It's been almost a year since that impossible-to-pronounce volcano (Eyjafjallajökull) erupted in the tiny island nation of Iceland, disrupting air travel across Europe and beyond. Six months later in October, the eruption officially ceased. For hearty travelers who don't mind a little cold weather, this week's Smart Deal from Icelandair (tel. 800/223-5500; www.icelandair.us) sends you to Iceland's capital with airfare, hotel stays, and a Blue Lagoon visit -- all for a starting price of $499.
Visiting Iceland during the winter may sound unappealing, but thanks to the Gulf Stream, the capital city of Reykjavik doesn't get too much colder than the northeastern part of the United States -- expect temperatures in the 30s. However, pack your windbreaker, because you're likely to need it ducking in and out of the bars, which stay open until the wee hours of the morning.
While in Iceland, don't pass up the opportunity to visit the Blue Lagoon -- admission and a tour are included in this package. The lagoon's healing geothermal waters make it one of the most popular attractions in Iceland.
The package also includes two nights at the modern Icelandair Hotel Loftleidir, about 15 minutes away from the city center if you walk; if not, a complimentary shuttle gets you there. It's also situated near one of the city's only wooded areas. You can upgrade to the Hilton Reykjavik Nordica for about $40 more per person, based on double occupancy; this hotel is in the financial district and a short walk from the popular outdoor park Laugardalur.
What the Quoted Price Gets You: Icelandair flights from Boston, New York, or Seattle to Reykjavik; two nights at the Icelandair Hotel Loftleidir; a Scandinavian buffet breakfast daily; admission to the Blue Lagoon (valued at about $59 per person); and airline fuel surcharges.
What Else You'll Have to Pay: Air taxes of about $82 per person
Book By: As soon as possible to ensure availability
When: January 6-March 27, 2011
Other Details: You can add nights to stay up to seven nights -- add from $59 per person per night for Hotel Loftleidir or add from $89 per person per night for Hilton Nordica.
All prices are per person and, if lodging is a component of the package, based upon two people traveling together (unless otherwise noted). The prices listed are general starting rates; see "What Else You'll Have to Pay" for details about associated taxes and fees. Base-prices, taxes, and fees can vary based on point of departure and time of travel. Blackout dates may apply. Trip add-ons like sightseeing tours and meal plans may also increase the price. Check with the tour operator for additional gateways and any single supplements, which is the extra cost that a solo traveler would pay to book the deal.