Explore the best of West and South Iceland on our most inclusive Northern Lights tour. Start and end in Rekyjavik, discover the Golden Circle, climb a volcano, meet Icelandic horses and relax in the Blue Lagoon. Cruise along fjords and taste fermented shark all whilst looking out for the spectacular Northern Lights on this soft cultural adventure.
Reykjavik. Welcome to Iceland and the start of your Northern Lights adventure! Your transfer to our accommodation is by Flybus shuttle. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Overnight: Reykjavik | Breakfast
Reykjavik - Borgarfjorour Valley - Borgarnes. This morning we meet our tour guide and depart on a Reykjavik city tour exploring some of the highlights of Iceland’s capital before heading west to Borgarfjorour.
Borgarfjorour valley is known as the Saga valley of West Iceland because many important historical events took place there. You get a chance to climb the Grabrok volcano crater and warm up at Deildartunguhver, Europe's most powerful hot spring, producing 180 litres of nearly boiling water (97°c) per second.
We continue to Hraunfossar, a series of waterfalls pouring from beneath a wide lava field. Barnafoss - the Children’s falls, is nearby with its own tragic tale. We spend the next two nights at Borgarnes in West Iceland. This afternoon includes a lecture about the Northern Lights and after dinner we head into the garden to search for the Northern Lights, followed by a hot cup of chocolate or tea.
Overnight: Borganes | Breakfast
Borgarnes - Snaefellsnes Peninsula - Breidafjordur fjord cruise - Borgarnes. Today we explore the Snaellsnes Peninsula or the Peninsula of the snowy mountain. A rugged mountain chain runs its length. We travel to the charming fishing town of Stykkishólmur for a lunchtime cruise on the Breidafjördur fjord.
Afterwards we can stroll around the sheltered harbour exploring this charming town with its many old wooden houses. A uniquely Icelandic “treat “awaits you at our next stop, Bjarnarhöfn, where they make Hákarl - delicious fermented shark. Depending on the conditions, we may also visit the fishing village of Grundarfjorour to admire the beautiful coastline and Mt Kirkjufell which overlooks the bay.
Today our guide gives us some practical tips of how to photograph the Auroras as part of the Northern Lights Academy program. Once darkness falls, we venture into the hotel garden and relax in the outdoor hot tubs to hopefully await an appearance from the breathtaking Northern Lights.
Overnight: Borganes | Breakfast, Lunch
Borgarnes - Golden Circle - Selfoss. This morning we travel along the scenic shores of the Hvalfjörour fjord, stopping at an Icelandic wool outlet store before continuing inland to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. After a stop at the park, we continue to the Geysir geothermal fields, where there's a variety of hot springs and bubbling pools. The original geyser is now dormant but Strokkur, "the Churn“ is very much still active and erupts every 5-10 minutes. When we get to Geysir, we visit the restaurant and taste freshly baked hot spring bread served with delicious Icelandic butter, geothermally boiled eggs and local herring. This is best served with a small glass of ice cold (nearly frozen) Geysir Schnapps. Leaving the geyser fields, we stop at the last site on Iceland's Golden Circle - Gullfoss “the golden falls“. This double waterfall tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá River.
This afternoon, we learn about the history of the hardy Icelandic horse and the special qualities they possess. We also visit a geothermal greenhouse, before reaching our accommodation in South Iceland.
Tonight, we step into the darkness and search for the elusive Northern Lights, which are best enjoyed from the comfort of the hot tub in the garden of the hotel amidst the peace and stillness of rural Iceland.
Overnight: Selfoss | Breakfast
Hella - Eyjafjallajökull - Kirkjubaejarklaustur. Today we travel along the South coast. At our first stop of the day we will learn about the geology and the active volcano's in Iceland at the Lava & Volcano Exhibition centre.
Further east we visit one of Iceland's finest folk museums. This museum contains an outstanding collection of farm and domestic artefacts typical of Iceland’s past as well as several turf-built houses. Nearby is the waterfall of Skógafoss which stands 60 meters tall and is one of the most impressive waterfalls in Iceland.
This afternoon we take a stroll along black lava beach and the bird cliffs at Reynisfjara beach in South Iceland. We spend the next 2 nights near Kirkjubæjarklaustur in the Vatnajökull National Park region, located in complete darkness and ideal for Northern Lights search.
