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Iceland Northern Lights Exploration

Iceland Northern Lights Exploration | Scandinavian American World Tours

ESCORTED - 43 STANDARD GUARANTEED DEPARTURES
ESCORTED - 20 SMALL GROUP GUARANTEED DEPARTURES

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Reykjavik | Borgarfjörður | Stykkishólmur | Grundarfjörður
Kirkjubæjarklaustur | Vík

Tour begins in Reykjavik on Friday & Sunday (Tuesday for small group)
Land Only Departures: September 14, 2018 - April 07, 2019

A Few Notes About This Tour Experience the best of Iceland’s winter with us!

The Northern Lights Exploration series are designed to maximize the chances of seeing the elusive Northern Lights while exploring as much of Iceland as possible. In addition to 7 nights of accommodations with breakfast, the program includes our special six night Northern Lights Academy with 6 evenings of presentations, lectures and guided tours at spots that are likely to offer a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis.

This is a fully escorted coach tour that 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, you will explore the regions from Snæfellsnes Peninsula to Vatnajökull Glacier to search for the Aurora Borealis away from the big city lights.

NORTHERN LIGHTS TOUR: This program includes a special 6-night Northern Lights Academy – 6 evenings of presentations, lectures, and guided tours at spots likely to offer a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis. The tour is dependent on weather, and therefore sightings are not guaranteed. It’s best to dress very warmly, in layers, with good footwear, gloves, hats and whatever else will make you comfortable while you await this truly outstanding event. For the best photos, we recommend using a tripod. Highlights of this tour:

  • Climb a volcano crater
  • Visit a traditional shark farmer
  • Meet the locals in a geothermal swimming pool
  • See waterfalls, lava fields, fjords, geysers, hot springs, glaciers, icebergs, black lava beaches
  • Enjoy open spaces and high mountains
  • Relax in the famous Blue Lagoon
  • Learn about life next to the even more famous Eyjafjallajökull Volcano
  • Walk between two continental tectonic plates
  • Explore fishing villages
  • Visit turf farmsteads and churches
  • See the highlights of Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavík
  • Meet Icelandic horses, taste freshly baked hot spring bread, and enjoy a fjord cruise
  • Northern Lights Academy program with 6 evenings of lectures, presentations, guided searches, and midnight refreshments
  • New: Optional ice cave tour at Vatnajökull glacier for departures between mid-November and mid-March

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive Reykjavik

Upon arrival scheduled Flybus coach transfer to Reykjavik City and on to your hotel. Check in at your three star hotel.

Afternoon is free on your own to explore Reykjavik or take an optional tour.

Centerhotel Plaza or Fosshotel Raudara*
NOTE: *May have an alternate accommodation depending on travel dates.

Day 02: Reykjavik City Tour - Borgarfjörður Saga Valley

Meet your tour guide in the morning and experience the highlights of Iceland's exciting capital before heading west. Borgarfjörður is known as 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 the 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.

Icelandair Hotel Hamer (152 miles)

Day 03: Snæfellsnes Peninsula - Fjord Cruise

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.

Icelandair Hotel Hamer (155 miles)

Day 04: Golden Circle - Geothermal Taste - Icelandic Horses

Today after breakfast you’ll travel along the scenic shores of the Hvalfjörður Fjord and turn inland toward Pingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, first stopping at an Icelandic wool outlet store to see what they do with all those sheep! After a stop at the park, you‘ll continue to Gullfoss - “Golden Falls” - a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá River, and attracts tourists and travelers in summer and winter. You‘ll see steam from the Geysir geothermal fields as you arrive. Here there are a variety of hot springs and bubbling pools including the original geyser, which is now dormant, but which has been replaced by Strokkur (“the Churn”) which erupts at 5-10 minute intervals.

When you get to Geysir, the chef of the Restaurant Geysir will take you to the geothermal areas where you can 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! In the afternoon, you‘ll learn about the Icelandic horse and its history and special qualities, and also visit a geothermal greenhouse, before reaching your four star 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.

Hotel Hekla (136 miles)

Day 05: Natural Wonders of South Iceland - Volcano Exhibition Center

Today after breakfast we’ll travel along the south coast. Our first stop is at the new Lava & Volcano Exhibition Center, where we learn about geology and active volcanoes. Further east we visit one of Iceland's finest folk museums. This museum contains an outstanding collection of farm and domestic artifacts typical of Iceland’s past, as well turf-built houses.

Nearby is Skógafoss Waterfall at 60 meters high – 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 Beach in South Iceland. We spend 2 nights in four star accommodations near Kirkjubæjarklaustur in the Vatnajökull National Park region, located in complete darkness and ideal for a Northern Lights hunt.

Fosshotel Nupar (136 miles)

Day 06: Skaftafell National Park - Vatnajökull Glacier

Today’s program after breakfast is all about glaciers, ice, and icebergs! We travel to Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon filled with floating icebergs. We explore this extraordinary site* and perhaps see some 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. The Vatnajökull National Park is about 12,000 square kilometers, and the largest National Park in Europe. In this area we find Iceland’s highest mountains, an alpine environment, and Europe's largest glacier.

Tonight you can enjoy a movie presentation about Northern Lights as a 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.

