In Search of the Northern Lights & Whales in Iceland
After two years, thanks to the unending pandemic, I was finally able to travel again and the destination that was first on my list was wintery paradise that is Iceland. Given the time of the year – we travelled late December into the first day of the new year – it was the perfect destination to take in some beautiful natural landmarks, as well get some well-needed rest.
It’s almost customary when travelling to Iceland to see the Northern Lights and there is no better company to guide you in finding an aurora than Elding; one of Iceland’s most popular tour companies. With their trusted tour guides and experienced captain, it was a no-brainer for us to try out their Norther Lights Cruise, as well as their Whale Watching Cruise – yes, there are whales in Iceland, too!
Heading away from the bright lights of Reykjavik, we descended into the darkness of the Icelandic sea to spot the auroras. Elding’s well-heated boat and free overalls provide warmth and protection from the fierce winds you’ll experience on the sea, especially when trying to take pictures when on the top deck. Their tour guide shares helpful facts and trivia on Iceland and its Northern Lights and directs you on where to look so you’re given a helping-hand in spotting the dynamic patterns in the sky. While it’s recommended to travel to Iceland from November to April as it’s the best condition to see the lights, we unfortunately couldn’t see them with our naked eye. Nevertheles, the auroras were visible via our phone lenses and we were able to capture enchanting pictures. But it’s not just the lights that are the only attraction, the clear and less polluted skies give you access to stars that you’ll never get in London. It’s truly humbling how alluring and enigmatic the stars appear when they’re so visible.
Iceland boasts not just the best whale watching experience in Europe but is also one of the best places to whale watch in the world. The country’s unique position between two ocean currents in the North Atlantic means that its waters are filled with krill and fish – the perfect attraction for hungry whales and dolphins. And being a huge Free Willy fan myself there was no way I was going to miss out on the opportunity to see a whale in the flesh. Despite not seeing many whales on the day, we did get to spot one of the largest whales that swim within the Icelandic sea, the Humpback whale. Whilst it was only visible for 3 seconds when above water, its sheer size and presence was cosmic, a feeling that can’t truly be replicated and explained in words.
Type of Tour
Northern Lights Cruise: £68 / Classic Whale Watching: £68