8-Days Northern Lights Exploration - Small Group Guided Tour
Our partner: GJ Travel
Our partner: GJ Travel
Discover the Golden Circle, the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, the Blue Lagoon, the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Black lava beaches. Climb a volcano, embark on a fjord cruise, stop at a shark farmer, meet Icelandic horses, see turf farmsteads and churches. There is an optional ice cave tour at Vatnajökull glacier from mid-November to mid-March and an optional Northern Lights by boat cruise from Reykjavík. Our Northern Lights Exploration series are designed to include the highlights of Iceland and aim to maximise the chances of seeing the elusive Northern Lights, most nights are spent in the darkness away from light pollution.
Individual transfer by Flybus shuttle from Keflavik International airport to your accommodation in Reykjavik where you spend the night.
Hotel Klettur, Reykjavík. Dinner is on your own. (50km / 31mls)
At 09:00 meet your tour guide who shows the group the highlights of Iceland’s exciting capital. Then we head west. Borgarfjörður is known as the Saga Valley because of its many important historical events. We get a chance to climb the Grábrók volcano crater and visit Deildartunguhver, Europe’s most powerful hot spring. Hraunfossar is a series of waterfalls pouring from beneath a wide lava field. Barnafoss – the Children’s falls, is nearby with its own tragic tale. The afternoon includes a lecture about Northern Lights. After dinner, we step into the hotel garden in search of the Northern Lights followed by a hot cup of chocolate or tea.
Icelandair Hotel Hamar, Borgarnes. Breakfast included, dinner is on your own. (245km / 152mls)
The Snæfellsnes Peninsula, “the peninsula of the snowy mountain“, juts out from Iceland’s west coast, like a long arm with a clenched fist at its tip, and is in many ways a microcosm of the whole island. A rugged mountain chain runs its length. We travel to the charming fishing town of Stykkishólmur for a cruise in the Breiðafjörður fjord. After a light lunch a uniquely Icelandic “treat“ awaits us at Bjarnarhöfn, where they make Hákarl – the fermented shark. Depending on road and weather conditions, we visit the fishing village of Grundarfjörður, a place with an impressive coastline and mountains, lakes and waterfalls behind the village. Jutting out into the bay rises one of the most photographed mountains in Iceland, Mt. Kirkjufell. On the way back to Borgarnes the guide gives you some practical tips on how to photograph the Auroras as part of the Northern Lights Academy program. Naturally, once darkness falls, we are out in the hotel garden to chase the Northern Lights and to soak in the hotel’s outdoor hot tubs.
Icelandair Hotel Hamar, Borgarnes. Breakfast & light lunch included. Dinner is on your own. (250km / 155mls)
Today we travel along the Hvalfjörður fjord. The first stop is at an Icelandic wool outlet store, to see what they do with all those sheep! We continue inland to Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. We travel the Golden Circle route, see steam rising from the Geysir geothermal fields. The chef of the Restaurant Geysir invites you to taste freshly baked hot spring bread served with Icelandic butter, boiled eggs and herring. On we travel to double waterfall of Gullfoss. In the afternoon, you learn about the Icelandic horse, its unique qualities and history and visit a geothermal greenhouse, before we reach the accommodation in South Iceland. Tonight, step into the darkness and search for the elusive Northern Lights in the peace and stillness of rural Iceland.
Hotel Eldhestar, Hveragerði. Breakfast included, dinner is on your own. (260km / 162mls)
Today we travel along the South coast. At the Lava & Volcano Exhibition Center, we learn about geology and active volcanoes. Further east we visit one of Iceland’s finest folk museums. This museum contains an outstanding collection of farm and domestic artefacts from Iceland’s past and several turf-built houses. Nearby is Skógafoss waterfall which is 60 meters high and one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country. In the afternoon we take a stroll on the black lava beach and along bird cliffs at Reynisfjara in South Iceland. We spend two nights near Kirkjubæjarklaustur in the Vatnajökull National Park region, located in darkness and ideal for Northern Lights search.
Fosshótel Núpar. Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Breakfast included, lunch & dinner is on your own. (225km / 140mls)
Today’s program is all about glaciers, ice and icebergs. We travel to Jökulsárlón, a glacial lagoon filled with floating icebergs, and we explore the amazing site and might see seals swimming in arctic waters. You can walk on the black sandy beach, the so-called Diamond beach, where large icebergs get stranded. In the afternoon we visit the tiny turf church at Hof and spend time at Europe’s largest national park, which has Iceland’s highest mountains, an alpine environment, and Europe’s largest glacier. In the evening enjoy a film presentation about the Northern Lights as part of the Northern Lights Academy program. Be careful not to go to bed too soon in this remote and quiet location, or you may miss out one more chance of seeing the Northern Lights shimmering and dancing across the night sky.
Optional Ice Cave Tour offered between November 15th and March 15th
The tour takes about 2,5 hours in total – nearly 30-minute drive by 4×4 vehicle from the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and 5-15 minutes hike (one-way). You spend about one hour inside the ice cave. You need good hiking boots, warm clothing that keeps you dry from the dripping water in the ice cave. Minimum age is 10 years old. The ice cave tour can only be booked on day 2 of Northern Lights Exploration tour. You will have to fill in and sign an order form, once done a cancellation is not possible. Ice cave bookings have to be finalised with the guide by dinner time on day 2 of the tour. Bookings afterwards cannot be accommodated due to limited space. The price is ISK 23.000 (about EUR 210) per person; subject to change. Payment is due with the ice cave tour operator on day 6 in Icelandic Krona – cash only! The ice cave explorers meet their local guide at the glacier lagoon at 14:00 and will be brought back to the hotel after the ice cave tour, while the rest of the group continues the official tour program. The ice cave explorers will miss out on some of the official tour programs, as there is no time for everything, but the stop and visit at the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon are included for all group members.
Fosshótel Núpar, Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Breakfast included, lunch & dinner is on your own. (255km / 159mls)
From Kirkjubæjarklaustur we head across the Eldhraun lava field to the village of Vík, where we make a photo stop. The black lava beach with high bird cliffs and pounding waves is awe-inspiring. Further west we reach the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall which plunges from the mountain. In the afternoon we return to Reykjavik and have about 2 hour leisure time to explore Iceland’s capital on our own, visit museums, do some shopping or simply rest after all this touring. In the evening, we get to soak in the famous Blue Lagoon. After an Icelandic farewell dinner at a local restaurant, we go on one last nocturnal tour to seek more Northern Lights. Around midnight we reach Reykjavík for one last night.
Hotel Klettur, Reykjavík. Breakfast & Farewell, lunch & dinner is on your own. (375km / 233mls)
Individual transfer by Flybus shuttle bus from your accommodation in Reykjavik to Keflavik International Airport.
Breakfast included. (50km / 31mls)