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Christmas & New Year's in Iceland

(11 days / 10 nights)

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Want to escape the Christmas rush at home? Iceland awaits!

This special package allows you to experience Iceland´s most spectacular gems in the south and west of the island. Travellers will enjoy a self-drive tour chock full of breathtaking sites, charming town visits, a delicious Christmas Eve feast and a New Year´s Eve fireworks show you will never forget. Destinations include the wondrous waterfalls Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss, and Skógafoss; as well as stops at Geysir, Þingvellir National Park, the floating icebergs at the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, and the spectacular Snæfellsnes peninsula. You may even spot the northern lights, if the conditions are right.

Type

Self-Drive

Interest

Christmas, New Year´s

Season

Christmas

Departure

22 DEC

Price p. p. from

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Itinerary

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

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  • Day 1: Arrival & Exploring Reykjavík

    Welcome to Iceland! From the arrivals hall in Keflavik International Airport, a driver will meet you and take you to your accommodation in Reykjavík. After setting aside your luggage, the rest of the day is at your leisure. The colourful city centre is always full of life, offering a great variety of museums, shops and cosy cafe with free Wi-Fi and restaurants to suit all taste buds. You can explore downtown easily on foot, and a walk along the old harbour is highly recommended.

    Spend the night in Reykjavik.

    Highlights Optional Activity Optional Activity Optional Activity
  • Day 2: Hot Springs, Waterfalls, & Northern Lights

    Collect your rental car in the morning and begin your journey on the classic Golden Circle route, starting with the fascinating Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, you can walk on a path in the rift valley between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Next, is the Haukadalur geothermal area, home of Geysir—the original “geyser”—and the more active Strokkur, which spouts water every few minutes. End the circle with visits to the majestic Gullfoss waterfall, the massive implosion crater of Kerið and the historical seat of Iceland’s early bishops at Skálholt. Also, being out in the countryside gives you a better opportunity to search for northern lights during the next few nights, if the skies are clear.*

    Spend the night in the Golden Circle area

    Driving distance approx. 220 km / 137 mi

    *The northern lights are a natural phenomenon, so sightings cannot be guaranteed

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  • Day 3: Natural Wonders & Christmas Eve Dinner

    Drive towards the picture-perfect south coast, and see some of Iceland’s most famous attractions as well as the towering Eyjafjöll mountain range. At Seljalandsfoss waterfall, you can follow a footpath behind its frosty cascade, a unique experience despite Iceland´s more than 10,000 waterfalls. But, be careful as it can be slippery. The next waterfall on the agenda is the mighty Skógafoss, which is just as impressive in its icy winter coat. Head to the village Kirkjubæjarklaustur where you will celebrate Christmas Eve with fellow travellers and locals in a cosy gathering. At 18:00, there will be a complimentary aperitif following a delicious three course Icelandic dinner.

    Spend the night in the Kirkjubæjarklaustur area

    Driving distance: 200 km/124 mi

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  • Day 4: Christmas Among Cliffs, Icebergs, & National Parks

    Enjoy the day in the countryside where you can visit sites such as the Kirkjugolf basalt stones and the Dverghamrar cliffs. Or, if you‘re feeling more adventurous, get an early start to explore Skaftafell, part of Vatnajökull National Park, and the floating icebergs at the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. Then head back to your accommodation in Kirkjubæjarklaustur.

    Spend the night in the Kirkjubæjarklaustur area

    Driving distance: 210 km/130 mi

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  • Day 5: THE DRAMATIC SOUTH COAST & HOT SPRINGS

    After a few days of taking in the frozen landscapes and glaciers of the south coast you will head back towards the west. Worthwhile stops along the way include the hauntingly beautiful volcanic black sand beach south of Vík, Dyrhólaey Island and the surroundings of the quaint hot springs village of Hveragerði

    Spend the night in Hveragerði area

    Driving distance: 200 km/124 mi

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  • Day 6: JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE WEST

    Explore West Iceland today with a diverse array of activities. If you‘re interested in Iceland‘s early history, visit the Icelandic Settlement Centre exhibition in the town of Borgarnes to get a sense of Iceland´s rich literary history of the sagas as well as what life was like during the days of settlement. Meanwhile, for a close up look at the island‘s geothermal power, check out the largest hot spring in Europe, Deildartunguhver as it bubbles and emits steam. Nearby, you can pay a visit to the beautiful Barnafoss and Hraunfossar waterfalls, where water thrashes, churns and spills from the vast lava field.

    Spend the night in the Borgarfjörður area

    Driving distance: 210 km / 130 mi

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  • Day 7: ROAD TRIP TO GLORIOUS SNÆFELLSJÖKULL

    Today you have the option to relax or enjoy a road trip to Snæfellsjökull National Park on the Snæfellsnes peninsula—a nature lover’s paradise with sweeping mountain vistas and otherworldly lava fields. The region is often referred to as Iceland in miniature due to the diversity of landscapes. The main attraction here without a doubt is the 1446m (4745 ft) glacier-capped Snæfellsjökull volcano, said to be one of Earth’s seven major energy centres and the setting of the Jules Verne novel, Journey to the Centre of the Earth. The coastline of this area also offers numerous other scenic points worth a visit.

