4-Day Northern Lights Long Weekend in Reykjavik
Immerse yourself in the beauty of Iceland under the Northern Lights with this long weekend trip in Reykjavik. This vacation package is designed for those who wish to witness magnificent landscapes and the magic of the aurora borealis while on a short getaway in one of the world’s quirkiest capitals.
This holiday will allow you to enjoy the beauty of Iceland’s spectacular nature with ease over four days while maximizing your chance to catch sight of the elusive Northern Lights. You’ll spend a day basking in the Blue Lagoon and exploring famous sites of the Golden Circle, followed by another discovering the diverse attractions of Iceland’s breathtaking South Coast.
On your first evening, you have the chance to hunt for the auroras in a unique way of your choosing. Firstly, you can combine aurora hunting with a thrilling ATV ride.
Secondly, you could take your aurora hunting to Iceland’s waters with a boat trip from Reykjavik harbor, allowing you the chance to capture the dances of color from Faxafloi bay.
Alternatively, you can start your Northern Lights hunt with a visit to an aurora museum, learning all about the science and folklore of this ethereal natural wonder before journeying out of the city to spot it.
On top of this, you won’t have to organize hotels in different parts of the country, drive yourself, or coordinate tours. Instead, you’ll have the comfort of staying in Reykjavik accommodation throughout, and all the details of your trip will be sorted prior to your arrival.
In terms of the excursions on offer, you’ll have the chance to opt into exciting activities such as glacier hiking, horseback riding, and even winter snorkeling on top of the planned day trips.
Book now to explore otherworldly Icelandic landscapes and marvel over the aurora borealis with this vacation package. Check availability by choosing a date.
Day 1 - Arrival
Your Northern Lights holiday begins as soon as you land at Keflavik International Airport. A convenient shuttle bus will be waiting to escort you to a hotel in the capital, from which you’ll enjoy this long weekend in Reykjavik.
On your way to Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik, you could choose to make a stop at the Blue Lagoon. This world-famous spa boasts healing therapies, azure water, and an ambiance of total serenity. If you add the Blue Lagoon, it will be arranged according to your flights. If there is no time to visit the lagoon today, it can be added to another day. Your travel consultant will be able to arrange this for you. There is still plenty to see and do in Reykjavik if you have extra free time.
If you arrive before evening time, you will have the chance to take one of the three tours mentioned above in hunt of winter’s greatest phenomenon, the aurora borealis.
You can head to the icy slopes of Mount Hafrafell, just outside the city, to race around the beautiful landscapes on an ATV. After an hour of adventure, you’ll be picked up by bus and escorted around into the dark surroundings in hunt of the lights.
On a cruise, you’ll set out from the city’s harbor into the still waters of Faxafloi Bay, providing magnificent views of the Reykjavik skyline and the fjords and volcanoes of the west. When the sky turns dark, there are few better places to admire the aurora.
Finally, you could instead elect to take a more personalized minibus tour, before which you will have admission to the Aurora Reykjavik Museum. Here, you can learn about the science and folklore surrounding the Northern Lights and helpful information on how to best spot and photograph them.
If you have time before your tour, be sure to explore Reykjavik. It is a beautiful city with interesting architecture and many public artworks, like the Sun Voyager statue.
Day 2 - The Classic Golden Circle
After a fantastic start to your holiday, you will spend your second day getting further out of the city and exploring the Golden Circle on a guided tour. One of the most famous trails in the country, it has three iconic sites that exemplify the diversity of Iceland.
The first is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site on the island, Thingvellir National Park. Not only is it the birthplace of modern democracy, but it boasts a landscape of beautiful waterways, forests, and lava fields.
While here, you can opt into a snorkeling tour, in which you are equipped with a drysuit and guided through a crystal clear stream in the ravine of Silfra.
The second attraction of the Golden Circle is Strokkur, a geyser that ejects steaming water to great heights. It is located in the Geyser Geothermal Area, home to many vibrantly colored hot springs and fumaroles.
Finally, you'll reach a powerful, two-tiered waterfall thundering in an ancient valley, Gullfoss. If you elect to do so when booking, you can choose to add a snowmobiling trip after your time here. You'll set off to the nearby glacier of Langjokull and fly across its gleaming, beautiful surface.
The third choice of the tour is a ride on an Icelandic horse, where you'll explore the serene countryside of south Iceland in the manner of the first settlers.
