Nostalgic Christmas – Living with the locals
All inclusive experience
Traditions of Christmas – Hot spring – Turf houses – Stargazing – History – Wilderness – Outlaws – Cable Way Tranquility – Singing – Exhibition – Sleeping in a museum – Abandoned farm – Food experience
These two days are filled with old-time Christmas spirit, mixed with the wilderness experience. The Wilderness Center offers a unique location and peaceful surroundings and the Wilderness exhibition is an adventure that no-one should miss. Enjoy great local food, bathing in hot springs and witness the magnificent landscape of the eastern highlands. Learn how people used to make Christmas decorations in olden days and taste some old recipes.
The tour starts with a scenic drive over the mountains and along the Lagarfljót lake, home of a famous river monster. We listen to stories of the mystical nature of the lake and stop at the place where history tells us Grýla, the mother of the Yule lads (Icelandic Santa), is supposed to live. Who knows, we might run into her or some of her relatives, so they can tell us the story and invite us to have a sip of jólaglögg.
At the Wilderness Center you will be guided through the unique wilderness museum, created by a group of artists, filmmakers and historians, guided by a local who tells and shows how life at Christmas was in the old days. We try the delicacy, smoked mountain lamb, straight from the traditional smoke hut as an appetizer before lunch. Then it’s time to enjoy local lunch with a local Christmas specialty´s in the Center´s homely kitchen. The guide takes us to a picturesque, abandoned farm full of stories and traces of the past. Those who dare can experience the adventure of crossing the glacier river in a renovated cable-box.
Then it is time for christmas style mid-day brake, with taste of specialty’s. Before trying out cozy and traditional Christmas decoration making/workshop in the baðstofa room. Before dinner we visit the Wilderness stargazing station, located in the reconstructed ruins of an old sheep stable, made from stones and turf. This location offers a fabulous view in clear skies and the authenticity and peaceful atmosphere is magical, guaranteed to leave no visitor untouched. Try our great telescope for stargazing through the open roof and be inspired by stories about how the distant stars have made a great impact on many lives, for example guiding travelers. Since we will be gazing through an open roof, wool blankets, sheepskins, a campfire and hot chocolate will keep us warm. Perhaps the northern lights will be out dancing? We end the day with a Wilderness Christmas feast, followed by entertainment with traditional singing, music from an old pedal harmonium, the reading of an Icelandic Christmas story and some Christmas songs.
We start the day with good breakfast in the cozy old farmhouse then learn how to make the traditional laufabrauð in the Baðstofa area. (We fry them so everyone can take their own laufabrauð back home). Then once again we step back in time and visit our neighbour at the last active farm in Iceland where all the sheep are still kept in traditional houses built from turf and stones. This is as authentic an experience as one can get in Iceland. After the visit a local lunch awaits us at the Wilderness Center, again with local Christmas flavour. Next we soak in the hot spring at the Wilderness Center where the view over the peaceful valley is a delightful treat.
After relaxing in the hot springs we see a quirky and interesting old silent film clips about the wilderness. Next, we drive out of the valley making interesting stops like; being introduced to the friendly and unique Icelandic horse at a nearby farm and scout out for reindeers, since this region is the main area for spotting “Rudolph”. Finally, we drive back, enjoying the scenery on the way as we pass historic places, elf dwellings and beautiful nature. Until the guides get you safely “home”.
* This itinerary might have minor changes due to winter weather conditions.
October, November, January, February and upon request
Seyðisfjörður Ferry Port / Egilsstaðir Information Center
We return our guests to Seyðisfjörður Ferry Port / Egilsstaðir Information Center at the end of day 2.
Fully guided tour.
All transport on the tour.
Admission to exhibitions and pool.
Accommodation can be upgraded.