AURORA CHASER

from EUR 3610

SMALL GROUP & A BIT MORE ACTIVE: Do you want to see the Northern Lights? Then get out of the city and chase the Northern Lights in 3 different ways – on foot, by boat, and by coach. During the day we explore natural wonders in a land of fire and ice. Winter fun activities include a glacier hike, bathing in the Blue Lagoon, walking in a lava field, entering Iceland’s longest ice cave, a snowmobile tour on the glacier and northern lights expeditions with torches. 

Tour Code: GJ-25
  • Tour Availability: Tue
  • Seasons: October to April
  • Duration: 8 days
  • Min. nr of Participants: 1

Ice Cave Langjökull.jpgWINTER TOUR 2017-2018 WITH LOTS OF HIGHLIGHTS & ACTIVITIES:

Do you want to see the Northern Lights? Then get out of the city and join us on our Aurora Chaser Tour! We provide you with the best conditions to chase the Northern Lights in 3 different ways – on foot, by boat, and by coach. The Aurora viewing success was 100% winter 2016-2017. During the day we explore natural wonders in a land of fire and ice. Winter fun activities include a glacier hike in South Iceland, bathing in the Blue Lagoon, walking in a lava field, entering Iceland’s longest ice cave, a snowmobile tour on the glacier and northern lights expeditions with torches. We travel to West Iceland, tour the Golden Circle and the amazing South shore route. We visit Vatnajökull national park and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. You see classic Icelandic highlights but we unveil many hidden secrets of an Icelandic winter wonderland, while the long evenings are dedicated to the Northern Lights.

HIGHLIGHTS and EXPERIENCES:

  • Chasing the Northern Lights on foot, by bus, and by boat and up to 100% Aurora viewing success!
  • Guided aurora hunts and Northern Light education with lectures and movies
  • Monster truck tour, Ice cave visit, glacier hike and snowmobile tour
  • Blue Lagoon 
  • Farewell Icelandic dinner at a local restaurant with a panoramic view
  • Small group program with maximum 20 persons 
Tour Code: GJ-25

ITINERARY 2017-2018 INCLUDING LOTS OF HIGHLIGHTS & ACTIVITIES:

Aurora Chaser Iceland.jpg

Day 1, TUE: WELCOME to ICELAND (50 km/31 mls)

Individual transfer by Flybus shuttle bus from Keflavik Airport to Icelandair Hotel Natura in Reykjavík where you spend the night. We provide you with ideas how to explore Iceland's capital on your own. Dinner suggestions as well!

Day 2, WED: BLUE LAGOON, LIGHT HOUSES & AURORA HUNT (220 km/136 mls)

At 09:00 meet your tour guide and explore the Reykjanes peninsula with its many unusual geological features and moon-like landscapes. We stop for 3 hours at the famous Blue Lagoon for a soak in its warm geothermal water. We continue to the Reykjanes folk & maritime museum, located in a natural paradise, showing items which were essential for the livelihood on both land and sea. Next door to the museum are two beautiful light houses, surrounded by amazing ocean view. During the two hours journey to West Iceland, our expert tour guide provides you with information about the Northern Lights and teaches you how to take photos of this natural phenomenon. Stay 2 nights Icelandair Hotel Hamar, near Borgarnes in West Iceland. After a 2-course dinner, join a torch walk into the darkness, soak in the hotel's outdoor hot tubs and check if the Northern Lights are visible. These spectacular sky-light shows are also known as the Aurora Borealis and are frequently 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, sightings are not guaranteed.

Day 3, THU: ICE CAVE EXPLORATION & BORGARFJÖRÐUR SAGA VALLEY (170 km/106 mls)

Today we take you by bus and an 8-wheel drive monster truck to Langjökull glacier, Iceland's second largest glacier, for a once in a lifetime adventure deep inside one of the world's largest man made ice caverns. The caverns are composed of an extensive system of tunnels and chambers that stretch close to 300 meters into the solid ice cap towards a breath taking natural ice cave at the heart of the glacier. Making your way inside the glacier you are able to explore various nooks and chambers and see a huge ice crevasse. As you walk further along the tunnel, the ice gets older and its color gradually changes from white to deep blue. We also explore Borgarfjörður which is known as the Saga Valley because of its many important historical events. We get a chance to visit Deildartunguhver, Europe's most powerful hot spring which produces 180 liters per second of water that is nearly boiling - 97° Celsius. Hraunfossar is a series of waterfalls pouring from beneath a wide lava field. Barnafoss – the Children's falls, is nearby with its own tragic tale. In the evening, we step into the hotel garden in search of the Northern Lights followed by relaxing in the geothermal outdoor hot tubs and a hot cup of chocolate or tea.

