The Ultimate Off-Season Icelandic Adventure

The Ultimate Off-Season Icelandic Adventure

Discover the true magic of Iceland in the off season when everything seems just a little more special...  Not only is it when the dancing Northern Lights are at their brightest, Mývatns jet black lava formations are even more impressive when they are covered by a blanket of snow and Goðafoss falls 'the waterfall of Gods' truly lives up to its name when its tumbling cascades are frozen and paused in time!

How would you like to observe the vivid winter Northern Lights from the comforts of a warm bubbling hot tub and cruise among playful whales in a beauitful fjord surrounded by snow covered peaks? Join us on a snowshoeing and hiking adventure to uncover the true magic of Iceland...

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Reykjavik

    Reykjavik Welcome to Iceland! We will greet you at the airport and escort you to your accommodation in the capital city. Enjoy an evening to explore Reykjavik at leisure - why not join a walking tour of the capital city? Or perhaps you’d like to visit a museum or eat at a local restaurant? We have lots of recommendations for your first evening in Iceland.

    Accommodation: Guesthouse or youth hostel
    Transport: Bus, 35 miles
    Activities: free walking tour of the captital city, traditional meal in local restaurant & museum visit

  • Day 2 Whale watching, Dalvik

    Whale watching, Dalvik This morning we will fly from Reykjavik to Akureyri and drive to Dalvik. It is a scenic route to the small northern fishing village which will be our home for the next two days. Today we can strap on our snowshoes and explore the heights around this traditional town and go on a whale watching boat trip in the beautiful Eyjafjörður fjord where humpback whales play. This evening will can visit Dalvik Pool for an evening swim or relaxation session - perhaps you will even be able to observe the Northern Lights from the comfort of a warm bubbling hot tub...

    Activities: Whale watching, short snowshoe hike & Dalvik Pool visit
    Transport: Flight from Reykjavik to Akureyri
    Accommodation: Local inn

  • Day 3 Exploring 'Troll Peninsula'

    Exploring 'Troll Peninsula' Tröllaskagi peninsula or 'troll peninsula' is a beautiful mountainous peninsula found between Eyjafjörður and Skagafjörður fjords. There are infinite snowshoeing and hiking possibilities here and depending on the conditions we will explore glacial valleys or climb summits overlooking the Arctic Ocean. Once again, this evening will can visit Dalvik Pool to swim or relax and maybe we will spot the Northern Lights!

    5-6 hours of snowshoeing or hiking & Dalvik Pool visit
    Accommodation: Local inn

  • Day 4 Traditional fishing villages and ocean views

    Traditional fishing villages and ocean views Today we head to the peaceful village of Siglufjörður, Iceland's northernmost city. Found only 25 miles from the Polar Circle this traditional fishing village at the end of the world will transport us back to the 1950s. We will fully explore Siglufjörður with walking tour of the town, a visit to the famous Herring Era Museum and a short hike/snowshoeing adventure with views of the fjord surrounded by snowy mountains.

    2-4 hours of hiking/snowshoeing, a free walking tour of Siglufjörður & visit the Herring Musuem
    Accommodation: Gueshouse or hostel

  • Day 5 Goðafoss & Mývatn

    Goðafoss & Mývatn Today we will visit Goðafoss 'the waterfall of Gods', a truly impressive place which certainly lives up to its name particularly in the winter and spring when parts of the falls are frozen. Then we will head to Mývatn to explore this beautiful region by foot or snowshoe and we will visit the strange lava formations of Dimmuborgir. This evening you can bath in the warm waters of Mývatn Nature Baths.

    2-4 hours of walking/snowshoeing & optional visit to Mývatn Nature Baths
    Accommodation: Guesthouse

  • Day 6 Volcanoes, geothermals & northern lights

    Volcanoes, geothermals & northern lights Depending on the conditions, today we are in for a full day of hiking or snowshoeing exploring the impressive lava formations left behind by Kraflas 1975 and 1984 eruptions and the geothermal features of Namafjall. Mývatn is known as the Northern Lights capital of Iceland and hopefully a magnificant display of dancing lights will accompany our final evening in Mývatn...

