Discover the Golden Circle, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Blue Lagoon, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, and black lava beaches on this 7-night northern lights holiday.
Icelandic Northern Lights Exploration
Climb a volcano, learn about Iceland’s history at a Settlement Center, meet Icelandic horses, see turf farmsteads and churches.
There is an optional ice cave tour at Vatnajökull glacier from October to April (weather permitting) and an optional northern lights by boat cruise from Reykjavík. Our Northern Lights Exploration series are designed to include the highlights of Iceland and aim to maximise the chances of seeing the elusive northern lights, as most nights are spent in the darkness away from light pollution.
- Track record of 85-98% chance of seeing the Northern Lights
- See amazing Icelandic landscapes mixed with soft adventure and cultural experiences during the day
- Climb a volcano crater and walk between two continental tectonic plates
- Visit the Settlement Center in Borgarnes
- Descend 35m underground into Vatnshellir cave situated under Snæfellsnesjökull glacier
- Relax in the Blue Lagoon and learn about living with volcanoes
- See Icelandic horses and taste freshly baked hot spring bread
- Five evenings Northern Lights Academy
- Program offered in two group sizes: maximum 16
- 7 nights accommodation with breakfast at comfort tourist-class hotels
- 6 days escorted bus tour with English-speaking guide/driver-guide
- Arrival & departure airport private transfer (no guide)
- Visit the Settlement Center in Borgarnes
- Guided tour into Vatnshellir cave
- Hot spring tasting with geothermal cooked bread & eggs
- Visit Icelandic horse stable & geothermal greenhouse
- Visit the Lava Exhibition Center
- Visit Skógar folk museum & turf houses
- Entrance with towel to Blue Lagoon
- Northern lights program
A note on flights
While flights are not included in the holiday price, our team will happily provide a quote and arrange them for you. Simply ask one of our Travel Experts for details of the available options.
Day by Day Itinerary
Individual transfer by Flybus shuttle bus from Keflavik airport to your accommodation in Reykjavik. You may explore Iceland’s capital city on your own if time allows.
At 09:00 meet your tour guide who shows the group the highlights of Iceland’s exciting capital, before you head west.
Stop in Borgarnes and learn about Iceland’s earliest days at the Settlement Center. Next, we head to Borgarfjörður, known as the Saga Valley because of its many important historical events. Get a chance to climb the Grábrók volcano crater and visit Deildartunguhver, Europe’s most powerful hot spring.
Hraunfossar is a series of waterfalls pouring from beneath a wide lava field. Barnafoss – the ‘children’s falls’ – is nearby with its own tragic tale. The afternoon includes a lecture about the Northern Lights. After dinner, step into the hotel garden in search of the northern lights followed by a hot cup of chocolate or tea.
The Snæfellsnes Peninsula, “the peninsula of the snowy mountain“, juts out from Iceland’s west coast, like a long arm with a clenched fist at its tip, and is in many ways a microcosm of the whole island. A rugged mountain chain runs its length. Visit the fishing village of Grundarfjörður, a place with an impressive coastline and mountains, lakes, and waterfalls behind the village. One of the most photographed and famous mountain in Iceland, Kirkjufell, can be seen jutting out into the bay.
Visit Arnarstapi and Hellnar before experiencing the area from below, inside Vatnshellir cave. We take you 35 meters underground and about 200 meters into the lava tube under the glacier Snæfellsjökull! On the way back to Borgarnes the guide gives you some practical tips on how to photograph the auroras as part of the Northern Lights Academy program. Naturally, once darkness falls, we are out in the hotel garden to chase the northern lights and to soak in the hotel’s outdoor hot tubs.
Travel along the Hvalfjörður fjord. The first stop is Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Travel the Golden Circle route, see steam rising from the Geysir geothermal fields. The chef of the Restaurant Geysir invites you to taste freshly baked hot spring bread served with Icelandic butter, boiled eggs and herring. On we travel to the double waterfall of Gullfoss.
In the afternoon, learn about the Icelandic horse, its unique qualities and history, and visit a geothermal greenhouse, before reaching the accommodation in south Iceland. Tonight, step into the darkness and search for the elusive northern lights in the peace and stillness of rural Iceland.
