Enjoy The Show! Iceland – Best Time to See Northern Lights.

Enjoy The Show! Bespoke Journey to Iceland for an extended family, AKA The Entourage! No luxury is spared in this Search for the Northern Lights! Found dancing in the skies above the land of fire and ice, the Northern Lights are one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders. These dancing lights are at the top of many Must Do Travel Lists and bring thousands of visitors to Iceland every year. Depending on weather conditions, cloud cover, and your location, they can be hard to spot. The Northern Lights are one of the world’s most sought-after natural phenomena. Everyone wants to catch a glimpse of this dancing light show in the sky. This luxury Journey is a combination of city hotels and a private luxury Villa, a Merceds Sprinter on stand by for a last minute call to view the Northern Lights and a final evening under the New Year’s Eve fireworks on the harbor on a private yacht. Peak viewing season for the northern lights is always September through March when the nights are long in Iceland (during the winter solstice, darkness can extend for approximately 19 hours).

Iceland Northern Lights Tours : Aurora Borealis Travel Packages : Nordic  Visitor

Day 1 – Arrival to Iceland & The Blue Lagoon. Morning arrival to Iceland. Transfer to the iconic Blue Lagoon, spend a relaxing morning at the Retreat Spa check in to the Retreat Hotel in the afternoon.

You will start your journey in the hallmark of the Retreat Hotel experience, the Retreat Spa. Carved into an 800-year-old lava flow, the spa at the Retreat brings you into harmony with nature and the timeless powers of the Blue Lagoon’s revitalizing waters. Transporting your mind and body to new dimensions of peace and rejuvenation, the spa journey takes you through an underground realm of inspiring design and radiant wellness.

The spa journey culminates with the Blue Lagoon Ritual. In a spacious sanctuary of interconnected chambers, you cover your body with the three treasures of geothermal seawater: silica, algae, and minerals. Silica brings radiance and cleansing. Blue Lagoon algae brings nourishment and anti-aging. Minerals bring exfoliation and revitalization. Ultimately, the Blue Lagoon Ritual opens new horizons of serenity and wellbeing. Optional massages and treatments at the Retreat Spa   Dinner at Lava restaurant Overnight at the Retreat Hotel.

Day 2 –Hiking to Fjagradalsfjall volcano in Geldingadalur Valley. Meet your guide in the lobby of the hotel. Hike to current eruption sight in Geldingadalur valley. The volcano erupted March 19 in the Reykjanes peninsula, southwest of the capital Reykjavík. It came after weeks of increased seismic activity on the peninsula, with tens of thousands of earthquakes disturbing the magma underground. Compared to other volcanic eruptions in Iceland, Geldingadalsgos can be considered quite small – the fissure is only about 500-700 meters long. There is no explosive activity, no ash fall and limited lava flow. Geldingadalsgos is also located quite far from any towns or houses; the nearest town is Grindavík at about 12 km. Despite the small size of the eruption, photos and videos show that the sight is quite beautiful to behold. We are lucky to be able to witness this spectacular volcanic event – the last recorded eruption in the Reykjanes peninsula was over 800 years ago. Return to the hotel & spend the rest of the day relaxing at the Retreat spa. Dinner at Moss Restaurant.

Day 3 –Reykjavik Food walk & Thingvellir. Meet your guide in the lobby, transfer to the city & depart on a private food walk in Reykjavik. Icelandic food has developed from simple beginnings to modern ingenuity, still infusing many of the same ingredients while creating new and enticing flavor profiles. Traditional cuisine has always involved a diet of meat and fish, but while the people’s palates have transformed, so have many dishes. Not only can you find meat-centered meals at local restaurants, but a range of vegan/vegetarian options, too! On a food walk around Reykjavik, you’ll discover Icelandic cuisine at its very best as you taste elements of history and future in an exciting selection of bites! You’ll be sampling so many exquisite dishes it’ll be more than enough to leave you satisfied once your food adventure concludes. Savor some of the freshest recipes you can find in the capital and learn how Icelanders have made their food the finest of the Nordic countries.

Reykjavik

Your next stop will be at Thingvellir – the site of the original Althing, the actual founding place of the oldest democratic parliament in the world. This area is noted for its spectacular lava formations and being the only place in the world where you can see the tectonic plates drift apart. Today Thingvellir is an outstanding national park, the jewel in the crown of Iceland’s historical sights, by many considered the most important one where the protected area will always be the property of the Icelandic nation.

Continue to Laugarvatn and enjoy traditional geothermal bakery experience. Icelandic people make the bread following an old recipe, dig it into the warm ground and bake it for 24 hours, then dig the bread up, and it’s delicious! Come and see for yourself!

