Luxury Iceland - Winter in Style
Helicopter and Northern Lights tours in Reykjavik • Borgarfjordur • Langjokull Glacier • Golden Circle • Gullfoss Waterfall • Thorsmork Valley • the scenic South Coast • Akureyri • Myvatn • Blue Lagoon
Experience the best that Iceland has to offer in the winter season, returning each evening to the comfort of upgraded rooms in carefully selected hotels. Walk inside a glacier, hunt for the northern lights, go snow-walking in remote valleys, explore the waterfalls and beaches of the spectacular South Coast and soak in the steaming geothermal waters of the Myvatn Nature Baths. Finish your adventure with an exhilarating private helicopter ride above the Reykjavik area and a relaxing stay at the luxurious Retreat at the Blue Lagoon. Travelling with a private driver-guide at times, on shared tours at others, this is an in-depth and active Icelandic experience.
Day 1: Keflavik > Reykjavik You will be met on arrival at Keflavik and privately transferred to your hotel. Enjoy an introductory sightseeing tour of Reykjavik with your private driver-guide. With an abundance of space, clean air and natural green energy, Reykjavik clearly revels in its reputation as being one of the most modern, forward thinking societies in Europe. Begin at the Harpa concert hall, featuring a geometric coloured glass facade inspired by the basalt landscape. Also along the city's scenic waterfront is Hofdi House, famous for hosting a summit meeting in 1986 that is thought to have marked the end of the Cold War. Carry on to the city centre where you'll walk up to one of the city's best known landmarks, Hallgrimskirkja church. The country's largest church at 74.5 metres high, its design was also based on the natural elements of Iceland. After your city tour, return to your hotel for some time to relax. Your accommodation while in the capital is a King Premium room at the Hotel Canopy. This contemporary hotel spans six connected buildings just steps from Laugavegur Street, and rooms are inspired by volcanic rock and soothing blue shades of the ocean.
Later this evening your private driver will take you to Reykjavik harbour, where you'll join a scheduled cruise to search for the aurora borealis away from the city lights. Watching the lights constantly change in intensity, colour and movement in the vast starry space with the gentle lull of the ocean beneath is a thrilling, unique experience. Afterwards, you will be privately transferred back to your hotel.
Day 2: Into the Glacier & Borgarfjordur Today you will get to walk inside a glacier and see one of Iceland's most beautiful fertile fjords, Borgarfjordur. You will also stop to explore the picturesque Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls and see Deildartunguhver geyser, Europe's most powerful hot spring. Your private driver-guide will take you to Husafell, and from here you will join a scheduled shared Into the Glacier tour. After a shuttle transfer to the Klaki glacier base, travel by a modified glacier vehicle specially designed to explore this unique environment. The ice cave and tunnels are located high on Langjokull, Iceland's second largest glacier, and the views on a clear day are truly magnificent. After the journey up the white slopes, you will go deep inside the tunnels that lead to the blue heart of the glacier. After your rare experience of seeing a glacier from the inside, return to the surface to explore some of the waterfalls, geysers and other natural wonders of the area with your private driver-guide. This evening we will be happy to recommend some excellent dining options in Reykjavik, and make a table reservation for dinner on your behalf.
Day 3: Reykjavik > Golden Circle > Hella After check-out, meet your private driver-guide for a tour of the Golden Circle, featuring some of the country's most famous landmarks. At Thingvellir National Park, Iceland's greatest historical site and a jewel of nature, you can actually see where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet. This is also where the first ever parliament was created by the Vikings in the year 930. Head next to the breathtaking Gullfoss (Golden) waterfall, where carefully traversing a narrow path provides close-up views of the thundering two-tiered cascade below. In winter you may be treated to the spectacular view of the waterfall frozen over into waves of glistening ice. In the Geysir geothermal area, hot springs are in abundance, geysers explode and boiling pools of mud bubble. Although Geysir is not as active these days, its neighbour Strokkur certainly is, spouting water 30 metres up into the air every few minutes in a thrilling display of nature's forces.
