Iceland Northern Lights Adventure

Iceland - Trip code INL Discovery
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135Kg of CO²e
Average carbon footprint per person
Carbon Footprint
You deserve to know everything about your holiday, from what is included, what to expect and every kilogram of CO2 emitted on average per person along the way.

We've partnered with ecollective to measure the carbon footprint of this tour based on an average group size. Find out more about how we calculate this and why we think it's important here.

Why book this trip?

Stay in the heart of Iceland's Golden Circle on this short break, and have the opportunity to see the best of what this incredible country has to offer from the comfort of our new custom-built yurts.

  • Nattura Yurtel - Spend three nights sleeping in comfortable custom-made Mongolian yurts located on a working horse farm. The yurts have views of Strokker Geyser, an active regularly erupting geysir that's a constant reminder of why Iceland is called 'the land of fire and ice'
  • Northern Lights - Stay up and watch the incredible phenomena of the Aurora Borealis lighting up the night sky
  • Dramatic scenery - Discover the thundering Gullfoss waterfalls and the black basalt cliffs at Vik I Myrdal
  • Included meals

    Breakfast: 4

  • Trip staff

    Explore Tour Leader


  • Transport


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    1 nights comfortable hotel

    3 nights comfortable yurt

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    Trip pace:


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    Group Size:

    10 - 16


Day 1 - Join trip at Keflavik Airport

Our trip begins at Keflavik Airport (KEF) at 4:30pm. If you would like to join the complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Keflavik Airport, with your flight arriving by 4pm. The transfer to the city takes approximately 45 minutes and follows a pretty road along the coast. Once in the city you can check in to the hotel and the rest of the day is free to relax.

Alternatively there are no activities planned today, so if you want to arrive in the city later you can make your own way to our hotel using the FlyBus shuttle service. The buses depart from the airport every 40 minutes and stop right outside of the hotel. Tickets can be bought online in advance or at the desk in the arrivals hall.

Travelling to Iceland in the winter months offers the best chance to see the incredible natural phenomena of the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights. Short daylight hours mean additional hours of darkness to watch the skies in the hope of spotting the ethereal green lights dancing across the sky. The 'lights' are actually electrically charged particles, high up in the atmosphere which make the thinner air fluoresce. White and green are the most common colours to spot, but purples and reds are seen when the lights are forming at higher altitudes.

On this trip we'll keep a close watch on the night skies in the hope of seeing the aurora. When staying in the yurts we are far away from any light pollution which will maximise the chance of a good sighting. If you wish to capture the lights on camera you will need a tripod, or something to balance your camera on as a long exposure is needed. It's worth the effort though as the images captured by a camera are often far brighter than our eyes can see.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: None

Day 2 - Visit Reykjavik's Lutheran Church and walk around the harbour. Drive to Nattura Yurtel

This morning we will meet our Leader and spend the morning exploring Reykjavik. The city is a wonderful mix of traditional houses clad in corrugated iron and modern architecture. There are plenty of green spaces here but the highlight is walking along the waterfront. Fishing has long been Iceland's main industry and watching the ships coming in and out of the harbour shows us the lifeblood of this small island nation.

A must-see for any visit to Reykjavik is Hallgrimskirkja, the Lutheran church that can be seen throughout the city. The dramatic design resembles the basalt columns we'll see later on at Vik I Myrdal beach. We'll take in the views from the top of the church before stopping for lunch.

After lunch we'll leave the city and head inland. The drive to Nattura Yurtel takes just over two hours.

Nattura Yurtel was built in 2019 and is set on a working farm, close to Gullfoss Falls. The accommodation comprises of 10 custom-made yurts, which are traditionally Mongolian in structure but have been designed and furnished with an Icelandic twist. These round tents are comfortably furnished with twin beds, toilets and sinks with the added comfort of under-floor heating. Showers are located in a separate block and there are two large communal yurts to relax in.

After a busy day you may choose to spend time chatting over a drink in one of the communal yurts - we'd recommend that you purchase duty-free drinks on arrival in Iceland; there's a large duty-free shop just before baggage claim in the airport. Alternatively you may decide to stretch your legs and go for a walk around the farm.

