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 The Land of Northern Lights - 5 days / 4 nights 4 Oct 2016 -
13 Apr 2017

                                                                                                                                                                  

Winter is a magical time of the year and everything is in a different kind of bloom. The air is crisp, the trees are naked and the green grass and soil forcibly frozen together. The red berries that fall on the ground at the end of summer are glued to the frozen ground covered in a thin layer of snow and the little that is left of the patches of green grass is Mother Nature’s own winter decoration. Magic is in the air. 

During the day we explore Southwest Iceland, known for its natural wonders and cultural sites. We see glittering glaciers, snow-clad mountains, giant lava fields and steaming hot springs. We bathe in the mineral rich geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon, we walk on a black lava beach, we visit an Icelandic horse farm and we travel close to the famous Eyjafjallajökull volcano. We overnight two nights in a guesthouse in Reykjavik and two nights in simple cottages in the countryside. It’s truly a magnificent place to be on a dark clear night when the stars are out and a full moon lights up the surroundings. On the best of nights, the northern lights come out to dance as well. 

Winter is the season during which Mother Nature blows you away in Iceland. This short getaway tour to Iceland gives you an insight to Iceland's nature and cultural life. You overnight 2 nights in a guesthouse in Iceland's capital and 2 nights in simple cottages in South Iceland that is an ideal location for the search of Northern Lights. All rooms offer private shower/wc. This is a budget winter program offering great value for money. All tours are guided in English and maximum group size is 30 persons.

Included:

  •       Fully escorted bus tour with English guidance for three days
  •       Roundtrip airport transfers (unguided)
  •       4 nights in budget accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  •       4x breakfast
  •       Entrance to Blue Lagoon with towel
  •       Entrance fee to Skógar folk museum and turf houses
  •       Visit to Icelandic horse stables and geothermal greenhouse
  •       Northern Lights program during 2 evenings with a combination of lectures, presentations, film and guided searches for the Northern Lights and midnight refreshments
  •       Use of winter and Northern Lights explorer equipment: non-slip grippers for shoes and a flashlight

DEPARTURES: From September to April

TOUR START: Arrival in Iceland on Tuesdays or Thursdays and guided bus tour start on Wednesdays or Fridays at 09:00.

END OF TOUR: The guided tour ends on Fridays or Sundays around 17:00 for a last overnight in Reykjavík. Departure from Iceland is on Saturdays or Mondays.

LANGUAGES: English only



Prices:

Budget Category (Guesthouse Borgartun in Reykjavik + Arhus Cottages in Hella)

October – December 2016

Price per person in a twin and triple room: 610 EUR

Price per person in a single room: 680 EUR


January – April 2017

Price per person in a twin and triple room: 800 EUR

Price per person in a single room: 925 EUR


Upgrade version (Center Hotel Plaza in Reykjavik + Stracta Hotel in Hella)

October – December 2016

Price per person in a twin and triple room: 925 EUR

Price per person in a single room:  1255 EUR

January – April 2017

Price per person in a twin and triple room: 925 EUR

Price per person in a single room: 1255 EUR


Price for the New Year's departure 29.12.16-02.01.17:

Guesthouse Borgartún, Reykjavík + Árhús Cottages, Hella

Price per person in a twin and triple room: 1010 EUR

Price per person in a single room: 1080 EUR


Centerhotel Plaza, Reykjavík + Stracta Hotel, Hella

Price per person in a twin and triple room: 1200 EUR

Price per person in a single room: 1450 EUR

Note that most double rooms in Iceland are actually twin bedded rooms


CHILDREN DISCOUNT: 25 % discount for children 2-11 years of age if sharing room with parents. Triple rooms are actually double rooms with extra bed and ideal for 2 adults and 1 child.

Daily driving:

Total mileage without airport transfer is about 630 km (391 miles) which is an average of 210 km (130 miles) per day. You spend about 3 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. This tour is suitable for children that are used to bus tours.

ACCOMMODATION: For this program we use budget accommodation in order to offer an attractive package price. You get great value for money. From 4.10.2016 to 19.12.2016, the first and last nights are at Guesthouse Borgartún in Reykjavík, offering 20 simple rooms with private shower/wc. Guesthouse Borgartún features a breakfast room and a sitting lounge with TV and guest computer. Guesthouse Borgartún is located about 5 minute drive to the center of Reykjavík. From 3.1.2017 to 17.4.2017, the first and last nights are at Hotel Cabin, in Reykjavík, offering rooms (10m2) with shower/wc, a restaurant and a bar. All winter, the 2nd & 3rd nights are at Árhús Cottages in Hella, South Iceland, where 23 rooms with shower/wc are located in simple cottages in the large garden right on the river banks in the village of Hella. Árhús Cottages are popular with outdoor active guests and families travelling with children. All cottages are equipped with a small kitchenette and free Wi-Fi. There is a restaurant on premises, and a public swimming pool and supermarket are in walking distance. 

