Why Visit Iceland with TravelQuest?
Since our first trip to Iceland in 2002, TravelQuest has brought hundreds of adventurous travelers to this rugged island in the North Atlantic, sharing its rich culture and haunting natural beauty—and, of course, finding the ideal spots to view the elusive northern lights.
When considering an Iceland tour to seek out the northern lights, keep in mind that there is no absolute guarantee that we’ll see them. The aurora borealis is almost as unpredictable as Iceland’s weather. So it’s often said: Go for the scenery; hope for the northern lights. And thanks to the island’s incredible scenery, it’s well worth the journey. TravelQuest visits numerous beautiful Icelandic sites far from Reykjavik and its immediate surroundings, sites that are often overlooked by travelers. Whether we’re driving along the beautiful south shore, exploring the island’s interior, whale watching in the far north, or traveling in the (almost) tourist-free Westfjords, each evening of our journey presents another aurora-watching opportunity. We stay in country lodges and guesthouses, where the lights are few and the skies are dark. If you’re tired and want to retire early, go ahead. Our trip astronomer will keep watch late into the night and wake you if the aurora appears.
During the day, it’s the magnificent Iceland countryside that spellbinds us as we visit sight after sight. Depending on our itinerary, we may explore numerous large, thundering waterfalls and even walk behind one, stroll various lava fields including a fairy-tale-like lava sculpture park, climb a volcanic cinder cone, visit folk museums to discover how Icelanders lived less than 100 years ago, or have a relaxing soak in a geothermal bath.
On upcoming tours of Iceland, we may start in Reykjavik before heading north to spend several days exploring the natural wonders of the Lake Mývatn region. We’ll stand beside spectacular Goðafoss, the ‘Waterfall of the Gods,’ and walk through jagged Dimmuborgir, a fairy-tale-like lava field that features bizarre rock formations and is an absolute must-see on any Iceland trip. Near Lake Mývatn is the Námafjall Geothermal Area. The landscape of smoking fumaroles and boiling mud pots is a colorful blend of minerals including sulfur, with its unmistakable rotten-egg smell. Our nights will be spent at Hotel Laxá, a dark-sky location where we hope the northern lights will grace us with their presence.
As the tour progresses, we’ll drive west across northern Iceland, where the sights are plentiful and the tourists are few. We’ll take a whale-watching cruise (weather permitting) from a village located just below the Arctic Circle, visit the Glaumbær Folk Museum to see the simple houses of turf and stone inhabited by rural Icelanders until early in the last century, and get up close and personal with some beautiful Icelandic horses at Gauksmyri, where we’ll be treated to an impressive riding demonstration. And each evening our accommodation will be away from the lights of nearby towns, giving us the best chance of seeing the aurora borealis.