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Hidden Powers and Northern Lights Christmas

South Iceland's astonishing raw, natural beauty
Reykjavik, Iceland © Roman Gerasymenko

Celebrate the magic of an Icelandic Christmas while experiencing some of Iceland’s most beloved natural wonders. You’ll discover Iceland’s amazing natural forces first-hand, along with experiencing authentic Christmas traditions and foods. Discover South Iceland's astonishing raw nature. Glaciers, icebergs, hot springs and volcanoes dominate this beautiful, yet rugged landscape. Experience the hidden powers of the island including views of the notorious Eyjafjallajokull volcano, black volcanic sand beaches, mighty Vatnajokull glacier and breath taking Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon. With three nights spent in stunning rural locations, you'll be perfectly placed to hunt for the magical Northern Lights.


23 December Reykjavik Arrival

Coach transfer from Keflavík Airport to your hotel or nearest bus stop in Reykjavik. 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. Early this evening you will enjoy a walking tour in downtown Reykjavik. One of our local guides who is an expert in Icelandic traditions and folklore will meet you at your hotel. Enjoy Reykjavik’s twinkling lights and festive decorations as your guide tells you about holiday traditions. Today is St.Thorlak’s Day, a day when stores are open late into the evening and Icelanders enjoy last minute shopping and greeting friends throughout the day and evening. You’ll surely enjoy this cheerful backdrop for your walking tour. Overnight in Reykjavik at Center Hotel Miðgarður or similar.

24 December Reykjavik - Golden Circle: Northern Lights Centre - Thingvellir - Geysir - Gullfoss

Start the day by visiting the fascinating Aurora Reykjavik Northern Lights Centre to learn about the science and meaning of the Northern lights. Then we leave the city and travel 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 - this is one of Iceland's most fascinating and visually stunning geological places, on the shores of Iceland's largest lake. Continue through farmland areas to the geothermal fields of Geysir with bubbling mud pools and the high-spouting Strokkur hot spring. Last but not least, visit the dramatic two-tiered Gullfoss waterfall, a spectacular sight in winter when frozen mid-cascade. During the day you will also visit the town of Laugarvatn. The town is built around three hot springs, and the residents have cleverly harnessed the hot springs for heating, greenhouses and even cooking. Visit a unique outdoor geothermal bakery where sweet Icelandic rye bread is baked in hot sands. You will have the chance to taste some of the freshly baked bread, hot from the ground. It’s especially delicious slathered in sweet Icelandic butter. Tonight, enjoy a Christmas Eve buffet dinner at your hotel in the Hella area. Here there is no light pollution and the elusive Northern Lights might just come out and play. Overnight in Hella at Stracta Hótel Hella or similar.

25 December South Shore - Kirkjubaejarklaustur: Waterfalls - Glacial Views - Black Sand Beaches

Gleðileg jól! Merry Christmas! We drive along the south shore, an area of Iceland that is absolutely beautiful in the winter. This is one of the main farming regions of the country, and the road passes typical Icelandic farms, often with the charming, small and shaggy Icelandic horses in the fields. This part of Iceland is home to the Lava Centre, an interactive, high-tech educational exhibition depicting volcanic activity, earthquakes and the creation of Iceland over millions of years. Here we have time to enjoy the exhibits and view an interesting film about volcanoes. Next we visit the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, which plunges over the mountain; you can walk the trail that goes behind the falls – if you are prepared to get wet! Nearby is Skógafoss Waterfall, which at 60m high is one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country. Heading onwards, we pass by Myrdalsjokull Glacier, to visit Reynisfjara black sand beach. Take a walk on the unique sands, admiring the extraordinary rock formations and thundering waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Cross Eldhraun, a vast lava field created from a very destructive 18th century eruption. Celebrate Christmas with a festive Christmas dinner at your hotel. You’ll also receive a small gift to commemorate your Christmas visit to Iceland. Two nights in the Kirkjubaejarklaustur area at Hótel Klaustur or similar.

26 December Vatnajokull National Park and Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon: Icebergs & Glaciers

Today we enter the area of Vatnajokull National Park, the largest park in Europe and with Europe's largest glacier. Visit Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, where you can enjoy the breathtaking sight of floating icebergs on the vibrant blue waters of the 180m deep glacial lagoon. You may even see seals swimming in the arctic waters, and you can walk on Diamond Beach, where large icebergs often get stranded. Visit the famous Skaftafell area, a site of outstanding natural beauty, dominated by several mighty glaciers. Dinner and 2nd overnight in the Kirkjubaejarklaustur area at Hótel Klaustur or similar.

27 December Kirkjubaejarklaustur - Reykjavik: Hveragerði Greenhouse Village - Icelandic Horse Farm - Blue Lagoon

Today we head towards the village of Hveragerdi, which is one of the few villages in the world located directly on top of a geothermal area. Hveragerdi is often called "the flower village" because of its many greenhouses, heated by hot water from the nearby springs, and it is a true showcase for clean, geothermal energy, which Iceland relies heavily on for heating, both commercially and domestically. Onwards to visit an Icelandic horse farm. Meet the friendly horses and taste some sweet refreshments that are traditionally served on Icelandic farms. We then continue along the coast, with breath taking sea views, and through a community once flourishing and now deserted. On to the Reykjanes peninsula where we enjoy a visit to the famous Blue Lagoon. The Lagoon is a unique wonder, spectacularly situated in the middle of a black lava field - relax and enjoy the calming, healing properties of the mineral laden air and bathe in the warm, aquamarine waters. We then return to Reykjavik in the early evening, for overnight at Center Hotel Miðgarður or similar.

28 December Reykjavik Departure

Coach transfer from your hotel or nearest bus stop to Keflavik Airport where your tour arrangements end.

2024 Christmas departure: 23 December


Maximum Group Size: 36 persons

Level of accommodation:
Quality: standard rooms with private facilites in hotels, guesthouses & farmhouse accommodation. 4 star hotel in Reykjavik.

Pre and post nights can be added in Reykjavik - please enquire.

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