Aurora Chas­ing in Ice­land

TAKE A CHANCE ON EX­PLOR­ING THE GLACIAL SIDE OF THE LAND OF FIRE AND ICE AS WELL THIS WIN­TER WITH AURORA CHAS­ING THROUGH THE NORDIC NA­TION

Escape! Malaysia - - Special Feature -

There’s no bet­ter time than now to chase af­ter the elu­sive North­ern lights in Ice­land. The nat­u­ral phe­nom­e­non that sends gen­tle waves of green light danc­ing across a clear win­ter’s night will end its 11-year cy­cle of high vis­i­bil­ity some­time next year. Over the course of six nights, trav­ellers will ac­tively seek out the au­ro­ras to gain more op­por­tu­ni­ties to view this mes­meris­ing light show in per­son. In ad­di­tion will be a night of ac­tive chas­ing for four hours by bus and even a North­ern lights academy pro­gramme that will ed­u­cate trav­ellers on the mys­te­ri­ous nat­u­ral won­der through films, pre­sen­ta­tions, and quick cour­ses, such as a course on aurora pho­tog­ra­phy to best cap­ture the bright beams for that In­sta­gram-wor­thy shot.

Ice­land has more to of­fer than just the North­ern lights, of course. In win­ter, the sub­zero tem­per­a­tures cre­ate an all-nat­u­ral win­ter won­der­land out of ice and snow. Take a ride on a mas­sive eight-wheel drive mon­ster truck for a sa­fari ex­pe­di­tion to Langjökull glacier, the sec­ond largest glacier in Ice­land. Then in­dulge in an once-in-al­ife­time cave ad­ven­ture through the world’s largest man­made ice cav­erns. The cav­erns are com­posed of an ex­ten­sive sys­tem of tun­nels and chambers that stretch close to 300 me­tres into the solid ice cap to­wards a breath­tak­ing nat­u­ral ice cave at the heart of the glacier. Through this trek, ice walk­ers will be able to ex­plore var­i­ous chambers and a huge ice crevasse. Walk­ing deeper into the ice tun­nel re­veals cen­turies-old ice, most no­tice­able through the grad­ual change in colour from a cloudy white to shock­ing deep blues.

Trav­ellers can also go on a be­gin­ner’s glacial hik­ing ex­pe­ri­ence from the Sól­heima­jökull glacier to the great Mýrdal­sjökull glacier. Mil­len­ni­ums of ice break­ing through hard rock have carved out a spec­tac­u­lar rugged rock for­ma­tion to be ex­plored. Dur­ing the hike, trav­ellers will come across ice sculp­tures, wa­ter caul­drons, ridges and deep crevasses on the glacier. Guides, loaded with in­for­ma­tion, will en­sure a safe and il­lu­mi­nat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence as they ed­u­cate on the behaviours of glaciers and their im­pact on na­ture, as well as on the proper use of ba­sic glacier equip­ment, like cram­pons and an ice axe.

Af­ter a fruit­ful trip to Ice­land, pick up unique sou­venirs at the Ice­landic wool out­let store. Fill shop­ping carts with sweaters, bean­ies and gloves knit­ted from Lopi, the fleece of Ice­landic sheep. The fleece is made up of two lay­ers: an outer, wa­ter-re­sis­tant coat, and a soft, in­su­lat­ing layer that quickly warms up the body with­out caus­ing an itch against sen­si­tive skin.

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