While spring and summer might be the top times when you think of which new city you’d like to explore on a European city break, there are some destinations that just need to be seen in winter! While many of our favourite activity breaks are exclusively winter (like skiing!), other city breaks are available throughout the year for you to take advantage of quieter tourist sights, cheaper flights and great deals on hotel packages! However, one extra special winter city break destination is Reykjavik, Iceland where many Northern Lights hunters head to have the best chance to see the spectacular show of nature!
Why is winter the best time to see the aurora borealis? The simple answer is because of the shortened length of daytime. If you’re willing to travel to the north or south poles though, then this spectacular display is visible all through the year. However, for those heading to Reykjavik for this experience, winter is a better time and with weather stabilising a little after December, January – March time is our top recommendation.
Chasing the Northern Lights can be a gamble though as many factors come into play as to whether they will be visible or not. The main factor is of course the weather, if there isn’t a clear sky then cloud will cover the lights and they’ll be hidden from your view. As well as this, the cause of the aurora borealis (solar wind) takes 1-2days to travel to earth so estimates based on this information can only be made a few days ahead of time. As with everything in 2016 though, there’s even an app to help predict its activity (Aurora forecast) but how reliable it is we have no idea! But isn’t the risk part of what makes your next break to experience this so exciting? Our city break in Reykjavik includes tours of local sights, the famous Golden Circle and even a trip to the Blue Lagoon so even if you are unlucky enough to not see them on your first night’s trip, you’ll still have a fantastic time in this wonderful part of the world!
Did you know there is also an Aurora Australis? The southern counterpart of the Northern Lights which is visible from…you’ve guessed it…Australia?