The northern lights convey a sense of being at the very edge of the world and getting a rare glimpse into the endless universe we are all just a tiny part of
The vivid beauty of the Aurora Borealis, better known as the Northern Lights, has become far better known in recent times as the swathes of green and violet illuminating the sky sometimes even reach Donegal.
The best views, naturally enough, can be seen in the Arctic, in Canada, Alaska, or the Nordic. But Iceland, our island neighbours – of sorts – offers the most spectacular. Mostly because when you’re not staring at the Technicolor palette dancing through the air, you’ll be staring in disbelief at the stunning environment back on earth. And now with MasterCard and Newstalk offering you the chance to visit it, an unforgettable journey awaits.
The Right Hook and MasterCard have joined forces on an incredible on-air competition. Every day, contestants will be asked to come up with seven things from a chosen category, all the while racing against the clock. Each day two listeners will qualify for the finale, with the 20 finalists battling it out in a Where in the World-style quiz. When the dust settles, one winner will have earned the chance to create some priceless memories, visiting some of the world’s greatest wonders.
Seeing the Northern Lights comes with its own challenges, something which is common to the majority of the world’s priceless experiences. Brightest and most spectacular in the bitterly cold Icelandic winter, there’s a good chance that the remote roads will be closed. But with a bit of luck, the conditions will be right for the buses and minivans that depart Reykjavik on Aurora safaris, stalking the icy tundra for the best vantage points from which to witness the Northern Lights.
Icelandic lore believes the celestial displays are caused by fearless swans flying so far north that their wings get caught in the ice, with their brazen attempts to break through resulting in the shimmering sky. The science doesn’t quite follow suit, with physicists knowing it’s down to gases expanding and contracting in a heady dance with charged particles. But standing in the freezing air, wrapped up warm, sipping hot chocolate, your eyes wide in wonder, it’s hard not to get swept away by the myths.
Priceless memories will also be made in Reykjavik, the world’s most northerly capital city. By international standards, it’s compact, but its cheerful combination of colourful buildings, engaging locals, meticulous design, thrilling nightlife, and fresh air packs a mighty punch. And it’s the perfect base from which to see everything Iceland has to offer – like the beloved Blue Lagoon, the world-famous geothermal spa. Visitors dip into the warm waters, rich in silica and sulphur. The pale blue pool leaves you feeling reinvigorated and does wonders for your skin.
But regardless of what you do in Iceland, an unforgettable experience is guaranteed.
Where to Stay:
Where to Play:
Where to Eat:
With thanks to MasterCard and Newstalk