CHRISTMAS & NORTHERN LIGHTS ADVENTURE

from EUR 1310

Celebrate Christmas in a casual and Icelandic way. Explore Reykjavík, the Reykjanes peninsula, the Blue Lagoon, the Golden Circle and the South Coast. Stay in simple hotels and cottages in Reykjavík and South Iceland; all rooms with private shower/wc. Discover and experience how Icelandic countryside people celebrate Christmas. Oops, did we mention the Northern Lights?

Tour Code: GJ-24 Christmas
  • Tour Availability: Sun
  • Seasons: December 23rd to December 27th
  • Duration: 5 days
  • Min. nr of Participants: 1

CHRISTMAS & NORTHERN LIGHTS ADVENTURE IN SOUTH ICELAND (5 days / 4 nights)

Tour dates: 23.-27.12.2018Auroras in Iceland.jpg

This is an escorted tour program taking you to the Icelandic countryside to celebrate Christmas in a casual and Icelandic way. We recommend booking early, as this program is only available for a maximum of 40 persons.

You explore Reykjavík, the lunar landscapes of the Reykjanes peninsula, and the Golden Circle route with the Thingvellir national park, Gullfoss waterfall, and Geysir hot springs. You travel to South Iceland, a region with glaciers, waterfalls and black lava beaches. Of course, a warm and relaxing soak in the famous Blue Lagoon during the cold winter days is also included.

Most Christmas programs in Iceland are based in Reykjavík and include superior class hotels and gourmet restaurants. As an out-of-the-box alternative GJ-Travel offers a casual Christmas adventure where you stay in simple hotels and cottages in Reykjavík and South Iceland; all rooms with private shower/wc. We spend two nights in Hella, a small village in South Iceland where you will be able to discover and experience how Icelandic countryside people celebrate Christmas. We promise that even in a casual program the meals and drinks will be delicious. Oops, did we mention the Northern Lights? Árhús cottages in Hella are located in a large and dark garden where it is very easy to see the Northern Lights, also called Aurora Borealis, if the weather conditions are suitable. Our expert tour guide provides you also with a fact talk about the Northern Lights and gives you some tips how to take photos of this natural phenomenon. On the 26th of December, the program includes fine dining at a panoramic restaurant at the Pearl in Reykjavík. We look forward celebrating with you Christmas 2018 in the Icelandic countryside.

Tour Code: GJ-24 Christmas

CHRISTMAS & NORTHERN LIGHTS ADVENTURE IN SOUTH ICELAND (5 days / 4 nights)

Tour dates: 23.-27.12.2018

Land of Northern Light 2013-14.jpgThis is a new escorted tour program taking you to the Icelandic countryside to celebrate Christmas in a casual and Icelandic way. We recommend booking early, as this program is only available for a maximum of 40 persons.

Day 1, December 23rd: WELCOME (50 km/31 mls)
The Flybus shuttle brings travelers from Keflavík International Airport to Hotel Cabin in Reykjavík where you spend one night. We provide you with ideas how to explore Iceland's capital on your own. 

Day 2, December 24th: REYKJAVIK CITY TOUR & THE BLUE LAGOON (220 km/137 mls)
At 09:00 meet your tour guide who shows the group highlights of Iceland's exciting capital. Then we head out to the Reykjanes peninsula with its hot springs, mountains, bird cliffs, lighthouses and fishing villages. At the end of the day, we get to soak off our travels in the warm blue waters of the famous Blue Lagoon. We stay for two nights in simple cottages in South Iceland. 

In the evening you have a presentation about the Northern Lights. If the night is clear, step out in the garden and check if the Northern Lights are visible. Also, known as the Aurora Borealis, these spectacular skylight shows can frequently be seen in Iceland from September through April on clear and crisp nights. White and green are usually the dominant colors of northern lights, but sometimes there are considerable color variations. They are ephemeral, however, so sightings are not guaranteed. The grounds of Árhús Cabins in Hella are very large and dark that offers you an excellent location for Northern Lights search if the weather conditions are right. It requires patience, warm clothing and the excitement of "maybe there are Northern Lights".

Day 3, December 25th: SOUTH ICELAND & CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION (200 km/124 mls)
After breakfast, we head along the South coast and get out near the active volcano that is beneath the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. We stop at the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which plunges over the mountain. There's a trail that goes behind the falling water and offers impressive views if you are prepared to get wet! Further east we visit one of Iceland's finest folk museums. This museum contains an outstanding collection of farm and domestic artifacts typical of Iceland's past, as well as turf-built houses. Nearby is Skógafoss waterfall which is 62 meters high and one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country. We continue to the seaside and stroll on the black lava beach to see the amazing bird cliffs at Reynisfjara near Vík.
In the evening we celebrate Christmas the Icelandic way. Before dinner, we join a guided bus tour to visit the Christmas lights in the villages of Hvolsvöllur and Hella. The traditional Christmas lights had their origins in the Middle Ages when people needed to keep the lights in their abodes during the Winter Solstice. In Iceland, the tradition finds it roots in the Pagan Old Norse beliefs when people would keep the fire alive inside the central pit of the Viking longhouses in order to keep the darkness of the Winter Solstice outside.

Your festive 4-course dinner starts around 20:30 and is served at Árhús Restaurant on the river banks in Hella, which is a small village in South Iceland. Drink a toast of sparkling wine as you enjoy a real special Christmas celebration. 

