NORTHERN LIGHTS AROUND ICELAND

from EUR 2860

This winter adventure goes to North, East and South Iceland. Join us for a group tour around the country in pursuit of Northern Lights. The Aurora viewing success was 88-100% during the past seasons. Explore Akureyri, Lake Mývatn, and the East Fjords. Visit Vatnajökull glacier and Jökulsárlón ice lagoon. Discover Eyjafjallajökull volcano and Golden Circle classics.

Tour Code: GJ-28
  • Tour Availability: Sun
  • Seasons: October to March
  • Duration: 8 days
  • Min. nr of Participants: 1

IMG_Norðurljós.jpgThis incredible Northern Lights photo was taken by Jónína Guðrún Óskarsdóttir in the small fishing village of Fáskrúðsfjörður in East Iceland. "Awe-inspiring, magical, breathtaking, spellbinding, mesmerising", these are a few of the words to describe the Aurora Borealis or - as they are more commonly called - the Northern Lights. In fact, no amount of words or, indeed, images could ever do real justice to the Aurora. It is one of Mother Nature's most spectacular natural phenomena. The Aurora viewing success is 88-100% as per statistics of the past seasons. This winter adventure goes to North, East and South Iceland. Join us for a group tour around the country in pursuit of Northern Lights.

Highlights and Experiences:

  • Circle tour around Iceland
  • Track records show over 88% chances to see Northern Lights
  • Explore Akureyri, Lake Mývatn, and the East Fjords
  • Visit Vatnajökull glacier and Jökulsárlón ice lagoon
  • Discover Eyjafjallajökull volcano and Golden Circle classics
  • Hot spring bathing and short walks in volcanic landscapes
  • Domestic flight from Reykjavík to North Iceland
Tour Code: GJ-28

Explore North, East and South Iceland in pursuit of the awe-inspiring Northern Lights

Northern Lights Around Iceland.jpgDay 1, SUN: WELCOME to ICELAND (50 km/31 mls)
The Flybus shuttle brings travelers from Keflavík International Airport to the accommodation in Reykjavík where you spend the night. We provide you with ideas how to explore Iceland's capital on your own, dinner suggestions too! Food lovers will be pleased and perhaps even impressed by the number of diverse restaurants in Reykjavík. Many award winning chefs create delicious Icelandic cuisine that is characterized by an imaginative use of local ingredients such as fresh seafood, organic lamb, and wild game; but be sure to try the fabulous Icelandic hotdog and pizza too!

Day 2, MON: THE CAPITAL OF NORTH ICELAND & LAKE MÝVATN (140 km/87 mls)
At 08:55 meet your tour guide and travel by air to Akureyri, the capital of North Iceland. We explore this charming town of 17,000 inhabitants and travel to Goðafoss, the waterfalls of the Gods. We continue to Lake Mývatn which is known for its geological wonders, active bird life and being Iceland's winter wonderland, but also for having Iceland's coldest temperatures. We stop at bizarre lava formations, walk around pseudo craters and hike in a lava field at Dimmuborgir "the dark castles". In the evening, join a lecture about Northern Lights, relax at Mývatn Nature Baths and get ready to chase the elusive Northern Lights.

Day 3, TUE: TRAVEL EAST (220 km/137 mls)
We start the day at Mývatn bird museum and travel to the hot spring area of Námaskarð with bubbling mud pools and steaming solfataras. We head through the uninhabited highlands and a moonlike surrounding to East Iceland. With some luck with might spot an Arctic fox or see some reindeer. Overnight at Hotel Valaskjálf in East Iceland. If weather conditions are suitable, we venture out on foot to look out for the magical auroras.

Day 4, WED: WALK IN THE WOODS, VISIT FISHING VILLAGES & MEET THE LOCALS (120 km/75 mls)
After a walk through the Hallormsstaður Arboretum, we travel to Eskifjörður, a charming seaside village in the East Fjords. We visit the local maritime museum, take a private tour through a historic seaman's lodge and get the opportunity to taste locally produced shark meat, dried fish and Brennivín snaps. We visit the local Aurora Museum in Fáskrúðsfjörður with an interesting and educational exhibition about the Northern Lights. If the weather conditions are suitable, our guide leads us to a secret Northern Lights spot just outside the village. Overnight at Fosshotel East Fjords.

