It is no secret that Iceland has become one of the most popular destinations in Summertime for travelers seeking out adventures in untouched landscapes. Not only does Iceland offers a wide variety of spectacular views, but you can also feel the forces of Nature from every corner of the country through geological events. Lava fields, volcanoes, and geysers for instance, just to name of few.
Iceland goes white
In winter time, the flow of tourists is gone, but Iceland does not stop to amaze the brave traveler who does not fear the harsh weather, blizzards, and limited length of daylight occurring in the northern latitudes. But even during the harsh winter, outdoor activities are countless, as long as you are creative and well equipped! Skiing, snowmobile trips, dogsledding, glacier walks, and ice caves can easily keep you busy the whole winter. And honestly, what’s better than ending a well spent day than witnessing the best the sky has to offer?
Northern Lights open the ball
Northern lights are the most impressive astronomical event that one can witness. No matter how often you see them they keep reinventing themselves to surprise you even stronger.
A ‘down-to-earth’ explanation: northern lights occur when gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere collide with charged particles released from the sun’s atmosphere. Most of the time, they appear as green reflections dancing in the sky, varying in shapes and intensity, but they sometimes beautify themselves with purple lines on the edges.
It is difficult to put into words the awe that comes over us when starring at them, but they surely remind us how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful country. Under the green skies, nothing matters. You forget the cold, the wind, and lose track of time to savor the moment. We find ourselves speechless.
The magical recipe
Even though northern lights are visible as soon as the darkness is back (so from September to April), one should check a few things to optimize the chances of spotting them. You do not want to travel specifically to see them and go home disappointed.
First thing, one should look at the aurora forecast based on the Kp index. The scale goes up to 9, but a forecast of 3 is already promising and announcing a great night. The other crucial element is the cloud cover: an index of 5 will not do the job if clouds are not cooperating. Drive out of towns to minimize light pollution, and when you find yourself under a starry sky, wait for the show to begin!
All you need is a blanket, warm tea, and knitted gloves and you will spend a night you will never forget.
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