Northern Lights Exploration

85-98% chance of seeing the Northern Lights.

Experience the best of Iceland’s winter! The Northern Lights Exploration series are designed to include a lot of Iceland and aim to maximize the chances of seeing the elusive Northern Lights. In addition to 7 nights of accommodations with breakfast, the program includes six nights Northern Lights Academy – with 6 evenings of presentations, lectures and guided tours at spots likely to offer a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis – the Northern Lights. This is a fully escorted coach tour with guaranteed departures from September to April which can help you experience the winter at its most Icelandic – both during the day and after dark, as you head to the countryside in West and Southeast Iceland, exploring the regions from Snæfellsnes peninsula to Vatnajökull glacier to search for the Aurora Borealis away from the big city lights. This tour has been a best seller for the last 4 years.

Duration: 7 Nights, Winter

Price: From $2,465 pp


  • Northern Lights Academy program with 6 evenings of lectures
  • See Waterfalls, Lava Fields, Fjords, Geysers
  • Hot Springs, Glaciers, Icebergs, Black Sand Beaches

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         85-98% chance of seeing the Northern Lights (track record for past years)

         Amazing Icelandic landscapes. 

         Climb a volcanic crater

         Relax in the Blue lagoon

         Visit Lava Center

         Northern Lights Academy





  • Arrival & departure airport transfer by FLYBUS Plus shuttle (no guide)
  • Fully escorted 6-day bus tour with an English speaking guide
  • 7-nights accommodation in comfort tourist-class hotels including breakfast
  • Fjord Cruise on Breiðafjörður fjord including light lunch (day 3)
  • Visit to traditional shark curing farm
  • Hot spring Tasting with geothermally cooked bread and eggs
  • Visit to Icelandic horse stables & geothermal greenhouse
  • Visit Lava Exhibition center
  • Entrance fee to Skógar folk museum and turf houses
  • Entrance with towel at Blue Lagoon
  • Traditional Icelandic dinner at Northern Light Inn Hotel (day 7)
  • Northern Lights Academy program during 6 evenings with a combination of lectures, presentations, film, guided Northern Lights searches and midnight refreshments
  • 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

Not included:
    Flights to and from the US to Iceland
    Travel insurance (Ask us to send you a Free Quote)


EXTRA COSTS FOR DINNERS TO BE PAID AT THE HOTELS: Fixed 2-course dinners with fish, meat or vegetarian main courses are available at the hotels starting at ISK 6.000 (about EUR 45) per person per night. Note, that the country hotels do not offer a la carte meals and there are no other restaurants nearby. Paying for a 2-course dinner directly at the hotel is less expensive than to have it included in the tour package.


ACCOMMODATION WINTER 2018-2019: Comfort tourist-class hotels (subject to change)

  • Reykjavik: Centrally located hotel for first and last night 
  • West Iceland: Icelandair Hotel Hamar (2 nights)
  • South Iceland: Fosshotel Hekla (1 night)
  • Vatnajökull Region: Fosshotel Núpar near Kirkjubæjarklaustur (2 nights)

Note that the hotel list is subject to change.

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 forces of nature apply, excursions/activities cannot be refunded but the local guides will try their best to find reasonable alternatives where and whenever possible.

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.

Daily driving: Total mileage without airport transfer is about 1.585 km (983 miles) which is an average of 265 km (164 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.

NORTHERN LIGHTS: This program includes our special six night Northern Lights Academy – which means that during 6 evenings there is a combination of presentations, lectures, a movie and guided searches of the Aurora Borealis – the Northern Lights. All countryside hotels in this program offer a Northern Lights  wake up call for guests that register for that special service at the hotel reception. The Northern Lights Exploration series are designed to spend 6 evenings in the countryside to maximize the chances of seeing the elusive Northern Lights, still the tour is dependent on weather and therefore 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 of 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 await patiently this truly outstanding light show. For the best photos we recommend using a tripod.








Northern Lights Iceland (20).JPG

Day 1, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday:


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.

Driving distance: 50 km/31 mls


Day 2, Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday:


At 09:00 meet your tour guide who shows the group the highlights of Iceland's exciting capital. Then we head west. Borgarfjörður is known as the Saga valley because of its many important historical events. We get a chance to climb the Grábrók volcano crater and get warmed at 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. We spend two nights in Borgarnes, West Iceland. The afternoon includes a lecture about Northern Lights. After dinner, we step into the hotel garden in search of the Northern Lights followed by a hot cup of chocolate or tea.

