Autumn/winter tour from Southwest to Southeast Iceland - 8 day self-drive tour
Iceland in winter? Why not? First of all, its not as cold as you might think! The average temperature during the winter months hovers around 0°C (32°F). Second, you will avoid the crowds and have the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights. Experience striking landscape with blue ice bergs, frozen waterfalls, hot springs and long sunrises. Get to know Reykjavík, a sparkling city full of happenings in winter, filled with lights, bars, cafés and restaurants. On request, a day-trip with a super jeep can be arranged.
Please note: Due to weather conditions, we offer only four-wheel drive vehicles at this time of year
- Þinvellir, the Nationalpark and UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Geysir “Strokkur” and Hot Springs
- Golden waterfall Gullfoss
- Glacier and Volcano Eyjafjallajökull
- optional Superjeep Adventure
- 7 nights in three-star or four-star hotels, incl. breakfast
- 7 days rental car, incl. unlimited mileage, CDW, Icelandic VAT and pick-up/drop-off at the airport in Keflavík
- Location description of your accommodation
- Road map 1:500 000
- Iceland Road and Travel Guide
- VAT and accommodation tax
- Insolvency Insurance
Fuel, meals other than breakfast, admission to museums/exhibitions, GPS system and tunnel toll (Hvalfjörður). Extra driver € 30. Optional Superjeep Adventure.
Flight to Keflavík Airport. Rental-car pickup and drive to Reykjavík. 1 night in Reykjavík (50 km).
The Golden Circle
Drive to Þingvellir, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and then a short hike along the old thingstead and the gorge Almannagjá. The area around Geysir is particularly impressive in winter, with clouds of steam rising from the hot springs. And the Golden Waterfall, Gullfoss, makes an almost magical impression in its icy winter coat. In the hot spring area at Flúðir, you can relax in the natural swimming pool, the Secret Lagoon, and take a walk along the hot springs. 1 or 2 nights in the Flúðir or Hella/Hvolsvöllur area (150 km).
Optional: Jeep adventure in South Iceland
Here the tour can be extended by one night in the same accommodation (in this case in Hella/Hvolsvöllur) in order to make time for a day trip. You are welcome to take part in one of these adventure excursions. Our partners at South Iceland offer exciting jeep tours with guides in this subarctic winter landscape. You can choose between three fantastic excursions taken in very small groups: the winter adventure Þórsmörk, the volcano Eyjafjallajökull, and the “Surprise Tour”. Detailed descriptions of these excursions are found at the bottom of this page.
If you decide not take accept this offer, you can skip this day and have two nights in Reykjavík instead of one.
Frozen waterfalls and volcano Eyjafjallajökull
You drive to the waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógarfoss at the foot of the volcano Eyjafjallajökull. A visit to the information centre describing the momentous 2010 eruption is highly recommended. On the coast at Reynisdrangar, you should take a look at the beautifully shaped basalt columns. Driving across the lava field Eldhraun, “Fire Lava”, you arrive in the town of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. 2 nights in Kirkjubæjarklaustur (200 km)
Vatnajökull National Park
Drive to the information centre at Skaftafell National Park (opening hours 11:00 – 16:00). Here you can find out about road conditions, for example the route up to the waterfall Svartifoss and the glacier tongue below the glacier Svínafellsjökull. When leaving Skaftafell, a short stop at the turf and wood church in Hof is worthwhile. The highpoint of the day is the glacier lagoon Jökulsárlón with its drifting icebergs. Here you can take a relaxing break in the small café. Be sure to take a short hike through moraine area south of the lagoon, where you have the best view of the icebergs. On the return journey to Kirkjubæjarklaustur, you drive across sands that have been shaped by glacier bursts. (240 km).
South coast and Reykjavík
On the drive to Reykjavík, you should make a short stop in Vík, the southernmost village in Iceland, take a walk along the beach and watch the waves break on the black sand. A stop at the Skógar Museum is also recommended. It is considered the best local history museum in Iceland. You drive to the geothermally active region Hveragerði, where you will stay in a picturesque hot-spring landscape. 1 night in Hveragerði or surrounding area (200 km).
Excursion to the “smoky peninsula” Reykjanes or a day exploring Reykjavík
Today the peninsula of Reykjanes is on the program. On this trip, you should begin by stopping at the pilgrimage church Strandakirkja and then move on to the colourful solfatara and mud-spring area at Krýsuvík. Continue through the bizarre lava field Ögmundarhraun to the fishing town of Grindavík. Here we recommend the lobster soup in the fishermen’s tavern Bryggjan before visiting the nearby Blue Lagoon. From there, you can drive to your hotel in Reykjavík. If you took the jeep adventure tour of South Iceland, you could spend today exploring the capital city. 1 or 2 nights in Reykjavik (150 km).
In Reykjavík we recommend the national Museum, the vantage point Perlan, the Harpa concert hall and conference centre, and a stroll through the old harbour area.
Today, the drive to the airport and your departure are on the program (50 km).
Optional winter adventure with South Iceland Adventures (on day 2)
Winter adventure Þórsmörk
If you want to experience total peace, winter in the magnificent wooded area of Þórsmörk is the right choice. The valley of the god Thor is surrounded by fantastic landscapes and three glaciers: Mýrdalsjökull, Tindfjallajökull and Eyjafjallajökull. On the way there, stops are made at particularly impressive sites, such as Gígjökull glacier, which was dramatically changed by the 2010 eruption. A local guide will provide insight into this alien world and accompany you on a hike through Þórsmörk. How far you want to walk is completely up to you. The super jeeps are adapted to this rough terrain and can also cross the rushing, ice-cold glacier rivers in the region. For this tour, you will be picked up at 10:00 a.m. from the town of Hvolsvöllur or surroundings area. The excursion lasts 7 to 8 hours and can be conducted as a private tour on request. Price per person: 282 EUR, 30% discount for children under the age of 12.
The volcano Eyjafjallajökull
On this tour, you become acquainted with the famous volcano and glacier Eyjafjallajökull, located in the south of Iceland, which last erupted in 2010. The trip offers various possibilities for activities, depending on weather conditions and snow cover, but all versions include exploration of the area around the volcano, including the icecap and the glacier Gígjökull. In one version of the tour, you cross frigid glacier rivers in a super jeep and watch an impressive and moving short film on the 2010 eruption and its impact on the people living under the glacier at the visitors’ centre on the farm Þorvaldseyri. Weather permitting, the super jeep will take you up to the icecap of this mighty glacier and on to the crater at the highest point of the volcano. From here, you have a spectacular view of the southern lowlands down to the shore. Pickup takes place in Hvolsvöllur and surrounding area at approximately 10:00 a.m. Price per person: 260 EUR, 30% discount for children under the age of 12.
For this super jeep tour, the destination depends on the weather and your guides’ many years of experience. Iceland is known for its rapidly changing weather conditions, particularly in the winter months, and for this excursion, local experts and professional guides select the best options for the day in question. In previous years, these have included trips into the valley of Þórsmörk, tours to the liparite mountains of Landmannalaugar, a drive up to the volcano and glacier Eyjafjallajökull, and drives around the volcano Hekla. Pickup at 10:00 a.m. from your hotel in Hvolsvöllur or surrounding area. Price per person: 282 EUR, 30% discount for children under the age of 12.