AURORA ICELAND - new for winter 2017/2018

from EUR 1895

It’s no secret that Iceland has been blessed by vast variety of landscapes and scenery, where every turn brings another ‘wow’ moment. This trip takes you to gushing waterfalls, eerie lava fields, spouting geysers and glittering glaciers. This unique tour program also includes lots of bucket list activities as we go northern lights hunting, bathing in geothermal waters and whale watching, all spiced up by some out-of-the-box Icelandic culinary and cultural experiences. 

Tour Code: GJ-23
  • Tour Availability: Sun & Tue
  • Seasons: October to April
  • Duration: 6 days
  • Min. nr of Participants: 1

Bus tour to Skogafoss waterfall.jpgExtraordinary, the perfect word to describe Iceland. No matter where you travel in the Land for Fire and Ice, you are always bound to see something new, unique, and completely out of this world. On this trip we are going to show you some of the most extraordinary destinations in Iceland. We follow an inspirational bucket list of natural landmarks, amazing places to see and meaningful adventures to experience. Yes, it includes geothermal bathing in the Blue Lagoon, but also in the Secret Lagoon and in one of the public local pools. Yes, the tour takes you to waterfalls, volcano craters, lava fields, hot springs, geysers and glaciers. Yes, the tour includes whale watching, lunch in a Viking restaurant, a walk in a winter wonderland and hunting for the magical Northern Lights.

Highlights and Experiences:

  • Bucket list nature: waterfalls, geyser, hot springs, lava fields, volcano craters and glaciers
  • Bucket list culinary: Viking restaurant, Icelandic hot dog, fish and lamb 
  • Bucket list activity: whale watching, selfie with the horses, short hike, northern lights photography and chocolate tour
  • Bucket list Icelandic: geothermal bathing in Blue Lagoon, Secret Lagoon & public swimming pool
  • Optional: glacier hike
Tour Code: GJ-23

Aurora Iceland.jpgDay 1, SUN or TUE: WELCOME to ICELAND (50 km/31 mls)

Individual transfer by Flybus shuttle bus from Keflavik Airport to your accommodation in Reykjavík where you spend the night. We provide you with ideas how to explore Iceland's capital on your own.

Day 2, MON or WED: REYKJAVIK & WHALE WATCHING (100 km/62 mls)

At 09:00 meet your tour guide who shows the group the highlights of Iceland's exciting capital. We visit the Arbær open-air museum where more than 20 buildings including an original turf-roof farmhouse and church give a sense of the architecture and way of life and lifestyles of the past in Reykjavík. We travel to the presidential site of Bessastaðir and have warm soup in a Viking themed restaurant. In the afternoon we go whale watching, an unmissable Icelandic experience where we might see minke whales, white-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises. Occasionally we spot other species including humpback whales, orcas and fin whales. We travel to South Iceland surrounded by lava fields and volcanic mountains and experience Iceland's pure thermal energy and take a dip in a public thermal pool. The next two nights are spent at Hotel Borealis, located in the countryside of South Iceland, away from light pollution, and set in a peaceful surrounding ideal for searching for the Northern Lights. After an Icelandic lamb dinner the hotel manager gives a short Northern Lights photography lecture and then shows you the best spot around the hotel where you might see the mystical Northern Lights, also called Aurora Borealis.

Day 3, TUE or THU: SOUTH ICELAND WITH OPTIONAL GLACIER HIKE (300 km/186 mls)

Today we head along the south coast and reach the area near the active volcano that is beneath the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. We stop at the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which plunges from the mountain. Next we visit one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country; the 60 meter high Skógafoss waterfall. After a simple lunch, we offer an optional 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 will 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 will teach you how to use basic glacier equipment, such as crampons and an ice axe which are provided for glacier walk tours. The unique experience of a glacier walk on one of the many retreating glaciers of the world is sure to leave lasting memories. 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. Minimum age for the glacier hike is 10 years. You need to bring warm clothing, rain gear and hiking boots. The glacier hike can only be booked with the guide on day 2. The price is ISK 15.000 (about EUR 120 per person). Payment is due in with the glacier hike company on day 3 Icelandic Krona - cash only!

If you booked the trip without the glacier hike, then the tour continues further south where you can stroll on the black lava beach to see the amazing bird cliffs at Reynisfjara near Vík. In the evening there is presentation about the Northern Lights. If the night is clear, you might see the Northern Lights swirling in a wild and carefree dance across the heavens in dramatic shapes, colours, patterns and sizes. The grounds of Hotel Borealis are very large and dark and offer you a good location for Northern Lights search if the weather conditions are right. It requires patience, warm clothing and the excitement of "maybe there could be Northern Lights".

Day 4, WED or FRI: SECRET LAGOON, HORSES & GOLDEN CIRCLE (210 km/130 mls)

In the morning we visit the explosion crater called Kerið which is filled with water and resembles an ancient amphitheater. Our next stop is at the Secret Lagoon, a natural hot spring pool located on the Golden Circle Tour where you get the true Icelandic bathing experience. A tomato soup is served at Friðheimar, a geothermal greenhouse where we can take a selfie with Icelandic horses. We continue on to Gullfoss, a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá River and attracts tourists and travellers in summer and winter. At the Geysir geothermal fields 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 minute intervals. We end the day at Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a place where you move between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Stay 2 nights in Reykjavík, Iceland's capital.

