Iceland: Fire, Ice & Aurora - TravelQuest International
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September 23 - October 2, 2022

Iceland: Fire, Ice & Aurora

There are two key things to know about the aurora borealis: It’s a phenomenon everyone should experience once in their lives, and once you’ve seen those spectacular multi-hued lights shimmering across the northern sky, you’ll definitely want to see them again.

To these basic truths we can add two more: One of the best places on Earth to experience the aurora is Iceland. And there’s no better way to do it than staying in a remote hotel or lodge, stepping out of your comfortable room and e ...Show more


  • Get the opportunity to experience the beauty of the aurora for six full nights, most just steps from your picturesque countryside accommodation
  • Explore some of Iceland’s seldom-visited and most outstanding areas of natural beauty
  • Benefit from the insights of a superb local guide throughout your journey
  • Cruise in search of majestic humpback, orca and minke whales

After you arrive in the early morning at Keflavik Airport (airport code: KEF), we’ve arranged an easy transfer to our hotel. Join fellow travelers and your local guide, Martina, late this morning for a bus tour of Reykjavik with lunch included. Dinner this evening is on your own.

DATE(S): Friday, September 23, 2022

MEALS: Lunch


This morning we leave the city for Thingvellir National Park to discover the Althing, Iceland’s most sacred site and ancient home of the Viking parliament. Located near Iceland’s largest lake, Thingvellir has a geologically spectacular setting on a vast plain flanked by large fissures. Later we explore the otherworldly Geysir hot springs area, which is dotted with bubbling, multicolored pools of water and mud. Here the geyser Strokkur erupts to a height of about 25 m (80 ft) every seven minutes or so. After lunch we travel to the magnificent Gullfoss (“Golden Waterfall”), perhaps the most beautiful in the country. You can walk right to the edge where the Hvita River tumbles 32 m (100 ft) in a double cascade – when the Sun is shining, you often can see a rainbow through the massive spray. Then we journey on to the town of Hveragerdi, where natural hot water produced by geothermal activity is used to heat greenhouses for cultivating vegetables and decorative flowers. In the evening we return to Reykjavik, where you can enjoy dinner on your own in one of the city’s many excellent restaurants.

DATE(S): Saturday, September 24, 2022

MEALS: Breakfast / Lunch


After an early departure from the hotel to Reykjavik City Airport, we take a 45-minute flight to Akureyri in the northern part of the country, then head overland to the spectacular Godafoss waterfall. Following lunch en route, we explore the natural wonders of the Lake Myvatn region, with its starkly beautiful landscapes and uncommon geological formations. Highlights include the unusually shaped Dimmuborgir lava field, and the volcanic pseudo-craters of Skutustaoagigar. After dinner, join us for our first night of aurora viewing from the hotel grounds.


A Few Words About the Aurora Borealis

If you think it’s difficult predicting the weather a week in advance, consider attempting to forecast the appearance of the northern lights as far ahead as September 2022! That’s a tough assignment, and it’s impossible to be completely accurate, but we can make some generalized comments about what you might expect to see. Solar activity is now on the upswing, so powerful coronal mass ejections (CMEs) will start to take place more often. When one impacts Earth's magnetic field, the result can be a spectacular display of the northern lights. Lovely auroras also develop thanks to the frequent appearance of coronal holes–openings in the Sun’s magnetic field. These holes let strong gusts of the Sun's solar wind escape into space. When one of these gaps is pointed toward Earth, a typical outcome is a beautiful celestial show. Even without aurora-generating CMEs or coronal holes, northern lights regularly appear over high-latitude locations such as Iceland thanks to the solar wind continuously buffeting Earth’s magnetic field. Of course, seeing the northern lights also depends on having good weather when we're in Iceland. Unfortunately, astronomers can’t predict the emergence of a coronal hole or the eruption of a CME. But when either is observed, astronomers can estimate when the charged solar particles will strike Earth’s magnetic field and cause the northern lights to dance. So, as well as checking the sky each night, we’ll be monitoring solar activity websites every day. Lastly, for reasons yet unknown, aurora activity peaks during the equinoxes. This is why we plan to be in the dark skies of the Icelandic countryside around the time of the autumn equinox.


