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The Best of Winter in Iceland

Heading to Iceland this winter?

Iceland is a destination that doesn’t need any convincing for most. The popularity is rising fast, and there are evident reasons why. This second largest island in Europe is really easy to get to especially from North America and there are many great flight deals. It’s a bit longer and difficult to get to from Asia and other part of the world, but it will be worth the trip. Here are three best reasons to travel to Iceland in winter.

Aurora Borealis

If seeing aurora is one of your life goals, plan a getaway to Iceland. Aurora borealis usually happens between 10° – 20° from the magnetic pole, but it can be seen in the lower latitudes during the strong solar storm. Iceland lies between latitudes 63° and 68° N, which is south of Arctic Circle. Because of the proximity to the aurora borealis zone, the chance to see the lights is pretty high, if the sky is clear. Thanks to its low population, the light pollution is also minimum. When the light is bright, it’s vividly visible from the city, but you can also drive just 20 minutes out of the town to be in a darker place and enjoy it more. A better part is that despite its name, Iceland is not as cold as other places in the same latitude thanks to the Gulf Stream.

 

Landscape

Iceland’s landscape looks like from a fairy tale, especially in winter. Sun rises late and sets early in winter, creating continuous sunrise-sunset lighting. Under the soft sunlight, treeless hills, black and brown terrain, and glaciers are looking more mysterious than ever. The Golden Circle, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland, is a great introduction. It’s an easy day trip since it’s close from Reykjavik, continuing on route 1, route 30 and route 35. No doubt, everyone is heading to the Golden Circle one day or another. It includes Thinkgvellir National Park, Exploding Geysir and Geysir park, Gullfoss Waterfall. If you have a rental car, just start the car and drive around. Seeing the ever-changing scenery is one of the best things to do on this island.

Hot Pools

If you like bathing in hot springs, Iceland will be a heaven for you. Hiking and “hot spring-ing” is an ordinary combination in Iceland. Especially in winter, picture this – dip yourself in the steamy hot mineral water that is surrounded by snow and ice. On the top of that, the mineral water will improve the skin condition: smooth and moist! If you’re looking for more urban options, there’s Blue Lagoon, a widely popular natural spring spa. Besides the hot springs, there are plenty of places to go dip in Iceland. The public swimming pools in Iceland use heated water, and pools often have hot tubs with several different temperatures. Also, you don’t need to feel guilty about taking a long-hot shower in Iceland; thanks to the geothermal energy, the hot water is (almost) free! The water from the ground is so hot, they actually have to cool it down before distributing to the houses.

#I was asked to share my experience in Iceland by Guide to Iceland, but all opinions are my own.

 

Juno Kim
Juno Kim
Juno Kim, a happiness-seeking storyteller. Photographer, writer, and trained mechanical engineer. Life-long nerd. I left the cubic farm to follow my true love: the world. A firm believer of serendipity, astronomy enthusiaster, and living by passion and love in life. Currently, on a quest to discover stories and find the place where I can call 'home'. Follow my journey through @RunawayJuno and Google+ .

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