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16th May 2017
The Northern Lights are one of nature’s great displays: a mysterious, multicolored show in which the night sky is suddenly lit up with a wondrous glow that twists and swirls like a heavenly lava lamp. Elusive and ethereal, it is one of the great, timeless thrills of travel; a beautiful, shifting dance of nocturnal rainbows that many viewers find a humbling and spiritually uplifting experience. The Northern Lights can only be seen at night but there is no need to worry about finding things to do during the day.
With the Icelandic Cuisine & Culture we offer you an exclusive escorted bus tour. You experience unspoiled nature, geological wonders, cultural and culinary treats and a variety of soft adventures and activities during the day before going to hunt for the Northern Lights in Iceland at night. The tour features first class hotels and transportation is by bus with each participant having a double seat all to themselves. The tour is available as a 5 nights or 7 nights program, both escorted whilst touring the countryside with your expert guide providing lots of additional information along the way plus hosting your Northern Lights presentations and helping capture the phenomena with your camera.
Day 1 - Welcome to Iceland!
Individual transfer by Flybus shuttle bus from Keflavík Airport to Reykjavík where you spend the night at the first-class hotel Radisson Blu 1919 in a deluxe room. You will be provided with ideas on how to explore Iceland's quirky capital at your own pace.
1 night REYKJAVIK - Icelandair Hotel Marina
Day 2 - Reykjavik, Cheese & Skyr School, National Park & Fontana Steam Baths
At 09:00 meet your tour guide and enjoy a two-hour city tour of the world's northern-most capital. The tour includes the visit to the exceptional observation tower of the Hallgrímskirkja church offering incredible panoramic views across the city. You then learn about the history and culture of Icelandic cheese and the unique dairy product skyr, which tastes similar to yoghurt but it is actually strained cheese. You are able to taste a range of Icelandic cheeses and learn about the special qualities of the Icelandic dairy cow. Delve into Iceland’s cheese history and discover what cheese future lies ahead for this nation of people who have one of the highest consumptions of cheese in the world ... and all this you learn whilst having a lovely lunch in a fabulous cheese school buttery.
Depart Reykjavik for Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of Iceland's most fascinating places both geologically and for the role it plays in the country's history and sense of national identity. The last stop today is at the new thermal baths FONTANA in Laugarvatn, where healing geothermal heat simmers directly from the ground and the landscape is painted with beautiful mountain ranges. Laugarvatn FONTANA is a highlight of any wellness retreat in Iceland where you find three geothermally heated baths, a sauna, a warm sand beach, and access to the pristine waters of lake Laugarvatn. Wintertime makes the visit to the thermal baths even a warmer experience. You continue to the luxury country hotel Grímsborgir located in South Iceland, where you stay for three nights.
After a gourmet dinner, our expert tour guide provides you with a fact seminar about the Northern Lights and teaches you how to take photos of this natural phenomenon. After that you have the opportunity to soak in the hotel's outdoor hot tubs and check if the Northern Lights are visible.
3 nights SOUTH ICELAND - Hotel Grímsborgir
Day 3 - Waterfalls, Geothermal Power, Meet the Locals & Langoustine Feast
In the morning depart for Gullfoss, 'the golden falls', which is a double waterfall that tumbles 34 metres into the Hvítá river. Nearby are the Geysir geothermal fields with a variety of hot springs and bubbling pools, witness the power of Strokkur which erupts at 5-10 minute intervals. The next stop is at the nearly 3000 years old and 55 m deep explosion crater called Kerið that is filled with water, creating a lake whose steep circular slopes resemble an ancient amphitheatre.
In the greenhouse village of Hveragerði you meet a local man telling us all about living at an earthquake active place with different kind of geothermal powers and challenges. During a short and easy walk we visit hot springs and other natural wonders. You get the opportunity to boil egg in a hot spring and taste hot steam baked bread - one of the region's culinary specialties. Afterwards travel to the seashore villages of Stokkseyri and Eyrarbakki with many old and colorful houses and stroll along the black sands at one of the local beaches. You are now invited to a private tour around a local folk museum and a historic wooden church in one of Iceland's prettiest coastal villages. If you like "local" then you get the opportunity to taste shark meat, dried fish and Brennivin (Black Death) schnapps. After a nice langoustine dinner at a nearby seashore restaurant you can go outside to watch out for the magical Northern Lights before returning to the hotel.
Day 4 - Eyjafjallajökull Volcano & Glacier Hike for Beginners
Journey along the South coast, starting at the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall which plunges over the mountain. There‘s an interesting trail that goes behind the fall – if you are prepared to get wet! Further east we stop at the Eyjafjallajökull Information Centre and learn about living next to a glacier and an active volcano. In the small village of Skógar we visit one of Iceland's finest folk museums. This museum contains an outstanding collection of farm and domestic artifacts typical of Iceland’s past as well as turf-built houses. Nearby is Skógafoss waterfall which is 60 metres high and one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country. Now you can choose between a guided walk that is especially organized for beginners on a nearby glacier, or continue the bus tour to explore a black lava beach with bird cliffs.
