Come spend 6 days with us on a Northern Lights & New Years Eve trip to Iceland. Iceland is one of the youngest land masses in the world. Shaped by 2 competing forces, the lava that exploded to cover the sea bed and the glaciers which burrowed and grooved the land. From the cosmopolitan vibe of Reykjavik to winter scape in December, the stark contrast of this place ranks high on our list. Whether you want a relaxed couple days soaking in the thermal pools or want to embrace the harsh flow of waterfalls, Iceland doesn’t disappoint.
Going to Iceland in the winter is especially wonderful. A blanket of snow covers the landscape and sunsets are early and majestic. Just because the country doesn’t have more than 5 hours of sunlight, doesn’t mean we won’t have fun.
Our trip begins in Reykjavik, where we scout out the city’s amazing street art scene, eat some petrified whale meat or take in a show at the amazing Harpa. We have a food tour of Reykjavik lined up too. Then, we grab our rental car and drive out for a 2 days around the Golden Circle seeing the Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir + Strokkur hot springs & Thingvellir National Park, Eyjafjallajökull volcano & Skogafoss waterfall. Next there are is a glacier & ice cave to explore before we rock in 2018 in Reykjavik. Our final day has us relaxing at the Blue Lagoon, a natural thermal pool and spa, before our send off. It’s going to be an amazing trip!!
The capital city in December is memorizing. The city is in full swing for Christmas and there is definitely a bite in the air. Walking in this city is a treat and we will walk as much as we can, don’t worry there will be plenty of stops to warm up in Reykjavik’s many coffee shops. You will love the walkability of this city and the trendy restaurants and cafes that dot the mod Langavegur street. Besides checking out the city’s amazing street art, the Harpa, amazing Icelandic shops, and local thermal pools, we are on the hunt for the Aurora Borealis, which is slightly elusive and depends greatly on cloud cover and activity level.
Since this is the 2nd year of the trip, we built in some down time for shopping on Laugavegur street, Reykjavik’s main shopping road. This is best place to get everything Icelandic from a new wool coat to quirky coffee mugs. Plus In the afternoon, we partnered with Wake Up Reykjavik for a special food tour that will highlight some of the best and most interesting cuisine in the capital. Can you say rye bread ice cream? Yum!
This will be a very long day. We depart Reykjavik rather early and head towards Thingvellir National Park (spelled locally as Þingvellir) and see the birthplace of Icelandic democracy and where 2 tectonic plates converge. The scenery is spectacular and we will do a lot of walking. Then we head towards Geysir, home to 2 geothermal hot springs and then to Gullfoss, Europe’s largest waterfall. The day will be jammed packed and very cold, dress very warmly. Also, each stop will have plenty of shopping and food.
On the way back, there is a charming thermal pool we can go and soak for an hour and reflect on the day before making our way to the ultra lux Ion Adventure Hotel for a drink and hopefully will spot a little Northern Lights action.
This is our Golden Circle tour extension. Since there is really not enough daylight to see everything, we added a 2nd day of explorations. We are heading out to Eyjafjallajökull volcano, the large volcano that erupted in 2010 and Skogafoss waterfall. Plus, sunlight permitting, we are going to explore one of Iceland’s oldest pools, Seljavallalaug. It’s very close to the volcano and nestled in between some amazing beauty. It’s outside and the bravest among us are welcome to take a dip. If conditions permit, we will seek out the Northern Lights.
Today we are heading to the Langjökull Glacier to explore it’s glowing ice caves on a 3.5 hour tour with help from an eight-wheeled monster truck. We get to go deep into a man-made tunnel that’s been carved through the creeping ice at 4,000 feet above sea level, then walk through frozen caverns and snow tunnels lit by eerie blue light. It will be rad!
If there is time, we pass a very cool waterfall called Barnafoss. We can stop here for 20 minutes and check out the cloudy blue arctic water. After getting back to Reykjavik, we have some time to relax before dinner reservations at Apoteka, a top Reykjavik restaurant and ringing in 2018. Wine is on me tonight!
New Year’s Eve is probably the biggest party of the whole year. On this night everyone is allowed to light fireworks, which normally is banned. Fireworks are lit all night long, reaching the high point at midnight, when the sky lights up for a 30 minutes. At the same time the fire trucks and harbored ships ring their bells and blow their horns to welcome the new year. After midnight, people gather either for parties in each other homes or downtown, where they drink the night away until the early hours of the morning.
As this is our last day, a great send off is the Blue Lagoon plus a recovery from the previous night’s festivities. The Blue Lagoon is an amazing 1st time stop for anyone coming to Iceland. Even though the air temperature will be in the 20’s or 30’s the heated water of the Blue Lagoon will warm you up.
The facility is located just 15 minutes from the airport so you will have plenty of time to relax here and trust me, you will love every minute of it. There are whirlpools, saunas and steam rooms and not to mention the silica mud facials.
Meals: Breakfast/Goodbye Lunch at the Blue Lagoon
*Please ensure your return flight is after 2pm in order to spend time at the Blue Lagoon.
Price of this tour is $2850 for wanderers sharing a room and $3850 for wanderers who want their own private room.
This small group trip to Iceland is designed for active wanderers. There will be lots of walking and travel by rental cars on the Icelandic road system. If you have questions about physical specifics of this trip, please contact me. Tour prices are based on accommodation (3-4 star hotels/guest houses), a personal American tour guide for duration of the trip. All trips will have an orientation (in person if geography suffices) or Skype if it doesn’t, for all guests approximately 3 weeks before departure. Emails and phone numbers of other tour group members will be exchanged with consent.
Please see our Iceland FAQ.
The price of this trip includes:
The price of this trip excludes:
Subject to Change. All Iceland trips are subject to change as travel is as unpredictable, so please note, that some parts of the trip may be altered to account for holidays, closed venues and weather related events.
Deposit Requirement: 10% deposit is required immediately with each booking request. A booking cannot be guaranteed without a deposit.
Deposits can be paid by check, Paypal or credit card. All credit cards are processed through Stripe.
Trip Costs: This trip must be paid in full prior to 4 months start of trip. If trip fees are not paid within this time frame, trip deposits will be forfeited. The date to pay this trip in full is September 27, 2017.
Refund Policy: There is a 10% non-refundable fee per person on all received cancellation requests, regardless of the period when the cancellation is submitted. This trip is only 50% refundable if the request is made before September 27, 2017. If cancellation request is made after, no refund will be issued. This is due to the strict booking policies for desired hotels & excursions in Iceland.
We apologize for any inconvenience of this policy. You can however, transfer your reservation to another willing participant in the event you need to cancel. Just notify us if this is the case.
Tour Cancellations: Big Fat World Tours reserves the right to cancel any trip for any reason and will notify each guest as soon as possible. All deposits and monies paid will be refunded 100% in such an event. Big Fat World Tours can not reimburse you for any flights booked for this trip. This is 100% the responsibility of the traveler. We recommend using World Nomads for travel insurance.
These policies are strictly enforced due to logistical partners in country and reservations made with local hotels and providers.
Megan has been to Iceland 6 times, most recently, she ran the Reykjavik marathon in 2016 & spent NYE there. She spent time in thermal pools, hiked a volcano, reclined in a hot river and sat under a glacier. She loves Icelandic skyr, which is an amazing local yogurt (technically classified as cheese) and the black sand beaches of Vik.
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