Northern lights The best in 50 years


| October 1, 2012

Toby Langley visited Iceland for this year’s eagerly anticipated natural phenomena, the “Northern lights”.

Aurora Borealis over the marsh landscape with wildflowers, Landmannarlaugar

The “northern lights” are a unique natural phenomena, which will be at their most intense for 50 years this winter season. Optimal conditions require no light pollution, a clear sky and preferably no wind, and such are the perfect conditions this year that NASA scientists have predicted the northern lights could even be seen as far south as Rome. Iceland is the place to be for the ultimate show however, as the last time the solar cycle peaked, in 2000, the lights were visible every day in the winter months.

I travelled from Reykjavik to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, a stunning drive along the coast with views of the surrounding mountains and extinct calderas. The settlement museum at Borgarnes is a must see en-route, as it gives an excellent audio tour of Icelandic history and one of the more important Sagas.

From Borgarnes, the scenery becomes ever more impressive as you reach the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, one of the most dramatic and scenic parts of Iceland. The mighty Snaefellsjokull Glacier was the inspiration for Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” and dominates the landscape.

Hotel Budir, on the southern side of the peninsula, is an isolated twin gabled boutique property with commanding views out to sea.

Cox & Kings organise a number of northern lights holidays to Iceland, where visitors can experience the splendour of the northern lights.

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