5-Day West Iceland, Ice Cave and Northern Lights

5 Days

5-Day West Iceland, Ice Cave, and Northern Lights. The south and west coasts are typically visited by guided tours for only a day or two. This 5-day trip out of Reykjavik will give you more time to explore the two areas at your own pace. Seeing the Golden Circle, Snaefellsnes, and otherworldly glaciers, volcanoes, and waterfalls at your own pace and without having to worry about transportation or lodging is a dream come true.

5-Day West Iceland, Ice Cave and Northern Lights

Highlights

  • Small-group tour ensures a more personal experience
  • Slow down and take five days to fully explore the landscapes
  • Includes four nights’ accommodation with breakfast: No need to book your own
  • Hassle-free pickup and drop-off from your Reykjavik hotel

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Itinerary

Day 1 – West Iceland

Deildartunguhver Thermal Spring

During this first day, you will be exploring the Deildartunguhver hot spring, the most powerful hot spring in all of Europe. Here you can relax at Krauma Geothermal Baths (optional extra) or stop by a nearby farm where you can have the chance to pet Icelandic horses! Whilst the surroundings are very picturesque, make sure to always stay on the pathways.

Snorralaug

The historical hot spring pool Snorralaug is treasured as the bathing spot of Iceland’s most famous poet and politician, Snorri Sturluson.

Hraunfossar

“The Lava Waterfalls” is a collection of smaller waterfalls cascading through the cracks of lava formations.

Barnafoss

On the river Hvítá in Borgarfjörður. Hraunfossar flows out of a lava field into Hvítá near Barnafoss, creating stunning scenery from the waters that flow from Langjokull Glacier.

Gerduberg basalt columns

The day ends with Gerðuberg, a cliff of dolerite, a coarse-grained basalt rock, located on the western peninsula of Snæfellsnes. This amazing wonder was created from ancient flowing lava being cooled against seawater.

Day 2 West Iceland

Hellnar Church

After a filling breakfast at our hotel, we continue westwards. Making our way through the alpine scenery we will arrive at our first stop Arnarstapi. It is a quaint fishing village at the foot of Mt. Stapafell and you will get the chance to check out its surrounding area.

Vatnshellir Cave

Within Snaefellsnes National Park is Vatnshellir Cave, an 8,000-year-old lava cave. You will have the chance to be guided by an expert explaining all the features relating to its formation and history.

Djupalonssandur Beach

A charming village where we will stop for lunch. Then we’ll continue to the beautiful black pebble beach at Djúpalónssandur. This beach is isolated from the rest of the coast surrounded by tall, rugged cliffs facing the Atlantic Ocean.

Kirkjufell Mountain

To cap off the day we will head to the photogenic Kirkjufell Mountain with its stunning views.

Day 3 The Golden Circle

Thingvellir National Park

5-Day West Iceland, Ice Cave and Northern Lights Adventure from ReykjavikFirst, on our list of stops in the Golden Circle, we will arrive at one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Thingvellir. Given this status for its magnificent historical and geological importance. Explore this wonder that is the site of the meeting point of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.

Thingvellir is also home to the longest-running parliament in the world, the Althingi. Don’t forget to look out for the largest natural lake in the country, Thingvallavatn.

Strokkur

Continuing deeper inland we will arrive in the geothermally active area of Haukadalur. Home to Geyser after which all others are named after. Although it erupts infrequently its neighbor Strokkur, 50 meters next to it, erupts every 5 minutes as reliably as clockwork. Water erupts from 20 meters to as high as 40!

Gullfoss Waterfall

Gullfoss is located a 5-minute drive from Geysir. The waterfall is located in the canyon of the Hvítá river in southwest Iceland. breathtaking Gullfoss Waterfall. There you traverse a narrow path that provides close-up views of the massive, two-tiered waterfall below.

Volcano Hekla

A view of the infamous volcano Hekla opens up as we drive to our next stop, Seljalandsfoss Waterfall.

Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss is situated along the Seljalandsá river where the waterway plummets 40 meters over a cliff face. Seljalandsfoss is unique among waterfalls, as the shape of the cliff over which it falls allows visitors to walk behind the chute via a footpath at the base of the falls.

Skogafoss

Skógafoss is one of Iceland’s biggest and most beautiful waterfalls with an astounding width of 25 meters and a drop of 60 meters. Due to the amount of spray the cascade produces, at least one rainbow is present any time the sun emerges from behind the clouds.

Reynisfjara Beach

Reynisfjara is a world-famous black-sand beach found on the South Coast of Iceland, just beside the small fishing village of Vík. Witness the enormous Renisdrangur basalt stacks and roaring waves coming from the Atlantic. The day will be finished with a hunt for the Northern Lights and continuing on to our hotel close to Vík.

