The Northern Lights are a truly magnificent gift of nature. Observing their extraordinary colors dancing across the Arctic sky is an unforgettable experience—and Iceland is one of the best places in the world to see them.
Our adventure begins as we set out away from the city in search of clear night skies and dancing lights. Our destination is the small fishing town of Stokkseyri, where we are welcomed with a seafood feast.
The following day we are introduced to Icelandic culture, with a tasting tour of Reykjavik. From the captivating Harpa Concert Hall, to art galleries and colorful neighborhoods, and fishing boats on the harbor, this is the perfect introduction to this creative and pulsating city.
We spend the next four days immersed in mother nature’s elements as we explore the beautiful countryside of Iceland. Testaments to the constantly evolving earth are everywhere – hot rivers, snowy peaks, and majestic waterfalls dominate our views. We traverse glaciers on foot and by snowmobile, and ford rivers in a super jeep. As the winter sun retreats each day, we seek out the spectacular Northern Lights, as they paint dramatic shapes, colors, and patterns on the night sky.
Rejuvenating soaks in thermal baths and charming accommodations round out this exciting adventure.
Lobster dinner & Northern Lights
Early this evening, we meet our guide and begin our quest in search of the Northern Lights. We depart for the south coast, away from the lights of the city, to one of Iceland's most renowned seafood restaurants for an unforgettable lobster feast. Afterwards, we return to our deluxe accommodations in the capital city.
Alda HotelReykjavik, Iceland
Standing over the harbor, Hotel Egilsen is set in a newly converted historic house in the heart of Stykkisholmur. This boutique 10-room hotel preserves its classic heritage while enhancing it with the best of modern design. Providing intimate lodging, healthy food, a small library, and creative bar menu, rooms are small but bright and stylish.
Reykjavik, Thingvellir National Park, Laugarvatnshellar, Secret Lagoon
Today we learn about Icelandic art and culture with a walking and tasting tour of the city of Reykjavik. Stops will include the impressive Harpa Concert Hall, the Parliament building, City Hall, and the artfully designed Hallgrímskirkja Church.
As we stroll through the city, we are introduced to a cuisine shaped by isolation and the extreme forces of nature. While strongly rooted in customs and traditions, Icelandic chefs are also innovative, creating exciting menus using fresh ingredients harvested from the sea and family-run farms.
From here, we head to the countryside driving through Thingvellir National Park — site of the Viking parliament and more than 1000 years of history. Our next stop is Laugarvatnshellar, the site of two man-made caves used as shelter for hundreds of years and as a homestead during the 1900's.
As the day begins to wane, we visit the Secret Lagoon in the village of Fludir for a warm soak amidst a natural setting. Feeling rejuvenated, we head to the Geysir Hotel — located in the historic Haukadalur Valley.
We enjoy dinner this evening at our hotel restaurant, offering sustainable, farm-fresh ingredients.
Geysir HotelBlÃ¡skÃ³gabyggÃ°, Iceland
This new family-run hotel, located on the doorstep of the geothermal area of Geysir and Strokkur in the historic Haukadalur Valley, harmoniously blends with the surrounding environment through the use of materials that reflect the surroundings and the architectural design of the building. The hotel’s rooms and suites are bright and light and all have views of stunning scenery.
Gullfoss, Langjökull Glacier, Geysir, Friðheimar Greenhouse and Stables
Our day begins with a visit to the magnificent Gullfoss Waterfall, a spectacular site in winter surrounded by snow and hanging sheets of ice. The sheer power of the earth emanates from the cascading water.
The action continues this morning on the magnificent Langjökull Glacier, the second largest in Iceland, where we tour this magical landscape on a snowmobile.
Having worked up an appetite, lunch today will be at the great Geysir, which erupts in a grand show every few minutes.
Capping our epic day will be a visit to the Friðheimar greenhouses and horse stables. Here we gain an insight into the processes of greenhouse horticulture, and enjoy the company of friendly Icelandic horses.
At day's end, we return to the comforts of our hotel and another fine meal. You may also choose to enjoy the hotel sauna or outdoor heated pool as we await the possible display of dancing lights in the sky.
Sólheimajökull Glacier, Vik, Reynisfjara Beach, Skógafoss Waterfall
Today we discover the most interesting sights of South Iceland. First, we drive a short distance to the Eyjafjallajökull massif. From the eastern face, the Sólheimajökull glacier tongue extends down from its parent glacier, Mýrdalsjökull, Iceland's fourth largest. Here, we meet our Icelandic mountain guide, who equips us with the proper tools (crampons and ice axes) for an adventure on an active glacier. After instruction on the proper use of our equipment, we traverse the glacier onto an ice field, where a wonderland of ice sculptures, ridges, and deep crevasses await our discovery.
We enjoy lunch mid-day in the small village of Vik, where we visit a woolen goods store and explore the black-pebble Reynisfjara Beach.
From here, we continue to the immense Skógafoss Waterfall, one of the biggest and most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland with an astounding width of 82 feet and a drop of 196 feet.
Later today we arrive at the impressive Skálakot Boutique lodge, where we may visit with Icelandic horses before settling in for a freshly cooked meal. Our guide will be closely following the Northern Lights forecast and will let us know if they might make an appearance this evening!
SkÃ¡lakot Boutique Farm HotelÃsÃ³lfsskÃ¡li, Iceland
The SkÃ¡lakot Hotel is a brand-new, 14-room boutique hotel on a horse farm in a remote area of southern Iceland. Surrounded by beautiful countryside, SkÃ¡lakot offers optional horseback rides, spacious yet cozy common areas, and family-style dining.
