Iceland and the Northern Lights

Program Overview

Experience the otherworldly beauty of the naturally occurring aurora borealis, more commonly known as the Northern Lights, on this unique, 7-night land program. Discover Iceland’s “Big Three” wonders, known as the Golden Circle—the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Thingvellir National Park; the two-tiered “Golden Waterfall” of Gullfoss; and Strokkur, an active geyser that erupts every few minutes. Join guides as you chase the iconic lights at the optimum time of year.

Program Details

October 19 to 27, 2024 October 26 to November 3, 2024 November 2 to 10, 2024 November 9 to 17, 2024
From $3,595 plus air View Terms & Conditions
  • Enjoy surreal views of lava fields surrounding the thermal waters in the Blue Lagoon. 
  • Discover Iceland’s first permanent settlement in Reykjavík, which is today the most northern national capital city in the world and the most western capital city of Europe. 
  • Embark on a city tour of Akureyri, nicknamed the "Capital of North Iceland" and an important port and fishing center.  
  • Walk among the surreal “dark castle” lava formations of Dimmuborgir and drive along the shores of Lake Mývatn. 
  • See Siglufjörður, one of Iceland’s most dramatically sited towns, and visit its Herring Era Museum, which recreates the history of fish salting and oil processing during the early 20th century. 

Day 1 - Depart home city 

Day 2 - Arrive in Reykjavík, Iceland 

Day 3 - Reykjavík 

Day 4 - Reykjavík/Golden Circle 

Day 5 - Reykjavík to Akureyri  

Day 6 - Akureyri/Dimmuborgir/Mývatn/Námaskarð/Goðafoss 

Day 7 - Akureyri/Siglufjörður 

Day 8 - Akureyri/Reykjavík

Day 9 - Reykjavík/Return to home city 

Hotel Borg, Reykjavík 

A sophisticated landmark in the heart of Reykjavík, Hotel Borg has been welcoming heads of state and travelers for nearly a century. Overlooking the gardens and cafes of Iceland’s main square, the hotel is surrounded by such illustrious landmarks as the parliament building and the national cathedral. Revel in the understated elegance of Art Deco interiors, including custom furnishings, large bathtubs, and heated marble floors. The lower level offers a dedicated spa, while shops, restaurants, and cafes are just steps away.

Hotel Kea, Akureyri 

Set in the heart of Iceland’s second city overlooking a stunning fjord, Hotel Kea exudes a classic ambience in the center of Akureyri, the gateway to Iceland’s north. Enjoy the hotel’s welcoming service and refined interiors. Climb the grand steps to the Church of Akureyri next door or stroll to nearby shops, museums, and gardens from this boutique property’s prime location.

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Program Itinerary

Day 1 Depart from home city

Depart your home city for an overnight flight to Iceland.

Day 2 Arrive in Reyjavik, Iceland

Arrive at Reykjavík Keflavik International Airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After a customs screening, meet a Gohagan & Company representative and travel to the legendary Blue Lagoon, stopping for breakfast at Viking World on the way.

Blue Lagoon. Surrounded by rugged lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula, the milky blue, mineral-infused waters of the Blue Lagoon are famous for their revitalizing and healing properties. A blend of 70 percent seawater and 30 percent freshwater, these geothermal spa waters are heated by volcanic activity some 6,500 feet below the earth’s surface.

Enjoy a soak in the lagoon’s soothing waters or opt to visit the viewing deck for an unforgettable panorama.

Continue to Reykjavík, where you will begin your discovery of Iceland’s capital city with a visit to Hallgrímskirkja. This modern church is the largest in Iceland and named after Hallgrímur Pétursson, the country’s beloved religious poet and hymn composer. The church also is home to Iceland’s largest organ, an instrument with 5,275 pipes.

Seek out a local eatery for lunch on your own before checking in to Hótel Borg, ideally located near Austurvollur Square. A Gohagan & Company representative will be available at the hotel hospitality desk to assist with restaurant recommendations, as well as suggestions for touring in the area with maps provided.

Welcome Reception: Join your fellow passengers for a Welcome Reception in the hotel this evening, followed by dinner on your own at one of Reykjavík’s many restaurants.

Day 3 Reykjavik, Iceland

Following breakfast at the hotel, continue exploring the city with a morning excursion.

Reykjavík. Known as the “smallest big city in the world,” Iceland’s capital dates to 870. An Augustinian monastery was founded here during the medieval era, followed by centuries of settlers who fished, farmed and established a center for wool production. Today, this modern, cosmopolitan city is rich with culture, natural beauty and a thriving tourist economy.

