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New Year's and Northern Lights Adventure in South Iceland

Celebrate New Year's in a casual and Icelandic way. Explore Reykjavík, the Reykjanes peninsula, the Blue Lagoon, the Golden Circle and the South Coast. Stay in simple hotels and cottages in Reykjavík and South Iceland; all rooms with private shower/wc. Discover and experience how Icelandic countryside people celebrate New Year's eve... and of course hunt for the Northern Lights!

Duration: 4 Nights, December 29 to January 2

Price: From $1,924 per person

Highlights

  • Bonfire and New Year's Celebration
  • Horses and the Golden Circle
  • South Iceland and New Years Party

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GROUP SIZE: Maximum group size is 40 persons

Included:
• Arrival & departure airport transfer by FLYBUS (no guide)
• Fully escorted 3-day coach tour with English speaking guide
• Bonfire and New Year's Celebration Tour on day 3
• 4-night budget accommodation, rooms with private shower/wc (see information below)
• Daily breakfast
• 4-course festive dinner on the 31st of December
• Fine dining at one of Reykjavík's best gourmet restaurants on the 1st of January including transfers
• Entrance with towel at Blue Lagoon
• Entrance fee to Skógar Folk Museum and Turf Houses
• Northern Lights program during 2 evenings with a combination of lectures, presentations, film and guided searches for Northern Lights and midnight refreshments.
• New: Use of winter & Northern Lights explorer equipment: Simple non slip snow & ice grippers spikes for shoes and flash light

Not Included:
• International Flights
• Travel Insurance
• Other Items not mentioned under Included

 

NATURE FEES: There is a possibility that some of the nature attractions around Iceland might charge an entrance fee during the trip. These entrance fees are not included in the tour price and need to be paid by all tour members additionally on the spot, when entering any of these nature sites. Locations, amount of entrance fee, form of payment and other details are not known at the present time and are subject to change.

ACCOMMODATION:
• Reykjavík: Hotel Cabin - first and last night (small rooms).
• South Iceland: Árhús Cottages in Hella – second and third night. Offering 23 rooms with shower/wc, located in simple cottages in the large garden right on the river banks in Hella. Árhús Cottages are popular with outdoor active guests and families traveling with children. All cottages are equipped with a small kitchenette and free Wi-Fi. There is a restaurant on premises and the program includes 2x breakfast and 1x festive 4-course dinner.

        There is an option to book a hotel upgrade:
        • Reykjavík: First and last night at Centerhotel Plaza.
        • South Iceland: Second and third night at Stracta Hotel in Hella.

Please note that all Northern Lights educational programs and New Year‘s activities on the 31st of December are held at Árhús Cottages (10 minutes walk between Stracta Hotel and Árhús Cottages).

NORTHERN LIGHTS: This program includes during 2 evenings a combination of presentations, lectures, film and guided Northern Lights searches in the hotel garden in South Iceland. All countryside hotels in this program offer 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 sky from September through April but are only visible when the sky is clear and free of clouds. Like many of natures wonders, it's 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's worth the patience required. Because they're a winter event, you need to be prepared to wait outside, while looking for them. It's best to dress very warmly, in layers, with good footwear, gloves, hats and whatever else will make you comfortable while you await this truly outstanding event. For the best photos we recommend using a tripod.

CHANGE OF PROGRAM: In rare cases, a 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.

This is a new escorted tour program taking you to the Icelandic countryside to celebrate New Year's in a casual and Icelandic way. We recommend booking early, as this program is only available for maximum of 40 persons.

Botancial Garden Reykjavik.jpg

Day 1: December 29

WELCOME

The Flybus shuttle brings travelers from Keflavík International Airport to Hotel Cabin in Reykjavík where you spend one night. We provide you with ideas how to explore Iceland's capital on your own (Upgrade option with lodging at Centerhotel Plaza in Reykjavík - limited amount of rooms available).

Driving distance: 50 km/31 mls

Blue Lagoon in Iceland.jpg

Day 2: December 30

REYKJAVÍK CITY TOUR & THE BLUE LAGOON

At 9:00am meet your tour guide who shows the group highlights of Iceland's exciting capital. Then we head out to the Reykjanes peninsula with its hot springs, mountains, bird cliffs, light houses and fishing villages. At the end of the day, we get to soak off our travels in the warm blue waters of the famous Blue Lagoon. We stay for two nights in simple cottages in South Iceland (Upgrade option with lodging at Stracta Hotel in Hella).

In the evening you have a presentation about the Northern Lights. If the night is clear, step out in the garden and check if the Northern Lights are visible. Also, known as the Aurora Borealis, these spectacular sky-light shows can frequently be seen in Iceland from September through April on clear and crisp nights. White and green are usually the dominant colors of northern lights but sometimes there are considerable color variations. They are ephemeral, however, sightings are not guaranteed. The grounds of Árhús cottages and Hotel Stracta in Hella are very large and dark that offers you a good location for Northern Lights search if the weather conditions are right. It requires patience, warm clothing and the excitement of "maybe there are Northern Lights".

