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Northern Lights Trek - 4 day trek

Golden Circle, Thorsmork and Fimmvorduhals in the perfect winter setting

See the sights and discover the mystery of the northern lights in Iceland, one of the most brilliant treasures in nature.

Glacier-Hiking Geysir Hiking Northern-Lights waterfall
Iceland-map-destinations

Four days of incredible adventure exploring the Golden Circle, Solheimajökull, Þórsmörk (Thorsmork), Fimmvörduháls, and the world famous Laugavegur trail on a very special northern lights hunt. The amazing aurora borealis can be seen in few places in the world. This tour takes you to really iconic destinations and offers a great chance of seeing the lights!

  • Availability

    August - April

  • Duration

    4 days

  • Level

    Moderate

  • Pickup

    Yes

  • Meet on location

    No

  • Min. Age

    15 years

  • Departs from

    Reykjavik

  • Price from

    119.990 ISK

Tour highlights
Golden Circle
Sólheimajokull Glacier
Þórsmörk (Thorsmork)
Fimmvörðuháls (Fimmvorduhals)
Laugavegur Trail
Northern Lights Hunting
Included
Transport in a 4 x 4 Jeep
Guiding service
Accommodation
Meals
Luggage transportation

This tour will take you on a totally unforgettable trekking trip to the most spectacular and stunningly breathtaking places in the southern highlands of Iceland. In a very sturdy 4×4 jeep and accompanied by a knowledgeable and friendly local guide you will embark on an absolutely unique journey deep into the wild places of Iceland.

If you want to return home with a whole backpack of incredible memories then this is the tour for you. The excitement of hunting for one of the most impressive jewels of nature, the magical and awe-inspiring aurora borealis, more often referred to simply as the northern lights. By day we hike Solheimajökull glacier, trek through Þórsmörk (Thorsmork) the valley of Þór, the Norse Thunder God, hiking part of the world famous Laugavegur trail and exploring the area around Fimmvörduháls, where the first eruption of 2010 created a new lava field, Goðahraun, close to Eyjafjallajökull. If the snow cover is good enough we will even enjoy the excitement of some snow-shoe trekking around Þórsmörk!

At night, in these places far from the city lights, there is the excitement of hunting for the northern lights. Will swirls of color dance across the sky? Your guide will follow the forecast and make sure you are placed in the best position to see them. Of course, no one knows for sure whether the aurora borealis will show up, that uncertainty is part of the magic and majesty of nature.

Your guide will tell you all about the northern lights, how they are formed when streams of particles from the sun hit the earth´s atmosphere. Green and yellow northern lights are the most common, however, the aurora borealis in Iceland have the highest occurrence in the world of shades from the red spectrum. So although they are still comparatively rare, blue, violet, rose and soft red auroras are more likely to be seen in Iceland!

Remember to bring: Bring warm layers (wool, fleece or synthetic not cotton), waterproof jacket and pants, headwear, gloves and good hiking shoes plus a sleeping bag.

What if I don´t own these items?
Don’t worry, you can always rent sturdy hiking shoes, waterproof jacket and pants in the booking process or on location. Booking these items in advance is recommended.

Equipment list

    • Sturdy and waterproof hiking boots (free rental upon request)
    • Thermal underwear (long sleeve top and bottom) made of wool or synthetics (not cotton). (It is good to have a warm middle and inner layer)
    • Warm jacket
    • Rain jacket with a hood
    • Rain pants
    • Gloves and mittens
    • Hiking socks (at least 2-3 pairs)
    • Warm hat, buff and/or balaclava
    • Day backpack, appr. 20-30 litres
    • Sleeping bag (free rental upon request)
    • Liner if you rent the sleeping bag
    • Travel pillow
    • Towel, wash cloth and baby wipes
    • Slippers for the lodge
    • Toothbrush and personal toiletries
    • Sunglasses
    • Water bottle (1-2 L)
    • Small personal first aid kit (compeed and tape for blisters)
    • Don’t forget to bring health supplies such as painkillers and asthma inhalers (even if you seldom use them)
    • Prescription medicines (anything you might need)
    • Hiking poles (free rental upon request)
    • Gaiters
    • Slippers
    • Camera, batteries and memory card
    • Portable charger/power bank/plug adapter
    • Book (optional)
    • Headlamp
    • Earplugs

Day 1: GOLDEN CIRCLE - THORSMORK

Pick up is at 10:00 am from your accommodation or a nearby meeting point in Reykjavík. This process can take up to 30 minutes, so you may need to be patient, but you do need to be ready and waiting at 10:00 am.

