Northern Lights Spectacular

Exploratory winter adventure holiday in Iceland`s Frozen North




From $2,260 Land only

Book this holiday

Holiday Overview


  • Snowshoe hiking in a winter landscape sculpted by fire and ice
  • Winter holiday in search of the Northern Lights - aurora borealis
  • Take a dip in the amazing hot pools of the `Nature Baths`
  • Experience the dramatic coastal scenery of the Troll Peninsula

Just a short flight from the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik, the lake of Myvatn provides one of the best places on Earth from which to view the Northern Lights. Here, we will start our holiday with an afternoon's excursion to the fantastic Troll Peninsula, a rival for Norway's Fjordland, with its pretty villages and snow-cloaked mountainsides tumbling down into the North Atlantic. Then, from Akureyri, we will make the short drive to Myvatn and our comfortable accommodation beside the lake. A 2-day programme of exploration, probably using snowshoes (provided), will allow us to explore a winter wonderland of volcanic landforms made even more special by the snow and ice of the winter season. We will hike via boiling mud pools, lava fields and volcanic craters and take a dip in the sublime Nature Baths, northern Iceland's version of Reykjavik's Blue Lagoon - but an altogether more natural and less crowded experience with the very real chance of seeing the Aurora Borealis, if the skies are clear. Throughout our time in Iceland we will be keeping a close eye on the Northern Lights activity forecast and our guide will be primed to wake us at any hour if there is a chance of witnessing what is one of nature's most alluring spectacles. A chance to fish for Arctic char through the Myvatn's lake ice is another possibility and we will also visit the ice-shrouded waterfall of Godafoss and take a tour around the old part of Akureyri, before returning to Reykjavik. This is a great winter highlights of Iceland adventure with a real chance of seeing the Northern Lights.

Is this holiday for you?

This short winter holiday includes 2 days during each of which there will be the opportunity to complete a longish hike, possibly using snowshoes (and trekking poles) which are provided. On the first of these days, from Dimmuborgir to Grjotaga, we will walk for up to 12 kilometres and on the second, when crossing the Krafla caldera, we will cover around 10 kilometres. Each of these walks will take between 4 and 5 hours. Apart from these 2 walks, we will have a full programme of sightseeing, with additional walks and activities. The climate in northern Iceland in winter can be challenging and you should make sure you read our equipment list and take appropriate clothing. If conditions dictate, we will use snowshoes and no previous experience is required for this.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group's guesthouse accommodation in Reykjavik. Evening briefing from the guide.
  • Fly north to Akureyri and drive out to explore the stunning Troll Peninsula. Overnight in Akureyri.
  • Drive inland to Lake Myvatn. Snowshoe walk to Hverfell Crater and the village of Reykjahlid. Hot springs visit. Overnight at Myvatn.
  • Snowshoe walk to Leirhnjukur Crater, part of the larger caldera of Krafla. Optional hot springs visit. Overnight at Myvatn.
  • Visit the waterfall of Godafoss en route to Akureyri and its harbour. Afternoon flight back to Reykjavik.
  • Departure day.
Tue 19 Jan - Sun 24 Jan Code INL /01/16/
Adult$2,260 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Northern Lights Spectacular - INL
  • The departure reference for this tour is INL /01/16/
  • This tour begins on Tue 19 Jan and departs on Sun 24 Jan
  • This departure is available and departs within weeks. Secure your place today with full payment.
  • Single Supplement $325 - Includes all hotel nights
Tue 16 Feb - Sun 21 Feb Code INL /02/16/
Adult$2,260 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Northern Lights Spectacular - INL
  • The departure reference for this tour is INL /02/16/
  • This tour begins on Tue 16 Feb and departs on Sun 21 Feb
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $325 - Includes all hotel nights
We sell this holiday on a Land Only basis and recommend that you book your flights to Reykjavik (Keflavik) Airport Please refer to the 'Joining Arrangements and Transfers' section of the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

If flying from the UK, there are a number of low cost airlines offering flights to Reykjavik. These include Easyjet, who have flights from Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, Manchester & Edinburgh, WOW Air (and Iceland Express), who have flights from Gatwick and Flybe who have flights from Birmingham

Click on the 'Flight Information' link below for further information on booking low cost airlines. Alternatively, if you would prefer to book a 'Flight Inclusive' package using scheduled airlines from the UK please contact our flights department for a quote. Whilst flight prices are likely to be more expensive you will benefit from full financial protection.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

We have undertaken to guarantee that all of our Land Only prices will not change once you have booked your holiday. Unlike some of our competitors we have decided never to surcharge, whether you are booking for this year or the next.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • airport
  • point
  • trip direction
  • transfer
  • trek
  • internalflight

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group's guesthouse accommodation in Reykjavik. Evening briefing from the guide.