On the menu: First dish surf & turf: king shrimp and scallops with a carpaccio of beetroot and oranges. Second dish: traditional Icelandic meat soup with home baked bread, Lima beans and sour cream. Main dishes: slow-cooked duck breast with sweet mash potatoes and blueberry sauce. Dessert: apple cake with crushed pistachios and whipped cream. If any special diet is requested please let us know in advance and reconfirm it with your tour guide on the first day of tour.

If the night is clear, you might be lucky enough to see the Northern Lights swirling in a wild and carefree dance across the heavens in dramatic shapes, colors, patterns and sizes.

Day 4, December 26th: GOLDEN CIRCLE & CULINARY EXPERIENCE AT PERLAN (210 km/130 mls)
Today we travel the Golden Circle route. You see steam from the Geysir geothermal fields as you arrive. There are 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. You continue to Gullfoss "the golden falls", a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá river, and attracts tourists and travelers in summer and winter. We travel inland to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site before returning to Reykjavík for one night. Overnight at Hotel Cabin.The program includes a culinary treat at a panoramic restaurant located at the Pearl in Reykjavík. The menu is : Traditional Icelandic fried bread and whipped butter ‘ pumpernickel ; Cured and smoked salmon, cured goose breast & accompaniments ; Glazed leg of lamb, creamy wild mushrooms & carrots & Columbia crème brûlée, dark chocolate, pistachios & bilberries.

Day 5, December 27th: DEPARTURE HOME (50 km/31 mls)
Individual transfer by Flybus airport shuttle from your accommodation in Reykjavík to Keflavík Airport.

CHANGE OF PROGRAM: 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.

Tour Code: GJ-24 Christmas

Price in EUR per person:

Season     Accommodation Price in
single room 
Price in
double room 
Price in double 
room w/extra bed
23.12.18 - 27.12.18 Budget: Hotel Cabin & Árhús Cottages, Hella  EUR 1.480 EUR 1.310 EUR 1.310

CHILDREN DISCOUNT: 25 % discount for children 8-11 years of age if sharing room with parents. Tour is not recommended for children younger than eight years of age. Triple rooms are double rooms with extra bed and ideal for two adults and one child.

Included:

  • Arrival & departure airport transfer by FLYBUS (no guide)
  • Fully escorted 3-day coach tour with English speaking guide
  • Christmas lights tour and Christmas Celebration on day 3
  • 4-night budget accommodation, rooms with private shower/wc (see information below)
  • Daily breakfast 
  • 4-course festive dinner on the 25th of December 
  • Fine dining at panoramic restaurant at the Pearl on the 26th of December including transfers
  • Entrance with towel at Blue Lagoon
  • Entrance fee to Skógar Folk Museum and Turf Houses
  • Northern Lights program during two evenings with a combination of lectures, presentations, film and guided searches for Northern Lights and midnight refreshments.
  • New: Use of winter & Northern Lights Explorer equipment: Simple non-slip snow & ice grippers spikes for shoes and flashlight

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.

ACCOMMODATIONS: For this program, we use budget accommodation to offer an attractive package price. You get great value for money. First and last night is at Hotel Cabin (small rooms). 2nd & 3rd night are at Árhús Cabins in Hella, South Iceland, where 23 simple cottages with shower/wc are located in a large garden right on the river banks in Hella. Árhús Cabins are popular with outdoor active guests and families traveling with children. All cottages are equipped with a small kitchenette and free Wi-Fi. There is a restaurant on premises, and the program includes 2x breakfast and 1x festive 4-course dinner.

NORTHERN LIGHTS: This program includes during two evenings a combination of presentations, lectures, film and guided Northern Lights searches in the hotel garden in South Iceland. All countryside hotels in this program offer a Northern Lights wake-up call for guests that register for that special service at the hotel reception. The tour is dependent on weather, and therefore sightings are not guaranteed. The Northern Lights are in the northern sky from September through April but are only visible when the sky is clear and free of clouds. Like many of nature's wonders, it's 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's worth the patience required. Because they're a winter event, you need to be prepared to wait outside while looking for them. It's best to dress very warmly, in layers, with good footwear, gloves, hats and whatever else will make you comfortable while you await this truly outstanding event. For the best photos, we recommend using a tripod.

CHANGE OF PROGRAM: 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.

BOOKINGS & FURTHER INFORMATION: Either via our international tour operator network or directly by email gjtravel@gjtravel.is and we process your booking by personal email communication. Don't you like that? In general, there is a non-refundable booking fee/deposit of up to 20% to secure space on the tour. We will send you a confirmation and invoice. Payment is due latest 4 weeks prior arrival. We accept international bank transfer, Visa or MasterCard. Once paid, we will send the vouchers and travel documents. Unfortunately, we do not offer an online booking engine and online-payment system for this tour.

CANCELLATION:  A cancellation fee of 20% of the tour price and accommodation will be retained by us for cancellations made from 4 to 8 weeks before departure. From 28 days until 8 days before departure, the fee is 50%. No refund is possible for cancellations less than 8 days before departure, or for no-shows, and a tour begun, but not completed. The exchange of one arrangement for another must be agreed by us beforehand.

Tour Code: GJ-24 Christmas