Overnight: Kirkjubajarklaustur | Breakfast
Kirkjubaejarklaustur - Jökulsárlón - Kirkjubaejarklaustur. Today is all about glaciers, ice and icebergs. This morning we travel to Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon which is filled with floating icebergs. Exploring this extraordinary site we keep an eye out for seals swimming in the freezing Arctic waters. We then can walk along the black sandy beach where some large icebergs have gotten stranded.
This afternoon we visit the tiny turf church in the town of Hof before heading to the National Park. The Vatnajökull National Park covers about 12,000 square kilometres and is the largest National Park in Europe. Here we find Iceland’s highest mountains, an alpine environment, and Europe's largest glacier which the park is named after. Alternatively we can take an optional Ice Cave tour (between Nov 15th and March 15th only) - see Trip Notes for more details.
Tonight we enjoy a movie presentation about the Northern Lights as a part of the Northern Lights Academy program before hopefully seeing the Northern Lights shimmering and dancing across the night sky.
Overnight: Kirkjubaejarklaustur | Breakfast
Kirkjubaejarklaustur - Vik - Reykjavík. This morning we depart Kirkjubæjarklaustur and head across the Eldhraun lava field to the village of Vik where we make a photo stop. We take a stroll on the black lava beach and along the bird cliffs at Reynisfjara beach in South Iceland. Further west we reach the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall which plunges over the mountain. Those wishing to get a bit closer can take a trail that goes behind the falling water but be prepared to get wet!
In the afternoon we return to Reykjavik where we have a couple of hours to explore Iceland's capital on our own, visit museums, do some shopping or simply rest after all this touring. This evening we head to the famous Blue Lagoon for a relaxing soak, followed by a traditional Icelandic dinner at the Northern Light Inn Hotel and finishing off with one last nocturnal tour to seek the Northern Lights. Around midnight we reach Reykjavík for one last night.
Overnight: Reykjavik | Breakfast, Dinner
Today our Northern Lights Icelandic experience comes to an end with included FlyBus transfer to Keflavik Airport.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 persons. The 'Twin Share' price is per person when there are 2 people sharing a room. The 'Solo Room' price is applicable to all solo travellers or if your booking party cannot reach the minimum of 2 persons in a room. Solo Rooms can also be booked by any other person wanting the comfort and privacy of their own room.
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.
Centrehotel Plaza, Reykjavik
In the main square of Reykjavik, the Centrehotel Plaza offers travellers a warm welcoming atmosphere. Guest rooms offer bright and modern decor with lots of contemporary oak furnishings. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in each room as well as flat screen tv, mini bar and excellent en suite facilities. The hotel also boasts the elegant Plaza Bar - the perfect place for a tipple before heading out for an unforgettable night in Reykjavik. Be sure to make it for happy hour! Located in the heart of the city - just a short walk to the harbour, shopping and restaurants.
Hotel Klettur, Reykjavik
Just a short walk to the main shopping street of Laugavegur, Hotel Klettur is a modern hotel believed to be home to many elves! Guest rooms are clean and brightly furnished with comfortable beds and excellent ensuites. A typical Icelandic breakfast is served in the Breakfast Room and there is also a bar serving Iceland's best beers! Head outside to the local pizzeria for dinner and look out for the elves that live under the rocks in the corridor!
Icelandair Hotel Hamar, Borgarnes
Surrounded by an 18 hole golf course, Icelandair Hotel Hamar is one of Iceland's most picturesque locations. Guest rooms are all single-storey and open out directly onto the grounds - allowing fantastic access and views. Guests can take advantage of complimentary Wi-Fi in public areas as well as outdoor hot tubs - perfect for relaxing in and spotting the Northern Lights! The onsite restaurant serves up a fantastic array of local and international cuisine - with a great influence on local produce. Well located just 5 minutes from the town of Borganes.