Driving distance: 245 km/152 mls

Exploring South Iceland.jpg

Day 3, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday or Sunday:


The Snæfellsnes Peninsula “the peninsula of the snowy mountain“ juts out from Iceland’s west coast, like a long arm with a clenched fist at its tip, and is in many ways a microcosm of the whole island. A rugged mountain chain runs its length. We travel to the charming fishing town of Stykkishólmur for a cruise in the Breiðafjörður fjord. After a light lunch a uniquely Icelandic “treat“ awaits us at Bjarnarhöfn, where they make Hákarl - the fermented shark. Depending on road and weather conditions, we visit the fishing village of Grundarfjörður, a place with an impressive coastline and mountains, lakes and waterfalls behind the village. Jutting out into the bay rises one of the most photographed mountain in Iceland, Mt. Kirkjufell. On the way back to Borgarnes the guide gives you some practical tips of how to photograph the Auroras as part of the Northern Lights Academy program. Naturally, once darkness falls, we are out in the hotel garden to chase the Northern Lights and to soak in the hotel’s outdoor hot tubs.

Driving distance: 250 km/155 mls

Gullfoss - wonders of ice.JPG

Day 4, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday or Monday:


Today we travel along the Hvalfjörður fjord. The first stop is at an Icelandic wool outlet store, just to see what they do with all those sheep! We continue inland to Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. We travel the Golden Circle route and see steam rising from the Geysir geothermal fields 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 minute intervals. The chef of the Restaurant Geysir invites you to taste freshly baked hot spring bread served with Icelandic butter, geothermally boiled eggs and herring. It is best served with a small glass of Geysir Schnapps, very cold – nearly freezing. On we travel to Gullfoss, a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá river and attracts tourists and travellers in summer and winter. In the afternoon, you learn about the Icelandic horse, its special qualities and history and visit a geothermal greenhouse, before we reach the accommodation in South Iceland. Tonight, step into the darkness and search for the elusive Northern Lights, while best enjoyed from a comfortable hot tub in the garden of the hotel, amidst the peace and stillness of rural Iceland.

Driving distance: 220 km/136 mls

Lava beach Iceland.JPG

Day 5, Thursday, Saturday, Monday or Tuesday:


Today we travel along the South coast. At the Eyjafjallajökull Information Center we learn about living next to a glacier and an active volcano. Further east we visit one of Iceland's finest folk museums. This museum contains an outstanding collection of farm and domestic artifacts from Iceland's past and several turf-built houses. Nearby is Skógafoss waterfall which is 60 meters high and one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country. In the afternoon we take a stroll on the black lava beach and along bird cliffs at Reynisfjara in South Iceland. We spend 2 nights near Kirkjubæjarklaustur in the Vatnajökull National Park region, located in darkness and ideal for Northern Lights search.


Driving distance: 220 km/136 mls

Jökulsárlón - glacial lagoon in Iceland.JPG

Day 6, Friday, Sunday, Tuesday or Wednesday:


Today’s program is all about glaciers, ice and icebergs. We travel 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 visit the tiny turf church at Hof and spend time at Europe’s 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 Academy program. Be careful not to go to bed too soon in this remote and quiet location or you may just miss out one more chance of seeing the Northern Lights shimmering and dancing across the night sky.

New: Optional Ice Cave Tour offered between November 15th and March 15th

Experience a spectacular crystal ice cave in Europe's largest glacier, Vatnajökull. It is like standing under a frozen blue ocean or in a frozen cathedral surrounded by millions of shades of blue. Deep under Iceland's massive Vatnajökull glacier, beautiful caves of ice are formed by rivers of melt water during the summer time. Too dangerous to visit in the spring and summer due to a threat of collapse, cold winter temperatures strengthen the ice and make exploration possible and safe to visit between November 15th and March 15th (subject to change). The tour takes about 2,5 hours in total - about 30 minute drive by 4x4 vehicle from the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and 5-15 minutes hike (one-way). You spend about one hour inside the ice cave. You need good hiking boots, warm clothing that keeps you dry from the dripping water in the ice cave. Minimum age is 10 years old. The ice cave tour can only be booked on day 2 of Northern Lights Exploration tour. You will have to fill in and sign an order form, once done a cancellation is not possible. Ice cave bookings have to be finalized with the guide by dinner time on day 2 of the tour. Bookings afterwards cannot be accommodated due to limited space. The price is ISK 23.000 (about EUR 192) per person. Payment is due with the ice cave tour operator on day 6 in Icelandic Krona – cash only! The ice cave explorers meet their local guide at the glacier lagoon at 14:00 and will be brought back to the hotel after the ice cave tour, while the rest of the group continues the official tour program. The ice cave explorers will miss out on some of the official tour program, as there is not time for everything, but the stop and visit at the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon is included for all group members.

