October 7-13, 2020 | 6 Days
Includes Northern Lights Excursion
October 7-13, 2020 | 6 Days
Special Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) Excursion
There will be a special excursion to a location selected by your guide for optimal viewing of this amazing natural phenomenon. If the ‘lights’ are not seen, a second opportunity will be offered during the tour. The location of our hotel outside of the larger city also typically offers views in the late evening sky. Please note: sightings are not guaranteed.
|Included Features||Highlights & Places You’ll Visit|
OVERNIGHT FLIGHT TO REYKJAVIK
Depart on your overnight flight to Reykjavik arriving the next day.
Upon arrival, you’ll be met by a local representative and transferred to your hotel in the town of Selfoss. Iceland is full of surprises – for one, it isn’t covered in ice! It’s a stunning mix of green plains, wild volcanic scenery, beautiful coasts and lakes, spouting geysers, hot springs, mud pools and sophisticated cities. Topped off by clean, fresh air, you’ll find yourself in a trance surrounded by unique natural beauty throughout the country. Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital city of 100,000 people, is unique in many ways. This capital is a modern city with a variety of restaurants, museums, galleries and theaters. Heated entirely by geothermal water, it is home to the “smoking bay”, so named for the rising steam that greeted the city’s Viking founder, Angolfr Arnarsson, as he sailed into the bay here in 874 AD. The city center is the heart of Reykjavik and home to many charming historic buildings of stone and timber contrasting with imaginative modern architecture. It has the features of a modern society complemented by a close connection to natural wonders right on the city’s doorstep. Hot springs, glaciers, lava fields, midnight sun, waterfalls, northern lights, volcanoes and bizarre landscapes – the city has them all!
This afternoon, enroute to Reykjavik, drive over the mountain pass Hellisheidi where magnificent views of the wide plains formed by glacial rivers unfold before you. On the included panoramic city tour of the world’s most northerly capital, see the old town center, Parliament, cathedral, harbor, National Museum, ‘Pearl’ and Hofoi House (site of the Iceland summit of 1986), and Hallgrímskirkja Church whose steeple is a landmark of the city. This evening join your group for a welcome dinner. (D)
ICELAND’S SOUTH SHORE
After breakfast, your adventure to the South Shore begins with a journey through small villages and farmlands to the majestic mountains with views including Mt. Hekla, the most active volcano in Iceland, and the towering, ice-capped strato volcano Eyjafjallajokull, which last erupted in 2010. Iceland is also famous for its waterfalls and you’ll see two of the most magnificent—the Seljalandsfoss which tumbles over high rock escarpments allowing you to walk behind the waterfall, and Skogafoss. Learn about the preservation of the Southern Iceland cultural heritage on the visit to Skogar Folk Museum. Exploration continues to Dyrholaey, a magnificent rocky headland with sheer cliffs, enroute to the village of Vik. Head to the seashore, flanked by steep bird cliffs rising high above the beautiful black sand beach. In the sea, just outside of Vik, see the Reynisdrangar Rocks which stand 216 feet above sea level at their highest point. (B)
REYKJANES PENINSULA AND BLUE LAGOON
This morning, head for the rough tracks of Reykjanes, one of the most active volcanic areas in Iceland. Visit the geothermal area of Krysuvik and Lake Kleifarvtn with its hot springs and solfatares. The moon-like surroundings of the lake never fail to leave a strong impression on visitors! A remarkable life enriching experience is a visit to the Blue Lagoon – a lake of warm-mineral rich geothermal water, internationally renowned for its healing prowess. Located in the middle of a lava field in the pure and beautiful Icelandic wilderness, water is heated by underground volcanic activity at a depth of 5,400 feet and is pumped to the surface to form this man-made wonder. The Blue Lagoon is known for its special properties and its beneficial effect on the skin. Visitors from all over the world come here in search of health, relaxation and an exotic experience. You’ll have an opportunity to soak in the pleasantly warm mineral-rich water. (B)
REYKJAVIK / WHALE WATCHING
Depart the hotel for Reykjavik for an included whale-watching excursion where the naturalist guides onboard the vessel will share their knowledge of these magnificent creatures while searching for pods of whales in the area. Enjoy some free time in the city center before returning to the hotel. (B)
THE GOLDEN CIRCLE
On the full-day tour of the Golden Circle, enjoy scenic drives along with the geological and historic sites of the island. Your excursion includes a drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Thingvellir National Park. A remarkable geological site, it is one of the few spots in the world where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is seen above water. The amazing canyon that runs through the park is a meeting point of two of the earth’s tectonic plates. The park is situated by Lake Thingvallavatn, the largest lake on the island. The park is also the most historic site on the island as the world’s oldest democratic parliament was founded here in 930 AD. You’ll see outstanding natural wonders when you visit Geysir, Iceland’s most famous area for thermal activity. View ‘Strokkur’, one of the most active geysers, and ‘Gullfoss’ (Golden Waterfall), Iceland’s most famous waterfall. Before returning to Selfoss, a visit to a local farm gives you the chance to meet some of the native Icelandic horses, as well as learn about the growing of healthy tomatoes using green energy, pure water and organic pest controls. This evening, join your travel companions for the farewell dinner. (B, D)
RETURN TO USA
Following breakfast, transfer to Keflavik Airport and bid a fond farewell to amazing Iceland, as you return home with memorable life enriching experiences to cherish. (B)
(B) = Breakfast
(D) = Dinner
|Hotel Selfoss||Staterooms & Suites|