Volcanoes and Northern Lights

Aurora over a volcanic eruption, Iceland
from £1366 4 nights | Nov - Mar Inc. flights See price details
  • Departs:
  • Nov - Mar


This escorted short break provides an amazing opportunity to experience Iceland’s natural wonders. Staying in the rugged interior, you’ll explore the country's most impressive and active volcanic area on exciting 8WD excursions, exclusive to Discover the World. A night at Hotel Ranga, a hotspot for northern lights viewing, is also included, along with a guided tour of the Golden Circle.


  • Enjoy two thrilling 8WD trips into the Icelandic Highlands
  • Venture into the spellbinding Thorsmork and Thorsadalur valleys
  • Explore the slopes of the infamous Eyjafjallajokull volcano
  • Stay at superb properties renowned for their northern lights sightings
  • Take a guided tour of the waterfalls, geysers and geology of the Golden Circle
  • Relax in the blissful geothermal waters of the Secret Lagoon

Explore Iceland’s volcanic interior
Two of the four nights on this fascinating short break are at Hotel Highland, a perfect base for exploring Iceland’s vast, uninhabited highlands. Venturing well off the beaten track, you will travel by 8WD supertruck into the volcanic region near Mt Hekla where highlights include Eyjafjallajokull (site of the infamous 2010 eruption), the breathtaking 122m-tall plume of Haifoss waterfall and Thorsmork – a spectacular ‘hidden’ valley surrounded by volcanoes and glaciers.

Northern Lights viewing
Staying somewhere away from artificial light pollution is one of the best ways to boost your chances of seeing the northern lights – and on this trip we’ve selected three properties with great aurora potential. Hotel Ranga, where you spend your final night, offers an aurora wake-up service and even has a state-of-the-art observatory for ultimate night-sky appreciation. Throughout the holiday, your guide will be on hand to offer tips on photographing the northern lights.

The Golden Circle and Secret Lagoon
Your first night is at the Northern Light Inn on the volcanic Reykjanes Peninsula. As well as a 360-degree observation lounge, perfect for aurora spotting, it’s right next door to the Blue Lagoon where you can take an optional soak in the soothing waters. More geothermal nirvana awaits at the Secret Lagoon, a natural hot spring near Fludir, while a guided tour of the Golden Circle includes the geothermal wonders of Geysir, the continental rift at Thingvellir and the thundering twin-tiered waterfall of Gullfoss – encrusted with ice during winter.


Iceland was just like being on the moon and watching the northern lights over the unique landscape on our last night was exactly what I would imagine it would be like to be on another world.

Cynthia Thomas, Northern Lights & Volcanoes

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1: arrive Iceland
Arrive mid-afternoon at Keflavik International Airport and transfer to the Northern Light Inn next to the Blue Lagoon. This evening take an optional soothing dip in the mystical, milky waters of the Blue Lagoon (entrance fee not included). Dinner tonight is at your leisure and payable locally.

Please note that due to the Blue Lagoon’s popularity and in order to avoid delays upon arrival we strongly recommend customers to pre-book their entrance tickets in advance with an allocated entry time. Please contact our team to find out more
Day 2: Golden Circle
Meet your guide and the rest of your group before exploring the highlights of the Golden Circle route. Visit the spouting geyser Strokkur and steaming pools at Geysir, Iceland's most famous geothermal area, as well as the mighty two-tiered Gullfoss watefall which cascades into the Hvita river and can be part-frozen in winter. You'll also visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Thingvellir National Park, where it possible to walk the rift which divides the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. After this wonderful day of sightseeing, head to Hotel Highland, your accommodation for the next two nights with breakfast, packed lunch and dinner included (dinner is a 3 course set menu - chef's choice). The rest of the evening is at leisure to relax at the hotel and keep an eye out for the majestic northern lights.
Day 3: explore the Icelandic highlands by 8WD
After breakfast enjoy a true Icelandic adventure in a fantastic landscape, combined with relaxation in a secluded “secret” lagoon (entrance fee included). Board a mighty 8 wheel drive vehicle and get off the beaten track as your expert driver navigates through rough, rocky terrain and traverses free flowing glacial river plains. Highlights of this highland venture include the impressive Thorsadalur valley, Haifoss, the second highest waterfall in Iceland, and Thjodveldisbaer, a restored Viking house. Continue the drive crossing a magnificent Salmon River, Stora-Laxa, to the “secret” lagoon near Fludir. The naturally heated waters are a constant 38-40 degrees Celsius all year and are the perfect place to relax after a day’s exertion. A packed lunch will be provided by the hotel (included).