    5-6 hours of snowshoeing or hiking
    Accommodation: Guesthouse

  • Day 7 Hiking Hverfell & exploring Akureyri

    Hiking Hverfell & exploring Akureyri This morning we will hike around Hverfell, the imposing volcanic crater with a diameter of over 1200 metres which is the star of many Icelandic postcards. In winter white it is a truly spectacular! Then we will visit the second largest city in Iceland, Akureyri with its colourful houses, interesting history and lively centre. Tonight we head to Rekjavik for a final evening in Iceland at leisure, We have lots of recommendations for your last night in Iceland - why not enjoy some local food in an authentic Icelandic restaurant?

    A final short hike/snowshoeing adventure & walking tour of Akureyri
    Optional activities: traditional meal 1/or museum visit in Reykjavik
    Transport: Flight from Akureyri to Reykjavik
    Accommodation: Guesthouse or Youth Hostel

  • Day 8 Flight Home

    Flight Home Morning transfer to the airport and flight home

Please note that this itinerary, including walking distances and times, is indicative. Our guides aim to provide the adventure that is best suited to the weather, your interests and the demands of the group. Please be aware that in order to achieve this, changes to the programme may be made.

Other trips you may like

the floating icebergs of jokulsarlon under the northern lights
Winter Panoramas of Iceland: From waterfalls of ice to snow covered lava formations; from floating icebergs to warm hot springs... This invigorating trip comes with 4x4 vehicle hire so that you can discover everything Iceland has to offer at your own pace...

Dates & prices

Departures for English-speaking groups:

No departure for now

Trip code: EISLR8VA

Included

  • Return flights Reykjavik to Akureyri
  • Flights include hold luggage and all air taxes
  • All in country transfers
  • Accommodation
  • Full board (except first and last meals
  • Full supervision by a qualified expert guide
  • Northern Lights hunting every night
  • A whale watching boat trip in Eyjafjörður fjord
  • Two visits to Dalvik Pool, chance to observe the Northern Lights from hot tubs
  • Guided snow-shoe hikes in some of Icelands most magical destinations
  • Free walking tours of Reykjavik, Akureyri & Siglufjörður
  • Entrance to the Herring Era Musuem

Not included

  • International flights
  • Registration fee: €18 (free for under 12s)
  • Meals in Reykjavik (2 evening meals and one breakfast)

Additional Options

Please let us know if you would like to reserve any of the following optional activities:
  • Icelandic meal in traditional restaurant: From  €20
  • Mývatn Nature Baths: From €20

Museums in Reykjavik

There are lots of museums in Reykjavik, our personal favourites are:
  • The National Museum of Iceland: €16 (free for under 18s)
  • Aurora Reykjavik Northern Lights Centre: from €10
  • Reykjavik City Museum and Settlement Exhibition: from €15 (free for under 17s)
Please let us know if you would like to plan museum visits to these museums or any others in Reykjavik ahead of time. Reservation in advance is not necessary. 

Notes

Explanantion of difficulty levels


LEVEL 2 Easy
Pace: Easy to moderate 
Daily walking time: 3 to 5 hours 
Daily elevation: 500 m 
Preparation: One month before departure, you improve your stamina by training once a week. 
Experience: Good physical condition
You are in good physical condition. You like to walk several days in a row, at an average of 3 to 5 hours per day (6 to 14 km) with vertical differences of up to 500 meters. You prefer simple accommodation, even rustic or short camps in base camp.

Please note that our difficulty ratings may vary depending on the weather.

Terms and conditions

Please see our terms and conditions and information for insurances by clicking the following link: iceland.altaibasecamp.com/en/terms

Practical info

Staff

You will be welcomed at the airport by a representative from our friendly team and accompanied for the duration of your holiday. Armed with an abundance of experience and a wealth of knowledge our professional Icelandic team know the country inside out. All activities are lead by our qualified guides who are all English speaking outdoor practitioners with a passion for everything Icelandic. 

Food

This trip includes full board - we are proud of the varied, fresh and frankly delicious food we provide even when camping. Meals are based on a selection of local products and you will have the opportunity to try Icelandic delicacies such as skyr, smoked salmon and leg of lamb.

