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Northern Lights Escape

6 days with Intrepid Travel   Rating: Budget

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Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 Reykjavik
Hallo! Welcome to Iceland. The world's northernmost capital of Reykjavik lies just below the Arctic Circle. The city sees around four hours of sunlight a day in winter and 22 hours or more in summer. Surrounded by volcanic peaks and crystalline ocean, and boasting a vibrant arts and nightlife scene, Reykjavik's contrasts are utterly beguiling. Why not arrive early and head to the National Museum, which depicts the history of Iceland from the 9th century, when the first Vikings from mainland Scandinavia arrived and settled, to the present day, or join locals who gossip and chatter in the Laugardalslaug Geothermal Pool.

Day 2 Reykjavik / Golden Circle / Hvolsvollur Area
This morning take a short guided walk of Reykjavik, and visit the old harbour, the city center, the famous Hallgrimskirkja church and the Pearl monument. Following the route of the 'Golden Circle', visit Þingvellir National Park, the site of Iceland's first parliament, founded in 930, and a geological wonder where the American and Eurasian tectonic plates are pulling apart. Next, head to Iceland's Geysir geothermal area, where you'll see the Strokkur geyser shoot water 30 metres into the air. Be spellbound by the immense beauty and sheer power of the Gullfoss Waterfall, also know as Golden Falls, before continuing on to the Hvolsvollur Valley, where you'll spend the night in an Icelandic farm hotel. The Northern Lights (also known as the Aurora Borealis) are a natural display of coloured lights in the night sky that are often visible in the high northern hemisphere. Colours of the Northern Lights vary from person to person, with most people seeing them as pearly-grey with hints of greens and reds. Far away from the city lights, the hotel is an ideal Northern Lights base. If the skies are clear tonight, take a stroll out into the countryside to search for the dancing green lights. Remember to pack warm clothes, as temperatures can drop to below -5°C. Please note that while there is a good chance of seeing the lights of the aurora this far north, there is no guarantee, as they are a natural phenomenon.

Day 3 South Coast / Jokulsarlon Lagoon
Start the day with a trip to the eerily beautiful Skógafoss waterfall, one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland. Skógafoss is a giant of a waterfall, 25 metres wide and also dropping down 60 metres. You can get up close and feel its power, and also climb a (long) windy set of stairs up to a stunning viewpoint. On a sunny day you should be able to spot a rainbow or two in the spray. Continue along Iceland's South Shore to take in more of the country’s renowned natural wonders. From the stepping-stone rock formations of Reynisdrangar, the promontory of Dyrhólaey, and the night black sand beach of Reynisfjara, this is one of the country's most scenic regions. En route you will pass the lava of the Laki eruption of 1782 to 1783. In the afternoon, you will visit the famous Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, a stunning sea of floating icebergs whose blue contrast with the charcoal coloured sand of the beach. Stop for the night at a farm stay on the South Coast. Weather permitting, there will be another opportunity to step outside and witness the natural wonders of the Northern Lights tonight.

Day 4 Skaftafell National Park / Vik
Today drive to Skaftafell National Park, where you'll have the option take a walk on Europe's biggest ice cap – Vatnajokull – which has around 30 glaciers flowing out from it. No experience is necessary to partake in the hike. Alternatively just embark on a hike to the glacier's tongue. It’s sobering to think that the glacier is retreating due to rising world temperatures, and in some years the glacier may be gone. Later on today, journey on to the black sand seaside town of Vik for lunch and some free time to explore. With the sea on one side and high cliffs on the other, this dramatically positioned quaint little village is Iceland's most southerly mainland settlement.

