Snowshoeing, Hiking, and Sky Gazing

Overview

The celestial phenomenon of the aurora borealis is one of the most sublime wonders of the natural world. We’ve designed an adventure brimming with winter escapades and wonderful chances to see the lights, and we’ve timed it to give us plenty of daylight to enjoy great outdoor adventures and dark night skies for the aurora. We’ll snowshoe across lava fields, cross a glacier with crampons (no experience necessary!), and hike to—and behind—some of Iceland’s most legendary waterfalls, including Seljalandsfoss and Skógarfoss. We’ll also hike right in the rift between the European and Atlantic plates, and down inside a giant lava tube with stalactites and ice formations. As night falls, we’ll search for the spectacular blue, green, and violet arcs shimmering across the sky above us. This is winter adventure, WT style!

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2
Snowshoeing / Skógar / Skógarfoss / Glacier Walk

Heading to the Blue Mountains outside Reykjavík, we snowshoe from crater to crater across a lunar landscape (snowshoeing is like hiking—no previous experience is necessary). At Skógar, we visit the folk museum and hike to Skógarfoss, a waterfall that bursts out of the mighty Myrdalsjökull Glacier and plunges 200 feet off a rock shelf. At night, we’ll be on “northern lights alert,” and our countryside hotel gives us great viewing prospects far from the city lights.

Days 3-5
Great Geysir / Snowshoeing / Thingvellir / Mt. Hengill

We watch the spouting plumes of Great Geysir, which gave its name to all the world’s geysers, then hike and snowshoe in Thingvellir National Park—and right between the dramatic rift between the North American and European continental plates. We also hike or snowshoe on Mt. Hengill, and by night, enjoy soaks in geothermal pools at our hotel (the “Northern Lights Lounge” has floor to ceiling windows and is our cozy spot for viewing).

Days 6-8
Mt. Strutur / Surtshellir Lava Tube / Reykjavík / Blue Lagoon

Snowshoeing brings us up Mt. Strutur and onward to the Hallmundarhraun lava field, with its giant lava tube. We hike right down into the earth as we explore the spectacular 1.5-mile Surtshellir lava tube, with its intricate ice formations. We also hike to the hidden Glymur waterfall, one of Iceland’s highest. Our hotel’s location has the clearest skies in Iceland, perfect for our prospects of seeing the lights. After a soak in the famous Blue Lagoon, depart on Day 8.

Highlights

Highlights

Hunt for the elusive northern lights in Iceland’s prime viewing locations
Snowshoe and hike in Iceland’s otherworldly landscapes—glaciers, waterfalls, volcanic craters, moss-covered peaks
Explore the geological wonders of Thingvellir National Park, a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site
Savor utterly fresh Icelandic cuisine, relax in the mineral-rich hot springs of the famous Blue Lagoon

Details

Length: 8 days
Cost From: $7895  
Arrive: Reykjavik, Iceland
Depart: Reykjavik, Iceland
Lodging: 7 nights hotels
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

Moderate to steep snowshoeing and hiking, 2-6 hours a day

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