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Northern Lights Exploration Small Group Tour
Experience the best of Iceland‚Äôs winter! 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.
In addition to a seven-night stay with breakfast, this program includes our special six-night Northern Lights Academy, a combination of evening presentations, lectures, film and guided lookouts for the Aurora Borealis ‚Äď the Northern Lights. Experience Icelandic winter as good as it gets. Head to the countryside: from the regions of Sn√¶fellsnes Peninsula in the west to the Vatnaj√∂kull glacier in the south-east. Profit to search for the Aurora Borealis away from the big city lights.
Day 1 Reykjavik
Day 1, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday:
WELCOME to ICELAND (50 km/31 mls)
Individual transfer by Flybus shuttle bus from Keflavik Airport to a bus stop near your accommodation in Reykjav√≠k where you spend the night. We provide you with ideas how to explore Iceland's capital on your own.
Overnight Hotel Klettur or similar
Day 2, Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday:
REYKJAVIK CITY TOUR & BORGARFJ√ĖR√źUR SAGA VALLEY (245 km/152 mls)
At 09:00 meet your tour guide who shows the group the highlights of Iceland's exciting capital. Then we head west. Borgarfj√∂r√įur is known as the Saga Valley because of its many important historical events. We get a chance to climb the Gr√°br√≥k volcano crater and visit Deildartunguhver, Europe's most powerful hot spring which produces 180 litres per second of water that is nearly boiling - 97¬į Celsius. Hraunfossar is a series of waterfalls pouring from beneath a wide lava field. Barnafoss ‚Äď the Children‚Äôs 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.
Overnight Icelandair Hamar or similar
Day 3, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday or Sunday:
SN√ÜFELLSNES PENINSULA & FJORD CRUISE (250 km/155 mls)
The Sn√¶fellsnes Peninsula, ‚Äúthe peninsula of the snowy mountain‚Äú, just out from Iceland‚Äôs 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 Stykkish√≥lmur for a cruise in the Brei√įafj√∂r√įur fjord. After a light lunch a uniquely Icelandic ‚Äútreat‚Äú awaits us at Bjarnarh√∂fn, where they make H√°karl - the fermented shark. Depending on road and weather conditions, we visit the fishing village of Grundarfj√∂r√įur, 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‚Äôs outdoor hot tubs.
Overnight at Icelandair Hotel Hamar or similar
Day 4, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday or Monday:
Geysir hot spring.JPGGOLDEN CIRCLE, GEOTHERMAL TASTE & ICELANDIC HORSES (220 km/136 mls)
Today we travel along the Hvalfj√∂r√įur 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 √ěingvellir 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 ‚Äď nearly freezing. On we travel to Gullfoss, a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hv√≠t√° 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.
Overnight at Hotel Eldhester or similar
Day 5, Thursday, Saturday, Monday or Tuesday:
NATURAL WONDERS OF SOUTH ICELAND & VOLCANO CENTER (220 km/136 mls)
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 Sk√≥gafoss 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 Kirkjub√¶jarklaustur in the Vatnaj√∂kull National Park region, located in darkness and ideal for Northern Lights search.
.Overnight at Hotel Klauster or similar
Day 6, Friday, Sunday, Tuesday or Wednesday:
SKAFTAFELL NATIONAL PARK & VATNAJ√ĖKULL GLACIER (280 km/174 mls)
Today‚Äôs program is all about glaciers, ice and icebergs. We travel to J√∂kuls√°rl√≥n, 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‚Äôs largest national park, which has Iceland‚Äôs 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.
Vatnaj√∂kull - Glacial Lagoon.JPGNew: Optional Ice Cave Tour offered between November 15th and March 15th
Experience a spectacular crystal ice cave in Europe's largest glacier, Vatnaj√∂kull. It is like standing under a frozen blue ocean or in a frozen cathedral surrounded by millions of shades of blue. Deep under Iceland's massive Vatnaj√∂kull glacier, beautiful caves of ice are formed by rivers of melt water during the summer time. Too dangerous to visit in the spring and summer due to a threat of collapse, cold winter temperatures strengthen the ice and make exploration possible and safe to visit between November 15th and March 15th (subject to change). The tour takes about 2,5 hours in total - about 30-minute drive by 4x4 vehicle from the J√∂kuls√°rl√≥n 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 ‚Äď 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 J√∂kuls√°rl glacier lagoon are included for all group members. .Overnight at Hotel Klauster or similar
Day 7, Saturday, Monday, Wednesday or Thursday:
SOUTH SHORE, REYKJAV√ćK & BLUE LAGOON (370 km/230 mls)
From Kirkjub√¶jarklaustur we head across the Eldhraun lava field to the village of V√≠k, 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. 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 Reykjav√≠k for one last night. Overnight at Klettur or similar
Day 8 Reykjavik
Day 8, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday:
DEPARTURE HOME (50 km/31 mls)
Individual transfer by Flybus airport shuttle from a bus stop near your accommodation in Reykjav√≠k to Keflav√≠k Airport.
This tour is with max 16 passengers.
Price IncludesRountrip Flybus Plus Transfers Airport, Hotel, Airport
Fully Escorted Bus Tour With an English Speaking Guide
Fjord Cruise on Brei√įafj√∂r√įur Fjord Including Light Lunch (day 3)
Visit to Traditional Shark Curing Farm .
Hot Spring Tasting With Geothermally Cooked Bread and Eggs
Visit to Icelandic Horse Stables & Geothermal Greenhouse
Visit to Multimedia Presentation at the Lava & Volcano Exhibition Center
Entrance Fee to Sk√≥Gar Folk Museum and Turf Houses
Entrance With Towel to Blue Lagoon
Traditional Icelandic Dinner at Local Restaurant (day 7)
Northern Lights Academy Program During 6 Evening
Use of Winter & Northern Lights Explorer Equipment: Simple Non-Slip Snow &
Hotel Accommodation With Breakfast
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