The Northern Lights Explorer
Best selling guided tour for the last 5 years! Experience the best of Iceland’s winter! The Northern Lights Exploration series are designed to include a lot of Iceland and aim to maximise the chances of seeing the elusive Northern Lights. In addition to 7 nights of accommodations with breakfast, the program includes six nights Northern Lights Academy with 6 evenings of presentations, lectures and guided tours at spots likely to offer a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights.
You can choose to depart on normal tour with maximum 45 people per tour or travel in smaller group with maximum 16 people per tour.
Realistic chance of catching the Northern Lights on this tour 85-98%!!
- Best guided tour to see a lot of Iceland and maximise chances of seeing the Northern Lights
- See waterfalls, lava fields, fjords, geysers, hot springs, glaciers, icebergs, black lava beaches
- Fully guided tour, choice to travel with small or large group
Tour Itinerary - 7 nights
Day 1 - Welcome to Iceland (50 km/31 mls)
Individual transfer by Flybus shuttle bus from Keflavik Airport to your accommodation in Reykjavík where you‘ll spend the night. We‘ll provide some ideas to help you explore Iceland's capital on your own.
Day 2 - Reykjavik City Tour & Borgarfjörður Saga Valley (245 km/152 mls)
At 09:00 meet your tour guide who shows the group the highlights of Iceland's exciting capital. Then we head west. Borgarfjörður is known as the 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 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.
Day 3 - Snæfellsnes Peninsula & Fjord Cruise (250 km/155 mls)
The Snæfellsnes Peninsula “the peninsula of the snowy mountain“ just 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.
Day 4 - Golden Circle, Geothermal Taste & Icelandic Horses (220 km/136 mls)
Today we travel along the Hvalfjörður fjord. The first stop is at an Icelandic wool outlet store, just to see what they do with all those sheep! We continue inland to Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. We travel the Golden Circle route and see steam rising from the Geysir geothermal fields as we arrive. There is a variety of hot springs and bubbling pools. The original geyser is now dormant but has been replaced by Strokkur "the Churn" which erupts at 5-10 minute intervals. The chef of the Restaurant Geysir invites you to 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. On we travel to Gullfoss, a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá river and attracts tourists and travellers in summer and winter. In the afternoon, you learn about the Icelandic horse, its special qualities and history and visit a geothermal greenhouse, before we reach the 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.
Day 5 - Natural Wonders of South Iceland & Eyjafjallajökull Volcano (220 km/136 mls)
Today we travel along the South coast. At the Eyjafjallajökull Information Center we learn about living next to a glacier and an active volcano. Further east we visit one of Iceland's finest folk museums. This museum contains an outstanding collection of farm and domestic artifacts from Iceland's past and several turf-built houses. Nearby is Skógafoss waterfall which is 60 meters high and 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 in South Iceland. We spend 2 nights near Kirkjubæjarklaustur in the Vatnajökull National Park region, located in darkness and ideal for Northern Lights search.
Day 6 - Skaftafell National Park & Vatnajökull Glacier (280 km/174 mls)
Today’s program is all about glaciers, ice and icebergs. We travel to Jökulsárlón, a glacial lagoon filled with floating icebergs, and we explore the extraordinary site and might see 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 and spend time at Europe’s largest national park, which has Iceland’s highest mountains, an alpine environment, and Europe's largest glacier. In the evening enjoy a film presentation about the Northern Lights as 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.
New for winter 2017-18: Optional Ice Cave Tour offered between November 15th and March 15th
Experience a spectacular crystal ice cave in Europe's largest glacier, Vatnajökull. It is like standing under a frozen blue ocean or in a frozen cathedral surrounded by millions of shades of blue. Deep under Iceland's massive Vatnajökull glacier, beautiful caves of ice are formed by rivers of melt water during the summer time. Too dangerous to visit in the spring and summer due to a threat of collapse, cold winter temperatures strengthen the ice and make exploration possible and safe to visit between November 15th and March 15th (subject to change). The tour takes about 2,5 hours in total - about 30 minute drive by 4x4 vehicle from the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and 5-15 minutes hike (one-way). You spend about one hour inside the ice cave. You need good hiking boots, warm clothing that keeps you dry from the dripping water in the ice cave. Minimum age is 10 years old. The ice cave tour can only be booked on day 2 of Northern Lights Exploration tour. You will have to fill in and sign an order form, once done a cancellation is not possible. Ice cave bookings have to be finalized with the guide by dinner time on day 2 of the tour. Bookings afterwards cannot be accommodated due to limited space. The price is ISK 23.000 (about EUR 192) per person. Payment is due with the ice cave tour operator on day 6 in Icelandic Krona – cash only! The ice cave explorers meet their local guide at the glacier lagoon at 14:00 and will be brought back to the hotel after the ice cave tour, while the rest of the group continues the official tour program. The ice cave explorers will miss out on some of the official tour program, as there is not time for everything, but the stop and visit at the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon is included for all group members.