There are a number of small restaurants within a short drive so we'll head out to one of them this evening for dinner.


Grade: Comfortable Yurt

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 3 - Explore Iceland's south shore and the waterfalls at Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss

Today we have a packed day exploring the best of southern Iceland.

This morning we drive through the Eyjafjallajokull region, where in 2010 a volcanic eruption here caused the now infamous ash cloud, disrupting worldwide air travel for several days. The volcano is now quiet again and your local Leader will be able to talk about the impact the eruption had on the local community.

We'll spend time at Vik I Myrdal, a rocky beach with its incredible basalt cliffs which are said to have inspired the church we visited yesterday. The beach is often incredibly windy and there are great photo opportunities of the waves crashing against the cliffs.

After some lunch we'll see one of Iceland's tallest waterfalls, Skogafoss. Standing at 62 metres tall it's an impressive sight, and if we are lucky with the light we should spot rainbows in the spray. We'll also stop at the Skogar Folk Museum. This quaint museum is home to 12,000 artefacts as well as life-size examples of traditional Icelandic houses with turf roofs, a church and school.

Seljalandsfoss waterfall is almost as tall as Skogafoss but, weather permitting, we'll have the chance to walk behind the curtain of water! The pathway shows off the falls from the front, circling around the back and emerging on the other side. Because of the constant spray the path is always slippy and can be closed in winter when the path freezes over.

We'll make our way back to our yurts for the evening to relax and make the most of the beautiful, rural setting.


Grade: Comfortable Yurt

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 4 - Discover the highlights of the Golden Circle: Gullfoss falls, Strokkur Geysir and Thingvellir National Park

Today we explore the famous Golden Circle, which includes three of Iceland's most iconic sights.

Nattura Yurtel is the ideal base from which to visit the magnificent Gullfoss waterfalls. It's a popular day trip from Reykjavik so we'll have an early breakfast and get there before the crowds arrive. Gullfoss is known locally as the 'Golden Waterfall', due to the way it cascades into a deep gorge with tremendous force. They may be biased but locals regard it as one of the most beautiful falls in the world!

Close by is Haukadalur, home of the Great Geysir. With the claim-to-fame of being the first spouting spring known to Europeans, Geysir has given all such springs their name. However, it is the Strokkur, meaning 'The Butter Churn', which is the main attraction, due to its impressive 30 metre eruptions every few minutes.

Continuing the focus on Iceland's incredible landscape we visit Thingvellir National Park, a rare site of both historical and geological importance. Meaning 'Parliament Plains', this was the location of Iceland's first National Assembly for 800 years from 930AD and as such, is hugely significant in the country's cultural heritage. The impressive landscape sits on a unique spot where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge can be seen on dry land before disappearing to the ocean floor. This provides the quirky opportunity to place one foot on the North American tectonic plate and one foot on the Eurasian plate.

We'll return to our accommodation in the afternoon and there'll be a chance to try the most traditional transport method, the Icelandic horse. We'll ride across open land at a relaxed pace, so it's ideal for beginners with the focus being on taking in the vast landscape. If horse riding doesn't appeal then do as the locals do and visit the Secret Lagoon, a natural geo-thermal pool perfect for relaxing in the warm water.

Although each day of the trip is busy, there will be time to spend wandering around the farm, which is home to over 100 horses. The changing weather in Iceland gives a great excuse to relax and watch the changing light on the landscape from the comfort of your yurt.


Grade: Comfortable Yurt

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 5 - Trip ends at Keflavik Airport

We'll have an early start this morning. After a light breakfast we'll say farewell to our hosts and travel back to Keflavik Airport (KEF) where the trip ends at 9:30am. The earliest time your flight can depart is 11:15am.

