Ice Cave Tour and Highlights of South Shore

Experience the adventure of a lifetime with an exploration of a rare glacier ice cave and the beautiful South Shore.

The rare and ever-changing glacier ice caves are a spectacular phenomenon and during our Ice Cave Tour to Vatnajokull Glacier, the largest ice cap in Europe, you will experience the adventure of a lifetime. Encounter other natural highlights of Iceland‘s south coast, including views of the famous Eyjafjallajokull volcano, Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, boiling hot springs, and cascading waterfalls.

Come and explore the geological features dominating Iceland’s rugged landscape!

You will stay in quality accommodation both in the bustling city of Reykjavik and in a rural location perfectly based for exploring the wonders of the region.

Only available in Japanese

All departures are guaranteed with minimum of 2 participants

Maximum group size: 17 participants

Highlights

  • View first-hand many of the classic natural wonders, including the Golden Circle area, the Glacier Lagoon and Reynisfjara Beach
  • Walk between two continents at Thingvellir National Park
  • Experience the amazing variety in Iceland’s landscape, with volcanoes, glaciers, and waterfalls
  • Discover the powers of earth, water and fire and how they created Iceland—and our planet
  • Walk along the banks of the amazing, iceberg-filled Glacier Lagoon
  • Take stunning photographs at the dramatic Diamond Beach
  • Visit a rare and beautiful ice cave in Vatnajokull National Park
  • Relax in the brilliant azure waters of the Blue Lagoon
  • Relax each evening in specially-selected, quality hotels with private facilities
  • Discover and learn about Iceland from our hand-picked local guides, who are passionate and knowledgeable about Iceland
  • Hunt for northern lights (weather permitting) during one night of your tour

Included

  • Round-trip airport shuttle transfers with Airport Direct between Keflavík Airport and hotel in Reykjavík
  • Guided Coach Tour from day 2 to day 5
  • Expert local Japanese-speaking guide from day 2 to day 5
  • Free Wi-Fi on board motor coach
  • Accommodation 2 nights in a standard room with facilities in Reykjavik
  • Accommodation 3 nights in a standard room with facilities in the countryside
  • Icelandic breakfast (except arrival day)
  • 2 -three-course local-cuisine dinners in the countryside with coffee/tea* (Day 2, 3)
  • Visit to an ice cave in South Iceland, including any equipment needed to reach the ice cave (day 3)
  • Blue Lagoon admission, including towel rental, silica mud mask and one drink (day 5)
  • Northern lights hunt on one evening (day 2 or 3)
  • Northern lights hunting kit (use of blanket, flashlight and hot drink)
  • Use of crampons/cleats (if needed) for walking on snow/ice covered surfaces
  • Great photo stops
  • Customer care service during office hours
  • 24-hour Iceland Travel emergency line assistance while you are in IcelanD

Not Included

  • Breakfast on arrival day
  • International airfare
  • Baggage porterage at airport/hotel
  • Personal travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Swimsuit at the Blue Lagoon (rentals available)
  • Beverages, snacks, lunches, dinners unless otherwise noted in itinerary
  • Guaranteed early check-in (check-in time for most hotels in Iceland starts between 14:00 and 16:00 (2:00pm and 4:00pm)
  • Guaranteed late check-out
  • Any service not specifically listed under “included”

Accommodation

Comfort category:   These are pleasant and economical standard hotels, guesthouses and farmhouse accommodation, all with private facilities and
breakfast included. Generally, 3 star or equivalent both in Reykjavik and countryside.  Most of the groups stay at the following hotels.  Please note this is an advised hotel list and subject to change.

Important

  • Ice caves are a rare natural phenomenon, and the weather and conditions around the glaciers are constantly changing. There is a possibility the ice caving tour may need to be cancelled for weather or safety reasons. In this case, alternative activities will be arranged on the spot accordingly, based on the day’s weather conditions. There is no refund if an ice cave cannot be visited during the tour.
  • We have the right to alter the itinerary if conditions warrant it.
  • Northern lights are a natural phenomena that depends on weather conditions. Sightings cannot be guaranteed.

Bring/Wear for Ice Cave visit (day 3):

Shoes: It‘s extremely important to wear good, waterproof hiking boots that cover your ankle. Trainers or sneakers are not appropriate footwear. (Hiking boots can be rented during tour).

