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Thank you for your interest in this trip. If you want to revisit this page, use the QR-code shown or use the following link: https://en.itravel.lu/select/6986-iceland-in-winter-snow-adventures-with-a-rental-car
Even if the temperatures on the island are freezing, the hot springs and geysers are bubbling - spraying meter-high columns of water into the air. Image: Julien Ratel
In winter, Reykjavik exudes a particularly cozy atmosphere.
Just nature and you. In some places, like here at Vatnajökull, you have the landscape all to yourself. Image: Julien Ratel.
Lonely roads, icy landscapes and incredible panoramas - Simply indescribable. Image: Julien Ratel.
A slight bubbling beneath the earth suggests that the Strokur will soon erupt again, sending hot masses of water into the air.
Here, huge masses of water flow down the waterfall Hranfossar every day.
Gullfoss belongs on the to-do list for every Iceland traveler. In winter it appears in an icy dress. Image: Julien Ratel.
Deep gorges characterize the canyon Fjadrargljufur. Do you dare to look down? Image: Julien Ratel.
It is probably one of the most famous waterfalls in Iceland and a popular photo motif. Depending on the icing, you can walk along behind Skogafoss. Image: Julien Ratel.
Even from a distance, the boisterous roar of Gullfoss can be heard.
The wintry conditions make the drive through the Icelandic landscapes adventurous but also exciting. Image: Julien Ratel.
The glacier lagoon of Jökulsarlon is a place with a very special fascination. Image: Julien Ratel.
Huge icebergs float through the water - but the real size is beneath the surface. Image: Julien Ratel.
In Thingvellir National Park you will experience the feeling of seclusion. Image: Julien Ratel.
When the waterfalls are not frozen, thousands of liters of water plunge into the depths here every day. Image: Julien Ratel.
Skaftafellsjökull is an impressive glacier that will captivate you. Image: Julien Ratel.
Experience how quickly the spray freezes as it falls. Simply unique.
Skuggi Hotel lures guests in with modern comfort and cozy interiors.
Fosshotel in Hekla welcomes you after an exciting day.
A homely atmosphere that almost feels like home awaits you at Hali Country Hotel.
Beautiful views await you at Hotel Katla.
The Northern Lights Inn is located directly on the Blue Lagoon and offers the best conditions for a spontaneous visit.
Experience breathtaking color and nature spectacles
Explore the lonely areas of Iceland with a four-wheel drive vehicle
Peace and seclusion in the midst of nature
Sunrises for late risers
Warm up in the hot springs
The advantage of traveling to Iceland in the winter? Winter loves to flex its muscles in Iceland’s most magical places, therefore making it the perfect travel season for the adventurous and snow bunnies to see Iceland in a new light. Lonely landscapes, deserted roads, and nature’s stillness will captivate you. Pack your warm clothes and hop into your 4x4 vehicle to explore the enchanting country of Iceland.
As you approach Iceland, you will recognize the snow-covered landscapes, glaciers, and mountains that make this destination unique. The upcoming days will introduce you to this magical environment. At the airport, pick up your rental car and embark on the first leg of the tour. The drive will take you to the capital, Reykjavik, where you will check into your first hotel. Even though it gets dark earlier in the winter months, you'll be surprised how well lit the streets are. Especially around Christmas, locals decorate the front gardens with fairy lights and colorful poinsettias.
Enjoy the first day in the northernmost city in the world and gather your first impressions of this icy country. Should you arrive in Keflavik late at night, we are happy to organize an overnight stay near the airport. If you wish, we can also help you arrange a transfer to your hotel in Reykjavik. If so, you can pick up your rental car the next day.
Trip duration: approx. 30 miles / 40 minutes
1 night with breakfast in Reykjavik, Iceland.
