Kingdom of Glaciers and Northern Lights - ILR33W

Winter is a magical time in Iceland, it becomes a wonderland of ice and snow and this small group guided tour makes the most it. Come explore and experience Iceland's amazing landscapes, famous attractions, museums, history, culture and much more on this comfortable and adventurous and all inclusive winter break. Travel is via comfortable 4x4 van. Enjoy sightseeing, short hikes, a glacier walk, black sand beaches, waterfalls, geysers,ice-filled lagoons and, just maybe, the amazing Northern lights! Stay in comfortable country hotels each night and enjoy tasty Icelandic dinners while winding down from the days' adventures. See full description below.

Photo:  Ellert Grétarsson

Northern Lights

Photo:  Gréta S. Guðjónsdóttir

Reynisfjara - Black Sand Beach

Photo:  Gréta S. Guðjónsdóttir

Svínafellsjökull Glacier

Photo:  Einar Torfi Finnsson

Gullfoss in Winter

Northern Lights

Photo:  Jan Zelina

Jökulsárlón Lagoon

Photo:  Arnar Már Ólafsson

Glacier Walk Adventure

Photo:  Björgvin Hilmarsson

Iceland winter

Photo:  Björgvin Hilmarsson

The Black sand Beach of Vík

Photo:  Gréta S. Guðjónsdóttir

Seljalandsfoss from behind

Photo:  Gréta S. Guðjónsdóttir

The Diamond Beach

by the Glacier Lagoon

Photo:  Björgvin Hilmarsson

Skógafoss Waterfall

Rainbow

Photo:  Gréta S. Guðjónsdóttir

Geysir Geothermal Area

Strokkur hot spring

Tour type: Winter break with sightseeing and light walking and hiking

Difficulty:

EASY

HARD

Price from:  

Adult: 203.000

  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

What's included: Guide, accommodation, breakfast and dinner, entrance fee to museums

Duration: 5 days, 4 nights

Accommodation: Country hotel

Pick up: Pick up and drop off at your Reykjavík accommodation

Group size: Minimum 6, maximum 16

Language: English and French

Walking per day: 2-6 hours total (often divided into multiple shorter hikes)

  • Tour Description

    Highlights of the Tour

    • The famous Gullfoss and Geysir
    • Glacier Lagoon and its icebergs
    • Chance to see the Aurora Borealis

    Magnificent landscapes and northern lights in South and South-East Iceland

    This is the winter variant of the outstanding adventure tour (ILR33) that takes you to one of Iceland’s most attractive areas in the south and the south east. As we head east to the Vatnajökull N.P – Skaftafell, our route takes us first to the famous Geysir hot spring and the Gullfoss waterfall. Continuing along the south coast of Iceland with its black beaches, waterfalls and museums we will visit the Eyjafjallajökull Volcano visitor centre where you will learn everything about the notorious 2010 eruption, and the Skógar folk museum where we will learn about how the Icelanders lived and survived in the past. Once in the Skaftafell/Vatnajökull area our days are a mixture of nature and culture with hikes where we enjoy breathtaking panoramic views over glaciers, stop at the glacier lagoon with its amazing icebergs and visit local farms modern and old for a glimpse of the local culture. At night we do our best to find and enjoy the dramatic Aurora Borealis and on a chosen evening we will venture out hunting for these mysterious lights of the winter sky. Accommodation is at quaint and comfortable country hotels. Transport in comfortable 4 wheel drive mini bus.

    For more information and specifics of this illustrious, five-day winter tour, read our FAQ Page, and the Equipment List.

    Included: Guide for 5 days, vehicle transportation for 5 days, breakfast and dinner for 4 days (lunch is not included, but can be added), entrance to Eyjafjallajökull visitor centre, entrance to Skógar folk museum, visit to a sheep farm, (price based on double or twin room with en suite facilities - single room available for an extra fee).

    Not included: A 2-3 hours walk on the Svínafellsjökull glacier (all glacier and safety gear provided), and lunch.Glacier walk can be added for 8.900 ISK pr. person.

    Minimum age: 14 years

    Note: For this tour to be confirmed, the minimum number of passengers has to be met. If the tour is not confirmed you will get a full refund.

    Please note that for the December departure the price for accommodation in Reykjavík is higher.

