This tour gives you the opportunity to experience the unique geology, nature, culture, history, wildlife and magnificent scenery of Iceland. Visit Reykjavik, Akureyri, Lake Myvatn, Eskifjordur, the South Coast & Golden Circle and more. And of course at night there is ample opportunity to seek the fabled Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights!
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Day 1 Welcome to Iceland
On arrival at Reykjavik’s Keflavik Airport transfer by coach to your hotel.
The city centre is a small area characterised by electric and colourful houses, good shopping, dining and drinking. Reykjavík has recently established itself as a haven for food lovers, with numerous restaurants taking advantage of the abundance of local seafood, meat and game. Reykjavik has many wonderful museums including the National Museum displaying artefacts from the first settlement to the modern age, giving an excellent overview of Iceland’s history and culture, the Reykjavik 871+2 Settlement Museum, an archaeological museum based around a 10th-century Viking longhouse unearthed in 2001, the Reykjavik Art Museum and the National Gallery.
Day 2 The Capital Of North Iceland & Lake Mývatn
Meet your guide and fellow travellers early this morning and transfer to Reykjavík Domestic Airport for the short flight to Akuryeri, the capital of North Iceland. We explore this charming town of 17,000 inhabitants, visit the botanical garden and enjoy the panoramic views over Eyjafjörður fjord.
In the afternoon, we travel to an important spot in Iceland’s history, Goðafoss, the isolated and beautiful waterfall of the Gods. Here, following Iceland's conversion to Christianity, statues of the old Norse gods were forsaken and thrown into the falls. We continue to Lake Mývatn, known for its geological wonders, active bird life and for being Iceland’s winter wonderland. We stop at the bizarre lava formations at Kálfaströnd, followed by a walk around the many pseudo craters, and finally hike in a lava labyrinth at Dimmuborgir “the dark castles”, hoping to get a glimpse of the trolls who are said to live here. In the evening, enjoy a lecture about the Northern Lights and then take a relaxing soak in the Mývatn Nature Baths, in waters that contain a unique blend of minerals, silicates and geothermal micro-organisms. The warm soothing waters benefit both skin and spirit alike. Then get ready to chase the elusive Northern Lights!
Day 3 Travel East
We start the day with a visit to Sigurgeir’s Bird Museum at Lake Mývatn, then travel on to the hot spring area of Námaskarð, with bubbling mud pools and steaming solfataras. Afterwards, we head through the uninhabited highlands and moonlike surroundings to East Iceland. With some luck, we might spot an Arctic fox or see some reindeer. We overnight on the shores of Lake Lögurinn, the (alleged!) home of the famous local monster 'Lagarfljótsormur'. This setting is perfect for hunting the magical auroras. The hotel offers also a small indoor spa with sauna and hot tubs.
Day 4 Walk In The Woods, Visit Fishing Villages & Meet The Locals
If the weather permits, we start the day with a walk through the Hallormsstaður arboretum which is unique to Iceland, and it comprises a collection of around 70 tree species. In the afternoon we travel over a mountain pass to the East Fjords and to Eskifjörður, one of the most charming seaside villages in Iceland. We visit the Maritime museum and a nearby old seafarer’s lodge, which has remained unaltered since 1890. If you are brave enough, you can taste the notorious Icelandic fermented shark meat, washed down with Brennivin, a real Viking schnapps. Later we visit the Aurora Museum. Overnight in the region.
Day 5 Fjords, Glacier And Ice
Our tour continues with a visit to Petra's incredible collection of stones and minerals. Then we continue on to admire the dramatic fjord landscape and its tiny fishing villages at the end of twisty roads in the East Fjords. Soon we see Vatnajökull, Europe’s biggest glacier, which is visible all over the Southeast of Iceland. We pass the town of Höfn and stop at Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon filled with floating icebergs. There we enjoy some time to explore the extraordinary sights and perhaps see some seals swimming in arctic waters. You can walk on the black sandy beach where large icebergs get stranded.
We travel along the southern part of the glacier Vatnajökull, stop at the tiny turf church at Hof and continue through a region which has Iceland’s highest mountains. The Vatnajökull National Park is about 12,000 square kilometres and is the largest National Park in Europe. In this remote and quiet location, we have a good chance of seeing the Northern Lights shimmering and dancing across the night sky.