Each day will start with a hearty breakfast accompanied by plenty of tea and coffee. Then you will prepare your own picnic lunch for the day from a buffet style array of options - everyday there will definitely be sandwiches, fruit and cakes among the other options. Each evening meal will include meat, fish and vegetables - we offer fresh fruit and vegetables everyday. The tap water in Iceland is of very high quality and it is delicious.

Your help in the kitchen is expected and much appreciated, particularly in the evenings. We like when the whole group work as a team to cook dinner, it creates a pleasant atmosphere as we reflect on the days adventures together.

Please let us know about any dietary requirements when you book the trip and we will work with you to cater for your needs.

Alcohol is very expensive in Iceland and you can only buy beer which is stronger than 2.25% alcohol in state run liquor stores. If you want to enjoy an evening drink after your days adventures, we recommend buying Duty Free alcohol in the airport.

Accommodation

During this trip you will get to stay in a variety of Icelands traditional sleeping bag accommodation options. Your first and last nights will be spent in a guesthouse / hostel close to Reykjavik city centre, all houses have shared bathroom and kitchen facilities, hot showers and heating. Please bring a warm sleeping bag.

Transportation

For this trip we will travel in style in our privatised classic 4x4 vehicles. Some of Icelands 'roads' are more like 'tracks' and fjord crossings are not uncommon - these vehicles are perfectly adapted to Icelands terrain!

Budget & exchange

The currency in Iceland is Icelandic Krona (ISK). Please budget for:
  • Meals in Reykjavik (2500-5600ISK)
  • Drinks & personal expenses

Tips

Although the custom is not widespread here, if you are satisfied with the services of your guide, tipping is always appreciated - it is not obligatory and should be left to the discretion of each individual.

Supplied equipment

We will provide you with snowshoes and any technical equipment needed for this adventure. We will also transport your luggage for you, all you need to carry each day is a small day bag so you can relax and enjoy your surroundings.

Vital equipment

  • A warm sleeping bag
  • Walking boots
  • Waterproof jacket (with a hood)
  • Waterproof trousers
  • A warm jumper or two
  • Suitable underwear, t-shirts and walking trousers
  • Thermals - top & long johns
  • A swimsuit
  • Warm gloves and hat
  • Sunhat and sun cream (water based suncream may freeze in low temperatures)
  • Sunglasses (UV 400)
  • Any personal medication
  • Towel & toiletries
  • A water bottle
  • A small rucksack to use as a day bag
  • Warm pyjamas

Material

We prefer that you do not wear cotton clothing, including underwear, when participating in activities. When cotton gets wet from water or sweat it ceases to insulate and it does not dry fast. The best materials for outdoor activities are fast drying materials like polyester or materials which are warm when wet like wool. The most powerful materials against the wind and rain are 'breathable' materials like Gore-Tex or Nikwax.

Our advice for keeping warm:
Winter in Iceland can be very cold, please think carefully about what clothes you bring, although we will provide warm outer layers, the layers you wear next to your skin make the biggest difference.
We recommend: No cottonBring dry spares of everything, even underwear and gloves
Wear multiple layers including:
  1. warm breathable base layer
  2. second thermal layer
  3. Wind and waterproof protective out layer

Helpful equipment

You may also consider packing
  • Your camera
  • Binoculars
  • A notepad and pencil
  • A thermos flask
  • Plastic bags for wet/dirty clothing
  • A comfortable evening outfit
  • Walking poles
  • An iInflatable pillow
  • Insect repellant

Luggage

Please bring a small rucksack to use as a day bag. You can bring this as hand luggage on the aeroplane. You will carry your lunch, water, spare layers and any personal medication with you each day in this bag. You will also need a larger bag to store your other clothes and belongings in, please ensure that this is a soft bag like a rucksack or holdall rather than a hard cased suitcase because it is more practical to transport. We recommend packing all of your clothes in plastic bags so that they stay dry in the event of wet weather.

