New Year’s in Iceland Exclusive

008201-W20

Make plans now to join Shauna Cook on her exclusive, small-group, escorted tour to ring in New Year’s 2021 in Reykjavik, Iceland! Be amazed by one of the most spectacular fireworks displays anywhere. Shauna is one of our Iceland specialists, and her love of the country is sure to be contagious, making your time there extra special!

Highlights
Details
Itinerary
Included
Not Included
Tour Notes
Map
Highlights
  • Taste delicious, local, Icelandic cuisine on a Food Walk tour in Reykjavik
  • Experience "Flyover Iceland", flight-seeing without the flight!
  • Learn some new recipes and enjoy lunch at a Cook and Dine class
  • Tour the Golden Circle including lunch at a greenhouse and the unique taste of geothermally baked bread at Laugarvatn Fontana
  • Visit the South Coast and enjoy a Viking dinner at a unique, wooden longhouse restaurant
  • Sip a drink from a glass made of ice at the Magic Ice Bar
  • Ring in the New Year 2021 in Reykjavik complete with dinner, dancing and fantastic fireworks
  • Meet some Icelandic horses and then soak your troubles away at the Blue Lagoon
Details

Group Size: Min. 10/Max. 16

2020 Dates:
December: 28

2020 Pricing:
US$3,980 – twin

Prices are “starting from” rates, shown in US$, per person based on 2 people sharing a twin room. Extra nights of accommodation in Reykjavik may be added to extend this program, please just ask.

Tour Code:
008201-W20

Itinerary
Open All
Day 1, December 28: Keflavik – Reykjavik

Ring in the New Year of 2021 in style on this exclusive, small-group tour to Reykjavik, Iceland, escorted by our Iceland specialist, Shauna Cook. Enjoy a delicious New Year’s Eve dinner and marvel at the stunning fireworks in the skies over Reykjavik. You’ll also visit the popular Golden Circle and South Shore as well as take part in unique, immersive activities such as an Icelandic foodie walking tour in Reykjavik; geothermally baked bread tasting at Laugarvatn; a visit to a greenhouse, complete with a lunch buffet featuring their signature tomato soup made from the tomatoes grown in-house, year round; a Cook and Dine experience; dinner at a unique Viking restaurant; a whale watching tour and much more. There is always a thrilling potential for the night sky to be decorated with the jewels of the amazing Aurora Borealis. Imagine the excitement to search for the most spectacular – and natural – light show on earth.

On arrival to Keflavik, your tour escort will meet you at the airport to provide you with your airport transfer voucher and answer any questions you may have.  Transfer as a group to downtown Reykjavik and store your bags at the hotel.

At 12:30 pm you’ll meet your local food-walk guide at Harpa Concert Hall for a 3-4 hour Reykjavik Food Walk. You will be treated to some of the most delicious tastes within Icelandic cuisine through sampling local food, including the delicious, locally produced skyr. This beautiful and somewhat yogurt-like dairy product goes right back to the time when Iceland was settled by the Vikings, more than 1,100 years. How do we know this? There are references to Skyr in the legendary Icelandic Sagas. Of course, we can say this about other foods you will be offered such as lamb and fish, which  featured heavily in the Icelandic diet right from the beginning. Tastings include: grass fed Icelandic Lamb, homemade local ice cream, local cheese, traditional Icelandic Skyr, a visit to the famous hot dog truck and authentic seafood soup.

The restaurants have been selected by your specialist local food guide for one reason only – they offer the most delightful Icelandic food to tempt your taste buds. Some of these places are famous “must-visit Reykjavík restaurants”, and others are little-known but local places, full of character, which are hidden down the back streets of the city.

Along the way, you will see some of the best-known buildings and sights in central Reykjavík and learn some fascinating stories about them. You can rest assured your guide has an eye for the quirky and the less obvious, so you will get to know some amazing tidbits of information as you wander around. This really is a walking tour for foodies, so make sure you wear your comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather!

Following our food walk we’ll check in at our central hotel, right in the heart of Reykjavik, and freshen up.

In the late afternoon, enjoy a ‘Flyover Iceland’ experience. This flight-seeing tour without the flight does make you feel like you’re actually flying over Iceland. You will hang suspended, feet dangling, in front of a 20-metre, spherical screen, while the film whisks you away on an exhilarating journey across Iceland. Special effects, including wind, mist and scents, combine with the ride’s motion to create an unforgettable experience.