We introduce ourselves then you are away on your trekking Iceland tour, off to explore the famous Golden Circle, usually we start with Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is home to the oldest continuous parliament in the world, the Alþing, founded by the Icelandic settlers in 930 AD/CE. Þingvellir (Thingvellir) is also one of the most geologically remarkable places in the world. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge runs right through Þingvellir, creating the dramatic cliff running through the site.

The powerful waterfall, Gullfoss (the Golden Falls), is next on the agenda. The Hvítá (the White River), which flows down from Langjökull glacier forces its way through the canyon, dropping 32 m in two stages. We will stop at Gullfoss Restaurant for a delicious Icelandic lamb soup lunch.

Onwards to the Geysir area to see Strokkur, the most active geyser nowadays. Stand in awe as superheated water is spouted high into the air every 5-10 minutes! We then head up into the Icelandic Highlands to the extraordinary valley of Þórsmörk (Thorsmork). On the way we cross unbridged glacial rivers which can only be crossed using 4×4 Super Jeeps or similar vehicles.

When we get to the rustic mountain hut, we heat it up and go to fetch fresh water from the nearby river. This remote setting really captures the rural charm of the Icelandic highlands. The hut is cozy and the atmosphere is especially inviting on cold winter days. There is a spacious sleeping area with bunk beds (dormitory style), a sitting area, kitchen, boot and coat room, and an upstairs sleeping loft. Restroom facilities are situated in a separate building right next to the hut.

We settle in and cook supper, then we are off for a walk around the area. Hopefully, the northern lights will display their swirls of color. Far from city lights, on a clear night, we will certainly see the stars glittering unbelievably brightly in a black velvet sky.

Driving: 4.5 hrs total. Walking time: A little in the evening!

Day Highlights
Golden Circle: Geysir, Gullfoss Waterfall and Þingvellir National Park (Thingvellir)
Traditional Icelandic lamb soup
Þórsmörk (Thorsmork Valley)
Northern lights hunting
Included
Lunch
Refreshments
Dinner
Hut accomodation

Day 2: FIMMVORDUHALS - EYJAFJALLAJOKULL ERUPTION AREA FROM 2010

After breakfast, we will set off on the must-trek trail to Fimmvörðuháls. This trail is one of National Geographic´s top trails of the world – you are sure to see spellbinding sights which you will never to forget! We will hike between two great volcano mountain glaciers, Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull to the new lava field, Goðahraun, formed in the first eruption of 2010. There are two new volcano craters, Magni and Móði, each named after a son of the Norse God, Þór (Thor), the lava from this eruption is actually still cooling down.

The scenery along this trail is stunningly spectacular. For millennia glaciers and the great glacial rivers flowing from them have carved out the valleys, creating incredible landscapes and sandstone sculptures, deep canyons and sharp ridges. You will see snow-capped volcano mountains, great glaciers, new lava and totally amazing scenery of surreal beauty.

Late afternoon we return to our cozy mountain lodge at Þórsmörk to relax and enjoy a great supper before our evening northern lights hunt!

Distance: 16km (10 mi), hiking time: 7-8 hrs, elevation gain: 1000 m (3280 ft).

* In winter the Fimmvörðuháls trail can be impassable due to deep snow. When this happens we will hike an alternative passable trail in the area, we will always be surrounded by some of the most stunning scenery in the world.

Day Highlights
Fimmvörðuháls
Glacier views
Eyjafjallajökull Glacier
Mýrdalsjökull Glacier
Northern Lights Hunting
Included
Breakfast
Lunch
Refreshments
Dinner
Hut accomodation

Day 3: LAUGAVEGUR TRAIL

This day has a slightly flexible schedule which will always be determined somewhat by the local weather forecast – this is the exciting part of hiking in the Icelandic highlands!

One option is Stakkholtsgjá, a narrow 2 km long and 100 m deep canyon in Þórsmörk Nature Reserve, with scintillating waterfalls and small rivers. This really is one of the great beauty spots in Iceland, you will truly see why trekking in Thorsmork is such a mesmerizing experience!  Another possibility is Mount Réttarfell (530m) or the beautiful green hills of Votupallar which provide a totally breathtaking view over Hvannárgil, a stunning canyon. The famous elf church, a beautiful cliff with a cave opening towards Langidalur (the Long Valley) can be found close to Mount Réttarfell. Yet another possibility would be to hike to the gorgeous mountain, Valahnúkur, with stupendous 360-degree views of volcanoes, glaciers, mountains and Icelandic nature as far as the eye can see.