Day 4 Ice Caving and Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon

Vatnajokull Glacier

Today we’ll commence our glacier adventure portion of the trip, exploring a natural ice cave in Vatnajokull Glacier. The magical stroll in the ice cave will take about 45 minutes. Your guide will point out some awe-inspiring features, you’ll learn how the cave was formed and the story behind its brilliant blue color. Make sure you have your camera with you’re sure to catch some truly inspiring photo opportunities throughout your hike.

Glacier Lagoon

Jökulsárlón is a glacial lagoon, bordering Vatnajökull National Park in southeastern Iceland. Its still, blue waters are dotted with icebergs from the surrounding Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier, part of the larger Vatnajökull Glacier. The Glacier Lagoon flows through a short waterway into the Atlantic Ocean, leaving chunks of ice on a black sand beach.

Fellsfjara

The Diamond Beach is a strip of black sand belonging to the greater Breiðamerkursandur glacial plain, located by Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon on the South Coast of Iceland. Here, the icebergs which fill Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon wash up on shore, standing dazzling and defiant in stark contrast to the black sand beach.

It is, therefore, a favorite amongst photographers, nature lovers, and wildlife enthusiasts. Many seals call this beach home, and it is one of the best places in the country to see orcas from the shore. If the forecast is favorable, we’ll keep our eyes out for the Aurora Borealis before we head to our accommodation in Skaftafell.

Day 5 The South Shore and Glacier Walk

Vatnajokull

After breakfast, our specialist guide will select the best route for your hike on the glacier. Before you make your way you will be provided with all the necessary glacier equipment, some of which you will have used in the ice cave. Our guide will provide expert insights about the glacial expanse beneath your feet. We will get a chance to visit some more highlights of the south coast (daylight/time permitting) before we get back to Reykjavik.

Attractions on this trip

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Hallgrimskirkja

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Fosshotel Reykjavik

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The peak season for flights to Reykjavik is May, July and August. The low season for purchasing tickets is February, October and November.

Reykjavik is served by these airports: Keflavik International Airport and Reykjavik International Airport. Direct flights to Reykjavik are offered by 22 airlines. Most flights are with Icelandair. Direct flights from Reykjavik, United States are airlines: American Airlines, United Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Air Canada, KLM and Air France from New York, Las Vegas, Boston, Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Jacksonville.

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Itinerary

Day 1 :
Reykjavik

Move to Reykjavik by FlyBus shuttle service upon arrival at Keflavik International Airport. Check-in at the hotel where you have three nights to stay. Time for free until the evening.

Be ready for your evening adventure at 9:00pm: the Northern Lights tour! To escape the city lights, we drive out into the countryside. Taking into account the aurora forecast as well as cloud cover, the guides will determine the tour destination on the day of the trip to maximize the chances of spotting the magical northern lights. Our destination may be Thingvellir National Park at Lake Thingvallavatn, Reykjanes peninsula with its lava fields, or Borgarfjordur zone, depending on the best choice.

We suggest taking warm clothing and comfortable shoes with you. For this walk, a camera on a tripod is also a good idea.

On every visit to Reykjavik, the Golden Circle is a must-do, and needs no introduction. It gives you the chance to explore some of Southwest Iceland's highlights and gives you a general insight into the history and geology of Iceland, its inhabitants, and its rich cultural heritage.

Among the highlights are:
-- Thingvellir National Park and the World Heritage Site of UNESCO
Hot springs and spouting geysers-Geysir Geothermal Field
-The double-tiered waterfall, Gullfoss

If no northern lights were seen on Day 1, be ready for the second guided northern lights search to pick-up at the hotel just before 9:00pm.

There is so much on the South Coast of Iceland to sell and to be seen. This part of the nation is very rich in people
Vast farmlands, active volcanoes, numerous ice caps, glacier outlets and glacier channels, spectacular waterfalls, large black sandy plains, and beaches with magnificent and varied landscapes.
Fascinating and black basalt rock formations. The area is noted for its rich bird life as well.

The tour is rich in Icelandic knowledge, its geology, its rich culture, and its landscapes.

Among the highlights are:
-- The iconic Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls
-- Black sand beach at Reynisfjara and basalt columns at Reynisdrangar
-- Village of Vik
-- Glacier and Outlet of Solheimajokull

The evening accommodation is in Skaftafell.

The bigger highlight can be debated: Jokulsarlon with its floating icebergs-our first stop of the day-or the shimmering blue light inside the ice caves. We will rest again at Skaftafell National Park after visiting the ice cave, with its spectacular scenery consisting of mountains and glaciers.

Then we drive back to Reykjavik, looking out on our way back for the Northern Lights, arriving at the hotel between 9:00pm and 11:00pm.

Day 5 :
Reykjavik

After breakfast at the hotel, take the FlyBus shuttle from your accommodation in Reykjavik to Keflavik International Airport.