There will be some free time to have dinner on your own before heading out into the countryside this evening on a northern lights tour in a unique Superjeep!  These vehicles are quite common in Iceland and are specially designed to travel over pretty much any terrain! Your guide will pick the location based on forecasts and will provide hot chocolate (with a dash of Brennivin if you dare!) and a cookie.

Overnight in downtown Reykjavik.

Day 2, December 29: Golden Circle

Today will be a late morning start, but it will still be a full day of exploring!  We will start with a visit to Fridheimar Greenhouse for a short tour and their famous tomato soup lunch buffet! The soup is made from tomatoes they grow, year-round in their greenhouses.

Once we are finished our lunch, we will enjoy a Golden Circle tour. The Golden Circle is one of the most popular routes visitors take in Iceland. The circle consists of three major attractions: Thingvellir National Park, Geysir hot spring area and Gullfoss waterfall. We make sure that you get enough time to take in the magnificent landscape and the rich history that is found at every footstep.

Thingvellir National Park is strongly rooted in Icelandic history and is famous for numerous reasons. It’s a UNESCO heritage site, where Iceland’s first Althing (parliament) was founded in the year 930 and it’s where the European and North Atlantic tectonic plates are drifting apart. It’s the home to the magical Silfra, which is simply stunning. The waters, pond, and fissures are extraordinarily clear, and the history of the place is endless.

Geysir hot spring area is located in Haukadalur valley. It’s where Strokkur, the geysir after which all other geysers are named, is located and the area is filled with steam and magical geothermal phenomena. This most active geyser goes off every 4-10 minutes and treats us to a show that gives you that tingly feeling in your stomach.

Gullfoss or the Golden Falls are next up on the itinerary. It’s one of the most powerful waterfalls in Iceland and drops a little over 30 meters in total, over two ledges. It has been a local’s favorite since the Viking times and now it’s your turn to explore it.

We will then visit Laugarvatn Fonanta for a relaxing geothermal bathing experience.  We have a buffet dinner included here tonight, along with a very unique experience – trying geothermally baked bread! The bread is buried in the warm geothermally heated ground, and it bakes for 24 hours – then you get to eat it!  Very uniquely Icelandic!

On the way back to Reykjavik, we will make stops for Northern Lights viewing if the conditions allow.

Overnight in downtown Reykjavik.

Day 3, December 30: South Coast

Today enjoy a full day South Coast tour! This tour gives you the chance to see all the most beautiful sights on the south shore. There is a good reason the southern parts of Iceland are such popular destinations. Locals have been admiring it for centuries, now you’ll get to enjoy the mesmerizing waterfall of Skógar, go behind the misty veil of magical Seljalandsfoss, walk on the volcanic black sand beach of Reynisfjara and get in close contact with a glacier.

Lunch is not included today, but a stop will be made along the way for you to purchase lunch.

Dinner is included tonight at the unique Ingolfsskali Viking Restaurant.  The food and the décor will bring you all the way back to the day of the Vikings in Iceland.

On the way back to Reykjavik, we will make stops for Northern Lights viewing if the conditions are favourable.

Overnight in downtown Reykjavik.

Day 4, December 31: New Year's Eve

This morning we’ll enjoy a Cook and Dine class! After breakfast we walk together to the cooking school for the 10:00am start of our cooking experience. Enjoy complimentary coffee, tea and water upon arrival and take part in a short safety briefing before embarking on the 3.5-4 hour culinary journey ahead.

After we have washed our hands and put on the provided aprons, the instructor presents the 3-course menu to be cooked, the ingredients to be used and explains their significance to the local cuisine. Although the menu may vary according to season, fish, free-roaming lamb and skyr are classic ingredients. As this is a hands-on, highly interactive cooking class, participants work together in small teams, under close supervision by the instructor.

When cooking and preparation of the different dishes and accompaniments is well underway (after about an hour and a half) it’s time for a short break and a “tasting session”. The instructor presents a selection of traditional specialties for participants to taste, accompanied with a glass of local beer, and talks about local food, traditions and culture.

It is then time to finish preparing the three-course lunch meal. As preparation of each course is finished it is plated and served at the dining table. The instructor plates one dish as an example, participants then plate their own. The starter and the main course are each accompanied with a glass of wine. The dessert is accompanied with coffee or tea.

At the end of the session participants receive a folder with copies of all the recipes before they leave.

The remainder of today is free to relax and rest up for the exciting evening ahead!

