(6 days/5 nights)

NEW for winter 2017/2018

Tour code: WT9

£1610 (double/twin/triple room), £1913 (single room)

We recommend a triple room for 2 adults travelling with  1 child

Prices are per person, excluding flights

We’ve described this holiday as a ‘bucket list’ opportunity but it’s really bucket list plus, since apart from seeing the most visited sights of the Golden Circle and South Coast ( waterfalls, geyser, hot springs, glaciers, volcano craters and lava fields) this trip also includes Aurora hunting when possible (of course) and the Blue Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, whale watching, Viking restaurant meal, chocolate tour and a selfie with an Icelandic horse. If you’d like to add a glacier hike, which we thoroughly recommend, then this is an optional extra. Accommodation is in 3 star hotels, with 3 nights in Reykjavik and 2 nights in South Iceland. Departures are from October to April.

DAY 1 (Sun or Tue): ARRIVAL IN ICELAND (50km/31 miles)

Arrive in Iceland today, and transfer on arrival from Keflavik airport to your hotel in Reykjavik to check in for an overnight stay. Your arrival day is a time for settling in and exploring the city. It’s a small and walkable city so easy to explore, and there are plenty of places to eat too. When you book we’ll be able to make suggestions for your first experiences of Iceland depending on your flight time and interests.

DAY 2 (Mon or Wed):  REYKJAVIK OUTSKIRTS AND WHALE WATCHING (100 KM/62 MILES)

The days starts with a meeting with your tour guide and an introduction to Reykjavik and its surrounding area by coach.  This includes the open air museum at Arbaer where there is a fine collection of examples of Icelandic architecture and building styles, which give a clear picture of the way of life in the early days of the city. Iceland’s president lives on the outskirts of the city and visiting his house is something of a tradition, by which time warm soup with a Viking theme at a nearby hotel will be
welcome. During the afternoon there’s a whale watching trip where minke whales, white beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises are the species most likely to be spotted. Occasionally humpbacks, orcas and fin whales are seen. At the end of the afternoon you leave Reykjavik for the countryside, taking a stop for a swim in a local geothermal swimming pool.  The Hotel Borealis, where you are staying for 2 nights is in an area free of light pollution, ideal for watching the night sky. After an Icelandic lamb dinner at the hotel, there is a short evening lecture to introduce you to Northern Lights photography and you will be shown where, in the hotel ground, there are good spots for looking for the Lights.

 

DAY 3 (Tue or Thur):  SOUTH SHORE, AND OPTIONAL GLACIER HIKE (300 km/186 miles)

Iceland’s south coast is home to a wonderful collection of geological features that make great subjects for photographs no matter how excited you are by rock formations! The Seljalandsfoss waterfall cascades over a high cliff and into a dramatic plunge pool, the Eyjafjallajokull glacier towers over the farmland beneath, once again hiding the volcano that erupted in 2010.  A little further along is the Solheimajokull glacier, and it’s here after a simple lunch, that you can choose to take a hike on the glacier if you wish. It’s an empowering experience, crampons make the walking much easier, and with a trained hiking guide to accompany the group the chance to see the caves, tunnels and glacial streams on the ice are very worth while. The hike takes about 3 hours and includes a walk across the glacial moraines deposited by the retreating ice, a great scene setter for the experience. This takes about 30 minutes each way.**

If glacier hiking is not on your bucket list, the coach drops off the walking group and continues on to the stunning black sand beach at Reynisfjara near Vik. Here you can take a stroll and feel the sea air, there’s really nothing south of here until the Antarctic. In the evening, after dinner,  there’s a presentation about the Aurora and time after that to wrap up warm and go out into the hotel grounds in search of the Northern Lights.

 

DAY 4 ( Wed or Fri):  GEOTHERMAL BATHING, ICELANDIC HORSES AND THE GOLDEN CIRCLE (210 km/130miles)

Kerid is an unusual water filled explosion crater  that isn’t visited so much these days. A shame in our view, so we are pleased that you won’t miss out, it’s a great photographic location and is the first stop of the day. After that a geothermal hot spring pool is the next stop and here, a chance to relax in wonderful warm water of the Secret Lagoon, in a very natural setting. Nearby, at Fridheimar see the geothermal greenhouse where many tomatoes are grown and enjoy the soup of the house for lunch, together with a chance to meet their beautiful horses. It’s a good place for a selfie, though just photographing the horses in their thick winter coats is perfectly fine!