Gourmet dinner and overnight is at Hotel Grímsborgir. Tonight enjoy a video presentation about Northern Lights as a part of the Northern Lights educational program. Be careful not to go to bed too soon in this remote and quiet location, or you may just miss out on one more chance of seeing the Northern Lights shimmering and dancing across the night sky.
Day 5 - Viking Ship, Crab Feast & Blue Lagoon
The last full day of travel takes us to Reykjanes peninsula where we take the less traveled route and see the region’s many unusual geological features, hot springs, moon landscapes, bird cliffs, light houses and fishing villages. Included is a visit to the Viking ship and history museum that tells the story about the Viking expansion across the North Atlantic. It will be topped off with a unique lunch as you take part in a seafood & crab feast. One of the highlights of this exclusive tour program is the visit to the famous Blue Lagoon for a soak in its warm geothermal water. The comfort experience package includes the use of a towel and a bathrobe, a drink of your choice and a volcano scrub or an algae mask. The whole group is invited to a farewell dinner with delicious lamb as the main course at the Hotel Northern Light Inn, an excellent location for a Northern Lights hunt.
The 6 days / 5 nights program ends with an overnight and breakfast at Hotel Northern Light Inn.
The group members for the 8 days / 7 nights program return to Reykjavík before midnight for a 3-night stay in a superior room at the Icelandair Hotel Marina, located in the centre of Reykjavík.
Day 6 - Departure Home, or perhaps not.....
Depending on your flight schedule, you may have some time to visit the Blue Lagoon again or do some walks in the neighborhood of the Hotel Northern Light Inn before taking the airport shuttle to Keflavík Airport.
For those staying on for the 7-night holiday is as follows:
When you book the extension program, you get the chance to sleep out on day 6, enjoy a leisure day for exploring Iceland's capital, visit museums, do some shopping, spa treatments or go on an optional whale watching tour.
On schedule for tonight is a Northern Lights hunt by boat to escape from the city lights. A Northern Lights tour on the sea is an amazing experience. We sail away from the coastline of Reykjavik and look out for the aurora borealis on the North-Atlantic ocean by having beautiful mountains and the city lights in the background which is something you won't forget. The tour takes 2,5 - 3 hours, departing from Reykjavik's old harbour by viewing the beautiful coastline of Iceland's capital on the way out to search for the Northern Lights.
Day 7 - Superjeep Tour, Glaciers, Caves & Fjords
Today we explore West Iceland on a full day super-jeep adventure. The stunning scenery includes the ice of the great Langjökull glacier and the fire of one of the country's most active geothermal areas. This is Iceland in a nutshell. The tour takes 8 - 9 hours and includes the following highlights: Kaldidalur highland track, Langjökull & Eiríksjökull glaciers, Surtshellir caves, Hraunfossar & Barnafoss waterfalls, Reykholt cultural site, Deildartunguhver hot springs and Hvalfjörður fjord. This is a true super-jeep adventure with spectacular landscapes. Before heading back to Reykjavík, we stop at one of Iceland's micro-breweries, Steðji, where we enjoy a guided tour through the brewery as well as tasting the products.
1 night REYKJAVIK - Icelandair Hotel Marina
Day 8 - Departure Home
Depending on your flight schedule, you may have some time to explore Reykjavík a bit more before taking the Flybus airport shuttle to Keflavík Airport.
Departure Day: Sunday
Departure Dates (both durations):
9 & 23 October 2016
6 & 20 November 2016
15 & 29 January 2017
5, 12, 19 & 26 February 2017
5, 12, 19 & 26 March 2017
2 April 2017
Duration: 5 or 7 nights
|Dep. Dates||5 nights
price per person
|Single Supp.||7 nights
price per person
|9 Oct 2016 - 2 Apr 2017||£2890||£325||£3770||£550|
5 night tour
7 night tour
All of the above for the 5 night tour plus
Hotel Grímsborgir ****
Hótel Grímsborgir is a 4 star hotel offering beautiful accommodation in a magnificent location, perfectly situated for exploring many of South Iceland's most popular attractions including Gullfoss, Geysir and Thingvellir National Park. However, its secluded location also means it's in the perfect spot to view the Northern Lights during a clear evening...especially from one of the gorgeous outdoor hot-tubs.
Our featured accommodation is as follows:
Superior rooms are 24 sqm big and have a private bathroom with bathtub and shower. Each room has a nice terrace and access to hot-tubs in a common area. All rooms also have Free WiFi, flat screen TV, mini-bar and coffee and tea making facilities in the room.
Studio apartments are 56 sqm big and have 1 double bedroom and 1 twin bedroom as well as a bathroom with shower and a living room with kitchenette. Some of the apartments have a private hot tub and some have hot tub shared with another apartment. Studio apartments have a terrasse with a seating area and also have free WiFi, flat screen TV, mini-bar and coffee and tea making facilities in the room.