When you get up in the morning, you might be probably surprised to find that the city still seems to linger in dawn for a relatively long time. It is only between 10 and 11 a.m. in the winter months that the sun shows itself here and wakes the city. Once your bags are packed and stowed in the trunk, you're ready to go. Along the 30-kilometer-long and 84-meter-deep whale fjord, Hvalfjord, you will already enjoy unforgettable views and panoramas in the sunrise on the first stretch.
Further on, you will drive to the small village of Reykholt, which is home to barely 400 people, but attracts numerous tourists every year who want to visit the hot springs of Deildartunguhver. This almost unpronounceable name is a unit of hot springs, said to be the fastest flowing in all of Europe - reason enough to pay them a visit.
The roads will lead you to the waterfalls of Hraunfossar, the lava falls - a unique natural spectacle. When you get out of the car, you immediately hear the roar of the waterfalls. A long wall of water flows over moss-covered lava rock and falls into clear turquoise water - be sure to have your camera ready here.
As you walk across the nearby bridge, you can already hear the roar of another waterfall. Barnafoss is no less impressive than its neighboring waterfall and a part of the river Hvita, which feeds Hraunfossar.
After all the impressions, drive to your next accommodation in the Borgarnes region. Review the events and warm up.
Travel time: approx. 2 hours 30 minutes / approx. 220 km
1 night stay with breakfast in Borgarnes, Iceland
Once you have stowed everything back in the car, set off on the next leg of the journey, which will take you along the famous Golden Circle. At the beginning of the drive, enjoy the late sunrise, which even late risers rarely miss here. The route past Thingvellir National Park, to the geysers and the country's most beautiful waterfall, is simply part of every Iceland traveler's itinerary and is a good drive even in winter.
Your first stop is Thingvellir National Park, which is protected by UNESCO for its unique geology and natural occurrences. Did you know that Iceland drifts apart a few centimeters every year at this point due to the continental plates? But also historically this place is very important, because here the Icelandic parliament was founded in 1930 - and with it, the nation of Iceland.
The road then leads you through snow-covered agricultural land to Geysir. The name of the place already suggests that one of the most famous sights of Iceland awaits you here. Soon the smell of sulfur rises to your nose and white clouds of steam next to the road suggest that you have almost arrived. The Strokkur Geysir is especially known for erupting frequently. Every 10 minutes, the boiling column of water sprays up to 35 meters into the air - an impressive natural spectacle that you should not miss.
After another kilometers on the icy road, you will reach Gullfoss, which is rarely visited at this time of year. When else do you have the opportunity to enjoy a sight virtually to yourself? The thickly iced rocks, the dense spray and a breathtaking play of colors are presented to you here.
End the day comfortably in your hotel in the area around Fludir and Hella.
Travel time: approx. 2 hours 30 minutes / approx. 200 km
1 night stay with breakfast in Hella Island
Today you can see and experience Eyjafjallajökull up close. After breakfast, you will drive to the foot of the volcano. But also the Myrdalsjökull glacier is reason enough to plan some more time in this area. It is the fourth largest glacier in Iceland and covers the active volcano Katla with ice.
Stop at Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls. You have surely seen the Seljalandsfoss on a photo before, because it is one of the few behind which you can walk through. Depending on how much the rock is iced over, you can even take a photo from the very unusual perspective in winter. But even if this should not be possible, this waterfall is a real experience. Skogafoss impresses with its size and especially by the fact that it gives the impression of falling from the sky. Only when you have climbed the countless steps on the right side and can enjoy the magnificent view, the world "behind the waterfall" with the view of Eyjafjallajökull opens up to you.
Now follow the road east through the lava blackened Myrdalssandur desert and through the Eldhraun lava field to your next accommodation.
Travel time: approx. 2 hours 30 minutes / approx. 190 km
1 night stay with breakfast in Kirkjubaejarklaustur, Iceland
After breakfast, follow the main road east until you reach Skaftafell National Park. As one of the most popular destinations for tourists and locals in summer, in winter you will enjoy the national park almost to yourself and can marvel at the foothills of the glaciers that creep down to the lowlands. Due to the few hours of sunshine in winter, the glaciers shimmer white to blue, which is hardly visible in summer. Attention, hiking enthusiasts! The region is suitable for shorter hikes to the Skaftafellsjäkull glacier of one to two hours even in winter. Depending on the weather conditions, you can take a trail to Svartifoss waterfall and its basalt columns.
