Best Northern Lights Holiday Destinations: Iceland
Find out what makes Iceland such an attractive location for a Northern Lights holiday. There are plenty of reasons it's so popular.
When it comes to selecting a destination for a Northern Lights holiday, most people tend to look towards one of two locations: either the Lapland region of Sweden or the island that lies to the west of that country, Iceland. And while travellers unfamiliar with each country may consider them, essentially, similar – they are, after all, both partially included in the Arctic Circle – nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, the type of experience offered by either country is different in almost every regard, except for one: they are both excellent points from which to sight the Aurora Borealis. This, combined with their picturesque scenery and plethora of complementary activities, is a large part of the reason why these two countries are so popular.
Below we focus on perhaps the more understated of the two locations, Iceland, in terms of its climate, activities, and places to visit while on a Northern Lights holiday.
Grown-Up Geography Excursion
Where terrain is concerned, Iceland is almost like a 'grown-up' version of a geography lesson one would take at school – but not in a classroom, for real! The country is most famous for its breath-taking volcanic landscape, which appeals to nature enthusiasts, even beyond the expectations of a sighting of the vision of the Aurora Borealis. This country also has an advantage over Sweden where climate is concerned, with minimum and maximum temperatures being far more forgiving. However, those taking a Northern Lights holiday to Iceland are advised to dress appropriately, in several layers, as the weather can still be quite cold.
Where activities and sightseeing are concerned, Iceland is a dream destination – with plenty to see and do aside from the lights. The famous thermal Blue Lagoon is a definite must-see, and whale watching tours (in both summer and winter) or invigorating rides on horseback are available.
The country's close relationship with its natural environment is evident at every turn, however those who love the excitement of more sociable activities will also find much to enjoy. New Year in Reykjavik, the country's capital, is invariably an exciting and festive event, and the country is fast becoming known for its world-class cuisine. Seafood is in plentiful supply all year round, and puffin and rotten shark (which is nothing like as bad as it sounds) are some of the recommended delicacies when tasting one's way through this Nordic country.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Abigail Collins is director of Aurora Nights, who offer a select range of trips to see the Northern Lights. For a Northern Lights holiday, Iceland and Swedish Lapland offer an excellent chance to encounter the Aurora Borealis. Aurora Nights is part of Weekend a la Carte, a family-run company passionate about client service, with a vast in-depth knowledge based on extensive travels to region of the Aurora Borealis.