S&T's Iceland Aurora Tour
October 19 – 25, 2014
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 out 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 just reached its maximum level, and the years around solar max offer the best prospects for aurora viewing and photography. Autumn is also a time of year when auroras occur more frequently, and we selected a week when moonlight won’t interfere with nighttime viewing.
Based on my three 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.
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. And while I cannot give a 100% assurance that we will see an aurora during our week in Iceland — we can’t control the Sun or weather — we have done everything in our power to maximize our chances. The odds are 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.
October 19: Arrival to Iceland - Reykjanes Peninsula - Reykjavik
October 20: Reykjavik
Reykjavík is the world's most northerly capital, where more than one third of Iceland's population resides. The modern city has a variety of restaurants, museums, galleries and theaters. On our tour, we will cover the city from one end to the other, visiting the old town center, the Parliament, the Cathedral, the harbor, the National Museum, the Pearl and Höfði house, and the Reykjavik Summit site of 1986. We will drive past the city's salmon river — outstanding proof that Reykjavík is a pollution-free capital — and the Árbæjarsafn outdoor folk museum, which offers an interesting contrast to the modern buildings of the most recent part of Reykjavík. The drive will continue past Reykjavik's largest outdoor swimming pool in Laugardalur, which is heated with water from natural hot springs under the city, the Ásmundur Sveinsson Sculpture museum, and Hallgrímskirkja Church (whose steeple is a Reykjavík landmark). The tour ends at our hotel or with a drop off in the city center, on request.
Duration: 3 hours
Evening: After dinner, we will attend an astronomy lecture and reception at the beautiful Reykjavik Art Museum, including desserts and tea/coffee. Immediately afterwards, we will head out on an evening Northern Lights Hunt.
Duration: approx. 2.5 – 3 hours
October 21: Golden Circle
Duration: 8 hours
Evening: Northern Lights Hunt (New Moon)
Duration: approx. 2.5 – 3 hours
October 22: Reykjavik - day free for optional tours
Evening: Northern Lights cruise
After walking to the Old Harbor (approx. 5-10 minute walk from Reykjavik Hotel Centrum) from wherever you had dinner — there are many restaurants and cafes nearby — we will sail out to experience the Northern Lights from a completely different point of view! (subject to weather conditions)
Duration: 2 – 3 hours
October 23: South Coast - Kirkjubaejarklaustur
October 24: Kirkjubæjarklaustur – Eyrarbakki – Blue Lagoon area
Today we head to the Skaftafell National Park for a morning of exploration before heading back towards Reykjavik. Lunch will be served in the Kirkjubæjarklaustur area before stopping by the picturesque waterfall Skogafoss. We’ll drive along the coast where we will enjoy an Icelandic lobster feast at one of the local lobster restaurants. Then we will continue along the coast back to the Reykjanes Peninsula and to the Blue Lagoon area, where we will check-in to the Northern Light Inn (1 night stay), dramatically set in the middle of a massive lava field.
October 25: Blue Lagoon-Keflavik
I welcome you to join me on what is sure to be a trip of a lifetime!
Tour Price Per Person:
Double - $3,295.00
Single – $3,920.00
(Details and payment schedule available in booking form.)
Items included in price:
- A private coach and local guide for the above itinerary
- 4 nights including breakfast at Reykjavik Hotel Centrum
- 1 night including breakfast at Icelandair Hotel Klaustur
- 1 night including breakfast at Northern Light Inn
- Breakfast buffet on day of arrival
- Entrance fee to National Museum of Iceland
- Icelandic Art Museum private room with coffee/tea and desserts on day 2
- 4 lunches (days 3,5,6 & 7)
- Northern lights cruise
- 2x dinner including 1 drink per person (days 5 & 6)
- Entrance fee & towel at Blue Lagoon
- Transfers to and from Keflavik International Airport if arriving and departing during group arrival times
Items NOT included in price:
- International airfare
- Passport fees
- Travel insurance (highly recommended)
- Airport transfers if not arriving or departing with group bulk air
- Additional beverages with meals
- Anything else not mentioned under "included in price”
- 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