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23 December 2021: Arrival in Iceland

Highlights: Hallgrimskirkja Austurvollur Square Harpa Concert Hall Reykjavik Reykjavik City Hall Parliament House

Arrival at the Keflavik 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 would be happy to make suggestions based on your interests. Just make sure you are back at the hotel in time for tonight’s walking tour. 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, perhaps visiting one of the museums or relaxing with a cup of coffee in a cozy café.

Early this evening you will enjoy a walking tour in downtown Reykjavik. One of our local guides who is an expert in Icelandic traditions and folklore will meet you at your hotel. Enjoy Reykjavik’s twinkling lights and festive decorations as your guide tells you about holiday traditions. Today is St. Thorlak’s Day, a day when stores are open late into the evening and Icelanders enjoy last minute shopping and greeting friends throughout the day and evening. You’ll surely enjoy this cheerful backdrop for your walking tour.

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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24 December 2021: Thingvellir – Geysir – Gullfoss

Highlights: Gullfoss Geysir Thingvellir National Park

Northern Lights Centre – National Park with Geological Wonders (UNESCO) – Lively Geysers – The Famous Golden Falls

Approximate Driving Distance: 205 km /127 miles

Breakfast at your hotel. Your “Hidden Powers and Northern Lights” tour guide will meet you in the hotel lobby and bring you out to the waiting motorcoach.

Start your holiday adventure by visiting the fascinating Aurora Reykjavik Northern Lights Centre. You’ll get a great introduction to 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.

Then head onwards 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 immensely proud of our heritage, and your guide will show you some of the amazing sites here. You might even have the rare chance to walk between two continents!

Continue 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 the 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.

Tonight, enjoy a Christmas Eve buffet dinner at your hotel. If weather conditions are right, your guide will take you on a northern lights hunt on foot in the area outside your hotel tonight, or on the evening of Day 3 or 4.

Dinner and overnight in the Hella area.

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25 December 2021: Iceland’s South Shore

Highlights: Skogafoss Seljalandsfoss Eyjafjallajokull Reynisdrangar Cliffs Eldhraun Lava Field

Waterfalls – Lava Centre – Glacial Views – Black Sand Beaches

Approximate Driving Distance: 185 km /115 miles

Gleðileg jól! Merry Christmas! Enjoy breakfast at your hotel. 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 formation 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 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 sands, admiring the extraordinary rock formations and thundering waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Cross Eldhraun, a vast lava field created from an immensely powerful 18th-century eruption as you head into Southeast Iceland. The snows of winter make this landscape into something very mysterious.

Celebrate Christmas with a festive Christmas dinner at your hotel. You’ll also receive a gift to commemorate your Christmas visit to Iceland.

Dinner and overnight in the Kirkjubaejarklaustur area.

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26 December 2021: Vatnajokull National Park – Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon

Highlights: Vatnajokull Vatnajokull National Park Skaftafell National Park Hvannadalshnjukur Oraefajokull Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon

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

Approximate Driving Distance: 209 km /130 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.

Then 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.

After an amazing day, return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

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27 December 2021: Hveragerdi – Blue Lagoon – Reykjavik

Highlights: Grindavík Lighthouses The Blue Lagoon

Greenhouse Village – Thundering Waves – Geothermal Lagoon  

Approximate Driving Distance: 365 km /227 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 breath-taking 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. 

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28. December 2021: 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 departure 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 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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