    Rendezvous at the group’s guesthouse in Reykjavik. The Flybus provides the best airport transfer service and costs around £15 each way. The Flybus will take you to the bus station in Reykjavik and you will need to ask the bus driver which bus takes you on to your hotel (the cost of this 'second' bus is included in the Flybus ticket). KE Land Only package services begin with the overnight at the guesthouse. Reykjavik is a modern city that is home to 190,000 of Iceland’s tiny total population of 320,000. Its centre is small and easy to walk around from our accommodation. There will be an initial meeting with the local guide at the guesthouse at 1830 hrs. He or she will give us a briefing on what to expect over the next week, and will recommend a nearby restaurant for our evening meal.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

  • Fly north to Akureyri and drive out to explore the stunning Troll Peninsula. Overnight in Akureyri.

    After breakfast at the guesthouse, a transfer is provided to the Domestic Airport in downtown Reykjavik, just a short distance from our accommodation. The flight northwards to Akureyri takes just 45 minutes. Arriving in the ‘frozen north’ in the late morning, we begin our exploration immediately, with a drive out onto the nearby Troll Peninsula. Close to the Arctic Circle, this mountainous peninsula is a place of myth and legend (Icelanders are big on folklore) and the locals will tell you that Iceland’s last giant Trolls were hunted to extinction right here. Our tour will take us alongside the dramatic 50 kilometre Eyjafjord, with the coast road cut into steep snow slopes that rise from the fjord. With its impressive peaks, deep-carved valleys and proximity to the ocean, the Troll Peninsula closely resembles Norway’s Fjordland or the Lofoten Islands. This area is a paradise for ski touring in the spring. As our introduction to the north of Iceland, we will stop at the best viewpoints and visit a number of charming fishing communities. The first of these, Dalvik, home to fewer than 1500 people, is also the gateway to one of Iceland’s best-known ski areas. At the northern tip of the peninsula, we reach Siglufjordur, another small town crammed onto its narrow coastal strip and seemingly clinging to the steep mountain wall at its back. Here, we are just 40 kilometres from the Arctic Circle, at the same latitude as Baffin Island and central Alaska. This pretty town, with its multi-coloured houses, was an important herring fishing port and if the museum is open we can learn a little more about it. After spending some time in Siglufjordur, we will drive back to Akureyri and check in at our hotel in time for dinner. Of course, as the sky begins to darken, we will be keeping a watch for the tell-tale flicker of the Northern Lights. Our guide will constantly monitor the aurora activity report and if the prospects are good, we can go out after dinner to hunt for the Northern Lights. Even after we have retired for the night, we should be primed for a wake-up call if the Northern Lights put in an appearance.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Drive inland to Lake Myvatn. Snowshoe walk to Hverfell Crater and the village of Reykjahlid. Hot springs visit. Overnight at Myvatn.

    In the early morning, we have a short drive to our hotel beside Lake Myvatn and then set out on a full day of activities and exploration including a walk that will probably require the use of snowshoes (provided). The name Myvatn means lake of midges and, thankfully, in winter we don’t have to contend with the insect population. Extending over 37 square kilometres and with 50 small islands, it is usual for sections of the lake to freeze during the winter. Our exploration will take us across the Dimmuborgir lava field to the Hverfell explosive crater, which is around 3000 years old, beautifully shaped and around 1 kilometre in diameter. Hiking up to the crater rim involves an ascent of around 140 metres to an elevation of 463 metres. Our hike along the crater rim gives us excellent views over Myvatn and the surrounding area. From Hverfell, we cross another lava field to reach the Grjotagja fissure, a rift in the Earth’s surface that conceals a flow of hot water running through it from north to south. Previously, Grjotagja was a great place to take a dip – there are two caves on the fissure which were perfect to bathe in. However, since the most recent eruption, the water is just a little bit too hot to go for a swim, but we can dip our toes in. The water is slowly cooling down and might in few years reach the perfect bathing temperature again. From Grjotagja, is a short walk to the village of Reykjahlid, from where we have a short transfer by the bus to the Nature Baths. If the weather is really nice, we might choose to extend our walk by a couple of kilometres, taking us directly to the Nature Baths. As the light begins to fade, these natural hot pools are a great place from which to scan the skies in search of the Northern Lights. We have included the cost of admission for this first visit to this magical spot. Heated by natural geothermal energy, the Nature Baths experience includes clouds of steam rising up from a fissure deep in the earth's surface. There is a large pool of water at a very pleasant temperature which is also reckoned to have therapeutic qualities – it’s certainly a great place to end a winter hike. After our dip (and depending on the potential for Northern Lights activity) we will return to our hotel on the shores of Myvatn in time for dinner. One possibility, depending on the weather, on one of the nights that we spend here, is to go out onto a frozen stretch of the lake and to try our hand at fishing (through a hole drilled in the ice) for Arctic char. Overnight at our Myvatn hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 4-5 hrs walk

  • Snowshoe walk to Leirhnjukur Crater, part of the larger caldera of Krafla. Optional hot springs visit. Overnight at Myvatn.

