3 Day Golden Circle & South Coast Tour

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Information

Duration

3 Days

Difficulty

Easy

Group Size

Small

Available

All year

Minimum age

8 years

Pick up / Self Drive

Pick up

Languages

English

Operator
Tour starts

Reykjavik

Duration

3 Days

Difficulty

Easy

Group Size

Small

Available

All year

Minimum age

8 years

Pick up / Self Drive

Pick up

Languages

English

Days

3 Days

Departures

Reykjavik

(1)
5.0/5
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Diamond Beach, Ice Cave, Northern Lights & more

Highlights

Activities

About Tour

If you have limited time to explore Iceland, our 3-day small-group tour of the Golden Circle and South Coast is the perfect way to experience the best of this breathtaking country. Our itinerary includes the most popular adventures, such as hiking on glaciers, visiting spectacular waterfalls, and exploring an ice cave at Vatnajokull, the largest glacier in Europe. During the winter months, you’ll have a great opportunity to see the Northern Lights, as our accommodations are located far away from towns and light pollution. This tour was nominated as the Best Tour of 2019 in Iceland by TourRadar.

The Golden Circle

Start your journey by visiting the Golden Circle’s three most prominent natural attractions. At the Geysir Geothermal Area, witness the eruptions of boiling water up to 25m high every 5 to 10 minutes from Strokkur, Iceland’s most active hot spring. Then, in Thingvellir National Park, step between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, and witness Iceland’s oldest still-existing parliament, founded in 930 CE. Gullfoss, also known as the Golden Falls, is your final stop, where you can watch the golden-hued mist spray on cliffs and the roaring water crashing through the rugged canyon.

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Diamond Beach & Ice Caves

The tour continues along the Ring Road towards the South Coast, where you will stay in a country hotel for the night. If the forecast is good, you’ll have an opportunity to see the Northern Lights between September – April months. Visit Seljalandsfoss, one of the most unique waterfalls in the world, before stopping at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, one of the most famous glacier lagoons worldwide. During the winter months (October – April), a certified glacier guide will take you on a mind-blowing glacier hike, while in summer, you’ll visit the Katla Ice Cave near Vik, the only natural ice cave accessible during the summer months.

South Coast sightseeing

On the third day, explore the South Coast’s top attractions. If the roads are clear, you’ll start the day with a detour to Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon before visiting the iconic Eldhraun lava field and Reynisfjara black beach, where you can admire the incredible basalt Reynisdrangar sea stacks. Your tour ends with a visit to Skogafoss Waterfall, an elegant 60m high waterfall on the Skógará, which flows from Eyjafjallajökull glacier. On your way to the unique Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, you’ll get fabulous views of the volcano mountain, Hekla, if the day is clear.

For a detailed daily schedule and more information on the tour, please see the itinerary here below. This trip is undoubtedly the cream of the crop of South Iceland’s three-day guided tours and was nominated as the Best Tour of 2019 in Iceland by TourRadar.

Blue Ice Cave in Iceland, Ice Cave Tours, Vatnajokull National Park - natural blue ice cave in Vatnajokull glacier

Included

  • Pick-up & Drop-off in Reykjavik
  • Guided minibus tour
  • Golden Circle
  • Highlights of the South Coast
  • Ice Cave & Glacier Hike
  • Certified Glacier Guide
  • All Necessary Glacier Equipment
  • All Required Safety Equipment
  • English Speaking Tour Guide
  • 2 night accommodation in the countryside in a 3 star hotel with private bathroom
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Wi-Fi and Icelandic music on board the minibus. 
  • Small group experience. 

