Experience unspoiled nature, geological wonders, cultural and culinary treats and a variety of easy adventures and activities during the day, before going to hunt for the Northern Lights at night. You will stay in first class hotels, travel in a luxury coach with 2 seats per person and a Maximum group size of 16 persons. The tour is available as a 6-day or an 8-day programme.
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Day 1 Welcome to Iceland
Transfer by coach from Keflavík Airport to Reykjavík where you spend the night at the Hotel Icelandair Hotel Marina, in a Superior room. The city centre is a small area characterised by eclectic 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 Reykjavik, Cheese Tasting, Thingvellir National Park & Fontana Steam Baths
At 09:00 meet your tour guide and fellow travellers, and start with a visit to Hallgrímskirkja church, one of the crowning landmarks and star attractions of Reykjavík, with an iconic observation tower rising symmetrically and incrementally to a magnificent 74.5 metre peak, offering incredible panoramic views across the city. Then stop at a local cheese maker to learn about the history and culture of Icelandic cheese, a very important part of Icelandic cuisine. Taste the unique dish "skyr", a soft cheese which tastes similar to yoghurt, and a range of other local products, before enjoying a lovely lunch in the fabulous cheese school buttery.
Then depart Reykjavik for Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site, where the Althing, the oldest legislative assembly in the world, was first convened, and a place of great significance and sense of national identity. The National Park also lies in a rift valley that marks the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the boundary between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, and is one of Iceland's most fascinating geological places. The last stop today is at the Fontana Thermal Baths in Laugarvatn, where geothermal heat simmers directly from the ground and warms the healing waters. Here there are 3 geothermally heated bathing areas, a sauna, a warm sand beach, and access to the pristine waters of Lake Laugarvatn. Wintertime makes a visit to the thermal baths an amazing, surrreal experience- you sit in the warm, relaxing waters while the cool air flows around you! We then continue to the luxury country hotel Grímsborgir located in South Iceland, where you stay for three nights.
After a gourmet dinner, your guide will give a talk about the Northern Lights and teach you how best to take photos of this natural phenomenon. Then step into the darkness and look up to search for a sign of the Lights, or perhaps hop into one of the hotel's outdoor hot tubs. These spectacular sky-light shows also known as the Aurora Borealis are frequently seen in Iceland from September through April, on clear and crisp nights. White and green are usually the dominant colours, but sometimes there are traces of red and blue also. The appearance of the Lights is of course at the discretion of Mother Nature, and sightings are not guaranteed.
Day 3 Waterfalls, Geothermal Power, Meet The Locals & Langoustine Feast
In the morning we visit Gullfoss, the 'Golden Falls, a double waterfall that tumbles 34 metres into the Hvítá River. Nearby are the Geysir geothermal fields with a variety of hot springs and bubbling pools. The original geyser is now dormant but has been replaced by another, called Strokkur or "the Churn", which erupts at 5-10 minute intervals. The next stop is at the nearly 3000 years old and 55 metre deep explosion crater of Kerið, now full of glacial water, creating a lake whose steep circular slopes resemble an ancient amphitheatre. In the greenhouse village of Hveragerði we meet the locals to learn all about living in an earthquake active place, and to discover the different kinds of geothermal powers. Iceland relies heavily on geothermal energy and a huge amount of food is grown in large heated greenhouses. Then a short and easy walk to visit hot springs and other natural wonders, for a tasting of eggs boiled in a hot spring and bread baked in hot steam - one of the region's culinary specialties.
We then travel to the seaside villages of Stokkseyri and Eyrarbakki, where there are many old and colourful houses. We stroll along the black sands of one of the local beaches, then enjoy a private tour around a local folk museum and a historic wooden church, in one of Iceland's prettiest coastal villages. For the brave there is the opportunity to taste a truely odd local delicacy - fermented shark meat, served with dried fish and a shot of Brennivin (Black Death) schnapps! After a fabulous langoustine dinner tonight at a nearby seafood restaurant, we go outside to watch out for the magical Northern Lights, before returning to the hotel.
