Traveling along Eastern Fjords with hope to meet the awe-inspiring, magical, breathtaking, spellbinding and mesmerizing Northern Lights!
We explore striking landscapes, young lava fields, roaring waterfalls, deep fjords, majestic glacial ice-caps, black lava sand beaches, basalt formation, volcanoes, hot springs in moon-like surroundings, an iceberg lagoon and more.
Day One. Individual transfer by Flybus shuttle bus from Keflavík Airport to your hotel in Reykjavík. You spend the night at Fosshotel Baron in the center of town. We provide you with ideas how to explore Iceland's capital on your own.
Day Two. Meet your tour guide. Transfer to Reykjavík Domestic Airport for a morning flight to Akuryeri, the capital of North Iceland. We explore this charming town of 17000 inhabitants, visit the botanical garden and enjoy the panoramic view over Eyjafjörður fjord. In the afternoon, we travel to an important spot in Iceland’s history, Goðafoss, the waterfalls of the Gods. We continue to lake Mývatn which is known for its geological wonders, active bird life and being Iceland’s winter wonderland, but also for having Iceland's coldest temperatures. We stop at the bizarre lava formations at Kálfaströnd followed by a walk around the many pseudo craters and finally hike in a lava labyrinth at Dimmuborgir "the dark castles", hoping to get a glimpse of the trolls who are said to live there. Good hiking boots, winter clothing, hat and gloves are required. In the evening you can join a lecture about Northern Lights and after dinner we take a relaxing soak at Mývatn Nature Baths that contains a unique blend of minerals, silicates and geothermal micro-organisms. The warm soothing waters benefit both skin and spirit alike. This will get us revived to be ready to chase the elusive Northern Lights.
Day Three. We start the day with a visit at the Sigurgeir’s Bird Museum at lake Mývatn, where the original owner, Mr Sigurgeir, had a passionate interest in Icelandic birds, and today his museum has over 80 species all in a well organized exhibit causing interest to people of all ages. Afterwards, we travel to the hot spring area of Námaskarð with bubbling mud pools and steaming solfataras. We have some time to take pictures and see the Mývatn Nature Baths where a light lunch is included. We head through the uninhabited highlands and moonlike surrounding to East Iceland. With some luck with might spot an Arctic fox or see some reindeer. En route we stop for coffee and cake at a small exhibition center about the Icelandic reindeer. We overnight at Hotel Hallormsstaður located in Iceland’s largest forest on the shores of lake Lögurinn, the home of the famous monster Lagarfljótsormur. This setting is perfect for hunting the magical auroras. The hotel offers also a small indoor spa with sauna and hot tubs.
Day Four. If the weather is good we start the day with a walk through the Hallormsstaður arboretum which is unique to Iceland, and it comprises a collection of around 70 tree species. In the afternoon we travel over a mountain pass to the East Fjords and pass several fishing villages. Eskifjörður is one of the most charming seaside villages in Iceland. The village culture and trade has been shaped by the sea. We take a short walk passing some historical buildings and piers. A visit to the Maritime museum will add to the experience. The nearby old seafarer’s lodge has remained unaltered since 1890 and it shows today how fisherfolk used to live and work. There you get a private tour through this beautifully preserved shore-building and you get the opportunity to taste shark meat and dried fish that are produced in Eskifjörður. You toast to this local experience with Brennivin, which is a real Viking snaps. Our local tour continues to a woman called Sigurborg who has been collecting stones and crystals in Iceland all her live. She invites us to her home and shows her incredible collection of stones and minerals. After a short drive we reach the small village of Fáskruðsfjörður which became Iceland's main hub for french fishermen in the later part of the 19th century. The french heritage is visible; even the village road signs are printed in French. You will overnight at Fosshotel Eastfjords which is situated in the reconstructed building of the French hospital. In this building you find also the French museum. During dinner we get a visit from the local photographer and Aurora hunter, Ms Jónína Guðrún Óskarsdóttir, who tells us about living in a small fishing village in the East Fjords. She shows us some of her best Northern Lights photos, tells us about her Aurora encounters and at last but not least, if the weather conditions are suitable, leads us to her secret Northern Lights spot just outside the village.
Day Five. It's a day to admire the dramatic fjord landscape and its tiny fishing villages at the end of twisty roads in the East Fjords. Soon we see Vatnajökull, Europe’s biggest glacier, which is visible all over the Southeast of Iceland. We start the day with a visit at Petra's incredible collection of stones and minerals. We pass the town of Höfn and stop at Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon filled with floating icebergs. There we enjoy some time to explore the extraordinary sights and perhaps see some seals swimming in arctic waters. You can walk on the black sandy beach where large icebergs get stranded. We travel along the southern part of the glacier Vatnajökull, stop at the tiny turf church at Hof and continue through a region which has Iceland's highest mountains. The Vatnajökull National Park is about 12,000 square kilometers and it is the largest National Park in Europe.
We overnight and dine at Fosshotel Núpar. Be careful not to go to bed too soon in this remote and quiet location, or you may just miss out one more chance of seeing the Northern Lights shimmering and dancing across the night sky.
Day Six. A beautiful drive with many natural wonders awaits you today as you head across the Laki lava field, cross the sandy desert of the south coast, overlooked by mountainous cliffs, glaciers and waterfalls. We stroll along the black lava beach of Reynisfjara. In the small village of Skógar there is the Skógafoss waterfall which is 60 meters high and is one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country. Further west we stop at the Eyjafjallajökull Information Center and learn about living next to a glacier and an active volcano. We continue to the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall which plunges over the mountain. There is an interesting trail that goes behind the fall – if you are prepared to get wet!
Dinner and overnight is at Hotel Grímsborgir. Tonight, enjoy a video presentation about Northern Lights which is part of the Northern Lights educational program. Naturally, once darkness falls, you are out and about chasing the Northern Lights that are most pleasant while you are soaking in the hotel’s outdoor hot tubs.
Day Seven. We explore classics today as we travel the route of the Golden Circle sights. You see steam from the Geysir geothermal fields as you arrive. There is 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. We continue to Gullfoss, "the golden falls", which is a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá river and attracts travelers in summer and winter. We travel inland to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. As we return to Reykjavík, we take you for a short city tour to show some of the highlights of the world's northern-most capital. The overnight is at Fosshotel Baron, located in the center of Reykjavík.
Day Eight. Departure home. Individual transfer by Flybus airport shuttle to Keflavík Airport.
In rare cases, 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. In this case no refund will be given, but the tour operator will try the find reasonable alternatives where and when ever possible.
Daily driving: Total mileage without airport transfer is 1,310 km / 814 miles which is an average of 219 km (135 miles) per day, about average 3 hours per day will be spent on the bus.