This trip is designed to give you the best chance at seeing the spectacular dancing lights of the aurora borealis in the northern sky.. Experience the breadth of Iceland’s incredible natural phenomena – ancient volcanic rock formations, black pebble beaches, glacial lakes and geothermal lagoons.. The waterfall at Gullfoss is stunning no matter the season, graced by opaque rainbows in the sunlight and shimmering with ice in the cold.. Stay in an eco-lodge on a working family farm in the Icelandic countryside, where meat and produce from the land is served in the restaurant.
Designed to maximise your chances of catching mother nature’s most spectacular show, this eight-day Northern Lights tour reveals more than the aurora. Search the sky for dancing lights from Hvolsvollur to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula by night and discover natural wonders on land by day. Go inland to view the mighty Gullfoss (Golden Waterfall), drive through hardened lava fields in Skaftafell National Park, see the eerily calm waters of the Glacier Lagoon and wander among Reynisdrangar’s imposing basalt sea stacks.
Breakfast Included: 7 Lunches Included: Dinner Included: 4
Take your complimentary transfer from Keflavik airport to the hotel, and get settled before you meet your tour leader and fellow transfer at a welcome meeting at 6 pm. There are no activities planned for today, but if you arrive early we recommend getting out and exploring the world's northernmost capital. Perhaps take a trip to the National Museum, where you can see its permanent exhibition depicting the history of Iceland from the 9th century to the present. After the welcome meeting, the evening is yours to explore.
Reykjavik / Golden Circle / Hvolsvollur Area
This morning head to the geologically and historically important Thingvellir (Parliament Plains), the original site of Iceland’s old parliament from AD 930. You will also visit the geothermal geysers and witness the spouting hot springs of Geysir and Strokkur, before driving to Gullfoss (Golden Waterfall). Here at Iceland’s largest waterfall, a rainbow is often visible on a sunny day. It's a beautiful sight amid the spray above the falls. Later this evening, you’ll stay on a working family farm in the Icelandic country side. The accommodation is among the leading hotels in Iceland regarding environmental issues and the proud owner will show you around the estate to reveal more. Far away from the lights of the city, your hotel is also an ideal base from which to see the spectacular Northern Lights. Look to the skies tonight in search of them.
Skaftafell National Park / Jokulsarlon / Kirkjubæjarklaustur
Begin the day by travelling through the lava fields of 1783’s Laki volcanic eruption, and event that shaped Iceland's history and culture. Next is Skaftafell National Park which is where you will have the opportunity to get face-to-face with Vatnajokull, Europe's biggest glacier. From there, drive on to Jokulsarlon, also known as the Glacier Lagoon. Take a walk around this astounding glacial lake and learn a little more about its history, perhaps taking some photos along the way. Then continue to the village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur for your overnight stay.
South Coast / Reykjavik
Drive through the beautiful scenery of Iceland’s South Shore. Wander past the enormous basalt sea stacks at Reynisdrangar, marvel at the colours of the glaciers spilling down the mountains in the distance and admire the spectacular Skogafoss, a waterfall on the Skoga River. At 60 metres high and 25 metres wide, it's one of the largest – and most impressive – waterfalls in Iceland. It has been used as the setting of several popular films including The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Thor: The Dark World. After spending some time taking in the glory of this stream continue to Seljalandsfoss waterfall. You can walk right behind the stream of rushing water to see it from another angle. Next, return to Reykjavik and enjoy an evening of free time. Perhaps try the famous lobster soup or the infamous fermented shark washed down with a shot of Brennivin (Icelandic schnapps) in the Old Harbour, or enjoy a beer in a cosy city bar.
Borgarfjordur / Snaefellnes Peninsula
After breakfast leave the city behind and head to the Borgarfjordur area. See the lava-formed waterfalls of Hraunfossar and the folklore-heavy Barnafossar (Children’s Falls). Continue to Deildartunguhver, where water bursts from the ground at a scalding 97°C. These are Europe's hottest springs. The highlight of today is a soak in the nearby geothermal pools of Krauma, where the mineral-rich waters from Deildartunguhver are mixed with glacial water so they are cooled to a more tolerable temperature. Krauma has a total of five hot pools, and a cold tub (5°C to 8°C) to get your blood circulation going. There are also two saunas and a relaxation room where you can rest by the fireplace while listening to soothing music. Finally, continue to your lodgings in the south of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Meet the group for dinner in the evening.
Today you will explore the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, beginning with the Snaefellsjokull glacier, an icecap that covers a dormant volcano. Visit the birders paradise of Arnarstapi, the black pebble beach Djupalonssandur, and the pretty fishing village of Grundarfjordur. Here you’ll stop and meet a local artist by the name of Liston, who will show you his workshop. This is a great opportunity to have a look at his stone carving pieces and to interact with a local artisan. Continue to a horse ranch, where you’ll watch a cooking demonstration and enjoy a hearty home-cooked meal of local fare. After dinner, return to the hotel. Depending on the weather, rug up in warm clothing and head out in search of the northern lights tonight.
Return to Reykjavik (approximately 3 hours). Upon arrival explore Reykjavik on a city tour with your leader, passing the old harbour, city centre, towering Hallgrimskirkja church and the dome-shaped Pearl. Spend the afternoon exploring the city at your own pace. Iceland's capital has an eclectic art and music scene, an abundance of quirky cafes and a laid-back vibe. Perhaps window-shop in the central city or browse some of the city's excellent art galleries and museums. If you feel like something more active, you can take a ride on an Icelandic horse, or see killer whales just offshore on a whale watching expedition. Alternatively, if you are after another look at the Northern Lights, you can head out of town to chase them again this evening.
Your Icelandic journey comes to an end after breakfast this morning. Those looking to extend their stay can arrange additional nights' accommodation at the time of booking the trip (subject to availability).