Clothing: Dressing for Icelandic winter weather is crucial to enjoy this trip. Start with a thin layer, like thermal long underwear and a T-shirt (not cotton). Followed by fleece, wool or polyester sweater and pants. Finish with waterproof, wind resistant coat/snow pants for outerwear. Never wear jeans– they become very heavy, cold and uncomfortable to wear when wet.  Lightweight hiking pants, track pants or long cotton pants are best.

Backpack:  For any personal items that you might bring along (extra clothes, snacks and bottled water). One backpack for two people should be sufficient.

Warm hat and gloves. Your hat should be able to fit comfortably under a helmet.

Sunglasses and sunscreen:  Essential, as the sun reflects off glaciers and snow.

Day 1: Arrival:

Highlights: Reykjavik Harpa Concert Hall Parliament House

Upon arrival, head through passport control, collect your bags and go through customs to the Arrival Hall.  The Airport Direct transfer bus is waiting outside the arrivals hall.  Please show your confirmation to the attendant and let him/her know the hotel you will be using in Reykjavík.  This is an unguided transfer, and you will not be met at the airport.

Transfer to Airport Direct bus terminal in Reykjavík where you will be directed to a green SmartBUS shuttle that will take you onwards to your hotel.

Once in Reykjavik, check into your hotel.  If you arrive early in the day, you might want to explore Reykjavik’s old town area, location of many museums and galleries. You might also enjoy visiting one of the city’s outdoor geothermal swimming pools where you can shake off your jetlag. In the after-noon you could take one of our day tours, such as whale watching or horseback riding, both bringing you close to Iceland’s nature and landscape.

Overnight stay in Reykjavik.

Dinner is on your own. Reykjavik offers a multitude of restaurants and/or coffee-houses, making dinner a great way to get better acquainted with Iceland’s capital.

Please note guaranteed early check-in is not included in the price. Most hotels begin check-in around 14:00 (2:00pm).

Day 2: Reykjavik – South Shore – Glacier Lagoon:

Highlights: Seljalandsfoss Skogafoss Eyjafjallajokull Vík Reynisdrangar Cliffs

Volcanic Area – Scenic Waterfalls – Black Sand Beaches

Breakfast at your hotel.  Start today by exploring the region close to the towering, strato-volcano Eyjafjallajokull, which is probably the most famous volcano in the world today.

Journey along the south shore, an area that is especially beautiful in the winter, when you can see mystical shapes in the lava and mountains.  Stop at ribbon-like Seljalandsfoss, a waterfall you can sometimes walk behind.  Nearby is another beautiful waterfall, Skogafoss.  Local folklore has it that medieval treasure is hidden here.  Pass by volcanic landscapes and pretty Icelandic farms on your way to Reynisfjara beach.  It is truly an experience to stand on this black sand beach and view the extraordinary rock formations while North Atlantic waves thunder against the shore.

Continue your travels, heading through the area of one of Earth’s largest-known single lava flows, Eldhraun.  Overnight is in the area of the Glacier Lagoon.

Overnight stay in Southeast Iceland.

If weather conditions are good and there is a good likelihood of seeing northern lights, your guide will take you on a short walk near the hotel to look for northern lights either tonight or tomorrow night.

Approximate Driving Distance:  350 km (217miles)

Day 3: Vatnajokull Glacier – Skaftafell National Park :

Highlights: Vatnajokull National Park Skaftafell National Park Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon

Europe’s Largest Glacier – Ice Cave Exploration

Breakfast at your hotel. Today you enter the region of Vatnajokull National Park, named after Europe’s largest glacier. The park covers about 14% of Iceland, making it one of the largest national parks in Europe. Your group will visit one of its areas, Skaftafell,a breathtakingly beautiful region of volcanic landscape ringed by glaciers, most of them connected to Vatnajokull itself. After an exciting day, return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

Ice caves, like the one you will explore today, can be found in several different locations on the south side of Vatnajokull glacier. Some ice caves are very special, while others might not seem as special at first but become extraordinary in the right light and conditions.

Your glacier guide is a highly- qualified mountain- and ice cave specialist who will decide which cave is best to visit.

