Northern lights in Iceland. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
22 February – 2 March 2014 (exclusive reader offer)
From late autumn to early spring the northern skies come alive with the dancing neon lights of the aurora borealis – the elusive Northern Lights – which captivate both travellers and scientists alike.
Caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere, the result is a magical light show and once-in-a-lifetime travel experience.
With the whole country located within the all-important Northern Lights oval, Iceland affords superb opportunities to witness this incredible natural phenomenon.
This week-long exclusive tour in association with BBC Sky at Night Magazine and Regent Holidays heads deep into the rugged Icelandic countryside, where waterfalls thunder and glaciers creak, to maximise chances of seeing the aurora away from the bright lights of the city.
Departing Reykjavik, discover the incredible natural wonders of west and south Iceland, from the giant floating icebergs at Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon to the bubbling pools of the Geysir geothermal fields.
In the evenings, enjoy guided walks from the remote lodges in search of the aurora in these remote locations, and remember to ask for a wake up call should the light show make an appearance in the middle of the night.
Travel is by coach, where each passenger will have two seats in order to accommodate any camera or telescope equipment (not provided).
A highlight of the tour will be the opportunity to visit Reykjavik’s Society of Astronomy and Stargazing, the biggest amateur astronomical society in Iceland with approximately 300 members.
It will be possible to meet and chat with some of the members and view the society‘s main telescope – a JMI NGT-18 Newtonian reflector – the biggest telescope in Iceland.
All bookings will recieve:
- A Nite Ize TaskLit red light LED headtorch
- A BBC Sky at Night Magazine Fisher Space Pen
- Sir Patrick Moore’s best-selling book Space: The First 50 Years
(B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
Day 1 – 22 Feb
Fly to Reykjavik (D)
Once you’ve settled in to your hotel, enjoy an evening excursion to the famous Blue Lagoon.
Situated in the middle of a black lava field, the mineral-rich, geothermal seawater comes from holes as deep as 2,000 metres, filling the natural spa with its iconic bright blue water.
Day 2 -24 Feb
Borgarfjörður/Saga valley (B,L,D)
Head towards the Borgarfjörður valley, known as the Saga valley of west Iceland due to the many important historical events that took place there.
Climb the Grábrók Volcano crater and visit Europe’s most powerful hot spring, exquisite waterfalls and otherworldly lava fields.
Day 3 – 25 Feb
Snæfellsnes Peninsula & fjord cruise
The Snæfellsnes Peninsula juts out from Iceland’s west coast and is in many ways a microcosm of the whole island. Explore this amazing landscape and sample some local Icelandic delicacies.
In the evening, wrap up warm and head outside to await the aurora.
Day 4 – 26 Feb
Golden Circle (B,L, D)
Travel along the scenic shores of Hvalfjörður fjord before turning inland to Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the location of the first Icelandic parliament founded in 930.
The adventure continues with a visit to Gullfoss – the golden falls – a double waterfall tumbling 34 metres into the Hvítá river, and the geothermal fields of Geysir.
Day 5 – 27 Feb
Eyjafjallajökull Volcano (B,L,D)
Continue along Iceland’s south coast starting at the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall which plunges over the mountain.
Travelling east, stop at the Eyjafjallajökull Information Centre to learn about the infamous eruptions which caused so many problems in 2010, and discover what it’s like to live in the shadows of a glacier and active volcano.
Day 6 – 28 Feb
Skaftafell National Park & Vatnajökull glacier (B,L,D)
Visit the visually stunning Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, where big chunks of ice from Breidamerkurjokull glacier crumble down the steep mountainside and break off into the lagoon where they float around before melting.
Spend the afternoon in Vatnajökull National Park, the largest National Park in Europe, home to Iceland’s highest mountains and Europe’s largest glacier.
Day 7 – 1 Mar
South Shore & Blue Lagoon (B,L)
Return to Reykjavik and spend the last evening at the Society of Astronomy and Stargazing, the biggest amateur astronomical society in Iceland, to find out more about the Icelandic skies and the society‘s three impressive telescopes.
Day 8 – 2 Mar
Fly to the UK (B)
Enjoy a free morning to explore Reykjavik before transferring to the airport for the flight back to London.
Dates: 22 February – 2 March 2014
Price: from £2,400 per person
- Price includes: return flights in economy class with Icelandair from London Heathrow, all airport taxes, accommodation in three-star hotels and country guesthouses, meals as specified, all transfers and transportation, sightseeing with English-speaking guide/driver and an exclusive visit to the Icelandic Astronomy Society.
Passengers: 15 – 20
For more information or to book contact a Regent Holidays Iceland Specialist on 020 7666 1290, or visit their website.