A short winter trip to the Icelandic countryside - 5 days/4 nights
During the day we explore Southwest Iceland, known for its natural wonders and cultural sights. See glittering glaciers, snow-clad mountains, giant lava fields, steaming hot springs and beautiful waterfalls. Bathe in the mineral rich geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon, walk on a black lava beach, visit Icelandic horses on their farm, photography idyllic turf houses and travel close to the famous Eyjafjallajökull volcano. This short getaway to Iceland offers insight into Iceland's nature and cultural life, with two nights in Iceland's capital and two nights in South Iceland, an ideal location for the search for the Northern Lights. Also called Aurora Borealis, they are visible in the northern sky from September through April when the sky is clear and free of clouds.
Highlights and Experiences:
- Must-see nature: the Golden Circle, the South Coast and the Blue Lagoon
- Visit to Skógar folk museum with turf houses
- 2 night stay in South Iceland, ideal for Northern Lights hunting
- 2 evenings with acombination of lectures, presentations, film and guided searches for Aurora Borealis
- Optional: Northern Lights fjord cruise
- Optional: Glacier hike in South Iceland
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: REYKJAVIK CITY TOUR, THE BLUE LAGOON & REYKJANES PENINSULA
(220 km/137 mls)
Meet your tour guide who shows the group the highlights of Iceland's exciting capital. Then head out to the Reykjanes Peninsula with its hot springs, mountains, bird cliffs, light houses and fishing villages. At the end of the day, we get to soak off our travels in the warm mineral waters of the famous Blue Lagoon. We stay for two nights in South Iceland. In the evening, we hear about the Northern Lights from our tour guide. Naturally, once darkness falls, you are out in the hotel garden waiting for the Northern Lights. Meals: Breakfast & dinner
Day 3: SOUTH ICELAND WITH OPTIONAL GLACIER HIKE
(200 km/124 mls)
Today we head along the south coast and reach the area near the active volcano that is beneath the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. We stop at the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which plunges from the mountain. Next we visit Skógar folk museums, which contains an outstanding collection of farm and domestic artifacts from Iceland's past and several turf-built houses. Nearby is one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country; the 60 meter high Skógafoss waterfall.
In the afternoon we offer an optional glacier walk. The Sólheimajökull glacier tongue extends from the great Mýrdalsjökull 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 Sólheimajökull glacier. While enjoying all the features of the glacier and its spectacular surroundings, you will 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 will teach you how to use basic glacier equipment, such as crampons and an ice axe which are provided for glacier walk tours. The unique experience of a glacier walk on one of the many retreating glaciers of the world is sure to leave lasting memories. 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. We recommend to pre-book the glacier hike to secure space. The price is ISK 11.000 (about EUR 80 per person), subject to change. Payment is due in Iceland with the guide, except the whole group goes on the hike, then it can all be prepaid.
If you booked the trip without the glacier hike, then the tour continues further south were you can stroll on the black lava beach to see the amazing bird cliffs at Reynisfjara near Vík. In the evening there is another presentation about the Northern Lights. If the night is clear, you might see the Northern Lights swirling in a wild and carefree dance across the heavens in dramatic shapes, colours, patterns and sizes. We use hotels that have large and dark gardens and and offer you a good location for Northern Lights search if the weather conditions are right. It requires patience, warm clothing and the excitement of "maybe there could be Northern Lights". Meals. Breakfast & dinner
Day 4: HORSES & GOLDEN CIRCLE (210 km/130 mls)
In the morning you learn about the Icelandic horse, its special qualities and history and visit a geothermal greenhouse. Travel the Golden Circle route. See steam rising from the Geysir geothermal fields as you 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 minute intervals. Continue on to Gullfoss, a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá River and attracts tourists and travellers in summer and winter. Head inland to Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before returning to Reykjavík for your last night. An optional Northern Lights fjord cruise can be booked while in destination, if the weather conditions are ideal. 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
Daily driving: Total mileage without airport transfer is about 630 km (391 miles) which is an average of 210 km (130 miles) per day. You spend about 3 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. This tour is suitable for children that are used to bus tours.
Note: In rare cases, a 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 GJ-Travel will try to find reasonable alternatives where and whenever possible.
- Arrival airport transfer by private bus & guide
- Fully escorted 3-day bus tour with a professional guide
- Departure airport transfer by private bus (no guide)
- 4-night accommodation, in rooms with private shower/wc
- Daily breakfast
- Entrance with towel at Blue Lagoon
- Entrance fee to Skógar folk museum and turf houses
- Visit to Icelandic horse stables & geothermal greenhouse
- Northern Lights program during 2 evenings with a combination of lectures, presentations, film and guided searches for the Northern Lights and midnight refreshments
- 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
- Glacier hike in South Iceland, day 3
- Northern lights fjord cruise from Reykjavik, day 1 or 4
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: 2 nights in Reykjavik and 2 nights in South Iceland – rooms with shower/wc
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