The Northern Lights can be dramatic, eruptive, fleeting and enigmatic. Never guaranteed, sightings rely on minimal light pollution, solar activity and clear skies. The key to any Aurora trip is enjoying the whole experience, regardless of what happens in the night sky. This is where this Iceland Northern Lights tour comes into its own. Roaring waterfalls, icebergs littered on black volcanic sand and mighty volcanoes dotting the horizon. With a local guide keen to show you their Iceland – and alert to the likelihood of a light show – you will be well placed, both literally and metaphorically, to see all that Iceland offers.
Our tour begins at our hotel in Reykjavik in the late afternoon. The compact capital city of Iceland is well worth exploring, and we strongly recommend a couple of extra days before or after your tour. Two of the most striking attractions are the Hallgrímskirkja Church, a fine example of expansionist architecture with great views from the tower, and the beautiful Harpa Concert Hall. The nearby old harbour is a great starting point to explore the narrow streets of the old town. We have a welcome briefing this evening, usually around 6.30pm. After, our groups typically go out for dinner together.
We leave Reykjavik, driving east along the scenic southern highway. Our first stop is Seljalandsfoss, a 195ft (60m) high waterfall. We can walk behind the cascade, providing conditions are not too icy. Suitable footwear is a must; however, the leader carries ice grips that can be put over standard walking boots to increase grip in slippery conditions. We continue on through starkly beautiful countryside to an area badly affected by the 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano. We journey along the coast visiting the Skógafoss waterfall, a 195ft (60m) drop that falls in an 80ft (25m) wide sheet. If there is time, we drive to the most southerly point in Iceland, the Dyrhólaey peninsula, to enjoy coastal views north to Mýrdalsjökull glacier and south to the Reynisdrangar black lava sea stacks. If time and conditions allow, we see the sea stacks at a closer proximity from Reynisfjara black beach. The final part of our journey takes us across the black expanse of the Myrdalssandur floodplains, created by the river that formed after the eruption of a volcano under the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier. Our hotel for the night is Hotel Laki, just outside the small village of Kirkjubaejarklaustur.
We set out today across the massive Skeidararsandur floodplains, created in a similar fashion to those at Mydalssandur. The last huge flood occurred in 1996 and there is still little vegetation. We head to Falljokull, then walk to an accessible part of the glacier where we strap on crampons and grab ice axes to walk on the glacier. The terrain is not challenging and even those with no similar experience should pick it up quickly. The glacier offers fantastic photo opportunities with walls of brilliant blue ice thousands of years in the making. Please note, weather and road conditions determine whether the glacier walk is possible and how long the transfer/walk to the glacier will be. In good conditions, the walk may be 15 minutes; in poorer conditions, the walk may be up to one hour. Your itinerary will be adjusted according to conditions on the day. After the return hike, we travel to the beautiful Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, created in the 1950s as the glacier retreated from the coastline, leaving a 985ft (300m) deep, 8sqmi (20sqkm) lake studded by icebergs. On Diamond Beach, we walk among large chunks of ice washed up on the black volcanic sand, creating beautiful shapes and formations. The drive back to the hotel is approximately 90 minutes (80mi/125km), plenty of time to reflect on the day's adventures.
We return along the south coast then head inland via Hvolsvöllur. We stop for lunch then head to the mighty Gullfoss waterfall, one of the most powerful waterfalls in Europe. We also visit Geysir, home to the inimitable hot spouts. The most reliable eruption comes from Strokkur and occurs every five to 10 minutes, firing jets of hot water and steam 100ft (30m) into the air, a spectacle not to be missed. Our final stop before returning to Reykjavik is Thingvellir National Park, where the first democratic parliament in the world sat in 930. It was not until 1798, that it moved to the capital. Thingvellir is also the site of the rift valley marking the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates are pulling apart, causing an area around 4mi (7km) to literally sink into the earth.
Our trip ends with a Flybus transfer to Keflavik Airport. Your leader will not accompany you on the Flybus; however, you are provided with a number to call for assistance, should it be needed. If you have time, you may wish to explore Reykjavik, visiting one of the local thermal pools or the Blue Lagoon (see the Extra Expenses & Spending Money section of the Trip Notes for details). Alternatively, you may wish to extend your stay and learn more about this incredible country. Please ask your sales representative about pre- and post-tour nights.