The ice caves that are chosen depend on the time of winter, time of day, weather and other conditions. Some ice caves are very stable to visit. Others are less safe and you might not be able to reach them, even if they are very beautiful. Some caves are only accessible in subfreezing conditions.

Normally one cave per trip is explored, always the most interesting and safest cave available at the time.

You will be in the ice cave for at least 45 minutes, in very cold temperatures.

The day also includes a visit to the intriguing Glacier Lagoon, where icebergs float amid the waters- a great photo opportunity.    After an exciting day, return to your hotel for dinner and overnight

Approximate distance: ca 55km / 34 miles

Preparation for today‘s trip:

Shoes: It‘s extremely important to wear good, waterproof hiking boots that cover your ankle. Trainers or sneakers are not appropriate footwear. (Hiking boots can be rented during tour).

Clothing: Dressing for Icelandic winter weather is crucial to enjoy this trip. Start with a thin layer, like thermal long underwear and a T-shirt (not cotton). Followed by fleece, wool or polyester sweater and pants. Finish with waterproof, wind resistant coat/snow pants for outerwear. Never wear jeans– they become very heavy, cold and uncomfortable to wear when wet.  Lightweight hiking pants, track pants or long cotton pants are best.

Backpack:  For any personal items that you might bring along (extra clothes, snacks and bottled water). One backpack for two people should be sufficient.

Warm hat and gloves. Your hat should be able to fit comfortably under a helmet.

Sunglasses and sunscreen:  Essential, as the sun reflects off glaciers and snow.

Glacier hiking equipment: You will be provided with all necessary glacier hiking equipment, including crampons, helmet and harness. Your guide will assess the conditions and hand out the equipment necessary for each tour.  Crampons available for shoe sizes starting from European number 35 or US number 4.

Day 4: The Golden Circle and Reykjavik:

Highlights: Geysir Gullfoss Thingvellir National Park

Exploding Geysers – The Famous Golden Falls – National Park with Geological Wonders (UNESCO)

Breakfast at your hotel.  After experiencing glaciers, it is time to see a warmer side of Iceland.  Start the day with a visit to the geothermal fields of Geysir.  Here you’ll see steam and boiling water in the bubbling mud pools and spouting hot springs, including the high-shooting Strokkur geyser. A short drive away is the dramatic two-tiered Gullfoss waterfall, a spectacular sight in winter when frozen mid-cascade. Then it’s onwards to Thingvellir National Park (UNESCO) where the world’s oldest parliament met for centuries on the shores of Iceland’s largest lake.

Tour ends in Reykjavik. Tonight is open for your own activities.   Dinner is on your own.

Overnight in Reykjavik.

Approximate Driving Distance:  460 km (286 miles)

Day 5: Reykjavik City Sight Seeing – Blue Lagoon:

Highlights: Hallgrimskirkja Hofdi Reykjavik City Hall The Blue Lagoon The Sun Voyager

Colourful Capital – Bathe in a Geothermal Lagoon

Breakfast at hotel.  Today you’ll discover more about the world’s northernmost capital city.  Enjoy spectacular city and mountain views from the platforms at Perlan, a landmark building constructed on the city’s hot water tanks. You will see the Reykjavik coast and the old Hofdi House where the 1986 summit between former U.S. President Ronald Reagan and former U.S.S.R. Secretary General Mikhail Gorbachev took place. Visit Hallgrimskirkja church, whose design was inspired by basalt lava columns, a common volcanic rock formation in Icelandic nature.

In the afternoon, travel to Reykjanes Peninsula for a dip in the famous Blue Lagoon (admission includes towel rental, algae face mask and one drink at the Blue Lagoon bar), a unique wonder of nature with mineral-rich geothermal water in a middle of a black lava field.  Return to Reykjavik where the evening is at your own leisure.  This evening please check with your hotel to arrange the time for your Airport Direct/SmartBUS transfer pick up from your hotel tomorrow. 

Dinner is on your own.  Overnight in Reykjavik

Day 6: Departure:

Highlights: Keflavik

Breakfast at your hotel. Please note that this might be a light breakfast if you are taking an early morning departure flight.could be a SmartBus pick up from your hotel and transfer to the Airport Direct bus terminal where the Airport Direct transfer bus is waiting.  Transfer to Keflavík Airport for your departing flight.

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