Winter Wonderland 9-Day Northern Lights Adventure Tour Around Iceland from Reykjavik
Embark on a remarkable nine-day adventure through Iceland's winter wonderland with this northern lights winter tour around Iceland. This immersive experience combines the allure of the iconic Ring Road with the enchanting beauty of an Icelandic winter, promising you an unforgettable journey through this captivating land.
Your journey begins with an informative welcome meeting in your hotel in Reykjavik, where you'll meet your knowledgeable guide and fellow travelers. From here, the real adventure kicks off, taking you on a breathtaking odyssey around the island's perimeter.
On day two, you'll explore the famed Golden Circle and South Shore. Marvel at the Geysir Hot Spring, where steaming waters erupt into the crisp Icelandic air, and stand in awe before the mighty Gullfoss Waterfall. The day's journey also includes visits to Hekla Volcano, Eyjafjallajokull Glacier, Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Skogafoss Waterfall, and the dramatic Reynisdrangar Cliffs in Vik i Myrdal.
Day three leads you to the Vatnajokull National Park, home to the formidable Katla Volcano and the ethereal Eldhraun Lava Field. Witness the vast Vatnajokull Glacier and the mesmerizing Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon. The day ends in the charming town of Hofn.
As you venture into the East Fjords on day four, you'll encounter the serene beauty of Egilsstadir, the mysterious Lagarfljot Lake, and the tranquil Hallormsstadur forest. The journey continues with day five, offering a glimpse of the enchanting Lake Myvatn Area, where you'll explore the Hverfjall Crater, Myvatn Lake, Krafla Volcano, and the powerful Dettifoss Waterfall.
On day six, your exploration takes you to Akureyri, Iceland's second-largest city. Visit the eerie Dimmuborgir Lava Pillars and the magnificent Godafoss Waterfall. Then, traverse the Trollaskagi Peninsula en route to Siglufjordur, where you’ll delve into the history of the Herring Era Museum.
Day seven brings you to Skagafjordur. Here, you'll gaze upon the beauty of Skagafjordur Fjord and explore Drangey Island and Grabrok Crater before settling in Borgarnes on the west coast.
The penultimate day unveils Borgarfjordur, a region teeming with natural wonders like the Deildartunguhver Hot Spring, Barnafoss Waterfall, and Hraunfossar Waterfalls. Explore the ethereal Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before returning to Reykjavik.
As your adventure draws to a close on day nine, bid farewell to the Land of Fire and Ice with cherished memories of Iceland's majestic landscapes and the magical dance of the northern lights.
Don't miss this extraordinary opportunity to experience Iceland's complete beauty in winter. Embark on a journey that will leave you with lasting memories of this enchanting land.
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Day 1 - Arrival
Upon arrival at Keflavik International Airport, please be aware that transfers to Reykjavik are not included in the tour. Assistance in arranging shared or private transfers is available upon request at the time of booking.
If your arrival is earlier in the day, consider adding a day tour to your itinerary.
Reykjavik serves as a fantastic starting point for exploring the unique and breathtaking landscapes of Iceland. The available day tours cater to a wide range of interests, ensuring there's something for everyone. You can immerse yourself in the mesmerizing Blue Lagoon, known for its geothermal spa waters that offer relaxation like no other.
In the evening, you can anticipate an informative meeting at your hotel. This gathering provides an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with your guide and fellow travelers. During the meeting, you'll receive comprehensive details about the upcoming tour, including the itinerary, safety guidelines, and any other pertinent information to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey.
Dinner arrangements for this evening are entirely at your discretion. Reykjavik is renowned for its vibrant culinary scene. You'll find a multitude of restaurants, ranging from cozy local eateries serving traditional Icelandic dishes to international cuisine.
Additionally, the city is dotted with charming coffeehouses where you can savor delicious pastries and locally roasted coffee. Dining in Reykjavik is not just a meal but an opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and culinary traditions.
Please note that hotel check-in in Iceland typically begins around 14:00 (2:00 p.m.), and early check-in is not guaranteed. Most hotels are willing to store luggage if early check-in is not possible.
Important Note: For those who have added extra nights in Reykjavik before the tour, the tour officially begins with the evening meeting on Day 1, following the standard "Iceland Complete" itinerary.
Day 2 - The Golden Circle and The South Shore
Start your day of adventure with a lovely breakfast at your hotel, fueling up for an exciting day ahead. Your knowledgeable guide will be waiting for you in the lobby, ready to kickstart your journey into Iceland's natural wonders.
Your first stop is the Aurora Reykjavik Northern Lights Centre, a captivating introduction to the mystical phenomenon of the northern lights.