Day 5, THU: FJORDS, GLACIER, AND ICE (385 km/239 mls)
We start the day with a visit to Petra's incredible collection of stones and minerals. On we travel to admire the dramatic fjord landscape and its tiny fishing villages at the end of twisty roads in the East Fjords. Soon we see Vatnajökull, Europe's biggest glacier and we stop at Jökulsárlón, a glacial lagoon filled with floating icebergs. We travel to the tiny turf church at Hof and continue through the second-largest national park in Europe. 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. Overnight in the region.

Day 6, FRI: SOUTH COAST (255 km/158 mls)
A beautiful drive with many natural wonders awaits us today as we head across the Eldhraun lava field. We see sandy deserts, mountainous cliffs, glaciers, and waterfalls. We stroll along the black lava beach of Reynisfjara and stop at Skógafoss waterfall which is 60 meters high and one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country. At the Eyjafjallajökull Information Center, we learn about living next to a glacier and an active volcano. We continue to the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall. After dinner, we enjoy a film presentation about Northern Lights which is part of the Northern Lights educational program. Naturally, once darkness falls, we are out to chase the Northern Lights and to soak in the hotel's outdoor hot tubs. Overnight in South Iceland.

Day 7, SAT: GOLDEN CIRCLE (190 km/118 mls)
We explore the Golden Circle sights: Geysir geothermal fields, Gullfoss waterfall and Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. As we return to Reykjavík, we show you highlights of the world's northernmost capital. Last stay in Reykjavík.

Day 8, SUN: DEPARTURE HOME (50 km/31 mls)
Individual transfer by Flybus airport shuttle to Keflavík Airport.

Daily driving: Total mileage without airport transfer is 1.310 km (814 miles) which is an average of 219 km (135 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.

CHANGE OF PROGRAM: Itineraries may be subject to change at short notice during severe weather conditions and certain outdoor activities/day trips may be cancelled 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-28

Winter 2017-2018 / English guided tours: Sunday to Sunday / Groups with 30 persons maximum per group
Code Date  Availability Code Date  Availability Code Date  Availability
28/A 01.10.-08.10.2017 on request  28/C 15.10.-22.10.2017 not available 28/E 29.10.-05.11.2017 on request
28/F 05.11.-12.11.2017 not available 28/G 19.11.-26.11.2017 not available 28/P 11.02.-18.02.2018 not available
28/Q 18.02.-25.02.2018 yes 28/R 25.02.-04.03.2018 not available 28/S 04.03.-11.03.2018 not available
28/T 11.03.-18.03.2018 not availble 28/U 18.03.-25.03.2018 not available  28/V 25.03.-01.04.2018 yes
  • Tours listed with "on request" are operated but have only 1-2 rooms available or unsold rooms had been returned to hotels.
  • If you like to have more time to explore Reykjavik then we suggest adding additional nights in Iceland's capital.
  • Note that there is limited daylight, about 5-6 hours, between mid-November to End of January. For your information, the shortest daylight in Iceland is on the 21st of December, about 4 hours.

TOUR START: Arrival in Iceland on Sundays and guided bus tour starts on Mondays at 07:45 with a domestic flight to Akureyri.

END OF TOUR: The guided tour ends on Saturdays between 16:00-18:00 for the last overnight in Reykjavík. Departure from Iceland is on Sundays.

DURATION: 8 days / 7 nights

LANGUAGES: English only

MEALS: 7x breakfast, 1x light lunch and 5x 2-course dinner and 5x midnight refreshments

GROUP SIZE: Maximum group size is 30 persons

Tour Code: GJ-28

PRICE PER PERSON IN EUR

October 2017 - March 2018
in Twin, Double room     EUR 2.860   in Single room     EUR 3.420 

Note that no triple rooms are available on this tours and that most double rooms in Iceland are actually twin bedded rooms.

