Our first visit to Iceland was taken in February with the great aspiration of seeing the Aurora Borealis. We thought enduring the brisk February temps during short daylight hours would guarantee us sightings. No luck in South Iceland. Armed with a better plan (read no full moon, timing with a coronal hole due to open during our visit), we returned during the autumnal equinox to explore North Iceland. Success!

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We’ve learned that no trip should ever be planned around the Northern Lights. Think of them as an amazing bonus to a trip you otherwise wanted to take…because they are fickle. It takes a confluence of a solar storm, clear skies with no cloud cover, and darkness to produce a mesmerizing display. I’ll compile here all of our tips for increasing your odds, but there is never a guarantee.

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If you love fireworks, a visit to Iceland for New Year’s Eve is an adventure not to miss! Bonfires, snowy landscapes, a chance at the northern lights and a frenzy of fireworks illuminating the sky!

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