October 7, 2012 | By Collette Peck
One of the most awe-inspiring attractions in Iceland from September through April is the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights. Visitors from around the world will head north in hopes of witnessing this breathtaking, natural phenomenon that can only be seen under the right conditions. During the winter months when the nights are dark and the sky is clear, the Northern Hemisphere begins to dance and glow. With astronomers predicting that the Northern Lights will be some of the brightest in decades over the next few years due to a peak in the solar cycle, it promises to be unlike any you have ever seen before.
Due to its location, Iceland is one of the ideal countries to see the Northern Lights and since it is only 5 hours away from the east coast, one of the closest as well.
Day 1: Evening departure from North America
Day 2: Early morning arrival in Iceland. On own transfer to hotel in Reykjavik. Guaranteed check in by 10am. (This is only guaranteed for passengers on Icelandair packages; normal check-in is 2pm) Rest of the day open for your own activities.
Day 3: Morning on your own. 11:30am departure on from Reykjavik on tour. Head through the scenic south coast of Iceland, dotted with farmlands, waterfalls and mountains. There will be a stop for lunch (not included) The goal is a glacier. Strap on crampons and take an ice pick for a guided walk on a glacier. A safe and easy walk takes you through a wonderland of ice sculptures, ridges and deep crevasses. Afterwards, as night falls, head for the charming Country Hotel Anna for a delicious traditional Icelandic dinner made with local ingredients. Located on the site of a traditional Icelandic farm, Country Hotel Anna is named after the woman who grew up here: Anna Jonsdottir. She became a world traveler and adventurer in the early 20th century, writing popular books for Icelanders about her experiences. An exhibit at the hotel commemorates her travels.
Afterwards, head out in the tour vehicle searching for glimpses of the elusive, beautiful Northern Lights. The route changes based on best conditions for sightings. Note- Northern lights are a natural phenomenon and weather dependent. (Best weather conditions are cold, clear nights) Northern Lights sightings are not guaranteed.
Tour is about 11- 12 hours. Return to Reykjavik around midnight.
Day 4: Day open for your own activities. Maybe you’ll explore local galleries and museums in the city. Or take an invigorating horseback ride in beautiful lava field surroundings. In the evening enjoy dinner at one of the city’s many excellent restaurants (on your own). One suggestion might be to try our popular Golden Circle and Fontana Steambath tour: the quintessential Icelandic experience!
Day 5: Breakfast at hotel in your own. Morning open for own activities. On own transfer to airport for late afternoon departure to North America.
This tour is not recommended for children under 12 years old.