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Northern Lights: Top of your winter wish-list

Added 11 Sep 2012
Northern Lights: Top of your winter wish-list

To some she hides away, flirting with the idea of appearing before deciding she's not in the mood to play. While for others she breezes in, flaunting her ethereal self in an epic display of surreality and awe. The Aurora Borealis.

She may be beautiful but doesn't this diva know it. So often, wide-eyed travellers go in search of this natural phenomenon, travelling far and wide towards the allure of the Arctic Circle for just a glimpse of the mysterious beauty. Yet some return without so much as a nod from the superstar of the skies, no matter how many nights are spent waiting expectantly in inches of snow.

Iceland-Aurora-BorealisThe good news though is that according to NASA, this winter will see the brightest northern lights display for more than 50 years. Savvy scientists at the US space agency have revealed that after years of record lows in solar activity, there has been a surge in solar storms, which is likely to result in more immense, frequent and outstanding displays of these legendary lights.

Indeed, NASA predicts there's a chance the Aurora could be spotted as far south as Rome, though your best bet is to head north, where she may come out to play every night. Named after the Roman goddess of dawn, the Aurora Borealis is created by particles on the solar wind interacting with the Earth’s atmosphere, with the effect being magnified by the magnetic North Pole.

Witnessing this awe-inspiring phenomenon should be on your winter wish-list. Zip up, embrace the cold and go in search of this genteel goddess; as the first plumes of her light illuminate the pitch-black skies, your spine will shiver in awe as this cinematic celestial oddity grows ever brighter.

Gullfoss-and-Blue-LagoonIceland is one of the best places to head to this year for spine-tingling sightings. And an added advantage is that it's not just the lights that hold a mysterious allure in this part of the world…

While spotting the Aurora is never 100% guaranteed, this is your chance to wrap up warm and try everything from slipping into the geothermal waters of its famous Blue Lagoon to staring open-mouthed at the Strokkur geyser that erupts every three to seven minutes, spouting boiling water to a height of up to 35 metres.

Also not-to-be-missed is the epic Gullfoss — a magnificent waterfall whose waters are frozen to fantastical effect during the bitter winter — and the buzzy capital of Reykjavik, with its flourishing arts and foodie scene. And this is even before you've come face-to-face with the majesty of the Aurora Borealis — a once-in-a-lifetime epic experience.

Our four-day Northern Lights Adventure Tour takes in Iceland's famous ‘Golden Circle’, including Pingvellir National Park and Strokkur geyser, lava fields, and the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon, all while accompanied by expert astronomer Andrew Green.

Alternatively you can witness the Northern Lights on our four-day Iceland Adventure Holiday, which also takes in the natural wonders of the 'Golden Circle' as well as giving you the chance snow-mobile across the ice-cap and explore the snowy landscapes in a huge super-jeep.   

The price includes accommodation, flights and Tour Leader.

More in this category: Icelandic winter splendours »