Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Massive waterfall Gullfoss_Reykjavik-3241997_P

Iceland: New Year’s Eve in Reykjavik

Road Scholar Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
91%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
6 days
From: $ 2,899 $ 483 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • 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.

Short Description

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.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Internal airfare and ground transport
Start City Reykjavik
End City Reykjavik

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

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Itinerary

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.

Availability

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Price From $ 2,899
Price Per Day: $ 483 per day
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Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

45 Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings

91%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 38
Great 3
Average 1
Disappointing 1
Terrible 2
Value
4.6
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.7
Lodging
4.5
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.5

Iceland: New Year’s Eve in Reykjavik

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Company Reviews

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

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation5.0
Meals3.0
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:
https://vimeo.com/41612444

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:
https://vimeo.com/43273083

Cuba is fantastic. Go enjoy it!
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Best trip I ever took!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Loved the variety of different hotels, the expertise of the individual tour guides, the meals and especially the beautiful countryside. All 17 of us on the t rip got to know each other well, thanks to the kindness, the personality and the organizational skill of Mark, our tour director. Keep up the good work!
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Sunrise, Sunset, Learning Photography

5.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation5.0
Meals4.0
Road Scholar offers many tours starting in Utah. The one I took focused of photography of the National Parks in Utah, with a professional photographer traveling with us. The schedule was set up such that we would get "the golden light" at each of the parks. Those not familiar with the term must know that the best light occurs at either sunrise or sunset, when the impact of the sun on objects is diffused by having to travel through the earth's atmosphere on a diagonal rather than vertically.

As such, you can now expect that sleep will be an issue as you will get to bed late and rise early. But the territory is beautiful at all times, and more so illuminated by the golden light.

In order to maximize your sleeping ability, the tour is only offered in the spring and the fall. Doing this in the winter would be pretty cold and require special equipment to traverse the snow. Doing it in the summer would basically mean no sleep as the daylight is so long.

A great learning experience in beautiful territory.
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Thank you Road Scholar

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Thank you Road Scholar Staff for planning a wonderful introduction to Cuba today. My previous knowledge was from people who felt they had to leave Cuba more than fifty years ago. I learned from qualified professors, tour guides and from talking to Cuban people from different parts of Cuba who work in different kinds of jobs. I could see how the Cuban people have come together to meet the challenges of the past and to prepare for a brighter future.
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Thank you Road Scholar!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Road Scholar tours are the best bang for your buck

Fabulous!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This is a fabulous program for young and old. The instructors are great with kids and adults. The activities are very well organized and varied. My grandson is already making plans for next year.
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Details

Flights & Transport

Internal airfare and ground transport

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 24

Accomodations

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.

Trip ID#:

IceNewRoa

Meals Included:

5 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches and 3 Dinners

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