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Iceland Full Circle at Leisure - Winter

(14 days / 13 nights)

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Enjoy the ring road in winter at your own pace

Autumn and winter are wonderful times to visit Iceland as the country has fewer travellers than in the high season, and this is the time to see the otherworldly northern lights. Travellers will circle Iceland to relax, soak in the scenery and enjoy unrivaled nature like geysers, waterfalls, black sand beaches and icebergs in the glacier lagoon. This self-drive is set for a leisurely pace, allowing you more time to roam the sights and explore, and to sign up for optional activities.

Looking for the summer version of this tour?

14 days / 13 nights

Price p.p. from

Approx 258248 ISK

The amount will be charged in ISK

— Why book with Nordic Visitor

  • Hassle-free & seamless travel experience
  • Flexible & customisable tour options
  • Value for your money
  • Professional service from local experts 

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Tour Highlights

  • See the massive floating icebergs at the Glacier Lagoon
  • Explore the famous Golden Circle route
  • Walk the Diamond Beach, seeing the scattered, glistening ice
  • Discover the volcanic Lake Mývatn and its beautiful surroundings
  • Enjoy the cascading waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss Skógafoss
  • Photograph jagged basalt columns & sweeping black sand beaches
  • Traverse Iceland‘s beautiful national parks – VatnajökullÞingvellir and Snæfellsnes
  • Walk the quaint streets of Akureyri, the unofficial capital of north Iceland
  • Explore the Sun Voyager, Hallgrímskirkja and the old harbour in Reykjavík
  • Enjoy the tranquility of the winter season and hunt for northern lights

Travel style

Self-Drive i

Interest

Northern Lights i, Slow Paced i

Season

Oct - Apr

Departure

Daily

Driving distance

2309/1434 km/mi

Itinerary

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

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  • Day 1: ARRIVAL & WELCOME TO REYKJAVíK

    On arrival to Keflavik International Airport, you will be greeted by a driver who will drive you to your accommodation in Reykjavík. If you are arriving early in the day, you can add a visit to the Blue Lagoon. Once you arrive in Reykjavik and 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. Head to the main street, Laugavegur, to enjoy its various shops and cosy cafes.

    Spend the night in Reykjavík.

    Attractions Optional Activity
  • Day 2: The Winter Wonders of the Golden Circle

    Collect your rental car in the morning and start your journey to the beautiful and historical Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Þingvellir plains are located on the North Atlantic rift that splits the island between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Next, visit Geysir—the original geyser—or its ever-reliable counterpart, Strokkur, which erupts every few minutes. Next make your way to the majestic Gullfoss. From Gullfoss, you can visit the nearby volcanic crater of Kerið before continuing to your accommodation.

    Spend the next two nights in Selfoss area.

    Driving distance approx. 96 km / 59 mi

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 3: Further Exploration and Optional Activities

    Today you can explore the area around the Golden Circle, stopping by places you missed yesterday, or visit other attractions like the Faxi waterfall and the charming Friðheimar farm. At Friðheimar you can tour the tomato greenhouses, buy local products at their market and even enjoy a tomato-based lunch (meal must be booked in advance). You can also choose from a number of optional activities like horseriding, snorkeling and bathing in the Secret Lagoon.

    Spend another night in Selfoss

    Driving distance approx. 143 km / 88 mi

    Optional Activity
  • Day 4: Wintry Waterfalls & Black Sand Beaches

    Visit Seljalandsfoss waterfall, where you can walk right behind the misty cascade, then head to the equally impressive 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 a glacier hike, visit to an ice cave or snowmobile tour today. Click on our optional activities for more information.

    Spend the next two nights in the Kirkjubæjarklaustur area.

    *Caution should always be exercised when visiting Reynisfjara beach near Vík due to powerful rogue/sneaker waves and the strong undertow current. Always stay far back from the water’s edge and read the warning sign before walking on the beach.

    Driving distance approx. 203 km / 126 mi

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Optional Activity
  • Day 5: Hiking, Waterfalls, & National Park

    Spend time exploring Skaftafell, which is a part of the vast Vatnajökull National Park, and a place of great natural beauty. Here you will find many interesting hiking trails*, including a short path leading to the Svartifoss waterfall and its unique basalt columns that resemble organ pipes (please note that hiking conditions depend on the season). This is a great day to sign up for optional activities based on your interests like a guided glacier walk or a tour to an ice cave.

    Spend another night in the Kirkjubæjarklaustur area.

