Astrophysicist and astronomer Pete Lawrence has been a presenter on the BBC's long-running television programme The Sky at Night since 2005. He has acted as an astonomical consultant for the popular BBC Stargaazing Live series since it began and appeared on the programme in 2014 as an aurora expert. He compiles and writes the monthly Star Guide for the BBC Sky at Night magazine as well as writing equipment reviews and acting as their resident imaging expert. He is well known for his high resolution images of the Sun, Moon and Planets, which have been widely published in magazines, books and online.
Explore Iceland and seek the Northern Lights
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One of the most fascinating countries on earth, Iceland is home to powerful geysers, cascading waterfalls and incredible ice and lava-shaped landscapes. On this trip, you'll spend a night in the vibrant capital Reykjavik before heading into the wilderness. Your modern three-star hotel, the City Park Hotel, is the perfect place from which to explore the area, situated just five minutes from the city's best shopping spots and restaurants. You will search for the Northern Lights, tour the famous Golden Circle - a must-do for all visitors to Iceland - and visit Þingvellir National Park. There will also be the option to relax at the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa on your last day (£75pp).
See the Northern Lights
You'll have the chance to see the shimmering aurora borealis, with our expert BBC astronomer Pete Lawrence on hand to tell you what you're looking at.
This four-day trip starts at just £699pp. You'll enjoy one night bed and breakfast at the City Park Hotel in Reykjavik and two nights with dinner and breakfast at Hótel Lækur in Hella.
After your arrival, you'll have time to look around the city. Although it's one of the world's smallest capital cities, it is home to almost half of Iceland's population and its atmosphere is world-famous, as is the hospitality and warmth of locals.
Tour the Golden Circle
Sample the very best that Iceland has to offer as you travel round the must-see hotspots: magnificent views and natural wonders such as the Almannagjá gorge and Lake Þingvallavatn. You'll see one of the most impressive waterfalls in Europe, Gullfoss, and the Strokkur geyser, which spouts water up to 30m into the air every few minutes.
Stunning South Iceland
The south of the country is remote and rugged, and your English-speaking guide will take you on a walk behind waterfalls and along volcanic beaches with glacier peaks as a backdrop.
Reasons to book
Northern Lights viewing
Tour the Golden Circle
Remote and rugged South Iceland
Your expert guest
- Look for the Northern Lights with BBC astronomer Pete Lawrence.
- Visit the Urridafoss waterfall and Krýsuvík with a guide.
- Take the Golden Circle tour and the South Iceland tour.
- Fly from a range of UK airports.
- Spend three nights in comfortable three-star hotels.
- Enjoy daily breakfasts and two dinners.
Day1Arrival in Iceland & ReykjavíkReykjavík, Iceland
Fly to Keflavík. On arrival, take the shuttle bus to your overnight hotel on the outskirts of Reykjavík, the country's capital. The rest of the day is spent at leisure. The city is home to the National and Saga museums, tracing Iceland's Viking history while the striking concrete Hallgrimskirkja church and rotating Perlan glass dome offer sweeping views of the sea and nearby hills.
Day2Golden Circle Tour & Night Sky ViewingThingvellir , Iceland
After breakfast, our coach and English speaking guide collect us from the hotel for our Golden Circle Tour which embraces the very best of Iceland. Tour highlights include the Þingvellir National Park with its magnificent views and natural wonders such as the Almannagjá gorge and Lake Þingvallavatn; the famous Geysir hot spring area with boiling mud pits and geysers such as the lively Strokkur geyser which spouts water up to 30 metres into the air every few minutes; and the mighty Gullfoss Waterfall which is, by volume of water, the biggest waterfall in Europe.
Later this afternoon we check in to the Hotel Lækur in Hella, where we stay for two nights. After our two-course dinner, there's the option to join Pete Lawrence for an informative presentation on the Northern Lights and the best way to photograph them. After the presentation and subject to suitable weather conditions, we go outside and explore the night sky, again with the help of Pete and wait in anticipation for the Aurora to appear. An "Aurora watch" will be in operation until at least midnight for those who wish to be woken up to see them!
Day3South Iceland Tour & Night Sky ViewingSkógafoss waterfall , Iceland
We depart on our South Iceland Tour after breakfast. Walk behind waterfalls and wander along volcanic beaches and see the amazing glacier peaks. Highlights include the Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls; the impressive rock formations and cliffs at Dyrhóley; the cliffs and black beach at Reynisfjara and the village of Vík, located near the absolute southernmost point in Iceland.
On our return to the hotel we enjoy a two-course dinner. Afterwards, there's the option to join a further presentation with Pete Lawrence. Under his expert eye, we wait for the Aurora to make an impressive appearance. A Northern Lights watch will again operate until at least midnight for those who wish to be woken up to watch them.
Day4Urriðafoss waterfall, Krýsuvík & optional Blue Lagoon excursionKeflavik, Iceland
We enjoy breakfast and depart for our final excursion as we head back to the airport in Keflavík. Our first stop is the scenic Urriðafoss waterfall in the mighty Þjórsá River before we continue on to explore the geothermal muds at Krýsuvík. The banks around the hot springs are coloured green, yellow and red and a boardwalk winds through the geothermal fields. There are also a number of lakes beside the mudpots and sulphur deposits.
We continue to the Blue Lagoon where the Lava restaurant is available for refreshments (at your own expense). For passengers on earlier flights, our coach then transfers you to the airport for your flight home. Passengers on later flights have around 2 ½ hours to enjoy the healing properties of the Silica and naturally soothing warmth of the Blue Lagoon which offers a great experience in a beautiful landscape - a relaxing setting to bid farewell to the country.
Alternatively, our coach takes us to the coastal town of Reykjanesbaer with free time to explore before re-joining the coach and transferring to the airport for the return flight home. The town is located on the Reykjanes peninsula which has a rich music tradition and colourful culture. Reykjanesbær houses the Viking World Museum, the Icelandic Museum of Rock & Roll and, at the Duus cultural centre, the Reykjanes heritage and art museums.
Optional Blue Lagoon excursion £55pp.
City Park Hotel
Modern hotel in the outskirts of Reykjavík
Three-star City Park Hotel is situated on the outskirts of Reykjavík, with restaurants and shopping accessible within a five-minute walk. All the modern rooms feature an en-suite shower room and satellite TV. The hotel also offers a small bar and free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is served in the lounge area on the first floor.
Family-owned rural hotel
The family-owned Hotel Lækur is a modern three-star hotel, peacefully located on an Icelandic horse farm close to the village of Hella in southern Iceland, an area renowned for its beautiful and untouched nature. The hotel proudly offers the all-around Icelandic experience, surrounded by magical landscapes, close to both breathtaking natural wonders and local entertainment. All the rooms feature an en-suite shower room and other facilities include free Wi-Fi, a bar, lounge, restaurant, drying room and an outside viewing terrace, perfect to watch out for the Northern Lights.
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