Day 5 Vik / Reykjavik
This morning we make our way back to Reykjavik. Iceland's capital has an eclectic arts and music scene, an abundance of quirky cafes and a laid-back vibe. Perhaps browse some of the city's great art galleries. If you feel like something more active, you can take a ride on an Icelandic horse, see killer whales just off-shore on a whale watching expedition, or pull on a dry suit to snorkel between two tectonic plates in the Silfra Fissure, a unique experience that you can't find anywhere else in the world. Alternatively, if you haven't had enough of the Northern Lights yet, you could head out of town to chase them again this evening. Whatever you choose, tonight perhaps gather together your fellow Icelandic adventurers and celebrate the end of this Northern Lights Escape.

Day 6 Reykjavik
Today is departure day and time to say 'sjaumst'. As there are no activities planned, you are able to depart the hotel at any time. Check out time is at midday. If you are departing later, you can arrange to store your luggage at the hotel. If you would like to stay longer, why not while away the hours with a soak in the geothermal waters of the famous Blue Lagoon. We are happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Map
All This Included
Gurgling hot springs, majestic waterfalls, volcanoes alive and extinct, Europe’s biggest glacier – Iceland, where adventures a la naturale await. Discover the raw natural beauty of this spectacular Nordic wonderland on a 6-day trip that will have you stalking close to epic glacial sheaths, feeling the icy spray of the Gullfoss waterfall and becoming acquainted with the culture and cuisine of an Arctic island outpost unlike any other.
  • Meals - 5 breakfasts
  • Transport - Private minibus
  • Golden Circle (Thingevellir National Park, Strokkur Geysir, Gullfoss Waterfall)
  • Reykjavik City Tour
  • South Shore Visit
  • Glacier Lagoon (Jokulsarlon)
  • Skogafoss Waterfall
  • Skaftafell National Park
Highlights
  • The aurora borealis is the best lightshow on Earth, and this trip is your ticket. Stay up late to see the northern sky dance with green light (subject to weather conditions)
  • There's a lot more to Iceland than ice and vikings. Follow the scenic 'Golden Circle', visiting geothermal springs and geysers, the mighty waterfall of Gullfoss and the site of the nation's first parliament at Thingvellir
  • Discover Iceland's fascinating history on a guided tour of Reykjavik, which includes a visit to the massive Lutheran church of Hallgrimskirkja
  • Drive along the island’s spectacular South Shore past the Reynisdrangar Rocks and volcanic black sand beaches
  • Head to Skaftafell National Park and get adventurous with a hike on Vatnajokull, Europe's largest glacier
Accommodations
Guesthouse (2 nights)
Hotel (3 nights)
Notes
  • Ages: Min 15
  • Group size: Min 1, Max 12
  • Iceland can be an expensive destination in many ways, from museum entrance fees to visiting a cafe, but especially in terms of eating out. Your leader will be able to advise on how to save money. In remote areas the only option for dinner will be at the guesthouse we are staying at. Please stock up on food at a supermarket prior to arrival if you would like to opt out eating at the guesthouse's restaurant.
  • Iceland can be extremely cold at this time of year. Please bring appropriate clothing for adverse weather conditions. There may be the rare occasion where your leader has to alter the itinerary and activities due to the weather. In this case an alternative will be offered.
  • Due to the remote locations we visit, there are a few long drives on this trip. This is a great opportunity to enjoy the scenery and spend some time getting to know the other members of your group.
  • The Northern Lights (also known as the Aurora Borealis) are a natural display of coloured lights in the night sky of the northern hemisphere. While Northern Light displays can never be guaranteed, as they are a natural phenomenon, you have a higher chance of seeing them in locations at high latitudes, such as Iceland. Keep your fingers crossed for clear skies during your visit.
  • As accommodation on this trip is multi-share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same sex. If you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge. Please ask your travel consultant for more details. Also, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together/apart. Please also be aware that most guesthouses in Iceland offer shared bathrooms rather than en-suite facilities. Rooms in Iceland can be small, and at times you may be accommodated a short walk away from the main building. This applies to sharing travellers as well as travellers who have booked a single supplement.
  • A single supplement is available on this trip.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Intrepid Travel terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.