The venue for our dinner is only a few minutes walk from our hotel. The doors open at 5:30pm, with dinner starting at 6:00pm.  At 8:30pm we will depart the restaurant for a guided Bonfire and Christmas lights tour, returning to the restaurant at approx. 10:30pm for dessert and coffee, along with live music and dancing.  At 11:00pm we will walk down to the harbour to board our boat that will take us out onto the water to watch the fireworks lighting up the sky above the city!  Then we will return back to the restaurant for more music and dancing.  After this, it is tradition to walk the main streets to see the festivities and help locals and visitors alike welcome in the new year!

Overnight in downtown Reykjavik.

Day 5, January 01: Reykjavik

This morning is free to sleep in and relax after our long night last night!  At 1:00pm we will enjoy a whale watching cruise in Reykjavik harbour. Our expert guides and friendly crew will welcome you aboard, share with you interesting information about different kinds of whales and seabirds you may expect to see on your tour and will teach you how to spot whales out in the bay. With an on-board display of whale teeth, bones, baleen, plankton nets and a microscope, this tour truly is a hands-on floating Whale Watching classroom with an educational & interactive focus!

The remainder of the afternoon is free at your leisure, to explore more of Reykjavik or to relax with a cup of coffee or a beer.

This evening, we will have a farewell drink as a group at the unique Magic Ice bar!  A winter cape is provided to keep you warm along with one drink in a unique ice glass!

Overnight in downtown Reykjavik.

Day 6, January 02 Depart Iceland

Today we say farewell to Iceland!

We will be picked up from our hotel after check-out and transferred to the Ishestar horse stables for a 1-hour ‘Meet the Icelandic Horse’ experience.  We will not be riding the horses today, but will be learning all about what makes the Icelandic horse unique. You will get the chance to take part in the daily routine of grooming and caring for the horses. You will have plenty of time to interact with them and take some pictures.

From here, we will continue to the world-famous Blue Lagoon.  We have admission and towels included here and will spend about 2 hours in the relaxing, restorative waters.

Once finished, we will transfer as a group from the Blue Lagoon back to the Keflavik airport for our flights home.

Included
  • One-way airport transfers from Keflavik to Reykjavik
  • 5 nights of moderate accommodation
  • Breakfast at hotel daily, days 2-6
  • 4-hour Reykjavik Food Walk tour, with food tastings
  • "Flyover Iceland" experience
  • Northern Lights tour by Superjeep
  • Full-day Golden Circle tour
  • Fridheimar Greenhouse tour and soup buffet lunch
  • Entrance fee and towel rental at Laugarvatn Fontana spa
  • Buffet dinner and Geothermal Bread Experience at Laugarvatn Fontana
  • Full-day South Coast tour
  • 3-course dinner at unique Ingollfskali Viking Restaurant
  • Lunch time Cook & Dine class, including 3-course lunch with wine
  • New Year's Eve Celebration - buffet dinner; welcome drink; 2 glasses of wine and sparkling wine
  • Bonfire and Christmas lights tour
  • New Year's cruise to watch the fireworks from the harbour
  • Whale Watching in Reykjavik harbour
  • Magic Ice Bar experience - winter weather gear and a drink in an ice glass
  • Visit to Ishestar's Icelandic Horse Experience
  • Admission and towel rental at the Blue Lagoon spa
  • One-way transfer from the Blue Lagoon to Keflavik Airport
  • WiFi on the buses during touring
Not Included
  • Airfare to/from Iceland
  • Additonal nights in Reykjavik, as required
  • Optional tours not mentioned in itinerary
  • Gratuities to local guides
  • Travel Insurance
  • Passport and visa fees, vaccinations as required
  • Items of a Personal Nature
Tour Notes

Nature fees: There is a possibility that some of the nature attractions around Iceland might charge an entrance fee during the trip. These entrance fees are not included in the tour price and need to be paid by all tour members additionally on the spot, when entering any of these nature sites. Locations, amount of entrance fee, form of payment and other details are not known at the present time and are subject to change.

Change of Programs: Itineraries may be subject to change at short notice during severe weather conditions and certain outdoor activities/day trips may be cancelled during the winter season in Iceland. In these rare cases, where situations of force nature apply, excursions/activities cannot be refunded but the local guides will try their best to find reasonable alternatives where and whenever possible.

Disclaimer: We do our utmost to ensure that information posted on our website is correct at the time of publication, however trip details are subject to change without notice by the suppliers and operators involved. We update the information as soon as possible when changes are advised to us, however, we cannot assume responsibility for such changes made by the suppliers and operators.

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