DATE(S): Sunday, September 25, 2022

MEALS: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner


Today’s excursion is centered around the quaint fishing village of Husavik, known for its colorfully painted houses. Your first stop is the excellent Whale Museum, which provides an interesting overview of the creatures’ behavior and habitats, as well as the history of whaling in Iceland, and recent conservation efforts. Husavik is also a center of whale watching, so naturally your visit includes a three-hour cruise in search of humpback, orca and minke whales, along with dolphins and a vast array of seabirds. After dinner, cap off a great day with another evening of aurora viewing back at the hotel.

DATE(S): Monday, September 26, 2022

MEALS: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner


In the morning we visit Dettifoss, perhaps the most dramatic of Iceland’s falls. With its impressive scale - cascading 45 m (148 ft) over a cliff 100 m (328 ft) wide - it’s reputedly the most powerful waterfall in Europe. After lunch, enter the fumarole zone of Hverir, where groundwater is superheated by magma forced up through the Earth’s crust. The area has a distinctly strong smell, thanks to the sulfur deposits brought to the surface by seismic activity. Then, indulge in the perfect end to your day of adventures: a relaxing soak in the warm waters of the Myvatn geothermal baths. After a quick drive back to the hotel for dinner, join us for a third night outside, watching for the northern lights.

DATE(S): Tuesday, September 27, 2022

MEALS: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner


Right after breakfast we leave the Myvatn region behind and head across the scenic Trollaskagi peninsula, stopping briefly in Akureyri, at the top of Eyjafjordur Fjord. The acclaimed Herring Era Museum in Siglufjordur chronicles the heyday of this former “Herring Capital of the World,” whose fortunes declined with the collapse of the Atlantic herring stock in the late 1960s. After dinner, enjoy aurora viewing in the charming little town of Siglufjordur.

DATE(S): Wednesday, September 28, 2022

MEALS: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner


On our morning visit to the Glaumbaer Folk Museum, learn about the lives of the early Icelanders who settled these barren landscapes in simple houses of turf and stone. Next, get up close and personal with some beautiful Icelandic horses at Gauksmyri, where we’ll be treated to an impressive riding demonstration. Then, view the lovely Kolugljufur waterfall en route to the remote village of Laugarbakki on the banks of the salmon-filled Midfjardara River. After dinner, of course, you can look forward to a fifth night of watching the skies above the pristine fjord.

DATE(S): Thursday, September 29, 2022

MEALS: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

ACCOMMODATION: Hotel Laugarbakki

After crossing the Holtavorduheidi Pass this morning we carry on to the Glanni waterfall and climb the small volcanic crater at Grabrok. Then we visit Deildartunguhver, the largest hot spring in Europe. A bit further along our northern route we discover the historic site of Reykholt, with its interesting museum, as well as the nearby hot pool at Snorralaug. Next we visit the beautiful Hraunfossar and Barnafossar falls before arriving at our hotel to enjoy dinner and a final evening of watching for the northern lights.

DATE(S): Friday, September 30, 2022

MEALS: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner


Heading south, we pay a visit to the Settlement Center at Borgarnes, which recreates one of the many ancient sagas pertaining to the birth of the island nation. It’s a remarkable multimedia and theatrical experience that captures the excitement and trepidation of early Nordic sailors as they set off across the open ocean for parts unknown. We then carry on to Reykjavik, arriving at our central hotel in the afternoon – with time for a last bit of strolling and shopping before we gather for a farewell dinner at one of our favorite Icelandic restaurants.

DATE(S): Saturday, October 1, 2022

MEALS: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner


After checkout this morning, we head west to the geothermal areas of the Reykjanes Peninsula, making scenic stops and enjoying lunch along the way. Our final destination is Keflavik airport, where you can catch your flight home or travel on to further adventures.

DATE(S): Sunday, October 2, 2022

MEALS: Breakfast / Lunch


Optional Add-ons

For those wishing to arrive in Reykjavik a day or two early, TravelQuest has reserved a limited number of rooms at Hotel Marina. The cost per night, includes a transfer from Keflavik Airport to the hotel, breakfast and tax.


US $220 per person based on two people sharing one room. US $315 for single occupancy.

Special Notice: Should the volcanos in Geldingadalir continue to erupt into September 2022, TravelQuest will be happy to arrange for those planning to arrive early in Reykjavik the special chance to flyover these magnificent flows by helicopter. Pricing and availability will be provided to travelers in the Summer of 2022.