What to bring

  • Warm & waterproof outdoor clothing
  • Warm clothes
  • Hiking shoes
  • Water bottle
  • Gloves & Headwear
  • Warm socks
  • Camera (optional)

Not Included

  • Lunch & Dinner – we will stop at restaurants

Good to know

    • We will return to Reykjavik between 16.00-19.00 on day 3 (depending on weather conditions). 
    • Pick up is at 9am from your hotel or nearby meeting point in Reykjavik. 
    • It is possible to rent hiking shoes, waterproof jacket and pants in the booking process. 
    • Order or availability of attractions may change due to road or weather conditions.
    • Each paritcipant is allowed to bring a small backpack and 1 piece of luggage weighing a maximum of 20 kg (44lbs). If you have more or heavier luggage with you, you will need to book storage for the surplus luggage before you arrive. 
    • If you are traveling on your own, you will  receive a single room. Reservations for 2 people will be allocated a double room. For bookings of 3 or more, triple rooms will automatically be allocated. If these arrangements do not meet your requirements, please contact us.
    • Remember to choose the Single Supplement Fee in the booking engine if you are traveling alone. 
    • We will drive an average of 300km (186 miles) per day on this 3 day tour.
    • Breakfast is included at all the hotels we stay in during the tour. The breakfast will be a typical breakfast buffet, offering bread, toppings, cereal, yogurt, fruits, coffee, and tea etc.
    • Your guide will find a good place for the group to eat lunch. We always try to choose places that have a wide selection of dishes on the menu, so there will be options available for everyone.
    • The dinner is usually at the hotels we stay at for the night.
    • Pick up is not available from Keflavik airport or outside of the greater capital area.
    • The Northern Lights are a natural random phenomenon and cannot be guaranteed on the tour. However, we will do everything that we can to be able to see them. For example, the hotels are in prime locations to maximize the chances of seeing the northern lights.
    • The Ice caves that will be visited on this tour are 100% natural and always changing. These ice caves are only accessible during the winter time when temperature drops below 0°C. Since the ice caves are ever changing we will visit new ice caves each year in different areas of the glacier. The photos that you see on our website are from recent tours, but note that the ice caves might have changed due to the dynamic nature of these formations. 
    • This tour is perfect for groups, single travelers and families. 
    • In the rare case that we need to cancel the tour because of extreme weather, road conditions or other factors, we will assist you with rebooking to another date. If that does not work out for you, you will receive a full refund for the tour. 
Iceland Must See - Sunset at Gullfoss waterfall in Golden Circle Iceland, midnight sun at Gullfoss

Itinerary:

Day 1 - The Golden Circle & South Coast

Highlights of the day

  • Golden Circle
  • Þingvellir National Park
  • Geysir geothermal area
  • Gullfoss waterfall
  • Seljalandsfoss
  • Hekla Volcano Views
  • Kirkjubæjarklaustur village
  • Northern Lights (winter)

included

  • Guided Minibus Tour
  • The Golden Circle (Geysir, Gullfoss and Þingvellir)
  • Seljalandsfoss waterfall
  • Northern Lights hunting (during winter)
  • English speaking tour guide
  • One night in a hotel.

The first day of the tour takes you to the renowned Golden Circle. First up is Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where the Icelandic Parliament, the Alþingi, was established in 930 CE, making it the world’s oldest continuously operating parliament. This historic location is situated in a geologically fascinating area with a rift valley between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. The magnificent Law Rock, where the Law Speaker would make speeches, offers stunning views over the beautiful Þingvallavatn lake and its unique surroundings.

Afterward, you’ll visit the Geysir Geothermal Area to witness the energetic Strokkur geyser erupting every 5 to 10 minutes, spouting boiling water up to 25 meters high. Although Geysir itself is dormant, the nearby geothermal features are still an impressive sight.

The last stop on the Golden Circle is the majestic Gullfoss, the most-visited waterfall in Iceland. Here, the mighty Hvita River cascades down two tiers of cliffs into the rugged canyon below, creating a stunning golden mist that will leave you breathless. 

After a day filled with natural wonders, we head southward with a chance to view Mount Hekla en route to the Seljalandsfoss waterfall. This unique waterfall allows visitors to walk behind the cascading water and take in stunning views from both sides. 

Your accommodation for the night will be located near the charming town of Kirkjubæjarklaustur, offering an ideal location to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, known for their mesmerizing beauty, between September and April. With a bit of luck, you’ll be able to witness one of nature’s most spectacular phenomena!

