Monday, February 13, 2012

Iceland travel spots

In just a couple weeks we are going to be heading back to Iceland in hopes of catching the aurora borealis.

2012 + 2013 are supposed to be the best years in recent times to see them, so I hope we have a little bit of luck on our side.

Aurora Time-lapse / Iceland 2012 from O Z Z O Photography on Vimeo.

These sites: aurora predictoraurora hunteraurora forecast are a fun way to get a forecast and it says September and March are statistically the best times of year, too.

Even if that doesn't prove to be a success it's going to be great to be back in one of our favorite places on the planet. I'm already excited to eat as much skyr as humanly possible. Stefan can't wait to visit Icelandic Fish + Chips which has 'skyronnaise'.

We'll also be there for Beer Day, so we can sample some of their microbrews and the Food and Fun festival will be going on, too.

We are hardly running out of things to do in Iceland.

With my love for organization, I created a google map with locations I've read about or someone has recommended to visit (red spots are locations and links to places we've visited, blue markers are locations that we want to visit... looks like we need to stay longer):

View Iceland in a larger map

A few more helpful sites and videos if you are planning a trip, too. If you need any encouragement, just watch these videos and the nature will reel you in.

Grapevine best of Reykjavik 2011... the local English news and info source
Iceland Travel blog... a cohesive site with lots of Iceland info
aurum jewelry... I saw a bracelet that I loved here during our last visit, hopefully they still have it!

(As a side note, Jeni's ice cream shop is introducing an Icelandic cake flavor in March, it's called Icelandic Happy Marriage Cake and will have skyr, sweet oat biscuits, and rhubarb compote - yum! Maybe next she'll try one like the rye bread ice cream at Reykjavik's Café Loki.)

Scenes From Niceland from SCIENTIFANTASTIC on Vimeo.

ICELAND from Gunnar Konradsson on Vimeo.


Silviu said...

Hi Emily,

I will try again to post the message. let's see if I can do it now :)

I was saying that you are already a "homie" of the island and I also would like to visit it and of course se the Aurora.

Could you advice me when is best to go on the island and if you have some tips for me like websites, hotels, things to see, etc. or any other advices on how to plan my trip would be much appreciated.

Thank you and looking forward to your reply.

Emily said...

Hi Silviu!
I don't think there's a bad time to go to Iceland. It probably depends on what you want to see and do while you are there.

During the peak tourist season, when the weather is a bit warmer and there's more day light, there are tours to do whale watching, horse riding, and all kinds of outdoor activities. You can rent a car or go by a coach bus tour. We like renting a car and being able to stay as long as we like and pull off the road when we see interesting things.

Iceland gets a lot of day light on average through the year, so if you want to see the aurora the best time statistically is September or March and then anytime between those months in the Winter (when there's more darkness).

When we went on this past trip in March we had a mixture of weather and enough darkness to see the Aurora, which was well worth it.

You can read more about our trips and the links I've found helpful here (you may have to click 'older posts' on the bottom to see more):

Some places we've stayed multiple times and enjoyed:
The Blue Lagoon Clinic
The Hilton Nordica Reykjavik
Baenir & Braud Stykkishólmur (we've only been once so far, but it's great)

Here are some websites about Iceland that I enjoy and found useful:

You may also want to sign up with icelandair, because they will email you when they have specials or sales on flights.

I hope that helps! Best of luck. It's a gorgeous country and we're already hoping we'll make it back again soon.

silvium said...

Hi Emily,

Thank you for all the information. They are very welcomed.

I would like to see the Aurora, the wales and the wild life/nature in general :)

Let's see if I will be able to visit it after September. I was just wondering if from the weather point of view is OK to go there during the winter. I mean, you can imagine that I don't have polar outfits :D

Kind regards,

Emily said...

The weather is supposed to be more temperate than New York due to some current they receive, however Winter is quite cold.

Our first visit was in August/September and it was comfortable.

The second time we went in June was quite cold for some unknown reason. The locals were surprised their summer wasn't warmer.

I would advise packing layers so you can add more clothing if necessary. Best of Luck! I hope you find a great time to go and affordable flights, too.