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27 December:

Highlights: Reykjavik

Please note: If you have added extra nights in Reykjavík before your tour, our guide will meet you and the group for the start of the tour on Day 2 according to the standard “Hidden Powers and Northern Lights” itinerary.

Arrival in Iceland
Arrival at Keflavik International Airport. Transfers to Reykjavik are not included in the tour. We would be happy to arrange shared or private transfers for you, so let us know at booking time.

If you are arriving earlier in the day, you might consider adding a day tour. We’d be happy to make suggestions based on your interests. One of our favorite activities after a long flight is to visit one of the neighborhood geothermal pools. It is so refreshing to relax in the warm water, breathing in the fresh Icelandic air. It’s a wonderful way to get to see Icelandic daily life and maybe meet a few locals. It’s also nice to take a stroll in the old city center and admire the holiday lights and decorations. You might enjoy visiting one of the museums or relaxing with a cup of coffee in a cozy café.

Dinner this evening is at your leisure. Reykjavik offers a multitude of restaurants and/or coffee-houses, making dinner a wonderful way to get better acquainted with Iceland’s capital.

Please note that hotels in Iceland start check-in around 14:00 (2:00pm), and early check-in is not guaranteed. Most hotels will be happy to store your luggage if you are not able to check in early.

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28 December: Iceland’s South Shore – Eyjafjallajokull Volcano – Southeast Iceland

Highlights: Skogafoss Seljalandsfoss Eyjafjallajokull Eldhraun Lava Field

Northern Lights Centre Waterfalls – LAVA Centre Glacial Views Black Sand Beaches

Approximate Driving Distance: 280 km / 174 miles

Breakfast at your hotel. Your guide will meet you at the hotel around 8:45 (8:45am). Please be in the lobby with your luggage, ready for an enjoyable day in South Iceland!

Start your adventure by visiting the fascinating Aurora Reykjavik Northern Lights Centre. You’ll get a great introduction to the northern lights, how they are formed and the folklore surrounding them. You’ll also get tips about how to capture northern lights on film. It’s also possible to get assistance from the staff in adjusting your camera’s settings for northern lights photos.

Drive along the South Shore, an area of Iceland that is especially beautiful to view in the winter. This is one of the main farm regions of the country, and the road will pass by typical Icelandic farms, often with Icelandic horses roaming in the fields. This part of Iceland is home to the wonderful LAVA Centre, an interactive, high-tech educational exhibition depicting volcanic activity, earthquakes, and the creation of Iceland over millions of years. Enjoy both the exhibit and viewing an interesting film about Icelandic volcanoes at the Centre’s cinema. Continue onwards. If the skies are clear you might see the area’s two most famous volcanoes in the distance: Mount Hekla (last eruption 2000) and Eyjafjallajokull (last eruption 2010). You might also possibly catch a glimpse of the Westman Islands archipelago off the coast of Iceland.

Stop at the spectacular waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. If trail conditions are right, you might be able to walk behind the ribbon-like Seljalandsfoss falls. Skogafoss is a beautifully shaped waterfall that makes a perfect backdrop for a selfie. It has an interesting history geologically, and it just may also be hiding some buried treasure from the Middle Ages.

Head onwards, passing Myrdalsjokull Glacier, to visit Reynisfjara beach. Take a walk on the black sand, admiring the extraordinary rock formations and thundering waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Cross Eldhraun, a vast lava field created from a very destructive 18th-century eruption as you head into Southeast Iceland. The snow of winter makes this landscape into something very mysterious.

Dinner and overnight stay in the Kirkjubaejarklaustur area.

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29 December: Vatnajokull National Park – Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon

Highlights: Skaftafell National Park Hvannadalshnjukur Vatnajokull National Park Vatnajokull Oraefajokull

Western Europe’s Largest National Park Glacial Lagoon with Icebergs Europe’s Largest Glacier

Approximate Driving Distance: 260 km / 162 miles

Breakfast at your hotel. Today you will be in a world of glaciers! You’ll be visiting the southern area of Vatnajokull National Park, named after Europe’s largest glacier. The total park area covers almost 14% of Iceland, making it the largest national park in Western Europe! Drive through vast sand plains created by glacial outwashes as you head east. Visit Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon where you can enjoy the breath-taking sight of icebergs floating in the fantastic 180m (591 ft.) deep glacial lagoon (make sure that camera is loaded and ready!) Nearby is the dramatic beauty of the Diamond Beach, where shrinking icebergs settle on the black sands before they drift out to sea.

