Iceland in winter is an amazing time to visit. The landscape in Iceland transforms itself into a mind-blowing winter adventure ground. These absolutely best Iceland Winter tours are handpicked so that you have an awesome trip.
Winters in Iceland are pretty mild as compared to some of the regions in North America. However, driving in winter roads in Iceland is not easy, especially if you are not used to the terrain. Using these winter tours in Iceland, you can experience the best of winter, where the local guide will take you around in the nicest and safest way possible!
Although winter months in Iceland are from December to early February, all of the recommended Iceland winter tours start as early as September and continue until March. We have also included some classic tours that can be taken all year round with a winter twist. Some of the tours are weather dependent and some not. So here are the best Iceland winter tours that should book for your trip!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
10 Best Iceland Winter Tours to book in 2020
All the tours mentioned in this post are via GetYourGuide. This is the tour booking agency that we use for all of our travels. They have a great selection of tours, and their website is super user friendly.
Once you book a tour, you will receive the tour information via email. They will send a reminder a few days prior to your trip, and you can manage all the bookings via your GetYourGuide account.
Should your travel plans change, you can easily cancel the tour and request a full refund, if canceled 24 hours in advance. We have been booking with them for years, and never had any problems!
These winter activities can be arranged as a day trip from Reyjkavik, and they come with small group tour options.
Read our full guide to Best Iceland Tours for any time of the year
Ice Cave tour at Vatnajökull National Park in Southern Iceland (2.5 to 3 hours)
Availability: Ice cave tours available from mid-November to March.
During winters in Iceland, escape to ice caves – a fascinating natural phenomenon formed by meltwater streams and wind hollowing out tunnels. What results in, is stunning helictite-like icicles and ice draperies.
To take an ice cave tour is to marvel at this nature creation with ice formation and turquoise colors – something which is mind-blowing. You have to see it yourself to believe it. These ice caves are also called crystal caves as the interiors shine like a crystal or a diamond.
There are only two places in Iceland, where you can take an Ice Cave tours – Vatnajokull National Park and Langjokull Glacier Park.
Vatnajokull National Park is a natural ice cave. It is located about 5 hours away from Reykjavik. This can be taken as a multi-day tour from Reykjavik, not as a day tour. In this recommended Ice Cave tour, you will experience a super-jeep drive to Vatnajökull which is also Europe’s largest glacier.
A guide will lead the group inside the natural ice cave and spend 45 minutes to an hour inside the glacier. Gear up with a helmet, micro-spikes, and a headlight, if needed. You will be provided with helmets and crampons at the site. Marvel at the stunning creation, take photos and learn about the glacier and the formation of the cave.
Note: You will have to arrange for transportation to the ice cave, and the tour begins at the site for 2.50 to 3 hours. The next tour – Glacier and Ice Cave – includes transportation as well as an all-round glacier adventure!
BOOK HERE > ICE CAVE TOUR AT VATNAJOKULL NATIONAL PARK
ALTERNATIVE TOUR > FROM JOKULSARLON GLACIER LAGOON TO VATNAJOKULL ICE CAVE TOUR
Langkökull Glacier Ice Cave Tour from Reykjavik (11 hours)
Availability: All year. During winters experience ice cave tours Iceland, in summers explore ice tunnels
This is an AWESOME and CONVENIENT TOUR if you are staying in the capital city of Reykjavik. You will depart from Reykjavik in the morning and reach Langjökull Glacier – the second largest glacier in Iceland. Langjokull Glacier Park is a man-made ice cave.
This winter experience in Langjökull Glacier is one of kind – you will walk on a glacier and marvel as its icy-blue hues, ride across the ice surface on an 8 WD truck and see lava waterfalls of Hraunfossar.
This recommended winter activity includes a 1-hour guided ice cave tour with all necessary safety equipment. You will be transported from Reykjavik to a modern bus equipped with entertainment amenities.
