How to See Them in 2023
, 2022-09-07 02:00:00,
The northern lights (or aurora borealis, in more scientific terms) are one of the biggest draws to Iceland. Caused by the interaction of particles from the sun and gases in the Earth’s atmosphere, the northern lights appear as curtains of vivid color, in vibrant green, blue, yellow and red, hovering in the sky and morphing into different shapes.
While Iceland certainly isn’t the only place in the world to view this natural wonder, the Nordic country’s prime location near the Arctic Circle means the light show can be visible for more than 100 nights per year. There are other popular locations for viewing the lights in countries like Norway, Sweden and Russia, but many of these places are less accessible, requiring multiple flights or lengthy ground transport. This factor makes Iceland a great place to check the aurora off your bucket list: The country’s main international airport, Keflavík (set about 30 miles southwest of Reykjavik), welcomes plenty of direct flights from North America, allowing you potential access to the light show almost immediately.
As another plus, Iceland typically has warmer weather than most of the other frigid northern lights destinations. Iceland’s wintertime highs hover in the 30s, while average daytime highs in Fairbanks, Alaska, for example, fall below 10 degrees Fahrenheit in December and January.
However, keep in mind that catching the northern lights isn’t as simple as hopping on a plane and looking up once you land in Reykjavik. The aurora…
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