At the Fridheimar family run tomato farm you'll stop for a delicious lunch (cost not included - paid locally) and a tour of their greenhouse and stables. Learn about the Icelandic horses and their unique gaits, and then see the inner workings of the greenhouse. You'll hear about how they manage to produce such high quality vegetables in a country known for its long, dark winters, as well as sample some of the tomatoes that the farm is well known for.
End your day at Hotel Ranga, where you will spend the next 3 nights in a Deluxe Superior Double room. Featuring a stargazing observatory on site, this luxury hotel is in an idyllic remote location next to the Ranga salmon river in Hella. The hotel offers wake-up calls for when the northern lights appear, and turns off all external lighting for the optimal viewing experience. You can even stargaze or watch the display of the northern lights in one of the three outdoor hot tubs.
Day 4: Thorsmork Valley Today your private driver-guide will take you into the wild, exploring the rugged and stunningly beautiful Icelandic landscape of Thorsmork Valley. Named after the Norse God Thor, it is situated in the south of the country between the Tindfjallajokull and Eyjafjallajokull glaciers. Enjoy a snow-walking adventure in this enchanting hidden valley. This natural paradise is only accessible by 4WD vehicles with an experienced driver, as glacial river crossings are required to reach it. On the way into the valley, stop by Gigjokull glacier, where the eruption of 2010 dramatically altered the landscape. You'll also see Stakkholtsgja, a massive canyon with ancient moss-covered walls. A packed lunch box is included today. At the end of the day, return to Hotel Ranga and another night of potentially watching the northern lights dance across the sky.
Day 5: South Coast Explore Iceland's famous South Coast today with your private driver-guide. This is a diverse and colourful place where you can truly appreciate the wide variety of natural beauty in Iceland. Along this stretch of the country you have glaciers, volcanoes, geysers, waterfalls, mountains and more! Skogafoss is one of the largest waterfalls in the country, and produces a massive cloud of spray. Seljalandsfoss waterfall cascades over steep cliffs into a meadow, and is fed by melting water from the famed Eyjafjallajokull volcano. You'll also stop by the peaceful seafront village of Vik to grab lunch (not included - paid locally) and explore the dramatic stretch of coastline poised between glacier-topped mountains and rugged sea cliffs.
Day 6: Hella > Myvatn Transfer to the Reykjavik domestic airport for the short morning domestic flight to Akureyri, known as the 'Capital of the North'. On arrival, tour the area with your local driver-guide. Highlights include the waterfalls Aldeyjarfoss, Hrafnarbjargarfoss and Ullarfoss, as well as the rural area of the Skjalfandafljot River. The Aldeyjarfoss waterfall in particular has geologically interesting surroundings. Tumbling through a narrow passage into a wide basin, with black basalt columns that provide a stark contrast against the thrashing white foaming water, it is one of Iceland's photographic gems. During winter the hike from the parking area can be 2 to 3 kilometres each way, depending on the road and snow conditions. The hike is not demanding but there are small hills - snowshoes are provided and your guide will hike with you at your speed.
End the day at the Myvatn Nature Baths with a relaxing dip amidst clouds of steam rising from a fissure deep in the earth's surface, finishing with a luxurious swim in a pool of geothermal water drawn from depths of up to 2,500 metres. Your home for the next two nights is a King Suite at the Icelandair Hotel Myvatn. Rebuilt on the foundation of one of the region's original hotels, it boasts an innovative design that emphasises relaxation and simplicity. The stylish lobby was created by a Swedish installation artist and uses nostalgic items from the former hotel to connect the future and the past.
After dinner you will be collected by your private driver-guide to go hunting for the northern lights. Named after the Roman goddess of the dawn (Aurora) and the Greek name for the north wind (Boreas), the aurora borealis are one of the most spectacular shows on earth and can frequently be seen in Iceland from September through March on cold, clear and crisp nights. If the weather conditions are right, we'll go away from the city lights and find a dark place in the wilderness to enjoy the lights. There is no fixed itinerary tonight - what decides where you go is the cloud cover and darkness. This tour is highly dependent on weather conditions and therefore your guide may decide it is better to do this tour tomorrow night.