Then upon reaching closer to the site, you will ride a specially-modified 8WD glacier vehicle on the Langjökull Glacier. Inside the Langkökull Glacier, you are able to see recent and older volcanic eruptions including the infamous – Eyjafjallajökull.
You will spend 45 minutes to an hour inside the glacier and then head to see the lava waterfalls.
Glacier Hike Adventure at Skaftafell National Park (5 hours)
Availability – All year-round, but winter glacier hiking is more challenging (November to February)
Iceland is rightly called the land of fire and ice. The landscape of Iceland is a result of volcanic activity and glacier formation. There are 9 main glaciers in Iceland – Snæfellsjökull, Drangajökull, Eiríksjökull, Langjökull, Hofsjökull, Tungnafellsjökull, Vatnajökull, Mýralsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull and Sólheimajökull.
These glaciers are located in the South or in the Midlands of Iceland. And because of weather and terrain conditions – the snow falls and stays there rather than melting away, making it perfect for winter glacier activities. Also, it’s not every day that you get to walk or explore a glacier!
Take this glacier hiking tour in the wilderness of Skaftafell, and hike across a stunning outlet glacier of Vatnajökull in the company of an expert guide. You will see different ice formations, including deep crevasses and ice sculptures, and get panoramic views over Skaftafell National Park. The guide will share information about how glaciers are formed and their future. (Vatnajökull glacier has been rapidly shrinking).
ALTERNATIVE TOUR > 3-hour glacier winter hiking tour of the Sólheimajökull Glacier, 2 hours from Reykjavik GLACIER HIKE AT SOLHEIMJOKULL
Northern Lights Tours from Reykjavik (4 hours)
Availability – September or early March
If you wish to chase the dancing green lights aka aurora borealis, then take the Iceland Northern Lights Tour! The tours depart from the capital city of Reykjavik and last 2-4 hours. Typically tours start 08:30 pm or after. Northern lights sighting occurs between 11:00 pm to 1:00 am.
We were taken aboard in a bus and to a location, little outside of Reykjavik. It was super cold that night, so dress warmly as you will be chasing northern lights outside the bus or minivan.
Keep in mind that these tours are weather dependent, which means that if it is raining or cloudy (which could happen in October or early March), the tour might be canceled. In the event, the northern lights tour is canceled – you can get your money back or request a tour the next day.
BOOK HERE > NORTHERN LIGHTS TOUR FROM REYKJAVIK
OTHER NORTHERN LIGHTS TOUR > NORTHERN LIGHTS CRUISE FROM REYKJAVIK
Snowmobiling Tour with Golden Circle from Reykjavik (10 hours)
Availability – Winter snowmobiling months are from October to February
A popular winter tour in Iceland is riding a snowmobile and exploring glaciers and wintery-snowy landscape. One of the most popular snowmobile tours is on the Langjökull Glacier. This tour takes about 10 hours and is excellent as it includes sightseeing at the Golden Circle route.
In the Golden Circle routes, you will explore historic Thingvellir National Park, Geysir, Gullfoss Waterfall, and Langjokull Glacier. At the Langjokull Glacier, you will an hour of snowmobiling activity. All the equipment will be provided.
To enjoy the tour, bring in a valid driving license to operate the snowmobile. Kids are allowed to join in as passengers. Ensure you are wearing good hiking shoes. > Check these hiking boots from Ugg
Snowmobiling Tour on top of Eyjafjallajökull Glacier (3 hours)
Availability – All year
Snowmobiling tour on top of Eyjafjallajökull glacier is a 3-hour tour. This tour is perfect for ‘first-time riders’ and individuals looking for a scenic, fun ride, exploring and experiencing the wilderness, the glacier, and the breathtaking views over south Iceland.
The tour starts from the base, Gljúfrabúi by Road 249, and then you are driven towards Eyjafjallajökull and up its slopes, onto the glacier base where the snowmobiles are kept. Snowmobiles’ tour is for an hour. All the equipment is provided.
