This is an escorted tour program taking you to the Icelandic countryside to celebrate New Year’s Eve in a casual and Icelandic way. We recommend booking early, as this program is only available for a maximum of 40 persons.
You explore Reykjavík, the lunar landscapes of the Reykjanes peninsula, and the Golden Circle route with the Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall, and Geysir hot springs. You travel to South Iceland, a region with glaciers, waterfalls and black lava beaches. Of course, a warm and relaxing soak in the famous Blue Lagoon during the cold winter days is also included.
Most New Year’s programs in Iceland are based in Reykjavík and include superior class hotels and gourmet restaurants. As an out-of-the-box alternative GJ-Travel offers a casual New Year’s adventure where you stay in simple hotels and cottages in Reykjavík and South Iceland; all rooms with private shower/wc. We spend two nights in Hella, a small village in South Iceland where you will be able to discover and experience how Icelandic countryside people celebrate New Year’s Eve. We promise that even in a casual program the meals and drinks will be delicious. Oops, did we mention the Northern Lights? Árhús cottages in Hella are located in a large and dark garden where it is very easy to see the Northern Lights, also called Aurora Borealis, if the weather conditions are suitable. Our expert tour guide provides you also with a fact talk about the Northern Lights and gives you some tips on how to take photos of this natural phenomenon. On the 1st of January, the program includes fine dining at a panoramic restaurant at the Pearl in Reykjavík. We look forward to celebrating with you the start of 2019 in the Icelandic countryside.
Note: There is an upgrade option for lodging at Hotel Klettur in Reykjavik and Stracta Hotel in Hella (limited amount of rooms available).
The price is :
Keflavik International Airport (Flybus shuttle)
Day 2 at 09:00
Celebrate New Year’s Eve in a casual and Icelandic way. Explore Reykjavík, the Reykjanes peninsula, the Blue Lagoon, the Golden Circle and the South Coast. Stay in simple hotels and cottages in Reykjavík and South Iceland; all rooms with private shower/wc. Discover and experience how Icelandic countryside people celebrate New Year’s Eve. Oops, did we mention the Northern Lights?
The Flybus shuttle brings travellers from Keflavík International Airport to Hotel Cabin in Reykjavík where you spend one night. We provide you with ideas on how to explore Iceland’s capital on your own. (Upgrade option is with lodging at Hotel Klettur in Reykjavík – limited amount of rooms available).
Overnight location: Hotel Cabin. A la Carte dinner is on your own (50km / 31mls)
At 09:00 meet your tour guide who shows the group highlights of Iceland’s exciting capital. Then we head out to the Reykjanes Peninsula with its hot springs, mountains, bird cliffs, lighthouses and fishing villages. At the end of the day, we get to soak off our travels in the warm blue waters of the famous Blue Lagoon. We stay for two nights in simple cottages in South Iceland. (Upgrade option is with lodging at Stracta Hotel in Hella).
In the evening you have a presentation about the Northern Lights. If the night is clear, step out in the garden and check if the Northern Lights are visible. Also, known as the Aurora Borealis, these spectacular skylight shows can frequently be seen in Iceland from September through April on clear and crisp nights. White and green are usually the dominant colours of northern lights, but sometimes there are considerable colour variations. They are ephemeral, however, sightings are not guaranteed. The grounds of Arhús Cabins and Hotel Stracta in Hella are very large and dark that offers you an excellent location for Northern Lights search if the weather conditions are right. It requires patience, warm clothing and the excitement of “maybe there are Northern Lights”.
Overnight location: Arhus Cabins. Breakfast included. A la Carte dinner is on your own (220km / 137mls)
After breakfast, we head along the South coast and get out near the active volcano that is beneath the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. We stop at the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which plunges over the mountain. There’s a trail that goes behind the falling water and offers impressive views if you are prepared to get wet! Further east we visit one of Iceland’s finest folk museums. This museum contains an outstanding collection of farm and domestic artefacts typical of Iceland’s past, as well as turf-built houses. Nearby is Skógafoss waterfall which is 62 meters high and one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country. We continue to the seaside and stroll on the black lava beach to see the amazing bird cliffs at Reynisfjara near Vík.
In the evening we celebrate New Year the Icelandic way. Before dinner, we join a guided bus tour to visit the bonfires in the villages of Hvolsvöllur and Hella. The traditional Brenna bonfires of New Year’s Eve had their origins in the Middle Ages when people built bonfires to burn the old things they no longer needed. In Iceland, there are bonfires all around the country where inhabitants gather, shoot off fireworks, sing and dance as they wait for the New Year to come in.
Your festive 4-course dinner starts around 20:30 and is served at Árhús Restaurant on the river banks in Hella, which is a small village in South Iceland. Around 23:30 one of the local rescue team members joins our group and lights our own small fireworks. Afterwards, we walk through the village and celebrate New Year’s with a bang when at midnight the sky opens with thousands of fireworks set off in the village by the local inhabitants. This is an experience of a lifetime; you will never forget. Drink a toast of sparkling wine as you enjoy a real special Icelandic New Year’s celebration. (Note that guests at Stracta Hotel join all festivities at Árhús Restaurant).
If the night is clear, you might be lucky enough to see the Northern Lights swirling in a wild and carefree dance across the heavens in dramatic shapes, colours, patterns and sizes.
Overnight location: Arhus Cabins. Breakfast included. Festive 4-course dinner (200km / 124mls)
Today we travel on the Golden Circle route. You see steam from the Geysir geothermal fields as you arrive. There are 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. You continue to Gullfoss “the golden falls”, a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá river, and attracts tourists and travellers in summer and winter. We travel inland to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site before returning to Reykjavík for one night. Overnight at Hotel Cabin. (Upgrade option is with lodging at Hotel Klettur in Reykjavík). The program includes a culinary treat at a panoramic restaurant located at the Pearl in Reykjavík. The menu is: Traditional Icelandic fried bread and whipped butter ‘ pumpernickel; Cured and smoked salmon, cured goose breast & accompaniments ; Glazed leg of lamb, creamy wild mushrooms & carrots & Columbia crème brûlée, dark chocolate, pistachios & bilberries.
Overnight location: Hotel Cabin. Breakfast included. Culinary dinner experience (200km / 124mls)
Individual transfer by Flybus airport shuttle from your accommodation in Reykjavík to Keflavík Airport.
Breakfast included. (50km / 31mls)
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.