South Coast, Golden Circle, Snæfellsness & Northern Lights

Escorted Tour and Northern LightsIceland

BEST SELLER
From $1,775 USD
February 11 - March 9, 2021
7 Days / 6 Nights

South Coast, Golden Circle, Snæfellsness, Northern Lights, 7-day escorted activity tour. A combination of Iceland’s South, West Coasts, local expert guide.

Overview

 

Operation

February 11 - March 9, 2021

Departures

2020
February 11, 18
March 3, 24
October  20
November 3
2021
January 19
February 9
March 9

Price

  • Tuesdays, October 6 & 20, 2020
  • from $1,850 per person in double room
  • from $2,345 single room
  • from $1,945 triple room
  • Tuesdays, Nov 3, 2020 Jan 19 | Feb 9, 23 | Mar 9, 2021
  • from $1775 per person in double room
  • from $2,185 single room
  • from $1,855 triple room

Included

  • Informational meeting on evening of day 1
  • Guided Coach Tour from day 2 to day 6
  • Expert local English-speaking guide from day 2 to day 6
  • Free Wi-Fi on board motor coach
  • 2 nights Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Natura or similar, private facilities
  • 4 nights countryside hotels with private facilities
  • Breakfast buffet daily (except arrival day)
  • 4 one-course dinners with coffee / tea (days 2-5)
  • Local storyteller visit in Grundarfjordur town (day 2)
  • Guided visit to Vatnshellir Lava Cave (day 2)
  • Use of safety equipment for cave tour on day 2 (helmets, torches/flashlights)
  • Geothermal bakery experience at Laugarvatn Fontana Baths (day 3)
  • Entrance to the Lava Centre and a volcano film at the Lava Centre’s Cinema (day 4)
  • Use of crampons/cleats (if needed) for walking on snow/ice covered surfaces
  • Northern Lights guided hunt on foot one selected evening
  • Northern Lights hunting kit on day 2 or 3 (use of flashlight, blanket and a hot drink)
  • Great photo stops
  • Seat rotation during the tour
  • Customer care service during office hours
  • 24-hour Iceland Travel emergency line assistance while you are in Iceland

Not Included

  • International and domestic air fare
  • Round-trip transfers between airports and hotels
  • Breakfast on arrival day
  • Swimsuit at the Blue Lagoon (rentals included)
  • Beverages, snacks, lunches, dinners unless otherwise noted in itinerary
  • Guaranteed early check-in or late check-out (check-in time is usually 14:00)
  • Guaranteed late check-out
  • Personal travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Any service not specifically listed under "included"

Please note

  • All departures are guaranteed with minimum of 2 participants
  • Maximum group size: 24
  • Minimum size: Guaranteed with 2 participants
  • 6 years.  We do not recommend escorted tours for children 5 years old and younger.
  • Activity/Difficulty Level: 2 out of 5 (Easy)

    Hiking & Activity Level Chart

    What to Bring

Tour Options

  • Additional hotel nights in Reykjavik

Day 1 ARRIVAL TO REYKJAVIK

Please note: If you have added extra nights in Reykjavik before your tour, the guide will meet your group for the start of the tour on Day 1 according to the standard "South Coast, Golden Circle, Snaefellsnes and Northern Lights" itinerary.

Upon arrival, head through passport control, collect your bags and go through customs to the Arrival Hall. Airport transfer is not included, but we are happy to help you arrange shared or private transfers.

Once in Reykjavik, check into your hotel. If you arrive early in the day, you might want to explore Reykjavik's old town area, location of many museums and galleries. You might also enjoy visiting one of the city's outdoor geothermal swimming pools ,where you can shake off your jet-lag. In the afternoon you could take one of our day tours, such as whale watching or horseback riding, both bringing you close to Iceland's nature and landscape.

Dinner is on your own. Reykjavik offers a multitude of restaurants and/or coffee-houses, making dinner a great way to get better acquainted with Iceland's capital.

Tonight will be an information meeting (around 18:00/6:00pm) for people in the group to meet each other and to learn more about the tour.

Overnight stay in Reykjavik.

Please note that hotels in Iceland start check-in around 14:00, and early check-in is not guaranteed. Most hotels will be happy to store your luggage if you are not able to check in early.

