Northern Lights Escape
6 days with Intrepid Travel Rating:
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 Golden Circle / Hvolsvollur Area
Depart Reykjavik early this morning and follow the route of the 'Golden Circle'. Visit Þingvellir National Park, the site of Iceland's first parliament, founded in AD930, and a geological wonder where the American and Eurasian tectonic plates are pulling apart. If you notice a big ridge of water in the landscape, you’re probably looking at the Silfra fissure. 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 on an Icelandic farm that has been converted into a guesthouse. Far away from the city lights, the guesthouse is an ideal Northern Lights base. If the skies are clear tonight, why not take a stroll out into the snow and look skywards for the dancing green lights.
Day 3 South Coast / Jokulsarlon Glacier 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 Vatnajokull Glacier / Vik
Today you'll 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. It’s sobering to think that the glacier is retreating due to rising world temperatures, and in some years the glacier may be gone. Alternatively, if you would like to opt out, just embark on a hike to the glacier's tongue or return to the glacier lagoon at Jokulsarlon or Fjallsarlon. If you prefer a relaxing morning you can explore the surroundings of the farmstay and head to the Thorbergur Centre. Later on today, journey on to the black sand seaside town of Vik. 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 Reykjavik
This morning we make our way to the beautiful waterfall of Seljalandsfoss, and then back to Reykjavik. Upon arrival take a short guided walk of Reykjavik to get an enhanced appreciation of the city around its landmark attractions and points of interest. Visit the old harbour, the city center and the famous Hallgrimskirkja church. 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 haven't had enough of the Northern Lights yet, you could head out of town to chase them again this evening, or while away the hours with a soak in the geothermal waters of the famous Blue Lagoon. 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, we are happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). Perhaps browse some of the city's great art galleries. If you feel like something more active, book yourself on a Silfra Fissure snorkelling adventure, where you’ll discover this underwater ridge with water visibility of up to 120 metres.
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.
Guesthouse (3 nights)
Hotel (2 nights)
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* 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.