iceland tour: Hunt for the Northern Lights In Style

Escorted, Northern Lights
Easy adventure & first class hotels
6 or 8 days
Oct - Nov + Jan - Apr
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"After booking this trip last Summer, I started to second guess myself about the wisdom of traveling to Iceland in January! Then the weather prediction was not so good. However, I am so glad I made this trip! The tour was very, very well done. Our guide, Katherina, was so knowledgeable and articulate. She made it so interesting and fun. Every piece of the trip was extremely well planned and the 'in style' component was obvious. Make sure to dress for the weather and be open to adventure." -Jenny, U.S.A. 2018.

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.

Day 1 Welcome to Iceland 
Transfer by coach from Keflavík Airport to Reykjavík where you spend the night. 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: Cheese Tasting, Thingvellir National Park & Fontana Steam Baths
At 09:00 meet your tour guide and fellow travellers. We 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 cheesemaker 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 head to 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 three geothermally heated bathing areas, a sauna, 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  South Iceland, where we 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 South Iceland 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, and 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 South Coast - Vik, 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 Hvolsvollur Lava Exhibition where we will learn all about geology in Iceland and volcanoes. Then on to Skógafoss Waterfall, which at 60m is one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country. In the afternoon you can choose between a guided glacier walk, or continue in the bus tour to explore the fascinating black lava beach and bird cliffs at Reynisfjara, near Vík. Tonight enjoy a video presentation about the Northern Lights. 

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.  

Day 5 Vik - Reykjavik, 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 including 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 an algae mask.  Then we drive into Reykjavík where we enjoy dinner at The Pearl, one of the country's finest restaurants, with panoramic views. Overnight in Reykjavik.  

Day 6 Reykjavik Leisure Day & Northern Lights Fjord Cruise 
Those on the  6 day/ 5 night tour will transfer today by coach back to Keflavik Airport.

Those on the 8 day tour today enjoy a day at leisure - visiting museums, doing some shopping, or perhaps relaxing with a spa treatment. 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. Overnight in Reykjavik.

Day 7 Reykjavik 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. Overnight in Reykjavik.

Day 8 Reykjavik Departure
Arrangements end with your coach transfer from your hotel to Keflavik Airport. 

2018 departures:  07, 21 October;    04, 18 November.

2019 departures:  13, 27 January;   10, 24 February;   10, 24 March. 

Maximum group size: 16 persons

Includes 6 day/5 night programme: Arrival & departure airport coach transfers; 5 nights accommodation with daily breakfast; fully escorted 4 day coach tour with English-speaking guide and 2 seats per person on the bus; 2 lunches; 4 three-course dinners; welcome cocktail at Hotel Grímsborgir; entrance to observation tower at Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavík; visit and seminar at the cheese & skyr school in Reykjavík; entrance with towel at Fontana steam baths; Geothermal bakery bread tasting at Fontana; 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 Hvolsvollur Lava Exhibition;  glacier hike for beginners;  entrance to Viking ship and history museum; Comfort package at Blue Lagoon with entrance fee, towel, bathrobe, a drink of your choice and 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 and use of winter & Northern Lights explorer equipment.

8 day/7 night programme also includes: 2 additional overnights in Reykjavik including breakfast; Northern Lights fjord cruise; 8-9 hours Super Jeep adventure in West Iceland. 

Accommodation is at the following hotels or similar: In Reykjavik Icelandair Hotel Marina Reykjavik in Superior room; in the countryside Luxury Country Hotel Grímsborgir, South Iceland.

Nordic Travel is 100% Australian owned and operated

Price per person FROM:
Double AUD$ 5417.00
Single AUD$ 6411.00

Includes 6 day/5 night programme: Arrival & departure airport coach transfers; 5 nights accommodation with daily breakfast; fully escorted 4 day coach tour with English-speaking guide and 2 seats per person on the bus; 2 lunches; 4 three-course dinners; welcome cocktail at Hotel Grímsborgir; entrance to observation tower at Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavík; visit and seminar at the cheese & skyr school in Reykjavík; entrance with towel at Fontana steam baths; Geothermal bakery bread tasting at Fontana; 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 Hvolsvollur Lava Exhibition;  glacier hike for beginners;  entrance to Viking ship and history museum; Comfort package at Blue Lagoon with entrance fee, towel, bathrobe, a drink of your choice and 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 and use of winter & Northern Lights explorer equipment.

The prices shown here are for the 6 day/5 night tour. 

Price per person FROM:
Double AUD$ 6825.00
Single AUD$ 8207.00

Includes 8 day/7 night programme: Arrival & departure airport coach transfers; 7 nights accommodation with daily breakfast; fully escorted 4 day coach tour with English-speaking guide and 2 seats per person on the bus; 2 lunches; 4 three-course dinners; welcome cocktail at Hotel Grímsborgir; entrance to observation tower at Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavík; visit and seminar at the cheese & skyr school in Reykjavík; entrance with towel at Fontana steam baths; Geothermal bakery bread tasting at Fontana; 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 Hvolsvollur Lava Exhibition; glacier hike for beginners;  entrance to Viking ship and history museum; Comfort package at Blue Lagoon with entrance fee, towel, bathrobe, a drink of your choice and an algae mask;  Northern Lights fjord cruise; 8-9 hours Super Jeep adventure in West Iceland;Northern Lights programme during 4 evenings with a combination of lectures, presentations, film and guided searches for the Northern Lights and midnight refreshments and use of winter & Northern Lights explorer equipment.

The prices shown here are for the 8 day/7 night tour.