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Jökulsárlón, South Coast and Ice Caving

This two-day tour is operated in small groups, for a better experience. If you are looking for something extraordinary, then come and be enchanted by the blue ice of the crystal caves, the iceberg lagoon and the beauty of the south coast of Iceland with its volcanoes, glaciers, black sand beaches, waterfalls and so much more. If conditions are good we can also join a hunt for the northern lights.

Tour Highlights

On the first day we’ll drive past Eyjafjallajökull, admire the Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls and stop at Reynisfjara black sand beach. We will also visit Skaftafell Nature Reserve in the Vatnajökull National Park. Our overnight stay will be at a country hotel near Jökulsárlón Iceberg Lagoon.

The second day will include the highlight of our trip - an ice caving expedition. We’ll stop once more at the iceberg lagoon to observe the seals, then head back towards Reykjavik and stop at the village of Ingólfsskáli for dinner before we do our Aurora hunt.


*Drop-off information: We drop you off at your hotel sometime between 20:00 - 21:00 on day two,  OR we take you to our northern lights restaurant, where you can buy dinner and refreshments.

Included: Hotel pick up & drop off in Reykjavik, English speaking guide, minibus tour, super jeep ride for some km, specialized ice cave guide, room with bathroom, breakfast, aurora watching if possible.

Excluded: Meals (other than one breakfast)

Bring with you: Warm waterproof clothes, sturdy shoes (we can rent you hiking shoes). 

For further information:
info@madebyiceland.com

Tour Description

Day 1

After we pick you up at your Reykjavik accommodation we’ll drive along the south coast of Iceland and at many stunning places along the way, such as Seljalandsfoss, Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon & many others, before reaching our country hotel for the night. Once we leave civilization behind, we pass a central volcano with a giant magma chamber. Next we continue towards the infamous volcano Eyjafjallajökull, the one that shut down Europe's airspace for a couple of weeks back in 2010. It looks all peaceful and all innocent now.

Our first stop will be Seljalandsfoss Waterfall at the foot of Eyjafjallajökull. There aren’t many waterfalls that you can admire both from the front and back so this will be quite a memorable landmark.

There's a degree of flexibility in our tour as the weather in Iceland is very unpredictable and we want to ensure that you have the best traveling experience. Your guide will decide how it's best to operate the tour each time depending on the conditions. Close by is another marvel of nature, the Skógafoss Waterfall in all its glory. It plunges from the cliffs of the former coastline and at 18 stories high it is considered one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland.

Our next stop is Reynisfjara , the black sand beach with the picturesque sea stacks of Reynisdrangar , standing proudly over the south coast. You need to watch out as the massive waves of the Atlantic Ocean break on the coast. They are truly fast and furious, and the beach has a warning for a particularly strong undercurrent.

After a lunch break we continue further east through a large expanse of sand plains, an area of black lava, sand and ash of around 700 km2. If you're interested in volcanic eruptions and geology, pay close attention to what your guide tells you. We will travel across a huge lava field formed during a dramatic single eruption that produced the largest volume of lava flow on earth known to man. We will also drive through one of the biggest pseudo-crater areas in the world so keep listening!

Now the glaciers will be within sight. Right ahead of us you’ll see an enormous sand plain that reaches from the glaciers and shapes the coastline. You'll witness the ever changing nature of the glacial rivers as we cross the long bridges there. We will stop at Skaftafell Nature Reserve , in the Vatnajökull National Park and see the stunning glacier outlets of the Vatnajökull Ice Cap. You’ll also see from a distance Iceland’s highest peak, at 2110 m high. After driving through there we head to the Jökulsárlón Iceberg Lagoon . It's a really deep lagoon at some 75 stories below the surface, perfectly illustrating the meaning of the expression "the tip of the iceberg". The lagoon is especially beautiful to observe in low light.

We’ll spend the night either at the Country Hotel Gerdi or Country Hotel Hali. They are both about 14 km away from the iceberg lagoon. The rooms there are basic, with bathroom and the all important wi-fi connection. Breakfast is included in the price. You’ll enjoy a terrific view as the hotels are located between the mountains and the sea. We will check for the northern lights again in the evening and you will be able to admire them if the sky is clear and the aurora forecast favourable.

Day 2

The second day starts with the highlight of our trip, as we gear up and head on to explore an ice cave. Our expert local glacier guide will take us in a modified super jeep so that we can reach our extreme magical destination, the ice cave. Glaciers are truly spectacular and we want you to enjoy their beauty but it is not possible to do so unless we have a specialized guide, and all the necessary equipment. Our guide is attuned with the breathing living heart of the glacier and will determine which cave is best to visit each time, depending on weather conditions and safety issues. Some caves are more special than others, but they all become magical in the right light and conditions. You should wear good waterproof hiking shoes that cover your ankles, since there’ll be some hiking involved to get to the cave. We’ll spend at least 45 minutes inside the ice cave so you'll be glad you've brought very warm winter clothing too, preferably with water and windproof outer layers. We’ll provide a helmet for your safety, so make sure your winter hat is not bulky, as it needs to fit under the helmet.

Is the ice really so blue?

Yes, it truly is! On the outside the Vatnajökull glacier's white crust is bleached by the sun and looks rough. However, on the inside it is transformed into a stunning, glassy-blue hall, thanks to the tremendous weight of ancient ice pushing air bubbles out for thousands of years. During the spring the ice in the caves melts and they change shape so every fall the local glacier specialists set out in search of new hidden chambers to explore. This ever changing nature makes Iceland's crystal caves all the more mysterious. You can also see the same intense blue color on floating icebergs that reveal their lower side if they have recently rolled over or split in two.

After the hypnotic experience of the ice cave we’ll head back to Reykjavik. We’ll make one last stop at Jökulsárlón as it looks different in the midday light and we might also be able to watch the seals as they sunbathe on the icebergs.

We drive on the same route back towards Reykjavik, and our next destination is Ingolfsskali , a quaint viking style restaurant in the countryside. We'll get there between 18:00 - 20:00 in the evening. You can order soup, a full meal or eat your own food, before we start our hunt for the northern lights on our magic aurora tour.  


The estimated arrival time back in your Reykjavik accommodation is between midnight and 1am.  

 Read about important  winter information

Note: If you're in a rush, you always have the option of skipping the Magical Auroras part and go straight to Reykjavik on the second day.


To be able to participate in the ice caving you will need hiking shoes that cover your ankle. If you don't have good hiking shoes you can rent them from us when you book the tour online.

 

 

 

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