31Mar2016

Lights Still On In The Land Of Fire And Ice

Lights - 3

Named for the Roman goddess of dawn, the aurora is a mysterious and unpredictable display of light in the night sky.

Has seeing the Aurora, those beautiful Northern Lights, that have been sung in song and put into rhyme so often been on your bucket list for a long time like mine? Well good news – the wait is over!

A New Opportunity Opens

Collette, a global tour operator that takes travellers all around the world on escorted group tours are now looking looking to promote Collette’s Iceland’s Magical Northern Lights tour, and I for one wish I was going along. People who have seen them claim there is no better celestial sight as these magical ribbons of light dance across the night sky, as if choreographed to a Mendelssohn classic!

Astronomy aficionados, stargazers and sky-watchers will already know that time is running out to see the Northern Lights. The midnight sun will still continue to beam bright in the northern sky in the summer months, but those bucket-list Aurora Borealis lights are fading.  A veritable winter and summer wonderland, Iceland is one of the best places for seeing these magical emerald, violet and rose-tinged lights pitted against the ebony Arctic sky.

Its All Cyclic

Winter is also the best time to see this Polar sky show which occurs as a result of massive solar eruptions taking place in an eleven- year solar cycle. With the change in the solar cycle, the frequency of the Northern Lights is diminishing and will continue to dim for a decade.

Aurora Borealis

Aurora Borealis

Collette, one of the world’s leading tour operators, takes travellers on escorted trips all around the globe. For those wanting to catch a glimpse of the stunning Northern Lights before they dim, Collette’s Iceland’s Magical Northern Lights tour is ideal.

Viewing Conditions

“Darkness, location and a clear sky are the most important factors in determining whether or not you’ll be lucky enough to see this unpredictable and powerful attraction.

Collette’s Iceland’s Magical Northern Lights tour features some of the most likely sites for viewing this extraordinary, natural phenomenon,” said Alison Mead, Collette’s Australia Business Manager.

Starting with unforgettable Reykjavik where exploring the quaint old town is a must, the tour moves on to take in thundering waterfalls, glaciers and steaming lava in the land of fire and ice.  The first evening features a post-dinner cruise which sails into the silent velvet night in search of the lights.

The Hunt Continues

The hunt for the Aurora Borealis continues throughout the tour including via the legendary Golden Circle, a route renowned for meandering through many of the country’s most sought-after attractions. One of the most well-known is the UNESCO World Heritage site, Thingvellir National Park which is a geological and historical treasure trove.

Geothermal activity is high in this area with warm geothermal pools and spectacular geysers erupting every few minutes. This contrasts with the nearby Gullfoss and Seljlandsfoss waterfalls where sheer walls of water pound their pristine backdrops.

When Volcanoes Ruled

As night approaches, the hunt continues for the Northern Lights in the nation’s southern-most city, Vik. Vik is the departure point for exploring the volcanic area where Eyjafallajokull’s exploding ash was propelled across the sky in 2010, grounding hundreds of planes.  Traces of volcanic activity can also be seen in the blackened volcanic beach sand which is home to multifarious, majestic seabirds.

Lights -2

Marvel as you take in thundering waterfalls, glaciers and steaming lava in the land of fire and ice

Glistening glaciers and the scenic glacial lagoon of Jokulsarlon provide the setting for the next leg of the tour which lasts six days in total, an ideal length for maximising the chances of a close encounter with the Northern Lights.

Are You Ready?

There are many stupendous surprises in Iceland, not the least of which is that in winter it can be warmer than in New York, London or Paris. For bucket-listers, now is the time to visit the land of fire and ice; the lights are still on but fading.

* For details of the full tours or to book a trip: Contact your local travel agent. Call Collette on 1300 792 195 or visit www.gocollette.com

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