Thorsmörk Nature Reserve, Seljalandsfoss & Gljufrabui Waterfalls, Lava Center
This morning we take a short drive to see the breathtakingly beautiful Seljalandsfoss Waterfall. After we embark on an exciting drive through several shallow rivers into Thorsmörk Nature Reserve. Thorsmörk is a deep valley consisting of glacial tongues flowing down mountainsides. This area is surrounded by the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull, Mýrdalsjökull, and Tindfjallajökull, and boasts numerous glacial rivers. We will take some time to walk around the area and visit the famous Stakkholtsgjá Gorge.
After lunch in the preserve, we continue to Gljufrabui Waterfall, known as the "hidden waterfall of the south."
Our day concludes with a visit to the Lava Center, featuring an interactive display of the natural forces that shape our planet and the unique geology of Iceland.
This evening we celebrate our adventure in Iceland with our final group dinner and one more opportunity to view the celestial Northern Lights.
Krisuvik Thermal Area, Blue Lagoon
On our way to the airport we stop to stretch our legs at Krisuvik thermal area, where we can walk along a boardwalk over mud pools and steam vents.
Our final stop is the Blue Lagoon, where the warm waters beckon us for a soak. A fitting tribute to our stay in the land of fire and ice.
Keflavik International Airport is only 15 minutes away from the Blue Lagoon, and we will drive you there in time for your late-afternoon flight.
Please note that this is a typical itinerary, and actual activities may vary due to weather conditions, local events, and to allow serendipity to play a hand in your experience. Accommodations are as outlined in the itinerary, although we reserve the right to change these or the order visited should the need arise.
Feb 10-15, 2020
Nov 9-14, 2020
Take over a date for your group! See "Make It Private" on Dates & Prices tab.
From $5,495 Per Person
First two reserved:$250
See single supplement policy below.
10+ Guests: $5,495 per person
4 to 9 Guests: $5,995 per person
Make it Private price is based on Land Cost only, and a guarantee of the specified number of guests in double occupancy. For groups smaller than the numbers shown, or those requiring single occupancy, we reserve the right to adjust the per person price. Additionally, some trips have minimum group sizes. Please call 1-800-941-8010 for details.
PRICING BASED ON CURRENT RATE OF EXCHANGE
In order to keep our trip price as low as possible, we have based it on the current rate of exchange. If there were to be a significant change in the value of the Icelandic Krona, we may be forced to raise or able to lower our trip cost; if so, your final invoice, sent 90 days prior to your departure, will reflect the difference.
Accommodations (hotels, tents, cruise cabins) are based on double occupancy. A single supplement is paid by participants who specifically request single accommodations, subject to availability. If you reserve at least 120 days prior to departure, you may be eligible for a reduced or free single supplement.* This is generally limited to the first one or two solo travelers to reserve, and the reduction is outlined in the pricing for each trip. Please note, free or reduced single supplements are not combinable with other offers or promotions.
If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we will try to match you with a roommate of the same gender. If you reserve at least 120 days ahead and a roommate is not available, you will only be charged a “forced” single supplement in the amount of 50% of the standard single supplement* (unless otherwise noted in the detailed itinerary). Single accommodations are limited so you are encouraged to reserve early!
*This may not apply to certain trips with unique accommodation arrangements. Please see specific trip information for more details.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Snorri was born and raised in ReykjavÃk, where he studied classical singing. He graduated with a diploma as an opera singer from the Vienna Conservatory. Upon completion of his studies, he worked for several years as an opera singer, primarily in Germany and Austria. Snorri returned to Iceland and began working as a guide in 2010. He is certified to guide group tours, hiking adventures, and glacier explorations. He enjoys every opportunity to take guests into the mountains and to remote, off-the-beaten-path areas of Iceland where they can experience the beautiful landscapes together.
Snorri was born and raised in Iceland and has been traveling around his country since he was a young boy. He left his 25-year career in marketing and sales to pursue a career in guiding. Snorri is passionate about traveling, hiking, and the unspoiled nature of his homeland. He also has a great interest in the geology and history of Iceland, and he has a knack for storytelling. Last, but definitely not least, Snorri is a family man, with four children and one grandson.
Snorriâ€™s knowledge and enthusiasm, along with his ability to connect with and read his group of travelers make him an exceptional guide. Guests often remark that they felt they were traveling with a friend!
Boga has been involved with Icelandic tourism for over 20 years. She has a passion for her country, but also loves to experience new places. Boga is a true adventurerâ€”ocean swimming for several years, traveling the country on a motorcycle, and hiking mountains. Her other interests include her family, running, kayaking, and all kinds of sea sports.
She has set a goal for the year of her 55th birthday to kayak 55 lakes in Iceland, as she hiked 45 mountains the year of her 45th birthday! Bogaâ€™s upbeat nature, energy, and knowledge of Iceland adventure portals make her a valued member of our guiding team.
With a Boundless Journeys guide, your experience is that of friend and local adventurer. We believe strongly in working with local guides, experts in the areas to which we travel, and they hold the keys to unlocking the hidden delights of your chosen destination. Although you will never know they are at work—the mark of a truly great leader—our guides make magical things happen and add a dimension to your trip that you could not experience on your own. Over the years we have forged bonds with some of the best guides in the world, and we typically work with a small team of guides in each region. You will be informed of the guide for your trip one month prior to your departure.
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Easy to moderate walking and hiking for 2-5 hours per day, 1/2-day glacier walk, an afternoon snowmobile tour, thermal bath visits and nighttime Northern Lights viewing.
This trip can be your own adventure by taking over one of our scheduled dates, or we can request a fresh one.
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