Evening arrival to your private Villa luxury Lodge. Dinner served by your private chef. The exclusive Villa is hidden deep in a hilly landscape, far away from the masses and just a short drive away from the impressive Thingvellir National Park. A luxurious oasis with high windows and a vast balcony where you can enjoy stunning vistas with mountain peaks in the distance below the colored horizon. Warm up by the fireplace, relax in the hot tub and experience the unparalleled Icelandic wilderness, where the world can’t find you. This two-floor villa also includes multiple modes of entertainment and relaxation, as well as an elevator for easy access. Unwind in the outdoor sauna, enclosed by a transparent ceiling where the dazzling Northern Lights may be seen above, or laze in the adjacent hot tub. The indoor pool, which is furnished with luxurious teak wood flooring and lounging accommodations, contains a full sound system and wave component to bring you the most exciting swimming experience. Other amenities include, a hobby room and pool tables, home theatre, fitness center, and a private massage room (service can be arranged on request).

All five bedrooms located on the top floor are each fitted out in a simple Nordic design to contribute to the cozy atmosphere. Three bedrooms include en-suite bathrooms, while two additional bathrooms can be found on either floor. The bathrooms come with aromatic candles and deluxe, customized towels for a sleek, spa-like feel.

Day 4- In the morning head to Langjokull glacier for private snowmobiling experience. Get your adrenaline pumping with a snowmobiling adventure across Iceland’s frozen landscapes. With an abundance of glaciers, icy valleys, and snowy hills, there are plenty of opportunities to rush through glistening scenery on the back of these sturdy vehicles. This journey will have you cruising over Iceland’s second largest glacier, Langjökull, where you can experience the vast, slick surface of this famous landmark. Whether you choose touring with a partner or trying it solo, snowmobiling in Iceland is a once-in-a-lifetime experience every outdoor enthusiast should indulge in!

Lunch on the glacier (glacier buffet). Chip off some ice shards for your evening cocktail! On the way back from the glacier stop at one of the most impressive waterfalls in Europe, Gullfoss (Golden Waterfall). Here you will see thousands of tons of icy water thunder majestically down in a double fall into a deep gorge from the glacier Langjökull. The scale of Gullfoss and the thundering roar of the water has to be seen to be believed. You will have the unique opportunity to get up close to the very brink of the waterfall and feel glacial water spray on you as you admire its sheer power.

Next visit Haukadalur valley to see the famous Geysir, the “geyser” which gave its name to all other erupting hot springs. While Geysir hasn’t been particularly active recently, one of the most active, and reliable, geysers in the area is just 50 meters away from Geysir. Strokkur is capable of shooting water 90 feet high and erupts every five minutes on average.

There are also about 30 smaller geysers and hot pools in the area, including one named Litli Geysir (‘Little Geysir’), making this area a thrilling hub of geothermal activity.

Afternoon visit to Fridheimar farm – a welcoming, friendly Icelandic family-run business. It’s primarily a working farm, but is also a restaurant, an organic tomato producer, a horse-breeding stables and grocery store all in one. This may sound quirky, but in 1995 it was the dream of husband-and-wife team, Knútur Rafn Ármann, and his wife, Helena Hermundardóttir, to combine their passions for horticulture and horse- breeding into one place. Their five children all help out with the family business.

Each year visitors flock to tour the greenhouses where tomatoes are grown all year-round in special greenhouses (no simple feat in the harsh Icelandic climate). Their technical wizardry combines greenhouses with geothermal heating from Iceland’s natural subterranean supply. The result is beautiful fresh tomatoes all season, and a plethora of produce including tomato soups – and even tomato schnapps. Juicy, fresh tomatoes are of course the main theme of the restaurant, and food is served amongst the sweet-smelling tomato plants.

Evening return to private Villa.  Dinner served by your private chef. Late in the evening – Northern Lights Hunt. The northern lights are a natural phenomenon and sights can never be guaranteed. The Northern lights vary in strength and beauty, and what you will get to see is highly up to chance. The norther light hunt is a weather-depended activity, and your guide will advise about the best night to operate the tour. We monitor the aurora forecast daily and if the conditions are not favorable to see the northern lights, the hunt can be moved to another day.

Day 5 – South Shore with Ice walk. Today, you’ll experience the most scenic region in Iceland: the south coast. This magnificent strip of land stretches from the greater Reykjavik area in the west to the iconic Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon in the east. The south coast of Iceland boasts some of the youngest geological landscapes in the country, many of which formed during the last Ice Age! A full-day journey will introduce you to the most awe-inspiring features of Icelandic nature. Travel as far as Vík, a charming village noted for its proximity to the black sands of Reynisfjara, as well as the Reynisdrangur formations; famous basalt structures concealing tales of ancient trolls. Along the way, you’ll get to stop by the popular Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, each one cascading with singular beauty. Surround yourself with volcanoes, glaciers, mountains, and hot springs that will transport you to an inspiring, fairytale world! Lunch in one of the restaurants on the way.

According to local Icelandic folklore, these large basalt columns were once trolls trying to pull ships from the ocean to shore. However, these trolls were dim and went out too late in the night; dawn broke on the horizon, turning the trolls into solid stone.

Another legend tells of a husband whose wife was kidnapped and killed by two trolls. The man followed the trolls down to Reynisfjara where he froze them, ensuring that they would never kill again.