CHILDREN DISCOUNT: Not available

INCLUDED:

  • Arrival & departure airport transfer by FLYBUS Plus shuttle (no guide)
  • Fully escorted 6-day bus tour with an English-speaking guide
  • Domestic flight Reykjavík-Akureyri including airport taxes and airport transfer in Reykjavík
  • 7-nights accommodation, in rooms with private shower/wc, and including breakfast
  • 5x 2-course dinner and 5x midnight refreshment on day 2-6
  • 1x light lunch and coffee & cake en route on day 3
  • Entrance with towel at Mývatn Nature Baths
  • Visit to bird museum at Lake Mývatn
  • Shark meat, dried fish and Brennivín schnapps tasting on day 4
  • Meet the locals: entrance and tour at Maritime Museum and Randulf’s sea-house in Eskifjörður
  • Visit to Petra’s stone & crystal collection
  • Visit to Aurora museum and encounter with local Northern Lights photographer and Aurora hunter in East Iceland 
  • Visit to a multimedia presentation at Eyjafjallajökull Volcano Information Center
  • Northern Lights program during 5 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 flashlight that is helpful when walking in the dark and operating your photo camera at night

ACCOMMODATION Winter 2017-2018: A combination of simple and comfort tourist-class hotels, in rooms with shower/wc

Reykjavík: Fosshotel Lind for first and last night / Mývatn: Sel-Hotel Mývatn / East Iceland: Hotel Valaskjálf and Fosshotel Fáskrúðsfjörður / Vatnajökull region: Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon / South Iceland: Hotel Grímsborgir

Note that the hotel list is subject to change.

INFORMATION REGARDING DINNER AND LUNCHES: In Reykjavik, the dinner is on your own. There are many restaurants for both fast food and a fine a la carte dining in Iceland's capital. In the countryside hotels, a 2-course dinner is included. If you have any special diet requests or allergies, please let us know at the moment of your booking. For lunch, the group stops at small country restaurants, roadside shops or petrol station diners on the route.

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 the present time and are subject to change.

