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Northern Lights South and West

Discover the gems of the Icelandic countryside and chase the Northern Lights

See the many wonderful sights of the West of Iceland, with the Snæfellsnes peninsula and the Borgarfjörður region, as well as the Golden Circle, the must see sights of Iceland, and the wonderful volcanic and glacial landscape of the South Coast. This tour gives you a brilliant introduction to the landscape that shapes Icelanders, and a chance to see a variety of amazing sights. The guides will try their best to show you the magical Northern Lights, a truly breathtaking phenomenon.

Duration: 6 Nights

Price: From $1,724

Highlights

  • Visit many famous sights to get a taste of the natural winter beauty of Iceland
  • See various stunning landscapes, such as Vatnajökull National Park, and the famous "Diamond Beach"
  • Follow the novel "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" by Jules Verne, as you discover the lava caves in Snæfellsjökull National Park
  • Unique storytelling experience by local expert

Included:

Coach tour with expert local English speaking guide day 2-6
Wi-Fi on board coach
Accommodation 2 nights in Reykjavik with private facilities and breakfast
Accommodation 4 nights in countryside with private facilities and breakfast
6x breakfast, 4x dinners in the countryside with tea/coffee day 2-5
Visit to local storyteller in Grundarfjörður
Trip into Vatnshellir lava tunnel with guide and safety equipment provided (must be able to do moderate amount of walking, including uneven ground and equivalent of 2-3 flights of stairs)
Visit to geothermal bakery in Laugarvatn
Visit to Lava Center including educational film about volcanoes at the center
Entrance to Blue Lagoon, including towel, silica mud mask, drink of your choice
Use of crampons for snow/ice walking if necessary
Northern Lights guided hunt on foot one evening, including kit (flashlight, blanket and hot drink)

Not Included:

Flights to/from Iceland
Personal travel insurance (highly recommended)
Transfer to/from airport in Iceland
Any beverages, snacks, lunches, or dinners unless noted in "Included"
Any service not specifically listed under "Included"

Accommodation: a mix of 4- and 3-star hotels

Maximum size: 22 participants

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Day 1

Arrival in Iceland

Arrive at Keflavík airport, and head to your hotel. Airport transfer is not included, but can be arranged upon request. Once you have arrived in Reykjavík, you are free to do as you like, explore the old town area, visit one of the many geothermal swimming pools, or simply wander around, taking in the atmosphere. You can also book one of the optional extra tours, such as whale watching or horseback riding. Dinner is on your own at your choice of a multitude of restaurants located in the city center. There will be an informational meeting at around 6pm at your hotel to meet the tour guide and the rest of your group, and learn a little more about the trip.

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Day 2

The Wild West

Leaving Reykjavík with your driver and guide, you will head northwest towards the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, home of the great Snæfellsjökull glacier, which can sometimes be seen from the harbor in Reykjavík. This stunning landscape has had a great impact on not only Icelanders, but any readers of the novel "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" by Jules Verne, who will know this as the location where the characters dug their way into the Earth. The surrounding landscape has almost every type of geological feature visible in Iceland, giving you a glimpse of how amazing this country is. Enjoy views of Kirkjufell, the most photographed mountain in Iceland (you'll see why when you see its unique shape). You will stop by in Grundafjörður village, which is situated near a fjord of the same name, teeming with herring and sometimes even killer whales. Here you will visit a local storyteller in his home, who will tell tales of the country and its people. The continue along the coast, stopping to see unique basalt formations and the power of the northern Atlantic Ocean. Next you will be guided by an expert through the incredible Vatnshellir caves, the 8,000 year old lava tunnels at the foot of the majestic Snæfellsjökull glacier. You will dine and stay overnight in West Iceland, near the scenic and historical area of Borgarfjörður.
If weather conditions are right then the guide may lead you on a Northern Lights hunt near your hotel, to try to see this stunning phenomenon, however this could take place on one of the other nights of the tour instead, depending on the weather.

Driving distance: 369km / 229 miles


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Day 3

Golden Circle

Today is the popular Golden Circle tour, thought of by many as the 'must see' sights of Iceland. To start the day off, you will visit Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the historical location of the world's oldest parliament. This is, however, not just a historically interesting area, but one of stunning geological beauty too, as the North Atlantic Ridge cuts through the national park, separating the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Then through scenic farmland you will arrive at Gullfoss, the double waterfall called 'Golden Falls' in English, where you can appreciate the sheer power of a glacial waterfall. Geysir Hot Spring area is nearby, the location of the original but dormant Geysir, where the term geyser comes from. Its 'younger brother', Strokkur, erupts regularly, shooting columns of hot water into the air every 5-10 minutes. Lastly, experience a traditional Icelandic 'hot spring bread', a rye bread baked in the warm earth, heated by hot springs. This takes place at Laugarvatn village, famous for its lake with naturally warm water. Then drive to the overnight location on the South Coast for dinner.