Any of these options will reveal more of Iceland´s great natural jewels to you and leave you with memories to treasure for a lifetime. We return to our comfortable mountain lodge in Þórsmörk to enjoy another relaxing dinner together.  In the evening we invite you to join us for our final exciting northern lights hunt.

(B, L, r, D). Distance: about 12 km (7,5 mi), hiking time: about 4-5 hrs.

Day Highlights
Stakkholtsgjá
Mount Réttarfell
Votupallar Hills
Langidalur (Valley)
Mount Valahnúkur
Northern Lights hunting
Included
Breakfast
Lunch
Refreshments
Dinner
Hut accomodation

Day 4: SELJALANDSFOSS - SOLHEIMAJOKULL GLACIER HIKE - REYKJAVIK

The final day of your Iceland trekking tour!

We will stop at Gígjökull, one of the glacier tongues which radiates out from the famous Eyjafjallajökull glacier. Here you will witness some of the dramatic changes which the 2010 eruption of the famous (or infamous) volcano mountain glacier, Eyjafjallajokull wrought upon the landscape – the glacier lagoon which was formerly here has been completely destroyed!

Next, we will stop briefly at Seljalandsfoss, a really beautiful and extraordinary waterfall, it is actually possible to take a walk behind the cascade for an incredible vantage point. Continuing on our way we head towards Sólheimajökull (Solheimajokull), a spectacular outlet glacier, radiating majestically down from Mýrdalsjökull, the fourth largest glacier in Iceland. Your experienced glacier guide will provide you with ice crampons and everything else you need for a stunning glacier hike. You will see fabulous ice formations, ridges and the crevasses which trace an intricate maze of jagged passageways through the glacier. Your guide will explain all about the vibrant, living and moving world of the glacier, how it was formed and the ways in which it is changing with global warming.

Your return to Reykjavík will be at around 18:00 o’clock – as always the weather will be somewhat in charge of the timescale!

Glacier hiking and walking time: 2.5 hrs in total, driving time: around 3.5 hrs or more in some weather conditions.

Day Highlights
Gígjökull Glacier
Glacier Hiking
Sólheimajökull Glacier
Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
Included
Breakfast
Lunch
Hut accomodation
Where do you offer pick up’s from in Reykjavík?

We offer pick-ups from most known hotels, hostels and guesthouses in the capital area. We do not pick up from Airbnb. To make the process of finding the nearest pick-up location to your accommodation easier we have made a map of the locations.

How is it best to be ready for a pick up for a tour with Arctic Adventures?

This is a great question. We would like to ask all participants to be ready from the start of the pick-up time as you could be our first pick up.
Please be at your assigned pick-up location from the start time of your pick-up and wait for your guide to arrive.

Have your email and phone number listed with us so we can contact you if we run into any trouble finding you.

Can I drink alcohol before or during Arctic Adventures tours?

No, absolutely not. Due to safety reasons, it is strictly prohibited. If we suspect that participants are intoxicated we will prohibit them from joining the tour.

Do you offer any family friendly tours, for younger children?

Yes, we do. Langjökull Ice Cave is a magical experience, the tour has no minimum age and is a wonderful option for the whole family. Whale Watching with our partner company Elding, has been a favorite with families traveling with young children, these guys have a great success rate in seeing whales (upwards of 98% in the summer time). Another option would be the Landmannalaugar Safari on this tour you get to explore parts of the Icelandic highlands and bathe in natural hot springs (the hot spring part is particularly popular with the kids:)). Most of our jeep tours (to be found here) are also suitable for all ages. If you would like a nice and relaxing experience we would also recommend the Golden Circle & Secret Lagoon tour.

Do I need an insurance before going on an Arctic Adventures trip?

We recommend that you have personal health insurance coverage when participating in any adventure activities in Iceland, we actually recommend that whenever and whereever you travel you take out a good travel insurance, as world travelers ourselves it has saved us money and aggravation many times.

What is a safety briefing?

Before starting any of our more technical trips, participants will receive a safety briefing highlighting the safe and proper use of equipment, the role of guides during the trip, and the significant risks and hazards involved in their particular trip. The safety briefing will also cover potentially foreseeable scenarios that may arise and explain how participants should react in such circumstances. Our guides will also outline their expectations of participants during the trip where needed and address any specific questions or concerns that may arise during this time.

Any medical conditions or personal health concerns that may jeopardize your well-being or affect your ability to meet the physical demands of the trip must be clearly communicated to the trip leader before the tour start. Any medications you may require for minor medical conditions (asthma inhalers, etc.), should be kept close and you should bring it with you on the trip if possible. It is important that you notify your guide about such medications and their whereabouts before setting off.