    Spend the night in Borgarfjörður area

    Driving distance: 414 km / 257 mi

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  • Day 8: REYKJAVIK OR VOLCANIC REYKJANES PENINSULA

    Today you will be heading to the capital city, Reykjavik. For those that would like to explore a bit more before settling in, we recommend visiting the ruggedly volcanic Reykjanes Peninsula and stopping at the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa surrounded by interesting lava formations—an especially unique experience in the winter. (Entrance fee to Blue Lagoon not included). End the day back in Reykjavik. After returning your rental car, make the most of your last evening with a fine dinner at one of the city's many gourmet restaurants.

    Spend the next three nights in Reykjavík.

    Highlights Highlights Optional Activity
  • Day 9: Explore Reykjavik at Leisure

    Today, explore the Reykjavik area however you wish. Downtown Reykjavík offers a wide range of attractions, including Alþingi, the Icelandic Parliament, or the bird’s-eye views from the tower at Hallgrímskirkja church, the city’s most visible landmark, as well as art museums, quirky shops and cafes. Other activities include exploring Harpa Concert Hall and walking along the harbour, checking out the Christmas lights flickering around the city, or swimming at one of the many local swimming pools. For those after a little adventure, consider horse riding, taking an ATV tour or whale watching.

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  • Day 10: ICELANDIC TRADITIONS & NEW YEARS EVE FUN

    You can enjoy the first half of the day by visiting one of Reykjavík´s Thermal Swimming Pools and recharging your batteries in the fresh, crisp air, or perhaps do some shopping. Another option is visiting the Pearl “Perlan” where you can go up to the cafeteria to enjoy refreshments and a 360° view of the city.

    In the afternoon, your Icelandic New Year‘s Eve begins! Festivities kick off with a local guide picking you up between 13:00 and 13:30 at your hotel and showing you around the city, allowing you to take part in local traditions. After a stop at the fireworks sales — an essential Icelandic New Year’s ritual — you will walk through an old Reykjavik cemetery for an encounter with Icelandic spirits, of both the folklore and beverage variety. Then, after a visit to the “home of the elves” in neighbouring Hafnafjörður, the tour ends in the wooded area of Heiðmörk with a small bonfire, refreshments and fireworks.

    Then at 19:30, the holiday festivities kick off at one of Reykjavik’s restaurants, with an aperitif followed by a gourmet buffet and entertainment. And before the midnight countdown begins, you‘ll gather at an excellent viewpoint for watching the fireworks explode all over Reykjavik—a sight you will never forget! Afterwards, if you feel like celebrating with the locals, you can continue the party in the city centre with music and dancing late into the night.

    Highlights
  • Day 11: Departure From Iceland

    It’s time to head back home today and take care of your new set of New Year’s resolutions. From your accommodation, take the airport bus to Keflavik International Airport in time for your check-in.

    Highlights

Map

Here’s a map of Iceland, to help put things in perspective.

Accommodation

Sleep soundly, in the accommodation type of your choice, and wake up ready to enjoy another day of exploration.

Comfort

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

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Rental car

Enjoy the journey, with authorization for two drivers and free GPS in the rental car of your choice.

Ford Kuga AWD
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x4
  • A

Ford Kuga AWD
or similar

  • Type: E
  • Description: Compact SUV, all-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 4
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Automatic

Ford Edge AWD
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x4
  • A

Ford Edge AWD
or similar

  • Type: F
  • Description: Mid-size SUV, all-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5
  • Suitcases: 5
  • Doors: 5
  • Operation: Automatic

Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x5
  • A

Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4
or similar

  • Type: G
  • Description: Full-size SUV, four-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5
  • Suitcases: 5
  • Doors: 5
  • Operation: Automatic

Volvo XC90 AWD
limited availability

  • x6
  • x5
  • x6
  • A

Volvo XC90 AWD
limited availability

  • Type: H
  • Description: Full-size Premium SUV, all-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5/6
  • Suitcases: 6/3
  • Doors: 5
  • Operation: Automatic

Land Rover Defender 4x4
limited availability

  • x6
  • x5
  • x2
  • M

Land Rover Defender 4x4
limited availability

  • Type: J
  • Description: Highland SUV, four-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5/6
  • Luggage: 4/2
  • Doors: 2/4 to 6
  • Transmission: Manual

Optional activities

This is your trip, what are you interested in doing?

Everything about this tour

Booking
  • We recommend booking at least three weeks prior to departure.
  • This package can be customised to meet your needs, and extra nights can be added on request. Contact us for details.
  • For added safety and comfort, we highly recommend selecting a 4x4 vehicle for winter.
Other
  • Although the winter climate in Iceland is generally mild compared to other northern European countries, the temperatures can drop below freezing at times. You should bring some windproof/waterproof outerwear and plenty of warm layers.
  • The best months to experience the northern lights are October through April, with peak visibility typically from December through February. Please note that the northern lights are a natural phenomenon, so we cannot guarantee sightings.
  • Please be advised that daylight is limited in Iceland during the winter months, with about 4-5 hours of daylight during the holidays, from December to January. Winter in Iceland is considered to be from October to April. 
 
Please note
A reservation is required for entrance to the Blue Lagoon and for spa treatments while there. Please ask your travel consultant for further information.
 
Currency rate
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.
 
After booking with Nordic Visitor
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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