Looking for a simple, yet authentic experience of winter Iceland

Traveler looking to visit Iceland in December 2016

Hi, I'm Late 20s Traveling solo. On a budget. I'm okay with shared rooms, guest houses, no fuss. No hotels booked yet. Flexible to move around. Looking for a simple, yet authentic experience of winter Iceland. 12/18/2016 7:30AM- 12/25/2016 7:00AM. Ready for an adventure. I would welcome packed days of activities and experiences. Just tell me when and where. Want to maximize my time. Don't want to miss: Northern Lights Reykjavik Blue lagoon Golden circle Vatnajokull/skaftafell ice cave tour, glacier walking Lava trip maybe? Jokulsarlon Lagoon, Jokulsargljufur Landmannalangar Snaefellsness Peninsula Dog sledding (north west) Borgarfjorour Maybe ?Boat ride - Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar Feel free to eliminate or add to this list. This is just me doing some reading and asking friends. If you have suggestions for other things to do in place of some of these ...I would love to heed to your expertise. Looking forward to hearing from you! Thank you!


Chris McCarty, a local specialist from Iceland, helped this traveler put a customized itinerary together for Iceland in Winter: How to make the most of limited daylight.

Have a similar request?

Get Started

Trip planning conversation

Traveler

Thank you!

Chris

Hi, welcome to kimkim! I'm Chris and I'll be your travel specialist to help plan your trip to Iceland.

Chris

Here's an example itinerary that covers almost all the places you mentioned. Landmannalaugar will be harder to access given the tight schedule and limited daylight, and the colors there are more muted in winter.

Chris

It's a little longer than your time but I can customize it for your schedule and we can cut a couple things out based on what parts you are most interested in.

Chris

Would you be interested in an ice cave tour or glacier walk? If so I can get you quotes for those as well.

Traveler

Hey Chris,

I would definitely love to do the ice cave tour and glacier walk.

Was was if there is a possibility to do
Snaefellsness peninsula and golden circle on the west....but then try to add some eastern highlights into the itinerary?
I was looking at your brochure Vik to Egl

Traveler

Hey Chris,

I would definitely love to do the ice cave tour and glacier walk.

Was was if there is a possibility to do
Snaefellsness peninsula and golden circle on the west....but then try to add some eastern highlights into the itinerary?
I was looking at your brochure Vik to Egilstooer - looks really neat. Maybe if you could help me figure out if there are things I can see on that eastern side (if we left out Borgarnes and settlement on the west).

Chris

East of Jokulsarlon are the east fjords with some pretty small villages. One other option is to fly one way to egilsstadir and drive back along the south coast and add on the Snaefellsnes peninsula.

Chris

Here is an example of that drive without the Snaefellsnes extension

Traveler

Hmmmm sorry for making you go thru the trouble of putting this together. This is really helpful...
I guess what I'm gathering is I think I'll really enjoy the Jokulsarlon area. If there are just small towns and fjords between Jokulsarlon and Egilsstadir....I think I'll stick to your previous itinerary.

So with the first itinerary. Is there a way to leave out the settlement, to make an extra day exploring the southern coast?

Would you suggest putting aside a specific Northern lights tour? Or do you think I'll be able to catch some at one of these places at night?

Traveler

Hey,
So I like the first intinerary. Like you said might have to customize it to cut a couple things out.

I have 7 full days in Iceland. (Dec 18th - Dec 25th).

With the ice caves and glacier walking added on, and maybe dog sledding if available? What would your itinerary approximate to in terms of cost? Thank you!

Chris

Hi, I will make the adjustments you asked for and put together a quote estimate and list out the prices of the various tour options you have for the different activities so that you can decide which of those you prefer.

Chris

Ok, here's what I was able to find for you. There are only 2 tickets remaining for the ice cave tour on the day you would be there. If you want to do this we should move forward quickly to secure it for you.

Updated Itinerary:
12/18: land, day in Reykjavik
12/19: drive to Snaefellsnes Peninsula (optional hike to Glymur Falls)
12/20: see more of Snaefellsnes Peninsula
12/21: South coast to Vik, waterfalls, black sand beaches, basalt cliff formations
12/22: Skaftafell, Svartifoss, Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. Ice caves / Glacier Lagoon tour this day
12/23: Drive back along south coast stopping at anythign missed on way out. You can then explore either Kerid Crater, or the Reykjanes Peninsula and Blue Lagoon on your way to your hotel near the airport
12/24: early flight

Accommodation: $441 USD for 6 nights. Mostly guesthouses, 1 night in a 6-person dorm while in Reykjavik.

Car Rental: $217 for Compact Car, or $377 for SUV with 4WD. Both cars will have winter tires, it depends on your preference for driving in Winter Conditions.