Junior Suites are 40 sqm big and have a private bath with bathtub and shower. They accommodate two people in a Kingsize bed and are perfect for those seeking something special for a romantic occasion... Each room has a nice terrace and access to hot tubs in a common area. Each room has a terrasse with seating area, free WiFi, 50" flat screen TV, mini-bar and tea and coffee making facilities in the room.
The following extras can also be added to your room (please ask a member of our staff for details and prices):
Hotel Grimsborgir prides itself on its friendly, first class service, and always provides guests with everything they need to make their stay in Iceland more enjoyable.
Northern Lights Inn
The Northern Light Inn is a wonderful place to see the Aurora Borealis, discover Iceland, and enjoy your Icelandic getaway. Immediately you will notice the homely yet professional atmosphere. There are 32 geo-thermally heated rooms, free wi-fi, delicious food with a panoramic view at Max's restaurant, a cosy fireplace and living rooms, a cognac lounge and a Nothern Lights viewing area on the second floor complete with comfy seats. The striking thing about staying at the Northern Light Inn is the scenery of moss covered lava fields surrounding the hotel and which can be see from your bedroom window.
They offer complimentary scheduled International Airport transfers and free shuttles to the Blue Lagoon – it's the only hotel within walking distance!
The following is additional information pertinent to this tour. If you do not find the answer to the question you are looking for just let us know so we may provide the answer and update the list below!
What is the maximum number of participants for this tour?
The maximum number is only 14 and each participant receives double seating to themselves on the coach. You can, of course, sit side by side if you wish but most people like a guaranteed window seat all to themselves with a spare seat to put their bag and camera equipment.
Who is this holiday suitable for?
Pretty much anyone but most especially those people whose primary reason for travelling is to experience Icelandic culture and food. It also appeals very much to those people who do not like to be part of a large group as the maximum number of participants is only 14.
There is no particular minimum level of fitness required, although some walking is involved.
Dinner, lunches and special diets
In Reykjavik dinner is not included therefore you are free to dine where you choose. There are many restaurants both for fast food and fine a la carte dining in Iceland's capital. From day 2-5 most meals are included. If you have any special diet requests or allergies, please let us know at the time of booking so that we may ensure delicious suitable alternatives are provided where necessary. Optional lunch stops are made at road-side diners or restaurants. The super-jeep adventure on day 7 includes a picnic lunch..
There is a possibility that some of the nature attractions around Iceland might charge an entrance fee during the trip. These entrance fees are not included in the tour price and need to be paid by all tour members additionally on the spot, when entering any of these nature sites. Locations, amount of entrance fee, form of payment and other details are not known at the present time and are subject to change.
This program includes during 4 evenings a combination of presentations, lectures, film and guided searches at spots that are likely to offer a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis – the Northern Lights. All countryside hotels in this program offer a Northern Lights wake up call for guests that register for that special service at the hotel reception. This tour series is designed to spend 4 evenings in the countryside to maximize the chances of seeing the elusive Northern Lights, still the tour is dependent on weather and therefore sightings are not guaranteed. The Northern Lights are in the northern hemisphere from September through April but are only visible when the sky is clear and free of clouds. Like many of natural wonders, the Northern Lights are ephemeral – they may be visible, they may appear for a bit and then be gone (it is not a TV show that you can just turn on and off). But it is worth the patience!
Changes to the Itinerary
In rare cases a change of itinerary may be necessary should adverse snow, road and weather conditions not allow the scheduled itinerary to be followed. In this case it may also be necessary to cancel certain outdoor activities. In this case no refund will be given but GJ-Travel will try to find reasonable alternatives where and whenever possible.
What sort of clothing will I need?
You will need clothes for cold/cooler outdoor weather: warm trousers, a woollen pullover or fleece sweater, a warm wind and waterproof jacket and rain pants, woollen socks and an insulated bottom layer, like thermal underwear. A hat, scarf and gloves that are made from material that will dry overnight are great protection in Iceland’s winter weather and strong winds. Sturdy comfortable (hiking) boots are necessary for walking and when there is snow and icy terrain.
Buildings are often very warm, so bring light indoor clothes – t-shirts, lighter shirts and blouses. Bathing suits are essential, as a lot of the natural hot water is used to fill swimming pools, which are all over the country. This tour includes a visit to the Blue Lagoon. Towels can be rented at most swimming pools.
Do I need to bring any sort of equipment with me?
We would recommend the following:
Would you recommend I buy Duty-Free items?
If you like a drink every now and then, consider stopping at the duty-free store on arrival at Keflavik Airport because alcoholic beverages are very expensive in Iceland. The same applies to tobacco. Travellers are allowed to bring 1 litre of strong liquor as well as 1 litre of wine or similar drinks into the country, and 1 carton of cigarettes.