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Hidden Powers & Northern Lights Hunt - New Year's Version

The perfect transition into the new year

Explore the Icelandic South Shore; waterfalls, volcanoes, glacial lagoon and black sand beaches. Icebergs, hot springs and volcanoes dominate Iceland's beautifully rugged landscape. On a guided coach tour, experience the hidden powers of the island including dramatic vistas of the notorious Eyjafjallajökull volcano and the breathtaking Glacial Lagoon. With several overnights in stunning rural locations, you’ll be perfectly situated to hunt for the magical Northern Lights. Iceland is one of the best places in the world to experience this majestic phenomenon. Celebrate New Year's Eve in style with a gala dinner, bonfire, and fireworks.

Duration: 6 nights, Winter

Price: from $1,897

Highlights

  • Walk along the continental rift at Thingvellir National Park (UNESCO site)
  • Enjoy freshly baked “hot spring bread”
  • Discover the diverse nature along the South Coast of Iceland
  • Walk along the banks of the awe-inspiring iceberg Glacial Lagoon
  • Hunting for northern lights
  • Visit the world-renowned Blue Lagoon
  • Gala dinner New Year's Eve celebration

Included:
4 nights at a hotel in Reykjavík, including breakfast (except on arrival day)
2 nights at countryside hotels, including breakfast
Guided coach tour from day 2-4 and day 6
Entrance to the Lava Centre and volcano film at the Lava Centre´s Cinema.
2 x two-course local cuisine dinners with coffee/tea (days 2, 3)
Entry to the Northern Lights Center in Reykjavík
Visit to outdoor geothermal bakery and taste of steam-baked rye bread
Entry to Blue Lagoon including towel, silica mud mask and one drink.
New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner and  entertainment
Guided evening visit to New Year's Eve bonfire

Transport between hotel and Gala Dinner (return transport included)
Use of crampons if needed in snow/ice conditions
Northern Light guided hunt on foot one selected evening
Northern Lights hunt kit for guided hunt: flashlight and blanket.
Northern Lights “wake up call” option during the night (available at countryside hotels)

Not Included:
Breakfast on arrival day
Flights to and from Iceland
Personal travel insurance (highly recommended)
Airport transfers
Swimsuit at the Blue Lagoon (can be rented on site)
Beverages, snacks, lunches, dinners not mentioned in "included"
Any service not specifically listed under "included"

Important:
Please note that northern lights are dependent on weather conditions. Sightings cannot be guaranteed.

Accommodation: the hotels may change for your visit, but will be 3- or 4-star hotels with private bathrooms

Day 1 - Grand Hotel Reykjavik
Day 2 - Hotel Klaustur
Day 3 - Hotel Klaustur
Day 4 - Grand Hotel Reykjavik
Day 5 - Grand Hotel Reykjavik
Day 6 - Grand Hotel Reykjavik

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Day 1: Arrival

December 27

Welcome to Iceland! You will spend your first night in Reykjavík, where you can explore the capital, including museums and restaurants. If you need advice on booking airport transfers or what to do in Reykjavík, such as tours, then we will be happy to help!

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Day 2: South Coast - Eyjafjallajokull Volcano - Southeast Iceland

December 28

Once you have met your guide in the lobby of your hotel at 8.45am (please be ready with your luggage), you will start at the Aurora Reykjavík Northern Lights Center, a fantastic introduction to the northern lights, the science behind them, and some of the folk stories surrounding them throughout history. Staff at the center will also show you how to set your camera to best capture this phenomenon, should you see the Aurora Borealis.

For the rest of the day you will travel along the south coast, with many famous and beautiful sights along the way. On a clear day as you drive south you may see Hekla and Eyjafjallajökull, two of Iceland's most famous volcanoes because of their recent eruptions (2000 and 2010 respectively). You will stop at Seljalandsfoss waterfall first, where you can walk behind the curtain of water if the weather conditions are right, although you should be prepared to get wet! Then comes Skogafoss, a beautiful waterfall, definitely a 'must-see' of the south coast. As you pass Myrdalsjokull glacier you should be able to visit Reynisfjara beach, a magnificent black sand beach, where the currents can be particularly strong, so keep out of the water. Cross the lava field Eldhraun as you travel to Southeast Iceland, where you will dine and stay for the night.