Easy / Moderate - short to medium walks on your own over sometimes muddy, icy, uneven, and/or hilly terrain, with easy/rugged travel conditions.

At TravelQuest, we want to be sure you find the trip that best suits your interests and level of fitness. Please email or call if you have any questions regarding the itinerary.

Prices are per person in US Dollars based on the number of people in a room.






  • All tour prices, taxes and airfares quoted in this brochure are based on tariffs, currency exchange rates and costs that were in effect at the time of publication. Consequently, prices herein are subject to change. Due to fluctuations in global oil prices, a fuel surcharge may be added to your tour fee. You will be advised of details and costs prior to departure.
  • TravelQuest, working with our partners, makes every effort to follow the published itinerary. However, please keep in mind that it is subject to change depending on weather and other local conditions.
  • It is important to acknowledge that seeing the aurora borealis is Sun and weather dependent, and TravelQuest can make no guarantees that the Sun and weather will cooperate.

Room Sharing Program

If you are traveling solo, you can realize significant savings by taking advantage of TravelQuest’s Room Sharing Program, where travelers of the same gender can share twin-bedded accommodations.


  • 9 nights’ accommodation at select hotels and lodges
  • All ground transportation in Iceland
  • Day 3 domestic flight from Reykjavik to Akureyri, based upon 2021 rates. Any additional flight cost will be updated in 2022 and added to your invoice prior to final payment
  • Expert local guide throughout your journey
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary, including coffee, tea and water
  • Sightseeing admissions as noted in itinerary
  • Services of a TravelQuest Trip Astronomer
  • Six full nights of relaxed aurora viewing, most just steps from your countryside accommodation
  • Private lectures along with aurora viewing sessions

Not Included

  • International air transportation to and from Reykjavik, Iceland (KEF)
  • Luggage handling
  • Gratuities to your local guide and driver
  • Unspecified meals and activities
  • Items of a personal nature, including spa and laundry services, beverages at meals other than coffee/tea/water, souvenirs, etc.
  • Passport & visa fees, along with any required immunizations
  • Travel Insurance/Trip Cancellation Insurance

Payments & Terms

An advance payment of $1,400 USD per person, along with the completed reservation form, are required to secure your reservation.

Final payment is due by July 15, 2022.

Cancellation Terms

  • Cancellations must be in writing, by email, fax or letter
  • All advance payments, less a $500 USD per person cancellation fee, are refundable until April 23, 2022
  • From April 24 to June 15, 2022, all advance payments, less a $750 USD per person service fee, are refundable
  • There are no refunds after June 15, 2022
  • Air cancellation terms are additional


The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Covid-19 as a global pandemic in March 2020, and its consequences are therefore no longer unforeseen or unexpected. These consequences include but are not limited to travel advisories and restrictions, flight and other transport disruptions and cancelations, mandatory quarantine periods, border closures and stay at home mandates, health advisories changes to applicable laws and Government Mandates and prohibitions. No deposits paid will be refunded should any of these Covid-19 events result in a travel member’s trip cancellation, interruption or mandatory quarantine.


We at TQ want to be sure you find the trip that best suits your interests and level of fitness. Prior to submitting their booking, it is the responsibility of each traveler on the booking to thoroughly read the itinerary, acquire and understand all pertinent medical advice to determine whether or not they are of an appropriate physical and healthy state to undertake the trip. At minimum, participants must be able to climb into and out of buses and vans and trains without assistance, keep up with the pace of the trip, and carry their own luggage. If you have any questions about your trip’s itinerary or its level of difficulty, please contact us prior to booking.


Travel insurance protects you from the unexpected “what-ifs” on your travels. What if your bags go missing, what if you have to cancel, what if you need medical assistance? We at TravelQuest International recommend that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. You may purchase this insurance on your own or you may contact our friends at Travelex who are familiar with our trips and offer a selection of coverages to suit your needs. To be eligible for the waiver of pre-existing medical condition exclusion, the plans must be purchased within 15 days from the time you make your initial deposit to TravelQuest. ALL Travelex policies must be purchased at least 3 weeks (21 days) prior to your departure date.

For more information on these plans or to enroll, click on the link below or contact TravelEx Insurance Services direct at 1-800-228-9792, and reference location number 03-6043.

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