Further east you will reach the Jökulsarlon glacier lagoon and its landscapes reminiscent of Greenland. While you are here, why not take the opportunity to visit one of the ice caves? The translucent walls are covered with blue reflections and are especially beautiful when the light shining in horizontally creates breathtaking color plays.
Be sure to check the weather conditions here, as the roads can become impassable during snowstorms.
Your night after all the impressions you will spend nearby.
Travel time: approx. 1 hour 30 minutes / approx. 150 km
1 night stay with breakfast in Jökulsarlon, Iceland
Before you know it, the last days of your trip will begin. Pack your bags again and embark on another exciting ride that will take you back part of yesterday's route.
Take advantage of this drive to experience the Vatnajökull Glacier. Would you have guessed that it is the largest glacier in Europe? Here Mother Nature shows that she is the best architect, as the glacier, which moves up to one meter every day, is peppered with breathtaking ice caves. Every year new caves emerge, glowing in deep blue. The play of colors is caused by the high pressure of the ice masses, which are up to several hundred meters thick in places.
Afterwards, we recommend another side trip to Kirkjubaejarklaustur. Waterfalls, old lava rivers, which originate from the eruption of Laki in 1783 and today are covered by thick layers of moss, offer a unique photo motif. The snow adheres to the moss particularly well and makes even the steepest slopes appear white.
Why not stop at the canyon of Fjadrargljufur? Even though this canyon is not particularly deep, the colors and shapes are not to be disregarded. Almost 2 kilometers long, the canyon is recommended even in winter for easy hikes along the steep slopes created by erosion from melting glaciers.
As you begin the last leg of the day, you'll pass through an area that is sure to take your breath away. Suddenly you are surrounded by flatlands, snow and sand in Myrdalssandur. The black sand is witness to the volcanic eruptions of the last hundred years. In winter, only the black rocks reveal what is hidden under the snow. The feeling of isolation and loneliness is hard to find anywhere else on the island, but the view of the glaciers and mountains on the horizon will make any heart beat faster.
Soon you will reach Vik, where you can warm up from the exciting drive and the countless impressions of the day with a cup of tea at the hotel.
Travel time: approx. 2 hours / approx. 220 km
1 night stay with breakfast in Vik, Iceland
One last time you will drive along the snowy roads of the south coast of Iceland until you reach the Reyjkanes Peninsula again. Wild coasts and lunar landscapes, formed by numerous volcanic eruptions, are your constant companion and will not make your drive boring.
Geothermal activities express themselves here in the most diverse forms: Despite freezing temperatures, cauldrons of mud and steam bubble at Krysuvik and in the turquoise thermal waters of the Blue Lagoon. Depending on weather conditions, there are numerous options for today.
Not far from Reykjavik you will reach Reykjadalur, a valley where you can park the car and go for easy hikes when the trails are clear of snow. The river that flows along here is fed by water from hot springs and is called the "hot river" for a reason. Upstream you will repeatedly encounter bubbling springs, mud holes and steam springs. If the paths are passable, it is worth taking your swimsuit, because at the end you will find a pool with pleasantly high temperatures, where you can even swim.
You don't want to miss the Blue Lagoon? Of course, we will help you plan and organize a stay in the popular geothermal pools.
If you wish, you can of course spend the night in Reykjavik.
Travel time: approx. 2 hours / approx. 220 km
1 night stay with breakfast in Reykjavik, Iceland
Where has the time gone? Today, unfortunately, it's already time to pack your bags, drive to the airport, drop off your rental car and gradually say goodbye. Reminisce a bit more and review all the things you have seen. Will the loneliness remain a special memory for you? Or is it the numerous volcanoes, glaciers and hot springs, which have their very own charm in the icy landscape, that you will remember with pleasure?