During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking.
Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.
Here at Headwater we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can continue to develop, and where necessary improve, our services and ensure our holidays continue to be the best they can be. As this is a relatively new holiday, we don't yet have any customer reviews available from our customers, but here are the comments that have been received from previous Exodus travellers.
Despite some clear skies the solar activity was low so we did not managed to see the Northern Lights on our tour in Feb 2024. Despite this there is lots packed into this short tour including seeing the sights of the so called Golden Circle (Gullfoss Waterfall; Geysir & Pingvellir) as well as the stunning glacier lagoon and black sand beaches. The highlight however was the walk on the glacier. The weather was perfect so we also managed to get into the ice cave.
Had a brilliant holiday, saw so much, but the trip title is a misnomer. Not sure what the odds are of seeing the northern lights in 4 nights, but unlikely to be more than 50:50
You certainly pack a lot into this 5 day trip which delivered despite the ever changing winter weather. Our guide Oskar as flexible with the itinerary which meant that we were able to get the most out of each day. The highlight was the glacier walk and we even got a glimpse of the northern lights one night.
Lots to see. Weather very changeable. Hotel food very tasty (and very expensive- not just the beer). Recommend
Lots to see. Weather very changeable. Hotel food very tasty (and very expensive- not just the beer). Recommend
A very good trip with a great guide Jon and a good and friendly group of travellers.
Completely amazing! This is a stunning trip in spite of the short day light hours. Each day there’s a new excitement and the glacier experience is awesome. Title is a bit of a misnomer; as long as you go with the mindset that seeing the NL is a bonus then you’ll be fine. Thank you Exodus.
A filled and varied few short days in this interesting country.
Our excellent guide Nico informed and amused us as we visited some very interesting features from geysers to a walk on a glacier! The iceberg added to the Icelandic gin was a brilliant idea for watchin* the northern lights! Thank you we will certainly visit again and see more of this beautiful country
This is an extraordinary trip even if the Northern Lights are not visible, there is nowhere else so accessible that has such a fascinating and diverse landscape. The people are lovely and the food top quality. It is an expensive country however, additional food and drink and souvenirs are pricey.
We had a fantastic trip to Iceland. A lot was fit into the few days that we were there but the itinerary was just right. There was quite a lot of driving but it was worth it to see all of the sights that we did and our group leader entertained us with tales of Iceland throughout the journey. I am already planning my next trip to Iceland to explore the country further!
Yet again Exodus has given us a wonderful tour of a part of this great planet. Iceland has a great deal to offer for those that want to see a raw part of the world; from Glaciers to bathing in hot springs, to volcanoes and lava tubes. It is an easy trip to do if you have a low level of fitness but still want to cave or walk a glacier. As always, the choice of guide could not be faulted, he was fun and entertaining but went about everything in a professional way. Sadly we did not see the northern lights but nature is not always on demand, however this did not detract from a wonderful tour of the sights and sounds of Iceland. Well done Exodus.
Although we were unable to see the Northern Lights due to the overcast conditions this did not detract from the fact that this was a real Icelandic experience that we thoroughly enjoyed. Excellent program of things do and see let by Orri our very enthusiastic, knowledgeable and friendly guide. His knowledge of Icelandic history and Icelandic tales added to the enjoyment of the trip. The variety of the program and timings meant that we had lots to do and see avoiding more busy times of the popular locations. The hotel Laki which we stayed in for two nights was especially nice and well located.
Although we weren't lucky enough to see the Northern Lights, we saw so many great things that it didn't really matter.
An excellent trip with great activities and a full schedule. From start to finish you hardly stop, that being said you see some amazing sights and really geta a feel for Iceland and its culture.
A lot was packed into 4 fun-filled days taking in stunning scenery. Travelling on a comfortable bus, our brilliant guide Ibi made sure we got to take in Iceland and its history through our many stops.
Excellent trip - great group (aged 37-60, 50:50 male:female) and excellent guide
good varied program
This was a four night tour that really packed a punch. As well as the chance of seeing the Northern Lights we saw glaciers, ice caves, geysers, lagoons, waterfalls, the black beach etc, etc
I booked this holiday purely as I got a weeks respite for my sick husband. This was all I could find to fit with my dates. Well it was meant to be!! There were 15 of us in the group and as I was travelling alone I was a little apprehensive to say the least. The group was fabulous,the leader Ibi, was superb.she took us to all the places in the itinerary which were all super and we were so well informed.
