include Mt. Búlandstindur and the Lagarfljót River, which according to folklore is inhabited by a Loch Ness-like monster.

    Spend the night in Egilstaðir area.

    Driving distance approx. 260 km / 160 mi.

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  • Day 6: Lunar Landscapes of Lake Mývatn

    Continue towards north towards today’s destination: the otherworldly Lake Mývatn area. This part of North Iceland boasts an abundance of unusual natural wonders to explore, like the Krafla volcano, the curiously-coloured Námaskarð pass, the massive crater of Hverfell and the lunar-like pseudo-craters at Skútustaðir. If you’re up for seeing more natural wonders today, make an optional detour (weather and road conditions permitting) to Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe. Later in the evening, if the skies are clear, you may even see another natural wonder—the northern lights.*

    Spend the night in the Lake Mývatn area.

    Driving distance approx.263 km / 163 mi.

    *Please note that the northern lights are a natural phenomenon, so sightings cannot be guaranteed.

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  • Day 7: Natural Charms of the North

    Spend the first half of the day exploring more of Lake Mývatn. We recommend visiting Goðafoss (“The Waterfall of the Gods”) on your way to the charming town of Akureyri, where you can take a stroll through the town centre and enjoy the variety of little shops, cafes and museums. 

    On your way towards Skagafjörður, an area known for its abundance of Icelandic horses, you may choose to take a detour around Tröllaskagi (“The Peninsula of the Trolls”) for beautiful scenery of mountains, cliffs and fjords. Other interesting stops along your drive include the village of Siglufjörður, which was once the centre of Iceland’s herring fleet, and the Hofsós town thermal pool (optional).

    Spend the night in Northwest Iceland.

    Driving distance (with Tröllaskagi) approx. 250 km / 155 mi.

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  • Day 8: Journey to the Centre of the West

    Drive to the historical Borgarfjörður region of west Iceland today. For those interested in the history of Iceland, a visit to the Icelandic Settlement Centre in the town of Borgarnes is recommended, or perhaps a stop at nearby Reykholt, the medieval home to renowned Iceland historian, poet and chieftain Snorri Sturluson. Other worthwhile natural sights in the region include the Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls that tumble over a lava field and Deildartunguhver, Europe's most powerful hot spring.

    Spend the night in Borgarfjörður area

    Driving distance approx. 260 km / 162 mi

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  • Day 9: The Spectacular Snæfellsnes Peninsula

    Today you have the option of driving the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Enjoy the natural beauty of Snæfellsjökull National Park—named after the glacier-topped volcano that stands prominently at the end of the peninsula. Highlights of your driving route today include the Dritvík Cove, the dramatic bird cliffs of Lóndrangar, Hellnar and Arnarstapi as well as idyllic seaside villages. And if you think you have what it takes to be an Icelandic fisherman, you can test your strength with the “lifting stones” on beach at Djúpalónssandur like in the old days. Return to Reykjavik for the evening. 

    Spend the night in central Reykjavík.

    Driving distance approx. 290 km / 180 mi.

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  • Day 10: Departure

    Transfer by shuttle bus to Keflavík International Airport in time for your departure flight. If you depart in the afternoon, you can do some last minute shopping at some of Reykjavik´s boutiques or visit one of the city’s interesting museums. You also have the possibility to add a trip to the Blue Lagoon to your transfer (optional).

    Note: Due to renovations the Blue Lagoon is closed from the 24th through the 27th of April 2017 (both days included).

    Please be advised that daylight is limited in Iceland during the winter months, with about 4-5 hours of daylight during the holidays, from December to January. Winter in Iceland is considered to be from October to April. 

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Map

Here’s a map of Iceland, to help put things in perspective.

Reviews

We don’t like to brag, so we’ll let our happy customers do it for us.

Douglas, United Kingdom

Iceland Full Circle - Winter, February 2015

Impressed by the quality

Hotels and guest houses an interesting mixture of styles. All good in their own way. We liked best the ones "in the middle of no-where". We were delighted to have found your company on the web and were very impressed by the quality of your service.

