AURORAS, VOLCANOES & GLACIER LAGOON

from EUR 1090

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.

Tour Code: GJ-27
  • Tour Availability: Sun
  • Seasons: October to April
  • Duration: 5 days
  • Min. nr of Participants: 1

Behind Seljalandsfoss.JPGIceland 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
Tour Code: GJ-27

Winter short break to explore highlights of Iceland

northern_lights_volcanoes_and_glacier_lagoon.jpgDay 1, SUN: WELCOME TO ICELAND (50 km/31 mls)
The Flybus shuttle brings you 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 GOLDEN CIRCLE ROUTE (220 km/136 mls)
At 08:30 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 simple cottages in South Iceland.

Day 3, TUE: 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 National Park region.

Day 4, WED: 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. 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.

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

Daily driving:
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.

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-27

Winter short break to explore highlights of Iceland

Winter 2017-2018 / English guided tours: Sunday to Thursday / Groups with 30 persons maximum per group

Code  Date  Availability Code  Date  Availability Code  Date  Availability
27/1 01.10.-05.10.2017 yes 27/2 08.10.-12.10.2017 yes 27/3 15.10.-19.10.2017 yes
27/4 22.10.-26.10.2017 yes 27/5 29.10.-02.11.2017 yes 27/6 05.11.-09.11.2017 yes
27/7 12.11.-16.11.2017 yes 27/8 19.11.-23.11.2017 yes 27/9 26.11.-30.11.2017 yes
27/10 03.12.-07.12.2017 yes 27/11 10.12.-14.12.2017 yes 27/12 17.12.-21.12.2017 yes
27/NY 28.12.2017-01.01.2018 (*) yes 27/14 07.01.-11.01.2018 yes 27/15 14.01.-18.01.2018 yes
27/16 21.01.-25.01.2018 yes 27/17 28.01.-01.02.2018 yes 27/18 04.02.-08.02.2018 yes
27/19 11.02.-15.02.2018 yes 27/20 18.02.-22.02.2018 yes 27/21 25.02.-01.03.2018 yes
27/22 04.03.-08.03.2018 yes 27/23 11.03.-15.03.2018 yes 27/24 18.03.-22.03.2018 yes
27/25 25.03.-29.03.2018 yes 27/26 01.04.-05.04.2018 yes 27/27 08.04.-12.04.2018 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 day light, about 5-6 hours, between mid November to end of January. For your information the shortest day light in Iceland is on the 21st of December, about 4 hours.
  • (*) Note that the New Year's departure is more expensive as program and inclusions are slightly different

TOUR START: Arrival in Iceland on Sundays and guided bus tour starts on Mondays at 08:30

END OF TOUR: The guided tour ends on Wednesdays around 18:00 for a last overnight in Reykjavík. Departure from Iceland is on Thursdays.

DURATION: 5 days / 4 nights

LANGUAGES: English only

MEALS: 4x breakfast and 2x 2-course dinner

GROUP SIZE: Maximum group size is 30 person

Tour Code: GJ-27

PRICE PER PERSON IN EUR

October 2017 - April 2018 New Year's departure 28.12.17-01.01.18
in Twin, Double or Triple* room EUR 1.090   in Single room EUR 1.330   in Twin, Double or Triple room EUR 2.020   in Single room    EUR 2.540   

*Triple room on request

NOTE: 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 3-day bus tour with an English-speaking guide
  • 4-nights accommodation in simple tourist-class hotels and cottages including breakfast
  • 2x 2-course 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: is provided in simple tourist-class hotels and cottages, in rooms with private facilities. The groups will stay at the following accommodations (subject to change):
Reykjavík: Fosshotel Baron first and last night
South Iceland: Árhús Cottages, where 23 rooms with shower/wc are located in simple cottages in the large garden right on the river banks in the village of Hella.
Southeast Iceland: Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon at Vatnajökull National Park
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Information Regarding Dinners 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, 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. Lunch stops are made at small country restaurants or petrol station diners.
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NATURE FEES: There is a possibility that some of the nature 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 nature sites. Locations, amount of entrance fee, form of payment and other details are not known at the present time and are subject to change.
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Northern Lights: This program includes during 2 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.
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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.
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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. 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.
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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-27

Here below are the Aurora viewing results from the past trips winter 2014-2015 that give you an idea of how often northern lights have been seen during the Aurora, Volcanoes and Glacier Lagoon Tour, while staying 2 nights in the countryside:

Travel Dates 
How many nights seen Auroras? 
Travel Dates How many nights seen Auroras?
26.10.-30.10.14 2x weak 23.11.-27.01.14 1x strong + 1x weak
07.12.-11.12.14 unfortunately no northern lights 11.01.-15.01.15 1x strong
25.01.-29.01.15 1x strong 08.02.-12.02.15 1x weak
22.02.-26.02.15 1x weak 05.04.-09.04.15 unfortunately no northern lights
11.10.-14.10.15 1x strong 25.10.-28.10.15 unfortunately no northern lights
22.11.-25.11.15 unfortunately no northern lights 06.12.-09.12.15 2x weak
28.12.-31.12.15 1x weak 10.01.-13.01.16 1x strong
24.01.-27.01.16 unfortunately no northern lights 07.02.-10.02.16 1x medium + 1x strong
21.02.-24.02.16 1x weak + 1x medium 02.10-06.10.16

1x medium 1x weak coming & going

18.10-19.10.16 1x medium strong with green/purple 23.10.-26.10.16

1xstrong beautiful 1x weak cloudy

30.10.-02.11.16 2x weak cloudy 06.11.-09.11.16

unfortunately no northern lights

14.11.-16.11.16 unfortunately no northern lights 20.11.-22.11.16

1xstrong 1xlot of activity but cloudy

27.11-01.12.16 1x beautiful strong 04.12.-07.12.16

unfortunately no northern lights

11.12-14.12.16 unfortunately no northern lights 18.12.-21.12.16

1x strong

28.12.-01.01.17 1xmedium northern lights 08.12.-12.01.17

1x weak + 1x medium

22.01.-26.01.17 unfortunately no northern lights 05.02.-09.02.17

unfortunately no northern lights

19.02.-23.02.17 1x medium 05.03.-.09.03.17

unfortunately no northern lights

12.03.-16.03.17 1x weak 19.03.-23.03.17

1x strong

26.03.-30.03.17 1x strong

Northern Lights Success Rate:

Winter 2014-2015: 75 %

Winter 2015-2016: 63 %

Winter 2016-2017: 63% (Oct-Mar)

Tour Code: GJ-27