Currently sold out — call to be added to the waitlist
Join Sky & Telescope on a one-week tour of Iceland! We’ll explore this fascinating island’s unique culture and geology during the day, then each night we’ll venture into dark areas away from city lights to view the Northern Lights. If you’ve never seen the aurora borealis, it’s a colorful, fiery spectacle whose only rival in the sky is a total solar eclipse.
We have chosen the time and location to maximize our chances of seeing one or more auroral displays. Iceland always sits right under or near the auroral oval, the band around the far north where auroras are most common. Better yet, the solar activity that triggers the Northern Lights is predicted to reach maximum in 2013, and the years around solar max offer the best prospects for aurora viewing and photography. Early spring is also a time of year when auroras occur most frequently. And we selected a week when moonlight won’t interfere with nighttime viewing.
This wonderful island nation has friendly people whose culture is a fascinating mixture of both ultramodern elements and customs that date back to the original Viking settlers more than 1,000 years ago. We’ll stay at a premium hotel in the capital city of Reykjavik and sample delicious Icelandic cuisine. Iceland’s tourist infrastructure is modern, and the nation is one of the cleanest and safest in the entire world. Most Icelanders speak at least some English, so it’s very easy to interact with the local population.Iceland is basically a section of the mid-Atlantic ridge that sticks up above the ocean, making it a volcanically active island that straddles the boundary between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. We’ll walk through a rift valley where the two plates are actually splitting apart. Iceland’s high level of volcanism powers geothermal activity, including an active geyser known as Strokkur. In fact, the word “geyser” originates from the ancient Icelandic verb “to gush.”
Based on my two previous trips to Iceland, I know that with the tour itinerary below, we’ll have fun, active days that include sightseeing in and around Reykjavik and tours into rugged coastal and inland areas, where Iceland’s spectacular geology will be on full display.
ItineraryApril 7: We will meet at Keflavik International Airport, a former U.S. military air base. You will be transported to our hotel in downtown Reykjavik. This evening, like all others, will include an aurora excursion.
April 8: We’ll take a guided tour of Reykjavik, a modern, prosperous, and clean city with beautiful churches and museums, and interesting shopping opportunities for souvenirs. Nearly two-thirds of Iceland’s 320,000 people live in the Reykjavik metropolitan area.
April 9: We’ll board a bus for the popular Golden Circle Tour. We’ll enjoy spectacular natural scenery, including Strokkur, hot springs, the raging Gullfoss waterfall, and the rift valley in Thingvellir National Park. Inside the valley we’ll see the site of Iceland’s first parliament, which was the first parliament in world history.April 10: This is a free day with several exciting options! You can explore Reykjavik on your own, or for an additional fee, you can take one of several guided excursions to some of more remote and scenic places in western Iceland. Learn more about these optional tours.
April 11: We’ll take a bus tour of Iceland’s scenic south coast to see more beautiful waterfalls (particularly Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss), as well as glaciers and black-sand beaches. We’ll also explore quaint coastal fishing villages and a museum, both of which preserve Iceland’s traditional seafaring culture.
April 12: Today we’ll visit one of Iceland’s most famous attractions: the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, whose mineral-laden waters are heated by our planet’s restless internal energy. Tourists come from all over the world to bathe in the waters of the Blue Lagoon. Once you start relaxing in the Blue Lagoon, you’ll never want to leave!April 13: We will transport you from our hotel to Keflavik for your flight home.
From my previous trips, I can assure you that the daytime tours alone will make this trip a great lifetime experience for everyone. You will leave Iceland with many fond memories and beautiful photos that you’ll treasure for the rest of you life. I cannot give a 100% assurance that we will see an aurora during our week in Iceland because we can’t control the Sun or weather. But we have done everything in our power to maximize our chances, and the odds are very high that we will see at least one great auroral display, and it’s quite possible we will see the Northern Lights on multiple nights.
I welcome you to join me on what is sure to be a trip of a lifetime.
Currently sold out — call to be added to the waitlist
Without Air (Land Only) Tour Price Per Person:
Double - $2,995.00
Single – $3,656.00
Click for more on credit card payments, payment schedule and cancellation information.
Items included in basic tour land price:
Arrival transfer in a private coach with local guide
6 nights at Reykjavik hotel, Reykjavik Centrum Hotel or similar (central, superior hotel, walk-able to all downtown stores, cafes and bars)
Breakfast at hotel daily
Private coach and guide for touring days
3 lunches (Day 3 Golden Circle, Day 5 South Shore, Day 6 Blue Lagoon)
1 3-course dinner (Day 5 South Coast)
4 Northern Lights tours, private coach and guide
1 Evening Northern Lights cruise
Transfer to/from Blue Lagoon by private coach
Entrance fee and towel rental at Blue Lagoon
Departure transfer in a private coach, unguided
Documents package including Practical Information and Iceland brochure
Items NOT included in basic tour land price:
International airfare (Bulk air will be available from Boston)
Travel insurance (highly recommended)
Airport transfers if not arriving or departing with group bulk air
Beverages unless otherwise noted
Room outside of normal check-in/check-out times
Optional excursions or pre and post trips
Tips and gratuities
Personal expenses and anything not listed in the included list