Day 4 Eyjafallajökull Volcano And Easy Glacier Hike
Today, travel out along the South coast. Visit the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which plunges over the mountain and walk the trail that goes behind the fall – if you are prepared to get wet! Further east we stop at the Eyjafjallajökull Information Centre and learn about living next to a glacier and an active volcano. In the small village of Skógar, we visit one of Iceland's finest folk museums. This museum contains an outstanding collection of farm and domestic artefacts typical of Iceland’s past, as well as turf-built houses. Nearby is Skógafoss waterfall which at 60 metres high is one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country.
In the afternoon you can enjoy a glacier walk. The Sólheimajökull glacier tongue extends from the great Mýrdalsjökull glacier, down to the sandy plains of the Icelandic south coast. The spectacular surroundings are marked by rugged and majestic rock formations, thoroughly shaped by the glacier. On this safe and easy to moderate glacier walk, you will explore a winter wonderland of ice sculptures, water cauldrons, ridges and deep crevasses, and learn more about the behaviour of glaciers and their impact on nature. You are accompanied by an experienced glacier guide throughout, and given crampons to use. The walk is about 3 hours in total, about 90 minutes on the ice and about 30-40 minutes walk each way from the parking lot to the glacier edge itself. If you don't wish to do the glacier hike, instead you will continue further south, to stroll on the unique black lava beaches next to the amazing bird cliffs at Reynisfjaram, near Vík. Tonight enjoy a video presentation about Northern Lights. In this remote and quiet location, there is one more chance of seeing the Northern Lights shimmering and dancing across the night sky.
Day 5 Viking Ship, Light Houses, Crab Feast, Moon Landscapes & Blue Lagoon
Today takes us to the Reykjanes peninsula, where we take the less travelled route and see the region’s many unusual geological features, hot springs, lunar landscapes, bird cliffs, light houses and fishing villages. Included is a visit to the Viking ship and history museum, telling the story of Viking expansion across the North Atlantic. Then enjoy a delicious seafood & crab feast, before a visit to the famous Blue Lagoon for a soak in its warm, aquamarine geothermal waters. Your Comfort experience package includes the use of a towel and a bathrobe, a drink of your choice and a volcano scrub or an algae mask.
Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner at the Northern Light Inn, a small hotel in the countryside and an excellent location for a Northern Lights hunt.
Those on the 6 days/5 nights programme stay tonight at the Northern Light Inn, before tomorrow being transferred to the airport. Those on the 8 days/7 nights programme return to Reykjavík late tonight to the Icelandair Hotel Marina.
Day 6 Departure Or Reykjavik Leisure Day & Northern Lights Fjord Cruise
Those on the 6 days/5 nights programme are today transferred to the airport. Those on the longer tour have a day at leisure for exploring Iceland's capital - perhaps visiting museums, doing some shopping, relaxing with a spa treatment or going on one of the many optional day tours available.
Then tonight (weather permitting) enjoy a fabulous Northern Lights hunt by boat - an amazing experience. We sail away from the coastline of Reykjavik and look out for the Aurora Borealis on the North Atlantic ocean, with the beautiful mountains and the city lights in the background. The tour takes 2.5 - 3 hours, departing from Reykjavik's old harbour. 2 nights at Hotel Icelandair Marina, Reykjavik.
Day 7 Superjeep Tour To Explore the Highlands, Glaciers, Caves And Fjords
Today explore West Iceland on a full day super-jeep adventure. The stunning scenery includes the ice of the great Langjökull glacier and the fire of one of the country's most active geothermal areas. This is Iceland in a nutshell! The tour takes 8 - 9 hours and includes the following highlights: Kaldidalur highland track, Langjökull & Eiríksjökull glaciers, Surtshellir caves, Hraunfossar & Barnafoss waterfalls, Reykholt cultural site, Deildartunguhver hot springs and Hvalfjörður fjord. This is a true super-jeep adventure with spectacular landscapes. Before heading back to Reykjavík, we stop at one of Iceland's micro-breweries, Steðji, where we enjoy a guided tour through the brewery as well as tasting the products.
