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Aurora Lights of North Iceland

8 days
7 nights

Rates

Dates

Rates:

$ 3,305.00 (season A - double occupancy)
$ 3,750.00 (season A - single occupancy)
$ 3,785.00 (season B - double occupancy)
$ 4,420.00 (season B - single occupancy)

season A - October 2016 - March 2017
season B - October 2017 - March 2018

Dates:

Oct 10, 2017 - Oct 17, 2017 
Oct 24, 2017 - Oct 31, 2017 
Nov 07, 2017 - Nov 14, 2017 
Nov 21, 2017 - Nov 28, 2017 
Feb 06, 2018 - Feb 13, 2018 
Feb 13, 2018 - Feb 20, 2018 
Feb 20, 2018 - Feb 27, 2018 
Feb 27, 2018 - Mar 06, 2018 
Mar 06, 2018 - Mar 13, 2018 
Mar 13, 2018 - Mar 20, 2018 
Mar 20, 2018 - Mar 27, 2018 
Mar 27, 2018 - Apr 03, 2018 

Hotels:

Kea Hotel Skuggi or similar in Reykjavik for first and last night
Hotel Siglo (4 star) in Siglufjörður 2 nights
Sel-Hotel Myvatn at Lake Mývatn 3 nights 

Included:

Arrival & departure airport transfer by FLYBUS
Fully escorted 6-day bus tour with an English-speaking guide as per program
7-nights accommodation as listed below including breakfast
2x light lunch, 3x dinner and 3x midnight refreshments
Visit to natural history & seal museum
Horse show, coffee & cake at local horse farm
Visit to herring museum
Visit to local micro beer brewery
Hot steam baked bread tasting
Entrance with towel at Mývatn Nature Baths
Snow shoe hike (or hike if no snow) in lava labyrinth
Hot drink around open fire on hotel terrace
Visit to Mývatn bird museum
Visit to Christmas house & garden near Akureyri
Visit to Víðimýri turf church, Glaumbær folk museum & turf farm and tannery in Skagafjörður
Northern Lights program during 5 evenings with a combination of lectures, presentations, film and guided searches for the Northern Lights
Use of winter & Northern Lights explorer equipment: simple non-slip snow & ice grippers spikes for shoes and a flash light that is helpful when walking in the dark and operating your photo camera at night

Highlights & Experience:

This program includes during 5 evenings a combination of presentations, lectures, film and guided evening walks or excursions at spots  that are likely to offer a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis – the Northern Lights. Hotel Gigur at lake Mývatn offers 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 hemisphere from September through April but are only visible when the sky is clear and free of clouds. Like many 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 light show. For the best photos we recommend using a tripod.

Aurora Statistics:

22.11.-29.11.13 1x medium, 1x weak
07.02.-14.02.14 1x strong, 1x medium
14.02.-21.02.14 3x strong
21.02.-28.02.14 2x strong, 1x medium, 1x weak
28.02.-07.03.14 1x strong
14.03.-21.03.14 1x medium
21.03.-28.03.14 1x strong, 1x weak
24.10.-31.10.14 2x weak
21.11.-28.11.14 2x strong, 2x medium
06.02.-13.03.15 1x medium, 1x weak
13.02.-20.02.15 1x strong + 1x weak
20.02.-27.02.15 unfortunately no northern lights, lots of bad weather and storms
27.02.-06.03.15 1x medium
06.03.-13.03.15 2x weak
20.03.-27.03.15 1x strong + 1x weak

Itinerary:

Iceland Travel in the Arctic North with Aurora Lights Tour of North Iceland

This new escorted Iceland winter tour takes you on an exploration of West and North Iceland, known as the land of winter adventures in a veritable paradise of nature. Do you want to experience the power of unpredictable and challenging weather? Are you prepared for ferocious wind, snow and road conditions? Do you want to go to places where most people do not go in the winter time? Are you looking for some very unique but not arduous outdoor activities, some walks in the snow, and a chance to search for the northern lights that characteristically appear in high latitudes when the skies are clear? Well, perhaps you’re are ready to take the North Iceland Aurora Challenge!
A winter tour adventure in North Iceland is an unforgettable experience and this tour program is an ideal combination of sightseeing in northern nature, Icelandic culture, soft adventures and searching for northern lights. Enjoy a relaxing visit to the Mývatn Nature Baths, join a snowshoe walk in a lava labyrinth, climb a volcano crater, explore waterfalls, travel along scenic fjord routes and visit some unique museums. We travel to the northernmost town in Iceland where you can almost touch the Arctic circle. There’s plenty of action. Some walks in snow are required during this trip, as not all sights can be reached by bus if there is a lot of snow. As with any winter adventure in Iceland, conditions may sometimes require alternatives to the planned itinerary, but that’s part of any Iceland adventure!