To enjoy the tour, bring in a valid driving license to operate the snowmobile and wear good hiking shoes.
BOOK TOUR > SNOWMOBILING ON EYJAFJALLAJOKULL GLACIER
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon exploration from Reykjavik (14 hours)
A 14-hour breakfast to dinner sightseeing exploration of the southern coast of Iceland to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon – outlet of the largest glacier in Europe.
From your hotel in Reykjavik, you will be transferred to the southern coast and the dramatic Glacier Lagoon with floating icebergs and stunning views. We will come face to face with the glacier outlet and walk on the surface.
On your way back to Reykjavik, you also explore the gorgeous waterfall Seljalandsfoss and visit Iceland’s southernmost village at Vík for dinner.
South Coast and Northern Lights Tour (12- 17 hours)
Availability – South Coast is all year. Northern Lights hunting from October to February
This classic tour with a winter twist is a MUST do for your Iceland trip. In this small-group tour, you will experience the South Coast of Iceland with an added Northern Lights hunt in the evening.
In the morning, you will explore the Solheimajokull Glacier – an outlet glacier of Myrdalsjokull. Thereafter you will capture the unique black sand beach of Reynisfjara. The beach with its black sands, basalt sea stacks, and basalt column cave, make it ONE of the stunning beaches in Iceland.
After Reynisfjara, a stop by the charming village of Vik is a must. Stop for lunch or souvenir shopping and then stop by Skogafoss waterfall. The breathtaking view of the fall with water cascading from old sea cliffs is a beauty to behold.
Last stop at Seljalandsfoss waterfall – a unique fall where you can walk behind it. Until late November you should be able to walk around it. We did in October and our friends did it in late November. Conditions might be slippery so wear sturdy shoes.
After the day tour, you will be dropped off in Reykjavik for dinner or relaxation time and then in the late evening, you will be picked up again for the Northern lights tour.
We took this tour and LOVED it.
BOOK TOUR > SOUTH COAST TOUR WITH NORTHERN LIGHTS
Golden Circle Tour with Secret Lagoon from Reykjavik (9- 10 hours)
Availability – All year
Another classic tour in Iceland – the Golden Circle route with sightseeing at the Þingvellir National Park the stunning Gullfoss waterfalls, and the unique geysers. Enjoy a bus ride from Reykjavik to the Golden Route and then stop at the Secret Lagoon for a thermal dip.
The Secret Lagoon is a good alternative to visiting the famous Blue Lagoon. For Blue Lagoon, for some, you may or may not find a time slot that’s convenient for you. It is also expensive. The Secret Lagoon is an all-natural pool and less touristy. Imagine soaking in it, when there are slight snow showers.
We enjoyed our time at the Secret Lagoon with light snow drizzle – it was heavenly – the water temperature kept me warm and fuzzy. Read our 3 days in Iceland Itinerary
The Golden Circle route is a classic tour just like the south coast tour!
BOOK TOUR > GOLDEN CIRCLE TOUR WITH SECRET LAGOON
Golden Circle tour can be combined with Northern Lights as well as whale watching tours. Whale watching is open until November, however, depending on seasonality, it could change.
3 Day Winter Adventure Tour from Reykjavik (3 days)
This winter tour combines the BEST of all in 3 days. Explore the Golden Circle route, south coast of Iceland, go snorkeling between continents at Silfra, enter a blue ice cave and glacier hike on Europe’s largest glacier – Vatnajökull National Park in Southern Iceland.
As part of the tour, your experience swimming between the continents will be recorded and you will receive GoPro images to take home as a souvenir. It is a MONEY SAVER option with activities and accommodation for 2 nights in Reykjavik included. It is a small group adventure, with all planning, researching and driving are taken care of!
In this 3 day South Coast, Golden Circle, and ice caving and hiking tour you will explore the following – Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls, Gullfoss waterfall with Þingvellir National Park winter day activities at the Vatnajökull National Park (hiking and ice caving).
