Snowshoeing, Hiking, and Sky Gazing

Overview

Winter is a magical season in Iceland, with far fewer visitors, a snow-dusted landscape, and the chance to see the northern lights! Our winter adventure brims with outdoor escapades, and we’ve timed the journey to give us plenty of daylight hours to enjoy our activities. We’ll snowshoe along lava fields with sweeping vistas across the coast, cross an icy glacier with crampons (no experience necessary), explore World Heritage-listed Thingvellir National Park, soak in thermal pools, walk down into a giant lava tube, and hike to some of Iceland’s most legendary waterfalls, including Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. As night falls, we search for the spectacular blue, green, and violet arcs shimmering across the sky above us. We’ve selected hotels in the best spots for seeing the aurora!

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2
Reykjanes Peninsula / Skógafoss / Glacier

Walk Heading to the Blue Mountains outside Reykjavík, we snowshoe across an ancient crater (no snowshoeing experience is needed—it’s just like hiking), and we’ll hike to Skógafoss, a waterfall that emerges from the mighty Myrdalsjökull Glacier and plunges 200 feet off a sheer rock shelf. At night, we’ll be on “northern lights alert.” Our countryside hotel gives us great viewing prospects far from the city lights, and its restaurant serves some of the freshest fish imaginable.

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Days 3-4
Thingvellir National Park

We watch for the spouting plumes of Great Geysir, which gave its name to all the world’s geysers, then hike and snowshoe in Thingvellir National Park, a World Heritage Site located on the dramatic rift zone between the North American and European continental plates.

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Days 5-8
Húsafell / Snowshoeing / Mt. Strútur / Vidgelmir Lava Tube / Reykjavík

From our hotel in Húsafell, we can snowshoe right from the door, and by night, enjoy soaks in its geothermal pools (the hotel’s Northern Lights Lounge, with floor to ceiling windows, is our cozy viewing spot). Snowshoeing brings us up Mt. Strútur and onward to a lava field with a 1.5-mile-long lava tube filled with stalagmites and stalactites. When conditions allow, we also hike to hidden Glymur Waterfall, one of Iceland’s highest. Our hotel’s location has the clearest skies in Iceland, perfect for our prospects of seeing the lights. Depart on Day 8 via Reykjavík.

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Highlights

Highlights

Search for the elusive northern lights in Iceland’s prime viewing locations
Snowshoe and hike in Iceland’s otherworldly landscapes—glaciers, waterfalls, volcanic craters, moss-covered peaks
Explore the geological wonders of Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Savor fresh Icelandic cuisine

Details

Length: 8 days
Cost From: $6895  
Arrive: Reykjavík, Iceland
Depart: Reykjavík, Iceland
Lodging: 7 nights hotels
Meals: All meals included (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

Moderate to steep snowshoeing and hiking, 3-7 hours a day