Fosshotel Hekla, Selfoss
Situated close to Mount Hekla, Fosshotel Hekla offers comfortable accommodation in the south of Iceland. Guest rooms are beautifully furnished and immaculate in design. Hard wood floors feature throughout and all guests can take advantage of the outdoor hot tubs for a classic Icelandic experience. The on site restaurant serves up a delicious array of locally sourced meals - most ingredients hand delivered by the local farmers each morning! Perfectly located close to Selfoss, Skogafoss and Eyjafjallajokull.
Hotel Eldhestar, Selfoss
A cosy countryside hotel, Hotel Eldhestar is attached to the famous Eldhestar riding school and was the first hotel in Iceland to be given the Nordic Swan ecolabel. Guest rooms are decorated in calm tones with luxurious beds and private entrances onto the garden. The hotel also benefits from outdoor hot tubs, free Wi-Fi and an onsite restaurant.
Fosshotel Nupar, Kirkjubajarklaustur
Surrounded by lava fields and famous Vatnajokull, Fosshotel Nupar offers comfortable accommodation in a picturesque setting. Guest rooms are simply furnished with bright interiors and hardwood floors as well as excellent en-suite facilities that include heated floors! The hotel offers complimentary Wi-Fi as well as an onsite restaurant and bar with breakfast included with all stays. Well located a short distance from Lakagigar, Skaftfell National Park and unique Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon.
Icelandair Hotel Klaustur , Kirkjubajarklaustur
Set in spectacular surroundings, Icelandair Hotel Klaustur is a comfortable country hotel. Guest rooms are smartly furnished with modern colours and excellent amenities. The hotel also boasts a first class restaurant serving up a variety of local and international cuisine. The restaurant is set in a beautiful terrace area which is lovely during summer days. Why not try the signature 'Fire and Ice' desert which is a hot fruit suit combined with ice cream - delicious! Well located in Kirkjubaejarklaustur, halfway between Myrdalsjokull and Vatnajokull.
Excellent Tour Guide! Our tour guide was EXCELLENT!! I can't spell his name, but it started with the letter "J" I think. ”
Our guide was great. Excellent source of knowledge, friendly, great driver. Knew excellent places for lunch stops. Tour was a good pace, although difficult with staying up looking for the northern lights, although the hotels were so-so. The last hotel, in the south, was perfect for light hunting - no area lights, easy access to check outdoors from our rooms. Would have preferred a more remote location for the 2 nights in the west, since there were lights all over and it would have been difficult to see the northern lights if the weather was good. Excellent hot tubs ad breakfast, though.”
Trip was really well organised. Quite long days, but loads of great activities organised. ”
Incredible tour, with the absolute best tour guide ever!”
Johannes was excellent. He was entertaining and his knowledge of Iceland was exceptional.”
Anna was an amazing tour guide - I really can’t speak highly enough. She had a deep knowledge and love of her country and it showed in every moment of the trip making it extra special. ”
Our Iceland holiday was amazing. We saw everything we wanted to see - the trip was well-paced, but we covered a lot of ground. We also saw the Northern lights - spectacular.
Anna-Lara was excellent - informative and great fun. She obviously enjoys her work, and we felt really well looked after.”
We had an absolutely wonderful time on our tour in Iceland. Jonas was an exceptional guide. He was very personable and friendly, sharing personal connections with various places we drove by and visited. This provided a very human and individual perspective to our experience. Jonas knew the exact amount of time we needed at each place to thoroughly enjoy the site and still allow for plenty of time to see everything on the itinerary. We felt we were introduced to Iceland in all its beauty, culture, history, people and resourcefulness. Afterwards Jonas was very prompt in sending out our tour participants' emails (per our request), group photos (he took them at our request) and several of his own fabulous photos he took while with us on tour. Our age group diversity was excellent and everyone got along extremely well. All in all, we had a super fantastic time. Thank you!”
Great tour guide--passionate, professional, funny and extremely knowledgeable. Great tour bus driver -- helpful, kind, friendly.”
Overall the tour was fantastic and our tour guide was really knowedgable about the country and its history, but was also able to talk about modern life which was a great contrast.
Only criticism which comes down to On the Go is that it's advertised as an 8 day tour but in fact it's only 6 days. First and last day are just independant days. Either change it to a 6 day tour or rename it ”
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Excellent Tour Guide! Our tour guide was EXCELLENT!! I can't spell his name, but it started with the letter "J" I think. ”