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Northern lights over Jokulsarlón

South Iceland at Leisure - Winter

(7 days / 6 nights)

4.9
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Explore the South Coast in the tranquility of winter

Take your time and enjoy the stunning winter landscapes along Iceland’s south coast with this self-drive journey from Reykjavik. Diverse sights like icy waterfalls, hot springs bursting from the frosty ground and possible northern lights sightings make this a holiday to remember. Highlights include the Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach, the attractions of the Golden Circle including Gullfoss and Geysir, and the black sand beaches and waterfalls of the south coast.

Looking for the summer version of this tour?

Would it suit you better to enjoy this trip as a private tour?

See other ways to spend 7 days in Iceland.

4.9

7 days / 6 nights

Price p.p. from

The amount will be charged in ISK

Approx 190315 ISK

— Why book this tour

  • Private transfer from airport on arrival
  • Handpicked hotels by local travel experts with breakfast included
  • Reliable rental cars from our trusted partner Hertz
  • Comprehensive itinerary, personalised map and travel guide
  • 24/7 helpline throughout tour
  • Local travel experts with firsthand experience
  • Carbon offsetting included

— Cancellation Protection

  • Rebook your tour on one occasion, or
  • Cancel for any reason and receive a partial refund and travel credit

Terms and conditions apply

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
  • Enjoy the tranquility of the winter season and hunt for northern lights
  • Enjoy the cascading waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss Skógafoss
  • Photograph jagged basalt columns & sweeping black sand beaches
  • Roam the UNESCO World Heritage site of Þingvellir National Park
  • Marvel at the impressive Gullfoss waterfall and see an erupting geyser
  • Visit the volcanic landscape of the Reykjanes peninsula
  • Walk the quaint streets of the capital city, Reykjavik

Travel style

Self-Drive i

Interest

Best Seller i, Classic i, Northern Lights i, Slow Paced i

Season

Oct - Apr

Departure

Daily

Interest

Best Seller i, Classic i, Northern Lights i, Slow Paced i

Driving distance

1045/647 km/mi

Itinerary

A day-by-day plan to guide your Nordic adventure.

  • Day 1: Welcome to Reykjavik

    On arrival to Keflavik International 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. Head to the main street, Laugavegur, to enjoy its various shops and cosy cafes.

    Spend the night in Reykjavík.

    Attractions See Activities for this day
  • Day 2: The South Coast & Impressive waterfalls

    Start the day heading to the spectacular south coast. Here, you will visit the beautiful Seljalandsfoss waterfall, where you can follow a path behind its misty cascade. The next waterfall you will see, Skógafoss, is just as impressive in its winter coat and also has a trail running alongside it up a hill. Nearby is the Skógar Folk Museum, where we recommend exploring the old turf farm or checking out the exhibits inside for a taste of Iceland´s rich history.

    Spend the night in the Kirkjubæjarklaustur area

    Driving distance approx. 249 km / 154 mi.  

    Attractions Attractions Attractions See Activities for this day
  • Day 3: Floating Icebergs at Jökulsárlón

    Spend some time exploring Skaftafell, part of the vast Vatnajökull National Park and a place of great natural beauty. Or if you’re feeling more adventurous, join a guided glacier hike (optional)*. Next, head to the smaller Fjallsárlón, followed by the more famous Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and enjoy the surreal scene of icebergs floating by. If you are lucky and the conditions are right, the northern lights may make an appearance**. Next to the glacier lagoon, stop at the Diamond Beach where you will see big chunks of ice that have washed up on shore after being polished in the surf of the glacier lagoon.

    Spend another 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.

    **The northern lights are a natural phenomenon, so sightings cannot be guaranteed.

    Driving distance approx. 250 km / 155 mi.

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions See Activities for this day
  • Day 4: The Scenic South Coast & Optional Activities

    Your journey today takes you back along the south coast towards Vík, giving you an opportunity to spend some more time exploring the attractions you may have passed. We also recommend checking out the volcanic black sand beach* south of Vík, where you can see the dramatic rock formations of Reynisdrangar and Dyrhólaey—a stunning sight by the light of the setting sun. As you have the entire day to explore, it‘s ideal to join one of the optional activities in this area such as an ice cave tour, an ATV tour on the black sand beach, glacier hiking or snowmobiling (activities not included).

    Spend the night in the Selfoss 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 See Activities for this day
  • Day 5: The Wonders of the Golden Circle

    Today, you will make your way to explore the classic Golden Circle route, starting with to the majestic Gullfoss waterfall, followed by the Haukadalur geothermal area. Here, is the home of Geysir—the original “geyser”—and the more active Strokkur, which spouts water every few minutes. After exploring the Geysir region, head to 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.  You can then explore Kerið crater before reaching your accommodation for the night.

    Spend the night in the Selfoss area.

