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Christmas with the Locals in North Iceland

(6 days / 5 nights)

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Celebrate the season in magical north Iceland

Enjoy a traditional Icelandic Christmas with a local family in Siglufjörður, the northernmost town in Iceland. You will spend time with a local host family on this tour, taste homemade Icelandic food and relax in hot pots while watching northern lights flicker and dance in the sky. You will get to join in unique Icelandic yuletide customs, and experience the pristine winter along a sweeping fjord, enjoy some free time in Reykjavik and visit major attractions like the Blue Lagoon and more.

Small group sizes mean this tour fills quickly, booking early also gives you the best chance of securing your desired departure date.
Group size: Maximum group size is 8 participants.

Contact us for availability




22 Dec


A day-by-day plan to guide your journey.

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  • Day 1: DECEMBER 22 - Welcome to Reykjavík

    At Keflavík International Airport you will be met by a driver who will take you to your accommodation in Reykjavík. Spend the rest of the day exploring the city centre on your own. If you're keen on doing a bit of shopping or experiencing the city's thriving coffee culture, head to the main street, Laugavegur. Into Nordic history or art? Stop into one of the many small museums or art galleries scattered around the city.

    And in the evening, there are numerous restaurants in the city centre with a variety of cuisines to satisfy any taste buds, including Iceland’s specialties — locally-sourced grilled lamb and fresh seafood. Have anything in particular you'd like to taste? We are happy to make dinner recommendations.

    Spend the night in Reykjavik. 

    * Please note that the northern lights are a natural phenomenon, so sightings cannot be guaranteed.

    Attractions Optional Extras
  • Day 2: DECEMBER 23 – Meet the Locals in the North

    Spend the first part of the day exploring Reykjavik and after lunch you will fly to Akureyri, the unofficial “capital of North Iceland”. On arrival, you will be greeted at the airport and treated to a scenic ride during your transfer to Siglufjörður. Along the way, enjoy great views of the Akureyri area and the mountains and fjords along Tröllaskagi (Troll Peninsula).

    At Siglufjörður you will meet the lovely hosts, Þórir and Erla, known for their delicious homemade food and friendly atmosphere. During your stay you will learn about traditions in Iceland during the holiday season, meet local people and visit interesting places such as the Herring Era Museum.

    Tonight you will experience Þorláksmessa (St. Thorlak’s Mass) with your Icelandic host. This day is considered to be the official start of the Christmas season in Iceland, and the evening is traditionally celebrated with skata, a unique Icelandic seafood delicacy that is ordinarily followed with a shot of Brennivin schnapps. Other delicious holiday foods will be served as well.

     Spend the next three nights at the Herring Guesthouse in Siglufjörður.

    Attractions Attractions
  • Day 3: DECEMBER 24 - Christmas Celebration in the Countryside

    Start the day by learning about your current destination, Siglufjörður, and its seafaring heritage with a guided tour to the Herring Era Museum. Then, at noon, enjoy a traditional Christmas lunch with almond porridge (möndlugrautur) followed by fresh Icelandic salmon, herring, wild game pate and a variety of side dishes. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy as you wish, perhaps by hiking in the hills, visiting the pool, or relaxing at the guesthouse.

    Tonight, before dinner, the locals will meet up at the Christmas mass in Siglufjörður´s church to ring in Christmas and celebrate with their friends, family and neighbours. The service is held in Icelandic and everyone is welcome, religious or not, as it is more of a cultural happening rather than a strict religious Lutheran service (Note: the service is not obligatory).

    Following mass is a traditional Icelandic Christmas dinner that your hosts will be preparing before sitting down and relaxing by the Christmas tree to open gifts and cards. Who knows if you will find a present under the tree with your name on it from your lovely hosts? 

  • Day 4: DECEMBER 25 - Christmas Lunch & Northern lights

    Enjoy the morning at your leisure around town. At noon, a delicious Christmas lunch will be served with traditional Icelandic Yuletide foods like smoked Icelandic lamb (Hangikjöt) and hand-designed leaf-bread (Laufabrauð), among other offerings. Spend the day in Siglufjörður and relax in the hot tub at the Herring House with a chance of seeing the northern lights.

  • Day 5: DECEMBER 26 - Return to Reykjavik & Explore the City

    Spend the early part of the day as you wish before your flight back to Reykjavik. Transportation is provided to the Akureyri airport in time for your check-in. Back in Reykjavik, you have the rest of the day to explore the city and its surroundings at your leisure. Downtown Reykjavík offers a wide variety of attractions, including Alþingi (Icelandic parliament) and a wonderful bird‘s eye view from the tower of Hallgrímskirkja church, the capital city’s most visible landmark. Reykjavik's impressive concert hall, Harpa is situated close to Reykjavik's harbour, which is ideal to visit and explore. There are also many exciting optional activities and day tours to choose from.

    Spend the night in Reykjavik.

    Attractions Optional Extras
  • Day 6: DECEMBER 27 - Blue Lagoon & Departure

    Revitalize your mind, body and spirit the Icelandic way! Before your flight today, you will have some time to relax at Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon, a natural geothermal spa renowned for its therapeutic, mineral-rich waters surrounded by moon-like landscape. After a relaxing soak, bus transfer is provided to Keflavik Airport.

    Note: If your flight is in the morning, we can adjust your travel itinerary accordingly so you can still experience the Blue Lagoon.

