From Alaska to Finland, these are best places to marvel at the northern lights.Read more...
Iceland - A view from our expert author
Travelling to Iceland is much less about sightseeing than it is feeling things you’ve never felt before – what it’s like to be the only person on earth or how it feels to be outnumbered by a million-odd puffins.
Iceland, with its combination of raw nature, rich culture and overwhelming beauty, leaves an indelible imprint on those who visit. Stroll through the quirky capital of Reykjavík, set against majestic Mount Esja, with its eclectic museums and charming coffeehouses. Reykjavik is known for its nightlife, and if you care to dance, or take in local bands, there are countless clubs and pubs ranging from thundering dance clubs to cocktail bars. If you’re looking to shop, Reykjavik’s high street, Laugavegur, is likely to have what you’re looking for, whether it’s posh fashion shops, kitschy souvenir stores, outdoor gear or hip record hangouts.
A trip to Iceland is not complete until you immerse yourself in the unrivalled, powerful nature of the island. Take a dip in the giant manmade geothermal pool, the Blue Lagoon, in the Reykjanes peninsula, then travel to the Golden Circle to take in bubbling geysers, towering waterfalls and relaxing hot springs. Next travel to Jökulsárlón’s black-sand lagoon to see icebergs up close. Hike through the dramatic landscapes of Landmannalaugar or the volatile geothermal area around Lake Mývatn, and then head to the Látrabjarg bird cliffs to watch the antics of hundreds of thousands of puffins in the summer. If you’re planning to travel in the winter months, you might have a chance to see the alien-like Northern Lights dance along the sky in all their green glory.
Andrew Evans (introduction written by Jenna Gottlieb, updater of our third edition)