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  • Tour Itinerary

    Day 1: Reykjavík – Þingvellir – Geysir – Gullfoss – Hotel Hekla
    First on our program for the day is a visit to the historical site of Þingvellir. The park is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. The location is wonderful, a beautiful lake skirted by a small canyon that in fact is a part of the Mid-Atlantic riftthe. Next we will head to the Great Geysir geothermal. There we will take a look at the areas namesake and its neighbor, Strokkur, a feisty geyser which spouts every 5-10 minutes. Close by we find Gullfoss, one of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls; in two giant steps the water falls 32 meters into a deep gorge. We continue southeast through one of the country’s largest agriculture areas.
    At the end of the day we come to our hotel sitting in the Icelandic country side with view over to the volcano Hekla.
    Driving: 3-4 hrs total Walking: 2-3 hrs total

    Day 2: Hotel Hekla – The Waterfalls of the South – Þorvaldseyri – Skógasafn – Kirkjubæjarklaustur
    Continuing east we set course to the Eyjafjallajökull massive. The waterfall of Seljalandsfoss is worthy of a short stop as well as the Skógarfoss waterfall, said to be the hidden place of a chest of gold. In between we will stop at the Eyjafjallajökull visitor centre, at the family farm at Þorvaldseyri, where you will learn all about the 2010 eruption and its effect on lives of people. At the hamet of Skógar we will visit the folk museum Skógarsafn where you can see how the Icelanders lived in the past. Further east we will visit the black beaches of Vík pass one of Iceland’s biggest lava fields until we reach our hotel where we stay for the next 3 nights. 

    Day 3: Vatnajökull National Park-Skaftafell
    Vatnajökull National Park is Europe’s biggest National Park. The south-east part of the park is the area of Skaftafell which is composed of natural forest growing between glacial tongues, reaching down almost to sea level - a unique place to visit. We walk through a birch forest up to the Svartifoss waterfall, which is famous for its black basalt columns. On the way we will get fantastic views of Europe’s largest glacier Vatnajökull and Hvannadalshnúkur (2110m), its highest peak. In the afternoon an inspiring 2-3 hour walk on the glacier is optional (not included). You will be provided with all the necessary gear (crampons and ice axes) to discover the amazing blue world of ice and explore its ridges and crevasses! Return to the hotel.
    Driving: 2 hrs total Walking: 4-5 hrs total


    Day 4: Jökulsárlón – Sheep farm
    Today we head east along the Öræfajökull glacier which covers one of the country’s greatest volcanoes and its highest summit. We then cross great flatlands in front of the huge Breiðamerkurjökull glacier before arriving at Jökulsárlón lagoon with its picturesque floating icebergs. The area of the Southern Vatnajökull National Park has provided the backdrop for many Hollywood films and TV shows, for example “Batman Begins” and lately HBO‘s “Game of Thrones”. At the lagoon we discover a great variety of icebergs of different forms and shapes and the wide range of blue and white colors in the ice. In the afternoon on our way back, we stop by a modern Icelandic sheep farm to see how the locals live today.
    Driving: 3-4 hrs total Walking: 2-3 hrs total

    Day 5: Vík – Hot springs of Ölkelduháls – Reykjavik
    On our return to Reykjavik we pass by the village of Vík (Vík í Mýrdal) where we can enjoy a walk on the black beach. The pinnacles of Reynisdrangar are to be seen just off shore. According to the legend, the pinnacles were left standing there after two trolls tried to pull a three master ship past the headland, but were caught and petrified by the first rays of sunshine. North of the village Hveragerði, famous for its greenhouses, we enjoy our last walk over to the geothermal area of Reykjadalur Valley (or in Grændalur over the coldest winter months)  where we can enjoy a relaxing bath in a warm stream (not possible in Grændalur) before returning to the hectic life of Iceland’s capital. 
    Driving: 4 hrs total Walking: 3-4 hrs total

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  • Equipment List

    Equipment list - Discovery Adventure

    Equipment list for Discovery Adventures

    For your own wellbeing and safety we strongly suggest following the advice of our equipment list, this includes having good quality rain-gear, tops and bottoms! Also respect that cotton clothing is not appropriate for any strenuous outdoor activity – this includes jeans and t-shirts. Modern outdoor clothing is by far more comfortable and will greatly improve your experience. 

    Boots and Clothing:

    • Hiking boots – light hiking boots with waterproofing and ankle support are preferred. 
    • Long and short sleeve thermal underwear – Wool or synthetic. 
    • Rain Jacket with a good hood– Preferably waterproof and breathable material. 
    • Hiking pants.
    • Rain trousers – Waterproof and breathable material. 
    • Gloves – Wool or synthetic.
    • Socks – two to three pairs of hiking socks - Wool or synthetic.
    • Warm hat – Wool or synthetic. 

