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2nd July 2019
Iceland is a country of extreme geological contrasts. Widely known as “The Land of Fire and Ice”, you have the chance to experience many of the country's geological wonders during your trip. The Northern Lights, the Golden Circle tour (including the earthquake centre at Hveragerði, Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir geothermal area and Þingvellir National Park), the Blue Lagoon, and the beautiful South coast...all with a hotel pick-up or short walk to your departure point.
Day 1 - Arrive in Reykjavik
Fly from UK to Keflavik Airport. Transfer by airport bus to your hotel. Evening pick up from your hotel or close-by for your included Northern Lights hunt by mini-bus. You travel away from city lights to an area predicted to have the best sighting according to cloud and solar activity forecasts.
4 nights REYKJAVIK - Fosshotel Baron or Fosshotel Lind or Fosshotel Reykjavik
Day 2 - Blue Lagoon
Today we have included a visit to Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. The milky-blue seawater has a temperature of between 37-39ºC, perfect for warming up chilled bones! Make sure you visit the sauna, steam bath and powerful massage waterfall. Entrance includes silica mud mask, use of a towel and first drink of your choice. Depending upon your chosen time of day for visiting you will also have the opportunity to enjoy an optional whale and dolphin watching safari (see Excursion tab for details).
Day 3 - The Golden Circle
Full day small-group Golden Circle trip (7-8 hours). This tour needs little introduction; it includes some of Iceland’s most stunning sights. You will see the hot spring Strokkur shoot a column of water up to 30 metres into the air every 4-8 minutes - a thrilling experience you will anticipate each time. You will also visit magnificent Gullfoss waterfall, created where the river Hvítá tumbles and plunges into a crevice some 32 metres deep. Your tour also includes the historical and geological wonder that is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Thingvellir National Park (actually spelt Þingvellir but we thought you’d appreciate knowing how to pronounce it!), where the American and Eurasian tectonic plates are pulling apart at a rate of a few centimetres per year. Additionally you visit the wide Faxi waterfall, which is like a smaller version of Gullfoss. Return to Reykjavik just in time to explore for dinner!
Day 4 - Explore the South Coast
Today you have a full day tour along the amazing south coast of Iceland. This part of the country is very rich in magnificent and diverse landscapes, ranging from vast farmlands, active volcanoes, numerous ice caps, glacier outlets and Glacier Rivers, amazing waterfalls, wide black sandy plains and beaches of black and fascinating basalt rock formations. The area is also renowned for its abundant bird life. This day trip include Skógafoss waterfall, Reynisfjaera black beach, the town of Vik, Sólheimajökull glacier and Seljalandsfoss waterfall.
Day 5 - Return home
Transfer from your hotel by airport bus to Keflavik Airport for your return flight to the UK.
Departure Day: Daily
Departure Dates: Nov 2019 to Mar 2020
Duration: 4 nights/5 days
Deposit: £200 per person
Prices from: £1245 per person (Fosshotel Baron or Fosshotel Lind) or £1360 per person (Fosshotel Reykjavik) - please note we have a variety of alternative 3 and 4 star hotels which may be offered as alternatives should these hotels be unavailable.
Prices are based on two people travelling together and sharing a double/twin room.
Conveniently situated, this friendly hotel is less than a minutes walk from the city's main shopping street and one of its main bus stations, and only a short stroll from the Reykjavik Municipal Art Museum. All rooms have shower/wc, wireless internet available, flat screen TV with an inbuilt DVD player, radio and phone. Ensure you take advantage of the free continental breakfast before you embark upon the day's activities!
FOSSHOTEL BARON (3 star) - Reykjavik
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 REYKJAVIK (4 star) - Reykjavik
Fosshotel Reykjavík is located in the city centre, it's a large hotel that still offers personal touches in both appearance and service. Only a short walking distance from Laugavegur, the main shopping street, it's the ideal location for any visitor to Reykjavik.
The hotel has 16 floors with many rooms offering magnificent views of the city and the bay area. We recommend unwinding with Icelandic draught beer at the Bjórgarðurinn / Beer Garden or enjoy dining at their restaurant, Haust. All rooms are en suite and equipped with modern facilities including Wifi.
WINTER WHALE WATCHING from Reykjavik
Description: This trip departs directly from Reykjavik Harbour which is a short walk from most of Reykjavik's city hotels. Here you will find the Visitor Centre, facilitated on board a converted fishing vessel permanently placed by the pier, which is where you will meet your crew for the day. Before (or after) the tour you can take a stroll through the souvenir shop, have a drink at the Whale Café or enjoy the onboard whale exhibition located in the hull of the boat. The show includes multimedia images and videos of whales as well as fun facts about the cetaceans and other marine animals you are likely to come across on the tour.
Once on board the tour boat you will find several outdoor viewing platforms, a large indoor saloon with an on board café where you can buy light refreshments, basic bathroom facilities and a cloak room where you can borrow a blanket or overalls for cooler days. You can either stay outside in the fresh air or inside the heated lounge or observe the views from within, through large panoramic windows. One of your guides will talk about the sights and views at hand through the intercom system and will be available to answer any questions you may have throughout the tour.
Winter season (1 November - 31 March) offers an exciting experience and continues to surprise us with the wildlife it offers. The winter low lying sun is something not to be missed, as it casts a warm glow over the white-capped mountains surrounding the bay and to breathe in the winter's fresh and crisp air is just incredible. The most common cetacean in the area are the Minke Whales, White-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises. Occasionally we spot other species including Humpback whales, Killer Whales/Orcas, Fin whales and Blue whales to name but a few.
The weather can change quite frequently in Iceland and therefore we reserve the right to alter routes and itineraries by sailing from other harbours in the nearby area where the weather or sightings are more favourable each time, which could result in a slightly longer tour. Please be aware also that the tours are run in wild nature and we can never guarantee sightings on a particular tour. The estimated duration of tours are standard times and can change according to conditions at sea. Although the success rate is high, the cetacean abundance is unpredictable and varies with the food availability off-shore.
Departures: 0900, 0930, 1000, 1300, 1400, 1700, 1900, 2030
Duration: Approximately 3 hours.
Price: £90 per person
Includes: Entry to the Whale Museum, guided whale safari, free use of blankets and overalls, WiFi on-board for those who can't wait to share their experience!
We know you will have a few extra questions regarding this holiday so we have tried to answer those we have already been asked below. Any new ones will be added to the list!
Who is this holiday suitable for?
Everyone but most especially those interested in unique, weird, breathtaking, bizarre Iceland! Oh, and those who would like to see the Northern Lights of course!
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.
Do I need to bring any sort of equipment with me?
You don't need to but we would certainly recommend the following:
I've heard Reykjavik can be very busy and noisy at the weekends - is this true?
Reykjavik is a very popular city with a wonderful collection of bars, restaurants and nightclubs - this is one of the reasons why we love it so much and why so many others do too. So yes, it can be very busy, and there's always an element of noise (though not necessarily disturbance) which goes with this, but the hotel's we have chosen are located in quieter areas of the city centre and we have not had any specific reports of clients missing sleep due to night time party revellers. Our Iceland programme manager likes his sleep and he has chosen our hotels accordingly!
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.
FOREIGN OFFICE & COMMONWEALTH OFFICE ADVICE
For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, click here.