Stay in the heart of Iceland's Golden Circle on this short break, and have the opportunity to see the best of what this incredible country has to offer from the comfort of our new custom-built yurts. Nattura Yurtel - Spend three nights sleeping in comfortable custom-made Mongolian yurts located on a working horse farm. The yurts have views of Strokker Geyser, an active regularly erupting geysir that's a constant reminder of why Iceland is called 'the land of fire and ice' Northern Lights - Stay up and watch the incredible phenomena of the Aurora Borealis lighting up the night sky Dramatic scenery - Discover the thundering Gullfoss waterfalls and the black basalt cliffs at Vik I Myrdal
Our trip begins at Keflavik Airport (KEF) at 4:30pm. If you would like to join the complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Keflavik Airport, with your flight arriving by 4pm. The transfer to the city takes approximately 45 minutes and follows a pretty road along the coast. Once in the city you can check in to the hotel and the rest of the day is free to relax. Alternatively there are no activities planned today, so if you want to arrive in the city later you can make your own way to our hotel using the FlyBus shuttle service. The buses depart from the airport every 40 minutes and stop right outside of the hotel. Tickets can be bought online in advance or at the desk in the arrivals hall. Travelling to Iceland in the winter months offers the best chance to see the incredible natural phenomena of the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights. Short daylight hours mean additional hours of darkness to watch the skies in the hope of spotting the ethereal green lights dancing across the sky. The 'lights' are actually electrically charged particles, high up in the atmosphere which make the thinner air fluoresce. White and green are the most common colours to spot, but purples and reds are seen when the lights are forming at higher altitudes. On this trip we'll keep a close watch on the night skies in the hope of seeing the aurora. When staying in the yurts we are far away from any light pollution which will maximise the chance of a good sighting. If you wish to capture the lights on camera you will need a tripod, or something to balance your camera on as a long exposure is needed. It's worth the effort though as the images captured by a camera are often far brighter than our eyes can see.
This morning we will meet our Leader and spend the morning exploring Reykjavik. The city is a wonderful mix of traditional houses clad in corrugated iron and modern architecture. There are plenty of green spaces here but the highlight is walking along the waterfront. Fishing has long been Iceland's main industry and watching the ships coming in and out of the harbour shows us the lifeblood of this small island nation. A must-see for any visit to Reykjavik is Hallgrimskirkja, the Lutheran church that can be seen throughout the city. The dramatic design resembles the basalt columns we'll see later on at Vik I Myrdal beach. We'll take in the views from the top of the church before stopping for lunch. After lunch we'll leave the city and head inland. The drive to Nattura Yurtel takes just over two hours. Nattura Yurtel was built in 2019 and is set on a working farm, close to Gullfoss Falls. The accommodation comprises of 10 custom-made yurts, which are traditionally Mongolian in structure but have been designed and furnished with an Icelandic twist. These round tents are comfortably furnished with twin beds, toilets and sinks with the added comfort of under-floor heating. Showers are located in a separate block and there are two large communal yurts to relax in. After a busy day you may choose to spend time chatting over a drink in one of the communal yurts - we'd recommend that you purchase duty-free drinks on arrival in Iceland; there's a large duty-free shop just before baggage claim in the airport. Alternatively you may decide to stretch your legs and go for a walk around the farm. There are a number of small restaurants within a short drive so we'll head out to one of them this evening for dinner.
Today we have a packed day exploring the best of southern Iceland. This morning we drive through the Eyjafjallajokull region, where in 2010 a volcanic eruption here caused the now infamous ash cloud, disrupting worldwide air travel for several days. The volcano is now quiet again and your local Leader will be able to talk about the impact the eruption had on the local community. We'll spend time at Vik I Myrdal, a rocky beach with its incredible basalt cliffs which are said to have inspired the church we visited yesterday. The beach is often incredibly windy and there are great photo opportunities of the waves crashing against the cliffs. After some lunch we'll see one of Iceland's tallest waterfalls, Skogafoss. Standing at 62 metres tall it's an impressive sight, and if we are lucky with the light we should spot rainbows in the spray. We'll also stop at the Skogar Folk Museum. This quaint museum is home to 12,000 artefacts as well as life-size examples of traditional Icelandic houses with turf roofs, a church and school. Seljalandsfoss waterfall is almost as tall as Skogafoss but, weather permitting, we'll have the chance to walk behind the curtain of water! The pathway shows off the falls from the front, circling around the back and emerging on the other side. Because of the constant spray the path is always slippy and can be closed in winter when the path freezes over. We'll make our way back to our yurts for the evening to relax and make the most of the beautiful, rural setting.
Today we explore the famous Golden Circle, which includes three of Iceland's most iconic sights. Nattura Yurtel is the ideal base from which to visit the magnificent Gullfoss waterfalls. It's a popular day trip from Reykjavik so we'll have an early breakfast and get there before the crowds arrive. Gullfoss is known locally as the 'Golden Waterfall', due to the way it cascades into a deep gorge with tremendous force. They may be biased but locals regard it as one of the most beautiful falls in the world! Close by is Haukadalur, home of the Great Geysir. With the claim-to-fame of being the first spouting spring known to Europeans, Geysir has given all such springs their name. However, it is the Strokkur, meaning 'The Butter Churn', which is the main attraction, due to its impressive 30 metre eruptions every few minutes. Continuing the focus on Iceland's incredible landscape we visit Thingvellir National Park, a rare site of both historical and geological importance. Meaning 'Parliament Plains', this was the location of Iceland's first National Assembly for 800 years from 930AD and as such, is hugely significant in the country's cultural heritage. The impressive landscape sits on a unique spot where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge can be seen on dry land before disappearing to the ocean floor. This provides the quirky opportunity to place one foot on the North American tectonic plate and one foot on the Eurasian plate. We'll return to our accommodation in the afternoon and there'll be a chance to try the most traditional transport method, the Icelandic horse. We'll ride across open land at a relaxed pace, so it's ideal for beginners with the focus being on taking in the vast landscape. If horse riding doesn't appeal then do as the locals do and visit the Secret Lagoon, a natural geo-thermal pool perfect for relaxing in the warm water. Although each day of the trip is busy, there will be time to spend wandering around the farm, which is home to over 100 horses. The changing weather in Iceland gives a great excuse to relax and watch the changing light on the landscape from the comfort of your yurt.
We'll have an early start this morning. After a light breakfast we'll say farewell to our hosts and travel back to Keflavik Airport (KEF) where the trip ends at 9:30am. The earliest time your flight can depart is 11:15am. If you would like to add more time to explore Reykjavik we encourage you to book additional nights after the tour. If you decide to do this we will drop you in the city centre at 9am today to save you an unnecessary journey back out to the airport. The FlyBus shuttle offers a convenient way for you to travel back to the airport at the end of your trip, and you can buy tickets directly from the driver.
4 Break Fast(s)
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