Tonight, head back to Hotel Highland for dinner and more potential northern lights displays.
Day 4: Thorsmork by 8WD
Enjoy a thrilling 8-wheel drive adventure on a mammoth ice truck into the wooded valley of Thorsmork, bursting with partially frozen streams and rivers. See the eruption area of the 2010 Eyjafjallajokull volcano and where the lake that existed at the foot of the Gigjokull glacial tongue has completely disappeared! Transfer to the world famous Hotel Ranga for an overnight stay with dinner (3 course set menu - chef's choice). At Hotel Ranga arrangements are usually made for participants to dine as a group. Spend the evening relaxing and observing the skies from the observatory with its roll-off roof and computerized telescopes.
Day 5: Reykjanes Peninsula - depart Iceland
Leave Hotel Ranga after breakfast for a brief tour of the sights around the Reykjanes Peninsula, including the bubbling mud pools of Krysuvík and a walk across the bridge between two continents (weather and time dependant), before reaching Keflavik Airport in time for you flight home. Due to a slightly later departure time, those flying with Icelandair will be taken to a highly rated restaurant where lunch can be purchased (payable locally), while those departing with WOW Air are transferred to Keflavik Airport. Icelandair passengers will then be transferred after lunch.
  • This itinerary is based around Icelandair flights which arrive at Keflavik at 16:00. Other flight options are available from the UK but may involve a short wait upon arrival in Iceland or require extra nights to be added in Iceland before and/or after the tour. Please contact our team of travel specialists to discuss the options available to you.
  • The weather in Iceland can be unpredictable and therefore can cause substantial delays which can result in the need to re-arrange or extend your holiday itinerary. Whilst we and our contacts in Iceland will do everything possible to minimise any disruption, it is important that you check the details of your travel insurance and allow for some flexibility in your plans.

Accommodation Options

Hotel Highland

  • Grade: Standard
  • Type: Hotel

Found in a stunningly remote yet easily accessible locat…

Hotel Ranga, near Hella

  • Grade: Deluxe
  • Type: Hotel

Overlooking the East Ranga River and offering superbly u…

Northern Light Inn

  • Grade: Standard
  • Type: Hotel

This delightful 32-room hotel sits on the volcanic Reykj…

Prices & Dates

Winter 2016/17 departures

All departures advertised are subject to minimum numbers. Extra departures may be added at a later date.

10 November - Guaranteed departure
16 February - One space remaining
09 March - Fully booked

Prices are in £ per person based on rooms with private facilities, unless otherwise stated.

Oct- Dec 2016 4 nights
Two sharing £1,303



Jan- Mar 2017 4 nights
Two sharing



Prices include flight credit of £150*, group transfers as per itinerary; 2 nights accommodation in a room with private facilities on half board basis (breakfast and 3-course set menu dinner) and two packed lunches at Hotel Highland, 1 night accommodation in a room with private facilities on half board basis (breakfast and 3-course set menu dinner) at Hotel Ranga and 1 night on a breakfast basis in a room with private facilities at the Northern Light Inn; entrance fee to the Secret Lagoon with towel; services of a driver and guide, excursions as detailed in the itinerary and a Northern Lights Bradt Guide. 

Prices exclude travel insurance, personal expenses, tips and gratuities

* Flight credit is based on a typical airfare for a budget airline with checked in luggage and the actual cost of the flight will be shown on your quotation. This may reduce or increase the cost of your holiday.

Other Information

Group size

Group size is usually around 15-25 people (maximum 29).

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All Iceland self drive clients will have free use of our exclusive digital travel guide. Your personalised itinerary will be pre-loaded onto an iPad air, which hosts a comprehensive database of places to visit throughout Iceland.

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Speak to a specialist: 01737 214 250

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Tailor Made

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Our team of Travel Specialists have extensive first-hand knowledge of our destinations and are passionate about travel.

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