This epic eight-day expedition will show you why Iceland’s also known as “the Land of Ice and Fire.” You’ll journey with a private guide across the South Coast and into the Icelandic Highlands on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. From imposing glaciers, crater lakes, and stretches of black sand beaches to the surreal ice caves of Vatnajökull, you will hike and snowshoe through one of the most remote and breathtaking locations in the world!
You will meet your guide and the rest of your group at BSÍ, Reykjavík’s Central Bus Station. Your guides will transport you to your accommodation in the south coast of Iceland for tonight, which is 1-1.5 hours away from Reykjavík. Here is where you’ll get to know each other over dinner and have a detailed briefing.
These two days will be spent in the Highlands of Iceland aboard a powerful superjeep, exploring the Kerlingarfjöll mountain range in wintertime. The journey near Gullfoss, where an experienced driver will meet you and lead you through the Icelandic winter wilderness. As you’re moving away from the crowded Golden Circle, you’ll be surrounded by snowy mountains and vast glaciers. Expect rugged terrain and driving on snow-carpeted roads that can only be navigated by specialized vehicles and drivers. Spend these two days exploring the mountains with snowshoes, warm up at your cozy accommodation, and unwind in the natural hot springs, heated by the geothermal activity of the area.
Accommodation: Hotel in the Highlands
After two days in the mountains, continue your journey back to the South Coast with a superjeep. Along the way, you’ll make several stops to explore some of Iceland’s hidden gems, including secluded waterfalls and off-the-beaten-path spots. Your guide will provide you with interesting stories about the history and culture of the area. Today is a great chance to explore Iceland’s crowdless treasures and appreciate the diversity of landscapes that make the island as unique as it is.
Get ready for a day of exploring Iceland’s rugged and wild South Coast. Begin your journey in Hvolsvöllur, heading eastward along the coast towards the townlet of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Once you leave the small town behind, the landscape morphs into something completely different: rugged mountains, mighty glaciers, and black sand beaches. You’ll visit some of Iceland’s most famous landmarks, including some spectacular waterfalls. As you move towards the east, you’ll pass by black sand beaches of Reynisfjara, with towering cliffs, sneaker waves, sea stacks emerging from the sea, and columnar basalt making lifelong impressions. Take a stroll down the beach and witness these otherworldly formations. Finally, arrive at Kirkjubæjarklaustur, where you’ll spend the night and rest for the upcoming day.
Set out early in the morning towards the southeast coast and the Vatnajökull National Park. Today’s ice caves are unlike anything else in the world. Make your way towards the glacier edge, where you’ll put on your crampons and helmets, beginning your way into the glacier’s icy depths. You’ll be surrounded by towering ice walls and sparkling blue formations, reminiscent of frozen cathedrals, with natural arches and pillars that have been sculpted out. An expert guide is here to lead you through the caves, pointing out interesting features and providing fascinating facts into the geology and history of the glacier. After a full day out, head back to Kirkjubæjarklaustur for the night.
Make your way towards Hvolsvöllur and take in some of Iceland’s most incredible off-the-beaten-path spots along the way. There’s no better way to explore it than with a superjeep, which allows you to venture off the main road and into the heart of the Icelandic wilderness. Discover deep canyons with steep walls rising up to 100 m (330 ft), cascades plunging into a series of crystal-clear pools, rock formations emerging from the surrounding plains, and many other hidden treasures.
Having soaked up the Icelandic outstanding landscapes, which will be forever engraved in our memory, let your guides drive you back to Reykjavík, where your adventure ends. The journey back will take you through some of Iceland’s most unique landscapes for one last look. As you return to the capital, say goodbye to your amazing group and guide. Continue exploring this marvel of an island or catch your flight home!
This is what you’ll get with on this adventure:
- A local certified English-speaking guide from Amarok Adventures
- A professional licensed driver, a private 4×4 vehicle, and a private superjeep for moving from one location to another
- 3 or 8 days of hiking and exploring Iceland’s winter wilderness
- All breakfasts apart from Day 1
- Accommodation as indicated in the itinerary
- All dinners included while traveling with the group (apart from Day 1)
- Vehicle fuel
- Pick-up and drop-off at Reykjavík
- Activities as listed in the itinerary
- 8-day tour: 2-day activity in the Icelandic Highlands of Kerlingarfjöll, full-day ice cave and glacier hiking in Vatnajökull National Park, and hot natural springs at Kerlingarfjöll
- 3-day tour: 1-day activity in the Icelandic Highlands in Thórsmörk and ice caves & glacier hike activity in Vatnajökull N. P.