Today we travel along the south coast. At the Lava & Volcano Exhibition Center, learn about geology and active volcanoes. Further east we visit one of Iceland’s finest folk museums. This museum contains an outstanding collection of farm and domestic artefacts from Iceland’s past and several turf-built houses.
Nearby is Skógafoss waterfall which is 60 meters high and one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country. In the afternoon take a stroll on the black lava beach and along bird cliffs at Reynisfjara in south Iceland. We spend two nights near Kirkjubæjarklaustur in the Vatnajökull National Park region, located in darkness and ideal for a northern lights search.
Today’s program is all about glaciers, ice and icebergs. We travel to Jökulsárlón, a glacial lagoon filled with floating icebergs. We explore the amazing site, and might see seals swimming in arctic waters. You can walk on the black sandy beach, the so-called diamond beach, where large icebergs get stranded.
In the afternoon we visit the tiny turf church at Hof and spend time at Europe’s largest national park, which has Iceland’s highest mountains, an alpine environment, and Europe’s largest glacier. In the evening enjoy a film presentation about the northern lights as part of the Northern Lights Academy program. Be careful not to go to bed too soon in this remote and quiet location, or you may miss out on one more chance of seeing the northern lights shimmering and dancing across the night sky.
From Kirkjubæjarklaustur we head across the Eldhraun lava field to the village of Vík, where we make a photo stop. The black lava beach with high bird cliffs and pounding waves is awe-inspiring. Further west we reach the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall which plunges from the mountain.
In the afternoon we get to soak in the famous Blue Lagoon. We reach Reykjavík around dinner time for one last night.
Individual transfer by Flybus shuttle bus from your accommodation in Reykjavik to Keflavik International Airport.
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See what our clients say
Overall very good. Staff excellent and helpful. Accomodation basic but was what we expected. Tour guides very good (nature walks, snow mobiles, dog sleighs). Sky station disappointing as we never got to go up due to the weather and this seem to be a recurring feature.The alternative walk at night and meal was a let down as a result.Overall would recommend to others.
A well organised trip which was tailored to our specific requests. The arrangements all ran perfectly and any queries prior to the holiday were handled very quickly and professionally. The standard of accommodation and organised tours was very high. I would use this company again and recommend them.
Superb holiday to Iceland, well organised, advice regarding trips informative and far exceeded our expectations (Glaciers and ice Cave) run by South Coast. Hotel Ranga is a lovely hotel, perfect to see Northern Lights (which we did see on our 3rd night), very comfortable, food excellent, staff helpful and informative. SouthCoast Adventure tour company were excellent, guides knowledgeable, and clearly very experienced.
We had five fantastic days in beautiful Iceland, as we had never been before Aurora Nights helped with everything and made the holiday so easy and stress free. We stayed at Hotel Ranga which was amazing, we very much enjoyed the tours and the guides were brilliant, very knowledgable and friendly. We will certainly be returning to Iceland and wouldn’t hesitate to book through Aurora Nights again, special thanks to Abigail as her experience and reccommendations made the trip even better.
This vacation has without without doubt, has been the best experience we have ever had. The organisation from the minute we landed in Kiruna until we departed at the close of our trip was second to none. The transition between hotels was always seamless and punctual. Everywhere we stayed was beautifully clean and the meals were top quality. Every driver was polite, entertaining and very knowledgeable, furnishing us with invaluable information about Sweden and the activities in which we were to participate. The snowmobiling was wonderful giving access via our guide, to stunning panoramic views of the mountain whilst viewing reindeer in their natural habitat.
Our guide demonstrated how to use the snowmobile safely he was pleasant and informative. When visiting the reindeer on the Sami reservation; we found the brother and sister team who hosted lovely. Again they were so hospitable and helpful and feeding the reindeer up close was a wonderful experience.
They provided additional activities for us to try and we were treated to a traditional Sami lunch in their hut. They provided us with invaluable information appertaining to their culture and caring for their reindeer. The reindeer were in superb condition and happy in their environment. Similarly, when out with the dog sleds the experience was magical. Two hours of beautiful scenery, and frozen lakes, finishing with a one-on-one experience massaging the dogs. Magic! We were so impressed with the care that was placed upon ensuring the dogs were comfortable, well-nourished and so loved by their owners/handlers.