Day 7 - South Shore, Reykjavik and the Blue Lagoon (370 km/230 mls)
From Kirkjubæjarklaustur we head across the Eldhraun lava field to the village of Vík,and 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 from the mountain. There is a trail that goes behind the falling water and offers interesting views, if you are prepared to get wet!
In the afternoon we return to Reykjavik and have about 2 hour leisure time to explore Iceland's capital on our own, visit museums, do some shopping or simply rest after all this touring. In the evening we get to soak in the famous Blue Lagoon, followed by an Icelandic dinner at a local restaurant nearby followed by one last nocturnal tour to seek more Northern Lights. Around midnight we reach Reykjavík for one last night.
Day 8 - Departure Home (50 km/31 mls)
Individual transfer by Flybus airport shuttle from your accommodation in Reykjavík to Keflavík Airport.
Daily driving: Total mileage without airport transfer is about 1.585 km (983 miles) which is an average of 265 km (164 miles) per day. You spend about 3,5 hours per day on the bus, depending on road conditions, traffic and daily distances. On some days the driving might be longer than on some other days.
NOTE: Itineraries may be subject to change at short notice during severe weather conditions and certain outdoor activities/day trips may be cancelled during the winter season in Iceland. In these rare cases, where situations of force majeure apply, excursions/activities cannot be refunded but the local guides will try their best to find reasonable alternatives where and whenever possible.
"Oh my …..the trip was fantastic! Iceland is devastatingly beautiful! The tour was just the right amount of activity and the people on the tour were all very pleasant and intelligent. The tour leader did a good job of 'herding the cats' back on the bus because everyone just lost track of time as we wondered through volcanic lava fields and glacier beds. I have recommended you and your company to about five of my friends and have passed along your brochures. We shall definitely be traveling with you again, perhaps to northern Iceland the next time. We had one spectacular night of viewing on Oct 2 that lasted three hours and was just breathtaking! My husband was literally jumping up and down with excitement! Thank you so much for following up and asking about our experience. Your customer service is exceptional! I'm sure we'll be in touch again soon....have a fantastic day!
Departures: Tuesdays, Fridays and Sunday from September 2016 to April 2017
|(Sunday - Sunday)|
|02.04.2017 - on request|
|09.04.2017 - on request|
|(Friday - Friday)|
|31.03.2017 - - on request||07.04.2017 - on request|
|07.04.2017 - - on request||12.04.2017 - on request|
Departures 2017/18: Sundays, Fridays and Tuesdays from September 2017 to April 2018
|Sunday - Sunday||(45 persons max)|
|Friday - Friday||(45 persons max)|
|Tuesday - Tuesday||Small Group Departure (max 16 persons)|
The price 2016/17 is from £1,660 per person based on two people sharing a double/twin room or three in triple room
Single supplement: £295
*Subject to availability
The price for Small Group Tour departures 2016/17 (max 16 people per group) is from £2,269 per person based on two people sharing a double/twin room or three in triple room
Single supplement £295
*Subject to availability
The price 2017/18 is from £1,789 per person based on two people sharing a double/twin room or three in triple room
Single supplement: £420
*Subject to availability
The price for Small Group Tour departures 2016/17 (max 16 people per group) is from £2,479 per person based on two people sharing a double/twin room or three in triple room
Single supplement £420
*Subject to availability
- Return flights from the UK including 20kg luggage allowance, taxes and fees
- Bus transfer to and from Keflavik airport
- Fully escorted 6 day coach tour with English speaking guide
- 7 nights’ accommodation in 3 star hotels and country guesthouses including breakfast
- Fjord Cruise on Breiðafjörður fjord including lunch
- Visit to traditional shark curing farm
- Hot spring tasting with geothermal cooked bread and eggs
- Visit to Icelandic horse stables & geothermal greenhouse
- Visit with multimedia presentation at Eyjafjallajokull Volcano Information Centre
- Entrance fee to Skogar Folk Museum and Turf Houses
- Entrance with towel at Blue Lagoon
- Traditional Icelandic dinner at Northern Light Inn
- Northern Lights Academy program with 6 evenings of lectures, presentations, guided searches and midnight refreshments.
