Looking for a truly unique way to celebrate New Year? Why not take a trip to witness the magnificent Northern Lights? Iceland is one of the top destinations to see this fantastic natural spectacle, and the locals are renowned for knowing how to ring in the New Year in their own inimitable style. It’s a party to end all parties.
New Year and The Northern Lights
Flying in to Reykjavik then heading down for a few nights at the Hotel Ranga is a fabulous way to begin your trip, as this will give you the very best chance of experiencing the famous Northern Lights. Iceland is one of the Nordic countries famous for its sightings of the lights (other countries include Sweden, Norway, Finland, Greenland, Alaska and Russia). This magnificent natural display is like nothing else on Earth and you’ll be mesmerised by the intensity of its beauty, its scale and the glorious colour spectrum. The hotel’s location, in a dramatically isolated location makes it the perfect place to experience the phenomenon.
During the build up to New Year you will have the opportunity to join some fabulous local tours. The volcano and glacier tour is a real highlight and will take you thrillingly close to the crater of the famous volcano, Eyiafjallajokull, which erupted just four years ago. You will be accompanied by a guide and driven in a jeep over lava fields and past a host of magnificent volcanic features, some ancient and some very new. These so-called Superjeeps are geared up for off-roading, and you’ll get to experience it in action when you make your way over the glaciers towards the summit of the volcano. From here you can walk to the volcano itself, which is definitely worth the effort for the incredible panoramic views out to the Atlantic Ocean.
If volcanoes are not your thing, the Golden Circle tour can make an exciting alternative. This tour is all about the dramatic and breath-taking landscapes the country is so rightly famous for. A 4WD vehicle will take you around the Golden Circle, visiting the Gullfoss Waterfall, a perpetually erupting geyser and Haifoss, one of the country’s best-known (and tallest) waterfalls. The Golden Circle tour is a wonderful introduction to the landscape of a country that is wild and raw in every sense, and serves to somewhat humble any visitor that graces its presence.
New Year Celebrations
At New Year, the country’s capital, Reykjavik, organises its very own display of the Northern Lights! Iceland celebrates New Year in style and it’s a very exciting and fun filled time to be in the city. After exploring the city’s museums, shops and picturesque harbor, you can enjoy a truly awesome firework display from the comfort of one of the country’s most eclectic restaurants, Perlan. You’ll experience the incredible cuisine and wine of this renowned restaurant, and have one of the best vantage points in the city to watch the fireworks. In a quirky turn of events, you’ll be interrupted after your main course to be whisked out on a visit to the many bonfires lit all around the city. Accompanied by raucous and joyful celebrations, these bonfires are the locals’ way of ringing in the New Year. You can then return to the restaurant for dessert, more fireworks, and dancing the night away.
To experience a unique taste of science, geography, culture, New Year’s celebrations and Northern Lights, Iceland is the ultimate destination.