The Northern Lights are arguably the most famous attraction to see in the world, and certainly high on many people’s bucket list.
But what exactly is it which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year to marvel at the spectacular natural display.
I was recently lucky enough to take a trip to Iceland where we explored the spectacular volcanic landscape, dramatic coastline and of course, mesmerising northern lights.
We didn’t go with the expectation of seeing the northern lights, as so many tell us, it’s not guaranteed so we didn’t want to get out hopes up. We spent five days in Iceland and were immediately blown away by the utterly beautiful landscapes which greeted us. Before going, there was talk about renting a campervan from somewhere like Rent.is to really get on the road and exploring, but we didn’t manage to do that this time. Next time, perhaps (and I sincerely hope there will be a next time!).
I must say that Reykjavik is the perfect location for a fun-filled winter break with a difference. Many people head for the sun in winter or opt for snowy mountains, but Reykjavik really is something different, worth considering.
Not only does Reykjavik have an amazing scenic offering but it is also is the center of a buzzing restaurant and nightlife scene. There really is so much going on, more for the youngers than for us, but you really did get a sense that everyone was just having a fantastic time.
The locals are very friendly and relaxed and visitors are looking for a good time, which is the perfect combination.
We headed to the coast of West Iceland and boarded a boat where we went Orca watching, and we were extremely lucky to see a pod of three orcas. Their size is indescribable and their presence eerie, everyone on the boat was completely shell shocked to be witnessing such an incredible sight.
As you make your way around the towns and villages, you’ll see plenty of blowholes, which really are a sight to behold, even after you pass the 20th one. It was on our fourth night that we decided to take a trip to try and see the Northern Lights. We decided to stay right at the tip of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, as we were told this remote location was the best place to catch the lights. The aurora borealis appeared and I truly was a sight to behold, the shimmering curtain of green and turquoise light filled the sky, and although we went to a location far from any unnatural light, you could see the lights simply by stepping outside.
I would advise going with a specialised tour, as the guides will take you to the best spots and explain the science behind the lights which are magnificent as well as helping you to capture the moment.
For many years, I have wanted to see the Northern Lights but for some reason, never got around to it. When I retired, it was certainly towards the top of my travel list and although it isn’t a big holiday, and is relatively close to our home, it really was one of the most magical breaks we’ve experienced.
You can head to Iceland for 3-5 days easily just make sure you cram in some of the best activities including orca watching.
Have you been to Iceland and seen the Northern Lights? I’d love to hear about your experiences, get in touch by following the contact us page.