Discover Iceland's natural treasures, from the Northern Lights to the milky geothermal spas
It’s nature’s answer to a fireworks display, and boy does it beat the local council’s annual pyro show. Few natural phenomena are as captivating as the aurora borealis – and Iceland is the prime spot to get a glimpse. The twinkling streaks of light are caused by collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun as they enter the Earth’s atmosphere. October to March is the season to catch the spectacle, and to get a proper show you’re best heading to remote locations on a date that doesn’t fall on a full moon. For a budget friendly trip, why not try Reykjavik Excursions bus tours. Or if you want to up your chances of seeing the lights, follow in Joanna Lumley’s footsteps and book on to a Specialised Tours’ 7-night ‘Land of the Northern Lights’ tour.
There’s no better way to see the breathtaking Icelandic landscape than to venture out with the huskies. Experience places and views you’d never be able access by train, plane or car – and lose yourself in this all-natural world of ice and snow.
Eskimos Iceland run a range of tours lasting from one hour to a full day. Find out more information here
Looking for something a little more special than the Premier Inn? If so, Iceland’s world-renowned ICEHOTEL is the place for you. Pieces of ice art adorn the walls of each room, and guests sleep on a bed made of ice blocks and a wooden frame with specially insulated sleeping bags and animal skin blankets. Unsurprisingly, the rooms book up fast so make sure you get your reservation well in advance. The hotel even runs regular day trips including dogsledding, ice driving and horse tours.
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If you’re a night owl who enjoys a brew or two, the rúntur could be right up your alley. Until 1989, beer was banned in Iceland. Now, the locals are eager to make up for lost time with this weekly tradition of all-night pub crawls around Reykjavik. Things kick off around midnight and don’t usually finish up until 5am, when the revellers spill out in to the takeaway shops. A great chance to experience a different side of Iceland’s quirky capital.
Whether you’re recovering from last night’s rúntur or simply looking for a way to enjoy Iceland’s other worldly scenery, a visit to the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is a must. Nestled among the black lava formations, you can simmer in the steaming, milky blue waters which never drop below 40 degrees. When you’re in need of some refreshment, simply swim up to the bar. That’s right, you don’t even have to leave the water for your mojito.
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