The tours can be booked with a hotel upgrade option. In Reykjavik overnight will be at Centerhotel Plaza in downtown Reykjavík. In Hella overnight will be in 24m2 studio rooms with kitchenette at Stracta Hotel, which offers a restaurant, hot tubs and sauna on its premises. It is a 10 minute walk from Stracta Hotel to Árhús Cottages in Hella where the guide gives the Northern Lights lectures and presentations. The Northern Lights movie is also shown at Stracta Hotel.

NOTE REGARDING DINNERS: In Reykjavik, the dinner is on your own. There are many restaurants for both fast food and a fine a la carte dining in Iceland's capital. The Árhús Cottages and Stracta Hotel in South Iceland offer a limited a la carte menu with a selection of fish, meat and vegetarian as main course. Lunch stops are made at small country restaurants or petrol station diners.  

NATURE FEES: There is a possibility that some of the nature attractions around Iceland might charge an entrance fee during the trip. These entrance fees are not included in the tour price and need to be paid by all tour members additionally on the spot, when entering any of these nature sites. Locations, amount of entrance fee, form of payment and other details are not known at the present time and are subject to change.

NORTHERN LIGHTS: This program includes during 2 evenings a combination of presentations, lectures, film and guided Northern Lights searches in the garden of Árhús Cottage in Hella, South Iceland, about 10 minute walk from Stracta Hotel. Árhús Cottages and Stracta Hotel in South Iceland offer a Northern Lights wake up call for guests that register for that special service at the reception. The tour is dependent on weather and therefore sightings are not guaranteed. The Northern Lights are in the northern hemisphere from September through April but are only visible when the sky is clear and free of clouds. Like many of natural wonders, the Northern Lights are ephemeral – they 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 will make you comfortable while you await patiently this truly outstanding event. For the best photos we recommend using a tripod.

CHANGE OF PROGRAM: 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.



Itinerary

Day 1: WELCOME TO ICELAND (50 km/31 mls)
The airport shuttle brings travelers from Keflavík International Airport to the guesthouse accommodation in Reykjavík where you spend one night. We provide you with ideas how to explore Iceland's capital on your own. Free shuttle bus from the guesthouse to downtown Reykjavík at 19:00 and back at 22:00.

Day 2: REYKJAVIK CITY TOUR, THE BLUE LAGOON & REYKJANES PENINSULA (220 km/137 mls)
At 09:00 you meet your tour guide who shows the group some of the highlights of Iceland's capital. Then we head out to the Reykjanes peninsula with its hot springs, mountains, bird cliffs, light houses and fishing villages. At the end of the day, we get to soak off our travels in the warm blue waters of the famous Blue Lagoon. We stay for two nights in simple cottages in South Iceland. In the evening, you hear about the Northern Lights from your tour guide. Naturally, once darkness falls, you are out in the garden waiting for the Northern Lights. 

Day 3: SOUTH ICELAND (200 km/124 mls)
Today we head along the South coast and get out near the active volcano that is beneath the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. We stop at the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which plunges over the mountain. There's a trail that goes behind the falling water and offers interesting views, if you are prepared to get wet! At the seaside, you stroll on the black lava beach to see the amazing bird cliffs at Reynisfjara near Vík. In the afternoon we visit Skógafoss waterfall which is 60 meters high and one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country. It's near 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 as turf-built houses. In the evening you have another presentation about the Northern Lights. If the night is clear, you might be lucky enough to see the Northern Lights swirling in a wild and carefree dance across the heavens in dramatic shapes, colors, patterns and sizes. The grounds of Arhús cottages are very large and dark that offers you a good location for Northern Lights search if the weather conditions are right. It requires patience, warm clothing and the excitement of "maybe there is Northern Lights".

Day 4: HORSES & GOLDEN CIRCLE(210 km/130 mls)
In the morning, you learn about the Icelandic horse and its history and special qualities, and also visit a geothermal greenhouse. You see steam from the Geysir geothermal fields as you 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. You continue to Gullfoss "the golden falls", a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá river, and attracts tourists and travelers in summer and winter. We travel inland to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site before returning to Reykjavík for one night. An optional Northern Lights evening cruise can be booked on the spot, if the weather conditions are ideal. Free shuttle bus from the guesthouse to downtown Reykjavík at 19:00 and back at 22:00.

Day 5: DEPARTURE HOME (50 km/31 mls)
Individual transfer by airport shuttle from your guesthouse accommodation in Reykjavík to Keflavík Airport. 


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