Day 7: Myvatn area Start your day by joining a small group tour exploring the Lake Myvatn area by snowmobile, allowing you to experience the natural surroundings in a way that reflects the winter season. During this short tour you can admire the magnificent view of the surrounding mountains from the frozen lake, or ride along steaming lava fields in the area of Krafla volcano.
Spend the rest of your day with your private driver-guide. Myvatn is considered the most beautiful and at the same time the most catastrophic place in Iceland. Enjoy an amazing journey through an area of extreme contrasts, bird life, flora and geothermal activity. Dimmuborgir is full of lava pillars, caves, rugged crags and towering rocks. Some of the rocks reach 20 metres in height, forming almost unearthly and alien castles and towers. According to Icelandic folklore, Dimmuborgir is said to connect earth with the infernal regions. Near Lake Myvatn in the north lie the still-warm lava fields of Krafla, teeming with lava flows, fissures and gullies. There are also hidden surprises along the way such as Grjotagja, a cave with an underground hot river.
Day 8: Myvatn > Reykjavik > Blue Lagoon After breakfast, transfer to the Akureyri airport for the morning flight to Reykjavik. Your local driver-guide will meet you at the airport and take you to a nearby helipad for a private helicopter tour that ensures you experience some of the country's pearls from above. See endless mountains, waterfalls, lakes, and craters, and experience a landing in a geothermal area. During the landing your private pilot will pop open a bottle of sparkling wine for you to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime beautiful moment in Iceland. After your helicopter tour, you will be taken to The Retreat Hotel at the Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon is a unique natural pool of mineral rich geothermal water located in the middle of a lava field in the beautiful Icelandic wilderness. The lagoon is known for its special properties and its beneficial effect on the skin, and attracts visitors from all over the world in search of health and relaxation.
Built into an 800 year old lava flow on the south shore of the Blue Lagoon, the spa at The Retreat embodies the harmonic convergence of nature, design and the radiant powers of geothermal seawater. The spa journey culminates with the Blue Lagoon Ritual, based on the trinity of natural wonders - silica, algae and minerals. The Lagoon View Junior Suites feature floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies, elegantly blending luxurious interiors with sublime exteriors.
Tonight you will have a dinner table reservation (food/drink cost paid locally) at one of the country's best restaurants - MOSS Restaurant at The Retreat Hotel. It offers stunning views of the volcanic landscape and seasonal gourmet tasting menus that highlight the diverse delights of Icelandic cuisine.
Day 9: Blue Lagoon This morning ATV bikes will be delivered to your hotel's door for your privately guided quad bike tour. You will see hot volcanic lava stones, the oldest lighthouse in the country, the bridge between continents, black sandy beaches and more. After an exhilarating morning, return to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure. Soak in the Retreat lagoon, relax with a spa treatment, or enjoy an afternoon coffee in the lounge.
Day 10: Blue Lagoon > Keflavik Today you will be privately transferred to Keflavik International Airport for your onward flight.
• Tailor-made journey • 9 nights' accommodation in carefully selected hotels with upgraded room categories • Private arrival and departure airport transfers • Private local driver-guide using SuperJeep Patrol/Land Cruiser or similar vehicle (Reykjavik area and Myvatn area) • Private sightseeing with driver-guide as per itinerary • Private helicopter tour (1-1.5 hours) from Reykjavik including one landing with sparkling wine • Scheduled northern lights cruise in Reykjavik • Scheduled Into the Glacier tour • Shared small group snowmobile tour by Lake Myvatn • Domestic flights Reykjavik > Akureyri > Reykjavik • Water bottles and light snacks in vehicle during day tours with driver-guide • 9 breakfasts and 1 packed lunch
Departs Daily, 1 November to 30 April
Daily, 1 November to 30 April
Booking conditions • Pricing is not valid for travel between 20 December 2020 and 10 January 2021
• Please contact us to discuss options during holiday periods
• Pricing is not valid for travel between 20 December 2020 and 10 January 2021 • Please contact us to discuss options during holiday periods