Now to the photographic experience. A large group of us were treated to a demonstration of how to operate some serious camera equipment with tripod. Each of us was loaned the camera and given assistance setting up the camera on a frozen lake in preparation for the appearance of the Northern Lights. We were taken to this lake on large wooden sleighs pulled by a snowmobile. We cannot speak too highly of the two young men who accompanied us on this experience. They could not do enough for us. They were there to offer assistance with our cameras throughout the two-plus hours we were on this beautiful lake.
They advised where to position the camera and when the Lights appeared, what a performance. We had a two-hour display of this most breathtaking phenomenon. We were so fortunate to be able to experience this once-in-a-lifetime occurrence for which we are so grateful. We will never forget this memorable holiday and cannot thank you and everyone who assisted in making a lifetime dream come true. Karen & Andrew Adamson
Fantastic service, with every detail taken care of and communicated to your agencies and hotels. Would definitely recommend and will be using again.
We had the most fabulous time and everything worked like clockwork. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and extremely competent. The food was excellent and the experiences, especially Husky Homes, were brilliant. We saw the aurora lights at the mountain top in Abisko where the photography tour will be an enduring memory of a wonderful time. I would very much recommend Weekend a la Carte as a proficient tour operator.
We did the aurora nights break and had a great time overall. Everything related to flights, hire car, and hotels ran smoothly. There were a few issues largely relating to the weather and driving conditions (we travelled in mid March), but what we did manage to do was amazing.
The blue lagoon was easy to access from the airport and was a brilliant experience. We booked the standard package and it came with a free drink and face mask. Facilities were clean and organised with free toiletries in the shower rooms, which helps if you’ve gone there straight from the airport.
The drive to Hotel Ranga afterwards was long but fine (check out the road on google streetview to know what to expect). The hotel and staff were great. We were limited to one option as vegetarians on the bar and a la carte menus, but the food was lovely and if you are a meat eater you will see options of unusual dishes like puffin and reindeer.
Our northern lights super jeep trip was cancelled on both nights due to a poor forecast, but we were lucky enough to get an aurora wake up call from Hotel Ranga the first night. We couldn’t use the hottubs as there are only a few and they were always taken in the limited time we spent at the hotel, so don’t go expecting to get lots of time in one and you won’t be disappointed. View them as an add on if you can time it right. We were travelling with an 11 year old, so we didn’t stay up really late. If you are a couple you probably have a better chance of getting one later on.
The glacier/volcano super jeep trip was outstanding. Our driver, Íbí was excellent. She went above and beyond and gave us such an awesome experience. We were also super lucky with the weather the first two days and had great views across Iceland.
The ice cave tour was also incredible and the guides running it were excellent. The group size was much bigger than expected (especially after the more exclusive volcano super jeep tour), but it was broken down into smaller groups that were managed well, with plenty of time factored in for photographs. There were several unexplained delays getting to the cave during the tour that meant we weren’t able to ‘mini tour’ the rest of the South Coast afterwards, so if you plan to do the ice cave don’t overplan for the afternoon as you may not have much time. Not a huge disappointment for us as we got to experience the cave, but I imagine someone who planned a full itinerary afterwards might be frustrated by the estamiated timings not always being right and subject to change with the weather (which was wicked that day).
Driving around Reykjavik was a horrible experience as we arrived around rush hour and weren’t prepared for all the traffic, having only experienced quiet roads along the south coast. It was difficult finding a parking space, so be prepared to drive around a little when you arrive. If you haven’t driven on the right before and are not a confident driver this could leave you feeling stressed. Again, check out the roads into Reykjavik on Google maps to get a sense of what awaits if you aren’t used to self-driving.
We didn’t get to tour the golden circle because of road conditions/ice/road closures, so we spent the day in Reykjavik instead. This turned out okay for us as we did some of the attractions (Lava Centre and Fly Over Iceland – both hughly recommended), but it ended up being an extra expense and we missed out on the golden attractions. Again, not a big issue if you are aware this could happen. The weather is so changeable that having a plan B is a good approach.
Weekend a la Carte sent us a text warning us about the bad weather conditions, which we’d already seen on the Safe Iceland app, but we were grateful for anyway. It was good to know they were looking out for us!
All in all, a remarkable trip, with some unique experiences. If you book this in the knowledge that nature will have her own way, and you may not see everything you want (especially in winter), you will have a great time. Ranga is definitely the best place to maximise your chances of seeing the lights.