AURORAS & GLACIAL LAGOON - New Year's Tour

from EUR 2020

Visit Iceland over New Year. Explore Iceland's most popular sites such as the Golden Circle route, the South Coast and Vatnajökull national park. See waterfalls, geysers, volcano craters, an ice lagoon with floating icebergs and black lava beaches. Besides, there is always a thrilling potential for the night sky to be decorated with amazing aurora borealis. New Year's Eve is spent in Reykjavik including a festive dinner at Harpa Concert Hall.

Tour Code: GJ-27-NY
  • Tour Availability: Wed
  • Seasons: December 28th to January 01st
  • Duration: 5 days
  • Min. nr of Participants: 1

AURORAS & GLACIAL LAGOON 28.12.2017-01.01.2018 (with options for extension nights)

Northern Lights Iceland.jpgIceland is the perfect place to enjoy a winter trip full of adventure, icy landscapes and the chance to see the elusive Northern Lights. This unique island in the North Atlantic is one of the world's most sparsely populated countries and has extensive volcanic and geothermal activity. Geologically speaking, Iceland is one of the youngest countries in the world since it only began to rise from the North Atlantic seabed about 25 million years ago. It is the product of volcanic eruptions that are still ongoing. On average, a volcano in Iceland erupts every five years, fortunately only in areas where rarely anyone lives.

Why not explore the land of fire and ice with guided visits to volcanoes, lava fields, hot springs and magnificent glaciers? During this tour, you visit Iceland's most popular sites such as the Golden Circle route, the South Coast and Vatnajökull national park. On route, 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 glittering glaciers and restless geology. Besides, 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. Cross your fingers for clear skies, wrap up warm, and don't forget your camera with a tripod when you try to catch sight of the Northern Lights in Iceland.

New Year's Eve will be spent in Reykjavik including a 4-course festive dinner at Harpa Concert Hall. The restaurant at the ground floor offers an amazing view over the downtown harbour and bay of Reykjavík. The New Year's Eve gala event includes a Bonfire & Christmas light tour, dance and party and of course the chance to witness the "crazy" fireworks in Iceland's capital.

Highlights and Experiences:

  • Golden Circle tour with Thingvellir national park, Geysir hot springs, Gullfoss waterfall and Kerið volcano crater
  • South coast with glaciers, waterfalls and lava beaches
  • Vatnajökull national park with Europe's largest glacier and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon
  • 2-nights stay in the countryside, ideal for Northern Lights hunting
  • 2 evenings of lectures, presentations, film and guided Northern Lights searches
  • Visit to multimedia presentation at the Volcano House in Reykjavík
  • Visit to Kerið volcano crater
  • 4-course festive New Year's Eve at Harpa with amazing views of Reykjavik downtown harbour
  • New Year's dance and party at Harpa Concert Hall
  • 2-hour Bonfire and Christmas light tour on the 31.12.17
Tour Code: GJ-27-NY

AURORAS & GLACIAL LAGOON 28.12.2017-01.01.2018 (with options for extension nights)

Northern Lights, Volcanoes and Glacier LagoonDay 1, December 28th: WELCOME (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 exciting 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 characterised by an imaginative use of local ingredients such as fresh seafood, organic lamb and wild game; but be sure to try the fabulous Icelandic Hot Dog and pizza too!

Day 2, December 29th: 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 we depart from Reykjavik for Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site, 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 no longer is 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 will stay for one night in simple cottages in South Iceland.

Day 3, December 30th: 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 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 kilometres 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 will stay for one night at Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon in the Vatnajökull region.

Day 4, December 31st: SOUTH COAST & NEW YEAR'S DINNER (305 km/189 mls)
Today, we head across the Eldhraun lava field to the village of Vík where we make a photo stop. We take a stroll on the black lava beach and see 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 is a trail that goes behind the fall which is interesting – if you are prepared to get wet! In the evening we return to Reykjavik for one last night. A transfer bus will bring you at 18:00 to the New Year's Eve 4-course festive dinner at the Harpa Concert Hall. The restaurant is located on the ground floor and offers amazing views over the downtown harbour and bay of Reykjavík. Between 20:30-22:30 we take you to one of the bonfires in Iceland's capital. An evening tour around Reykjavik on New Year's Eve is an Icelandic tradition. Back at Harpa, we celebrate with music and sparkling wine and at midnight we experience the "crazy" and the one of a kind fireworks in Iceland's capital. Return transfers to the hotel are offered at 00:30, 01:00, 01:30 and 02:00. 

Day 5, January 1st: DEPARTURE HOME (50 km/31 mls)
Individual transfer by Flybus airport shuttle from your hotel in Reykjavík to Keflavík Airport. It is also possible to extend the program in Reykjavík.

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-NY

 AURORAS & GLACIAL LAGOON 28.12.2017-01.01.2018 (with options for extension nights)

DURATION: 5 days / 4 nights

LANGUAGES: English only

MEALS: 7x breakfast, 2x 2-course dinner and 1x festive New Year's Eve dinner at Harpa

GROUP SIZE: Maximum group size is 30 persons

AVAILABILITY: On Request

Price per Person in EUR:

Per person in Twin, Double or Triple room: EUR 2.020 / Per person in Single room: EUR 2.540

Note that most double rooms in Iceland are actually twin bedded rooms

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, from mid-November to end of January. For your information, the shortest daylight in Iceland is on the 21st of December, about 4 hours.

CHILDREN DISCOUNT: Not available

Included:

  • Arrival & departure airport transfer by FLYBUS
  • Fully escorted 3-day bus tour with an English-speaking guide
  • 4-night accommodation in simple tourist-class hotels and cottages including breakfast
  • 2x 2-course dinner and 2x midnight refreshment on day 2 and 3
  • 4-course New Year's Gala Dinner at Harpa Concert Hall at Reykjavík downtown harbour
  • Bonfire and Christmas light tour on the 31.12.17
  • Entrance to Kerið volcano crater
  • Visit to a multimedia 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 flashlight that is helpful when walking in the dark and operating your photo camera at night

ACCOMMODATION: is provided in simple but clean 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 night
  • Reykjavík: City Park Hotel, 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: Fosshótel Glacier Lagoon, Vatnajökull national park

INFORMATION REGARDING DINNERS AND LUNCHES: On the first evening 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. New Year's Eve dinner in Reykjavik is included in the tour package. If you have any special diet requests or allergies, please let us know at the moment of your booking. For lunch, the group will either stop at roadside shops or restaurants.

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 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 accommodations 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.

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.

BOOKINGS AND 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 8 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.

CANCELLATIONS: 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 began, but not completed. The exchange of one arrangement for another must be agreed by us beforehand.

Tour Code: GJ-27-NY