Iceland Aurora Explorer

Escorted, Northern Lights
Winter Circle tour
15 days
Feb
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This incredible 15-day journey captures the very best that Iceland has to offer in the spectacular winter months. Experiencing the Northern Lights with dramatic Icelandic scenery in the backdrop will leave you awestruck and appreciative of your natural surroundings.

Day 1  Reykjavik Arrival
Coach transfer from Keflavík Airport to your hotel, check-in. Evening welcome dinner at Harpa Concert Hall. Overnight at Fosshótel Reykjavík or similar.

Day 2  Reykjavik City Sightseeing
Explore the world's most northern capital. During this city sightseeing tour, Reykjavík's main attractions are highlighted on foot and by bus, such as The Pearl, Hallgrímskirkja church, the harbour and the famous 101 Reykjavík neighbourhood. The tour ends with a visit to the Northern Lights Museum. Afternoon at leisure. Optional afternoon whale watching tour (weather permitting). After dinner at the hotel, head out to search for the Northern Lights. Also known as the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights are caused by the interaction of particles from the sun with the upper atmosphere near the North Pole. Drive away from the city lights to areas where there is no light pollution to search for this natural phenomenon which cannot be guaranteed. The locations visited during the Northern Lights tour vary from day to day depending on weather conditions. Overnight at Fosshótel Reykjavík or similar.

Day 3  Borgarnes-Deildatunguhver-Hraunfossar-Reykaholt-Langjökull Glacier
Today we drive north from Reykjavík heading to the peaceful farming district and valley of  Borgarfjörður, the setting of Egil’s Saga, framed by mountains and glaciers that are backdrops to many of the best salmon rivers in Iceland. We make a short stop in the town Borgarnes before visiting Deildartunguhver, one of the world’s biggest hot springs. Continue to historic Reykholt, where Snorri Sturluson once lived, a brilliant 13th-century writer/scholar. Next stop is a multitude of natural springs under a birch covered lava field, which creates a waterfall hundreds of metres wide, the magnificent Hraunfossar (Lava Falls), seemingly appearing out of nowhere across the bank. A few minutes walk up the river is the Barnafoss (Children’s Falls). After lunch, begin a tour into the Langjökull Glacier through a man-made ice tunnel. After dinner, relax in the hotel’s outdoor hot tubs, hopefully seeing the Northern Lights. Overnight at Icelandair Hotel Hamar or similar.

Day 4  Bjarnahöfn Shark Farm-Stykkishólmur-Viking Sushi-Laugarbakki
Start the day at Bjarnarhöfn, a shark fishing farm. Learn about the shark fishing industry, see how shark meat is prepared. Continue to Stykkishólmur, a charming fishing town offering amazing views over Breiðafjörður fjord with thousands of small islands. Join a boat tour in Breidafjordur Bay, taste Viking sushi and learn about sea and bird-life. Time at leisure in Stykkishólmur. A short lecture from a local guide about the Northern Lights before dinner this evening. After dinner, relax in the hotel’s outdoor hot tubs, hopefully seeing the Northern Lights. Overnight at Hotel Laugarbakki or similar.

Day 5  Laugarbakki-Víðimýri Church-Sauðarkrókur Tannery-Hofsós-Siglufjörður
Continue north east to Skagafjörður, known as the “valley of horses”. The first stop is Viðimýri turf church. Then through the fjord and along the coastline to the small town Sauðarkrókur, for a guided tour through their world-famous tannery. Continue to Hofsos, a small community along the cliffs with a fantastic view over the fjord and sea. Visit the local swimming pool, enjoy the magnificent view while bathing in the hot water. Continue along a steep coastal road to the colourful fishing town of Siglufjörður. After dinner at the hotel, search for the Northern Lights on foot. Overnight at Hótel Sigló or similar.

Day 6  Kaldi Brewery-Akureyri-Goðafoss Waterfall-Mývatn
Morning visit to the local beer brewery Kaldi before heading to Akureyri, a charming town of 17,000 inhabitants. Time at leisure. Worth a visit are the botanical garden, the modern church and the panoramic view over Eyjafjörður fjord. Travel east from Akureyri to Goðafoss, the waterfalls of the gods. Continue to the hotel, located near Lake Mývatn which is known for its geological wonders and active bird life during summer. Overnight at Icelandair Hotel Mývatn or similar.

Day 7  Mývatn-Dimmuborgir-Námaskarð-Mývatn Nature Baths
Morning visit to pseudo craters, walk in the lava field Dimmuborgir, see the hot springs and bubbling mud pools of Námaskarð. Afternoon soak at Mývatn Nature Baths that contain a unique blend of minerals, silicates and geothermal micro-organisms. The warm soothing waters benefit both skin and spirit alike. After dinner at the hotel, search for the Northern Lights on foot. 2nd overnight at Icelandair Hotel Mývatn or similar.

Day 8  Myvatn-Egilsstaðir
Leaving beautiful North Iceland, head through the uninhabited highlands and moonlike surroundings towards Egilsstaðir, the biggest town in the east of Iceland with a population of 2,200. Perhaps spot an arctic fox or reindeer on the way. Afternoon at leisure to explore Egilsstaðir or relax in the outdoor swimming pool. Dinner at the hotel, followed by a movie about the Northern Lights. Overnight at Icelandair Hotel Hérað or similar.