Medicine

Your companion has a first-aid kit during the tour. However, we recommend that you bring your medications:
  • Personal medication
  • Anti pain medication Paracetamol
  • Diarrhoea drugs
  • Intestinal dressing
  • Sun screen with strong protection for the lips and the skin
  • Eye drops for the eyes
  • Moisturizing cream for the treatment of superficial burns (blisters and sunburns)
  • An adhesive elastic band
  • a box of adhesive plasters and disinfectant compresses
  • Double skin for blisters

Passport

Most travellers require a passport that is valid for at least three months after the return date. It is your responsibility to confirm your specific passport requirements and please be aware that proof of onwards travel may be required. You can check your requierements by clicking the following link provided by the Icelandic government: www.utl.is/index.php/en/

Visa

EU citizen do not need a visa as Iceland is part of the Schengen cooperation.
Travellers of other nationalities please check the following link of the Icleandic government to check: www.utl.is/index.php/en/visas

Mandatory vaccines

There are no specific health risks

Weather

Contrary to the name 'Ice-land' the weather in Iceland is relatively mild considering its location. This trip runs from March to June, the weather is unpredictable but average temperatures in Reykjavik during this time vary from -2°C (28°F) to+11°C (52°F). Temperatures are of course colder in the less sheltered area, the north and the highlands. The Northern Lights can be seen from September to April if the conditions are right.

Electricity

Iceland uses Northern European electrical standards (50Hz/220 volts)  and the standard Europlug socket with two round prongs.

Please be aware that some of our more remote campsites and refuges charge for electricity use.

Local time

Iceland uses Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) like the United Kingdom but does not observe daylight-saving time in the summer

Topography

Area: 39,768.5 m²
Population: 334,252 inhabitants (2016)
Capital: Reykjavik
Languages: Icelandic
Regime: Parliamentary Republic

Iceland is 20 million years old and is a volcanic island with around one eruption every 5 years. 11% of the island is covered with ice, 1% of the land is cultivated, 20% is grassland, 2% is lake, 40% is sand and the rest is desert.

Sustainable tourism

 As adventure and wilderness travel experts who run trips to some of the most remote parts of the world, we take responsible tourism very seriously. We respect the ‘Leave No Trace’ outdoor ethical code and try to explore this beautiful location whilst causing minimal environmental damage.

The Leave No Trace policy can be summarized in 7 simple steps which we hope you will follow during ourtrip...

1.    Be prepared
2.    Stick to trails and camp overnight right
3.    Stash your trash and pick up waste
4.    Leave it as you find it
5.    Be careful with fire
6.    Respect wildlife
7.    Be considerate of other visitors

Over the years we have built up good relations with our local suppliers and we are keen to support local businesses as much as possible. We are a small company and we pay our local partners and suppliers directly insuring fair rates. 

Our small group sizes not only provide a more intimate adventure but also cause less impact on the environment and local communities.

We expect all who travel with us to support and uphold our Sustainable Tourism philosophies.


If you have any questions regarding how to be a responsible traveller or concerning any other subject, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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Isabelle

My local agent
Isabelle

  • Outdoor activities enthusiast
  • Adventure travel expert
  • Graduated with a UK First Class Honours Degree in Outdoor Leadership
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Region
Northern Iceland Reykjavík & Reykjanes
Activity
Off-season Snowshoeing The Northern Lights Whale Watching Winter
Duration
8 days
Group
5 to 12 people
Code
EISLR8VA
Price
From €2,390
Level
2/5
Comfort
4/5
Language(s)
English

Strengths

  • Go whale watching, snowshoeing and observe the Northern Lights; visit traditional fishing villages, hot springs and mountainous fjords
  • Fully explore Iceland from Reykjavik to Mývatn; from Akureyri to the Tröllaskagi peninsula
  • Our experienced professional guides, state of the art equipment and traditional Icelandic accommodation will keep you safe and warm

Required level

This trip involves walking or snowshoeing for around 2-6 hours a day, no previous snowshoeing experience is necessary but you should be in fair health, have a sense of adventure and a positive attitude. Our hikes are not technically difficult but may venture off-trail and there may be steps on and off vehicles. Please be aware that the dificulty and duration of our activities may vary according to the weather and snow conditions.
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