Day 1  : WELCOME to ICELAND (50 km/31 mls)

Welcome! Your enchanting Iceland travel begins today. Individual transfer by Flybus shuttle bus from Keflavik Airport to your accommodation in Reykjavík where you spend the night. We provide you with some ideas how to explore Iceland's capital on your own. Dinner suggestions as well! 

Day 2  : VOLCANO CRATER, SEALS, FJORDS & MOUNTAINS (400 km/248 mls)

At 09:00 meet your tour guide and travel west, passing the town of Borgarnes and climb the Grábrók volcano crater. In the afternoon we visit a natural history & seal museum in a small fishing village and stroll around the local harbour.  Further north we stop at the turf church of Víðimýri which has been extensively restored to its original form and is widely considered one of the purest and most beautiful examples of traditional architecture. The timbers of the church were selected from the driftwood coming ashore along the Skagafjörður peninsula. The churchyard gate with its bells is situated exactly where it was originally built – which is said to have been since Christianity was adopted in Iceland, around the year 1000. Then we travel along scenic fjord landscape and over several challenging mountain passes until we reach Akureyri, the capital of North Iceland. This charming town of 17000 inhabitants offers many nice options for dinner which is on your own. In the evening, if conditions look good, we take a little walk  in town to search for the Northern Lights.

Day 3  : ICELAND'S NORTHERNMOST TOWN (255 km/158 mls)

Today we drive along Eyjafjörður, Iceland's longest fjord which offers amazing mountain panorama. The Tröllaskagi peninsula is named after the giant trolls, who according to Icelandic folktales, each spring ran into the peninsula's towering glaciers, deep valleys and alpine mountains to hide from the ever present arctic sun. These spectacular fjord landscapes take you past several small and friendly fishing villages. Along the way, we stop at a deserted fjord valley that even most Icelanders have not seen yet. Our goal for today is Siglufjörður, Iceland’s northernmost town, known as the herring capital of the North Atlantic. In Siglufjörður we visit the herring museum that is the largest seafaring and industrial museum in the country. The museum, is located in three buildings and tells the tale of hunting and processing these “silver darlings”. At the boathouse, ships and boats lie by the pier, as they did in the 1950s. In the museum the story of herring meal processing is told – this being known as the first heavy industry in Iceland. After we leave Siglufjörður, we go back to route 1 and head to lake Mývatn where we stay for the next three nights. Along the way we stop at a local brewery and taste one of Iceland's many micro-beers. Lake Mývatn is known as a winter wonderland with Northern Lights. Join an evening lecture about Northern Lights and after dinner, don't miss the chance to step outside the hotel to search for the magical auroras. 

Day 4  : SEARCH FOR THE TROLLS & SNOW ADVENTURES (30 km/19 mls)

This morning we go for a snowshoe trip in a lava labyrinth (or a hike if there is no snow) through the lava formations of Dimmuborgir “the dark castles”, hoping to get a glimpse of the trolls who are said to live there. Good hiking boots, winter clothing, hat and gloves are required. Guidance, snowshoes and poles are included! Back at the hotel, enjoy some warm soup after your outdoor adventure. The afternoon is free at leisure to explore the many pseudo craters or walk along the lake shores. Or just relax and enjoy the wonderful light of a northern winter afternoon. 

In the afternoon you might join an optional tour on cross-country skis. The trail depends on the snow conditions and number of participants. Whether you are a beginning or experienced skier we find the right place to enjoy a true adventure in the winter wonderland by lake Mývatn. Winter clothing, hat and gloves are required. *Guidance, skis, shoes and poles are included! 

In the evening we take a relaxing soak at Lake Mývatn Nature Baths that contains a unique blend of minerals, silicates and geothermal micro-organisms and whose warm soothing waters benefit both skin and spirit alike. This will get us revived to be ready to chase the elusive Northern Lights. 

