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If you’re reading this whilst day dreaming at your office desk, then drift off to this: You’re riding up the chair lift in sub zero temperatures, snow is falling softly onto the chair beside you, and the light winter breeze brings a flurry of crisp white snowflakes past your goggles. You shift your bum forward on the seat in anticipation, and gently glide off onto the mountaintop. As if the scene couldn’t become more magical, you turn around to make your descent, only to find the view that awaits is absolutely breathtaking. The winter light is low, but below you, the town of Akureyri glistens off the frozen fjord. You are at one with the mountain. Just for you, the skies slowly but surely begin to dance above your head. At first you wonder if your eyes are playing tricks on you. The unmistakable green glow of the aurora borealis comes to life, and you suddenly feel like you are the only person in the world, standing on that beautiful mountaintop, entertained by your own private show of the spectacle that is the northern lights.
OK! And you’re back in the room. If this isn’t enough to entice you, and if you’re still reading and haven’t skipped to another web page to book your holiday already, then here are some things to consider, depending on what sort of holiday you are looking for.
The Solo Adventurer
If you’re travelling on your own, then you’ll be pleased to know that Iceland is a very safe place to be. In fact, it was named the safest country for the sixth year running in 2016 by the Global Peace Index, so you really have nothing to worry about. It’s highly likely that you’ll end up making great friends along the way!
The Party Animals
If you’re looking for somewhere that has good skiing and amenities, but also a great nightlife, then look no further. Icelanders work very hard, but they like to party hard, too. If you’re looking for some real excitement, the best time of year to visit is during one of the first weekends in April. The town plays host to a festival called AK Extreme, a fantastic mixture of snow sports, music and partying. You can check it out on the AK Extreme website, or head over to YouTube to see some clips – thousands of people, from locals to travellers all gather up once a year for this festival, so the atmosphere is immense. If the locals are flocking, you know it’s good!
Akureyri has something to offer you too. From beginner slopes, ski school, private ski lessons for all ages and helpful staff, right up to the bigger slopes and even off-piste skiing, there’s something for all the family. The town also has many offerings to keep the children busy, whatever their ages, from cinemas and shopping centers, to horse riding and even the famous Christmas House.
North Iceland has plenty in the way of swarve restaurants, sumptuous hotels, spa days and luxurious natural baths to indulge in. If relaxing in a natural hot spring, with snow flakes falling on your head, a glass of wine in hand and the northern lights dancing above you doesn’t sound romantic enough, then perhaps spending a spa day together to recover from the slopes will do the trick.