30th Birthday Northern Lights Celebration

  A couple visited Iceland in September 2017

“My fiance's 30th birthday trip. He wants to take photos of EVERYTHING. Geysers, hiking, waterfalls, and especially Northern Lights. We want to spend the day on the road on the 29th for his birthday and would like a nice romantic dinner that night and a hotel. The next day we would like to experience MORE :)

- Adriana D.”

Preeti Bhide, a local specialist from Iceland, helped this traveler put together a customized itinerary.

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Trip planning highlights

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Summary of the trip planning conversation

Below are some useful excerpts from the trip planning conversation
Welcome to kimkim, and thank you for your request. This is Preeti, I specialize in customised holidays all over Iceland and would be happy to help you with a fantastic birthday trip for your fiance. Do you have your flight arrival and departure times already? If so that would be useful to design an itinerary and give you a price that perfectly fits your time in Iceland.

Adriana D:
We are a couple from the US and are flying to Iceland on our way back from Amsterdam to visit friends who are having a baby. We have not booked our hotel or any tours as of yet. Here is our basic envisioned schedule:

Day 1: Check into hotel, explore the city, and have a romantic quiet dinner. Maybe go on a boat ride to see whales or maybe go to the Lagoon. We are night owls. --> Please feel free to suggest bookings and restaurants.

Day 2: This is Edwin's birthday so I would like to make it special. I was thinking that we would like a private driver-guide to show us the countryside. Super Jeeps look interesting but Im not sure about it. Give me your thoughts. We are pretty adventurous though! That night we would like to stay out in the country. We would prefer a 4 or 5 star accommodations. We would like to have a birthday celebration at a restaurant (no noise just quiet celebration). And then after dinner we would hope to see the Northern Lights if nature cooperates.

Day 3:  We would be up for some hiking and more sightseeing. If there were no lights on the previous day, we would like this to be our backup night. We would sleep in Reykjavik.

Breakfasts and lunches would be good to include - dont you think? Dinner on Day 2 will be in the country so we should make a plan about that.

Thanks for all the information, it is definitely useful. Here is a recommended plan: 

Day 1 - Arrival. Airport transfer by coach to your downtown hotel. 
After check-in you can walk to the harbour to take a 5pm whale watching tour after which you are free to walk around downtown (I will provide a sightseeing itinerary and restaurant recommendations). 
Day  2 - Private guided tour - options include the Snaefellsnes peninsula, Golden Circle and South Coast. I will send you some more details where you can get to know the sites and choose. 
Overnight options I recommend are ION Hotel or Ranga, both in the Golden Circle area. 
Day 3 - Depending on where you went the first day, you will continue your sightseeing and also have a hike. Drive back to Reykjavik. 
Day 4 - Spend the morning at the Blue Lagoon before your departure.

If conditions are favorable, your driver-guide can take you for a northern lights hunts.

Adriana D:
I think the 4 day itinerary you suggested looks the best suited to our schedule. For a night in the country we were recommended Fire and Ice hotel what do you think of that place? We would want to be in a hotel where we could get a celebratory dinner for Edwin's 30th Birthday that night. Everything looks great. What do you think the total cost would be?

If you would like the 4 day plan, I recommend Hotel Budir or Hotel Glymur, both very nice and towards Snaefellsnes so the perfect place to end you day of sightseeing that peninsula. Let me know what you prefer and I can send you a price with all the inclusions.

About the private tour - Since you are staying at Ranga, did you have a chance to think about whether you prefer driving the South Coast on the first day or Snaefellsnes? 
Snaefellsnes will make it more time in the car but is less crowded than the South Coast. On the South Coast, you will visit some of the famous sights - the Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls, Dyrholaey and Reynisfjara beach.

Adriana D:
Snaefellsnes sounds great! The most important thing is to be where good Northern Lights might be caught. So do you think we should stay in another hotel more North??

Preeti B:
I thought the Golden Circle might be nice to visit the Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall, Kerid crater lake and Geysir. But South Coast is also possible.

It would be better to stay up north in which case you could start your day with a hike to the Glymur waterfall which is a fantastic 2-3 hour hike.

Adriana D:
Thank you for helping us with this trip Preeti, Halldor, and Emanuela. It's made it this trip so smooth!!!
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Traveler Review

It sometimes felt like the driver was a bit impatient with us. We wanted to linger a bit each morning (not morning people) and the driver seemed annoyed with us. We are of a different culture so taking our time is normal, but there may have been a cultural misunderstanding.

The arrangements Preeti made were wonderful! She was very responsive to us and made every little tweak we requested. My finance's birthday was amazing!