*Drop-off information: We drop you off at your hotel sometime between 20:00 - 21:00 on day two, we take you to our northern lights restaurant, where you can buy dinner and refreshments.
Included: Hotel pick up and drop off. All transport, mini-bus on lowland but super-jeep up in the highland from Gullfoss to Kerlingarfjoll and back to Gullfoss. Dinner on day one and breakfast and lunch on day 2. Northern lights hunting both evenings (optional on second day).
Bring with you: Warm layers of clothes, such as wind and rainproof outer shells, warm wool socks, hats and gloves, thermal or wool middle layer and inner layer. Sturdy and waterproof hiking boots are a must and it is good to have slippers for the lodge. Travel pillows and pyjamas are also good things to bring along. Don’t forget your bathing suit and a towel.
Note: You will not have the same guide all the time. We have a Golden Circle expert driving the minibus, and then a super jeep expert driving in the highlands.
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Note: Due to weather and limited daylight during winter time the itinerary can vary between days. The guides evaluate circumstances and take the best informed decision possible.
The Tour Itinerary
You will be picked up from your Reykjavik accommodation by one of our experienced licensed tour guides and then head straight to Thingvellir National Park. Thingvellir is of particular significance to all Icelanders as here in 930, the history was made by founding the Icelandic national parliament (Althingi). The area was became the first national park in the country when the millennial anniversary of the parliament’s founding was celebrated. The region is not only famous for its history as Thingvellir is also a true geological phenomenon.
The drifting of the North American and the Eurasian tectonic plates can be observed at the Almannagja Canyon as they move apart by about 1.5 cm each year. Here you will also get the chance to admire the stunning Oxararfoss Waterfall as it roars down from the cliffs of Almannagjá.
We will also visit Lake Thingvallavatn which is the largest natural lake in Iceland with an area of almost 84 km2 (33 sq. miles). The lake is fed by the Langjökull glacier and its waters are very cold and crystal clear.
From Thingvellir National Park our route will take us to the famous Geysir geothermal area where we will see many mud pots, hot springs and fumaroles. Geysir is actually the geyser after which the phenomenon was named. It is currently inactive but its neighbor, Strokkur, erupts every few minutes, sometimes at a height of up to 40m (130 feet). You’ll need to watch out when you’re near it as the water is boiling hot and you might get wet when the geyser erupts. Walking around the area and witnessing first hand the extreme power of nature is a fantastic experience.
Our next stop will be Gullfoss, known as “The Golden Waterfall”, the most famous waterfall in Iceland. Gullfoss streams down the river Hvítá in several huge steps. Watch out as you might get wet here too from the freezing water. There were plans to construct a power plant at this magnificent waterfall in the early 19th century but it was saved by a young farmer’s daughter who did not want to see her waterfall destroyed.
We’ll have lunch at the café by Gullfoss then head to the highlands in a super jeep, alongside Langjökull glacier to the Kerlingarfjoll mountain range. This is a stunning area of around 150 km2 (58 sq. miles) in the highlands of Iceland, one of the largest in Europe, brimming with hot springs and gorgeous landscapes. The highlands are the natural habitat of the super jeep and that’s the best way to travel there in winter to get to the Kerlingarfjoll area. As we cross rivers and drive on coarse gravel roads or in heavy snow you’ll enjoy every minute in the super jeep, an adventure you won’t forget anytime soon. Kerlingarfjoll is also one of the best places on earth to see the northern lights. You are literally in the middle of nowhere, with no electrical lights to affect the visibility of the splendid Aurora. Your guide will watch the forecast so you can rest assured that if there’s any chance of seeing the northern lights, you won’t miss it.
We’ll spend the night at Kerlingarfjoll at the only highland hotel in Iceland. It is truly magnificent to sleep in the wilderness and be surrounded by nothing else but nature. You can choose from three different options on your sleeping arrangement; a double hotel room, single hotel room or a simple cottage accommodation.
On the second day we will explore further the magnificent area of Kerlingarfjoll. Most of the mountains in the area are the result of subglacial volcanic activity with the oldest mountain at the age of 336.000 years, and the youngest at 79.000 years old. Here you can choose from different activities such as snowshoeing in this spectacular area or going snowmobiling (snowmobiling not included in the tour price, price per person is around 12.500 ISK, see detailed rates here). You can also take a dip into a geothermal pool or just enjoy the incredible nature of the highlands.
After lunch on day two, we start our drive back to Reykjavik, through the highlands and once more to Gullfoss waterfall. Here we change vehicles again and continue our journey through the lowland, crossing an agricultural area that relies on the hot water from the geothermal springs. We will eat dinner (not included in the tour price) at a local guesthouse, before heading out and searching for the northern lights. Those who prefer to get back to Reykjavik early can skip dinner and the second night of northern lights and be at their Reykjavik accommodation around 20:00-22:00 (8-10 PM). The rest will go on a northern light hunt and be dropped off at your place of accommodation in Reykjavik around midnight.