Travel News: Aurora Spotting, Happy Russians, Eruption Advice

Travel News: Aurora Spotting, Happy Russians, Eruption Advice

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The Norðurflug helicopter tours company has launched a new combination trip for the winter season, when the northern lights are often to be seen dancing their way across Iceland’s skies. Despite being prohibited from making helicopter flights after dark, they’ve decided to team up with a boating firm and offer an interesting alternative: by day, they’ll take people for a panoramic birdseye view of the city and the beautiful surrounding mountains; then by night they’ll shift onto boats to get away from the city lights and, hopefully, experience some aurora. Find out more at helicopter.is.

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A survey was carried out by Ferðapuls Ísavia, the Icelandic Tourist Board, and Gallup recently to see how satisfied visitors were after their Icelandic holiday. The results were subdivided by nationality, with Russian tourists turning out to be the most satisfied, giving an average score of 90.8. Japanese tourists were the least satisfied, giving an average of 74. However, the methodology could explain why. Apparently, one key question was about whether the trip “exceeded expectation.” We’ve so many questions of our own: maybe the Russians just had low expectations? And are Japanese tourists in danger of a new version of Paris Syndrome?

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Despite the rumbling of the South Iceland volcano Katla, and the alarmed shockwaves it caused in the international press, there are no concrete signs of an imminent eruption. As such, the Mýrdalsjökull area remains open for visitors. Even so, anyone going to the area needs to follow basic safety advice, such as: don’t venture onto a glacier without suitable attire and preparation; if hiking in the area, check the conditions ahead of time, and keep a mobile phone or tracking device with you. And on the off chance an eruption should occur: seek advice on the safety of the area before ploughing in there.