Northern Lights Exploration - Escorted Tour
3 3 Star:
Per Person Per 7 Nights
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The Northern Lights Exploration is an 8 days/7 night’s experience searching out the elusive Aurora Borealis. In addition to a seven night stay with breakfast, this program includes a special six night Northern Lights Academy, a combination of evening presentations, lectures, film and guided searches for the Northern Lights. Traveling across Iceland, from the regions of Snaefellsnes Peninsula in the west, to the Vatnajokull glacier in the southeast, you will climb a volcano crater and walk between two continental tectonic plates. Visit a traditional shark farmer, turf farmsteads and churches. Relax in the Blue Lagoon and learn about living next to Eyjafjallajökull volcano. See Icelandic horses, taste freshly baked hot spring bread and enjoy a fjord cruise.
The tour is made complete with charming, quality places to stay throughout the tour. Each of the comfy and inviting hotels come with en-suite guestrooms. In Reykjavik you’ll stay at the luxurious Centerhotel Plaza in the heart of the downtown area, before spending two nights at the cosy Icelandair Hotel Hamar. In South Iceland you’ll stay a night at the Fosshotel Hekla, and then round off the tour of rural Iceland with a couple of nights at Hotel Laki, near Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Please note, particular hotels are subject to availability.
Tours begin on a Friday or Sunday, and include 7 nights accommodation with breakfast and the following highlights;
Day 1, Welcome to Iceland (31 miles)
Individual transfer by Flybus shuttle bus from Keflavik Airport to your accommodation in Reykjavík where you spend the night. We provide you with ideas how to explore Iceland's capital on your own.
Day 2, Reykjavik City Tour & Borgarf Jordur Sag Valley (152 miles)
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 get warmed at Deildartunguhver, Europe's most powerful hot spring which produces 180 liters per second of water that is nearly boiling - 97° Celsius. 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. We spend two nights in Borgarnes, West Iceland. 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.
Day 3, Snaefellsnes Peninsula & Fjord Cruise (155 miles)
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 condtions, 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 mountain in Iceland, Mt. Kirkjufell. On the way back to Borgarnes the guide gives you some practical tips of 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.
Day 4, Golden Circle, Geothermal taste & Icelandic Horses (136 miles)
Today we travel along the Hvalfjörður fjord. The first stop is at an Icelandic wool outlet store, just 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 and see steam rising from the Geysir geothermal fields as we arrive. There is 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. The chef of the Restaurant Geysir invites you to taste freshly baked hot spring bread served with Icelandic butter, geothermally boiled eggs and herring. It is best served with a small glass of Geysir Schnapps, very cold – nearly freezing. On we travel to Gullfoss, a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá river and attracts tourists and travellers in summer and winter. In the afternoon, you learn about the Icelandic horse, its special 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, while best enjoyed from a comfortable hot tub in the garden of the hotel, amidst the peace and stillness of rural Iceland.
Day 5, South Iceland & Eyjafjallajokull Volcano (136 miles)
Today we travel along the South coast. At the Eyjafjallajökull Information Center we learn about living next to a glacier and an active volcano. Further east we visit one of Iceland's finest folk museums. This museum contains an outstanding collection of farm and domestic artifacts 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 2 nights near Kirkjubæjarklaustur in the Vatnajökull National Park region, located in complete darkness and ideal for Northern Lights search.
Day 6, Skaftafell National Park & Vatnajokull Glacier (174 miles)
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 extraordinary site and might see seals swimming in arctic waters. You can walk on the black sandy 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 just miss out one more chance of seeing the Northern Lights shimmering and dancing across the night sky.
Day 7, South Shore, Reykjavik & Blue Lagoon (230 miles)
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 very impressive. Further west we reach the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall which plunges from the mountain. There is a trail that goes behind the falling water and offers interesting views, if you are prepared to get wet!
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, followed by an Icelandic dinner at the Northern Light Inn Hotel and followed by one last nocturnal tour to seek more Northern Lights. Around midnight we reach Reykjavík for one last night.
Day 8, Departure Home (31 miles)
Individual transfer by Flybus airport shuttle from your accommodation in Reykjavík to Keflavík Airport.
To view our full selection of accommodation in Reykjavik, view our hotels in Reykjavik page.
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