    Today we will walk to the Leirhnjukur Crater, which is a part of the larger caldera of Krafla. If there is lots of snow, we will use snowshoes. This is an extremely active volcanic area and there have been numerous eruptions in recent times. The most recent period of eruptive volcanic activity lasted from 1975 to 1984 and we can walk on lava fields extruded at that time. On our way to Krafla and only few minutes drive from Myvatn is the hot spring area at Namaskard. We stop there and go for a short walk amongst striking hot springs, fumaroles and pools of powerfully boiling mud. The area gets its name from the sulphurous mud springs which give the strong yellow and green colouration. In the Middle Ages a sulphur mining operation was carried out for the Danish king in this area. Then it’s on to Krafla for our snowshoe walk in the steaming lava around Leirhnjukur Crater. The caldera of Krafla caldera is about 10 kilometres in diameter sits on a 90 kilometre fissure zone that marks the boundary between the Eurasian and the North America tectonic plates. Here, we walk across another new lava field which is mostly covered with snow. We explore some of the hot spring areas formed during the last eruption and we walk along the fissure to Leirhnjukur Crater. The lava is still hot in some places and steam rises from it. The mix of heat and steam and colour, contracting with the snowy landscape is magical. After our walk we return to spend a second night at our hotel beside Lake Myvatn. There is the option to return to the Nature Baths (entrance fee not included) and if the aurora activity report is promising we can go out for a night time tour in search of the best viewing spot.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 4 hrs walk

  • Visit the waterfall of Godafoss en route to Akureyri and its harbour. Afternoon flight back to Reykjavik.

    This morning, on our drive back to Akureyri, we can stop off to see the waterfall of Godafoss, one of the most spectacular in Iceland. In winter, the curving line of falls can be particularly striking, with the water falling in several sections divided by formations of ice and snow. We will also have time for a tour of the old part of Akureyri, including the picturesque harbour, before taking lunch in the town and then going to the airport to catch the 45 minute afternoon flight back to Reykjavik. Arriving in Reykjavik, we transfer to our guesthouse accommodation. We will take dinner at a nearby restaurant (not included). Once again, the guide will help with our choice of restaurant; there are lots of options in downtown Reykjavik.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Meals b

  • Departure day.

    KE Land Only package services end with breakfast at our accommodation. If your flight schedule means that you have some free time, one option is to take a stroll through downtown Reykjavik, which has a colourful collection of buildings, quaint houses, funky cafes and a dramatic cathedral. Clients need to arrange their own transfer back to Keflavik Airport. Once again, we recommend the Flybus and for the return journey to the airport, your guesthouse reception will help you book your ticket and advise you where you will board the bus.

Holiday Information

  • A professional English speaking Icelandic guide
  • Internal flights Reykjavik to Akureyri and return
  • All transfers and transport mentioned in the itinerary
  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • Provision of Snowshoes on Days 3 and 4
  • Travel insurance
  • Transfers between Keflavik International Airport and Reykjavik are not included
  • Some meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc

Dinners are eaten either at a restaurant of your choice in Reykjavik (2 nights) or at our hotels in Akureyri (1 night) and at Myvatn (2 nights). Where KE is providing the food (at Akureyri and at Myvatn, a 2-course meal, main course and dessert is served, followed by tea or coffee. Local specialities predominate, including excellent sea-fish or local Arctic char, as well as Icelandic lamb. Breakfasts are ‘continental’ with juice and tea and coffee, as well as cereals, bread, jam, sliced cheese and ham. At breakfast, snack items and sandwich materials will be made available so that group members can make up their own packed lunches. On Days 3 and 4, you will carry your packed lunch. During the day, the guide will carry hot water, teabags, coffee, and some snack items such as biscuits.