Day 2 REYKJAVIK - SNÆFELLSNES PENINSULA - BORGARFJRDUR (B, D)

Glacier-crowned Volcano – Volcanic Formations – Fishing Villages – Icelandic tales – Lava Cave

Breakfast at your hotel. Meet your local guide in the hotel lobby. Depart Reykjavik with your guide and driver, traveling northwest via an undersea tunnel through Hvalfjördur (Whale Bay) on your way to the rugged coastline Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

Known as "Iceland in a Nutshell", this area will show you an astonishing variety of natural landscapes that can be seen in Iceland, but all conveniently situated in one area. This is part of the remote and tranquil Snæfellsjökull National Park, named after the peninsulas magnificent glacier-crowned volcano (last eruption: 250 AD). The mountain is said to be protected by a benevolent spirit, and you’ll surely feel recharged as you drive through this beautiful park.

Visit secluded and charming fishing villages as you head along the northern peninsula. View Iceland's most photographed mountain, Kirkjufell, and its surrounding fjord teeming with herring and orca whales. In nearby Grundarfjördur village, you’ll meet a local storyteller in his home for some funny insights, facts and fables about the Icelanders.

Continue along the coastline, making some amazing stops to admire columnar basalt formations and the crashing waves of the North Atlantic. The afternoon's highlight is a visit to the spectacular Vatnshellir, an 8.000-year-old lava cave located at the foot of the mystical Snæfellsjökull glacier. An expert cave guide will show you the amazing and beautiful features of Vatnshellir. The road then leads to the Borgarfjördur, a scenic and historical area of West Iceland. 

Dinner and overnight in Borgarnes, a charming town that has connections to one of Iceland's most famous Sagas. Approximate distance: 369km / 229mi

If weather conditions are favorable tonight, you may head out on foot with your guide to search for the elusive Aurora Borealis in the area of your hotel. Otherwise, the Northern Lights hunt would be on Day 3, 4 or 5 (subject to weather conditions).

Day 3 THINGVELLIR NATIONAL PARK - GULLFOSS - GEYSIR (B, D)

Ancient parliament and Mid-Atlantic Ridge – Golden Waterfall – Lively Geysers

Breakfast at your hotel before heading on to the famous Golden Circle route. Iceland's Golden Circle showcases a trio of celebrated natural attractions. Start with a visit to Thingvellir National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), where Viking settlers established an annual assembly in AD 930. This parliament has now become the world's oldest ongoing. Thingvellir is also a geological masterpiece, as it marks the visible site of the mid-Atlantic Ridge where the North American and Eurasian continental plates meet. You can walk along a path taking you between the canyon marking the location of the ridge.

Head through scenic farmlands to the celebrated Gullfoss waterfall, believed by many to be Iceland's most beautiful falls. Nearby is the Geysir Hot Spring Area, alive with boiling mud pits, steam vents, and exploding geysers. The most famous of these is Strokkur, a high-spouting geyser that erupts every ten minutes.

As a local and cultural treat today, you'll stop at tiny Laugarvatn village for a taste of traditional "hot spring bread" that has been cooked in the warm ground by geothermal hot springs. Approximate distance: 235km / 146mi

Overnight and Dinner in the South Coast area.

Day 4  LAVA CENTRE - SELJALANDSFOSS - SKOGAFOSS - SOUTHEAST (B, D)

Scenic Waterfalls – Lava Centre - Volcanic Views – Lava Flow – Magnificent Glaciers

Breakfast at your hotel. Drive along the iconic South Shore, an area of Iceland that is beautiful to view in the winter. This is one of the main farm regions of the country, and the road will pass by typical Icelandic farms, often with Icelandic horses in the fields. Depending on the weather, you might also get a glimpse of beautiful Mount Hekla, Iceland's most frequently erupting volcano.

South Iceland is home to the LAVA Centre, an interactive, high-tech educational exhibition depicting volcanic activity, earthquakes and the creation of Iceland over millions of years. Enjoy both the exhibit and viewing an interesting film about Icelandic volcanoes at the Centre's cinema. As you travel onwards, you might get a glimpse of Eyjafjallajökull, the famous ice-capped volcano whose 2010 eruption halted air traffic worldwide.

Stop at two spectacular waterfalls, each with its own charm and character. Depending on the trail conditions you can walk behind Seljalandsfoss. Skogafoss is one of the country's most photographed waterfalls and is said to be the hiding place for ancient treasure.

Head onwards, passing over Eldhraun, the surreal and vast lava landscapes that were created in one single flow – the largest known in history.

Start seeing views of glaciers as you head into the southeast Iceland, and the region of Vatnajökull, Europe's largest glacier. Approximate distance: 315km / 196mi

Dinner and overnight stay in Southeast Iceland.