Accommodation

Hótel Geirland

or similar

Gallery - Day 1

Day 2 - Jokulsarlon Glacier LAgoon, Diamond Beach & Ice Caves

Highlights of the day

  • Jökulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
  • Diamond Beach
  • Vatnajokull Glacier
  • Natural Ice Cave
  • Glacier Hike
  • Skaftafell Nature Reserve
  • Svartifoss waterfall (summer)
  • Svinafellsjokull Glacier
  • Northern Lights (winter)

included

  • Guided Minibus Tour
  • English speaking tour guide
  • Hotel Breakfast
  • One night in a 3 star hotel with private bathroom
  • Guided Glacier Hiking Tour
  • All Glacier Hiking Gear needed
  • Visit to a Natural Ice Cave
  • Hike to Svartifoss waterfall (summer)
  • Northern Lights tour in the evening (winter)
  • Explore the Highlights of the South Coast

On day two of your tour, we will travel towards the magnificent Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach. The lagoon is a dreamlike procession of icebergs of various shapes and sizes, gliding towards the Atlantic’s salty waves. The ice compression causes multifaceted colors that are truly stunning.

At Diamond Beach, many icebergs are washed ashore, glittering like diamonds on the black sand. As you walk on the beach, sunlight illuminates the bright blue tones of the icebergs, and you might be lucky enough to spot playful seals and abundant ocean birds. Your hotel for the night will be in the Skaftafell area, which is a great base for Northern Lights viewing if you are traveling during the September to April months.

From Jokulsarlon, we’ll head to Skaftafell Nature Reserve for an exciting adventure. From October to April, our certified glacier guide will take us on a beautiful glacier hike, and we’ll explore the mesmerizing world of the Vatnajokull Glacier. Afterward, we’ll enter a natural ice cave where you’ll have time to explore and take photos. Expert guides will explain how these glacial ice formations came to be, and photographers can capture the rare chance of mysterious blue light passing through the glacial ice. From May to September, we’ll visit the only natural ice cave you can visit all year – the Katla Ice Cave tour near Vik.

The ice cave we visit will be chosen based on current conditions. Our adventure will include both ice cave and glacier hike exploration, and we’ll spend approximately two hours on the ice. This tour is suitable for people who can comfortably walk for around two hours on easy outdoor terrain. Ice cave temperatures are well below freezing, so don’t forget to dress warmly. You’ll stay at the same hotel for the night – Adventure Hotel Geirland.

Accommodation

Hótel Geirland

or similar

Gallery - Day 2

Day 3 - South Coast

Highlights of the day

  • Eldhraun lava fields
  • Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon
  • Skógafoss waterfall
  • Reynisfjara black sand beach
  • Eyjafjallajokull volcano / glacier views

included

  • Guided Minibus Tour
  • English speaking tour guide
  • Hotel Breakfast
  • Explore the Highlights of the South Coast

Day 3 of the itinerary begins with a wholesome breakfast before we hit the road to Reykjavik, taking our time to explore various attractions en route. If the roads are clear, we’ll make a quick stop at the stunning Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon before moving on to Eldhraun lava field. We’ll then head to Reynisfjara black beach, where you can witness the raw power of the Atlantic Ocean as it crashes onto the black sand. Be cautious though, as the waves can be unpredictable, and it’s essential to heed your tour guide’s advice.

Before leaving the beach, be sure to visit the black basalt cave and take a moment to marvel at the Reynisdrangar basalt columns just off the shore, which are believed to have inspired Icelandic troll folklore.

We’ll then proceed to our next stop, Skógafoss, a magnificent waterfall cascading 60m into a serene pool. Though the climb up the 527 steps to the top is steep, the panoramic view is worth the effort. If visibility is good, you may catch a glimpse of the famous volcano, Eyjafjallajökull, towering above the waterfall.

After our last stop at Skógafoss, our 3-day tour of Iceland’s South Coast concludes, and we’ll head back to Reykjavík, expecting to arrive between 16:00 and 19:00, depending on the weather conditions.

Gallery - Day 3

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