Here, you'll gain valuable insights into the science behind the auroras and the enchanting folklore that surrounds them. The center will also provide you with essential tips on capturing the elusive northern lights on camera, ensuring you're prepared for potential sightings later in your trip.
Next, you'll embark on a breathtaking journey along the Golden Circle, a route famous for its awe-inspiring natural attractions.
Your first stop on this route is Gullfoss waterfall, a mesmerizing sight in the winter when it's partially frozen, creating a unique and picturesque spectacle. As you stand in awe of its power and beauty, you'll understand why it's considered one of Iceland's most iconic waterfalls.
Continuing your Golden Circle exploration, you'll arrive at the geothermal wonderland of Geysir. Here, you'll encounter bubbling mud pools and the impressive Strokkur hot spring, known for its dramatic eruptions that shoot water high into the air. Be prepared to witness the earth's geothermal energy in action, a truly remarkable and otherworldly experience.
Your journey then leads you along the South Shore, where you'll encounter two more magnificent waterfalls: Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss.
Seljalandsfoss offers a unique opportunity to walk behind the cascading water, providing a truly immersive experience with nature. Skogafoss, on the other hand, is known for its sheer size and thunderous roar, leaving an indelible impression on all who visit.
Continuing further, you'll reach Dyrholaey, a coastal promontory known for its dramatic cliffs and stunning vistas. From here, you'll have a fantastic view of the black sand beaches that stretch along Iceland's south shore, a stark and beautiful contrast against the rugged landscape.
Finally, your day of exploration culminates in the charming village of Vik, where you'll enjoy a delicious dinner and spend the night, surrounded by the natural beauty of this coastal gem.
As night falls, your guide will keep a close eye on the weather conditions.
If the skies are clear and the aurora forecast is promising, you might be treated to a magical northern lights hunt on foot in the vicinity of your hotel. This awe-inspiring natural spectacle is a fitting end to an extraordinary day of discovery and adventure in Iceland's picturesque landscapes.
Day 3 - Vatnajokull National Park (Skaftafell area)
Begin your day with a hearty breakfast at your hotel because today's adventure takes you to the mesmerizing Vatnajokull National Park, specifically the enchanting Skaftafell area.
This national park is named after Europe's mightiest glacier, Vatnajokull, which is a colossal icy giant covering nearly 14% of the entire country, making it the largest national park in all of Western Europe. As you set off on this journey, be prepared to be awed by Iceland's natural wonders.
The Skaftafell area within the park is a true gem, boasting breathtaking landscapes dominated by several magnificent glaciers. These glaciers are like frozen rivers of ice that have been carving their way through the land for centuries. You'll find yourself surrounded by an otherworldly beauty that's hard to put into words.
Next up is a visit to the renowned Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. Imagine a deep, glacial lagoon stretching 591 feet (180 meters) into the icy heart of Iceland. What makes this place truly extraordinary is the sight of massive icebergs peacefully floating on the serene, crystal-clear waters.
Make sure your camera is loaded and ready because this is a photographer's dream come true. The contrast of the vibrant blue ice against the backdrop of the rugged Icelandic terrain is simply unforgettable.
Just a stone's throw away from Jokulsarlon is the dramatic and poetic Diamond Beach. Here, you'll witness nature's artistry as the icebergs from the lagoon wash ashore on the jet-black sands. It's like a scene from a fantasy novel, where the icebergs glisten like diamonds in the sunlight before they embark on their journey out to sea.
After a day filled with such astonishing natural wonders, you'll settle down for a delectable dinner and a cozy overnight stay in Southeast Iceland or the charming Hofn area. Rest well, for tomorrow holds even more adventures in this land of fire and ice.
Day 4 - The East Fjords
After breakfast, prepare for an adventure filled with breathtaking views and captivating experiences. Your journey takes you through the Almannaskard pass, a scenic route offering glimpses of the awe-inspiring coastline.
The East Fjords await you, a region characterized by its narrow fjords and towering mountains that seem to plunge directly into the crystal-clear waters of the sea.
Keep your camera at the ready, as this area is known for its potential wildlife sightings, particularly the elusive wild reindeer, which occasionally grace the landscape, especially during the winter months. These graceful creatures add an element of wonder to the already stunning scenery.
As you continue your drive, you'll pass through charming villages, each with its own unique history and charm. One such gem is the quaint village of Breiddalsvik.
Here, you'll have the opportunity to visit the local Beljandi microbrewery, where you can savor samples of their craft beer. This provides not only a chance to enjoy delightful beverages but also an opportunity to connect with one of the friendly townsfolk, gaining insight into the lifestyle of a small-town community.
