Today is a cloudy day in Calgary. It is weather like this that reminds me summer is coming to a close and fall has arrived. As we say goodbye to long days spent outside, it’s time to start planning our fall/winter escapes.  While it is tempting to think heat in the midst of cold weather, there are some stunning cold-weather destinations worth a visit this fall/winter.

The benefit of planning now is giving yourself flexibility on prices. Take Canadian company FlightHub for example. will do the work for you by monitoring prices on their intricate fare-alert system. Head over to their website and search for the destination of your choosing (in the case below choose Reykjavík) and approximate dates that interest you; click ‘Subscribe’ to receive daily price drop or increase notifications. That’s the best way to get cheap flights. Plus booking is easy.

Planning a trip should be fun. And I would much prefer to spend my time researching the things I can do when I get there versus the flight. One place that’s been on the top of my list of places to go for ages is Iceland. Iceland has steadily risen in popularity over the past few years, in part due to airlines allowing a stopover en route to Europe. But given the diversity of things to see and do and to up your chances of witnessing the awe of the Aurora Borealis (otherwise known as Northern Lights), allow yourself some extra time in this country to get the full experience.

With so many activities and places to see, the list below is just a small representation of the types of things you can see and do in this magical country:

  1. Aurora Borealis – While there is no guarantee that you’ll see these whimsical lights, visiting Iceland from September to mid-April provides the best chance. Get outside of the city to remote locales for the best viewing position.
Northern lights in Iceland - Photo credit: Eirasi

Northern lights in Iceland – Photo credit: Eirasi

  1. Kirkjufell Mountain – This stunning symmetrical mountain sticks out due to its isolated nature. The mountain has nearby walking trails, beautiful waterfalls, and offers a perfect vantage point for the Aurora Borealis.
Kirkjufell Mountain - Photo credit: Messicanbeer on Flickr

Kirkjufell Mountain – Photo credit: Messicanbeer on Flickr

  1. Ice Caves – One of the highlights of visiting Iceland in the fall/winter is the option to explore exquisite blue ice caves also known as crystal caves. The remarkable colour is a result of the pressure of the ancient ice forcing out any air bubbles. Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and Skaftafel nature reserve are two of the top areas to access these caves. It’s important to go with a guide due to the dangerous nature of the caves. And book well in advance once you’ve confirmed your flight as t hese tours book up fast.
The blue ice caves of Iceland - Photo credit: James West on Flickr

The blue ice caves of Iceland – Photo credit: James West on Flickr

  1. The Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa – Warm up those cold winter bones in the striking teal water of this popular attraction. The lagoon is rich in blue-green algae, mineral salts and fine silica mud, leaving you feeling rested and softer than you’ve ever been. Please note the lagoon is undergoing renovation this coming winter and will be temporarily closed from January 5 – January 21, 2016.
The Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa - Photo credit: Christine Zenino on Flickr

The Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa – Photo credit: Christine Zenino on Flickr

  1. Reykjavik – The capital city provides ample opportunities to explore. From the Reykjavík Art Museum, comprised of three separate buildings to the outstanding concrete Hallgrimskirkja church to the vast array of delightful restaurants and shops, you won’t be bored in this colourful and surprising city.
Reykjavik at night - Photo credit: Iraia Martinez on Flickr

Reykjavik at night – Photo credit: Iraia Martinez on Flickr

For those that have been to Iceland, what did I miss?

A big thank you to FlightHub for making this post possible.

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Sandra says:

    Iceland keeps popping up on my radar – I’m sure it’s a sign that I’m supposed to visit. Coming from Australia, though, I’m not sure if I could manage the cold in the middle of winter!

  • Cumulus says:

    Gullfoss and Geysir (waterfall and geothermal area near each other)
    Also the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in general, although you did mention Kirkjufell, which I saw looking down from the ridgeline of the peninsula which I had climbed from the opposite shore.
    I actually visited Iceland in late September a few years ago, a time we picked because, as you say, prices drop quite a bit just before then, both for airfares and lodging. We were there for nine days, I think, and saw the northern lights twice. Keep in mind, though, that you’re going to pay a lot for food regardless of when you go.

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