Winter is a lovely time for a holiday in Iceland and the country is fast becoming a very popular Christmas destination. Even though the days are short and the daylight is dim, you’ll find that every house is beautifully decorated with colorful Christmas lights. You might also catch a glimpse of one the 13 traditional Icelandic Yule Lads. Pranksters to the core but clumsy and funny, those characters have been around in the Icelandic folklore for ages. In the evening, the night sky comes alive with a dazzling light show, courtesy of the Northern Lights.
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Please note that this itinerary can be adjusted and customized to meet your travel needs and preferences. The package can also be offered as a privately guided tour if a self-drive option is not what you had in mind for your Iceland experience.
Christmas & New Year's
Guided Group Tours
4 days / 3 nights
Welcome and congratulations on spending Christmas in Iceland! Once you arrive in Keflavik International Airport, our chauffeur will welcome you and will transfer you to your hotel in the heart of Reykjavik. Explore the pearls of the city like Harpa Concert Hall, Hallgrímskirkja Church and the Laugavegur shopping street. We recommend to visit the Northern Lights Centre in the old harbor area. There you can learn more about the science behind this amazing phenomenon.
In the evening of December 23rd, Icelanders celebrate Þorláksmessa. It is an Icelandic tradition to spend the evening in the city where all shops and cafes are open. Join the locals and listen to street choirs singing traditional Christmas carols & have hot chocolate at a cozy cafe.
Later tonight, you will join a search for the amazing Northern Lights. You will be picked up at your hotel and driven out of the electric lighting of the city into the blackness of the Icelandic winter night in the country site for a glimpse of these natural wonders.
Today you will go on an exciting super jeep tour and you will explore the South of Iceland. You will visit Gigjökull glacier in the highlands of Iceland. This glacier is located next to the famous volcano Eyjafalljajökull. It is famous for its difficult name and its eruption in 2010 including the closure of airspace over most parts of Europe. On the way you will have to cross a few rivers and your driver will let out the throttle for some serious jeep action.
Continue to one of the country´s most famous waterfalls Seljalandsfoss which is often partly frozen during winter time. On your way back to Reykjavik you will visit the volcanic black beaches & you will stop at Skógafoss waterfall. In the evening we recommend a Christmas dinner in one of Reykjavik’s restaurants.
On this wonderful day you will be picked up from your hotel in the morning for a super jeep tour to the Golden Circle. First, you will visit Þingvellir National Park and discover its geological and historical value. Later you will also see the fountain geyser Strokkur, which erupts every 4 to 8 minutes to the gaze and amaze of its spectators.
After you enjoyed one of Iceland´s most famous tourist attractions, you will only need 10 minutes to reach Gullfoss, the Golden Waterfall. Here you can read about how a farmer´s daughter saved the falls from the hands of entrepreneurs who wanted to build a dam in the area.
Finally, you will drive up to Iceland‘s second largest glacier, Langjökull. The glacier is located within the Icelandic highlands, which makes this trip a truly unique experience. While being there, enjoy the panoramic view and glacier´s beauty. In the late afternoon, you return to Reykjavik and you have time for a nice Christmas dinner.
Highlights of the day: The Golden Circle, Þingvellir National Park, Geysir spouting hot springs, Gullfoss waterfall, Langjökull Glacier, and more
It is sad to admit it but your Icelandic journey and Christmas Adventure is about to come to an end. Transfer by bus from your hotel to Keflavik International Airport in time for your flight back home. If your flight is in the afternoon, you still have time to stop at Blue Lagoon and enjoy a soak in the milky blue earth sea, a perfect end to your stay and a nice way to relax and unwind before your flight home. We wish you a nice journey back home and hope you will leave our island with fond memories of Iceland and its inhabitants.
Comfort accommodations offer access to private facilities (shower and toilet). This type of lodges belongs to the 3-star hotel category. Most of these properties have an in-house restaurant. This section offers an upgrade in comfort and service compared to the budget category. Breakfast is included.