- Booking fee £10 per person
- ATOL Protection fee £2.50 per person (only applicable if flights are booked through All Iceland)
- Debit/credit card fees
- Optional Excursions
- Travel Insurance
- Anything else not specifically listed under "this includes"
Northern Lights: The Northern Lights are visible in the northern sky from September through April when the sky is clear and free of clouds. The tour is dependent on weather and therefore sightings are not guaranteed. Like many natural wonders, it is an ephemeral spectacle – the Northern Lights may be visible, they may appear for a bit and then be gone (it is not a TV show that you can just turn on and off). But it is worth the patience which is much required. Because they are a winter event, you need to be prepared to wait outside while looking for them. It is best to dress very warmly, in layers, with good footwear, gloves, hats and whatever else makes you comfortable while you await this truly outstanding event.
Accommodation 2016/17: Simple 3-star tourist class hotels - subject to change
Reykjavik: Centerhotel Plaza for first and last night / West Iceland: Hotel Hamar in Borgarnes (2 nights) / South Iceland: Hotel Hekla (1 night) / Vatnajökull Region: Hotel Laki near Kirkjubæjarklaustur (2 nights)
Accommodation 2017/18: Simple 3-star tourist class hotels - subject to change
Reykjavik: Centerhotel Arnarhvoll for first and last night / West Iceland: Hotel Hamar in Borgarnes (2 nights) / South Iceland: Hotel Hekla (1 night) / Vatnajökull Region: Fosshotel Núpar (2 nights)
Why book with All Iceland?
All Iceland is a UK based travel company that specialises in Iceland
Book with the Icelandic experts!
Our office is staffed and run by Icelanders, we promise intimate local knowledge from where to stay to places to eat and the hidden gems that you will not find in tourist guides. We will help you get the holiday you want and we can adapt this package. Book through us and your holiday will also be fully ATOL and ABTA protected. Travel with confidence!
Contact us and we can help you:
- to stay longer and discover more, this package can be extended -
- to book additional excursions -
- if you have specific accommodation requirements -
- to book this package with or without flights -
All Iceland cooperates with all the airlines that fly to Iceland, Icelandair, Wow air, easyJet and British Airways. We can assist you to find the optimal flight package. The airlines fly to Keflavik International airport.
Icelandair operates flights from London Heathrow and London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Aberdeen. Icelandair offers 3 classes, Economy, Economy Comfort and Saga Business Class.
WOW Air operates flights from London Gatwick, Dublin and Bristol
EasyJet offers flights from London Gatwick, London Luton, London Stansted, Bristol, Manchester, Belfast and Edinburgh.
British Airways offers flights from London Heathrow
We can provide a package with or without flights. When enquiring about a specific holiday package, let us know what airport you prefer to fly from.
Air Iceland offers Domestic flights between Reykjavík Domestic Airport to Akureyri, Egilsstaðir, Ísafjörður, Vopnafjörður, Grímsey and Þórshöfn.
Fugfélagið Ernir offers Domestic flights to Vestmannaeyjar, Höfn, Húsavík, Bíldudalur and Gjögur.
All Iceland offers holiday packages to Greenland and Faroe Islands in addition to Iceland. We work with the following airlines that offer flights to these destinations.
Atlantic Airways offers flights from Edinburgh to Faroe Islands
Air Greenland offers flights from Copenhagen to Greenland
Air Iceland offers flights from Reykjavík Domestic Airport to Faroe Islands and Greenland
At All Iceland we tailor make holidays for our customers.
With this in mind you cannot book this holiday directly on the website but please send us an enquiry or give us a call and we will help you to create your once in a lifetime holiday. Contact our team of Icelandic Experts today and start planning with us!