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16th May 2017
During this tour you visit many of Iceland’s most well-loved sites.
You will see some of Europe’s most powerful waterfalls, smoking geysers, colourful volcano craters, a spectacular ice lagoon with floating icebergs and black lava beaches, all set against a backdrop of glistening glaciers and restless geology.
Finally, cross your fingers for clear skies, wrap up warm, and don’t forget your camera and tripod when you try to catch sight of the Northern Lights - you'll want to proof to your friends and family that you came, you saw, and you took the picture!
Day 1 - Welcome to Iceland!
Fly from UK to Keflavik Airport. Take airport bus to your hotel, and have the rest of the day to explore Iceland’s quirky capital.
1 night REYKJAVIK - Fosshotel Baron
Day 2 - The Golden Circle Route
At 0830 meet your tour guide and start with a short introduction to Icelandic geology at Reykjavik Volcano House. Later on you depart Reykjavik with your group for Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site. Thingvellir is part of a fissure zone running through Iceland, and is situated on the tectonic plate boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The faults and fissures of the area make evident the rifting of the earth’s crust! Exploring the hot springs at Geysir is truly exciting: natural springs bubbling away in the ground until the pressure becomes too much – and they explode in spectacular style. Geysir and Strokkur are the two biggest of the geysers there. While Geysir no longer is active, Strokkur still spouts every 5 to 10 minutes to the delight of visitors. Next you travel to Gullfoss, a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá river. It’s one of Iceland’s most beautiful as well as powerful waterfalls. In the evening, you are out in the garden waiting for the Northern Lights to reveal herself.
1 night HELLA - Árhús Cottages
Day 3 - Discover Europe's Largest Glacier
Travel to Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon filled with floating icebergs - a sight not to be missed! Explore this extraordinary site and perhaps see some seals swimming in the arctic waters. You can walk on the black sandy beach where large icebergs get stranded. The Vatnajökull National Park is about 12,000 square kilometers and is the largest National Park in Europe. In this area you'll find Iceland’s highest mountains, an alpine environment and Europe’s largest glacier. Tonight you can enjoy a movie 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 could miss out on seeing the Northern Lights shimmering and dancing across the night sky!
1 night KIRKJUBEJARLAUSTUR - Fosshótel Núpar
Day 4 - Explore the South Coast
Today you head across the Laki lava field to the village of Vík where you make a photo stop. Take a stroll on the black lava beach and along the bird cliffs at Reynisfjara beach in South Iceland. You pass the glacier Mýrdalsjökull and the infamous volcano Eyjafjallajökull and continue to Skógafoss waterfall which is 60 metres high and belongs to the most impressive waterfalls in the country. Further west, reach the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall which plunges over the mountain. There’s a trail that goes behind the falls which is interesting – if you are prepared to get wet! In the evening you return to Reykjavik for one last night. An optional Northern Lights bus tour or fjord cruise can be booked on the spot if the weather conditions are ideal.
1 night REYKJAVIK - Fosshotel Baron
Day 5 - Homebound
Individual transfer by airport bus from your accommodation in Reykjavík to Keflavík Airport for your flight home.
Departure Day: Sundays from Heathrow Airport (alternative departure airports are available. Please ask our reservations team for schedules and prices).
Departure Dates: 2 October 2016 to 9 April 2017.
Duration: 4 nights
Price: £1320 per person (based on two people travelling together and sharing a room), single supplement £160.
Fosshotel Baron is a clean and friendly hotel standing right in the heart of Reykjavík, near the seafront, within walking distance of shops and attractions. The hotel offers both hotel rooms and apartments, perfect for families or small groups travelling together. Enjoy a scenic walk by the seaside, visit Harpa Concert Hall and try some of Reykjavík’s great restaurants and cafés, all just a stone’s throw away.
Breakfast is included in your stay and you will also have the option to eat at the hotel's restaurant and enjoy drinks in the bar. All rooms are en suite and include free Wi-Fi.
Fosshotel Núpar is a comfortable and perfectly located hotel in one of the most panoramic landscapes in Iceland. The hotel is surrounded by lava fields and has a spectacular view of Vatnajökull, Europe's biggest glacier. Fosshotel Núpar is just a short distance from many of Iceland's natural attractions such as the craters at Lakagígar, Mount Lómagnúpur, Skaftafell National Park and the unique glacier lagoon Jökulsárlón. Car parking available.
Here you will find extra information regarding your tour. If there is anything you can't find just let us know and we will add it to the list.
Will there be any changes to the itinerary?
In rare cases a change of itinerary might be necessary should snow, road and weather conditions not allow the scheduled itinerary to be followed. In this case certain outdoor activities may also need to be cancelled. 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.
Is this holiday suitable for children?
The honest answer is not really, at least not for young children. This is not because we don't like children, but actually because we do! This holiday includes two evenings of presentations, a short lecture and huntings for the Northern Lights and young children will find this (dare we say!) boring.... We do know, however, that some children are real enthusiasts and if yours is one of them then you will be the best one to judge.
What standard of accommodation is featured?
Accommodation is provided in simple but clean tourist-class hotels and cottages, in rooms with private facilities. Luggage handling is not included and you will be required to transport your own luggage to and from the bus and to and from your room. All countryside accommodation in this program offer a Northern Lights wake up call for guests that register for that special service at the reception.
Can you cater for special diets?
Absolutely! Just let us know at the time of booking in order that we may ensure a delicious suitable alternative is provided. In Reykjavik you are free to explore the numerous excellent restaurants on your own. In the countryside, a 2-course dinner is included. For lunch the group will either stop at road side shops or restaurants.
Are there any additional fees to pay locally?
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 is a new introduction and when we have more information we will provide it for you.
Will I have a good chance of seeing the Northern Lights?
This program includes two evenings of 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. The tour is dependent on weather and therefore Northern Lights 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 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! Because they are a winter event, you need to be prepared to wait outside while looking for them.
In rare cases, change of itinerary might be necessary during winter programs in Iceland, should snow, road and weather conditions not allow to follow the scheduled itinerary, and certain outdoor activities might be cancelled. In this case no refund will be given but our supplier will try to find reasonable alternatives where and whenever possible.