Iceland’s dramatic scenery is an adventure lover’s nirvana, and the land of fire and ice guarantees heart-racing action. If the massive summer crowds aren’t your style, consider flying towards the Arctic Circle during winter. The elements will be more intense, but you won’t give up an ounce of adventure on your vacation.
Joining one of these Iceland winter tours will bring you face to face with some of the country’s alluring natural wonders. From mammoth glaciers to spooky lava fields, your heart may skip a few beats admiring Iceland’s beauty. And the added hours of darkness winter provides, brings you closer to the mystical aurora borealis that hovers above.
We’ve gathered several of the top winter tours in Iceland that create the recipe for an epic vacation. Whether you’re looking to explore ice caves or hunt the Northern Lights, you’ll find many exhilarating winter activities. Our list even includes one tour that perfectly fits the winter theme if the weather becomes too unbearable. Just be prepared to pack your layers since Iceland winters will push you to the limit.
1. 5 Hour Glacier Hike in the Skaftafell Wilderness Area
- Starting Point: Meet at Skaftafell Terminal Tour Center (No Hotel Pick Up/Drop Off)
- Duration: 5 hours
- Costs: $118.26 USD per person
- Book Here: 5 Hour Glacier Hike Adventure
Team up with a certified glacier guide and experience the magic of Skaftafell National Park. This Iceland adventure tour treks along a portion of the enormous Vatnajökull glacier. The massive block of ice is Europe’s largest glacier, and you’ll tackle one of the several outlet glaciers. As you walk across the glacier, you’ll have stunning vistas in this beautiful wilderness area.
Located in southeast Iceland, Skaftafell combines elements of fire and ice to form an awe-inspiring landscape. During winter, blue ice dominates your surroundings, and outlet glaciers expand to the lowlands. Skaftafell receives little snowfall compared to other regions and makes it easier to explore the area. After hiking into the deep fissures within the glacier, your guide will help you sample pristine glacial water.
2. Visit the Magic Ice Bar
- Starting Point: Below the Álafoss store in Reykjavik (No Hotel Pick Up/Drop Off)
- Duration: Check availability for start times (30 minute Blocks)
- Costs: $35.36 USD per person
- Book Here: Magic Ice Bar Entrance with Welcome Drink
Tap into your witty side by enjoying drinks in Iceland’s only ice bar and gallery. Upon your arrival at the Álafoss store, the staff will greet you with a poncho and gloves to remain toasty in this winter wonderland. Witness over 60 tons of ice masterfully carved by world-renowned artists that tell enchanting stories of Norwegian Viking sailors who ventured to Iceland. To cap off your experience, sip one of the Magic Ice Bar’s signature drinks from an ice glass.
This fun-filled Iceland winter tour is among the most joyous activities in Reykjavik around the holidays. Celebrate the New Year with your loved ones while taking selfies with the incredible ice carvings and artwork. The Ice Bar creates a unique backdrop for all types of social gatherings and tells fascinating Viking legends.
3. Ice Caving at the Vatnajökull Glacier
- Starting Point: Meet beside Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and look for black & orange van that says, “Local Guide Meeting Point” (No Hotel Pick Up/Drop Off)
- Duration: 2.5 hours
- Costs: $159 USD per person
- Book Here: Ice Cave Tour
On this small group ice cave tour, you’ll wander into the depths of the blue ice caves of Vatnajökull Glacier. Step foot inside a 4×4 Superjeep that transports you to the cave entrance. When you explore the frozen tunnels, the swirls of blue ice form a surreal chamber encircling the cave floor. The bumpy ride to the ice caves is an exhilarating part of your Iceland winter tour that spotlights the famous glacier.
Your professional glacier guide will prep you during the ride and provide a helmet and spikes for safety. To create the safest experience, the expert guides scout the ice caves during fall and determine the best route. The sparkling ice jewels are one of Iceland’s natural wonders and one of the country’s mesmerizing winter spectacles.
4. Lava Beach ATV Adventure
- Starting Point: Meet at Tour operator’s base Þórkötlustaðir 3, 240 Grindavík (No Hotel Pick Up/Drop Off)
- Duration: 2 hours
- Costs: $216 USD per person
- Book Here: 2-Hour ATV/Quad Adventure in Reykjanes Geopark
Hop on an ATV and drive around the moss-covered lava fields, volcanic craters, and black-sand beaches of Reykjanes. The lava beach hosted a harbor in its past life, but the ruins were transformed into an ATV rider’s paradise. Your day tour shows off shipwrecks, old fishing stations, and rugged Icelandic coastline. Plus, the route courses beside two volcanic craters and resembles the moon’s surface.
Driving around the historic fishing villages races you back in time and offer a glimpse into Iceland’s former settlements. Nature lovers also get the bonus of witnessing sea birds, seals, sheep, and Icelandic horses. For a picture-perfect finish, race to the top of Mount Hagafell and gaze at the rocky landscape. All the riding gear is provided, and ATVs seat two to share the adventure with your travel buddy.
5. Discover the Heat of the Secret Lagoon
- Starting Point: Pickup included: Choose from the following addresses (Gray Line Bus Terminal Klettagardar 4, Bus stop #3 Lækjargata, or Skarfabakki Cruise Port)
- Duration: 10 hours
- Costs: $90.22 USD per person
- Book Here: Golden Circle and Secret Lagoon Day Tour
Following the iconic Golden Circle route, this Iceland winter tour features several classic Icelandic tourist attractions. After visiting three epic locations on the Golden Circle, your day trip concludes with a soak in the Secret Lagoon. Bring your swim trunks and a towel to enjoy a relaxing dip in one of Iceland’s famous geothermal pools. The steamy hot springs melt your stresses away and rejuvenate your body in front of the snow-covered countryside.
On your journey, witness the rift valley at Þingvellir National Park and learn about Iceland’s historic parliament. You’ll also feel the intense power of Gullfoss, one of Iceland’s most scenic and powerful waterfalls. When you arrive at Geysir, smell the geothermal wonders around you and film Strokkur’s eruption.
6. Hunt for the Northern Lights
- Starting Point: Provide specific pickup location during booking (bus fare included)
- Duration: 4 hours
- Costs: $91.32 USD per person
- Book Here: Small-Group Premium Northern Lights Tour from Reykjavik
Complete your adventurous winter vacation with an awe-inspiring Iceland Northern Lights tour. Starting from Reykjavik, you’ll venture outside the capital to hunt for the colorful lights dancing in the sky. The Northern Lights can only be spotted from September to April, and this tour is perfect for your winter trip. Iceland is among the best spots to see the Northern Lights in Europe, and you can find them minutes outside of Reykjavik.
Witnessing the Northern Lights is a life-changing experience, and the natural phenomena have inspired humans for generations. Your journey into the dark Icelandic night will be led by an expert guide and will have more intimacy with the limited group size. If the weather forecast doesn’t present lights on your hunt, you can reschedule free of charge. This Iceland adventure tour also includes free entrance to the Aurora Museum in Reykjavik the day of your quest.
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Thanks for checking out our adventurous Iceland winter tours. Hopefully, this has provided the information you need to plan the ultimate Icelandic vacation this winter. If you have experiences from Iceland or other tips to recommend, please leave a comment below.