Clients will pay for their meals (other than breakfasts) whilst in Reykjavik. Outside of Reykjavik all meals are included. In practice, this means you will pay directly for your dinner in Reykjavik on Day 1 (unless you arrive late) and on Day 7. You can expect to pay £30 for each dinner in Reykjavik.
Transfers between Keflavik Airport and Reykjavik are not provided. The Flybus provides the best airport transfer service. The Flybus ticket office is situated just inside the terminal and is clearly signposted. When you buy your ticket let them know which hotel you need to be dropped of at. The Flybus leaves the airport following each incoming flight, 30 - 40 minutes after each arrival. The Flybus will take you to the bus station in Reykjavik and you will need to ask the bus driver which bus takes you on to your hotel (the cost of this 'second' bus is included in the Flybus ticket). For the return journey to the airport, your guesthouse reception will assist with booking your ticket and advising you where you will board the bus. For more information please visit ( the cost is around £15.00 each way.
During this trip the group will spend 2 nights at a guesthouse in central Reykjavik. There will also be a night at a hotel in Akureyri and 2 nights at a hotel beside Lake Myvatn. All accommodation is based on twin sharing in en-suite rooms. It may be possible to book single rooms at additional cost. Additional hotel nights in Reykjavik can also be booked. For hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website. Hotels are subject to availability and prices may vary.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

An experienced English-speaking Icelandic guide will lead the trip and there will also be a support vehicle and driver from Day 2 to Day 5.

Clients will pay for their own meals (other than breakfasts) whilst in Reykjavik. You should allow £50 to £70 to comfortably cover the 2 dinners which you will need to buy whilst in Reykjavik on Day 1 and Day 5. Approximately £150 (or the equivalent in US dollars, euros etc.) should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses, including these meals and the cost (approx. £20) of a potential second visit to the Nature Baths on Day 4 of the itinerary. If you are proposing to buy expensive souvenirs or to spend time in the bar (bar facilities are available at the hotels in Akureyri and at Myvatn) you should budget accordingly. We recommend that you carry your travel money in the form of currency rather than travellers cheques, since you will exchange the majority of this on the day of your arrival in Reykjavik. Credit cards can be used in most places and there are ATM's in Reykjavik and in Akureyri. The Icelandic unit of currency is the Krona (plural. Kronur).

Your baggage will be carried in the support vehicle. There is no weight restriction other than that imposed by your international carrier. However, we do ask you to restrict your luggage to one main bag and a daysack small enough to travel with as hand baggage. We recognise that for some of our holidays and for some of our travellers, the KE Trek Bag (see below) may not provide the best solution when packing for your trip. A bag with fitted wheels or a holdall with more than one compartment and more than one access zip can, in some circumstances, be more appropriate. Although it can be useful for our tour leaders when all members of the group have similar, identifying baggage, we have no problem if you choose to use an alternative bag.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Approach shoes / trainers (to travel in and for wearing in the hotels)

  • Warm and waterproof walking boots

  • Gaiters

  • Thin inner and thick outer walking socks

  • Base layer - leggings

  • Casual trousers for travel and evening wear

  • Casual shirt and/or T-shirts for evening wear

  • Trekking trousers

  • Waterproof overtrousers

  • Baselayer shirts

  • Thin fleece jacket or jumper

  • Heavier weight fleece jacket or warm jumper

  • Warm jacket (down)

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Warm hat

  • Lightweight balaclava or facemask

  • Eyewear - ski goggles and glacier sunglasses

  • Lightweight thermal gloves

  • aterproof mittens or gloves

  • Daypack 30 litres capacity

  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Water bottle

  • 1 litre Thermos Flask

  • Head-torch and spare batteries

  • Basic First Aid Kit

  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)

  • Small towel

  • Antibacterial hand wash

These items are optional:

  • Ski or mountaineering salopettes

  • Swimwear (for the hot springs)

  • Extra pair of warm mittens

  • Camera

  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)

Snowshoe Equipment:

  • Snowshoes (provided locally)

  • Trekking poles with snow baskets (provided locally)


For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

Visa Iceland

UK and USA passport holders do not require a visa for short stays.

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations. UK residents should obtain a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is still vital when travelling overseas.

The unit of currency in Iceland is the Icelandic Krona.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on an active holiday getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. Walking in hilly country is the best preparation for this trip, whilst a regular exercise regime (jogging, swimming etc.) is good for developing cardio-vascular fitness.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

The winter season in northern Iceland extends from December through to March. In early December, the day is quite short, with the sun rising at 1110 and setting at 1510. By mid March, however, there is lots of daylight (the sun rises at 0730 and sets at 1900 approx.). The ambient daytime temperatures that we can expect to encounter are low – generally around freezing or a little below - although it feels warmer as the air is so dry. Night time temperatures in February and March can be as low as minus 15 degrees centigrade. Long, sunny days are quite usual in this season, although it is also possible that we might encounter short-lived snow storms and temperatures well below freezing.
  • The Rough Guide to Iceland
  • Lonely Planet. Iceland, Greenland and the Faroes
  • The Insight Guide to Iceland
  • Iceland. Photo Book. Colin Baxter

Mal Og Menning. Iceland North East (Nordausturland). 1:300,000 Scale

The Icelandic maps published by Mal og Menning are good. There are several series, the best of which is at 1:100,000 scale.

Recent Reviews & Blog Posts