Iceland

gj-aurora-chaser.k.pngPhoto Credit: GJ

Ready, Get Set, Chase the Aurora

From $2942 Per Person

Escorted, 6 Days/5 Nights
Select dates: November 13 & 27, 2018, January 23, February 27, 2019

This tour allows you to experience all the activities and scenery Icelandic glaciers can offer while looking for the Northern Lights. During the days, visit three glaciers in South and South East Iceland while experiencing a glacier hike, snowmobile tour, and a visit the glacier lagoon to explore a natural ice cave ! In the evenings, we provide you with the best conditions to chase the Northern Lights in 3 different ways – on foot, by boat, and by bus under the Arctic sky. 

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Dates:  November 13 & 27, 2018, January 23, February 27, 2019

Day 1: WELCOME TO ICELAND

The Flybus shuttle brings you from Keflavik International airport to your hotel in Reykjavik where you spend the first night in Iceland. Ideas will be provided - how to explore Iceland’s capital on your own today.

Day 2: Golden Circle & Snowmobile Tour (180 km/111 miles)

9:00 Pick up from Hotel Cabin in Reykjavik. We head inland to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage. We travel the Golden Circle route. We travel to Gullfoss, a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvita River and attracts tourists and travelers in summer and winter. In the afternoon we join a snowmobile tour (two persons sharing a snowmobile) on the nearby Langjokull glacier. Afterwards we go to see Geysir geothermal fields, we will see a steam rising from Strokkur geyser 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 The original geyser is now dormant but has been replaced by Strokkur, "the Churn", which erupts at 5-10 minutes intervals. Overnight is at Hotel Hella, a small countryside hotel in South Iceland. Tonight, we search for the elusive Northern Lights from the hotel garden and experience the true Viking winter wonderland amidst the peace and stillness of rural Iceland.

Accommodation at Hotel Hella

Day 3:  South Coast & Glacier Hike (230 km/ 143 miles)

Today, we travel the South Coast to stop at the rocky plateau at Dyrholaey, which rises dramatically Impressions from the surrounding plain. Then we take a walk at Reynisfjara, a black lava beach with high bird cliffs and pounding waves. We stop for lunch at Vik in Myrdalur, which is the southernmost village on the Icelandic mainland. Out in the sea are the spectacularly shaped basalt sea stacks Reynisdrangar. According to folklore, two night-trolls attempted to drag a ship to land but were turned to stone as daylight broke, turning them into the Reynisdrangar stacks, clearly visible from the beach. In the afternoon we take you on a glacier walk. The Solheimajokull glacier tongue extends from the great Myrdalsjokull glacier, down to the sandy plains of the Icelandic south coast. The spectacular surroundings are marked by rugged and majestic rock formations thoroughly shaped by the glacier. On this fun, safe and easy to moderate glacier walk you get to explore the wonderland of ice sculptures, water cauldrons, ridges and deep crevasses on the breath-taking Solheimajokull glacier. While enjoying all the features of the glacier and its spectacular surroundings, you learn more about the behavior of glaciers and their impact on nature. No technical requirements are needed for the tour as an experienced glacier guide teaches you how to use basic glacier equipment, such as crampons and an ice ax which are provided for glacier walk tours. Duration of this activity is about 3 hours in total, about 90 minutes on the ice and about 30-40 min walk (one-way) from the parking lot to the glacier edge itself. Minimum age for the glacier hike is 10 years. You need to bring warm clothing, rain gear and hiking boots. After the hike, we head to the lovely village of Skogar where we stay 2 nights. There you will be able to experience the magnificent Skogafoss waterfall which is 62 meters high and one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country. In the evening, join a torch walk near the waterfall and look out if the auroras are across the sky. The view of the Northern Lights above the Skogafoss waterfall is just breathtaking!

Accommodation in Skogar

Day 4:  Vatnajokull National Park, Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon & Ice Cave (400 km/248 miles)

Today's program is all about glaciers, ice and icebergs. A long drive brings us to Jokulsarlon, 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 spend time at Europe's largest national park, which has Iceland's highest mountains, an alpine environment, and Europe's largest glacier. Experience a spectacular crystal ice cave in Europe‘s largest glacier, Vatnajökull.  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 Vatnajökull glacier, beautiful caves of ice are formed by rivers of meltwater 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 Jokulsarlon 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. In the evening enjoy a film presentation about the Northern Lights as part of the Northern Lights educational program. Beware of not going to bed too soon or you may just miss out one more chance of seeing the Northern Lights shimmering and dancing across the night sky.

Accommodation at Hotel Skogar

Day 5: Reykjanes, Blue Lagoon & Reykjavik

From Skogar we travel west to reach the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which is 65 meters high and plunges from the mountain. Then we drive further west and explore the Reykjanes peninsula with its many unusual geological features and moon-like landscapes. Stop for 3 hours at the famous Blue Lagoon for a soak in its warm geothermal water. In the late afternoon we return to Reykjavik for a short city tour and some leisure time to explore Iceland's capital on our own, visit museums, do some shopping or simply rest after all this touring. Farewell Icelandic dinner at Ut i Blainn restaurant in Perlan with a panoramic view.  

Accommodation at Hotel Natura

Day 6: DEPARTURE HOME (50 km/31 mls)

Individual transfer by Flybus airport shuttle to Keflavík Airport.

OR stay an extra night or 2! Please inquire.

Your Trip Includes the Following:

Single Supplement from: $564

Note - The small print is the big print:

MILEAGE: Total mileage without airport transfer is 1.110 km (732 miles) which is an average of 278 km (183 miles) per day. You spend about 3-4 hours per day on the bus, depending on road conditions, traffic and daily distances. On some days the driving might be longer than on some other days, such as day 4 and 5.

WEATHER: Itineraries may be subject to change at short notice during severe weather conditions and certain outdoor activities/day trips may be canceled during the winter season in Iceland. In these rare cases, where situations of force majeure apply, excursions/activities cannot be refunded but the local guides will try their best to find reasonable alternatives where and whenever possible.

NATURE FEES: There is a possibility that some of the natural 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 natural sites. Locations, amount of entrance fee, form of payment and other details are not known at present and are subject to change.
 
NORTHERN LIGHTS: This program includes during 6 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 accommodation in this program offer a Northern Lights wake up call for guests that register for that special service at the reception. 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 which is much required. Because they are a winter event, you need to be prepared to wait outside while looking for them. It is best to dress very warmly, in layers, with good footwear, gloves, hats and whatever else will make you comfortable while you patiently await this truly outstanding light show. For the best photos, we recommend using a tripod.

GROUP SIZE: Maximum Group size is 16.

This package is priced LAND ONLY. If you need assistance with booking your airfare, let us know and we will be happy to help you.

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