Your journey then takes you to Egilsstadir, a town nestled near Iceland's largest forest. This region is not only known for its lush greenery but also for the legendary lake said to be home to a friendly monster. While the tales of this creature are shrouded in mystery and folklore, the lake itself offers a serene and picturesque setting, perfect for a leisurely stroll.
Egilsstadir is making a name for itself in the culinary world with its emphasis on locally sourced ingredients. As the day draws to a close, you'll have the pleasure of savoring a delicious dinner composed of these fresh and flavorful offerings, giving you a taste of the region's gastronomic delights.
After a day filled with exploration, dining, and cultural immersion, you'll retire for the night in the East Fjords area. The cozy accommodations provide a comfortable and welcoming environment, ensuring you are well-rested for the adventures that lie ahead in this captivating corner of Iceland.
Day 5 - Lake Myvatn Area
On day five, you are in for an unforgettable journey through the Lake Myvatn area.
Today's adventure will take you through a captivating landscape, starting with the Highland Desert plateau known as Modrudalsoraefi. This vast and seemingly endless desert, covered in a pristine blanket of winter snow, is both desolate and remarkably beautiful.
On the way to the Lake Myvatn area, you’ll make a stop at Dettifoss, a natural wonder and Europe's largest and most powerful waterfall. This majestic waterfall, with cascading waters create a mesmerizing spectacle. However, please be aware that visiting Dettifoss is subject to weather and road conditions and cannot be guaranteed.
Continuing your journey, you'll arrive at Namaskard pass, where you'll encounter a surreal landscape filled with boiling mud pools and vibrant colors. The unique geological features of this area make it feel as though you've stepped onto another planet, offering a truly surreal experience.
The natural beauty of the Lake Myvatn area awaits your exploration, including the captivating pseudo craters at Skutustadir and the meandering Laxa Salmon River. This region has gained popularity among filmmakers, especially during the winter months, thanks to its enchanting and cinematic scenery.
Conclude your day with a delightful dinner and a comfortable overnight stay in the Lake Myvatn area, allowing you to soak in the tranquility of this unique region.
For those seeking even more relaxation and immersion in nature, an optional activity is recommended: the Myvatn Nature Baths.
Here, you can unwind in an azure geothermal lagoon nestled in a serene wilderness setting. The flexible duration of this experience allows you to fully savor the soothing waters, rejuvenating both body and soul. Please note that the bathing fee is included, but you'll need to bring your towel and swimsuit (rentals are available).
Day 6 - Akureyri and the Troll Peninsula
Begin your day with a delightful breakfast at your hotel, preparing for a journey through the enchanting landscapes of Northern Iceland.
Your first destination is Dimmuborgir, a place whose name translates to "Dark Citadels" in Icelandic. This mystical location boasts peculiar lava formations that appear as if they were crafted by beings from a fantasy realm. Local legends even suggest that elves call this place home, adding to its mystique.
From Dimmuborgir, your adventure continues to Godafoss waterfall, a cherished symbol of North Iceland. As its name suggests, Godafoss, or "Waterfall of the Gods," is a sight to behold. The cascading waters and the surrounding natural beauty make it a must-see attraction on your itinerary.
After exploring Godafoss, your journey takes you to Akureyri, often regarded as the northern "capital" of Iceland. This charming town is known for its colorful buildings and offers a picturesque view of the Eyjafjordur fjord. Stroll through Akureyri to appreciate its unique character and the stunning coastal surroundings.
Continuing your drive along the coastal roads of Eyjafjordur and the Troll Peninsula, you'll be treated to breathtaking vistas of steep mountains and the vast Arctic Sea. The contrasting landscapes, where rugged mountains meet the black sand coastline, create a visual feast for travelers.
Make a stop in Siglufjordur, a town nestled within a fjord that shares its name. Siglufjordur is renowned for its impeccably preserved timber buildings, showcasing the architectural heritage of Iceland. Explore this charming town, which exudes a sense of history and tradition.
While in Siglufjordur, be sure to visit the Herring-Era Maritime Museum, an award-winning attraction that transports visitors back to the early 20th century. This immersive museum vividly captures the essence of a bygone era when Siglufjordur experienced a transformative boom, thanks to the herring industry. The exhibits and artifacts provide a captivating glimpse into the town's bustling past.
Leaving Siglufjordur, your journey continues through majestic mountains and narrow passes as you make your way to Skagafjordur. This region is renowned for its exceptional horse breeding, making it one of Iceland's prime locations for these remarkable animals.
Conclude your day with a delightful dinner and an overnight stay in Northwest Iceland.
