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  • From the VIP vantage point of the Pearl Observatory restaurant Perlan, view one of the most spectacular displays of fireworks in the world.
  • Learn about Icelandic folk culture as you explore the turf homes, schoolhouse and artifact collections of the Skogar Museum.
  • Soak in the mineral-rich, geothermally heated waters of the famous Blue Lagoon.

Participate in one of the world’s most unique celebrations of the New Year in Reykjavik, Iceland, where ancient traditions and modern technology combine in spectacular fashion. First appreciate the stillness and beauty of the Icelandic countryside at the waterfall Gulfoss and along the scenic southern coast. Discover Thingvellir National Park, where Vikings met and formed the world’s oldest parliament. Then, join Icelandic families around their celebratory New Year’s Eve bonfires, enjoy a gala dinner and watch the amazing fireworks display.

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Flights & Transport
  • Internal airfare and ground transport

Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings
93% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 23 Great 3 Average 1 Disappointing 1 Terrible 0
4.7 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.8 Lodging
4.5 Transportation
4.6 Meals
Iceland: New Year’s Eve in Reykjavik

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Does Not Recommend


  • Value 3.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 3.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 2.0
  • Meals 3.0
I would have enjoyed this trip much more if I felt I was being treated as an adult, the educated, enthusiastic traveler that I am.
Unfortunately, I took a fall and broke my arm near the end of the trip. I was shocked at the very insolent, uncaring attitude of Road Scholar. I received two calls from the insurance program my husband was encouraged to pay for for the trip (we usually use Travel Guard who is great). Both calls were very negative. Neither expressed concern about my condition and both apparently had called to state that ROAD SCHOLAR
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Operator Road Scholar


Does Not Recommend

Don't go! March 2017

  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
  • Value 2.0
  • Transportation 2.0
I took a four day bridge class at Jekyll Island Club Hotel. The class was mediocre. And I came home with over 50 BED BUG BITES! Please beware.

Operator Road Scholar



Excellent coverage of major cities and Guizhou Province January 2017

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Road Scholar (also known as Elderhostel) offers hundreds of tours worldwide, using local tour companies, sometimes universities. I have taken RS tours to Africa, China, and France and look forward to more. This was my first "tour" of China, but my 20th visit, with the rest on business. Our guide, Mei Mei, was one of the finest I've seen on tours. We started with Beijing and continued to Xian and then to Guizhou Province for a week in this fascinating area, which was new to me. We were able to meet the people in the villages, thanks to our guide, and enjoyed the chance to see and photograph such a variety of places in China. Hotels were excellent and appropriate to this type of tour (usually centrally located and very fine). Meals were family style and always good. Road Scholar makes its tours educational and doesn't push shopping as so many commercial ones do. Touring in China is very safe. You do have a lot of walking and RS tells you this in the tour, but it seems that a great deal of the walking is in those huge airports! I recommend Road Scholar and always turn to their catalogs to choose my next trip.
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Operator Road Scholar



A peaceful and green country with lots of history revealed by motor coach travel. January 2017

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 3.0
  • Transportation 3.0
  • Meals 3.0
The trip was a good overview of the country. The Road Scholar guide was very knowledgeable. The motorcoach was very comfortable. The accommodations and meals were fine. Couldn't ask for a better overview of the place.
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Operator Road Scholar



Old Cuba is fantastic and should be seen before it's spoiled by capitalism. January 2017

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 3.0
This was my wife's and my first trip with Road Scholar. At the time (April, 2012), it was not possible for Americans to directly visit Cuba. You had to do it with a cultural/educational group, often associated with a university. Or, you could fly to Canada, Mexico, or Europe first and then get a flight to Cuba from there (while risking a ~$10,000 fine from the US Government). We opted for the legal route with Road Scholar.

It was a fantastic trip! We had a small-ish group of about 20 people and a wonderful guide, José Luis (who, like most Cubans, had never been off the island).
The trip began in Miami where we had an orientation and spent the night. Then we flew to Havana and stayed in the Hotel Nacional for four nights. It doesn't get more historic -- or fun -- than the Nacional:

While in Havana, we enjoyed great history/culture lectures from experts, toured various parts of Havana (including Hemmingway's home in the hills nearby), and, on our own, had the opportunity to have dinner at a paladar -- a restaurant inside someone's home.

The Cuban people are friendly but the infrastructure of their country is in shambles. It's been a long time since Russia's deep pockets left the island (1991), and you see poverty everywhere. But not the begging-in-the-street kind. Cuba provides universal health care, education (including room and board all the way through grad/med school!), food staples, and a very modest income (~$30/month) to everyone. Most people add to that income by working on the side.

After Havana, we traveled to Cienfuegos. From there we saw the infamous Bay Of Pigs, but also the wonderful Benny Moré Art School where we learned of the fantastic support for the arts by the Cuban government. Children are identified in grade school as having artistic talent and then funneled into magnet schools like Benny Moré to study art for their entire scholastic career!

Don't go to Cuba for the food. It's edible (and won't make you sick) but rather boring. You mainly get the "three amigos": fish, pork, or chicken, along with rice and/or black beans. But the aged rum is superb and so are the cigars!