Day 5  : EXPLORE LAKE MÝVATN (50 km/31 mls)

Lake Mývatn is known for its geological wonders and active bird life, but also for having Iceland's coldest temperatures. There is a busy day planned, and we take in as much around as weather and road conditions allow us - it's a winter adventure after all. In the morning we take an easy walk through the bizarre lava formations and landscape at Kálfaströnd followed by a walk around the Höfði peninsula. There you can enjoy a great view to the lake, bird life and trees. A 2-course lunch is included today. In the afternoon we travel to the hot spring area of Námaskarð with bubbling mud pools and steaming solfataras. We have some time to take pictures and see the Mývatn Nature Baths where we taste traditional dark bread baked underground in the geothermal heat. 
In the evening enjoy a video presentation about Northern Lights as a part of the Northern Lights educational program. After a delicious dinner, join for a hot drink around an open fire and under the stars on the hotel terrace. Don't forget to keep an eye out for the Northern Lights. 

Day 6  : BIRDS, CHRISTMAS GARDEN & THE CAPITAL OF NORTH ICELAND (120 km/75 mls)

We start the day with a visit at the Mývatn bird museum, where the original owner, Mr Sigurgeir had a passionate interest in Icelandic birds and today his museum has over 80 species, all in a well organized exhibit causing interest to people of all ages. Afterwards, we travel to an important spot in Iceland's history, Goðafoss, the waterfalls of the Gods. Next stop is the Christmas Garden, a small museum and shop where you find countless items connected to the festive season from all parts of the world. Of course, Icelandic Christmas traditions are given priority, such as legs of smoked lamb hanging from a beam and the decorative “leaf bread” in many patterns, as well as the Yuletide Lads and their parents, who play such an important role in the Icelandic Christmas celebrations. Quality handwork, crafted by many artists from all parts of the country deck the shelves, making this a place which appeals to all the family. We reach Akureyri around noon time. The afternoon is free at leisure to explore the capital of North Iceland on your own. There are some excellent local museums and a great geothermal swimming pool. Dinner on your own. Depending on weather there will be a short excursion into the darkness to hunt the Aurora Borealis. 

Day 7  : HISTORY, DESIGN & HORSES IN SKAGAFJÖRÐUR (420 km/261 mls)

We travel back west over the mountains to Skagafjörður, known as the valley of horses, and home to many ancient farms. We visit the folk museum and turf farm at Glaumbær. The buildings of the farm date from slightly different periods in the 18th- & 19th-centuries. This style of the turf construction was universal in rural areas of Iceland until about 1900, when it was gradually replaced mainly by reinforced concrete, which is typical in most contemporary Icelandic construction today. Extensive turf construction evolved in Iceland owing to the acute shortage of large trees. A turf building, in districts of moderate rainfall, can last up to a century. 
After the lunch break you experience leather and tanning in Sauðárkrókur, in the only tannery in Europe which makes fish leather. Enjoy a guided tour of the actual tannery, where fish-skin is expertly processed to make high-quality leather and where the tannery’s products by outstanding designers and craftspeople are offered for sale. Fish leather from Atlantic Leather has caught the imagination of internationally-known fashion houses and brands such as Prada, Dior and Nike. Later on we travel south and stop for coffee & cake at a horse farm, where we can also learn about the history and special gaits of the Icelandic horse .We reach Reykjavík depending on weather and road conditions between 18:00-20:00 where you stay one night in Iceland's capital.  

Day 8  : DEPARTURE HOME (50 km/31 mls)

Your tour of Iceland ends today. We hope you've enjoyed your stay! Individual transfers will take place by Flybus airport shuttle from your accommodation in Reykjavík to the Keflavík Airport. 

Notes:

ALL DEPARTURES ARE GUARANTEED!

LANGUAGES: English only 
MEALS: 7x breakfast, 2x lunch at Lake Mývatn and 3x dinner at Lake Mývatn
GROUP SIZE: Maximum group size: 16 Persons 

 Subject to your flight schedule there is little time to see and explore Reykjavik. If you are interested to see Iceland's capital, the famous Blue Lagoon and Golden Circle Route, we recommending adding some extra nights in Reykjavík.
 In rare cases, change of itinerary might be necessary during winter programs in Iceland, should snow, road and weather conditions not allow to follow the scheduled itinerary, and certain outdoor activities might be cancelled. In this case no refund will be given, but the tour operator try to find reasonable alternatives where and when ever possible.