If you would like to add more time to explore Reykjavik we encourage you to book additional nights after the tour. If you decide to do this we will drop you in the city centre at 9am today to save you an unnecessary journey back out to the airport. The FlyBus shuttle offers a convenient way for you to travel back to the airport at the end of your trip, and you can buy tickets directly from the driver.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Trip information

Climate and country information



Iceland has a cool and temperate climate and, despite its location just south of the Arctic Circle, its northerly latitude is counteracted by the warm waters of the North Atlantic Drift which encircles the island. Temperatures in winter can fluctuate between about 10°C and -10°C and precipitation in the form of rain, sleet or snow is to be expected at any time. Days will be short, with daylight often only guaranteed between about 11 am and 4 pm in December. The best time for seeing the Aurora Borealis is October to March. Summer is generally cool with average temperatures for June and July around 12 - 15 degree centigrade in Reykjavik, although is known to be warmer in other parts of the country. In June and July you can enjoy continuous daylight and see the Midnight Sun, whilst late spring and early autumn offer long twilights.

Time difference to GMT



2 Pin Round


National Church of iceland



Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.

Horse riding - 6000 ISK per hour. Horse riding can be booked for an hour or a full day, typically a two-hour ride gives a great taste. It is suitable for complete beginners and is a very relaxed pace, all about enjoying the landscape.

Secret Lagoon - 3000 ISK per person entrance fee, 700 ISK towel rental and 1000 ISK for transport there and back. Relax in this natural hot springs, with the water temperature around 38 degrees all year round and a small geyser that erupts every few minutes which you can watch as you soak in the water.


In Iceland weather conditions can change rapidly - sunshine, drizzle, rain and snow may all occur in the same day. You'll need to take warm clothing for outdoor activities so pack layers. A good quality heavy duty wind and waterproof jacket and trousers are essential and in winter add thermal layers to your packing list.

We recommend taking walking boots with a sturdy tread or trainers. Soft indoor shoes are recommended as it is normal in Iceland to have special house shoes.



Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.

Lunch price
Dinner price
£18.00 - 24.00
Beer price
£4.00 - 6.00
Water price
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Icelandic Krona (ISK).
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Both GBP and USD are readily exchanged at banks and post offices.
Where To Exchange
Both GBP and USD are readily exchanged at banks and post offices
ATM Availability
Cash can be drawn on credit cards from ATM's in Reykjavik and at the airport.
Credit Card Acceptance
Most shops and restaurants take credit cards.
Travellers Cheques
Can be exchanged at banks and post offices.
Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information


Accommodation notes

Our accommodation for this trip is the unique Nattura Yurtel, where we stay in custom-made Mongolian yurts which are located on a working horse farm.

Each yurt is one room - which is 6m in diameter and is fitted out with twin beds which can be pushed together to create a double. A number of yurts have day beds in them as well as comfortable chairs. To ensure that the glamping experience is as comfortable as possible every yurt has a toilet, which is discreetly housed in a small curtained area, as well as a sink area which has hot and cold water - towels are provided. There is a small fridge in each yurt, as well as a kettle along with tea and coffee.

Showers and further toilets are available in a separate block on the site.

Simple traditions are maintained at the Yurtel - for example all yurts are 'shoe free' (you may want to bring along some slippers for your stay), and everyone is encouraged to step into the yurt 'right foot first' as this is the traditional way.

There two large communal yurts on the site which are furnished with comfy sofas and have plenty of space to relax after a day of exploring. Both of these yurts have large viewing windows built into them, and so are ideal places to watch the northern lights in the winter, whenever the free light show decides to make an appearance.

Breakfast is served each morning in one of the communal yurts - look out for recycled table made from a left over from the construction.

The second communal yurt, which includes reception - has more of a bar-type atmosphere, and is where evenings are spent chatting and looking out through the viewing windows towards Geysir. Whilst this yurt has a bar-feel, it is very much a case of 'bring your own' to the bar, as drinks are currently not served there. So make sure you take advantage of the excellent value duty free shopping on arrival at Keflavik airport

Currently (Aug 2019) there is no Wi-Fi at the Yurtel, but there is very good 3G coverage. Even with this coverage there is no doubt that Nattura Yurtel is an ideal place for a digital detox.

Essential Information

Government Travel Safety Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.

Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

Iceland: Visas are not required by UK, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens.

Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.

If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Minimum age restrictions

For our group tours, the minimum age is 16. The minimum age on Family trips varies between 7 and 11 - please check the 'Family information' section of the trip page for more information. 


Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.

Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.

The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  

For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here


It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.

Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.


Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.



Nothing compulsory; tetanus recommended. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

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Airport Transfers
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