Travel to Iceland and experience its astounding natural features

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 across 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.

Start
Reykjavik, Iceland
Finish
Reykjavik, Iceland
Countries
Iceland
Themes
Explorer
Code
BMSW
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 12
Carbon offset
114kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • See natural hot springs in the Geysir geothermal area
  • Get to know Reykjavik on a guided city tour
  • Witness the Skogafoss waterfall in action
  • Drive along the island’s spectacular South Shore
  • Visit Thingvellir National Park, the site of Iceland's first parliament and a geological wonder where the American and Eurasian tectonic plates are pulling apart.
  • Stay up late to see the northern sky dance with the Aurora Borealis

Itinerary

Hallo! Welcome to Iceland.

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm today. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask at reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

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.
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. Check out Gullfoss Waterfall, also know as Golden Falls, before continuing on to Hvolsvollur, 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 which 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 base from which to see the Northern Lights. If the skies are clear tonight, the group will head out 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.
Start the day with a trip to Skogafoss waterfall, one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland. On a sunny day you should be able to spot a rainbow or two in the spray. Continue along Iceland's South Shore. From the rocks of Reynisdrangar to the coast's black sandy beaches, 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 we will visit the famous Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.

Stop for the night in a small village on the South Coast. Weather permitting, there will be another opportunity to witness the natural wonders of the Northern Lights tonight.
Today drive to Skaftafell National Park, where you'll take a walk on Europe's biggest glacier - Vatnajokull. No experience is necessary to partake in the hike. You'll be given crampons and ice axes and led by your guide on foot onto the glacier. This is a truly exciting and unique experience.

Later on today journey on to the seaside town of Vik for lunch and some free time to explore this quaint little village, Iceland's most southerly mainland settlement. In the afternoon it is time to head back to Reykjavik to enjoy all the capital has to offer.
Today is a free day to explore 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 or see killer whales just off-shore on a whale watching expedition. Alternatively, while away the hours with a soak in the geothermal waters of the famous Blue Lagoon, or if you hadn't had enough of the Northern Lights yet, you could head out of town to chase them again this evening.
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.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
5 breakfasts
Transport
Minibus
Accommodation
Guesthouse (2 nights), Hotel (3 nights)
Included activities
  • Glacier Lagoon (Jokulsarlon)
  • Golden Circle (Þingevellier National Park, Strokkur Geysir, Gullfoss Waterfall)
  • Northern Lights Viewing Opportunity
  • Reykjavik City Tour
  • Skaftafell National Park
  • South Shore Visit

Dates

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip. Please see trip notes for more details.
2. Crampons and ice axes are provided for the glacier walk on day 4.
3. For the departures commencing 25 February and 31 March 2016: This is an additional departure added later in the season in order to accommodate the unprecedented demand for this trip. As a result of accommodation availability issues at this late stage, the joining and finishing point hotels in Reykjavik will be at our Basix standard accommodations. Please see trip notes for details.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes

Reviews

Our Northern Lights Escape trips score an average of 4.13 out of 5 based on 15 reviews in the last year.

Northern Lights Escape , November 2015

Northern Lights Escape , November 2015