You fly back only in the afternoon or evening? Use the time to get to know the peninsula around Reykjavik a bit better or do you want to relax a bit more in the Blue Lagoon? Contact us, we will be happy to organize exciting excursions for you until your departure, so that you can make the most of your time.
Skuggi Hotel***, Reykjavik, Iceland (1 night)
In the middle of Reykjavik city center, you will find the new Skuggi Hotel with a timeless, cozy and simple design. Enjoy a relaxing stay with exquisite service. In about 100 tastefully decorated rooms, you'll find amenities like a flat-screen TV, a radio, a phone, free Wi-Fi, coffee and tea-making facilities, a walk-in shower, a hairdryer, a desk, and hardwood floors. As a guest, you can use the hotel's parking facilities free of charge.
Ensku Husin***, Borgarnes, Iceland (1 night)
Located just 6 km from the village of Borganes, Ensku Husin offers bright rooms, some with views of the Langá River. The hotel's lounge, furnished with sofas and armchairs and offering Wi-Fi access, invites guests to relax. Dinner is prepared using products from the owner's farm. Breakfast is served daily in the spacious dining room.
Hotel Lækur***, Hella, Iceland (1 night)
Set on an Icelandic horse farm between the Golden Circle and the south coast, the family-run Hótel Lækur welcomes you. All rooms have bright, modern décor, wooden floors and a private bathroom. Some offer a terrace or balcony with views of the surrounding volcanoes Hekla and Eyjafjallajökull.
Fosshotel Nupar***, Kirkjubaejarklaustur, Iceland (1 night)
Fosshotel Nupar offers panoramic views of the surrounding lava fields, mountains and Vatnajokull glaciers. The hotel's rooms have a desk and a private bathroom with a shower. The on-site restaurant serves typical Icelandic cuisine. You can end the evening with a drink in the bar.
Hali Country Hotel***, Jökulsarlon, Iceland (1 night)
Hali Country Hotel offers you comfortable accommodation to visit all the sights, such as Jökulsarlon and the glacier lagoon. At the Country Hotel, you are offered 35 spacious double rooms, all with private bathrooms. Enjoy the benefits of free Wi-Fi, a desk, a flat-screen TV, a sitting area, heated floors and free coffee in the lobby. Enjoy views of the Atlantic Ocean to the south, the Vatnajökull Glacier to the west or the mountain range to the north from all rooms.
Hotel Katla****, Vik, Iceland (1 night)
The Katla Country Hotel offers guests spacious guest rooms set against a stunning backdrop of mountains, black lava sand, and the Myrdalsjokull Glacier. Experience relaxing evenings thanks to complimentary access to the geothermal hot tub. 72 comfortable rooms are lovingly decorated and feature free Wi-Fi and cable and satellite TV. The hotel restaurant serves a delicious breakfast, and in the evening you can enjoy a drink at the bar.
Airport Hotel Aurora Star***, Reykjavík, Iceland (1 night)
The hotel is located just 100 yards from Keflavík International Airport. Wi-Fi and parking are available free of charge during your stay. At the hotel's restaurant, you can enjoy a buffet breakfast or a delicious dinner.
Duration of the trip: 8 days / 7 nights
1 night at Skuggi Hotel*** with breakfast in a standard room in Reykjavík.
1 night at Ensku Husin*** with breakfast in a standard room Borgarnes
1 night at Hotel Lækur*** with breakfast in a standard room in Hella
1 night at Fosshotel Nupar*** with breakfast in a standard room in Kirkjubaejarklaustur
1 night at Hali Country Hotel*** in a standard room with breakfast in Jökulsarlon
1 night at Hotel Katla*** with breakfast in a standard room in Vik
1 night in Airport Hotel Aurora Star*** with breakfast in a standard room in Reykjavik