In the evening, if you didn't get a chance to see the northern lights the night before, you will have another chance tonight.
Day 3 - The Diverse South Coast
On your third day, you will be whisked along the South Coast of Iceland, which is home to many of the country’s most diverse and stunning attractions.
For example, it boasts two incredible waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. Both face out to the ocean and stand at an impressive 197 feet (60 meters) tall, though they are different in every other way.
Seljalandsfoss is narrow, with a massive cavern behind it, carved by the ocean centuries ago. Skogafoss is much more powerful and has fascinating folklores of hidden treasure.
Behind this waterfall are the glaciers of Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull, both of which conceal notorious volcanoes. If you elect to, when booking, you can choose to join a glacier hiking tour and scale the magnificent outlet of Solheimajokull for some spectacular views.
Further along the South Coast, you’ll come to Reynisfjara, a beautiful black sand beach with dramatic, powerful waves, towering sea stacks, and great views over the enormous rock arch of Dyrholaey.
Here, you’ll turn back and return along the South Coast route to the capital. If the sky starts to turn dark, keep a keen eye out for the auroras. Of course, you are welcome to add on another northern lights tour if you are eager for another hunt.
Day 4 - Farewell to Iceland
Your fourth day is sadly the last of your long weekend in Reykjavik. If you have an early flight, you may only have time to say a quick goodbye to the capital city as you take your Flybus back to the airport.
If you have a late departure, however, you can fit in one more adventure.
If traveling before the end of October, you can take an excursion only offered in Iceland: descending into the magma chamber of a dormant volcano. Large enough to easily fit the Statue of Liberty and dyed vivid colors, it is an incredible place to marvel over the volcanic forces of the earth.
Those who would rather see Iceland’s landscapes from another angle can instead opt into one of two flightseeing tours, either in a helicopter or small plane. Such excursions, which leave from the domestic airport, provide spectacular views over the magnificent, mountainous landscapes surrounding the capital and a unique way of admiring the city itself.
Of course, you are also welcome to spend the last day of your long weekend in Reykjavik, walking its charming streets, shopping for souvenirs in its boutiques, admiring its public artworks, and exploring its museums and galleries.
For those who have a later flight and choose to visit the Blue Lagoon today, you will finish off your stay unwinding before you head to the airport. This is the perfect place to relax as you bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters as you look back on the incredible adventure you have just taken in the land of fire and ice. If your flight is later, there are plenty of things to do in Reykjavik.
If you have an early flight back home, we hope you enjoyed your stay and have a safe flight home!
What to bring
Good to know
The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, and therefore cannot be guaranteed, but this itinerary is designed to maximise your chances to see them if the weather allows. Please be aware that your itinerary may have to be rearranged to fit your arrival date and time better.
It can happen, in the case of extreme weather, that an activity is cancelled. If your chosen activity is cancelled, we will assist you with rearranging or booking other activities when possible, and any potential price difference will be refunded to you.
Note that Icelandic roads and pavements can be slippery in the wintertime. We recommend you bring shoes with slip-resistant soles or ice-grip shoe covers. The covers can be purchased in most supermarkets and gas stations around the country.
See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary. Super budget level accommodations will be arranged in hostel dorm beds. For budget and comfort levels, bookings for one person will be arranged in single rooms, and bookings for two or more people will share a twin/double or triple room(s). For quality level, odd number groups will always be allocated a single room. If you are travelling in a group, but prefer a single room, please make separate bookings. Teenagers and children will be arranged in the same room with parents. If additional room(s) is needed, additional costs will incur. Guide to Iceland will provide you with the best available accommodation at the time of your booking from our preferred partners. If our preferred partners are fully booked at the time of your booking, we will find another suitable accommodation for you of similar level. We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs. Press choose a date to find availability.
Dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels, such as HI Hostels. Located in the capital region. Breakfast is not included.
Private rooms with shared bathroom in guesthouses or hostels such as Capital Inn Guesthouse. Located in the capital region. Breakfast is not included.
Rooms with a private bathroom at three-star hotels such as Hótel Klettur, or quality guesthouses. Located in the city centre or in close vicinity. Breakfast is included.
Rooms at four-star design hotels in the city centre with a private bathroom at the absolute best locations downtown such as Hotel Alda. Breakfast is included.