    Driving distance approx. 193 km / 119 mi. 

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 6: Geothermal area of Reykjanes Peninsula

    Head to the volcanic Reykjanes Peninsula. On a fissure zone created by separation of the mid-Atlantic ridge running across Iceland lies the large geothermal area of Krýsuvík. Within the same area is the stunning Seltún geothermal field, where volcanic fumeroles, mud pots and hot springs have formed over millennia. Next, you can visit the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa surrounded by interesting lava formations—an especially unique experience in the winter (pre-booking needed).

    Spend the night in Reykjavík.

    Driving distance approx. 139 km / 86 mi. 

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions See Activities for this day
  • Day 7: Departure

    When it’s time for your Iceland adventure to end, you will be picked up from the 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 (optional: not included).

    See Activities for this day

Optional extras

We recommend adding your extra activities to the tour now for the best booking experience and to secure your spot, as activities are likely to sell out.

Map

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

Essential information

We recommend that you read carefully through the following information before booking this winter self-drive tour in Iceland. We’ve answered the most frequently asked questions here so you know what to expect. You’ll also find more practical advice and attraction recommendations in our online Iceland Travel Guide.

On a self-drive tour, Nordic Visitor supplies you with a quality rental car and a detailed personal itinerary. You act as your own tour guide and driver, and you get to pick the road trip music!

All your services will be pre-booked by your personal travel consultant at Nordic Visitor. This includes your rental car and accommodation in Iceland, along with airport transfers and planned activities, as specified in the itinerary.

And rest assured that we’re with you every step of the way. Upon your arrival, you’ll receive personalised information, including an itinerary, map, leaflets about driving in Iceland, and our very own Iceland Travel Guide. You’ll also have in-car Wi-Fi included in your car rental, meaning you’ll be able to stay connected and check things on the go.

Plus, you’ll have access to our 24/7 helpline during your trip should you need to contact us.

Yes, when you book your Iceland tour with Nordic Visitor, you always get airport transfers to and from Keflavík Airport included. This will be a private, shared or bus transfer, depending on your itinerary. Please check the details of your tour to confirm.

If you add extra nights to your stay before or after the scheduled trip, we’ll rearrange your transfers to fit your new itinerary.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with your travel consultant if you have any specific requests about optional activities or services.

During your self-drive tour, you’ll stay in accommodation hand-picked by our local Iceland travel experts. We’ve partnered with local businesses and selected hotels and guesthouses based on excellent ratings, comfort and our personal experience.

On our self-drive packages, you can choose from single, double and triple rooms. Please note that in Iceland room types are based on European standard sizes, which means they are smaller than in North America.

For example, a double bed often consists of 2 single beds pushed together. Twin rooms are 2 separate single beds. Triple rooms include a double bed along with an extra bed, rollaway or sofa bed. And single rooms are often smaller than the standard double.

If you have anything specific in mind, please contact us to discuss customising your accommodation options.

By booking with Nordic Visitor, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that there’s always someone there for you throughout your trip.

For support and advice during the day, you can call our office. And if anything unexpected happens outside working hours, you can reach us on our 24/7 helpline. 

During your tour, there will always be a Reykjavík-based travel expert on call to handle any unforeseen situations, such as unusual weather or events.

If you’re arriving from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia or New Zealand, you won’t need a visa to visit Iceland. 

Visiting from another country? You can find the complete list of countries whose nationals require a visa to enter Iceland on the website of Iceland’s Directorate of Immigration. If you do require a visa, they maintain a list of local embassies that can assist you with the process. 

Your passport must also be valid for at least 3 months from your departure from Iceland. It’s good to check your passport expiry date early in case you need to renew it. 

Read more about visas, airports and airlines in the getting to Iceland section of our travel guide.

Travelling with your kids? No problem! You'll be able to enter your children's ages during the booking process. This lets us know whether to arrange either a baby cot or roll-away bed for your trip.

If you'd like us to arrange for a car seat to be provided for your trip, please let us know ahead of time. It's also possible to book this directly with the car rental agency. This will incur a small, extra cost.

Only you can pick the best time to visit Iceland for your trip. It’ll depend on how much time you have to explore, what you want to see in Iceland and any events you might like to attend.

In summer, June to August, you’ll have milder temperatures and longer daylight hours, compared to the winter. This is ideal for outdoor excursions and sightseeing. 

If you’d like to experience the top attractions with fewer visitors around then you could book your summer trip in May or September. These shoulder season months have more tour and attraction availability.

The winter months are also popular, but generally quieter, apart from the Christmas holiday season. This is the ideal time to try to spot the northern lights.

Find out what annual Icelandic events and festivals are on in our travel guide. Or read more about the best time to visit Iceland on our blog.

While Iceland is a year-round destination, driving during the winter may be challenging as the weather can be unpredictable.