Day 6 South Coast
A beautiful drive with many natural wonders awaits us today. We head across the Eldhraun lava field, and past the sandy deserts of the south coast, overlooked by mountainous cliffs, glaciers and waterfalls. We stroll along the black lava beach of Reynisfjara, and visit Skógafoss waterfall which at 60 metres high is one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country. Further west, we stop at the Eyjafjallajökull Information Center and learn about living next to a glacier and an active volcano.
We continue to the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall which plunges over the mountain. There is an interesting trail that goes behind the falls – if you are prepared to get wet! Then tonight, enjoy a video presentation about Northern Lights and once darkness falls, perhaps search the night skies while soaking in the hotel’s outdoor hot tubs.
Day 7 Golden Circle
We explore the great classic sights today as we travel the route of the Golden Circle. You can see steam from the Geysir geothermal fields as you arrive and there is a variety of hot springs and bubbling pools. The original geyser is now dormant but has been replaced by Strokkur "the Churn" which erupts at 5-10 minute intervals. We continue to Gullfoss, “the golden falls“, a double waterfall that tumbles 34 metres into the Hvítá river then travel inland to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. As we return to Reykjavík, we enjoy a short city tour of the highlights of the world's northern-most capital. Overnight in Reykjavík.
Day 8 Departure
Coach transfer from the hotel to Keflavík Airport.
Departures 2017: March 05 (on request), 12 (on request), 19 (on request) &
26; October 01, 15 & 29; November 05 & 19.
Departures 2018: February 11, 18 & 25; March 04, 11, 18 & 25
Maximum group size: 30 persons
Includes: Arrival & departure airport coach transfers, fully escorted coach tour with English-speaking guide; Domestic flight Reykjavík-Akureyri including airport taxes and airport transfer in Reykjavík; 7-nights accommodation in simple 3-star tourist-class hotels and country guesthouses including daily breakfast; 5 x 2 course dinners and 5 x midnight refreshments; 1x light lunch and coffee & cake en route on day 3; Shark meat, dried fish and Brennivín schnapps tasting on day 4; Entrance with towel at Mývatn Nature Baths; Visit to bird museum at lake Mývatn; entrance and tour at Maritime Museum and Randulf’s sea-house Eskifjörður; visit to Petra's stone & crystal collection; evening with Jónína Guðrún Óskarsdóttir; Visit to multi media presentation at Eyjafjallajökull Volcano Information Center; Northern Lights programme during 5 evenings with a combination of video presentation and guided searches for the Northern Lights; visit to the Aurora Museum, Use of winter & Northern Lights explorer equipment: simple non-slip snow & ice grippers spikes for shoes and a flash light
Accommodation is in a combination of simple and comfort tourist-class hotels, all rooms with shower/wc, in the following hotels or similar: Reykjavík Fosshotel Lind for first and last night; Mývatn Sel-Hotel Mývatn; East Iceland Hotel Hallormsstaður and Fosshotel Fáskrúðsfjörður; Vatnajökull region Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon; South Iceland Hotel Grímsborgir.
Nordic Travel is 100% Australian owned and operated.
|Price per person FROM:|
Includes: Arrival & departure airport coach transfers, fully escorted coach tour with English-speaking guide; Domestic flight Reykjavík-Akureyri including airport taxes and airport transfer in Reykjavík; 7-nights accommodation in simple 3-star tourist-class hotels and country guesthouses including daily breakfast; 5 x 2 course dinners and 5 x midnight refreshments; 1x light lunch and coffee & cake en route on day 3; Shark meat, dried fish and Brennivín schnapps tasting on day 4; Entrance with towel at Mývatn Nature Baths; Visit to bird museum at lake Mývatn; entrance and tour at Maritime Museum and Randulf’s sea-house Eskifjörður; visit to Petra's stone & crystal collection; evening with Jónína Guðrún Óskarsdóttir; Visit to multi media presentation at Eyjafjallajökull Volcano Information Center; Northern Lights programme during 5 evenings with a combination of lectures, presentations, film and guided searches for the Northern Lights; Use of winter & Northern Lights explorer equipment: simple non-slip snow & ice grippers spikes for shoes and a flash light.
|Northern Lights Exploration in a Winter Wonderland||8 days||Touring + nightly Northern Lights activities||Oct - Apr|