Iceland is an amazing place and I'd recommend a visit. But disappointed as we didn't see Northern Lights.
Iceland is the most magical and enchanting country - the landscape is truly haunting and beautiful. The miles covered gave our group a constant backdrop of magnificent mountains, tiny, isolated churches - a flash of their red roofs amongst the white - and brave little Icelandic horses clustered in snow-covered fields. The country is an unforgettable visual feast.
Absolutely amazing all round. Had such a good time in the company of some lovely people that I really did not want to come back home. So much more to see and do. A little too much time on the bus and not enough for shopping but I can live with it. Iceland is a beautiful country.
This was a fantastic holiday with amazing sights (Northern Lights included!!!). Each day was filled with wonderful sights.
This was a superb, action-packed holiday. And now that I have seen some of Iceland, I want to go back and see more of the island. Each day was full to the brim with different sights and experiences. We didn't see the lights (well, only a faint line in the sky) but that didn't spoil the holiday for me given the sheer beauty of the sights which we took in over the course of the holiday.
If you've never been to Iceland, & you love the outdoors, you really must put it on your bucket list. Fantastic scenery, intriguing history and culture with weather systems that give all 4 seasons in one day. Who would believe that the sand on the beaches really is black!
This was an awe inspiring trip with excellent company and a splendid guide. Personally, I achieved 2 firsts: glacier walk and lava tube caves.
This trip was a fantastic and fun adventure from start to finish. I had no idea what to expect from the trip and was not used to cold weather climates but the unpredictable changes in the weather just added to the excitement. The itinerary was packed full of amazing sights including beautiful waterfalls, thermal geysirs, an iceberg lagoon, black sandy beaches, a swim in the blue lagoon and so much more. We also got looked after well each and every day, and where the planned schedule had to be adapted due to severe weather conditions, I still had an amazing time.
Excellent trip with a lot packed in to such a short time. You get to see much more than if you had just booked a trip to stay in Reyjavik. One of the most beautiful Countries I've ever been to.
After a 4 hour flight delay and miserable weather the first morning, our luck changed and we had glorious sunny weather for the rest of the trip which showed a wintry Iceland off in all its glory. Although the trip is short, a lot is packed in and we did and saw more than I'd anticipated. The scenery really was stunning and I would love to go back in summer to explore further. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this trip to others, although I think the weather can have a really big impact on how enjoyable it will be.
A very enjoyable trip and a perfect introduction to Iceland.
Excellent introduction to Iceland.
Fantastic country - other-worldly landscapes - this trip offers a thrilling mix of the ancient sagas which tell their own tale of the landscape, the stories of modern life under constant threat of volcanic eruption, geography and geomorphology, wildlife and food. And if you get Kristján as your tour leader, you will be among the luckiest Exodus travellers out there - I've done 9 or so Exodus trips and am confident he is one of the best, most knowledgeable, resourceful, responsive, hard-working and entertaining leaders out there.
Great first experience of a group holiday. Couldn't have asked for a more friendly bunch of people to spend 5 days with. Well organised and we couldn't possibly have fitted anything else in. There wasn't even time to look in the visitor shop sometimes - but I coped!
I have no hesitation in deeming this to be an excellent tour. I wanted to see weird and wonderful landscapes. I also wanted to get a glimpse of what it was like for the population to live in such an unusual place. Both curiosities were satisfied.
When asked what my favourite part of the trip was this was my response soon after I returned ....'Mine...the spontaneous stop off to chill by the glacial pool in falling light - to capture the sunset en route to the hostel ...we saw the Northern lights - so chuffed - Vik, Whow! - homemade tomato soup on the spot where they were grown - all the food. Oh and I missed the pictures of Gulfoss in the books, so imagine my face when I walked to the edge of the path!! Snow, muted crashing rollers on a lava beach, ice, sun -such feast for the senses...then lastly the feel of the lava between the toes in the blue lagoon. Still pinching myself.