Day 8 Departure
Arrangements end with your coach transfer from your hotel to Keflavik Airport.
Extra nights in Reykjavik can be added - please enquire
Departures 2017: March 05 (on request), 12 (on request), 19 (on request) and
26; April 02; October 08 and 22; November 05 and 19
Departures 2018: January 14 and 28; February 04, 11, 18 and 25; March 04, 11, 18 and 25; April 01
Maximum group size: 16 persons
Includes 6 day/5 night programme: Arrival & departure airport coach transfers, 5 nights accommodation with daily breakfast, Fully escorted coach tour with English-speaking guide and 2 seats per person on the bus, welcome cocktail at Hotel Grímsborgir and Northern Lights Cocktail at the Northern Light Inn, entrance to observation tower at Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavík, visit, lunch and seminar at the cheese & skyr school in Reykjavík, entrance with towel at Fontana steam baths, entrance to Kerið volcano crater, meet the locals and guided tour in Hveragerði including egg boiling and hot steam bread tasting, meet the locals and private tour at folk museum and historic church in South Iceland, shark meat, dried fish and Brennivín (Black death) schnapps tasting, visit to multimedia presentation at Eyjafjallajökull Volcano Information Centre, glacier hike for beginners, entrance to Viking ship and history museum, experience package at Blue Lagoon with entrance fee, towel, bathrobe, a drink of your choice and a volcano scrub or an algae mask, Northern Lights programme during 4 evenings with a combination of lectures, presentations, film and guided searches for the Northern Lights and midnight refreshments, use of winter & Northern Lights explorer equipment.
*the price shown is for the 6 day/5 night tour - for the longer 8 day/7 night tour price please enquire
Includes: 8 day/7 night programme also includes: 2 additional nights accommodation in Reykjavik including breakfast; Northern Lights fjord cruise (in case of cancellation due to weather, this cruise will be replaced by a dinner at Kopar Restaurant in Reykjavik); 8-9 hours Super Jeep adventure in West Iceland including beer tasting at local brewery.
Excludes: optional activities
Accommodation is at the following hotels or similar: Day 1 Icelandair Hotel Marina Reykjavik in Superior room; Days 2, 3, 4: Luxury Country Hotel Grímsborgir in South Iceland; Day 5 Northern Light Inn Hotel, Keflavik for those on the 6 days/5 nights programme; Days 5, 6, 7 Icelandair Hotel Marina Reykjavík in Superior rooms for those on the 8 days/7 nights programme.
The spectacular light shows known as the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) are frequently seen in Iceland from September unitl April, on clear and crisp nights. White and green are usually the dominant colours - sometimes there are traces of red and blue also. The appearance of the Lights is of course at the discretion of Mother Nature and sightings cannot be guaranteed.
Nordic Travel is 100% Australian owned and operated
|Price per person FROM:|
Includes 6 day/5 night programme: Arrival & departure airport coach transfers, Fully escorted coach tour with English-speaking guide and 2 seats per person on the bus, welcome cocktail at Hotel Grímsborgir and Northern Lights Cocktail at the Northern Light Inn, entrance to observation tower at Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavík, visit, lunch and seminar at the cheese & skyr school in Reykjavík, entrance with towel at Fontana steam baths, entrance to Kerið volcano crater, meet the locals and guided tour in Hveragerði including egg boiling and hot steam bread tasting, meet the locals and private tour at folk museum and historic church in South Iceland, shark meat, dried fish and Brennivín (Black death) schnapps tasting, visit to multimedia presentation at Eyjafjallajökull Volcano Information Centre, glacier hike for beginners, entrance to Viking ship and history museum, experience package at Blue Lagoon with entrance fee, towel, bathrobe, a drink of your choice and a volcano scrub or an algae mask, Northern Lights programme during 4 evenings with a combination of lectures, presentations, film and guided searches for the Northern Lights and midnight refreshments, use of winter & Northern Lights explorer equipment.
|Northern Lights Exploration in a Winter Wonderland||8 days||Touring + nightly Northern Lights activities||Oct - Apr|