If you have never driven on snow and ice, Nordic Visitor does not recommend a long road trip in the winter. If you are going to embark on a winter self-drive in Iceland, you should be comfortable driving in winter conditions. This could include snowstorms, icy roads, strong winds and little daylight. 

For added safety and comfort, we highly recommend selecting a 4x4 vehicle for your winter trip.

If you do not have experience driving in such conditions, you could instead pick from our guided small groups, multi-day or private tours. 

You can find out more in this guide to winter driving in Iceland.

Because of its northerly location close to the Arctic Circle, Iceland has limited daylight in winter. 

Around Christmastime, from early December until late January, you can expect an average of 4–5 hours of daylight. These extended hours of darkness give you a higher chance of seeing the northern lights.

Find out what the daylight hours will be during the month of your visit in this guide to time and daylight in Iceland.

Yes! Wintertime is the right season to visit Iceland if you want to see the northern lights (or aurora borealis). You can experience the northern lights between October and March, with peak visibility from December through February. 

For the best chances of seeing them, a self-drive tour is ideal. It means you have the flexibility of deciding when and where to go. To enjoy the aurora at its brightest, you’ll want to head into or even stay in the countryside, away from city lights.

Please note that as the northern lights are a natural phenomenon, sightings cannot be guaranteed. Even if you go out on a specific northern lights excursion, you might not see them, depending on the conditions or cloud cover. 

Read our Iceland northern lights guide to learn more.

The winter climate in Iceland is generally mild compared to other Northern European countries. That said, the temperature can drop below freezing at times. And the Atlantic winds can make it feel colder than it is. 

You can expect average temperatures between 4°C (39°F) and -1°C (30°F). Throughout winter (October to April), the weather conditions are very changeable, so you could experience rain, snow, sun and cold winds. 

For more information on the local climate, read this guide to Iceland weather conditions

Please note that sightseeing is dependent on weather and road conditions. Your itinerary might need to be altered if these conditions are not favourable during your visit.

Iceland’s winters are chilly although not as cold as you may expect. As you’ll probably spend a lot of time outdoors, we recommend bringing plenty of layers to stay warm and dry.

Here is a recommended winter packing list for your trip to Iceland:

  • Durable insulated jacket, which should be waterproof
  • Robust walking boots with a good grip
  • Mid-layers such as a fleece or woollen jumper
  • A few pairs of warm hiking socks
  • Hat, gloves and scarf
  • Swimwear for visiting geothermal pools or spas
  • Backpack for daily adventures
  • Electronic equipment such as smartphone, external powerpack, and travel adapters
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen for exploring in the snow or glacier excursions
  • And don’t forget your camera!
     

For more information, check out this Iceland packing list.

On your Iceland road trip, you should budget for petrol costs of around 300-400 ISK per litre.

As for meals, your breakfast is included at all your accommodation in Iceland. For the rest of your meals, your spending money will depend on the standard of restaurants you decide to go to. 

Budget between 2,000–3,000 ISK for lunch per person, each day. Dinners at casual restaurants might cost between 3,000–6,000 ISK. Meanwhile at upscale restaurants, you can expect to pay 7,000 ISK or more. This does not include the cost of alcoholic beverages.

Yes, you can customise this tour online. During the booking process, you can add extra nights to your itinerary as well as optional day trips, excursions and upgrades. 

If you have something specific in mind, get in touch with your travel consultant and they’ll create your dream trip.

It’s best to book as soon as you can to secure your preferred travel dates. Once you have picked your tour, check the availability calendar to see which months are open for booking. Then, select the date you want and complete your booking. 

Nordic Visitor offers 10–20% deposits so you can reserve your trip as early as it’s convenient for you. The remaining balance is due 30 days before you travel. 

Many tours are also open for the following year if you like to plan well ahead. And if you have any questions or need advice, you can always contact us

After booking your tour package online, you will be contacted within 2 business days by your own dedicated travel consultant. They will be your point of contact for all your travel needs before, during and even after your trip. 

At that time, they’ll confirm the availability of your tour. Then the booking process starts, which may take a few weeks. Once this is done, your travel consultant will provide you with all the details of your trip. You will also receive more information about what to expect during your trip.

No need! Nordic Visitor is already working on offsetting the estimated carbon footprint of your package. We’ve partnered with an environmental fund in Iceland to carbon offset all our tours.

Carbon offsetting your international flights is not included, but we highly recommend you look into possibilities with your airline or directly through a local environment fund. 

You can get in touch with our Iceland travel experts ahead of your trip if you have any questions. The live chat option is useful for getting a quick reply as someone answers live every day during office opening hours.

Once you’ve booked, we’ll provide you with a travel guide packed full of local tips and top attractions for your visit. You can also check out our online Iceland Travel Guide where we’ve compiled useful information about topics, including:

After you have booked your tour, it will only take a few days to confirm its availability. But it may take a few weeks to create your itinerary and book everything. Once your trip details are finalised, we’ll email you copies of your travel documents.