For a short exposure to the spectacular volcanic and glacial scenery of Iceland, and the opportunity dependent on conditions to see the Northern Lights, this Exodus trip takes some beating. As always, weather conditions will influence the experience, but sharing with a small but similarly interested group and a quality guide serve to enhance the enjoyment factor.
Well-thought itinerary that allows you to see the highlights of Iceland in just 5 days with stunning scenery and great activities.
A packed itinerary that gives you the opportunity to experience a lot that this fantastic country has to offer. Stunning scenery and a fantastic guide.
A brilliant trip! Would love to visit Iceland again.
This was probably one of the best holidays that i have been on and a great taster for seeing what Iceland has to offer.
Iceland is an amazing country with some very dramatic scenery. Although a short trip, we packed a lot into the time available. Seeing the Northern Lights (as we did) is undoubtedly a bonus - but even if you don't get an Aurora sighting, the trip is still very worthwhile.
Wow, what can I say, it was brilliant!!! My first group holiday and I definately chose well. Glacier trekking was awesome, we were lucky to have fantastic weather on this day, we also saw the iceberg lagoon and yes, later that evening we saw the Northern Lights too. While in the East we stayed on a farm which was located in front of mountains and just in front of the ocean, a beautiful setting! Petur the guide was great, incredibly knowledgeable about Iceland - past and present, we had all sorts of stories from him about the Vikings, he was a good laugh, oh and he has a very large box full of nibbles on the mini bus, this went down very well! :) . Caving was great too, but I was very nervous as I'm not good with small spaces, you didnt have to do the caving, but Petur reassured me and looked after me the whole time, definately worth doing! All together an excellent holiday, there's some travelling but lots of stops to see waterfalls and sites, oh and the food was good too, especially the trout at the farm, yummy. The whole experience was that good that I'm planning my next holiday with Exodus already.
A fairly intense itinerary that enables you to see stunning scenery and magnificent waterfalls and if you are lucky, some fantastic northern lights.
An excellent short trip to Iceland, made unforgettable by being fortunate enough to see the Northern Lights only a few hours after arrival. But sorry not to have had a few hours available to explore the heart of Reykjavik which looked both interesting and charming.
This was an amazing trip - Iceland proved to be a very interesting and beautiful country.
Overall a fabulous trip - expect alot of time travelling (hazard of the desire to go further afield than just the usual 'Golden Circle' combined with ever changing weather conditions), but then you get to see some incredibly beautiful sights.When you come home and think about all the wonderful lasting images you have seen and things you have done you will wonder how it all fitted into 5 days!
One of the best ever short holidays! With every type of weather imaginable to contend with our guides Paul and Christian found us some of the best photographic opportunities on this wonderful island including the northern lights on two of the four nights. What more could you ask!
An amazing 5 days capturing images of Iceland and the Northern Lights that we stay with me forever. Paul, Jon and Kristian worked hard so that we got the best that could be had.
Karen and I would like to say ‘a big thank you’ to you Paul, and Kristian for an amazing introduction to Iceland and its’ glorious scenery; the group friendliness; your professional expertise and organisation and the vast amount of knowledge we gained from our photographic experiences with the group..... We only came to see the Northern Lights but you gave us a far better view through the camera lens – thank you again
You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday.
This 4 night winter snow holiday holiday includes:
All breakfasts All accommodation (see accommodation section) All transport and listed activities Tour leader throughout Airport shuttle bus transfers for everyone
How to book:
To book this holidays speak to our sales team on 0044 1606 720199 or click on the appropriate 'book now' or 'check availability' button below.
To book this holiday call our sales team on 0044 1606 720199 or click on the appropriate 'Book now' or 'check availability' button below.
|6th Mar 2024
|Tour only: US$2775
Single supp: US$390
|20th Mar 2024
|Tour only: US$2355
Single supp: US$390
|11th Dec 2024
|Tour only: US$2354
Single supp: US$435
|12th Feb 2025
|Tour only: US$2775
Single supp: US$435
|19th Mar 2025
|Tour only: US$2775
Single supp: US$435
This holiday is operated by our sister company, Exodus
Four nights in comfortable hotels Flybus transfer to meet any flight Travel by air-conditioned minibus Group normally 6 to 16, plus leader. Minimum age: 16