Day 9  Egilsstaðir-Petra's Stone Collection-Höfn-Jökulsarlón-Öræfi
A day to admire the dramatic fjord landscape and its tiny fishing villages at the end of twisty roads in the East Fjords. Opportunities for photo stops and short walks. Stop in Stöðvarfjörður Bay to visit Petra’s stone collection. See Vatnajökull – Europe's biggest glacier. Stop at the town of Höfn and afterwards continue to Jökulsárlón, a glacial lagoon filled with floating icebergs. Explore the extraordinary site and maybe see seals swimming in the arctic waters. You can also walk on the black sandy beach where large icebergs get stranded, Diamond Beach. After this icy experience we’ll head to the hotel for the evening and enjoy a dinner and then saunas are available for those wanting to warm up. Overnight at Fosshótel Glacier Lagoon or similar.

Day 10  Öræfi-Kirkjubærklaustur-Reynisfjara-Vík
Travel west through the village of Kirkjubærklaustur, cross the sandy desert of the south coast to the coastal town of Vík. Stroll along the black sand beach and admire Reynisdrangar, the high basalt columns in the sea. After dinner, another Northern Lights hunt. Overnight at Icelandair Hotel Vík or similar.

Day 11  Skógafoss-Seljalandsfoss-Lava Centre-Hveragerði
Continue west, slowly closing the circle around Iceland. Stop in the small village of Skógar to see Skógafoss waterfall which is 60 metres high, one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country. Pass Eyjafjallajökull, the infamous volcano and glacier. Continue to the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which plunges down from the mountain. There is an interesting trail that goes behind the fall – if you are prepared to get wet! After the waterfalls stop in Hvolsvöllur to visit the Lava Centre, an exhibition and movie about volcanoes in Iceland. Overnight in Hveragerði at Hotel Örk, or similar.

Day 12  Hveragerði-Friðheimar Farm-Golden Circle-Hveragerði 
Travel the route of the Golden Circle sights. Visit a geothermal tomato farm and Icelandic horse farm. Continue to Gullfoss, "the Golden Falls", a double waterfall that tumbles 34 metres into the Hvítá river. Drive onwards and see steam from the Geysir geothermal fields. 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. After Geysir, visit Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO  World Heritage site. 2nd overnight in Hveragerði at Hotel Örk, or similar.

Day 13  Hveragerði-Reykjanes Peninsula-Blue Lagoon-Viking Dinner -Reykjavik
The Reykjanes peninsula offers diverse geological features, several lighthouses, hot springs, mountains and bird cliffs. Visit the geothermal areas Krýsuvík and Gunnuhver, walk over the bridge between continents, visit the fishing town Grindavík and have a relaxing bath in the Blue Lagoon. Stop in Hafnarfjörður for a true Viking Dinner before returning to Reykjavík. Overnight at Fosshótel Reykjavík or similar.

Day 14  Reykjavík-Farewell Dinner 
Day at leisure to explore Reykjavík on your own. Evening farewell dinner at Perlan Restaurant which offers a beautiful view over the capital. After dinner, a Northern Lights hunt by bus. 2nd overnight at Fosshótel Reykjavík or similar.

Day 15  Reykjavik Departure
Coach transfer from your hotel to Keflavík Airport. End of arrangements.

2020 Departure: 15 February

Small group size

Includes: Return Keflavik Airport - Reykjavik hotel coach transfers Day 1, Day 15; 14 nights accommodation in mentioned hotels or similar (3 nights in Reykjavík, 11 nights in the countryside) including breakfast; fully escorted 4x4 Sprinter minibus tour with English speaking driver guide Days 3-13; 13 x 3-course dinners including coffee/tea; Viking Dinner Day 13; Reykjavík city tour with local guide 4hrs Day 2; entrance to Aurora Museum Reykjavík Day 2; Into the glacier with activity guide Day 3; Visit to Bjarnarhöfn shark museum + tasting Day 4; Viking sushi boat tour + soup onboard Day 4; Víðímýri turf church visit Day 5; visit Tannery in Sauðárkrókur Day 5; Hofsós swimming pool entrance Day 5; Kaldi brewery visit Day 6; Mývatn Nature Baths entry, towel use Day 7; Petra's Stone collection entry Day 9; LAVA museum entry Day 11; Friðheimar horse farm and geothermal greenhouse visit Day 12; Geothermal food tasting Day 12; Bridge between continents certificate; Blue Lagoon comfort entrance, towel use; buses include free WIFI & simple non-slip snow & ice grippers spikes for shoes.  

                        
Nordic Travel is 100% Australian owned and operated

Includes: Return Keflavik Airport - Reykjavik hotel coach transfers Day 1, Day 15; 14 nights accommodation in mentioned hotels or similar (3 nights in Reykjavík, 11 nights in the countryside) including breakfast; fully escorted 4x4 Sprinter minibus tour with English speaking driver guide Days 3-13; 13 x 3-course dinners including coffee/tea; Viking Dinner Day 13; Reykjavík city tour with local guide 4hrs Day 2; entrance to Aurora Museum Reykjavík Day 2; Into the glacier with activity guide Day 3; Visit to Bjarnarhöfn shark museum + tasting Day 4; Viking sushi boat tour + soup onboard Day 4; Víðímýri turf church visit Day 5; visit Tannery in Sauðárkrókur Day 5; Hofsós swimming pool entrance Day 5; Kaldi brewery visit Day 6; Mývatn Nature Baths entry, towel use Day 7; Petra's Stone collection entry Day 9; LAVA museum entry Day 11; Friðheimar horse farm and geothermal greenhouse visit Day 12; Geothermal food tasting Day 12; Bridge between continents certificate; Blue Lagoon comfort entrance, towel use; buses include free WIFI & simple non-slip snow & ice grippers spikes for shoes.  

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