What To Expect
Boundless Journeys' trips are designed for energetic and flexible individuals who like to be active and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. Iceland: Northern Lights Adventure is rated 2, easy to moderate, on a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being the most strenuous). The terrain we cover is incredibly varied. We'll enjoy some gentle hikes, glacier hiking, and snowmobiling. Please be aware that hikes and/or activities may have to be changed last-minute due to climate conditions, which are highly unpredictable in Iceland.
Downtown Reykjavik or Keflavik International Airport, Iceland
Traveling To and From
Most Convenient Airport:
Keflavik International Airport, Keflavik, Iceland (airport code KEF)
Meeting Time and Place:
Your guide(s) will meet you at 5 p.m. on Day 1 of your trip in the lobby of the Centrum Hotel.
Departure Time and Place:
Your guides will provide a drop-off at the Keflavík International Airport by 2:30 p.m. on the last day of the trip. Please plan departing flights accordingly, taking into account the required check-in time for international flights. If you do not wish to depart on the final day, you can ride with the other guests from the Blue Lagoon, to the airport, and then back to Reykjavik, or you may wish to depart the Blue Lagoon at your leisure and return to Reykjavik independently by taxi or the Flybus.
The Glacier Walk
A half-day glacier walk is included, weather permitting. All necessary equipment is provided, including crampons and ice axes. Boots are available for rental, although your hiking boots should suffice. The Icelandic mountain guides we will hike with are experienced mountaineers with a great deal of knowledge about glaciers and safety procedures. After being fitted with gear and a safety briefing, we head onto the ice itself for a unique perspective on the importance and beauty of glaciers. If the weather makes this adventure unsafe, a traditional hike will be offered instead.
With thousands of acres of year-round snow, Iceland is well suited for snowmobiling. On Day 3, we will embark on a snowmobile adventure. Please note that the snowmobiling activity is priced for double use. If you prefer a single snowmobile, the additional fee is $45. Please let us know in advance if you prefer this option. Helmets, waterproof coveralls, balaclavas, gloves, and boot covers are available for use.
Northern Lights Viewing
It is important to see the Northern Lights as just one of many thrills of a winter trip to Iceland. Immense glaciers, snowy peaks, majestic waterfalls, relaxing thermal baths, fewer crowds, and the vibrant city of Reykjavik, are reasons enough to go. With luck you will also see the sky ablaze with dancing lights, but this can never be guaranteed. The Northern Lights are only visible when the sky is clear and free of clouds. And, like many natural wonders, the Northern Lights are ephemeral - they may appear for a bit, and then be gone.
The unique colors of the Northern Lights are created by the Earth's spectra of gases and the height in the atmosphere where the collision of particles from the sun and the Earth's gases takes place. Our naked eye can most easily see the green-yellow part of the spectrum where the sun emits most of its light. Green is the most common color observed but the Northern Lights can also appear white-gray.
Please be prepared to wait outside while looking for aurora. It is best to dress warmly, in layers, with good footwear, gloves, hats and whatever else will make you comfortable while you patiently await this truly outstanding light show.
Thanks to warming Gulf Stream winds, Iceland enjoys a much warmer climate than it should given its northerly location (and its name). Though the interior is covered with ice all year round, the coastal areas, like Reykjavik enjoy a relatively mild climate. The hours of daylight greatly increase over the course of the month to about 12 hours per day. Sunrise is generally around 7 a.m. and the sun sets again by about 7 p.m.
Weather in Iceland can change quite suddenly, so it is a good idea to always dress in layers.
When to Go
The best season to see the northern lights in Iceland is from September to mid-April, as these are the months where there are full dark nights. Cold, clear, cloudless nights present the best chance of a sighting.
Menus in Iceland generally feature a choice of meat (often lamb) and fresh fish (many varieties of both fresh and saltwater fish are available, the most common being salmon and trout). Some menus are more extensive. Icelandic cuisine has come a long way, and many chefs train in mainland Europe before bringing their skills home to create innovative dishes using native ingredients. It is common even for small hotels to offer meals buffet-style, as this allows travelers to try traditional local dishes alongside more familiar fare. Vegetarians can be accommodated with advance notice, though choices tend to be more limited.