Driving distance: 235km / 146 miles


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Day 4

South Coast - lava landscape

Drive along the beautiful winter scenery of the south shore, passing by traditional Icelandic farms, sometimes spotting horses in the fields. On a clear day you might be able to see Hekla, Iceland's most active volcano. Visit the LAVA Center, an interactive educational exhibition about the volcanic and seismic activity that created this unique country. You will have the chance to see a film about the volcanoes in Iceland at the center's cinema. Then, as you carry on along the south coast, you may get a chance to see Eyjafjallajökull, the famous glacier volcano that erupted in 2010, spewing ash into the atmosphere and halting air traffic around the globe. The next two waterfalls you will see are beautiful in their own ways. Seljalandsfoss is a popular stop along this route, as you can put on your waterproof clothes and follow a path that leads you behind the waterfall, something you rarely get a chance to do elsewhere. Skógafoss is a tall and majestic waterfall, and often looks particularly spectacular if you are lucky enough to get some sunshine to see rainbows through the spray. It is also said to be the hiding place for ancient treasure, although no one knows what or where it is hidden. After passing over Eldhraun, a vast lava field created by a singular flow - the largest known in history, you will start seeing the views of the glaciers as you head towards the southeast of the country, the southern Vatnajökull region. This is where you will have dinner and stay overnight.

Driving distance: 315km / 196 miles


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Day 5

Fire and Ice

Today you will experience the vast and impressive Vatnajökull National Park, where Europe's largest glacier dominates the landscape and its features. You may have heard of Jökulsárlón, the glacial lagoon where icebergs from the Vatnajökull glacier float in the freezing waters, and seals spend their time relaxing and playing, where you will start your day. Next is the nearby 'Diamond Beach', a stunning site of natural beauty, where icebergs sit like precious stones on the black lava sand, before being washed out to sea. Then on to the Skaftafell region of the national park, a true testament to the 'Fire and Ice' nickname Iceland has been given, as this landscape is completely shaped by the volcanoes that sit under the Vatnajökull glacier. Svínafellsjökull, a glacial outlet of the Vatnajökull glacier, is one of the most beautiful sights in this area.
Return west, passing through the town of Vík, Iceland's southernmost village. Stop at Reynisfjara black sand beach, where the powerful waves will truly impress, and admire the extraordinary rock formations shaped by these thundering waters. Here, in Vík, you will have dinner and spend the night.

Driving distance: 227km / 141 miles


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Day 6

Reykjanes peninsula

For your last day with the guide, you will go to the Reykjanes peninsula, a UNESCO Geopark in the south west, given this title for its interesting geothermal and volcanic features. First up is Strandarkirkja, a very traditional Icelandic church built on the coast, with beautiful ocean views. Many fishermen come here to pray for luck before heading out into the dangerous waters. See if you can spot the painted elf houses on the grounds of the church that really add to the quaint countryside atmosphere. The moon like surroundings near Lake Kleifarvatn, the next destination, are truly something to be admired. On the south side of the lake you will find Krýsuvík, a geothermal hotspot, with vents ejecting hot sulfurous steam from the earth, and brightly colored springs and bubbling mud pools are all around. Next is Grindavík, a sizeable fishing village, where you can stop to buy lunch (we recommend fish). Finally, it is time for the spa, the famous Blue Lagoon, known for its mineral rich waters, which have proven medical healing properties. The combination of the naturally warm waters and the stunning volcanic landscape is a perfect recipe for relaxation. You will be provided with a towel, and will receive a mud mask and drink in the lagoon, but make sure you bring swimming clothes, or you will need to rent from the reception. After the perfect rejuvenating end to the tour, head back to Reykjavík with your guide, before parting ways for a free evening to spend however you like. We recommend checking out the restaurants and walking around the city, especially the harbor area. Your last night is spent overnight in a hotel in Reykjavík.

Driving distance: 300km / 186 miles


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Day 7

Departure

Sadly, it is time to depart, although we hope by this point you will have seen everything you wanted to see! Airport transfer is not included, but can be arranged upon request. It is recommended that you arrive at the airport 3 hours before takeoff, so if you have some time in the morning then feel free to continue exploring the wonderful capital city, Reykjavík before you go to Keflavík International Airport.

Departures 2019-2020

Prices per person:

Sharing a double room: $1,786
Sharing a triple room: $1,752
Single room: $2,198

Dates: November 5 2019, January 28, February 11, 18, March 24 2020

Prices per person:

Sharing a double room: $1,724
Sharing a triple room: $1,694
Single room: $2,126

Dates: February 26, March 18 2020

For children ages 6-11 traveling with 2 adults sharing a double room: 25% discount (only for 1 child)
Tour is not recommended for children under 6 years old

Please note: All bookings are subject to availability. Availability is NOT guaranteed until booking is confirmed by Nordika Travel.

Early bird 10% discount applies to bookings completed before September 15 2019, prices shown are the full prices, discount will be added upon booking

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Views from Northern Lights South and West

  • Gullfoss Winter2.jpg
  • Strokkur Geysir 1.jpg
  • Seljalandsfoss-Winter1.jpg
  • Skogafoss 1.jpg
  • Thingvellir1.jpg
  • Jokulsarlon5.jpg
  • blue-lagoon-winter.jpg
  • Jokulsarlon colors AG.JPG
  • kirjufell-northern-lights-joshua-earle.jpg

Highlights

  • Visit many famous sights to get a taste of the natural winter beauty of Iceland
  • See various stunning landscapes, such as Vatnajökull National Park, and the famous "Diamond Beach"
  • Follow the novel "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" by Jules Verne, as you discover the lava caves in Snæfellsjökull National Park
  • Unique storytelling experience by local expert

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