Activities / Tours:
- Ice Caves: 19,990 ISK ($178). Only 2 spots available for 12/22 remaining.
- Glacier Walk: 11,990 ISK ($107 USD). 19,990 ISK ($178 USD) for longer tour with ice climbing.
- Northern lights small group: 7900 ISK/person ($70 USD)
- Northern lights by modified 4WD super jeep: 17990 ISK/person ($160 USD). With the modified jeeps you can access ares that the busses and vans cannot.
- Dogsledding: (only available 12/20 at 2pm, while you will be in Snaefellesnes. I think it would be difficult to make this happen and also see the other sights on the itinerary). Cost is ISK 17,900 ($160 USD)

Traveler

Hi Chris,
Itinerary looks great.

Just wondering if there's an option where
I don't drive?

Any small group I can tag along with for the above itinerary?

(Coming from Miami...it's been some years since I went to college in Boston and drove in snow)

Traveler

For activities I like:
- Ice caves: $178
- Glacier walk: $107
- Northern Lights by modified 4WD super jeep: $160.

Just need to know if I can join a group?
I don't want to drive.
Thanks a lot!!

Chris

Here are some options. There is a 5 day tour that covers most of the places, but does not have ice caving. Alternatively, I can book you on 2 separate tours, a 3-day tour of the south coast, and a 2-day tour of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. You could add a day in Reykjavik before and after the tours if you like.

- 5 day tour: 2 days in south coast, 2 in snaefellsnes, 1 along Golden Circle. This includes glacier walk and northern lights, and also going into a lava cave (not an ice cave). That ones is 151,500 ISK ($1336 USD), and includes 4 nights accommodation
- 3 days in the south and golden circle, includes glacier walk and ice cave and 2 nights accommodation: 99,980 ISK ($882 USD)
- 2 days in Snaefellsnes Peninsula: 49,900 ISK ($440 USD)

Chris

Let me know what you think of those options and I can start making the arrangements for you. With the trip only a few weeks away (and near the Holiday season) hotels and tours will become less available soon.

Traveler

Hey!
Definitely book me for the
3 days in the south and golden circle, includes glacier walk and ice cave and 2 nights accommodation: 99,980 ISK ($882 USD). Can you please make sure I can go glacier walk and ice caving? I really want to do that. Could you book this part today?

The rest:
Can I do a day trip Snaefellsnes Peninsula with snowmobiling? I was reading on lonely planet about day trips from Reykjavik. I can stay there at a hostel and do day trips.

Thank you!!

Chris

Ok, I can reserve you for 12/19 for the 3 day tour (pick up is at 8am, so you wouldn't be able to join on 12/18 the day you land).

Chris

I can then look at Snaefellsnes and Snowmobiling options for you with your time remaining, which should be 12/22-24

Chris

You can enter your payment information here: [redacted]

I will then make the charge for the kimkim service fee and the 3-day tour of the south coast.

I will also make arrangements for your lodging for 12/18 and shuttle from KEF airport to Reykjavik on your first morning. For those, I will use the payment information you provided, and it should be $55 for a 6-door room in KEX hostel and about $26 for the transfer from KEF to the hostel.

Does that work for you?

Traveler

I would like to take care of the airport transfers and accommodation in Reykjavik by myself.

Does Kimkim have any kind of discounts or special offers right now? I'm a student on a really tight budget. Sorry for asking..but just wondering?

Thank you!

Chris

If you would like to reserve the transfers and accommodation yourself you can, however I'm happy to do it for you. We do not have any discounts at this time.

Chris

If you would like to move forward, I would recommend we reserve the ice caves asap so that it isn't booked up.

Traveler

Yes definitely want to move forward for the 3 day

Chris

Ok. Once you add your payment information I will deduct the service fee and reserve that tour. For the other tours and accommodations, I can hold for now if you want to still think about the options and if you want to make the reservations on your own or if you would like me to take care of them.

Traveler

My payment info is in your system now.

Chris

Yes. I am making the reservation for you now. I will send a confirmation shortly.

Chris

Oh really? I just moved to Boston in June from California, so I'm gearing up for an actual winter here.

Traveler

Fall is the best and winter is amazing! Peppermint mochas while walking in the snow to go watch a play, snow man, random snowball fights.

Chris

It's the wind that isn't so amazing

Chris

Here is the confirmation/voucher for the tour. When we finalize your accommodation, I'll contact our partner Arctic Adventures to update the pickup/drop off location.

Traveler

Great! Thank you so much!

Chris

Here are the remaining things for the trip that I can help you with when you are ready:

12/18: transport from KEF to Reykjavik ($26 flybus is best option)
12/18: accommodation
12/21-24 accommodation
12/22-24: Things to do
12/25 Transportation to Airport (or 12/24 if you stay near airport that night)

Here are some other tours you could do from Reykjavik once you return from the 3-day tour in the south (either the next day, or with a day in between)

- 2-days tour in Snaefellsnes Peninsula for 49,900 ISK ($440 USD), which includes 1 night accommodation and entrance into a lava cave.
- Whale Watching: 9,900 ISK ($88 USD)
- Blue Lagoon: 32900 ISK ($292 USD)
- Caving and ATV: 30,390 ISK ($270 USD)
- Horseback and Caving: 19,990 ISK ($177 USD)
- Horseback and ATV: 35,890 ($318 USD)