Day 4, FRI: GOLDEN CIRCLE & SNOWMOBILE TOUR (180 km/111 mls)

Today we travel along the Hvalfjörður fjord and reach Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. We continue to the Golden Circle route. On we travel to Gullfoss, a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá river and attracts tourists and travelers in summer and winter. After a simple Icelandic lunch at Gullfoss Café, we join a snowmobile tour (two persons sharing a snowmobile) on the nearby Langjökull glacier. Afterwards, we go to see the Geysir geothermal fields - we will see a steam rising from the Strokkur geyser as we 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 minutes intervals. Overnight and dinner is at Hotel Gullfoss, a small countryside hotel in South Iceland. Tonight, we look out for northern lights from the hotel garden and experience the true Viking winter wonderland amidst the peace and stillness of rural Iceland.

Day 5: SAT: KERIÐ VOLCANO AND GLACIER HIKE (230 km/143 mls)

Today, we take you out along the South coast. The first stop is the explosion crater called Kerið which is filled with water and resembles an ancient amphitheater. We continue to Skógafoss waterfall which is 60 meters high and one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country. In the afternoon we take you on a 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 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 teaches you how to use basic glacier equipment, such as crampons and an ice axe which are provided for glacier walk tours. 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. The minimum age for the glacier hike is 10 years. You need to bring warm clothing, rain gear, and hiking boots. Stay 2 nights Icelandair Vik in South Iceland. After a 2-course dinner, join a torch walk to the black lava beach and look out if the auroras are across the sky.

Day 6, SUN: VATNAJÖKULL NATIONAL PARK & JÖKULSÁRLÓN GLACIER LAGOON (400 km/248 mls)

Today's program is all about glaciers, ice, and icebergs. A long drive brings us to Jökulsárlón, a glacial lagoon filled with floating icebergs, and we explore the extraordinary site and might see seals swimming in arctic waters. You can walk on the black sandy beach where large icebergs get stranded. In the afternoon we spend time at Europe's second-largest national park, which has Iceland's highest mountains, an alpine environment, and Europe's largest glacier. In the evening enjoy a film presentation about the Northern Lights as part of the Northern Lights educational program. Beware of not going to bed too soon or you may just miss out one more chance of seeing the Northern Lights shimmering and dancing across the night sky.

Day 7, MON: SOUTH SHORE, REYKJAVÍK, GOURMET DINNER & NORTHERN LIGHTS BOAT TOUR (200 km/230 mls)

From Vík we travel to Reynisfjara, a black lava beach with high bird cliffs and pounding waves. Further west we reach the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall which plunges from the mountain. In the afternoon we return to Reykjavik for a short city tour and some leisure time to explore Iceland's capital on our own, visit museums, do some shopping or simply rest after all this touring. Farewell Icelandic dinner at a local restaurant with a panoramic view in Reykjavik, followed by a 2-3 hours Northern Lights hunt by boat to escape from the city lights. Around midnight we return to Icelandair Hotel Natura for one last night.

Day 8, TUE: DEPARTURE HOME (50 km/31 mls)

Individual transfer by Flybus airport shuttle to Keflavík Airport.