Driving distance: 280 km/174 mls

Northern Lights - Aurora Borealis Iceland.JPG

Day 7, Saturday, Monday, Wednesday or Thursday:


From Kirkjubæjarklaustur we head across the Eldhraun lava field to the village of Vík, where we make a photo stop. The black lava beach with high bird cliffs and pounding waves is very impressive. Further west we reach the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall which plunges from the mountain. There is a trail that goes behind the falling water and offers interesting views, if you are prepared to get wet! In the afternoon we return to Reykjavik and have about 2 hour leisure time to explore Iceland's capital on our own, visit museums, do some shopping or simply rest after all this touring. In the evening we get to soak in the famous Blue Lagoon, followed by an Icelandic dinner at the Northern Light Inn Hotel and followed by one last nocturnal tour to seek more Northern Lights. Around midnight we reach Reykjavík for one last night.

Driving distance: 370 km/230 mls

Reykjavik - Hallgrimskirkja.JPG

Day 8, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday:


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

Driving distance: 50 km/31 mls


Price for all departures September 2018 for large groups with maximum 45 persons: Per person in double, twin and triple* room: $2,675/ Single room supplement: $825.

Price for all departures October 2018 - April 2019 for large groups with maximum 45 persons: Per person in double, twin and triple* room: $2,465/ Single room supplement: $650.



Price for all departures September 2018 for small groups with maximum 16 persons: Per person in double, twin and triple* room: $3,737/ Single room supplement: $825.

Price for all departures October 2018 - April 2019 for small groups with maximum 16 persons: Per person in double, twin and triple* room: $3,515/ Single room supplement: $650.

*Triple room on request.


DEPARTURES: From October to April

Sunday to Sunday, Standard groups with 45 persons maximum per group


 2018 dates

  • 9/16, 9/23, 9/30,
  • 10/7, 10/14, 10/21, 10/28
  • 11/4, 11/11, 11/18, 11/25, 12/2, 12/9,

2019 dates

  • 1/6, 1/13, 1/20, 1/27, 2/3, 2/10, 2/17, 2/24,
  • 3/3, 3/10, 3/17, 3/24, 3/31, 4/7


Friday to Friday, Standard groups with 45 persons maximum per group

First and last night is at Centerhotel Plaza in Reykjavik.

2018 dates

  • 9/14, 9/21, 9/28, 10/5, 10/12, 10/19, 10/26,
  • 11/2, 11/9, 11/16, 11/23, 11/30,

2019 dates

  •  1/4, 1/11, 1/18, 1/25, 2/1, 2/8, 2/15, 2/22,
  •  3/1, 3/8, 3/15, 3/22, 3/29, 4/5


Tuesday to Tuesday, Small groups with 16 persons maximum, 2 seats per person in the bus

First and last night is at Centerhotel Arnarhvoll in Reykjavík

2018 dates

          9/18, 9/25,  10/2,  10/9, 10/16, 10/23, 10/30

  • 11/6, 11/13, 11/20, 11/27, 12/4

2019 dates

  • 1/8, 1/15, 1/22, 1/29,  2/5, 2/12, 2/19, 2/26
  • 3/5, 3/12, 3/19, 3/26, 4/2


TOUR START: Arrival in Iceland on Sundays, Tuesdays, or Fridays. Guided bus tour starts on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays or Saturdays at 09:00

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

DURATION: 8 days / 7 nights

MEALS: 7x breakfast, 1x light lunch and 1x farewell dinner


GROUP SIZE WINTER 2018-2019: Maximum group size: 16 or 45 persons




Send request

Views from Northern Lights Exploration

  • Geysir in Iceland.JPG
  • Breidafjördur Fjord Cruise.JPG
  • Geysir hot spring.JPG
  • Gullfoss - wonders of ice.JPG
  • Glacier Lagoon (6).JPG
  • Exploring South Iceland.jpg
  • Lava beach Iceland.JPG
  • Jökulsárlón - glacial lagoon in Iceland.JPG
  • Northern Lights Iceland (20).JPG
  • Gullfoss.JPG
  • Northern lights in Iceland.JPG
  • Reykavik city center.JPG
  • NOrthern Lights Reykholt.JPG
  • Northern Lights - Aurora Borealis Iceland.JPG
  • Vatnajökull - Hof Turf Church.JPG
  • Reykjavik - Hallgrimskirkja.JPG


  • Northern Lights Academy program with 6 evenings of lectures
  • See Waterfalls, Lava Fields, Fjords, Geysers
  • Hot Springs, Glaciers, Icebergs, Black Sand Beaches

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