Day 7 - Skagafjordur – Borgarnes
Begin your day in Skagafjordur, where you'll be treated to stunning mountain views as you enjoy breakfast at your hotel. The breathtaking scenery of Skagafjordur will surely leave you in awe, with towering mountains framing the landscape.
After breakfast, your adventure continues with a unique experience - a Viking horse demonstration. This demonstration will introduce you to the remarkable Icelandic horse breed, known for its special fifth gait called the "tolt."
These horses hold a special place in Icelandic history, often regarded as the most loyal companions of the Icelandic people. Their strength and resilience have been integral to the nation's survival.
As you travel towards the village of Blonduos, situated on both sides of the Blanda River, you'll immerse yourself in the rich literary history of Iceland. This region is featured prominently in the Icelandic literary work known as the Vatnsdaela Saga, offering a glimpse into the sagas and tales that have shaped the culture of this fascinating land.
Next, your journey takes you across the Holtavorduheidi plateau, a highland pass that leads you into West Iceland. As you traverse this picturesque plateau, you'll witness the changing landscapes, from lush valleys to rugged terrain.
Your route then leads you through Borgarfjordur, a region known for its diverse landscapes and rich Viking history. Borgarfjordur boasts a blend of lush valleys, cascading waterfalls, and rugged mountains. It's a place where Viking legends and sagas come to life, making it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
After a day filled with exploration and discovery, you'll indulge in a delicious dinner and restful overnight stay in the Borgarnes area. Here, you can savor Icelandic cuisine and unwind, ready for the adventures that await you in the days to come.
As you continue your journey through Iceland, each day will bring new experiences and breathtaking landscapes, ensuring your visit is a truly memorable one. Borgarnes and its surroundings offer a glimpse into the heart of Iceland's natural wonders and cultural heritage, setting the stage for an unforgettable travel experience.
Day 8 - Borgarfjordur – Thingvellir – Reykjavik
On day seven, you'll enjoy an exciting exploration of West Iceland's breathtaking natural attractions.
First, venture towards Deildartunguhver, a hot spring of immense power and significance in Europe. This geothermal wonder is known for its extraordinary heat, which makes it a crucial source of energy for nearby towns and villages. As you stand in awe of this natural marvel, you'll learn about the vital role it plays in heating homes and powering industries in the area.
Continuing on your journey, you'll encounter the mesmerizing Hraunfossar waterfalls. These picturesque falls are a true spectacle, with vividly blue waters rushing through contrasting black lava formations.
Nearby, you'll find Barnafoss, another captivating waterfall with its own unique charm. Barnafoss is renowned for its brilliant blue hue, which sets it apart from other waterfalls. Barnafoss, which translates to "Children's Falls," is derived from a tragic legend about two children who disappeared while crossing a natural stone bridge over the waterfall.
Your route then leads you through the scenic Hvalfjordur fjord, surrounded by majestic mountains, offering you a stunning vista to savor during your journey.
Next, you'll arrive at Lake Thingvallavatn, Iceland's largest lake, and the renowned Thingvellir National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage site holds immense historical and geological significance. In the 10th century, it served as the birthplace of the world's oldest continuous parliamentary government.
Here, you can walk in the footsteps of ancient Icelandic leaders and explore the site where key decisions that shaped the nation were made. Additionally, Thingvellir is home to a geological wonder: the point where the North American and European tectonic plates converge. This unique feature allows you to walk between two continents, a truly extraordinary experience.
Conclude your day by heading back to Reykjavik, where you'll spend your final night in this vibrant and colorful capital city. Your knowledgeable guide will bid you farewell at your hotel, leaving you with lasting memories of Iceland's natural beauty and rich history.
As evening descends, you'll have the opportunity to enjoy dinner at a restaurant of your choice in Reykjavik, savoring the local cuisine and reflecting on the incredible sights you've witnessed during your journey.
Day 9 - Farewell to the Land of Fire and Ice
Start your day with a hearty breakfast at your hotel. Keep in mind that if you have an early morning flight, your breakfast may be a bit lighter. After breakfast, it's time to bid farewell to the enchanting Land of Fire and Ice.
You'll need to make your way to the international airport for your departure flight. Remember that airport transfer is not included in your itinerary, but don't worry, as assistance in arranging either shared or private transfers for you may be provided for your convenience.
It is recommended that you depart your hotel no later than three hours before your departure.
As you prepare to leave, take with you the memories of these remarkable places and the warmth of the Icelandic people you've encountered along the way. Iceland's unique landscapes and rich culture will leave a lasting impression, and hopefully, you return someday to explore even more of this extraordinary land.