Next, you’ll view Svinafellsjokull, one of the most beautiful glacial “tongues” that are slowly creeping down from Vatnajokull. Visit the national park’s famous Skaftafell area, a site of outstanding natural beauty dominated by several magnificent glaciers. Dinner and overnight stay in the Kirkjubaejarklaustur area.

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30 December: Hveragerdi – Blue Lagoon – Reykjavik

Highlights: Hveragerdi The Blue Lagoon Grindavík

Greenhouse Village – Thundering Waves – Geothermal Lagoon

Approximate Driving Distance: 345 km / 214 miles

Breakfast at your hotel. Head back along the beautiful South Coast, enjoying a different view of the winter landscapes. Visit the village of Hveragerdi, which is one of the few sites in the world located directly in the middle of a geothermal area. Hveragerdi is often called “The Flower Village” because of its many flower greenhouses heated by hot water from nearby springs.

Turn onto a southern coastal road and follow alongside the shoreline with its breathtaking sea waves, passing through a deserted community that once was a flourishing center for the region.

The trip then takes you through the surreal landscapes of the Reykjanes peninsula, where you can enjoy a dip in the famous Blue Lagoon, a unique wonder of nature with pleasantly warm, mineral-rich water in the middle of a black lava field. Return to Reykjavik, where the evening is open for you to enjoy your own activities.

Dinner is on your own. Overnight in Reykjavik.

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31 December: New Year’s Eve Celebration

Highlights: Reykjavik

Breakfast at your hotel. The day is open for your own activities. Please keep in mind that many shops and restaurants close around noon today, but your hotel should have a list of places that will still be open during the afternoon. We are also happy to suggest and book tours for you.

This evening, we invite you to enjoy the Gala evening celebrations at the Grand Hotel Reykjavik!

Grand Evening Program at Grand Hotel Reykjavik:

17:00 (5:00pm) – Aperitif – Sparkling wine and strawberries.

17:45 (5:45pm) – Five-course dinner begins, including selected wines

20:30 (8:30pm) – Guided coach visit to view a traditional bonfire in the nearby town of Kopavogur. This is one of the largest New Year’s Eve bonfires in Iceland.

21:45 (9:45pm) – Return to your hotel.

22:00 (10:00pm) Icelandic charcuterie and dessert courses are served

23:45 (11: 45pm) – Hateigur Room on the 4th floor opens. Sparkling wine and canapes are served. Watch the city fireworks from the balcony. Countdown to midnight.

Menu is here, standard and vegan options (subject to change)

 

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1 January: The Golden Circle

Highlights: Gullfoss Geysir Thingvellir National Park

National Park with Geological Wonders (UNESCO) – Exploding Geysers – The Famous Golden Falls

Approximate Driving Distance: 229 km / 142 miles

Happy New Year! Enjoy the first breakfast of 2022 at your hotel. Your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby around 8:45am.

Start your day with a visit to Thingvellir National Park (UNESCO World Heritage site) where the world’s oldest parliament met for centuries on the shores of Iceland’s largest lake. This is a place that makes us Icelanders enormously proud of our heritage, and your guide will show you some of the amazing sites here. You might even have a rare chance to walk between two continents!

Your tour continues to the geothermal fields of Geysir with bubbling mud pools and the high-spouting Strokkur hot spring. Last but not least, visit the dramatic two-tiered Gullfoss waterfall, a spectacular sight in winter when frozen mid-cascade. Stop at Skalholt, Iceland’s capital “city” during the Middle Ages and now a culture center with a beautiful church.

During the day you will also visit the town of Laugarvatn. The town is built around three hot springs, and the residents have cleverly harnessed the hot springs for heating, greenhouses, and even cooking. You’ll visit a unique outdoor geothermal bakery where sweet Icelandic rye bread is baked in hot sands. You’ll have the chance to taste some of the freshly baked bread, hot from the ground. It’s especially delicious slathered in sweet Icelandic butter.

Head back to Reykjavik where your guide will say farewell to your group. Dinner is on your own. Several restaurants offer a special New Year’s Day dinner, so this is a nice evening to enjoy a festive dinner and an Icelandic tradition.

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2 January: Farewell to the Land of Fire and Ice

Breakfast at your hotel. Please note that this might be a light breakfast if you are taking an early morning flight. Transfer on your own to the international airport for your departure flight. The airport transfer is not included, but we are happy to help you arrange shared or private transfers.

We recommend you depart from your hotel no later than three hours before your departure flight. We wish you a pleasant trip back to your homeland and hope to see you in Iceland again!

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