From your hotel in Reykjavik, you will embark on day tours and explore Iceland. For a great price, you will cover sightseeing, transport, guided activities, and entry fees.
MORE OPTIONS FOR MULTI TOURS
7 DAY TOUR > 7 DAY SOUTH, EAST AND NORTH ICELAND
Excursions in Iceland Winter and Travel Tips
Read our full guide on Iceland Travel Tips. This guide has all the tools for planning your trip to Iceland like visa, winter travel, and packing items, apps to download, budget tips, what to eat, and where to stay in Iceland.
How challenging is Iceland in winter?
As mentioned the winter months in Iceland are from November to late February. During this time driving on Icelandic roads is difficult. If you are not used to driving in winter conditions, its best to take one of these tours and sit back and enjoy it.
Also keep in mind that most rental cars are manual, and if you require auto transmission it is pricier and has to be reserved for in advance.
If you are visiting Iceland for a short trip, consider staying in Reykjavik – the capital city, and then venture on day tours from here. You don’t need to have access to a private car to enjoy Iceland. These Iceland winter tours from Reykjavik will take care of return transportation, and guide you to the attractions.
Temperature-wise, Iceland in winter averages from 0 °C (32 °F) in the south coast, and in the north it averages around −10 °C (14 °F). The lowest temperatures in the north go as low as around −25 to −30 °C (−13 to −22 °F). Northern Iceland is colder in winter, then its southern counterpart.
Typically, temperatures in Reykjavík range between -10 °C to 10 °C during winters.
Packing warm clothing, and layering on is essential to enjoy winter adventure tours.
Note: Winters is a popular time for a visit to Iceland. Winter activities are different as experienced in many other parts of the world. So definitely add these items to your bucket list and book them as soon as your trip is planned out. From Christmas to a few days after the New Year tours might be booked, so reserve your spot in advance. This is true for accommodation as well.
What is the best Iceland Tour company?
We have a few favorite operators who provide Iceland winter guided tours. These operators are based in the capital city (downtown area), and all round trip/ day tours from Reykjavik begins at/near the central bus station.
- Reykjavik Sightseeing – We have personally experienced Reykjavik Sightseeing tours and would highly recommend their team of hard-working professionals. They are very prompt in responding to your queries. And they have a variety of packages available (close to 40 tours).
- Reykjavik Excursions – Reykjavik Excursions is easily located in the Reykjavík–Keflavík Airport (Fly Bus). We used them to book our airport and Blue Lagoon transfers (For Blue Lagoon, you still have to book a package online, this is just a transfer. They do offer Iceland day tours as well as private tours
- Arctic Adventures – Ideal for all of your Iceland Adventure Tours like volcano tour, ice caving, glacier hiking, and snowmobile tours.
- Guide to Iceland – Guided day tours and options for multi-days in Iceland. They offer guided tours to Greenland
- Grayline – One of the reputable tour companies in Iceland, they promote accessible tourism. They are also one of the oldest tour companies in Iceland.
We hope you enjoyed our list of best winter tours in Iceland. Happy Booking your next Iceland Adventure!
Additional Resources – Prepare for Winter Iceland Tours
- Reykjavik Guide – Budget activities to do in Reykjavik
- Iceland Tips – Prepare for your travel
- Iceland Itinerary – Guide to experiencing Iceland in 3 days
- Iceland October Guide – Visit Iceland in October
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- Europe winter destinations – Top places to visit in Europe in winter
- Winter sun destinations – Winter sun destinations for December to February
- Places to visit in February – Best places you must visit in Europe in February
- Best Winter Boots for Europe – Our top picks for winter boots
- Best Walking Shoes for Europe – Comfortable walking shoes in Europe
- Europe Packing – Get our in-depth packing list for Europe
- Prague, Budapest Vienna Tours – Get our scoop to the best tours in Prague, Vienna, and Budapest
- Winter tours in Europe – Must do Europe winter tours
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.