Iceland and the Northern lights

Old Oct 15th, 2016, 01:27 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,291
Received 8 Likes on 4 Posts
Iceland and the Northern lights

I'm thinking of a quick trip to Iceland in January to hopefully see the Northern lights. I think I almost have DH talked into it (he first thought I was out of my mind wanting to go to Iceland in winter. He may be right!) I'm thinking 5 nights in Reykjavik with some night tours to places for viewing. Has anyone done this? Is staying based in Reykjavik a good plan?

I also had the thought of going to perhaps Stockholm or Brussels for a few days and doing the Reykjavik stopover on the way back home since Icelandair allows free stopovers for up to 7 days.
laurieco is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2016, 02:09 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm sure it's beautiful..... but BRRRRR!!! Enjoy. We won't be having a GTG there...
simpsonc510 is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2016, 02:26 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,291
Received 8 Likes on 4 Posts
C'mon Carol, where's your sense of adventure?
laurieco is offline  
Old Oct 18th, 2016, 10:44 AM
  #4  
Amy
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,822
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Friends of mine did this and did see the lights but were also pretty cold! However, I think Iceland is pretty awesome and there are plenty of indoor places and heated pools if you get too chilly. I've been there three times and can't wait to get back.

Five nights in Reykjavik area is very doable.
Amy is offline  
Old Oct 18th, 2016, 01:08 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,291
Received 8 Likes on 4 Posts
Thanks Amy! I've been looking through Lonely Planet's Iceland and I am overwhelmed! There is so much packed into such a small country.
laurieco is offline  
Old Oct 18th, 2016, 02:04 PM
  #6  
Amy
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,822
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There is! Of course, I was there twice in summer and once in October, so I'm not sure what the limits are during the winter, but geothermal waters are pretty fab any time of year and then of course there's the dogsledding and such you can only do in winter...

It's been too long. I might have to head to Europe next year rather than Asia or S. America just to get in a long layover in Iceland.
Amy is offline  
Old Oct 18th, 2016, 02:08 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,317
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 1 Post
A couple of years back during a particularly frigid spell of New York winter, a tourist from Iceland was quoted in the Times to the effect that he'd never been so cold back home.
Fra_Diavolo is online now  
Old Oct 18th, 2016, 02:19 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 11,653
Likes: 0
Received 7 Likes on 1 Post
I am doing what you are suggesting this December. We'll spend 5 nights in Reykjavik and then go on to Paris using the Iceland Air stopover. I expect it to be cold esp at night hopefully viewing the Northern Lights and will dress in layers accordingly. BTW - I don't particualry like cold weather, but figure it's worth it to see the lights. In Dec averages are around 35 degrees which isn't horrible. Supposedly very little fluctuation in the temps. with lows in 30's. This year is purportedly a good year to see the lights
http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip...ow_facebook_tl
yestravel is offline  
Old Oct 18th, 2016, 02:27 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 281
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I went in March 2015 with very transitional weather: most days very wintery but occasionally springish. I had 9 nights, and had good viewing of the lights on 3 different occasions.

I have a few tips for dealing with winter weather and seeing/photographing lights in my pseudo trip report (which is big a full day by day one) here:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...e-and-fire.cfm

If you're staying only in Reykjavik, I would strongly suggest at least a full day tour to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.
inspiredexplorer is offline  
Old Oct 18th, 2016, 02:47 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,291
Received 8 Likes on 4 Posts
Thanks! It's nice to get some input.

yestravel, I wanted to go over Christmas, but when I put in dates for Icelandair, they seem to not have any good deals for that time.

Living in NYC, it can get extremely frigid here in winter, but I always suspected Iceland would be much colder. Perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised.

inspiredexplorer, thank you for the link to your trip report. I will be reading it!

I think if we do add Iceland on to another European city, it won't be Stockholm. Since it will be dark most of the time in Iceland, I would rather go somewhere with a bit more sun! Brussels is a big contender since I have not been there since 1980 and DH has never been there, but Paris sounds pretty damn good too, even though I have been there countless times. We will probably save Stockholm for sunnier months. If it was easy to get to Lapland, I might have considered Sweden over Iceland for the Northern lights, but Iceland just seems so much easier.
laurieco is offline  
Old Oct 18th, 2016, 02:52 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 11,653
Likes: 0
Received 7 Likes on 1 Post
inspired explorer -- thanks for your great TR.
yestravel is offline  
Old Oct 18th, 2016, 02:58 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 281
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Laurie and yestravel, you are most welcome. I meant to write it's not a day by day report, more insights and where my plans went awry and where they worked well.

And Laurie, if you survived the two year Polar Vortex (I'm from NYC) you'll be fine in Iceland. The only key is to prepare for damp or wet conditions as well as cold, so "performance" wool over cotton and other good packing decisions will help. The Northern Lights hunting will be cold since you'll probably be out from maybe 8-9 PM til 12-1 AM, and it is of course colder in the middle of the night. But on a pure cold basis I found it not that much worse than what we can get at home, you just have to be ready for snow/rain/hail to blast through at any moment.
inspiredexplorer is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
susan256
Europe
3
Sep 16th, 2014 09:12 AM
mp413
Europe
4
Dec 7th, 2009 04:51 AM
amyr30
Europe
2
Apr 24th, 2009 08:41 AM
Linda
Europe
8
Sep 20th, 2002 04:15 PM
Greg
Europe
6
Aug 26th, 2002 03:40 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -