Let’s talk natural wonders. Many of us who might be looking at the best travel destinations for single females will have many criteria to fulfill. You might want a luxurious experience, and adventurous experience, a chance to make friends, a chance to chill out. One thing that I think we all share when looking for the perfect destination is the nature of the area. What will we be able to see? What can we experience here that we could never have seen had we stayed at home?
As part of our mini-series on the Arctic, I wanted to share with you some of the natural wonders that are found above the Arctic Circle. Some are well-known already. Others can be undervalued compared to the more flashy appeals of hot, sunny beaches and resorts.
This is nature: real, wild, and unforgettable.
The Northern Lights are on many traveler’s bucket lists. This is one of the most famous natural phenomena on earth, yet can be difficult to imagine when you have not seen it in person. The lights are actually a combined effect of the charged particles of the sun’s atmosphere interacting with the gaseous particles of our atmosphere. You can’t see this in most places, as the Earth’s electromagnetic field prevent the particles from entering our atmosphere. But near the North and South Poles, the magnetic field is weaker. (Don’t ask me why, that’s as far as my knowledge goes.)
Just picture it. Greens yellows and pinks, maybe reds and purples, billowing and waving across the sky in a moving lights show.
Icebergs are, technically, just big ol’ pieces of ice that have broken off from other ice like a glacier and are now floating in the water. Like a cube in a drink. – except that they’re absolutely enormous, and just spectacularly beautiful. They come in many shapes and sizes. Some are wide and flat like tables, others heaped up like small mountains, and a hundred shapes in between. They can be shot through with patterns and ripples, or carved into strange and fantastic shapes by the elements. Many are not white, the way we might picture them, but are instead brilliant, eye catching shades of blue and turquoise.
You might already be familiar with the fact that there are volcanoes in Iceland, especially after the famous eruption that disrupted so many travel plans back in 2010. Maybe it speaks to the beauty of these incredible natural features that we here at Brave Women Travel – a literal travel company – can’t bring ourselves hold a grudge against them. And our women’s travel groups are far more likely to appreciate the beauty of the (usually small and non-delaying) eruptions of Iceland’s volcanoes than start stressing about missed flights. (That’s what the cocktails are there for. C’mon, guys.)
Aside from the amazing sights provided by the volcanoes and eruptions themselves, the landscape of these areas are made iconic by their presence. The black beaches are eerily stunning, and the rock formations could put the world’s most famous works of sculpture to shame.
Hot Springs and Lagoons
All right, this one may technically belong under “volcanoes” as well, as they are created through geothermal effects. However, the experience is not so much a visual one as it is a multi-sensory one. The hot springs in Iceland are beautiful, don’t get me wrong. They are often located in some of the most glorious scenery imaginable. They can be found amongst strikingly barren wilderness, richly scenic countryside, black volcanic rock, even inside of caves. And hey, there’s a reason the Blue Lagoon is called that. But the physical experience of entering natural heated waters, outside, in otherwise freezing weather? That’s exactly the kind of unforgettable experience we aim for with our women’s adventure trips.
Of course, while we immediately associate the Arctic with cold weather, the fact is that summer might be the best time to visit. There are certain areas that you can only get to in summer weather, after all. (That does not mean it’s going to be hot, however. Just to be clear.) Going in summer means that there will be all the more to look at, from wildflowers to animals. There is one other natural wonder that might draw your attention, however, and that is the sun. (I mean, I say draw your attention… like, don’t look directly at it, obviously.)
Summer at the extreme North and South of the planet means more than lengthened days. At the peak of summer, it means only days. No nights. The sun dips down as though it’s going to set, and then it just… doesn’t. It rises again,as though it were part of some slow moving celestial tennis game. Instead of night, you have a gorgeous melding of sunset and sunrise to mark the change of days.
These inlets are narrow and steeply sided, and are known as some of the most memorable natural features in the world. Their distinctive shapes are due to the fact that they were created by glaciers, which is why you can’t find them in warmer areas. Fjords combine the snaking movement of a river with the dizzying beauty of cliff faces and mountains, and should not be missed by any world traveler.
All of these sights and more are available as part of our ladies’ tour packages to the Arctic, with special opportunities included in each trip to view and appreciate the nature. And for the more daring excursions, you can also benefit from doing so with an experienced guide to keep you safe and secure throughout.