    *venturing onto a glacier or engaging in ice climbing should only ever be attempted with the assistance of a licensed and experienced guide.

    Driving distance approx. 144 km / 89 mi

    Attractions Attractions Optional Activity
  • Day 6: Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Beach

    Start the day by heading to the famous Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and enjoy the view of floating icebergs, before continuing to the smaller lagoon, Fjallsárlón and the Diamond Beach where you see glistening chunks of ice on the black sands.  Since the town of Höfn has been nicknamed the “Lobster Capital of Iceland” we highly recommend ending the day with a delicious lobster dinner here!

    Spend the night in Höfn area.

    Driving distance approx. 203 km / 126 mi

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Optional Activity
  • Day 7: East Iceland Gems & Scenic Towns

    Your drive along East Iceland today is characterised 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 spotting reindeer and the Lagarfljót River, which according to folklore is inhabited by a Loch Ness-like monster. If the conditions are right, you might get a glimpse of the northern lights in the beautiful east.

    Spend the night in Egilsstaðir area.

    Driving distance approx. 256 km / 159 mi

    Attractions Optional Activity
  • Day 8: Thunderous Waterfall & Luminous Northern Lights

    Continue north towards today’s destination: the otherworldly Lake Mývatn area. Your first stop will be at the mighty Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in all of Europe, before continuing to Mývatn.  This part of North Iceland boasts an abundance of unusual natural wonders to explore, like the Krafla volcano and the curiously-coloured Námaskarð pass. Later in the evening, if the skies are clear, you may even see another natural wonder—the majestic northern lights.*

    Spend the next two nights in Lake Mývatn area.

    Driving distance approx. 223 km / 138 mi

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

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Optional Activity
  • Day 9: Lava Landscapes & Mývatn

    Today is ideal to drive the circle around Mývatn including Dimmuborgir, a region of strewn lava rocks, small caves, volcanic rocks and cliffs. Mývatn is a shallow eutrophic lake situated in an area of active volcanism in the north of Iceland, not far from Krafla volcano. Nearby, explore the Skútustaðagígar pseudo-craters. There are plenty of optional activities in the region such as husky tours and cave exploration. We recommend ending the day with a relaxing soak at the milky Mývatn Nature Baths, a pool of warm geothermal water drawn from depths of 2,500 metres (not included).

    Spend another night in Lake Mývatn area.

    Driving distance approx. 35 km / 21 mi

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Optional Activity
  • Day 10: Charming Akureyri & Goðafoss

    Start the day by visiting Goðafoss waterfall on your way to the charming northern 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 (Peninsula of the Trolls) for beautiful scenery of mountains, cliffs and fjords. Other interesting stops along the way include the village of Siglufjörður, which was once the centre of Iceland’s bustling herring fleet.

    Spend the night in Skagafjörður.

    Driving distance approx. 256 km / 159 mi

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Optional Activity
  • Day 11: Explore The Unique Nature of the North and West

    Enjoy a leisurely drive from the north to the west today. First up is Vatnsdalshólar, a cluster of hills across the landscape of Vatnsdalur valley that are believed to have been formed by a catastrophic landslide.  Making your way south, you can stop at Grábrók volcanic crater for a short hike.  After some time at the crater, you can head to the town of Borgarnes and visit the Icelandic Settlement Centre.

    Spend the next two nights in Borgarnes area.

    Driving distance approx. 234 km / 145 mi

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Optional Activity
  • Day 12: The Splendid 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 the beach at Djúpalónssandur like in the old days.

    Spend another night in Borgarnes area.

    Driving distance approx. 320 km / 198 mi

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Optional Activity
  • Day 13: Explore Beautiful Borgarfjörður

    Drive to the historical Borgarfjörður area of west Iceland today. Other worthwhile natural sights in the area include the Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls that tumble over a lava field and Deildartunguhver, Europe's most powerful hot spring. Today, you also have the option to enjoy a visit to the ice tunnel or Krauma geothermal baths before heading back to Reykjavík for the evening.

    Spend the night in Reykjavík.

    Driving distance approx. 196 km / 121 mi

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Optional Activity
  • Day 14: Departure

    When it’s time for your Iceland adventure to end, you will be picked up from your accommodation for your airport transfer by a shuttle bus about three hours before your flight. If you’re flying in the afternoon, you have the option to visit the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa to relax in the warm mineral waters before continuing to the airport.

    Attractions Optional Activity

Map

Here’s a map of your travel route, to help put things in perspective.