Aurora Explorer

Economical winter touring
6 Days
Dec - Apr
Itinerary
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On this short but comprehensive tour enjoy the highlights of the south and west, with visits to amazing landmarks including waterfalls, volcano craters, lava fields, hot springs, geysers and glaciers. Enjoy a whale watching tour, a visit to an open air museum, a geothermal greenhouse tour, an encounter with the unique Icelandic horse, and much more, as well as evening hunts for the Northern Lights. Also experience one of Iceland's favourite pastimes- thermal bathing at the Blue Lagoon, the Secret Lagoon and another pool.

Day 1: Iceland Arrival
Tranfer by coach from Keflavik Airport to your hotel in Reykjavik.  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- South Iceland: Open Air Museum, Whale Watching and Thermal Dip
At 09:00 meet your guide and fellow travellers in the hotel, and depart Reykjavik. First stop is at the Arbær open-air museum, where more than 20 buildings including an original turf-roof farmhouse and church give a sense of the architecture and way of life of the past. We then visit the site of the official residence of the President of Iceland, Bessastaðir, and enjoy lunch in a Viking restaurant.

In the afternoon we go whale watching, an unmissable experience, with the opportunity to perhaps see minke whales, white-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises - occasionally other species including humpback whales, orcas and fin whales are also spotted. We then travel to South Iceland, an area surrounded by lava fields and volcanic mountains, and experience Iceland's favourite pastime with a dip in a thermal pool. Tonight and tomorrow stay at Hotel Borealis in the countryside of South Iceland, far away from light pollution and a great place for searching for the Northern Lights.

After dinner, enjoy a short Northern Lights photography lecture, after which you can just step outside and look up to search for the mystical Northern Lights.

Day 3:  South Iceland: Glaciers, Waterfalls and optional glacier hike 
Today we head along the south coast and reach the area near the active volcano beneath the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. We stop at the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which plunges from the mountain. Next we visit one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country, the 60 metre high Skógafoss waterfall.

In the afternoon you can take an optional 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 fun, safe and easy to moderate glacier walk, you will get to explore the wonderland of ice sculptures, water cauldrons, ridges and deep crevasses. While enjoying all the features of the glacier and its spectacular surroundings, you will learn more about the behavior of glaciers and their impact on nature. No technical experience is required for this tour as your experienced glacier guide will teach you how to use basic glacier equipment, such as crampons and an ice axe which are provided and will accompany and assist you all the way.  The glacier walk takes about 3 hours in total, with 90 minutes on the ice and about 30-40 minures walk each way from the parking lot to the glacier edge itself. 

If you do not wish to take the optional glacier hike, you will continue further south, where you can stroll on the black lava beach to see the amazing bird cliffs at Reynisfjara near Vík. In the evening,  if the night is clear, you might see the Northern Lights swirling in a wild and carefree dance across the heavens in dramatic shapes, colours, patterns and sizes.

Day 4:  Kerið Crater, Secret Lagoon, Horses & Golden Circle 
In the morning we visit the explosion crater of Kerið, which is filled with water and resembles an ancient amphitheatre. Our next stop is at the Secret Lagoon, a natural hot spring pool where you can enjoy another true Icelandic bathing experience. Then on to Friðheimar orchard, where delicious tomatoes grow year round in glasshouses powered by geothermal heat. Here you can taste the wonderful drinks (Bloody Mary anyone?) and other tasty tomato dishes. Then meet some charming Icelandic horses and see a riding display, before we continue on to Gullfoss, a double waterfall that tumbles 34 metres into the Hvítá River. 

We then continue on to Geysir geothermal field, where there are 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 end the day at Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the place where you move between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Tonight, we return to Reykjavík. 

Day 5:  Reykjavik & Blue Lagoon 
Time at leisure this morning. In the afternoon, enjoy a refreshing walk along one of the city's black beaches- if you dare, you might want to dip your toes into the ice cold water! Next we tour a local chocolate factory, and then stop at an Icelandic hot dog stand. In the evening, we visit the famous Blue Lagoon to bathe in the warm, blue waters, before having an Icelandic fish feast at a nearby village, returning to Reykjavik around midnight. 

Day 6: Reykjavik Departure
Coach transfer from the hotel to Keflavik Airport. 

Departures 2017:  05,  12, 17 and 19 (on request) December.

Departures 2018: 09, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28 & 30 January; 11, 13, 20, 25 &  27 February; 06, 13, 18, 20 & 27 March; 01, 03, 08 & 10 April

Maximum group size: 40 persons

Includes:  Arrival & departure transfers by coach; fully escorted 4-day coach tour with English speaking guide; 5 nights accommodation in 3 star hotels including breakfast; 3 x light lunches  (Days 2, 3 & 4); 3 x 3-course dinners (Days 2, 3 & 5); 2 x midnight refreshments;  entrance fee to Arbaer open-air museum; entrance with towel at Blue Lagoon, Secret Lagoon and local public swimming pool; whale watching cruise from Reykjavik (if cancelled an alternative program will be offered); admission to Kerið volcano crater; visit to geothermal greenhouse and horse farm; chocolate factory tour; Northern Lights programme during 3 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 that is helpful when walking in the dark and operating your photo camera at night.

Excludes: optional glacier walk Day 3 (purchased locally only)

Accommodation is in 3 star hotels all with private facilities as follows or similar: Reykjavík: Fosshotel Raudara (3 nights) and South Iceland: Hotel Borealis (2 nights).

                                   Nordic Travel is 100% Australian owned and operated

 

Price per person FROM:
Double AUD$ 3138.00
Single AUD$ 3728.00

Includes:  Arrival & departure transfers by coach; fully escorted 4-day coach tour with English speaking guide; 5 nights accommodation in 3 star hotels including breakfast; 3 x light lunches  (Days 2, 3 & 4); 3 x 3-course dinners (Days 2, 3 & 5); 2 x midnight refreshments;  entrance fee to Arbaer open-air museum; entrance with towel at Blue Lagoon, Secret Lagoon and local public swimming pool; whale watching cruise from Reykjavik (if cancelled an alternative program will be offered); admission to Kerið volcano crater; visit to geothermal greenhouse and horse farm; chocolate factory tour; Northern Lights programme during 3 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 that is helpful when walking in the dark and operating your photo camera at night