    Other gear:

    • Backpack for clothes and items used during the day. Size: 20-30 litres. 
    • Duffel bag for your overnight gear, preferably not a suit-case.  
    • Towel – A light weight and packable one. 
    • Sunglasses and sun protection. 
    • Water bottle. 
    • Casual clothes / change of clothes.
    • Prescription medication and other personal health items.
    • Toiletries; Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap etc. 
    • Swim suit (depends on tour). 
    • Tours in huts: 
    • Sleeping bag – A basic sleeping bag with no specific temperature rating is sufficient for summer tours. Good summer sleeping bag will do for winter tours in huts (depending on tour). Please note Sleeping bags are not needed on all IMG Discovery Adventures. See accommodation in tour description. 
    • Earplugs 
    • Headlamp for reading and getting around the hut. 

    Optional gear:

    • Walking pole(s). 
    • Pen knife. 
    • Sun/rain Hat or a Cap. 
    • Thermal mat (for lunch breaks). 
    • Camera, spare batteries and a memory card or films. 
    • Puffy jacket to throw on during stops (e.g. Primaloft or down) 
    • Slippers for indoor use. 
    • Aperitif or other heart-warming spirits.

    Should you have any questions regarding this equipment list or the equipment on our tours feel free to contact incoming@mountainguides.is.

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  • Gear Lexicon

    Discovery Adventure

    What is a Discovery Adventure?

    On our Discovery Adventures you will get a chance to see allot of Iceland – driving between sightseeing spot. You should also be ready for some for a bit of walking – but nothing extreme or hard. Depending on tours you could be staying in Mountain huts, guesthouses or hotels.


    Light Hiking Boots

    test

    Salomon Quest Origins GTX

    A light pair of boots is more than sufficient. Having them waterproof and high enough to support and cover your ankles is a great benefit and will help keep you dry on wet or snowy ground. 


    Rain Jacket and Pants

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    ME Manaslu

    Wind and waterproof tops and bottoms are essential in Iceland. Preferably a jacket with a good hood. Rain pants with zippers along the legs make getting them on much easier. 


    Base layer

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    Bergans Merino

    A thin base layer (next to skin). The most popular is merino wool – comfortable to wear for multiple days without the smell of synthetic materials. Most people should be fine with the same merino shirt on for 2 – 3 days on harder tours where weight matters. Having short and long sleeve is great for adjusting to different weather conditions.  Women might want a sports bra as a part of their base layer. Cotton t-shirts are not advisable for any strenuous outdoor activity. 


    Insulation layer

    A fleece jacket would the classical insulating layer. Wool would also be a good option. Here it is also possible to layer up – two thin jackets or a jacket and a vest rather than one very thick jacket. A thicker base-layer for colder days could also be a part of adjustable layering. 


    Hands, feet and head:

    test

    ME Knitted beanie

    Gloves: A light pair of fleece or wool gloves or mittens does the job. You can also take a pair of ski-gloves or other wind and waterproof shell gloves. Having an extra pair is recommended, and then of different thickness.
    Socks: Wool is definitely the preferred material for hiking socks. Different blends are available. If you are prone to blisters or have new boots you should consider wearing a thin liner sock underneath your hiking socks. Make sure you have a few pairs of socks to keep your feet dry and in good conditions.
    Warm hat: A normal ski-hat/beanie is perfect. You could also use a thick buff. An extra a buff is also nice to have, you can use it to protect your neck and face when needed or as a thinner option for a hat. 


    Puffy Jacket

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    ME Compressor Hooded Jacket PrimaLoft

    A nice light puffy is great during brakes. The insulation could be down or synthetics (such as Primaloft). It should not be very big or bulky for summer time use. Synthetic insulation is preferred as it keeps most of its insulating properties also when wet but down is also a good option.  A puffy vest would also be a good option. 


    Casual clothes / change of clothes

    Once in the hut it is good to be able to change out of your trekking gear. Even if we do not like you to wear jeans during the hike you are welcome to wear them in the hut/tent in the evening - same with a cotton T-shirt. If it is could a warm jumper or an extra fleece jacket is always nice. Few pairs of comfy socks and some fresh underwear.  Avoid bringing too much extra clothing – life in the mountains is simple and nice, so one pair of extra pants, warm jumper and a few t-shirts and briefs should do the job just fine. Light sneakers and slippers for indoor use will feel great at the end of the day. 


    Backpack / day-pack

    test

    Love Alpine AirZone Trek 30L

    You will need a nice daypack to carry your extra clothes, river crossing shoes, food and water for the day. Having a compartment for smaller items like sun screen and sunglasses is also good. The pack will never be heavy, but a bit of padding on the shoulder- and hip straps/belt with a buckle is good. Unless you have some bulky personal needs, like photographic equipment, then you should be fine with 20-30L (1200 - 2000 cu in).