    Please be advised that daylight is limited in Iceland during the winter months, with 4-5 hours of daylight from December to January. However, fresh snowfall often gives the appearance of more light, and it is common that houses, streets and businesses are lit up with Christmas lights, so don't fear that you will be travelling in complete darkness. 

    Attractions Optional Extras


Here’s a map of your travel route, to help put things in perspective.


We don’t like to brag, so we’ll let our happy customers do it for us.

The best trip ever!

I couldn't have been happier with my trip to Iceland. Everything was easy and taken care of. No hassle getting picked up late. All of my guides were friendly and informative. I can't wait to book another trip through Nordic Visitor. 

Exceptional service, wonderful experience!

Nordic Visitor was a very efficient way to book our vacation. The website was easy to navigate and gave all important information needed for us to decide on which trip to take. It was helpful that it included the tours, hotels and travel all in one package. Everything went smoothly and we had no problems at all with our trip. The tours and places (and order) that were chosen in the package were exceptional! The travel agent we consulted with our questions was helpful, knowledgeable, and quick to respond. I would highly recommend using Nordic Visitor to plan your vacation!

Traditional Christmas in the North

My family (children aged 11 and 13) visited Iceland with Nordic Visitor and did their Traditional Christmas in the North tour. It was a wonderful way to get away for Christmas, and was great for my family to see Iceland's Christmas traditions. The trip was well-organized and well-documented, and included stays at a great hotel in Reykjavik (Fron) a good hotel in Reykjavik (FossHotel Baron) and an absolutely wonderful stay with a family in Siglufjörður (at The Herring House). The tour was a great balance of rest and exploration, which was exactly what I was looking for. It included a Northern Lights tour, a Golden Circle tour, a private tour of the Herring Era Museum in Siglufjörður, and time with our hosts at The Herring House.

Christmas is a wonderful time to visit Iceland, and Iceland is a wonderful place to spend Christmas with a young family. If you're looking for something different to do with your family then I highly recommend the Traditional Christmas in the North tour. My 13 year-old wants to do it again!


Choose from the following accommodation options, all of which feature hotels and guesthouses that are highly rated by visitors.


Rooms with shared WC and shower (or bath) in farmhouses, guesthouses or well-appointed hostels. All provide breakfast (included in..



Rooms with private WC and shower (or bath) in a three-star hotel or well-appointed guesthouse. All provide breakfast (included in ..


Optional extras

Customise your adventure with these Optional Extras.

Tour Information

  • Please note that the Herring Guesthouse offers accommodation with shared bathroom facilities. If you however require a room with private bathroom facilities (not included in the package) they would be happy to upgrade your stay.
  • Please note that some activities on this tour are dependent on weather conditions and therefore the itinerary may be subject to change. We highly recommend buying travel insurance.
  • Although winter in Iceland is generally mild compared to other Northern European countries, the temperatures can drop below freezing at times. Please bring windproof/waterproof outerwear and plenty of warm layers.
  • This tour offers the possibility of seeing the northern lights (Aurora Borealis). Please note, however, that it is a natural phenomenon and sightings cannot be guaranteed.

Enjoy the holiday season in natural tranquility, surrounded by a beautiful, narrow fjord in Siglufjörður, the northernmost town of Iceland. The charming Herring Guesthouse offers accommodation with an Icelandic couple over the Christmas holiday. Guest rooms are comfortably furnished and have shared bathroom facilities. The guesthouse also offers outdoor hot pots to soak in the warm water after a busy day under the northern lights.

Note that the Blue Lagoon needs to be pre-booked well in advance so due to the busy season over the holidays we might need to adjust the itinerary and arrange for it on day 1 or day 5. 

Please note that your scheduled transfer to the Blue Lagoon can be on a coach bus, with up to 70 fellow travellers.

The minimum age requirement for children at the Blue Lagoon is 2-years old. It is mandatory for children aged 2 to 8 to wear inflatable armbands while in the lagoon. These are provided free of charge. Please note that only two (2) children under the age of 10 can be admitted into the lagoon per guardian.

The best months to experience the northern lights are October through April, with peak visibility from December through February. Please note that as the northern lights are a natural phenomenon, we cannot guarantee sightings even if the tour is operated.

Please be advised that daylight is limited in Iceland during the winter months, with 4-5 hours of daylight from December to January. However, fresh snowfall often gives the appearance of more light, and it is common that houses, streets and businesses are lit up with Christmas lights, so don't fear that you will be travelling in complete darkness.

Although the winter climate in Iceland is generally mild compared to other northern European countries, the temperature can drop below freezing at times. Please bring windproof and waterproof outerwear and plenty of warm layers. Please note that the programme is dependent upon weather and road conditions, and may be altered if conditions are not favourable. For information on weather conditions and daylight hours we recommend visiting our extensive Online Travel Guide

All bookings are charged in Icelandic Króna (ISK), the official currency of Iceland. Prices displayed in other currencies are indicative only and based on the daily exchange rate as issued by the Central bank of Iceland. Therefore, conversions from ISK to other currencies will fluctuate from day to day.

If you wish to extend or shorten your stay, or arrive on a different date, please contact us. We are happy to customise your holiday to your preferences with additional day tours or extra nights in Reykjavik, Akureyri, Siglufjörður or other locations in Iceland.

After booking your package with Nordic Visitor, you will be contacted within two working days by one of our travel consultants, who will serve as your dedicated contact person for all of your travel needs before, during and even after your holiday. Your travel consultant will provide you with details about your booking and your remaining payment (if not paid in full). You will also receive more information about what to expect during your holiday.


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