NORTHERN LIGHTS: This program includes during 5 evenings a combination of presentations, lectures, film and guided tours at spots that are likely to offer a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis – the Northern Lights. 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. At some of the hotels, this service is only offered until 02:00 or 03:00 in the morning. This tour series is designed to spend 5 evenings in the countryside to maximise the chances of seeing the elusive Northern Lights, still the tour is dependent on weather and therefore 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 of 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 await patiently this truly outstanding light show. 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. In general, there is a non-refundable booking fee/deposit of up to 20% in order 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 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-28
2016 - 2017
The tour was fantastic! (booked through Regent Holidays UK)
----
Hi Inga, We absolutely loved it! Landed to record snowfall, and were there for Bun Day, got to see the Northern Lights on 3 evenings, and took nearly 2000 photos between the two of us! Once I've got it down to something a bit more manageable I'll send across a few of the good ones. The Nature Baths at Myvatn were brilliant. The tour was fabulous, especially Hotel Grimsborgir which blew us away with the hot tubs and wood burning fire by the bar. Many thanks, Guy (booked through Baltic Travel, UK)
----
Wonderful tour. We did last year the Northern Lights Exploration Tour and we returned to see North and East of Iceland in the winter time. Fantastic sites, real Icelandic weather, lovely hotels and an amazing guide. Many interesting cultural visits and we loved meeting the photographer in East Iceland. Thanks for a fantastic holiday. (booked through Gallia Reizen Belgium)
----
It was the holiday of a lifetime and will stay in our memory forever. The guide was the best!!! So interesting & knowledgeable. He brought Iceland alive for me. The hotels were always top quality. The meals were lovely and always delicious. The selection of the breakfast buffets was amazing. The coach was comfy and the driver was just great. So helpful and kind with great local expertise. (booked through Regent Holidays UK)
----
A brilliant mix of places to visit and what a beautiful country. The program is great! A very interesting and charming guide. He knows everything. All hotels were great and the hotel on the last day (Grimsborgir) and the French Hospital Hotel were magnificent. Scrumptious meals! The driver was very accommodating and helpful. I always felt very safe - even on the icy roads. (booked through Regent Holidays UK)
----
I loved staying in beautiful remote country hotels and seeing such varied, lovely scenery. The guide is very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. Our meals were all of a good quality and plentiful. Excellent and safe driver. (booked through Regent Holidays UK)
2015 - 2016
Very good tour with nice views, all kind of weather and 1x northern lights. The guide gave us a lot of information. The accommodation was good and distance ok. Good meals. Very good driver, safely through winter and weather. Helpful with the luggage (booked through GJ Travel)
----
Excellent tour - well thought out and organized. Extremely knowledgeable guide with a wicked sense of humor. All hotels good and Hotel Grimsborgir really nice. Excellent food in all cases. I was extremely impressed with the driver, he was able to drive safely in some bad weather and icy conditions. (booked through Baltic Travel UK)
----
Very good tour! Very interesting and informative, exceptional guide. Most hotels and meals very nice. The driver was very skilled. I felt very comfortable with him behind the wheel. (booked through Scanam Tours USA)
----
A wonderful trip to the major sights of Iceland in winter time - topped with some northern lights. Very knowledgeable and agreeable guide. Wonderful hotels and meals. The very good driver who brought us safely around the island through wind and storms. (booked through GJ-Travel)
----
Shoe Grippers were most welcome - thank you! I enjoy nature so the tour suited me. I liked the flexibility of the itinerary. Rocky, our guide, was always thinking of our safety. He also provided plenty of books throughout the trip to supplement his stories. Rocky was extremely passionate about Iceland and incredibly knowledgeable. He related information, stories, music throughout the tour so that we could appreciate it instead of being inundated with information in one go. No complaints about the hotels. Well organized between hotels and tour company. No delays and clean. Staff always helpful. Plenty of very nice food. I can't find any faults. The driver was very competent in all weather conditions. (booked through Scanam USA)
----
I was thrilled with all the sites. I can't say enough wonderful words about our guide Anna! Not only her thorough understanding and ability to communicate the Icelandic culture and geology, science but also her great kindness to us. Best guide ever!
2014 - 2015
A very thoughtfully arranged tour. Our guide Anna is excellent and very helpful and accommodating. Accommodation Excellent! Finnbogi was an excellent driver and very helpful with luggage.  (booked through Inside India)
---
Very well organized and conceived tour. The guide was outstanding! Always cheerful, helpful and knowledgeable. Accommodation very good. Driver superb! (booked through Guðmundur Jónasson Travel)
---
A Very good tour and we saw everything I wanted to see. Very informative. Lots of stories and interesting facts. Comfortable accommodation. Good choice of food. Bus comfortable. Driver excellent. (booked through Extreme Iceland)
---
Well organized, interesting and covers most of the sites in Iceland. Driver/Guide very good, knowledgeable, informative, humorous! (booked through Extreme Iceland)
Tour Code: GJ-28

Here below are the Aurora viewing results from the past winter trips 2014-2016 that give you an idea of how often northern lights have been seen during the Northern Lights Around Iceland Tour while staying 5 nights in the countryside:

Travel Dates
How many nights seen Auroras?
... Travel Dates How many nights seen Auroras?
05.10.-12.10.14 1x medium 15.02.-22.02.15 2x strong, 1x medium + 1x weak
01.03.-08.03.15 1x strong + 1x medium 08.03.-15.03.15 2x medium
15.03.-22.03.15 1x medium 22.03.-29.03.15 1x medium + 1x weak
29.03.-05.04.15 1x medium + 1x weak 01.11.-06.11.15 1x medium + 1x strong
14.02.-20.02.16 1x medium + 2x strong 21.02.-27.02.16 1x strong + 1x weak
03.10.-07.10.16 2x weak + 1x strong 07.11.-11.11.16

2x weak

14.11.-18.11.16 2x medium 13.02.-18.02.17 1x medium
20.02.-25.02.17 1x medium + 1x strong 27.02.-04.03.17 1x weak + 1 medium + 2 strong
06.03.-11.03.17 1x weak + 3x strong 13.03.-18.03.17 1x weak + 1x strong
20.03.-25.03.17 2x strong

Northern Lights Success Rate:

Winter 2014-2015: 100 %

Winter 2015-2016: 100 %

Winter 2016-2017: 88% (Oct-Mar)

Tour Code: GJ-28