    Duffel-bag

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    ME Wet & Dry bag

    Your overnight gear is going to be transported from hut-to-hut / camp-to-camp and space is limited. We therefore ask you to pack your gear in a soft bag rather than a regular hard suite case, since this is more space-efficient. A 60 - 80L bag should be more than enough for all your extra kit including a sleeping bag.  If it is reasonably waterproof that is a big plus. 


    Sun

    A baseball cap or a comfortable hat with brim is great to have and is useful both in sunny and rainy weather. You should also have a nice pair of sunglasses and some sun-bloc – SPF 15-25 should be enough protection for most.  If you plan to be playing on snow covers summits you should bring a pair of quality sunglasses for mountaineering SPF 30 – 50 sunblock.  


    Personal items

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    Make sure to have all your prescription medication with you, if you have any medical condition that could in any way affect you during the trip make sure to let your guide know. For those suffering from allergies having antihistamine is advisable – or any other medication that works for your condition. Items for personal hygiene should also be included, having a small bar of soap handy or some liquid hand soap is a good idea. Toothbrush, toothpaste and dental-floss should be packed. Avoid liquid antiperspirant and glass containers due to risks of spilling. Feminine products like pads, tampons etc. should also be packed if needed. If you take vitamins or other supplements you should continue to do so during your holiday.
    In most cases you are sharing sleeping facilities with one or more fellow travellers – so a pair of good ear-plugs can ensure a good night sleep. Those not used to the bright summer might also like to bring an eye mask.  Contact lenses, lens liquid etc. Pack shampoo, conditioner and shower gel in small plastic bottles that close tight.
    A big towel is nice to have – especially if you are taking a bath in one of the natural hot-pools. 


    Swim suit

    Bathing in the natural hot-pools will be one of the highlights of your trip in Iceland (depending on the tour). Make sure you come dressed for the occasion. There are no specific rules, written or unwritten on how to dress or not to dress; board shorts, speedos, bikinis or bathing suits – anything goes. Quick drying is good. 


    Water container / thermos flask

    In Iceland & Greenland you can drink from any stream, no filters, no iodine or chlorine! It is good to have a small water bottle at hand. A 1L bottle should be plenty as water is easily found all over. If you are a warm drinker we will be happy to fill up your thermos in the morning and a selection of teas will be available (very dedicated tea drinkers often bring an emergency stash of their favourite brand). Cold drinkers might like to bring their favoured powdered flavouring/vitamin/energy drink. 


    Sleeping Bag Hut

    The mountain-huts during the summer are usually warm, although most are not heated during the night. Any old sleeping bag will therefore do, unless you get cold easily. For temperature control having a full length zipper is the best. A liner bag is also a very nice addition and will improve your ability to regulate your head during the night.  If you are doing a winter hut trip or summer camping a 3 season sleeping bag would be sufficient. All the huts we use have mattresses on the beds so no need to bring your own for huts.  


    Head-lamp

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    Even though the summer night is bright the inside of the hut/tent might not be. A headlamp is also useful for a bit of reading. There are plenty of options available for LED head lamps that are just perfect for reading and getting around. A small flash-light will also do the job. Most LED headlamps have more than enough light for our purposes and the battery life is so good that one set will do for your trip.  


    Other cool things to have

    Book – to read during the evenings.
    Music - and head phones. Some of our guides also have speakers with them to share Icelandic music.
    Diary or note-book – to write down your good memories from Iceland. Also a pen or pencil.
    Power-bank / extra battery for your electronics – small solar cells usually do not work that well in Iceland so a pre charged power bank is a better option.  Charging your electronics in huts in the highlands often is not an option or will cost you extra. Having converters adapters for 220 V will help.
    Playing cards and travel games – or other toys you might like and can travel.
    Cash – in mountain huts shower normally costs about 500 ISK and work on 100kr coins.
    Travel pillow – as long as it is not very bulky, otherwise you can just use your clothes.
    Powder drink mix – Good water is never a problem – but you might like a bit of variety. Some also contain vitamins and minerals that help your body after a hard day. 
    Shorts - It does get warm enough to wear shorts. They are also nice for sleeping in, in case you need to get out in the night. For hiking it is nice to have some pockets, for the items that other ways would be in the pockets of you pants. But any old pair of shorts will do.