Fosshotel Nupar (174 miles)
*NOTE: For departures Nov 15 - Mar 15, you'll have the option to join an ice cave tour: encounter a spectacular blue ice cave underneath Europe's largest glacier, Vatnajökull! A frozen cathedral containing millions of shades of blue due to the compacted snow and ice, this is the tour of a lifetime—you'll spend about an hour inside the cave exploring the inner beauty of the glacier. Please note that this excursion must be booked during day 3 of the tour; contact us for more information.

Day 07: South Shore - Reykjavik - Blue Lagoon

After breakfast visit Kirkjubæjarklaustur, and then we head across the Laki 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 over the mountain. There’s a trail that goes behind the fall which is interesting – if you’re prepared to get wet!

In the afternoon you return to Reykjavik where you get about 2 hours’ leisure time to explore Iceland's capital on your own, visit museums, do some shopping, or simply rest after all this touring. In the evening you get to soak in the famous Blue Lagoon, followed by a traditional Icelandic dinner in a local restaurant and followed by one last nocturnal tour to seek more Northern Lights. Around midnight we reach Reykjavík for our last full night in Iceland. Accommodations and dinner are in a local three star hotel.

Centerhotel Plaza or Fosshotel Raudara* (230 miles)
NOTE: *May have an alternate accommodation depending on travel dates.

Day 08: Depart Reykjavik

After breakfast your morning is free for some last minute shopping. In the afternoon transfer via Flybus to Keflavik Airport and depart for your afternoon flight back to the U.S.

 

Additional Information

Price includes:

  • Arrival & departure airport transfer by Flybus
  • Fully escorted 6 day coach tour with English speaking guide
  • 7 nights’ accommodation in 3 star hotels and country guesthouses; includes (7) breakfasts, (1) lunch, and (1) farewell dinner
  • Fjord Cruise on Breiðafjörður fjord including light lunch in Stykkisholmur
  • Visit to traditional shark curing farm
  • Hot spring Tasting with geothermally cooked bread and eggs
  • Visit to Icelandic horse stables & geothermal greenhouse
  • Visit to Lava & Volcano Exhibition Center (day 6)
  • Entrance fee to Skógar Folk Museum and Turf Houses
  • Entrance with towel at Blue Lagoon
  • Traditional Icelandic dinner last night
  • Northern Lights Academy program with 6 evenings of lectures, presentations, guided searches and midnight refreshments
  • Use of winter & Northern Lights explorer equipment: simple non slip snow & ice gripper spikes for shoes and a flash light for walking in the dark and operating your photo camera at night.

NOTE: Prices do not include airfare, extra beverages, extra items, or any services not listed in the program above. On guaranteed departures, max group size is 45 persons (standard tour). Tours in English begin on the specified days above (arrival in Iceland is on Sundays/Fridays), with guided coach tours on Mondays/Saturdays starting at 09:00.

Weather statement: In rare cases, change of itinerary might be necessary during winter programs in Iceland, should snow, road and weather conditions not allow to follow the scheduled itinerary, and certain outdoor activities might be cancelled. In this case no refund will be given, but the local tour operator will try the find reasonable alternatives where and whenever possible.

Optional services for pre-booking: Natural blue ice cave visit (Vatnajökull Glacier, day 7) between mid-November and mid-March on request. Please contact us for pricing and booking.
Click here to view the ScanAm Terms & Conditions
 

2018-19 STARTING PRICES | GUARANTEED DEPARTURES

Standard group departure rates (max 45 people) are listed in table below, with small group departures (max 16 people) immediately following.

Departure Dates and Information:
Standard Tour
=Available =Closed =On Request

Tour dates & availability per 11/16/2018. All departures are guaranteed and in USD. Departure is a 45-person (standard)/16-person (small group) max. tour. Tour space is not guaranteed until booked and confirmed. All tours are guided in English.

Child discount available! Discount available upon request.


Land Only


Single
Supplement

September
14 & 21


$2312 p.p. twin


$609

October
07, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, & 28


$2312 p.p. twin


$609

November
02, 04, 11, 18, & 23


$2312 p.p. twin


$609

December
09


$2312 p.p. twin


$609

January
04, 06, 11, 13, 18, & 20


$2312 p.p. twin


$609

February
01, 03, 08,15, 17, & 22


$2312 p.p. twin


$609

March
01, 03, 08, 10, 15, 17, 22, 24, 29, & 31


$2312 p.p. twin


$609

April
05, & 07


$2312 p.p. twin


$609

Departure Dates and Information:
Small Group Tour (16 Person Max)


Land Only


Single
Supplement

September
18 & 25


$3289 p.p. twin


$609

October
02, 09, 16, & 30


$3289 p.p. twin


$609

November
20


$3289 p.p. twin


$609

January
22


$3289 p.p. twin


$609

February
12 & 26


$3289 p.p. twin


$609

March
05, 12, 19, & 26


$3289 p.p. twin


$609

April
02


$3289 p.p. twin


$609


NOTE: There are a few extra costs for dinners to be paid at hotels. Fixed 2- or 3-course dinners with fish, meat, or vegetarian main courses are available at the hotels starting at ISK 6.000 (~ $54) per person per night. Note that the country hotels do not offer a la carte meals. Please note that extra beds are not possible on this tour.

Tour Information

Tour Type:Escorted Tour / Winter and Northern Lights Tour / Small Group Tour
Price: from $2312
Duration:8 days
Cities Visited:Reykjavik - Borgarfjördur - Stykkishólmur - Grundarfjörður - Kirkjubæjarklaustur - Skaftafell National Park
Departures: January - February - March - April - September - October - November - December

Tour Map

Click on map for larger image