Northern Lights Exploration
Day 1: Reykjavik
Reykjavik. Welcome to Iceland and the start of your Northern Lights adventure! Your transfer to your accommodation is by Flybus shuttle. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Overnight - Reykjavik (B)
Day 2: City Tour & Hot Springs
Reykjavik - Borgarfjorour Valley - Rejkholt. This morning we meet our tour guide and depart on a Reykjavik city tour exploring some of the highlights of Iceland’s capital. Next we head west stopping at an Icelandic wool outlet store.
The Borgarfjorour valley is known as the Saga valley of West Iceland because many important historical events took place there. You get a chance to climb the Grabrok volcano crater and warm up at Deildartunguhver, Europe's most powerful hot spring, producing 180 litres of nearly boiling water (97°c) per second! Next we head to Hraunfossar, full of waterfalls that pour from beneath a kilometre wide lava field.
We spend the next two nights at Reykholt in West Iceland. This afternoon includes a lecture about Northern Lights and after dinner we take a guided walk in Reykholt in search of the Northern Lights followed by a hot cup of chocolate or tea. Overnight - Reykholt (B)
Day 3: Mountains & Lights
Reykholt - Snaefellsnes Peninsula - Breidafjordur fjord cruise - Borgarnes - Reykholt. Today we explore the Snaellsnes Peninsula which juts out from Iceland’s west coast. A rugged mountain chain runs its length. We travel to the charming fishing town of Stykkishólmur for a lunchtime cruise on the Breidafjördur fjord.
Afterwards we can stroll around the sheltered harbour exploring this charming town with its many old wooden houses. A uniquely Icelandic “treat“ awaits you at our next stop, Bjarnarhöfn, where they make Hákarl - delicious fermented shark! On our way back to Reykholt we stop at Borgarnes where we have the opportunity for an optional visit to the Icelandic Settlement Center museum, or to the local geothermal swimming pool.
Today our guide gives us some practical tips of how to photograph the Auroras as part of the Northern Lights Academy program. Naturally, once darkness falls, we are out and about chasing the Northern Lights which is most pleasant while soaking in the hotel’s outdoor hot tubs. Overnight - Reykholt (B)
Day 4: Golden Circle & Horses
Reykholt - Golden Circle - Hella. This morning we travel along the scenic shores of the Hvalfjörour fjord and turn inland to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. After a stop at the park, we continue to Gullfoss “the golden falls“, a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá river. Look out for the steam from the Geysir geothermal fields as we arrive. Here there is a variety of hot springs and bubbling pools with the original geyser now dormant but Strokkur „the Churn“ very much still active with eruptions every 5-10 minutes. When we get to Geysir, the chef of the Restaurant at Geysir takes us to the geothermal areas where we can taste freshly baked hot spring bread served with delicious Icelandic butter, geothermally boiled eggs, and local herring. This is best served with a small glass of ice cold (nearly frozen) Geysir Schnapps.
This afternoon, we learn about the history of the hardy Icelandic horse and and the special qualities they possess. We also visit a geothermal greenhouse, before reaching our accommodation in South Iceland.
Tonight, we step into the darkness and search for the elusive Northern Lights, which are best enjoyed from the comfort of the hot tub in the garden of the hotel amidst the peace and stillness of rural Iceland. Overnight - Selfoss (B)
Day 5: Black Lava Beach
Hella - Eyjafjallajökull - Kirkjubaejarklaustur. Today we travel along the South coast. Our first stop is at the Eyjafjallajökull Information Center where we learn about how people live next to a glacier and an active volcano and the famous eruption of 2010.
Further east we visit one of Iceland's finest folk museums. This museum contains an outstanding collection of farm and domestic artefacts typical of Iceland’s past as well as turf-built houses. Nearby is the waterfall of Skógafoss which stands 60 meters tall and is one of the most impressive waterfalls in Iceland.
This afternoon we take a stroll along black lava beach and the bird cliffs at Reynisfjara beach in South Iceland. We spend the next 2 nights near Kirkjubæjarklaustur in the Vatnajökull National Park region, located in complete darkness and ideal for Northern Lights search. Overnight - Kirkjubajarklaustur (B)
Day 6: Vatnajökull NP
Kirkjubaejarklaustur - Jökulsárlón - Kirkjubaejarklaustur Today's program is all about glaciers, ice and icebergs. This morning we travel to Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon which is filled with floating icebergs. Exploring this extraordinary site we keep and eye out for seals swimming in the freezing Arctic waters. We then can walk along the black sandy beach where some large icebergs have gotten stranded.
This afternoon we visit the tiny turf church in the town of Hof before heading to the National Park. The Vatnajökull National Park covers about 12,000 square kilometres and is the largest National Park in Europe. Here we find Iceland’s highest mountains, an alpine environment, and Europe's largest glacier which the park is named after.
Tonight we enjoy a movie presentation about the Northern Lights as a part of the Northern Lights Academy program before hopefully seeing the Northern Lights shimmering and dancing across the night sky. Overnight - Kirkjubajarklaustur (B)
Day 7: Lava Fields & Lagoon
Kirkjubaejarklaustur - Vik - Reykjavík. This morning we depart Kirkjubæjarklaustur and head across the Laki lava field to the village of Vik where we make a photo stop. We take a stroll on the black lava beach and along the bird cliffs at Reynisfjara beach in South Iceland, Further west we reach the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall which plunges over the mountain. Those wishing to get a bit closer can take a trail that goes behind the falling water but be prepared to get wet!
In the afternoon we return to Reykjavik where we have a couple of hours to explore Iceland's capital on our own, visit museums, do some shopping or simply rest after all this touring. This evening we head to the famous Blue Lagoon for a relaxing soak, followed by a traditional Icelandic dinner at the Northern Light Inn Hotel and finishing off with one last nocturnal tour to seek more Northern Lights. Around midnight we reach Reykjavík for one last night. Overnight - Reykjavik (B, D)
Day 8: Rekyjavik
Today our Northern Lights Icelandic experience comes to an end with included FlyBus transfer to Keflavik Airport. .
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