Welcome to the first in our series of Skylark Journeys, where we showcase a spectacular itinerary we recently put together for a Skylark member. First up: a trip to Iceland for a woman in her 30s, who wanted a solo adventure to see the Northern Lights before they go dim.

By Jes Ware

THE PLAN

We settled on late January as the ideal time for her seven-day trip: the long nights lengthen the viewing window for the lights, but it’s late enough in the season that there's plenty of daylight for exploring. Iceland is also safe and comfortable for a solo female traveler. We gave the client a few days to explore the local scene in Reykjavik before sending her into the wilderness. 

Photo by Shutterstock
Photo by ION Adventure Hotel

THE ITINERARY

The Capital. After an overnight flight in a lie-flat first-class seat, our client arrived in Reykjavik at daybreak, fully rested and ready to go. The art-filled and centrally located 101 Hotel served as home base. For orientation, we suggested a custom walking tour of Reykjavik followed by a multicourse lunch of Icelandic specialties and a soak in the famous geothermal Blue Lagoon.   

The Countryside: The tour of Iceland's dramatic volcanic landscape began with a visit to the geothermal baths at Laugarvatn Fontana en route to the ION Adventure Hotel. ION, set in the middle of mountainous lava fields, is an unexpected, luxe basecamp for adventurers. Next: a 4x4 trip into Thorsmork (Thor's Forest) to see Eyjafjallajokull volcano, the site of 2010's massive eruption, then an excursion to the otherworldly southern coast. We arranged a stop at the 200-foot Seljalandsfoss waterfall with a small cave that visitors can explore by walking behind the fall, a crampon-clad walk on the blue ice of Sólheimajökull glacier, and a visit to the black sand beaches around Reynisfjara.

Chasing the Northern Lights: To maximize our client's chances of seeing the aurora, our guides scouted out locations with virtually no light pollution so the light show wouldn’t be missed. Our client was lucky enough to see the lights on three of her nights outside Reykjavik.

Reynisfjara's black sand beaches


Seljalandsfoss waterfall

The Blue Lagoon, outside of Reykjavik
Photo by Shutterstock

THE COST

This client’s trip included seven nights in Iceland; nonstop flights in first class; all gear, activities and excursions; taxes & fees; and Skylark perks including daily breakfast, rooms upgrades at 101 Hotel and Ion, and 24/7 support from our agents. Her cost was $16,000, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $3,000 to $20,000 for a similar itinerary, depending on activities, origin city and time of year.