Behold panoramic views of Reykjavík from the 360-degree observation deck at Perlan, a glass-domed natural history museum built atop six geothermal water tanks. Find a nearby restaurant for lunch on your own, followed by an afternoon visit to the National Museum of Iceland. Conclude your touring with a stroll through Reykjavík’s historic midtown with its colorful houses and urban Icelandic charm.

Dinner in on your own this evening. The hospitality desk will be available for recommendations.

Tonight, you will embark on the first of your evening excursions in search of the Northern Lights.

Day 4 Reykjavik/Golden Circle

After breakfast at the hotel this morning you will experience the wonder of Icelandic’s iconic Golden Circle.

Admire the rugged splendor of the “big three” — Gullfoss, Geysir and Thingvellir National Park —
on this unforgettable tour. Begin by exploring the natural lava plains and cultural beauty of Thingvellir, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the nation’s top attractions. From there you will watch the glacier fed Hvítá River plunge 96 feet over two falls and seemingly disappear into a crevasse at the “golden waterfall” of Gullfoss. Enjoy lunch with spectacular views at Hotel Geysir in the Geysir area of Haukadalur. before continuing to see the marvelous Strokkur geyser — which shoots a jet of boiling water and steam into the air approximately every 10 minutes.

Learn more about the power source that keeps Iceland running as we stop by the Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant on the way back to the hotel. Dinner is on your own this evening. Consult the hospitality desk for restaurant recommendations.

Later tonight, rejoin the group for another quest to see the Northern Lights.

Day 5 Reykjavík to Akureyri

After breakfast, enjoy a scenic drive from Reykjavík on Iceland’s southwestern coast to Akureyri, capital of the north, at the base of the Eyiafjordur fjord. Stop for a delectable lunch at the Hotel Blönduós in the town Blonduos, situated on the glacial river Blanda, along the way.

Upon arrival in Akureyri, check in to the Hotel Kea, an Akureyri landmark ideally situated in a historic building.

This afternoon you will enjoy a visit to the Forest Lagoon, located just a few minutes from the hotel in the Vaðlaskógur forest. Savor a soak in one of the spa’s two geothermal pools.

Return to the hotel for dinner on your own this evening, which will be followed by another quest for the
Northern Lights.

Day 6 Akureyri/Dimmuborgir/Mývatn/Namaskarð/Goðafoss

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, followed by excursions to the Godafoss waterfall and Lake Mývatn.

Godafoss. Falling 40 feet, the waterfall fed by the Skjálfandafljót River earned its name from the time when Christianity was introduced to Iceland and ultimately prevailed as the country’s main religion. Under pressure from Norway to convert from its polytheistic traditions, the country was under threat of a potential Norwegian invasion. Legend has it that Thorgeir Thorkelsson, a lawspeaker in the Althing, Iceland's parliament, threw wooden idols of Norse mythology into the falls, which angered Thor, Loki and other Norse deities. The gods split the waterfall into two and the majestic falls have been known as “Waterfall of the Gods” ever since.

Continue to Lake Mývatn and savor a Nordic lunch at Fosshotel Mývatn — set amid the breathtaking scenery of the volcanic lake and its chain of craters. From there you will travel to Namaskard, a high temperature thermal field where the sulfur cauldrons, steam vents and land colored by elements in shades of red, yellow, green, and orange create an otherworldly landscape. Next, admire the dramatic lava rock formations at Dimmuborgir. The lava field is filled with pillars, towers, caves, and other formations that resemble a dark castle, which is the meaning of Dimmuborgir.

Later this evening, return to Akureyri before enjoying dinner on your own. As night falls, prepare for a final outing in search of the aurora borealis.

Day 7 Akureyri/Siglufjördur

Following breakfast, depart for Siglufjördur, a picturesque fishing town along the northern coast.

Siglufjördur. During the first half of the 20th century, Siglufjördur was the center of the herring fishing industry in not just Iceland, but the North Atlantic. It has since transformed into one of the largest towns in Iceland.

Stroll through delightful Siglufjördur and step into its past at the Herring Era Museum — featuring five restored buildings, including a restored salt house, factory and former freezing plants. Stop for lunch at Siglo Hotel before continuing to the small village of Hauganes. Your visit will include a tour of one of its historic fishing sites with a food tasting.

Return to the hotel this evening for dinner on your own.

Day 8 Akureyri/Reykjavík

Check out of the hotel after breakfast and enjoy a scenic excursion back to Reykjavík, traveling through Hraunfossar. Savor a hardy lunch at the family-run Hraunsnef farmhouse restaurant, which offers an authentic Icelandic farm-to-table experience.

Upon arrival in Reykjavík, check in to the Hótel Borg with the afternoon at leisure to relax or explore the city for a final evening at your own pace.

Farewell Dinner: Join your fellow travelers for a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 9 Akureyri/Reykjavik/Return to Home City

Transfer to the airport for your flight back to your home city.