Your hosts, the family at Hraunsnef in the west of Iceland, run a small hotel and a restaurant on their working farm with a few chickens, pigs, horses and dogs. They grow vegetables, get free range eggs from their chickens and produce the pork served at the restaurant.
Celebrate Icelandic Christmas with the Family at Hraunsnef. In the beautiful winter surroundings you’ll enjoy their hospitality in a warm and cosy environment. Relax in the hot tubs and on a clear night you might be lucky enough to experience the northern lights.
Departure: 22 - 27 December 2015
Duration: 6 Days / 5 Nights
Highlights: Icelandic Christmas traditions and spirit. Opportunity to see the geysers, waterfalls Gullfoss, Hraunfossar and Barnafaoos as well as taking a bath in the Blue Lagoon.
- 5 nights incl. breakfast, rooms with private faclities.*
- Meals during stay at Hraunsnef as stated in the itinerary.
- 5 days rental car of your choice, unlimited mileage, CDW, two drivers,
- Pick-up/drop-off at the international airport in Keflavík.
- Iceland Road Guide.
- Road Map 1:500 000.
- Detailed and personalised route description.
- Around the clock service telephone number while traveling in Iceland.
- VAT and lodging tax.
Esja Travel supports - the Icelandic Environment Association Landvernd with a EUR 5 donation for every traveller booked on a package tour.
- International flight - available upon request, contact the Esja Travel Team, fuel, extra driver € 29, after hours rental car pick-up at Keflavík Airport (7:00 pm – 6:00 am) € 54, meals not stated in the itinerary, SCDW (add 5 x € 14 or € 19 depending on Car Category), road toll (Hvalfjörður Tunnel), entrance fees and activities.
*The three nights in Reykjavík can also be booked in rooms with shared facilities, information upon request.
Esja Travel also offers:
- Mobile phone rental during your stay, price € 2 per day + credit.
- 3G Dongle rental during your stay, price € 2 per day + usage (1 GB, 5 GB or 10 GB).
- International flights.
Day 1, 22 December: Arrival
Upon arrival at Keflavík International Airport, you pick up your pre-booked rental car. If you arrive in the morning or afternoon, you might want to stop by at the Blue Lagoon on your way into the city of Reykjavík.
Day 2, 23 December: Christmas Preparation in Reykjavík
Start the day early and leave town to see the Geysers and the Gullfoss waterfall. Make sure you leave Reykjavík around 9:30 am so that you won‘t miss the few hours of daylight.
Icelanders celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve so today is the last day to get everything done. Shops are open until 11:00 pm and you‘ll find choirs singing around town and people in a festive mood. At 6:00 pm the annual peace procession starts from Hlemmur Square moving slowly down Laugarvegur.
Christmas time in Reykjavík is a unique experience. Children are greeted by peculiar Christmas creatures from Iceland‘s story telling heritage. Take a stroll around town you‘ll find the scent of Icelandic Christmas such as smoked lamb „hangikjöt“ being cooked and the less pleasant smell of „kæst skata“ fermented Stingray, a fish dish which is traditionally only served on this day of the year. If you dare many restaurants are open for Skata-feasts.
Day 3, 24 December: Christmas Eve Festivity
Today you leave Reykjavík behind and head to the western part. In the Borgarfjörður area you’ll find your accommodation at the farm hotel Hraunsnef. The final preparations are being made and the festive hall is decorated for the feast.
Icelanders dress up in their finest clothes and celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, so be ready for a very festive evening. At 6:00 pm the church bells ring to announce Christmas and everyone sit down to enjoy the holiday meal and each other’s company. During dinner the family members at Hraunsnef explain Icelandic Christmas rituals and traditions. The Hraunsnef Christmas dinner is a buffet with turkey, ham, smoked trout and a variation of different fish and meat dishes.
After dinner it’s a ritual at most Icelandic homes to do the dishes and clean up after dinner before it’s time to sit down together, enjoy some coffee or hot chocolate while the youngest family member passes out presents. Everyone gets a present from under the tree.
