Read more

December 30th: Arrival

Highlights: Reykjavik Hallgrimskirkja Perlan

Arrival in Iceland. Transfer to your hotel in Reykjavik. Transfers are not included, but we are happy to book a scheduled or private transfer for you.

The day is free for you to explore. Reykjavik is decked out in its festive lights and decorations for the Christmas holiday season. It’s fun to walk through the streets and enjoy the atmosphere. Stroll down the main streets of Laugavegur (the “shopping street) and Skolavordustigur (the “gallery street.”) Visit the trendy Old Harbor district, location of artisanal restaurants, craft shops and exhibits like the Volcano House, Maritime Museum, and Whales of Iceland. Head to the Pearl (Perlan) for the wonderful interactive exhibits about Iceland’s volcanoes, glaciers and star-filled skies. The new FlyOver Iceland experience is also a great introduction to the breathtaking wild nature of Iceland. There are several geothermal pools that are a wonderful way to shake off the jetlag. It’s also a great way to meet Icelanders since the swimming pool is the place where Icelanders come together to chat. After a trip to the swimming pool, an Icelandic tradition is to have a hot dog, and there often is a hot dog kiosk near the pool! Another tradition at this time of the year is to enjoy a mug of hot chocolate or mulled wine and gingersnaps at one of the coffee houses in the downtown area.

If you arrive earlier in the day and want to enjoy outdoor action, we can suggest activities for you and book you on tours. Some of our favorites include cave exploration, glacier hiking, horseback riding in a lava field or winter whale watching. Tonight, you might try a northern lights guided tour.

Overnight in Reykjavik

Please note that most hotels start check-in around 14:00 – 16:00 (2:00pm 4:00pm)

Read more

December 31st: New Year's Eve

Highlights: Reykjavik Hafnarfjordur

Breakfast at your hotel. Transfer on your own to the Reykjavik Old Harbor, where you’ll meet your local guide for this morning’s great introductory tour to Reykjavik and New Year’s Eve traditions.

Your guide will dress in Iceland national dress for this special day. You will have a chance to taste some local delicacies, admire the city‘s Christmas decorations, learn about Icelandic folklore and enjoy beautiful fireworks that the guide will set off. The tour ends with a sparkling wine toast to the passing year and upcoming adventures in the new year.

The rest of the afternoon is open for your own activities. Please keep in mind many shops and restaurants will close around 12;00pm, and the city bus services stops around 15:00 (3:00pm). Some places still will be open for visitors. A list of open places is available at many hotels and from the tourism board.

In the evening, delight in a New Year’s Eve dinner at your hotel. Menu items are carefully crafted from fresh local ingredients straight from Icelandic farmers and greenhouses and the neighboring ocean. You’ll also enjoy the festive music and atmosphere of the evening.

Fireworks go off all night long, reaching a high point at midnight, when the sky lights up for a few minutes as fire trucks and docked ships ring their bells and blow their horns to welcome the New Year.

After midnight, the nightclubs and pubs are open for business. The downtown area becomes a veritable catwalk of Icelanders outfitted in their finest holiday glitz, with dancing and celebrations going well into the morning. The biggest party night in a city renowned for its nightlife, the New Year’s Eve celebration in Reykjavik is the stuff of legends.

The Festive Evening Program at Grand Hotel Reykjavik:

19:00 – 22:00 (7:00 – 10:00pm) – New Year´s Festive dinner buffet with live music.   Dinner is served in the Grand Brasserie and Setrid areas of the hotel.

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

Menu is here: (subject to change)

Grand Evening Program at Grand Hotel Reykjavik (upgrade):

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 the bonfire in the suburb of Kopavogur. This is one of the largest New Year’s Eve bonfires in Iceland.

21:45 (9:45pm) – Return to hotel.

22:00 (10:00pm) – Icelandic charcuterie and dessert course is served

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

Menu is here (subject to change)

New Year’s Eve Dinner at the CenterHotel Arnarhvoll:

There will be two seatings for the New Year’s Eve Dinner. The first seating is from 18:00 to 21:00 (6:00pm – 9:00pm). The second seating is from 21:15 to midnight (9:15pm to midnight). Check your Iceland Travel confirmation for your reserved dinner seating time. We will post the menu

Read more

January 1st: New Year's Day

Highlights: Reykjavik

Happy New Year! Breakfast at your hotel. The day is open for your own activities. This is a holiday in Iceland, but there will be some restaurants and travel services open today, and many day tours are available. This is a great day for visiting places like the Golden Circle, the South Shore or chilling at the Blue Lagoon. Another suggestion for an Icelandic-style spa relaxation is to take Golden Circle tour that visits the Laugarvatn Fontana steam baths or the Secret Lagoon.

It’s a tradition in Iceland to enjoy a nice dinner on New Year’s Day, so several restaurants, including the one at the Grand Hotel Reykjavik, offer festive dinners tonight. Reservations are recommended.

Overnight in Reykjavik.

Read more

January 2nd: Departure

Highlights: Reykjavik

Breakfast at your hotel.  On your own transfer to Keflavik airport for your international flight.  We would be happy to book a transfer for you for this day.   We recommend departing your hotel no later than three hours before your flight.

Read more