Reynisdrangur

You will embark on a private glacier walk at the picturesque glacier outlet Sólheimajökull (a part of the Mýrdalsjökull ice cap) on the south coast of Iceland nearby Skógar and Vík. Glacier walk is a great glacier adventure where you can try for yourself how it feels to walk on ice. It is about 30 minutes walk from the base to the glacier. You walk through the varied landscape on the way, formed by the glacier for the past thousands of years. There you will see how fast the glacier has been melting for the past 15 years.

After safety briefing and a lesson in ice walking you will head onto the glacier to experience this unique environment with some amazing terrain with crevasse, sink holes and ice ridges. Sólheimajökull is the southernmost glacier in Iceland, the ice is up to about 200 meters thick and the total size with the ice cap Mýrdalsjökull about 600 km2. Underneath the main ice cap is the caldera of the volcano Katla, one of Iceland biggest volcano. Evening return to your private luxury Villa.  Dinner served by your private chef.

Day 6 –ATVs and Lava tunnel. Head towards Thorlakshofn for a private ATV safari. Purring along on a quad bike is one of the most fun ways of seeing Iceland’s superlative natural charms. Feel the wind rush against your face as you head off on an exhilarating adventure. These sturdy four-wheel vehicles have the power to surge across the roughest of terrain, making them perfect for Iceland’s rugged landscapes. Iconic images of Icelandic nature are brought right to your feet as you make your way across the countryside. Zoom atop a famous black sand beach, rushing past immense glaciers and glistening streams. This incredible diversity can only be found in Iceland, and driving an ATV is a fantastic way to enjoy it. One of the most incredible experiences of a lifetime guaranteed! Lunch in one of the restaurants in the area.

Some of Iceland's caves have pathways to make walking easier.


After lunch continue with the private Lava tunnel experience
Journey into Raufarhólshellir is a unique experience and a great opportunity to witness the inner workings of a volcanic eruption as one walks in the path of lava that flowed during the Leitahraun eruption, which occurred east of the Bláfjöll mountains about 5200 years ago. Every winter spectacular ice sculptures are formed inside the entrance of the cave making the experience of visiting the lava tunnel even more breathtaking.

Explore the beautiful, hidden world of lava tubes on this incredible underground adventure. Raufarhólshellir is one of the longest and best-known lava tubes in Iceland. Be stunned by the secret world that exists beneath your feet. Walk along a path traveled by the lava from an eruption through the area some 5,200 years ago, not to be missed Afternoon arrival to Reykjavik, check-in to The Reykjavik Edition Hotel.

Lava caving allows you to explore Iceland's volcanic wonders.

Day 7 –Day at Leisure – Spend the day at leisure in Reykjavik
at a last night Gala Dinner in one of the fine local restaurants. Mosey to a private boat for enjoying a nightcap and dessert on the harbor to enjoy the New Year’s Eve fireworks over the town and harbor!

Day 8 –Departure from Iceland. Transfer from Reykjavik to Keflavik airport Departure to home.

Iceland, which sits at a latitude of approximately 64° north is ideally located to see the aurora. A hazy-green tinge, a brilliant strobe of pink tinged light or a dancing ribbon of vivid purple: the aurora borealis is one of nature’s most captivating spectacles. Before science could explain what these dancing lights were, there were many theories throughout different cultures. 

The Old Norse theorized that they could be the glinting of the armor of the Valkyries. These mythical female figures chose who would live and die in battle and then took the dead to the afterlife.

The auroras have also been considered omens. After Christianization in Medieval Europe, people saw them as a warning for dark times ahead.

Confederates who saw them in the sky at the Battle of Fredericksburg believed that they were a temporary but positive omen. While they would win this brutal fight, the aurora’s positive effects on their war efforts would not last long. 

Northern Lights – Travel guide at Wikivoyage

The SolarHam website gives a reliable three-day geomagnetic forecast used by aurora hunters, while the Aurora Forecast app shows the position of the auroral oval around the Arctic Circle and also indicates the probability of seeing them where you are. The probability indicator goes from a dark green at zero percent to a vibrant red.

Iceland has been a hot destination the last few years, the best luxury hotels hotels and private villas book up quickly during the peak season, plot early for the elusive Green Skies!

Food For Thought – Gratitude

Grateful for so much this year – the world is healing, slowly. Our clients are embracing travel once again, exploring new destinations and returning to their old favorites.

I’m particularly grateful for exploring the ancient Caravan Path in Morocco, my initial jump into this fascinating world again. An overland Journey of Nineteen Days, a Foreign Affair with this mesmerizing colorful country.

Moroccan people are warm, welcoming and extremely generous, even more so in modest communities. Never say No to Tea and be prepared to be embraced and well fed!

Mustapha’s mum and Auntie- who wanted to keep The Tourist!

Thankful to our five-star team who managed my ever changing schedule and their Mustapha who kept me safe for hours on the roads, in the souks, and in the fields where I wandered to gleefully accept a baby goat from the family who owned the goats in the Argan trees! Shukran, Tanmert.

Family in Skoura who invited me for Tea!
Family near Essaouira with Argan eating tree goats

It’s not what we say about our blessings

Mustapha, always nearby keeping me out of harms way!

But how we use them.

Is the true measure of our Thanksgiving.

Argan Tree Goats

Happy Thanksgiving!