Day 5 GLACIAL LAGOON - VATNAJOKULL PARK - VIK (B, D)

Western Europe's Largest National Park – Glacial Lagoon with Icebergs – Europe's Largest Glacier

Breakfast at your hotel. Today you'll be in the southern area of Vatnajokull National Park, named after Europe's largest glacier. The entire park covers almost 14% of Iceland's landmass, and it’s considered the largest national park in Western Europe.

Start with a visit to Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, where you can enjoy the breath-taking sight of icebergs floating in the deep glacial waters. With luck, you might also see seals relaxing in the area. Nearby is the stunning Diamond Beach, where crystal clear remains of icebergs linger on the black sand before disappearing into the ocean. Then visit the national park’s famous Skaftafell area, a beautiful "fire and ice" region created by volcanic activity and ringed by many glaciers. This is the home to Svinafellsjokull, one of the most beautiful of the glacial outlets emerging from Vatnajokull.

Head west, passing through vast sand plains created by glacial out-washes. The road leads to Vik, Iceland's southernmost village. Visit Reynisfjara beach, where you can take a walk on the black sands, admiring the extraordinary rock formations and thundering waves of the Atlantic Ocean.

Dinner and overnight in Vik, Iceland's southernmost community. Approximate distance: 227km / 141mi

Day 6 REYKJANES - BLUE LAGOON - REYKJAVIK (B)

Reykjanes Seacoast – Moon-like landscapes – Colorful Geothermal Area – Relaxing Spa

Breakfast at your hotel. Today you'll take a beautiful coastal road that leads onto the breath-taking Reykjanes peninsula. Reykjanes was designated a UNESCO Geopark in 2915 because of its many interesting geothermal and volcanic features, and it's a fantastic place to explore.

Visit Strandarkirkja, a pretty wooden church unique to those in rural Iceland. There is a long-standing tradition that prayers in the church have helped provide luck and success to fishermen working on the dangerous seas. The small church is built right into the coast with amazing views of the turbulent ocean waves meeting volcanic rocks and black sands. Look for a quaint set of painted elf houses nestled in the church grounds.

Drive to Lake Kleifarvatn, set in fascinating, stark, moon-like surroundings. This lake was the setting for a popular murder mystery, The Draining Lake, by renowned Icelandic author Arnaldur Indridason.

Near the lake’s southern end lies Krysuvik, where powerful jets of steam escape from deep below the earth’s crust and sulphurous steam rises from numerous geothermal vents. You can see small hot springs, brightly colored mud pots, boiling pools and other types of geothermal activity. Continue under low mountains along the shoreline to stop by craggy cliffs rising sheer from the sea. This is home to Grindavik, a town with a sizeable fishing fleet. After a lunch stop in Grindavik (lunch is on your own), head for the world-renowned Blue Lagoon. Set in a black lava field, this geothermal spa is a lagoon filled with warm mineral-rich seawater that provides the ultimate interaction and relaxation with Iceland's raw nature.

Here you can enjoy a lovely soak in the healing waters of the lagoon a unique wonder of nature with pleasantly warm, mineral-rich water in the middle of a black lava field.

Return to Reykjavik, where the evening is open to enjoy the lively capital of Iceland. Approximate distance: 300km / 186mi

Overnight in Reykjavik. Dinner is on your own.

Day 7 DEPARTURE REYKJAVIK (B)

Breakfast at your hotel. Please note that this might be a light breakfast if you are taking an early morning departure flight. Transfer on your own to the international airport for your departure flight. The airport transfer is not included, but we are happy to help you arrange shared or private transfers.

We recommend you depart your hotel no later than three hours before your departure flight. We wish you a pleasant trip back to your homeland and hope to see you in Iceland again!

As part of our pledge to preserve Iceland's fragile nature, all our escorted tours include carbon offsetting through Kolvidur, the Iceland Carbon Fund (ICF).

Important:
Day 2- Visit to Vatnshellir cave: You should be reasonably fit to participate, able to walk up and down a stairway equivalent to a 2-3 story building and able to walk on uneven surfaces. We recommend bringing a pair of gloves to use in the cave.

Northern Lights are weather dependant and sightings cannot be guaranteed.

Note: We reserve the right to alter routes without prior notice, due to road conditions.

Minimum age: 6 years. We do not recommend escorted tours for children 5 years old and younger. For the cave tour, children should be able to walk down and up staircases equivalent to a 2-3 storey building.

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