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New Years and Northern Lights

5 days
4 nights

Rates

Dates

Rates:

Per person:
$ 1,730.00 (double occupancy)
$ 1,980.00 (single occupancy)
$ 2,005.00 (Upgrade: double occupancy)
$ 2,690.00 (Upgrade: single occupancy)

Upgrade: Centerhotel Plaza & Stracta Hotel, Hella

 

Dates:

Dec 29, 2017 - Jan 02, 2018 

Hotels:

  • Reykjavík: Fosshotel Baron first and last night
  • South Iceland: Árhús Cottages, 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.
  • Southeast Iceland: Fosshótel Núpar near Kirkjubæjarklaustur.

Included:

  • Arrival & departure airport transfer by FLYBUS (no guide)
  • Fully escorted 3-day coach tour with English speaking guide
  • Bonfire and New Year's Celebration Tour on day 3
  • 4 night budget accommodation, rooms with private shower/wc (see information below)
  • Daily breakfast 
  • 4-course festive dinner on the 31st of December 
  • Fine dining at one of Reykjavík's best gourment restaurants on the 1st of January including transfers
  • Entrance with towel at Blue Lagoon
  • Entrance fee to Skógar Folk Museum and Turf Houses
  • Northern Lights program during 2 evenings with a combination of lectures, presentations, film and guided searches for Northern Lights and midnight refreshments.
  • New: Use of winter & Northern Lights explorer equipment: Simple non slip snow & ice grippers spikes for shoes and flash light

Itinerary:

A trip to Iceland countryside to celebrate New Year's in a casual and Icelandic way.

You explore Reykjavík, the moon landscapes of the Reykjanes peninsula, and the Golden circle route with Thingvellir national park, Gullfoss waterfalls and Geysir hot spings. You travel to South Iceland, a region with glaciers, waterfalls and black lava beaches. Of course, a warm and relaxing soak in the famous Blue Lagoon during the cold winter days is also included.
  
Traditional New Year's programs in Iceland are based in Reykjavík and with fancy hotels and gourmet restaurants. Our unusual alternative is a casual New Year's adventure where you stay in simple guesthouses and cottages in Reykjavík and South Iceland. We spend two nights in Hella, a small village in South Iceland where you will be able to discover and experience how Icelandic countryside people celebrate New Year's eve. We promise that even in a casual program the meals and drinks will be delicious. Oops, did we mention the Northern Lights? Árhús cottages in Hella are located in a large and dark garden where it is very easy to see the Northern Lights, also called Aurora Borealis, if the weather conditions are suitable. Our expert tour guide provides you also with a fact seminar about the Northern Lights and gives you some tips how to take photos of this natural phenomenon. On the 1st of January the program includes a 6-course culinary experience at the Perlan revolving restaurant offering amazing panoramic views over Iceland's capital.
We look forward celebrating with you the start of 2016 in the Icelandic countryside.
Day 1  : WELCOME TO ICELAND (50 km/31 mls)

Welcome! Your exciting Iceland tour starts today. The Flybus 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 (220 km/137 mls)

At 09:00 meet your tour guide who shows the group highlights of Iceland's exciting 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. (Upgrade option is with lodging at Stracta Hotel in Hella).

In the evening you have a presentation about the Northern Lights. If the night is clear, step out in the garden and check if the Northern Lights are visible. Also, known as the Aurora Borealis, these spectacular sky-light shows can frequently be seen in Iceland from September through April on clear and crisp nights. White and green are usually the dominant colors of northern lights but sometimes there are considerable color variations. They are ephemeral, however, sightings are not guaranteed. The grounds of Arhús cottages and Hotel Stracta in Hella 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 3  : SOUTH ICELAND & NEW YEARS CELEBRATIONS (200 km/124 mls)

After breakfast 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! 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 as turf-built houses. Nearby is Skógafoss waterfall which is 60 meters high and one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country. We continue to the seaside and stroll on the black lava beach to see the amazing bird cliffs at Reynisfjara near Vík.
In the evening we celebrate New Year the Icelandic way. Before dinner we join a guided bus tour to visit the bonfires in the villages of Hvolsvöllur and Hella. The traditional Brenna bonfires of New Year's Eve have their origins in the Middle Ages when people built bonfires to burn the old things they no longer needed. In Iceland there are bonfires all around the country where inhabitants gather, shoot off fireworks, sing and dance as they wait for the New Year to come in.

Your festive 4-course dinner starts around 20:30 and is served at Árhús Restaurant on the river banks in Hella, which is a small village in South Iceland. Around 23:30 one of the local rescue team members joins our group and lights our own small fireworks. Afterwards we walk through the village and celebrate New Years's with a bang when at midnight the sky opens with thousands of fireworks set off across the village by the local inhabitants. This is an experience of a life time, you will never forget. Drink a toast of sparkling wine as you enjoy a real special Icelandic New Year's celebration. (Note that guests at Stracta Hotel join all festivities at Árhús Restaurant).

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.

Day 4  : GOLDEN CIRCLE & CULINARY EXPERIENCE (210 km/130 mls)

Today we travel the Golden circle route. You see steam from the Geysir geothermal fields as you arrive. There are 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. Overnight at Hotel Cabin. (Upgrade option is with lodging at Centerhotel Plaza in Reykjavík). The program includes a culinary treat at one of Reykjavík's best gourmet restaurants.

Day 5  : DEPARTURE HOME (50 km/31 mls)

Your tour of Iceland comes to an end today. Individual transfer by Flybus airport shuttle from your guesthouse accommodation in Reykjavík to Keflavík Airport.

Notes:

GROUP SIZE:
Max 30 people

LANGUAGES:
English

NORTHERN LIGHTS:
This program includes during 2 evenings a combination of presentations, lectures, film and guided Northern Lights searches in the hotel garden in South Iceland. All countryside hotels in this program offer a Northern Lights wake up call for guests that register for that special service at the hotel reception. The tour is dependent on weather and therefore sightings are not guaranteed. The Northern Lights are in the northern sky from September through April but are only visible when the sky is clear and free of clouds. Like many of natures wonders, it’s 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’s worth the patience required. Because they’re a winter event, you need to be prepared to wait outside, while looking for them. 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.