Local Living Iceland—Northern Lights & Reykjavík
It’s one thing to look at photos of the majestic Northern Lights – it’s definitely another to see them for yourself while living in Iceland for five days. While we’ll absolutely take some time to go in search of the Lights, we’ll also include some local elements to best connect you to winter life in Reykjavík – think visiting a local flea market, buying fish for a cooking class, and touring this beautiful city. The CEO is a native Icelander and will be able to impart loads of knowledge about customs and daily life. Throw in some free time to keep this trip extra customizable and you’ve got an Iceland living experience to remember.
Guided Reykjavík city tour by foot. Two cooking lessons. Northern Lights excursion. Visit to naturally heated pools. Visit to Kolaportið Flea Market. Transport between destinations and included activities.
Hunt for the ethereal Northern Lights, soak in natural pools with locals, savour the fruits of a cooking lesson with an Icelandic dinner feast, scour the local flea and fish market for bargains, explore the Icelandic countryside.
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
Group Leader Description
This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our CEOs (Chief Experience Officer). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.
Group Size Notes
Max 14, avg 10.
4 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
Van, jeep, walking.
About our Transportation
Most day excursions (both optional and included) will include private transportation to and from the activity and your CEO can help arrange any other transportation services you might need.
We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Fully equipped house in Reykjavík (4 nts).
We stay in a family-style house in central Reykjavík within comfortable walking distance to downtown. The house has a combination of twin-share and double bedrooms, along with a comfortable living room, fully equipped kitchen and multiple shared bathrooms. Clean sheets and towels will be provided upon arrival to be used for the duration of the tour. The house is professionally cleaned before and after each group’s stay, but the group is asked to assist in keeping the house clean and tidy during the tour. In Iceland, it is standard practice to remove shoes before entering a home, and it is requested that tour participants do the same in this house.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
Upon exiting the airport, take the shuttle bus service, Flybus. Cost is 2500ISK. It will drop you off anywhere in Reykjavik. The office is located on the main shopping street in Reykjavik.
Please meet with your CEO at the latest by 4pm at the Arctic Adventure Office. Once there, you will be transferred to your Reykjavik Local Living accommodation.
If you are arriving earlier, you will be able to drop of your luggage at the office for the day. If you are arriving after 4pm, please make your way to the office and they will contact your CEO to pick you up or provide you with directions to the local living property.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Operator (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office, London, UK
After hours emergency number: +44 7817 262559
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•USD or EUR cash (local currency is the Islandic Krona)
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
•Warm fleece top
•Warm winter jacket
•Windproof/waterproof jacket and pants
•Base layer (not cotton, optional for snorkelling and rafting)
•Small towel and swimwear
•Sturdy hiking boots or supportive shoes for optional hikes
•Personal clothing for colder weather
•Watch or alarm clock
•Water bottle or camelbak
-Camera with extra memory cards and batteries
-Waterproof backpack cover
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
There is currently no departure tax when leaving Iceland.
Tipping in Iceland is not customary. In many cases, a service charge is added to the bill which means that it is not necessary to add a tip. If you wish to express your satisfaction with the service in a bar or restaurant, then a gratuity of 10% or to round up the amount of the bill is perfectly acceptable.
Tipping during the tour program is similarly not expected, but it can be a way to express satisfaction with the persons who have assisted on your tour. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from the equivalent of $3-5 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
At the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €30-40 per person, per week can be used.
All prices are per person, in USD. Please note that these prices are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators and also due to exchange rate fluctuation.
Visit to the Blue Lagoon: 105USD
Multimedia Geysir Museum: 8USD
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical Ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
Trip Specific Safety
Like anywhere in the world, major cities have areas safer than others, use common sense, be aware of your surroundings and mind your personal belongings. Also, please look at weather reports before packing to ensure your clothes are warm enough for the Icelandic winter.
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that an average level of fitness and mobility is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our leaders work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at www.gadventures.com/medical-form.
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send it on to you.
You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout.
PRODUCT_LINE: ELNL, ID: 23110
Day 1 Reykjavik
Share a fully equipped house in Reykjavík with your fellow travellers, using it as a jumping off point for your Local Living adventures.
Tonight, if the conditions are right, we’ll set off to hunt for the Northern Lights. If not, we will try again tomorrow.
Note that the Northern Lights are a natural phenomena, and as such, we cannot control them. We do not have formal statistics on the success rate of viewing the Northern Lights, but it is very high because if the chances are not favourable for viewing, we cancel and reschedule the tour. For that reason, we offer the Northern Lights excursion early on in the trip so if the tour is cancelled or not successful, there is additional time to opt to book a second tour.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Northern Lights Tour
Day 2 Reykjavik (1B, 1L, 1D)
Get to know Reykjavîk on a guided tour of the city. Stop by Kolaportið, the local flea and fish market, scour the stands for a bargain, then help the CEO buy some fish for dinner. Stop by some naturally heated pools popular with the locals. Enjoy a cooking demonstration with the CEO to learn how to make delicious and hearty Icelandic dishes.
Reykjavik City Tour
Kolaportið Flea Market Visit
Naturally Heated Pools Visit
Days 3-4 Reykjavik
During your free time, set off and really get to know Reykjavîk and its surroundings. Opt to set off by foot to get to know the city, or book a tour to visit some of the natural sites for which Iceland is famous, such as the Golden Circle or the Sólheimajökull Glacier.
Day 5 Reykjavik (1B)
Depart at any time. Those with later flights may opt to visit the famous Blue Lagoon.