Quality accommodations offer private rooms with en-suite shower/bath and toilet. These rooms are the best available accommodations in 4-star hotels or the highest quality lodges in each region. Luxury accommodations - the highest class of lodges, suites, and penthouses - are available upon request. Breakfast is included.
Þórláksmessa is an Icelandic holiday celebrated on December 23rd, in honor of Þorlákur Þórhallsson, bishop of Skálholt, who was canonized and recognized as the patron saint of Iceland in 1984.
Hallgrímskirkja Church is most certainly Reykjavík´s best-known landmark. The white concrete Church whose image is printed in many postcards, dominates the city. As a matter of fact its tower can be seen from almost every corner of Reykjavík. Its distinctive and futuristic exterior made the Church one of the most visited spots in Reykjavík.
Harpa is the famous concert hall and conference center located in Reykjavik. The building features a distinctive and original colored glass facade inspired by the basalt landscape of Iceland. Its unique architecture makes it one of Reykjavik most loved landmarks.
Laugavegur is the main shopping street in Reykjavik and it is located in the heart of the city. Its name means literally „wash road“ as this was once the route to the hot springs where many Icelanders took their clothes to launder. Today it is a vibrant and innovative street filled with designer ateliers, tourist gift shops, bars, and restaurants.
The Aurora is a natural phenomenon caused by electrically charged particles, mainly electrons and protons ejected from the sun colliding with atoms of oxygen and nitrogen causing them to emit light that is visible to us. These hypnotic lights are known as Aurora Borealis, Polar Lights or Northern Lights in the arctic north and Aurora Australis (southern lights) around the south pole. The color of the Aurora has to do with the type of gas that these particles collide with, oxygen produces green light at low altitudes and red at high altitudes. Nitrogen produces purple Aurora. The green color is the most common and red can only be seen at the strongest of geomagnetic storms. The full understanding of the physical processes that cause the aurora are still a mystery but we know the fundamental causes of the Aurora is the interaction of solar wind with the Earth‘s magnetosphere.
There are three basic requirements for seeing the northern lights. Solar activity, darkness and clear skies. This means that you cannot see the northern lights during summer, they are still happening, there's even a phenomenon called daylight aurora, but our eyes cannot detect them as sunlight drowns out the Aurora. So the darker the better. Going out of the city is not a requirement, the Aurora can often be spotted within city limits in Iceland, however to best enjoy them going away from city lights enhances the experience. Also people should not use mobile phones if they are looking for the northern lights, as the light from the screen will make it harder for your eyes to adjust to the darkness. It‘s always a good idea to take warm clothes on your Aurora excursions as Iceland can get very cold in the winter, that means wool undergarments, warm mid layer and a windproof shell.
Seljalandsfoss is one of the most famous and visited waterfalls in Iceland. It located along the South Coast of the Country right by the road n. 1. The waterfall is part of the Seljalands river that originated from the famous volcano glacier Eyjafjallajökull. The waterfall is approximately 60-meter high and it is famous for its path that leads visitor behind its powerful water flow.
Skógafoss is a waterfall located on the Skógá river on the South Coast of Iceland. This picture-perfect waterfall descends 60 meters from the cliffs. Before pouring down the cliffs becoming the famous waterfall, the river flows through the Skógárgil gorge.
Þingvellir National Park is the most important historic and geological sites in Iceland. The area is part of a fissure zone running through Iceland, being situated on the tectonic plate boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Major events in the history of Iceland have taken place at Þingvellir and today the entire area is a protected national treasure.
Gullfoss, also called the Golden Waterfall, is one of the most iconic gems of the likewise named Golden Circle. The waterfall is located in the upper part of the River Hvíta. Gullfoss is actually two separate waterfalls, the upper one has a drop of 11 meters and the lower one 21 meters.
Geysir is the famous hot spring area located in the Haukadalur valley. The main attraction is known as Strokkur, which erupts energetically at regular intervals of 10 minutes or so its boiling waterjets can reach as high as 30 meters.
The Blue Lagoon is a famous geothermal spa located in Reykjanes peninsula nearby the International Airport of Iceland. It was formed during an operation at the nearby geothermal power plant. Reservations in advance are necessary for those who are planning a visit.