Top three reasons to go winter hiking in Iceland
Tick off all of Iceland’s pristine peculiarities from your bucket list
Hike on volcanoes during the day, chase Northern Lights by night
Unparalleled blend of glacial and volcanic terrain in the Land of Ice and Fire
Iceland’s story begins 18 million years ago when volcanic activity started shaping the country. Partnered with glaciers, it has given birth to countless geologic marvels—and you’re about to see them up close! Snaking along the country’s perimeter, the 1,328-kilometer Ring Road connects Iceland’s major cities and tourist spots in one rideable loop of pure sightseeing pleasure. With each new stop, you’ll immerse yourself in Iceland’s wide palette of colors, ranging from black sand beaches and fiery reds of the Námaskarð Pass to turquoise ice caves and glaciers dressed in brilliant blues. After touring geologic curiosities by day, go hunting for Northern Lights at night. Thanks to Iceland’s extremely dark nights, winter is the ideal time to chase them.
November through April
Your tour begins in Reykjavík, Iceland
Beginner to intermediate
Book this adventure
All-Women Winter Hiking Tour of Iceland
What better way to spend 9 days than by visiting the hottest locations in the Land of Ice and Fire? Join a group of like-minded adventurous women and explore the most Instagrammable winter wonderland in the world! If you’re on your own, no worries—this is the perfect opportunity to forge meaningful friendships in a safe and welcoming environment. Enjoy rugged landscapes by day and elegant hotels by night, all while keeping an eye out for that magical glow of the Northern Lights in the sky.
Day 1: Arrival at Reykjavik
Meet your guide around 6 p.m. at the Klettur hotel in Reykjavik. You’ll have an introductory meeting about the itinerary and a welcome dinner with your fellow hikers. Get to know your group and have a good night’s sleep for the adventure ahead of you.
Day 2: The Golden Circle, Greenhouse, and the Secret Lagoon
Every day you’ll be hitting the road between 8 and 9 a.m. Kick off the trip with a Golden Circle tour, a 190-mile route of Iceland’s three major natural attractions. Walk in the seismic rift valley of the Thingvellir National Park, marvel at the highly active Geysir Geothermal Area, and feel the drizzle of the 105-foot-tall Gullfoss, the golden falls.
Next stop is the Friðheimar greenhouse—learn how they use geothermal heating to grow vegetables, pick fresh tomatoes from above your table, and have lunch. End your day by unwinding in the Secret Lagoon, the oldest geothermal pool in Iceland surrounded by natural hot spring baths. As a cherry on top of each day, you’ll be on the hunt for Northern Lights every single night!
Meals: Breakfast and lunch
Day 3: South Coast and waterfalls
Today you’re taking a deep dive into Iceland’s Southcoast. Visit the 200-foot-high Seljalandsfoss waterfall, and if the weather allows you, go behind it to capture that iconic viewpoint through the hole. Continue onto the mighty Skógarfoss waterfall, after which you’ll do 6-7 hours of glacier hiking on the Sólheimajökull glacier, sitting atop the Katla volcano.
Walk along on black sand beaches, then hike through the Fjaðrárgljúfur, a lush green canyon with a river carving through jagged cliffs. Spend the night in Kirkjubæjarklaustur.
Day 4: Ice Caves, Glacier Lagoon, and Diamond Beach
New day, new natural phenomena. With an off-road drive in a massive jeep, you’ll reach ice caves, formed in glaciers. Take a tour of 700-year-old ice formations with an expert guide and see turquoise-tinted crystal caves. Next stop is the Glacier Lagoon, after which you’ll head to Diamond Beach. Its black sand and glistening icebergs are like no other place on Earth. Finally, retreat to your hotel in Höfn, the lobster capital of Iceland, and look forward to a delicious dinner.
Day 5: East Fjords
This day is dedicated to cultural exploration of East Fjords. Visit old houses along the coast and numerous quaint villages, such as Djúpivogur. Take a 3-mile hike to Hengifoss, a 420-foot-tall waterfall dropping into a gorge. Spend the rest of the day and the night in Egilsstaðir, East Iceland’s largest town, and get to know its local culture!
Day 6: Iceland’s North
Start off the day with a drive to Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall, fed by a river flowing from the largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajökull. Tour the waterfall and pass by the highest inhabited point in Iceland. Next up is the Námaskarð geothermal area, a Mars-like zone with no vegetation, but with a palette of vivid colors streaking through the earth.
Continue to Lake Mývatn, where you can take a dip in the hot springs! Walking through the lava field nearby will give you serious Game of Thrones vibes. Second to last stop is Goðafoss, “Waterfall of the Gods”, a symbol of Iceland’s conversion from Norse mythology to Christianity. As you reach Akureyri, your stay for the night, feel free to stroll around the city and explore its selection of Icelandic cuisine.
Day 7: Whale Watching and the Troll Peninsula
Put on a wetsuit and board a fishing boat in Dalvik! Sail through the fjords for three hours and spot some whales along the way. Following the boat ride, drive through Tröllaskagi, the Troll Peninsula, a beautiful road trip area offering something new at every turn you take. End your day in Laugarbakki, a charming village offering a hotel with hot tubs and great food.
Day 8: The Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Tour the Snaefellsnes peninsula in West Iceland and a volcanic crater. See Kirkjufell, the actual Arrowhead mountain of Game of Thrones and pass the center of the Earth, at least according to Jules Verne. Head to the Ytri Tunga beach, one of the best places for spotting seals in Iceland! Head back to Reykjavik and have a goodbye dinner with your group.
Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Day 9: The Blue Lagoon and Departure
Book your flight in the afternoon so you can take a dip in the Blue Lagoon, only a 15-minute drive from the airport. As a perfect ending to your trip, swim in this turquoise geothermal spa located inside a lava field. If you want to stay a bit longer in the land of ice and fire, feel free to go back to Reykjavik with your guide. However, if you’re ready to go home and eager to comb through all the incredible photos from the journey, there’s going to be arranged transportation to the airport.
Meet your guides
Local guide and owner of Viking WomenLocal guide and owner of Viking Women
Local guide and owner of Viking Women
Viking Women Tours
Viking Women Tours
Saga was our tour guide in December 2019 – we don’t normally go on tours, but not wanting to drive in Iceland in winter and not knowing the language or culture we thought it best to try a tour. Definitely the best decision ever!!! Saga was brilliant!!! She’s friendly, young, full of energy without being over the top, competent, knowledgeable, accommodating (we had someone with a broken foot on our tour and the lengths Saga went to, so that she could participate, were so far above & beyond the call of duty it was phenomenal). Saga also had a wonderful way of incorporating a relevant story of Icelandic Culture into whatever adventure we were embarking on – we could’ve listened to so many more hours of her stories (and Love the accent!). Absolutely fantastic – Highly recommended!!
Saga guided us through beautiful Iceland. I was impressed by Iceland, but also impressed by Saga! Very engaging lady with many talents: from active walk guide, and cool driver, to relaxing meditation mentor, with beautiful storytelling about the history and culture of Iceland. Takk fyrir, Saga!
I spent a week traveling around the gorgeous scenery of Iceland with Saga and let me say–she is an incredible host. Not only is her knowledge of the country vast, she is also patient and caring for all of her guests. As a solo female traveler, Saga made me feel like I was just on a holiday with friends! Whether it was a glass of wine, history lesson, or trek on a glacier – she guided us through those experiences with ease and intrigue. Her itinerary was the perfect combination of adrenaline-packed adventures and relaxation. All said and done, I can’t recommend Saga and Viking Women enough, solo female travellers and friend groups alike.
Get complete checklist for hiking and camping equipment.
Things to know
Covid measures in Iceland
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Iceland, please refer to the official COVID-19 guidelines for traveling to and within Iceland.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!
What you get on this adventure:
- An experienced, local hiking guide and driver with extensive knowledge of the area
- 9 days of guided sightseeing and hiking in Iceland
- Transportation during the tour with a minibus (Wi-Fi, headset)
- Accommodation at hotels
- Welcome and goodbye dinner
- Breakfasts at hotels
- All special equipment
- Greenhouse visit with lunch, secret lagoon, glacier hike, ice cave visit, whale watching, blue lagoon
- All other mentioned activities from the itinerary
- Drop off at the airport
What’s not included:
- Transportation to and from Iceland
- Pick-up from the airport
- Travel insurance
- Gratuities (optional)
- Lunches and dinners not mentioned in the itinerary
How fit do I need to be?
This winter hiking tour in Iceland is beginner-friendly! No special skills are required, as you’ll be walking and sightseeing for the majority of the tour. You’ll only do two hikes lasting around 3 hours, but other than that, you’ll be leisurely exploring Iceland!
What do I need to bring?
Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:
- A small day pack large enough to carry the essentials
- Luggage for clothes and other personal belongings
- Clothing appropriate for winter conditions
- Hiking poles — optional
- Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
- Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
- Spare clothes for layering
- Waterproof rain jacket
- Bathing suit and towel for hot springs
- Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Travel pillow (optional)
- Camera — optional (but recommended)
As you’ll tour Iceland in a minibus, you can leave all your belongings there during your walks. Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.
Group sizes and age requirements
Group sizes and prices:
- For this guided winter hike in Iceland, the max client-to-guide ratio is 16:1.
- It takes a minimum of 6 people for a tour to operate. The cost does not decrease as the group grows.
- In case you would like to ensure a room for yourself, and not share it with anybody, there is a possibility of a single room for an additional fee.
Hiking in Iceland can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.
Min. age requirements:
- If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
Deposits and cancellation policy
A 30% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 3 months (90 days) prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies.
In the event that the minimum number of people to confirm the trip is not reached, your guide can cancel the departure at most 2 months before the start of the trip. Please note the trips for 2023 are expected to reach the minimum number of people soon, and the likelihood of the trip not happening is very low.
In case you need to cancel the trip, the following cancellation costs would be incurred:
- 100% of the price of the trip is refundable before the group is guaranteed
- 70% of the tour price is refundable if canceled 59 days or more before departure, once the trip has been confirmed
- 50% of the tour price is refundable if canceled 30-59 days before departure
- 25% of the tour price is refundable if canceled 16-29 days before departure
- 0% of the price of the trip if it is canceled 15 days before departure.
All policies regarding cancellation will be clearly laid out by your guide after booking your adventure.
Getting there and meeting location
To get to Reykjavik, the starting point of this tour, most people fly into Keflavik International Airport. From there, you have a 45-minute drive to Reykjavik by bus or a cab. Buses leave the airport every hour, 24/7, so you don’t have to worry about getting delayed.
You’ll meet your guide on day 1 at 6 p.m. at the Klettur hotel in the city center, where you’ll have an introductory meeting and a welcome dinner with your fellow hikers.