    Aperitif of other heart-warming spirits

    Aperitif of other heart-warming spirits - Liquor laws in Iceland prohibit the sale of alcohol in most places you come by on your trip in the highlands and limited opening hours stop you from buying any most other places. So having a flask (preferably plastic or metal) to share with your fellow travels in front of the camp fire (gas heater) can be the crowning of a good day. You can take care of this in the duty-free up on arrival in Iceland if you like. Just follow all the Icelanders on your flight – they will take you straight to duty-free!
    On trips to Greenland you can take care of this in the duty-free up on arrival in Iceland. Duty free in Kulusuk, Greenland does not sell high % spirits – but if you make it to the supermarket they will have beer. 


    Gear shopping in Iceland

    Already in Iceland and need to grab some extra gear? No worries. There are a few shops in Reykjavík to go to (remember to ask for a VAT refund slip when you buy over 5000ISK, saving 14%):

    Íslensku Alparnir: http://alparnir.is/  this is where IMG gets its Mountain Equipment gear, much of with is featured on the pictures above – can’t go wrong there.

    GG-Sjósport: http://www.gummibatar.is/ grate products, but not in the down town.

    Laugavegur: the main shopping street down town has a few stores, including some local brands like 66°North and Cintamany.

    Kringlan & Smáralind are the indoor shopping centers in Iceland – both have outdoor stores – and they are open on Sundays and till 21:00 on Thursdays. 

    For your own wellbeing and safety, we strongly suggest following the advice of our equipment list, this includes having good quality rain-gear, tops and bottoms!  Also respect that cotton clothing is not appropriate for any strenuous outdoor activity – this includes jeans and t-shirts. Modern outdoor clothing is by far more comfortable and will greatly improve your experience. 
    Should you have any questions regarding this equipment list or the equipment on our tours feel free to contact
    incoming@mountainguides.is


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  • FAQ

    FAQ for IMG33 Kingdom of Glaciers and Northern Lights

    What is included and what is not included in the price?

    • Included: Guide for 5 days, vehicle transportation for 5 days, breakfast and dinner for 5 days, accommodation in a comfortable country hotel in double/twin rooms. Single supplement is 20.000 ISK per person
    • Not included: Lunch – can be added for 10.000 ISK, optional 2-3 hour glacier walk on the Svínafellsjökull glacier – price is 5.800 ISK pr. person. Both can be booked and paid for on the tour.


    What are my options if I do not book the lunch package through you?

    • You can buy food for the tour before it starts or buy food at small shops/gas stations that are along the way on the tour. You can also buy lunch from the hotel for 2.000 ISK pr. day.


    What is included in the lunch package?

    • On day 1 of the tour, we stop at Café Gullfoss and have an authentic Icelandic meat soup.
    • The usual lunch from the hotel includes a sandwich, yoghurt/Icelandic Skyr, piece of cake or biscuits, tea/coffee and a piece of fruit.


    Is pick-up and drop off included? What time is the pick up?

    • Yes, pick up and drop off is included.
    • Passengers are picked up between 8:30 and 9:00 am from their accommodation in Reykjavík.


    Do I need a sleeping bag for this tour?

    • No, a sleeping bag is not required for this trip since hotel accommodation is included.


    Is this a Super Jeep tour?

    • No, this is not a Super Jeep tour. A 4x4 vehicle is needed but it will not be a Super Jeep.


    I am a single traveler. Will I have to share a room if I don‘t book the single supplement?

    • If you do not book the single supplement, you will have to share a room with another single traveler of the same sex. If there is no other single traveler on the tour, you will stay in a single room for no extra charge.


    Is there free WIFI at the hotels?

    • Yes, free WIFI is included at the hotels.


    Can Icelandic Mountain Guides accommodate dietary requirements due to allergy or religious reasons?

    • The hotels provide both breakfast and dinner and can accommodate such requirements.
    • Please let us know beforehand about such requirements.


    Is it possible to leave extra luggage somewhere back in Reykjavík while I’m on the trip?

    • If you are staying at the same hotel / guesthouse before and after the tour then you can leave your extra luggage there for no extra charge.
    • You can also store luggage at the Icelandic Travel Market downtown. Remember to label your bags carefully with your name and when you will pick it up.


    What is the accommodation like on the tour?

    • Accommodation is in two comfortoble country hotels. One hotel on day 1 and another for the remaining days.


    What will we have to carry on the daily hikes?

    • Only a day backpack with some extra clothes, food for the day and water.


    Cancellation policy

    • You can read all about our cancellation policy on our website here.


    If you have any other questions about this tour, you can contact us at
    incoming@mountainguides.is

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  • Map
  • Departure Dates
    Tour Dates Availability
    08.05.2017 Confirmed Departure Select

Select the number of passengers and departure date.

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    1. Just a tip - You can convert the currency here!