Danish, United Kingdom

Iceland Full Circle - Winter, October 2014

Would highly recommend to anyone

My brother had used Nordic Visitor the previous year to visit Iceland and he was all praises so we decided to do the same and we were not disappointed. Jelena, our travel consultant was exceptionally helpful and informative and genuinely friendly. The only real issue we had was we experienced a burst tyre on a Sunday and she did all she could to make sure we could find a replacement, including having a tyre shop opened only for us! Would highly recommend Nordic visitor to anyone and everyone! Iceland, is by far one of the most interesting and inspiring places we've been to. It sits on top of a giant volcano so the scenery is very different to anything we've experienced before. A must visit for anyone who appreciates nature at its purest!

Marilyn, Canada

Iceland Full Circle - Winter, February 2015

Nothing was left unattended

I was extremely happy with the entire experience...from my initial email inquiries, through the booking process (and more questions from me that were answered thoroughly and promptly), my arrival, the trip itself and all the details taken care of by Nordic Visitor. Nothing was left unattended--I even received a phone call (on the Nordic-provided cell) mid-way during my tour from my consultant, asking how everything was going, was I enjoying myself, and advising me of a storm warning (ensuring I was checking road/weather conditions regularly). Since returning home I've already posted a review on your Facebook page and also comments on TripAdvisor. I'm happily and sincerely recommending your company to anyone/everyone interested.

Chris, Kenya

Iceland Full Circle - Winter, October 2014

Would not hesitate to recommend

All highly satisfactory and would not hesitate to recommend Iceland and Nordic Visitor to others.

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Accommodation

Sleep soundly, in the accommodation type of your choice, and wake up ready to enjoy another day of exploration.

Budget

Rooms with shared WC and shower (or bath) in farmhouses, guesthouses or well-appointed hostels. All provide breakfast (included in..

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Comfort

Rooms with private WC and shower (or bath) in a three-star hotel or well-appointed guesthouse. All provide breakfast (included in ..

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Quality

Rooms with private WC and shower (or bath) in a three- or four-star hotel or the best accommodation available in the area at the t..

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Rental car

Enjoy the journey, with authorization for two drivers and free GPS in the rental car of your choice.

Ford Kuga 4x4
or similar

Ford Kuga 4x4
or similar

  • Type: E
  • Description: Compact SUV, four-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 4
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Automatic

Ford Edge 4x4
or similar

Ford Edge 4x4
or similar

  • Type: F
  • Description: Mid-size SUV, four-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5
  • Suitcases: 5
  • Doors: 5
  • Operation: Automatic

Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4
or similar

Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4
or similar

  • Type: G
  • Description: Full-size SUV, four-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5
  • Suitcases: 5
  • Doors: 5
  • Operation: Automatic

Volvo XC90 4x4
limited availability

Volvo XC90 4x4
limited availability

  • Type: H
  • Description: Full-size Premium SUV, four-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5/6
  • Suitcases: 6/3
  • Doors: 5
  • Operation: Automatic

Land Rover Defender 4x4
limited availability

Land Rover Defender 4x4
limited availability

  • Type: J
  • Description: Highland SUV, four-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5/6
  • Luggage: 4/2
  • Doors: 2/4 to 6
  • Transmission: Manual

Optional activities

This is your trip, what are you interested in doing?

Everything about this tour

Booking
  • The best months to experience the northern lights are October through April every year, with peak visibility from December through February. Please note, as the northern lights are natural phenomena, we cannot guarantee sightings even if the tour is operated.
  • The temperature may be very cold at times; bring warm clothes and plenty of layers.
  • This package can be customised to meet your needs, and extra nights can be added on request. Contact us for details.
  • We recommend booking at least three weeks prior to departure.
Please be advised that daylight is limited in Iceland during the winter months, with about 4-5 hours of daylight during the holidays, from December to January. Winter in Iceland is considered to be from October to April. 
 
Currency rate
All bookings are charged in Icelandic Króna (ISK), the official currency of Iceland. Prices displayed in other currencies are indicative only and based on the daily exchange rate as issued by the Central bank of Iceland. Therefore, conversions from ISK to other currencies will fluctuate from day to day.
 
After booking with Nordic Visitor
After booking your package with Nordic Visitor, you will be contacted within two working days by one of our travel consultants, who will serve as your dedicated contact person for all of your travel needs before, during and even after your holiday. Your travel consultant will provide you with details about your booking and your remaining payment (if not paid in full). You will also receive more information about what to expect during your holiday.

 

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Whether you have a single question or a special request, we're here for you.