DAILY DRIVING: Total mileage without airport transfer is about 1.400 km (868 miles) which is an average of 234 km (145 miles) per day. You spend about 3,5 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 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-25

AMAZING TOUR FOR WINTER 2017-2018 WITH LOTS OF HIGHLIGHTS & ACTIVITIES:

Aurora Chaser Iceland - 8 days / 7 nights - maximum 20 persons (Tuesday-Tuesday)

Tour Code Tour Dates  Availability  .. Tour Code Tour Dates  Availability .. Tour Code Tour Dates Availability
25/B3 10.10.-17.10.2017 not available 25/C3 17.10.-24.10.2017 not available 25/E3 31.10.-07.11.2017 yes
25/F3 07.11.-14.11.2017 yes 25/G3 14.11.-21.11.2017 not available 25/L3 16.01.-23.01.2018 yes
25/N3 30.01.-06.02.2018 yes 25/P3 13.02.-20.02.2018 yes 25/R3 27.02.-06.03.2018 yes
25/T3 13.03.-20.03.2018 yes 25/V3 27.03.-03.04.2018 yes 25/W3 03.04.-10.04.2018 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.

TOUR START: Arrival in Iceland on Tuesdays and guided bus tour starts on Wednesday at 09:00

END OF TOUR: The guided tour ends on Mondays around midnight for a last overnight in Reykjavík. Departure from Iceland is on Tuesdays.

DURATION: 8 days / 7 nights

LANGUAGES: English only

MEALS: 7x breakfast, 1x lunch (day 4), and 3x 2-course dinner (day 2, 4, 5) and 3-course farewell-dinner at Gourmet restaurant (day 7) and 5x midnight refreshments.

GROUP SIZE: Small group with maximum 20 persons


Tour Code: GJ-25

AMAZING TOUR FOR WINTER 2017-2018 WITH LOTS OF HIGHLIGHTS & ACTIVITIES:

PRICE PER PERSON IN EUR

October 2017 - April 2018
in Twin, Double or Triple* room     EUR 3.610     in Single room      EUR 4.060   

*Triple room on request

NOTE: Most double rooms in Iceland are actually twin bedded rooms

CHILDREN DISCOUNT: Not available. Minimum age 10 years.

Included winter 2017-2018:

  • Arrival & departure airport transfer by FLYBUS (no guide)
  • Fully escorted 6-day bus tour with an English speaking guide
  • 7-nights accommodation in superior tourist-class hotels including breakfast
  • 1x lunch (day 4)
  • 3x 2-course dinner (day 2, 4, 5) and 3-course farewell-dinner at a local restaurant with a panoramic view (day 7) 
  • 5x midnight refreshments
  • Entrance fee at Reykjanes folk & maritime museum
  • Entrance with towel at Blue Lagoon 
  • Monster truck tour and Ice Cave exploration on Langjökull glacier
  • 1-hour snowmobile tour during the day (2 persons sharing the snowmobile - if required snowmobile for solo use surcharge ISK 6.000 to be paid on spot)
  • Glacier hike in South Iceland
  • Admission to Kerið volcano crater
  • Northern Lights boat tour (no refund if canceled - but bus tour offered if weather conditions are suitable)
  • Northern Lights program during 6 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: Superior tourist-class hotels – in rooms with shower/wc. The following accommodations are used (subject to change):
Reykjavík: Icelandair Hotel Natura, first and last night
West Iceland: Icelandair Hotel Hamar (2 nights)
South Iceland: Hotel Gullfoss (1 night) and Icelandair Hotel Vik (2 nights)

INFORMATION REGARDING DINNERS AND LUNCHES: In Reykjavik, on arrival day 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 on day 2, 4 and 6. Lunch is included on day 4. A 3-course farewell-dinner is at a local restaurant (day 7) in Reykjavík. 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.

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.

NORTHERN LIGHTS: This program includes during 6 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 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.
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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. In general, there is a non-refundable booking fee/deposit of up to 20% to secure space on the tour. 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-25

Here below are the Aurora viewing results from the past trips winter 2016-2017 that give you an idea of how often northern lights have been seen during the Aurora Chaser Iceland Tour, while staying 5 nights in the countryside:

Travel Dates 
How many nights seen Auroras? 
Travel Dates How many nights seen Auroras?
01.11.-08.11.2016 1x medium 08.11.-15.11.2016 1x weak
28.02.-07.03.2017 1x medium + 2x strong

Northern Lights Success Rate:

Winter 2016-2017: 100% (Oct-Mar)

Tour Code: GJ-25