Iceland in Winter to see Aurora Borealis

  A couple visited Iceland in January 2017

“We were in Iceland in May 2015 and saw the Blue Lagoon, Reykjannes peninsula, Golden Circle, Thingvellir, Selfoss, Skogafoss and did a glacier hike (might have been Sandfellsjokull area) and walked on black basalt beach near Vik. We are returning to see Iceland in winter, in the hope of seeing the Aurora Borealis and other areas. On our prior trip we did NOT see Jokulsarlon, highlands, Snaefelljokull peninsula, Latrabjarg cliffs or western fjords. Not sure what is feasible in the short time allowed. Priority is Aurora. We arrive very early AM at KEF on Jan 13 and depart KEF 5 PM on Jan 16. What do you suggest?! We are early 60's and fit, and willing to join a group or do an overnight away from Reykjavik. Thanks!”

Chris McCarty, a local specialist from Iceland, helped this traveler put together a customized itinerary based on Best Sights of Snæfellsnes Peninsula: 1-2 day Driving Tour.

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Blue Lagoon, Snæfellsnes Peninsula Tour, and Northern lights

Day 1: Arrival, Blue Lagoon, Downtown Reykjavik
Day 2: Guided Tour: West Iceland and the start of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Day 3: Guided Tour: Volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Day 4: Morning in Reykjavik, Flybus to KEF

Summary of the trip planning conversation

Below are some useful excerpts from the trip planning conversation
Chris McCarty
Hi, welcome to kimkim! I'm Chris and I'll be your kimkim specialist for your trip to Iceland.

Are you interested in self-driving options as well, or do you prefer a small group tour?

With 4 days, I would recommend, I have ideas for you. It won't be possible to see all the areas you mentioned in the 4 days, because they are pretty spread out.

- You could stay along the Snaefellsnes Peninsula for a couple days
- You could take a domestic flight to Egilsstadir in the east and see the east fjords and Jokuksarlon
- You could take a domestic flight to Akureyri and see the north and Lake Myvatn Area.

Chris, are these self-driving tours only, or guided tours by bus or jeep with others? We are looking for something guided, especially for night driving to find the Aurora, as part of this trip. We did the other activities (except the glacier walk) on a self-guided rental car basis in May, but we are less confident of driving ourselves during the winter months (even though we live in Rochester, NY, so get 110 inches of snow a year on average) or in more remote areas of Iceland. Let us know if there are group tours we could join. The sights you have identified are interesting, though!

Chris McCarty
There are some guided tours around the Akureyri area in the north. And a few 1-2 day trips around Snaefellsnes

Thank you. Of the possibilities you provided, we would be most interested in the pricing for the options that include a 1-night guided tour starting from Reykjavik around Snaefellsnes for the night of January 14, 2017, and back to Reykjavik the night of Jan 15 (i.e., options to view Aurora the night of the 14th from Snaefellnes, or a later return to a Reykjavik hotel the night of the 15th so as to have a second chance at viewing the Aurora from somewhere on our way back). We arrive in Iceland early AM the 13th, and assume we'll want to do the Blue Lagoon coming from the airport and be in a hotel in Reykjavik the night of the 13th, do the 2-day tour including the night of the 14th, and be back in Reykjavik the night of the 15th because we depart for home the afternoon of the 16th. What are our options and prices? If it makes sense to book airport transfers, Blue Lagoon (on arrival) the 13th, and two nights in Reykjavik hotels through your company, we will consider doing that, too. Thanks for any thoughts you may have. 

Chris McCarty
Hi, I will look into the options and get you some prices. For your nights in Reykjavik, do you have a hotel style or budget to aim for? I can take care of all transfers and blue lagoon admissions as well. It may make more sense to go to the blue lagoon on your last day on the way to the airport, since it may not yet be open when you arrive early in the morning.

Chris, we are going to go with the KimKim tour you mention to Snaefellnes 2-day tour Jan 14-15 and Aurora hunt. Please let me know how to get you credit card info to pay your service fee.

Chris McCarty
I will make the reservation for the tour to hold the spot. I will also make the arrangements for the flybus transfer from KEF to the Blue Lagoon. Do you have a preference for the type of Blue Lagoon admission you want?

Payment into entered and received by KimKim.

We will do the Premium Package at Blue Lagoon, and prefer view over the same hotel if it isn't possible to do both. We also would very much appreciate any tips on what to pack/wear for this.

Will you provide an itinerary, or will the tour company do so, regarding the specifics of the overnighter, and (we hope) with details about packing suggestions. I am especially interested in footwear that may be needed (hiking boots vs. snow boots) and other tips. Thanks so much, looks like it is coming together, and it is great working with you.

Chris McCarty
Yes, I will put together all that information for you before your trip (you may also receive a similar version from the tour provider directly).

Chris, thank you for the comprehensive itinerary, it looks wonderful.
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Traveler Review

Chris was incredibly responsive and helpful. Great trip, great planning, and great follow-through.

We asked a lot of questions and he patiently got responses to all, and he helped us resolve a dispute that was not of his making.