Winter short breakt to explore highlights of Iceland - 5 days/4 nights
Iceland is the perfect place to enjoy a winter trip full of adventure, icy landscapes and the chance to see the elusive Northern Lights. You visit Iceland's most popular sites such as the Golden Circle route, the South coast and Vatnajökull national park. You see cascading waterfalls, smoking geysers, colourful volcano craters, a spectacular ice lagoon with floating icebergs and black lava beaches, all set against a backdrop of glistering glaciers and restless geology.
There is always a thrilling potential for the night sky to be decorated with the jewels of the amazing aurora borealis. Imagine the excitement to search for the most spectacular - and natural - light show on earth.
Highlights and Experiences:
- Exciting winter tour with 2 nights in Reykjavik and 2 nights in the countryside
- Visit Vatnajökull glacier and Jökulsárlón ice lagoon
- Explore hot springs, lava fields, waterfalls and volcano craters
- Visit to Volcano house in Reykjavík
- 2 evenings with a combination of lectures, presentations, film and guided searches for Aurora Borealis
- Optional Northern Lights fjord cruise
Day 1: WELCOME TO ICELAND (50 km/31 mls)
Private airport transfer by coach & guide from Keflavík International airport to Reykjavík where you spend the night. Meals: none
Day 2: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE ROUTE (220 km/136 mls)
At 09:00 meet your tour guide and start the escorted tour program with a short introduction to Icelandic geology while watching a striking film at the Reykjavik Volcano House documenting the eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull and Fimmvörðulháls in 2010, which caused millions of people to be stranded worldwide as thousands of flights were cancelled. These films give a good insight into the general geology and volcanology of Iceland. At the Volcano House you can experience a hands-on geological exhibition where you can examine various pieces of pumice, ash and lava from Icelandic volcanoes. Later on we depart from Reykjavik and drive to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site, and where the Althingi, the oldest legislative assembly in the world was founded. This is 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. Thingvellir is also remarkable for reasons of natural science, as the site 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 like watching a geography lesson in real life: 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 is no longer active, Strokkur still spouts every 5 to 15 minutes to the delight of visitors. Next we travel to Gullfoss, "the golden falls", which is a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá river. Gullfoss is one of Iceland's most beautiful waterfalls. The explosion crater called Kerið is filled with water and resembles an ancient amphitheatre. In the evening, you hear about the Northern Lights from your tour guide. Naturally, once darkness falls, you are out in the garden waiting for the Northern Lights. We stay for one night in South Iceland. Meals: breakfast & dinner
Day 3: VATNAJÖKULL NATIONAL PARK & GLACIER LAGOON (385 km/239 mls)
A long drive brings us to a world of glaciers, ice and icebergs. We travel to Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon filled with floating icebergs. We 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 it is the largest National Park in Europe. In this area we 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 may just miss out one more chance of seeing the Northern Lights shimmering and dancing across the night sky. We stay for one night in the Vatnajökull region. Meals: breakfast & dinner
Day 4: SOUTH COAST (305 km/189 mls)
Today, we head across the Laki lava field to the village of Vík 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. We pass the glacier Mýrdalsjökull and the infamous volcano Eyjafjallajökull and continue to Skógafoss waterfall which is 60 meters high and belongs to the most impressive waterfalls in the country. Further west we reach the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall which plunges over the mountain. There's a trail that goes behind the fall 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. We stay for one night in Iceland's capital. Meals: breakfast
Day 5: DEPARTURE HOME (50 km/31 mls)
Private transfer by bus (no guide) from your accommodation in Reykjavík to Keflavík airport. Meals: Breakfast
Total mileage without airport transfer is 910 km (564 miles) which is an average of 303 km (188 miles) per day. You spend about 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.
Note: 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 GJ-Travel will make every effort to find reasonable alternatives where and when ever possible but no refund can be given.
- Arrival airport transfer by private bus & guide
- Fully escorted 3-day bus tour with a professional tour guide
- Departure airport transfer by private bus (no guide)
- 4-nights accommodation including breakfast
- 2x dinner and 2x midnight refreshment on day 2 and 3
- Entrance to Kerið volcano crater
- Visit to a multi media presentation at the Volcano House in Reykjavík
- Northern Lights program during 2 evenings with a combination of lectures, presentations, film and guided searches for the Northern Lights
- Use of winter & Northern Lights explorer equipment: simple non-slip snow & ice grippers spikes for shoes and a flash light that is helpful when walking in the dark and operating your photo camera at night
ACCOMMODATION: 2 nights in Reykjavik and 2 nights in the countyside. The tour can be offered with 2, 3 or 4 star hotels for the two nights in Reykjavik and the one night in South Iceland. In Southeast Iceland/Vatnajökull region there are only 2 and 3 star hotels.
Departure Dates: This itinerary is ideal for the period Mid-September to Mid-April. Note that tours in September and April are more expensive due to hotel prices. Note that the time from Mid-December to Mid-January offers only about 5-6 hours of day light and therefore not an ideal travel time for this tour program.
Duration: 5 days / 4 nights
Accommodation: see above
Meals: 4x breakfast and 2x dinner
Group Size: ideal for groups 10-50 persons.
PRICE: contact our group department for an offer - email firstname.lastname@example.org