Day 5, THU or SAT: REYKJAVÍK ACTIVE & BLUE LAGOON (200 km/124 mls)

Morning free at leisure. Explore Iceland's capital on your own, visit a local spa or go shopping the Viking style. In the afternoon we take you on an active journey through Reykjavík. First we take you on a refreshing walk along one of the city's black beaches and if you dare, you might want to dip your toes into the ice cold water. Next we tour a local chocolate factory and then we visit an Icelandic hot dog stand. In the evening we get to soak in the famous Blue Lagoon, before having an Icelandic fish dinner in a small fishing village, followed by one last nocturnal tour to seek more Northern Lights. Around midnight we reach Reykjavík for one last night.

Day 6, FRI & SUN: DEPARTURE HOME (50 km/31 mls)

Individual transfer by Flybus airport shuttle from your accommodation in Reykjavík to Keflavík Airport.

DAILY DRIVING: Total mileage without airport transfer is about 810 km (502 miles) which is an average of 202 km (126 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.

NOTE: 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-23

DEPARTURES: From October 2017 to April 2018

TOUR START: Arrival in Iceland on Sundays and Tuesdays. Guided bus tour starts on Mondays and Wednesdays at 09:00

END OF TOUR: The guided tour ends on Saturdays and Mondays around midnight in Reykjavík. Departure from Iceland is on Sundays and Tuesdays.

DURATION: 6 days / 5 nights

MEALS: 5x breakfast, 3x light lunch and 3x dinner

LANGUAGES: English 

GROUP SIZE WINTER 2017-2018: Maximum group size: 30 persons

Winter 2017-2018: English guided tours: Sunday to Friday
Code Tour Date Availability Code Tour Date Availability Code Tour Date Availability
23-051117 05.11.-10.11.17 for private group charter only 23-121117 12.11.-17.11.17 for private group charter only 23-191117 19.11.-24.11.17 for private group charter only
23-261117 26.11.-01.12.17 sold out 23-031217 03.12.-08.12.17 for private group charter only 23-101217 10.12.-15.12.17 for private group charter only
23-171217 17.12.-22.12.17 for private group charter only 23-301217 (*) 30.12.17-04.01.18 for private group charter only
23-070118 07.01.-12.01.18 sold out 23-140118 14.01.-19.01.18 for private group charter only 23-210118 21.01.-26.01.18 for private group charter only
23-280118 28.01.-02.02.18 for private group charter only 23-110218 11.02.-16.02.18 sold out 23-250218 25.02.-02.03.18 for private group charter only
23-180318 18.03.-23.03.18 for private group charter only 23-010418 01.04.-06.04.18 for private group charter only 23-080418 08.04.-13.04.18 for private group charter only
Winter 2017-2018: English guided tours: Tuesday to Sunday
Code Tour Date Availability Code Tour Date Availability Code Tour Date Availability
23-171017 17.10.-22.10.17 not available 23-071117 07.11.-12.11.17 for private group charter only 23-281117 28.11.-03.12.17 for private group charter only
23-051217 05.12.-10.12.17 for private group charter only 23-121217 12.12.-17.12.17 for private group charter only 23-191217 19.12.-24.12.17 for private group charter only
23-090118 09.01.-14.01.18 for private group charter only 23-160118 16.01.-21.01.18 for private group charter only 23-230118 23.01.-28.01.18 for private group charter only
23-300118 30.01.-04.02.18 for private group charter only 23-130218 13.02.-18.02.18 for private group charter only 23-200218 20.02.-25.02.18 for private group charter only
23-270218 27.02.-04.03.18 for private group charter only 23-060318 06.03.-11.03.18 for private group charter only 23-130318 13.03.-18.03.18 for private group charter only
23-200318 20.03.-25.03.18 for private group charter only 23-270318 27.03.-01.04.18 sold out 23-030418 03.04.-08.04.18 for private group charter only
23-100418 10.04.-15.04.18 for private group charter only

NOTE:

  • Tours listed with "on request" are operated but have only 1-2 rooms available or unsold rooms had been returned to hotels.
  • Note that there is limited day light, about 5-6 hours, for departures 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 Code: GJ-23

PRICE PER PERSON IN EUR

October 2017 - April 2018
in Twin, Double or Triple* room     EUR 1895    in Single room      EUR 2.250   
New Year 30.12.17-04.01.18
in Twin, Double or Triple* room     EUR 2.550    in Single room      EUR 3.240  
Please note that the New Year's itinerary is slightly different - see details here:

*Triple room on request

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

CHILDREN DISCOUNT: Not available. Minimum age 10 years.

Included:

  • Arrival & departure airport transfer by FLYBUS (no guide)
  • Fully escorted 4-day bus tour with an English speaking guide
  • 5-nights accommodation in 3 star hotels including breakfast
  • 3x light lunch (day 2, 3 and 4)
  • 3x 3-course dinner (day 2, 3 and 5) 
  • 2x midnight refreshments
  • Entrance fee to Arbaer open-air museum
  • Entrance with towel at Blue Lagoon, Secret Lagoon and local public swimming pool
  • Whale watching cruise from Reykjavik (if cancelled alternative program will be offered)
  • Admission to Kerið volcano crater
  • Visit to geothermal greenhouse and horse farm
  • Chocolate factory tour
  • Northern Lights program during 3 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: 3 star hotels – in rooms with shower/wc. The following accommodations are used (subject to change):
Reykjavík: Fosshotel Raudara (3 night)
South Iceland: Hotel Borealis (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 3-course dinner is included on day 2, 3 and 5. A simple lunch is included on 2, 3 and 4. If you have any special diet requests or allergies, please let us know at the moment of your booking. 

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.

NORTHERN LIGHTS: This program includes during 3 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. In general there is a non-refundable booking fee/deposit of up to 20 % in order 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 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-23