Driving distance: 220 km/137 mls

Skogafoss waterfall.jpg

Day 3: December 31

SOUTH ICELAND & NEW YEAR'S CELEBRATION

After breakfast we head along the South coast and get out near the active volcano that is beneath the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. We stop at the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which plunges over the mountain. There's a trail that goes behind the falling water and offers interesting views, if you are prepared to get wet! Further east we visit one of Iceland's finest folk museums. This museum contains an outstanding collection of farm and domestic artifacts typical of Iceland's past, as well as turf-built houses. Nearby is Skógafoss waterfall which is 62 meters high and one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country. We continue to the seaside and stroll on the black lava beach to see the amazing bird cliffs at Reynisfjara near Vík.
In the evening we celebrate New Year the Icelandic way. Before dinner we join a guided bus tour to visit the bonfires in the villages of Hvolsvöllur and Hella. The traditional Brenna bonfires of New Year's Eve have their origins in the Middle Ages when people built bonfires to burn the old things they no longer needed. In Iceland there are bonfires all around the country where inhabitants gather, shoot off fireworks, sing and dance as they wait for the New Year to come in.

Your festive 4-course dinner starts around 8:30pm and is served at Árhús Restaurant on the river banks in Hella, which is a small village in South Iceland. Around 11:30pm one of the local rescue team members joins our group and lights our own small fireworks. Afterwards we walk through the village and celebrate New Year's with a bang when at midnight the sky opens with thousands of fireworks set off across the village by the local inhabitants. This is an experience of a life time, you will never forget. Drink a toast of sparkling wine as you enjoy a real special Icelandic New Year's celebration (note that guests at Stracta Hotel join all festivities at Árhús Restaurant).

If the night is clear, you might be lucky enough to see the Northern Lights swirling in a wild and carefree dance across the heavens in dramatic shapes, colors, patterns and sizes.

Driving distance: 200 km/124 mls

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Day 4: January 1

GOLDEN CIRCLE & CULINARY EXPERIENCE AT THE PEARL

Today we travel the Golden circle route. You see steam from the Geysir geothermal fields as you arrive. There are a variety of hot springs and bubbling pools. The original geyser is now dormant but has been replaced by Strokkur "the Churn" which erupts at 5-10 minute intervals. You continue to Gullfoss "the golden falls", a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá river, and attracts tourists and travelers in summer and winter. We travel inland to Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site before returning to Reykjavík for one night. Overnight at Hotel Cabin (upgrade option with lodging at Centerhotel Plaza in Reykjavík).

In a glass dome set on top of hot water tanks on a hilltop overlooking Iceland's capital, you find the Pearl, or Perlan Restaurant. This is a landmark in Reykjavík and one of the best revolving restaurants in the world, as every two hours the restaurant completes a full rotation. The program includes a culinary treat and in a one-of-a-kind setting that is sure to create a memorable dining experience. Celebrate January 1st at one of Iceland's best restaurants with a four-course dinner experience, where the Pearl's culinary team lets its imagination go free.

Driving distance: 210 km/130 mls

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Day 5: January 2

DEPARTURE HOME

Individual transfer by Flybus airport shuttle from your accommodation in Reykjavík to Keflavík Airport.

CHANGE OF PROGRAM: Itineraries may be subject to change at short notice during severe weather conditions and certain outdoor activities/day trips may be canceled during the winter season in Iceland. In these rare cases, where situations of force majeure apply, excursions/activities cannot be refunded but the local guides will try their best to find reasonable alternatives where and whenever possible.

Driving distance: 50 km/31 mls

Price and Date (Prices in USD per person):

Season Accommodation Double Room Single Room
December 29, 2017 to January 2, 2018 Centerhotel Plaza & Stracta Hotel, Hella $1,924 $2,581

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Views from New Year's and Northern Lights Adventure in South Iceland

  • Auroras in Iceland.jpg
  • Blue Lagoon in Iceland.jpg
  • Arhus Cottages South Iceland.jpg
  • Northern Lights - Aurora Borealis Iceland.jpg
  • Iceland - Þingvellir.jpg
  • Arhus Cottages South Iceland3.jpg
  • Arhus Restaurant.jpg
  • Geysir hot spring.jpg
  • Gullfoss waterfall.jpg
  • Iceland - Gullfoss.jpg
  • Iceland - ptarmigan.jpg
  • Eyjafjallajökull glacier and volcano.jpg
  • Reynisfjara  Dyrholaey.jpg
  • Botancial Garden Reykjavik.jpg
  • Harpa Reykjavik.jpg
  • Reykjavik - harbour.jpg
  • New Years's Eve Bonfire.jpg
  • Reykjavik - the Pearl in a winter night.jpg
  • Reynisfjara beach with view to Dyrholaey.jpg
  • Skogafoss waterfall.jpg

Highlights

  • Bonfire and New Year's Celebration
  • Horses and the Golden Circle
  • South Iceland and New Years Party

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