- Snowshoes, crampons, ice axes, harnesses and all the needed equipment
- Agency support 24/7
- International flights
- Transfers from/to the airport
- Accommodation prior to and after the tour
- Breakfast on Day 1
- Lunches, dinners
- Personal mountain gear
- Trip insurance
- Lockers in Reykjavík (in case of leaving the luggage that is not going to be used during the trip)
- Everything else not specified in “What’s Included”
Depending on which adventure you choose, you’ll spend three to six hours hiking every day for 3 or 8 days, often through challenging terrain. You should be able to hike over 2,300 ft (700 m) of elevation gain and feel comfortable with winter activities such as glacier hiking or snowshoeing. There are steep climbs and glacier hikes in winter weather conditions, sometimes wearing crampons or snowshoes. You should feel comfortable spending full-days outdoors and on your feet.
For the whole duration of the 8-day tour, you’ll be staying in hotels in double rooms with breakfast included.
If you join the 3-day tour, you’ll spend two nights in quadruple & double rooms with breakfast included.
In case of special dietary requirements, please contact us and we can make arrangements.
Suitcases are not allowed on this tour. Please bring a duffel back and a backpack for daily hikes.
Ensure that all items fit securely within your duffel bag without anything protruding, keeping everything dry during the hike. The quantities listed for specific items are indicative and based on guides’ recommendations.
Here’s a general list of personal gear you need to bring:
- Backpack for daily adventures
- Waterproof bag for clothes
- Rain cover for your backpack
- Swimsuit and towel — swimsuit only if you dare to try the natural hot springs
- Personal toiletries
- Personal first-aid kit (make sure to take all you need with you)
- Sunscreen and sunglasses
- Earplugs — recommended
- Headlamp + batteries
- Camera — optional
- Power bank
- Hiking poles — highly recommended
- Water bottle and thermos
Here’s a list of clothing you need to bring:
- Waterproof hiking boots with a sturdy sole
- Warm clothes
- First layer: bottom / upper base layer (Merino wool recommended, 1-2 units)
- Second layer: fleece jacket (1-2)
- Third layer: down jacket (1)
- Waterproof jacket & pants (GoreTex recommended, 1)
- Hiking pants (1-2)
- Short sleeve t-shirts (3-5)
- Long sleeve t-shirts (1-2)
- Comfy footwear for accommodations
- Underwear and hiking socks
- Warm beanie
- Gloves / mittens
- Hiking buff
Prior to the start of the route, the guide will do a comprehensive gear check with each traveler to ensure that everything necessary is brought.
While your guide carries a first-aid kit, each traveler should carry their own necessities based on personal requirements, including any specific pathologies or risks.
Please note that drones are strictly prohibited.
Group sizes and prices:
- If you opt for the 8-day tour, you’ll be joining a group that usually consists of 7-12 people. Pricing is per person. It takes a minimum of 7 people for this tour to run. If you are an individual traveler, you are more than welcome to join.
- If you’d like to go on a 3-day tour, keep in mind that it’s a private tour with the maximum group size of 4 people with one guide. The tour is fully customizable and it’s possible to add extra days before or after with extra activities and experiences (geothermal lagoons, horseback riding, etc.) The adventure is also available for 1-2 persons, but the price goes up a bit.
Hiking in Iceland can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.
Min. age requirements:
- Everybody over the age of 16 is welcome on this winter hiking adventure.
If you have teens younger than 16, contact us prior to the booking.
To get to the starting point of this tour in Reykjavík, most people fly into Keflavík International Airport (KEF). From there, you can take a bus, shuttle, or taxi to Reykjavík.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will meet at the BSI central bus terminal in Reykjavík. From there, you’ll head to the trailhead. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.
We highly recommend that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more. Travel insurance covers canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Iceland, please refer to the Official Information about Covid-19 in 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!