Looking for an eventful winter vacation? The South Coast of Iceland is chock-full of fun winter activities, from glacier hiking to snowboarding, snowmobiling and more. If you're lucky, you'll have the chance to witness the unparalleled beauty of the Northern Lights that often grace the crisp Arctic sky. Here's our recommended way to spend the winter on Iceland's South Coast.

Highlights

  • Snowboarding in Bláfjöll, Iceland's "Blue Mountains"
  • Visit the renowned Geysir geothermal fields
  • Marvel at the architecture and culture in Reykjavik
  • Hunt for the Northern Lights in the Icelandic countryside

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Reykjavik Reykjavik
Day 2 Golden Circle Highlights Hella
Day 3 South Coast Exploration Vik
Day 4 Snowboarding in Bláfjöll Reykjavik
Day 5 Reykjavik Reykjavik
Day 6 Departure from Iceland  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Reykjavik

Sun Voyager
Sun Voyager

Welcome to Iceland! After you've cleared customs, our representative will meet you at the airport and drive you to your hotel in Reykjavik. If you arrive around noon or earlier (highly recommended!), it's possible to stop at the Blue Lagoon before continuing on to the city. After you've checked into your hotel, Reykjavik is yours to explore - spend your evening checking out the trendy restaurants, grunge bars, and cool cafés of the northernmost capital of the world.

Day 2: Golden Circle Highlights

Strokkur Geyser
Strokkur Geyser

On your second day, you'll pick up your rental car and the winter adventure begins for real. Today, drive eastward to check out the best tourist highlight only 45 minutes away, the Golden Circle. Start by hitting Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, world-renowned for its natural beauty and Viking history. From here, you can see the scars of the geological rift between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates.

Continue on to the famous Geysir geothermal fields and witness the great spouting spring of Strokkur and, to a lesser degree, Geysir--which gave its name to the English language. Close by, you'll find Gullfoss, recently voted one of the 10 most beautiful waterfalls in the world. Nearby there are several popular lunch stops where you can enjoy a traditional Icelandic meal, lamb soup. After lunch, make your way through lush farmlands to the South Coast. On your way, don't forget to stop at Kerið, a volcanic crater filled with crystal-clear water. Stay the night in the Hella area. 

Day 3: Sensational South Coast

South Coast Waterfall

Another day, another adventure! Today, you'll hit the road to explore the highlights along Iceland's famed South Coast. Start by driving to Seljalandsfoss waterfall, where you can walk behind the tumbling cascades -- and after that, the waterfall Skógafoss, symmetrical and elegant, like a curtain of water. Afterwards, if you choose, you can opt-in for a thrilling day astride a snowmobile on a glacier, or a wild afternoon horseback riding on the friendly Icelandic horse. Continue onto the town of Vík, the lovely black sand beach of Reynisfjara and the Dyrhólaey stone arch that stretches into the sea. Once you've had your fill of awesome sights (is that possible?), it’s time to head back on the Ring Road. Return to your Golden Circle hotel for the night.

Day 4: Snowboarding in Iceland

Northern Lights

After breakfast, start driving back towards Reykjavik. On the way, you'll reach Bláfjöll, the "Blue Mountains," a popular ski resort not far from the city. Enjoy a full day of snow adventure, skiing, and snowboarding (no need to order the equipment in advance, just rent it once you arrive). If you're lucky, you'll cap off your escapades in the Icelandic countryside with a glimpse of the elusive Northern Lights. After your snow adventures in Bláfjöll, return to Reykjavik, where you'll drop off the rental car and spend the night in your hotel in central downtown.  

Day 5: Exploration of Reykjavik

Hallgrimskirkja Church
Hallgrimskirkja Church

Next, it's time to tackle Reykjavik! Check out the lovely Hallgrímskirkja, iconic Harpa music hall, the Sun Voyager sculpture and the National Museum of Reykjavik. Top off your Icelandic education with a visit to the Whales of Iceland exhibition and the Aurora Reykjavík Northern Lights Center by the Old Harbor.

Seen enough of downtown? Enjoy an activity from Reykjavik like a helicopter tour or walking tour. It's also a spectacular idea to visit one of the many cozy geothermal pools in Reykjavik, where you'll have the chance to meet some locals and dive right into a beloved Icelandic pastime. In the evening, enjoy a luxurious dinner in a top gourmet restaurant in Reykjavik. Spend your last perfect night in Reykjavik before departure.

Day 6: Departure

Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon

All good things come to an end: today's your last day on an unforgettable Iceland adventure. Catch the shuttle bus to Keflavik International Airport. If your flight is in the afternoon, you still have time to stop at the Blue Lagoon and enjoy a soak in its milky blue waters. This is a perfect conclusion to your stay and a pleasant way to relax and unwind before your flight home.