Probably my favorite thing on the island, though, was the music -- whether on the street or in a more formal setting:

Cuba is fantastic. Go enjoy it!
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Operator Road Scholar


Day 1: In Transit to Program

In Flight

Day 2: Welcome to Iceland,  Reykjavik

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation:Grand Hotel Reykjavik

Activity note: Check-in available from 2:00 PM. Please make sure to pack your bathing suit in your carry-on luggage, as we are visiting the Blue Lagoon on our way to the first hotel.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the Northern Light Inn. On this program, breakfasts will offer a typical European style breakfast buffet with breads, cheeses, cold-cuts, yogurt, fruit, cereals, juice, milk, coffee, tea and water. Please note that water is included in the program cost at all meals.

Morning: After breakfast, drive to the Blue Lagoon. Begin your Icelandic experience with a relaxing soak in the mineral-rich, geothermally-heated waters of the Blue Lagoon. (Entrance and towels included.) Fully refreshed, continue to the city of Reykjavik and check in at the hotel.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Free time to relax or explore a little in downtown Reykjavik. Program Introduction will be at dinner. Your Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. Indicated times are approximate. Program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Welcome dinner and introduction. Experience traditional Icelandic cuisine at Lækjarbrekka, one of Reykjavik's most historic restaurants, located in a charming old building of Reykjavík. Unless otherwise noted, dinners on this program are typically a three-course set menu.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 3: The Golden Circle of Landscape and History, Reykjavik

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Grand Hotel Reykjavik

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: As the morning light brightens, depart to the golden waterfall — Gullfoss. Experience the stillness and beauty of the wintry countryside and the frozen waterfall. Continue to Geysir, where the active Strokkur Geyser bursts forth every few minutes in a cloud of steam. Discuss how geothermal energy is used to provide hot water, heat and grow vegetables.

Lunch: At a local restaurant. Unless otherwise noted, lunches on this program are typically a two-course set menu.

Afternoon: Return via Thingvellir National Park, the site of the original Parliament and the most sacred place in Iceland because of its geological and historical significance. The Althing, or General Assembly, was established in 930 CE and is the world’s oldest existing parliament. Not only historically significant, the site is located on the meeting point of the American and European continental plates.

Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 4: New Year's Eve in Iceland: Bonfires and Fireworks, Reykjavik

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Grand Hotel Reykjavik

Activity note: Participants are encouraged to bring warm shoes, a scarf and hat for the bonfire.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Discover Europe's northernmost capital on an expert-led visit of Reykjavik with your Group Leader, a National Guide of Iceland.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Free time. You may wish to visit the Reykjavik Art Museum, The Culture House, or the Volcano House. Another option is to take a walk around Lake Tjornin in the center of Reykjavik or up to the Church of Hallgrimur for a great view of the city. Your Group Leader will provide directions and advice as needed.

Dinner: New Year’s Eve celebration with a festive 5-course gala dinner at the Grand Hotel Reykjavik. There will be entertainment and live music.

Evening: Set out to experience the bonfires that kick off the evening’s celebration in each community surrounding Reykjavik. Mingle with locals, as no one misses the annual bonfire! Each town vies for the reputation of having the best. Return to the hotel for coffee and dessert. From your vantage point, watch as the entire sky, as far as the eye can see, fills with fireworks as midnight approaches, building to an endless explosion of light and color that are of a beauty and magnitude like nowhere else on earth.

Day 5: South Coast, Reykjavik

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Grand Hotel Reykjavik

Activity note: Due to winter weather and distance, you will spend approx. 5-6 hours on the bus today, driving along the South Coast.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Depart Reykjavik in the late morning to journey along the scenic south coast. The white snow and black lava contrast starkly in the peaceful winter landscape.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Visit Seljalands waterfall and the Skogar Museum of folk history. Return to Reykjavik in the late afternoon.

Dinner: Hotel dining room. Enjoy a festive dinner as the hotel greets the New Year.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 6: Departures, Reykjavik

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Check out of the hotel. View the recent archaeological discovery of the city’s origins during an expert-led visit of the Reykjavik Settlement Exhibition, then depart to the National Museum. After an expert-led introduction, view the exhibits independently.

Lunch: A light lunch in a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Depart to Keflavik International Airport (KEF). This concludes our program.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 2,899

Price Per Day:

$ 483 per person
  • Select Custom Arrangements to get to and from Road Scholar-provided airfare for your program
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Trip Includes
  • 4 nights of accommodations
  • 7 expert-led field trips
  • An experienced Group Leader
  • Customary gratuities throughout the program
  • The Road Scholar Travel Protection Plan, 24-hour-a-day emergency assistance coverage
  • Taxes
Meals Included:

5 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches and 3 Dinners

Flights & Transport
Internal airfare and ground transport
Group Size:
Small Group - 24 max
Maximum Number of People in Group: 24

Grand Hotel Reykjavik: 4 nights  Reykjavik

The Grand Hotel Reykjavik is a beautiful hotel that offers first-class amenities and service. It is the first hotel in the world that was designed and built to control pollution from its electrical supply, working to eliminate electro-magnetic pollution. The Grand Hotel Reykjavik also recently opened a new tower, and is now the largest hotel in Iceland. Situated in a quiet location, it is within walking distance of Laugardalslaug, Iceland's largest swimming pool.

Start City
End City

Trip ID#: IceNewRoa

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