Heading north, arrive at Gulfoss waterfall, one of the highlights of Iceland’s Golden Circle followed by the geothermal area and geyser, “Strokkur” which erupts every 5-1o minutes. The day finishes with a visit to the Thingvellir National Park, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the American and Eurasian tectonic plates divide. Arriving back in Reykjavik for the next 2 nights, you have a free evening and a chance to visit the cafes, bars and restaurants in the city. We’ll be happy to make suggestions and recommend this evening of traditional food and Icelandic culture:  Food, Traditions and Tasting

 

DAY 5 (Thur or Sat): REYKJAVIK LEISURE, BEACH WALK, CHOCOLATE AND BLUE LAGOON (200 km/124 miles)

This morning is free for you to relax, have a late breakfast, shop or explore on foot or by bus. There is an excellent guided walking tour available in a small group to see some of the most interesting places that most visitors miss! Also available are morning workshops such as a visit to the Reykjavik Cookery School. Reykjavik Cookery School

Please ask us for suggestions, we are always adding to our collection.

In the afternoon the bus leaves for the Blue Lagoon, one of Iceland’s most must-do experiences but that’s a treat for the early evening! Before that there’s a beach walk, a chocolate tour and a visit to Reykjavik’s hot dog stand (made even more famous by a visit from Bill Clinton).  Then after you’ve relaxed in the beautiful milky blue water of the Blue Lagoon,  dinner is a fish feast on the Reykjanes peninsula followed by a final hunt for the Northern Lights. The return time to Reykjavik is about midnight.

DAY 6 (Fri or Sun): DEPARTURE DAY (50km/31 miles)

Departure day, and the airport shuttle bus will pick you up for the transfer back to Keflavik airport. If you would like to extend your stay either at the beginning or end of this trip please let us know.

Daily driving: The total distance covered on this tour (excluding airport transfers) is 810 km (508 miles), which is an average of 202 km (126 miles) per day. You will spend about 3 hours per day on the bus, depending on road conditions, traffic and daily distances. On some days, driving may be longer than others days.

Please note: In rare cases, a change of programme may be necessary should road and weather conditions make it impossible to follow the scheduled itinerary, and certain outdoor activities may be cancelled. In this case, no refund will be given but your guide will try to find reasonable alternatives where possible. Hotels may change from those advertised.

** For the glacier hike, the minimum age is 10 years and you need to bring strong walking boots, waterproof outdoor clothing, hat and gloves. The cost, payable locally is ISK 15,000 and you confirm your booking for this option at the start of the tour. Please ask us if you would like to know more.

Maximum group size: 30

INCLUDED:

  • Arrival and departure airport transfers (no guide)
  • Fully escorted 4 day bus tour with an English speaking guide
  • 5-nights accommodation in 3 star hotels including breakfast and bath/shower ensuite
  • 3 x light lunches (day 2,3,4)
  • 3 x 3-course dinners (day 2,3,5)
  • 2 x midnight refreshments
  • Entrance to Arbaer open air museum
  • Entrance with a towel to the Secret Lagoon, Blue Lagoon and local public swimming pool
  • Whale watching cruise from Reykjavik (if cancelled an alternative program will be offered)
  • Admission to the Kerid crater
  • Visit to geothermal greenhouse and horse farm
  • Chocolate factory tour
  • Northern Lights programme during 3 evenings: lectures, presentation, films and guided searches
  • Use of winter and Northern Lights explorer equipment: non slip snow and ice grippers spikes for shoes, flash light

DEPARTURES (SUNDAYS)

  • November 5, 12, 19, 26
  • December 3, 10, 17
  • December 30 –  New Year programme, please contact us for more information and prices
  • January 7, 14, 21, 28
  • February 7, 14, 21, 28
  • March 18
  • April 1, 8

DEPARTURES (TUESDAYS)

  • October 17
  • November 7, 28
  • December 5, 12, 19
  • January 9, 16, 23, 30
  • February 13, 20, 27
  • March 6, 13, 20, 27
  • April 3, 10

For bookings or to check availability please click on the green button to send us a message.

Related Holidays from Iceland Traveller

  • All escorted Northern Lights tours
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