When you arrive in Iceland, you’ll receive a welcome bag with hard copies of your itinerary, attraction and tour vouchers, the Nordic Visitor Iceland Travel Guide and more.

So when do you check in? And what can you expect upon landing in Keflavík?

After picking up your luggage, you will be greeted by a driver holding a sign with your name in the arrivals hall. The driver will hand over your welcome package with hard copies of your travel documents. You’ll then be driven to your hotel in Reykjavík.

Check-in times vary between hotels and guesthouses, but it normally starts between 2 PM and 4 PM. 

You are welcome to request an early check-in for an additional fee. Although this isn’t always available, you’ll be able to store your luggage at the hotel so you can start exploring before check-in. Please contact your travel consultant well in advance of your arrival if you’d like an early check-in.

When you depart may depend on the time of your return flight. Check out early if you’re heading to the airport for a morning flight. On the other hand, if you’re flying home later in the day, you might like to enjoy a leisurely day or visit one more attraction.

You will need to check out from your room, but will be able to store your luggage at the hotel reception. Simply return later to collect your bags before catching your transfer to the airport.

All bookings are billed 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. This means conversions from ISK to other currencies will fluctuate from day to day.

Reviews

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

Enjoyable trip!

Our overall experience with Nordic Visitor was beyond expectation. Every aspect of the trip was well planned out and organised ahead of time, easy to follow during the trip and enjoyable!

Very helpful travel consultant

The website is very thorough and easy to navigate, it set clear expectations for the booking. My travel consultant, Zachary, was very responsive and helpful throughout both the early stages of research and the lead up to the trip. He even checked in during the trip to send weather advisories, which was greatly appreciated.

Loved our trip so much

I am a travel agent and it was the first time using this vendor and I used it on myself! I loved our trip so so much. One of the most amazing things I've done. I have already booked another client.

Helpful information

The initial information and updates for our visit to Iceland was helpful in planning our stay. We received all the information for the upcoming visit in a timely fashion and were well informed and excited for our impending tour. Upon our arrival, we were given maps, tour guides and more than enough local information to be able to confidently travel on our own and enjoy all that we explored along the way.

We had a great time

We liked booking with Nordic Visitor because the agency made the trip convenient and easy. The agency booked all our accommodation, which was nice for us not have to worry about. Iceland is a beautiful country, and we had a great time.

Fantastic service

Absolutely fantastic service. If the booking process and peace of mind that came with using Nordic Visitor wasn't enough to recommend them, the bad weather warning emails with immediate rebooking of impacted tours was. It made the whole trip worry free, despite some snow storms!

Accommodation

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

Economy

You can expect rooms in good quality guesthouses, farmhouses, or hostels. Most of the properties are run by small, family-run busi..

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Comfort Plus

In this category, you’ll stay in standard rooms in good quality and comfortable 3-star hotels, guesthouses or charming country hot..

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Superior

With Superior accommodation, you’ll enjoy standard rooms in 4-star hotels or boutique guesthouses. You might also stay in superior..

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Rental car

Enjoy the journey, in the rental car of your choice.

Volkswagen Golf (Automatic)
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x2
  • A

Volkswagen Golf (Automatic)
or similar

  • Description: Compact
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 2
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Automatic

Toyota Corolla Sedan (Automatic)
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x3
  • A

Toyota Corolla Sedan (Automatic)
or similar

  • Description: Intermediate
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 3
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Automatic

Toyota Corolla Station (Automatic)
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x4
  • A

Toyota Corolla Station (Automatic)
or similar

  • Description: Intermediate Wagon
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 4
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Automatic

Hyundai Tucson AWD (Automatic)
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x3
  • A

Hyundai Tucson AWD (Automatic)
or similar

  • Description: Intermediate SUV
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 3
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Automatic

Toyota RAV4 4x4 (Automatic)
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x4
  • A

Toyota RAV4 4x4 (Automatic)
or similar

  • Description: Standard SUV, AWD
  • Passengers: 5
  • Suitcases: 4
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Automatic

Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4 (Automatic)
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x5
  • A

Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4 (Automatic)
or similar

  • Description: Premium SUV, 4WD
  • Passengers: 5
  • Suitcases: 5
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Automatic

Land Rover Discovery 4x4 (Automatic)
or similar
limited availability

  • x5
  • x5
  • x4
  • A

Land Rover Discovery 4x4 (Automatic)
or similar
limited availability

  • Description: 4x4
  • Passengers: 5
  • Suitcases: 4
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Automatic

Price per person from

The amount will be charged in ISK

Approx 190315 ISK

Monthly price comparison

Our best price per person when booking for two.

2024
2025

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