S&T’s Iceland Aurora Tour

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.

A few slots have opened up for twin rooms. If interested, act soon — these spaces will go quickly!

For more tour information, contact Spears Travel

Angel-shaped aurora borealis
Babak Tafreshi

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.

Itinerary

October 19: Arrival to Iceland - Reykjanes Peninsula - Reykjavik

Hotel Centrum
Hotel Centrum
Our guide will meet us this morning to take us on a private coach tour of the Reykjanes Peninsula, including a stop for a delicious breakfast buffet at Restaurant Vitinn in Keflavik. The dramatic volcanic peninsula of Reykjanes is home to several dormant volcanoes and extensive lava fields as well as many "hidden people,” we’re sure! We will visit Krýsuvík geothermal area and the Bridge between Continents, where you can stand on the bridge that connects the European and North American tectonic plates. We will then be driven to Reykjavik for check-in at our centrally located boutique hotel, the cozy Reykjavik Hotel Centrum (4 night stay).

October 20: Reykjavik

Downtown Reykjavik
Mountains form the backdrop to downtown Reykjavik.
S&T: Robert Naeye
Morning: Reykjavik City Sightseeing
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

Erupting geyser
Erupting geyser
S&T: Robert Naeye
Following breakfast at the hotel, we will head over Hellisheiði Plateau, passing Hveragerði Village. We will make a short stop at the Kerið volcanic crater before continuing to Gullfoss, the Golden Waterfall, one of the most impressive waterfalls in Europe. Only a few minutes drive from Gullfoss sits the famous geyser Strokkur, one of the most active geysers in the area, which can spout hot water up to 100 feet in the air. Lunch will be served buffet style at Hotel Geysir. Then onwards to Þingvellir, a remarkable rift valley with geological and historical importance. Once the site of the world's oldest democratic parliament (founded in 930), Þingvellir is now a national park that includes Lake Þingvallavatn, the largest lake on the island. The beautiful canyon running through the park is actually the meeting point of two of the earth’s tectonic plates. From Þingvellir we travel over Mosfellsheiði plateau and back to Reykjavík.
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

Skogafoss Waterfall
Skógafoss, one of the tallest waterfalls in Iceland, drops 200 feet to the ground.
S&T: Robert Naeye
We’ll drive from Reykjavik over the mountain pass Hellisheiði, which offers a magnificent view of the wide plains formed by glacial rivers, now fertile farmland. Proceeding east through small villages and farmlands, we will have frequent views of the majestic mountains towering over the coast, including the snow-shrouded Hekla volcano, and the towering, ice capped strato volcano Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland’s most famous volcano. We continue through the region where one of the best known of the Icelandic classical sagas, Njál’s Saga, is set. We’ll stop at the spectacular waterfall Seljalandsfoss before passing Dyrhólaey, a magnificent rocky headland with sheer cliffs, to the beautiful sited village of Vík, where we will have lunch. Then we’ll head down to the sea shore before continuing to Kirkujubæjarklaustur for dinner and overnight at Hotel Klaustur (1 night stay).

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

Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon
Travel Leaders

This morning, we’ll enjoy a visit to the famous Blue Lagoon, a unique wonder of nature. The lagoon contains pleasantly warm mineral-rich geothermal water in the middle of a black lava field. The high natural levels of silica and minerals give the Lagoon its rich blue color. We stop there for approximately 2 hours for an invigorating swim before enjoying a farewell lunch buffet. A short transfer takes you to the airport in plenty of time to check-in for your flight with some spare time to do some last minute Duty Free shopping before saying farewell to this fascinating country.

I welcome you to join me on what is sure to be a trip of a lifetime!

Space is limited! Reserve your space SOON!

Pricing Information

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

Contact for additional information:

Spears Travel
Tom Reynolds (e-mail)
500 S. Keeler
Bartlesville OK 74003
Local: 918-336-2360
Toll free: 800-688-8031

Babak Tafreshi