Last we would like to underline how important it is to dress according to instructions of the tour and the weather of the day. Always read the “what to bring” very well.

Can the itinerary for the tour change?

Your safety is our number one priority! Keeping this in mind, Arctic Adventures reserves the right to adjust the itinerary and/or take different routes. Please read more information in our cancellation policy.

Will I definitely see Northern Lights on the tour?

The Northern Lights are natural phenomena and we unfortunately cannot promise you will see them. Their appearance depends upon atmospheric and weather conditions.

What are the best camera settings for photographing the Northern Lights?

Unfortunately there isn’t just one simple answer to this question.

There is not just one single setting for your camera that ensures great captures.  but if you have manual options, you are probably best served with experimenting with various combinations of ISO, aperture, and exposure settings. As a rule of thumb, ISO setting between 800 and 3200, aperture between f/2.8 and f/5.6, and shutter speed at between 15 seconds and 30 seconds have proven effective.

Nonetheless if you have manual options, you are probably best off with experimenting with various combinations of ISO, exposure and aperture settings. , ISO setting between 800 and 3200, aperture between f/2.8 and f/5.6, and shutter speed at between 15 seconds and 30 seconds have proven effective.

A good thing to keep in mind, ISO setting between 800 and 3200, aperture between f/2.8 and f/5.6, and shutter speed between 15 seconds and 30 seconds have given great results.

Different combinations may give very different results. Higher ISO setting will allow you to capture faster exposures, but the downside to this might be for example grainier images.

If the shutter speed is above 15 seconds it will result in slight star movement.

Wider angle lenses are usually more versatile in low light settings, but longer lenses give you different options for compositions. Make sure that you remove all lens filters, as they may distort images. You will probably get the best results with manual setting for infinite focal length

Be sure to remove all lens filters, as they may distort images. You will probably get the best results with manual setting for infinite focal length

What is the Golden Circle tour in Iceland?

The Golden Circle is a name for the very popular sightseeing route that connects Reykjavík with Þingvellir National Park (Thingvellir), Geysir Hot Springs and Gullfoss Waterfall. We offer several Golden Circle trips that combine sightseeing with some of our adventure tours.

Do you offer a tour this is solely the Golden Circle?

Yes, we offer the tour Golden Circle small group tour which is basically the Golden Circle with some extra stops. This tour is focusing on sightseeing and the history of Iceland. Our stops are Gullfoss waterfall, Þingvellir national park (home to one of the first parliaments of the world), Geysir hot spring area and the historic Skálholt cathedral.

I want to book the Golden Circle with an activity combines to the tour, what are my options?

We offer numerous options to spice up your Golden Circle tour and to make the most off your day. Some are season depending but others are operated all year around. Here is a list of all of the tours.

All year around options:

Golden Circle, Super Truck and Snowmobiling
Golden Circle Small group tour
Golden Circle and Snorkeling
Golden Circle Food Tour
Golden Circle and Secret Lagoon
Golden Circle and Super Jeep tour

Winter season:

Golden Circle and Caving

Summer season:

Golden Circle and Rafting

What are the main advantages of booking a multiday tour with Arctic Adventures?

Our multiday tour include accommodation during you tour which is often booked far in advance and expensive so by booking with us you don’t have to worry about that.

The tours take you further away from the capital to explore some of the most beautiful highlands Iceland has to offer.

You will have a guide for the whole time who will tell you about everything you will see along the way and know where to stop to get the absolute best experience.

What kind of rooms can be expected when booking the multi-day tour with Arctic Adventures?

When booking with Arctic Adventures you are guaranteed an accommodation at a nice country hotel in one of the most popular parts of Iceland. The hotels we have partnered with are all of the same standard and offer nice hotel rooms with made-up beds with private or shared bathrooms, depending on your booking.

Hotel breakfast is included!

What is my luggage allowance on a multi-day tour?
For multi-day tours, each participant is allowed to bring a day backpack and 1 piece of luggage weighing a maximum of 20 kg (44 lbs).
  • The combined dimensions of each bag must not exceed 158 cm (62 in).
  • It’s possible to store your luggage in Reykjavík while you are on your tour, for a small fee. We highly recommend storing the luggage in Reykjavík to help us reduce our carbon footprint.
  • Please note that luggage storage is not refundable.

Disclaimer
All our tours are undertaken on the responsibility of its participants. Arctic Adventures does not assume any responsibility for accidents that are caused by its customers or can be traced to their own actions. Participants have to sign a waiver before undertaking all trips stating that they realize that all outdoor activities carry an inherent risk.

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Price from 119.990 ISK per person.

If you are staying downtown Reykjavik please read this information about pickup.

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