Driving distance: 279km / 173 miles


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Day 3: Vatnajökull National Park - Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon - Diamond Beach

December 29

Today you will cover the south east, with its glacial landscape. Vatnajokull National Park covers most of this area, as Europe's second largest national park, and Europe's largest glacier, with the park covering about 14% of Iceland. Drive over vast sandy plains created by the deposits from these glaciers to reach Jokulsarlon, meaning 'Glacial river lagoon'. The view here is truly astounding, with the icebergs floating around the deep glacial lagoon. These icebergs sometimes wash out to sea and some end up on the famously beautiful 'Diamond Beach', where the icebergs lie stranded on the black sand, glittering in the light like precious gems. Next you will see Svinafellsjokull, a glacial outlet from Vatnajokull, of truly outstanding beauty, and then the Skaftafell area, which used to be its own national park before joining with the Vatnajokull National Park. Here you will see many magnificent glaciers and mountains, before heading to your hotel for the night.

Driving distance: 325km / 202 miles


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Day 4: Geothermal Wonders - Greenhouse villages- Blue Lagoon

December 30

Enjoy the drive along the south coast once more, taking a slightly different route back to see some different scenery along the way to Hveragerdi, a village located directly in the middle of a geothermal hot spring area, one of very few villages like this in the world. Hveragerði boasts many greenhouses, heated and powered by the hot water in the neighborhood, earning it the nickname of 'The Flower Village'. You will then travel along the south coast, with fantastic views of the sea waves, passing through a deserted community, that once was a flourishing center for the region. Then you will head to the Reykjanes peninsula, for a trip to the famous Blue Lagoon, and it is definitely popular for a reason, since these mineral rich waters have many healing properties. The group will then return to Reykjavík, where you may spend the evening as you wish. Ask your guide if you would like recommendations for restaurants.

Driving distance: 289km / 180 miles


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Day 5: New Year's Eve Celebration

December 31

Spend the day exploring Reykjavík, noting that many places may close at noon for celebrations to begin. Hotel staff will be able to help you find places that are still open, or we can help you find tours in advance. Then in the early evening you will take a transfer bus to the Grand Hotel Reykjavík for the Gala Dinner, which will begin at 5pm with the following program:

  5:00pm Aperitif of sparkling wine and strawberries
  5:45pm  Five-course dinner begins, with some selected wine pairings included
  8:30pm Guided coach visit to bonfire in Kópavogur, one of the largest New Year's Eve bonfires in the country
  9:45pm Return to hotel
10:00pm Icelandic charcuterie and dessert course
11:45pm  Watch fireworks from the balcony, with sparkling wine and canapés. Countdown to midnight.

After the celebrations are over the bus will take you back to your hotel, although you are free to choose to make your own way back if you wish to stay longer.

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Day 6: Happy New Year - Golden Circle - Exploding Geysers - The Golden Falls

January 1

Your guide will meet you at the hotel around 8.45 am. Please be ready in the lobby of the hotel.

Today you will experience the Golden Circle and some of the surrounding areas. First stop of the new year is Thingvellir National Park (UNESCO World Heritage site) where the world's oldest parliament was founded. This historical site is also an interesting geological landscape, as the North Atlantic Ridge, the boundary between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, runs through the national park. You will also have a chance to visit the famous Geyser, with bubbling pools and an erupting hot spring, called Strokkur. The Golden Circle is completed with Gullfoss, a majestic double waterfall, that plunges into the glacial river Hvita. Stop at Skalholt; once the capital of Iceland in the Middle Ages, it is now the site of a beautiful traditional church and culture center. Drive to Laugarvatn Fontana where your group will experience a geothermal bakery first-hand and dig up bread that has been cooked underground. Sample the delicious bread, served hot from the ground and slathered with fresh Icelandic butter. You will return to Reykjavík for your last night in Iceland, where dinner is on your own.

Driving distance: 230km / 143 miles


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Day 7: Departure - Leaving the Land of Ice and Fire

January 2

Time to say goodbye to Iceland, hopefully you have enjoyed your stay and had a good start to the new year! Airport transfer is not included in the trip, but can be arranged for you, and if you have time before your flight we can give you recommendations for activities around the city.

Departure 2020

Prices per person:

Sharing double/twin room: $2,054
Single room: $2,628

Dates:

December 27 2020

Please note: All bookings are subject to availability.  Availability is NOT guaranteed until booking is confirmed by Nordika Travel

 

 

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Views from Hidden Powers & Northern Lights Hunt - New Year's Version

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  • Seljalandsfoss Winter.jpg
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  • Vatnajokull Glacier - South Iceland.jpg
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Highlights

  • Walk along the continental rift at Thingvellir National Park (UNESCO site)
  • Enjoy freshly baked “hot spring bread”
  • Discover the diverse nature along the South Coast of Iceland
  • Walk along the banks of the awe-inspiring iceberg Glacial Lagoon
  • Hunting for northern lights
  • Visit the world-renowned Blue Lagoon
  • Gala dinner New Year's Eve celebration

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