Day 4, 25 December: Christmas Day
On Christmas Day the hosts at Hraunsnef serve brunch to get you started. You’ll find hot chocolate, coffee, Christmas cakes and cookies available all day. During the short period of daylight a drive around the nearby area is recommended. See the Hraunfossar waterfalls “Lava falls” and the hot water spring Deildartunguhver or if you feel like it there are some lovely hiking routes in the vicinity.
Icelanders spend usually spent Christmas day relaxing, reading the books they got on Christmas Eve and then go to a family gathering where traditional food, such as smoked lamb “hangikjöt” and a sort of a béchamel sauce “uppstúf” is served. At 7:00 pm everyone gathers for hangikjöt and uppstúf dinner and further festive dishes are available such as turkey, seafood soup, salads and home-made ice cream. You’ll also have the opportunity to try traditional rye bread “flatkökur” and “laufabrauð”, which is a thin flat cake decorated with leaf-like, geometric patterns and fried briefly.
Don‘t miss a relaxing dip in the outdoor hot tubs in the evening, hoping for a clear night sky with northern lights.
Day 5, 26 December: Farewell Hraunsnef
After a good breakfast for a good start into the day it is time to take farewell of the family in Hraunsnef and head back to Reykjavík. In the town of Borgarnes you might like to stop and visit the Settlement Centre to learn about the settlement of Iceland and the Viking Heritage.
The afternoon might be well spent at the Blue Lagoon or, for those interested in attending a church service in English you‘ll find that a service held in the afternoon at Hallgrímskirkja church. For further information about this and other activities please don‘t hesitate to contact the Esja Travel Team.
You‘ll spend the night at a hotel in Reykjavík or near the airport in the town of Keflavík, depending on your wishes and time of departure on the next day.
Day 6, 27 December: Departure
The time of departure will determine your plans for the day. If you leave in the late afternoon or the evening, you will have time to explore Reykjavík better or stop by at the Blue Lagoon on your way to the airport.
If your flight leaves in the early morning you will have to leave Reykjavík early for the airport, where you return your rental car before departure.
PLEASE NOTE THAT DRIVING IN THE HIGHLAND IS PROHIBITED, this applies to Categories A, B, C, N and M.
CDW (Collission Damage Waiver), unlimited mileage as well as pick up and drop off at the Keflavík International Airport are included in our package prices.
Self risk for the categories A, B, C, D and N is € 1.325 and for the categories FG, H, I, J and K € 2.415
Further information about the CDW is availiable on request.
The driver must be at least 20 years old and must have held a drivering licence for at least one year. A valid driving licence must be presented when picking up the rental car.
Please note that a credit card must be presented when you sign your rental car lease agreement (MasterCard, Visa oder Diners).
Liability Insurance and passenger Accident Insurance are included in all packages.
Information about driving in the interior come with your travel documents.
Additional drivers € 29 per rental (two drivers are included in the package prices).
SCDW incl. Gravel Protection - Surcharge for categories A, B, C, D and M € 15 per day – Self risk € 350/ Surcharge for categories M FG, H, I, J and K € 19 per day – Self risk € 650Self risk in case of broken windows and lights (CDW and SCDW) € 170 or € 280 depending on car category.
SADW (Sand- and Ash Damage Waiver) € 15 per day
Baby- and infant seats € 7 per day or max. € 48 per rental.
GPS Navigation System € 12 per day – Self risk for lost or damaged item € 500
One Way Fee for pick up/drop of at Keflavík International Airport € 31 (included in package prices).
One Way Fee for other rental locations outside Reykjavík for categories A, B, C, N and M € 91 and for categories G, H, I, J and K € 151
After hours Pick Up Fee in the Winter Season (19:00-6:00 Uhr) at the Keflavík International Airport € 54
Cancellation fees for rental categories E, H, I, K:
3 weeks or more prior to arrival 50% of the total rental car price.
3-2 weeks prior to arrival 75% of the total rental car price.
Less than a week prior to arrival 90% of the total rental car price.