Witnessing a volcanic eruption combined with the aurora
Thirty years ago, Clive Stacey watched a volcano erupting in northern Iceland while the northern lights blazed across the sky – and it was just as magical as it sounds…
“It was exactly 30 years ago. I was working on our first programme of holidays and there was a volcanic eruption in Iceland. I went there in a small jeep – this was in the north of Iceland – with three other people and we stood on a hill in the evening with an ocean of lava as far as the eye could see.
“I picked up a piece of lava that was hardening on the lava flow, and we still have it up in our conference room today – a new piece of land.
“At the same time it was dark and the northern lights came out, and then the moon shone down, reflecting off the scene. Then some whirlwinds started twirling because of the reaction from cold air hitting the lava. Beautiful.
“There was an old couple in the jeep that I was in, who had lived in India and were very well travelled. They said they’d been all over the world and this was the most amazing scene that they’d ever, ever seen, and that as long as I would live, this would be the most amazing scene that probably I’d ever see and – so far – it has been.
“I’ve still witnessed some pretty incredible scenes, but nothing to rival that.”
If we’re lucky, you could do the same this winter…
It’s a particularly exciting time in Iceland at the moment as we and the rest of the world monitor the possible eruption of Bárðarbunga. One of the many reasons we love Iceland and encourage travel there is because of its interesting geology and lively volcanic activity, which has moulded much of Iceland’s curious landscape. As the UK’s leading Iceland specialist we are monitoring the situation closely and you can read regular updates from our on-the-spot volcanologist, Ari Trausti Gudmundsson.
We’re also preparing ourselves for every eventuality in case Bardarbunga does erupt, including drawing on our past experience in sending clients to witness ‘tourist eruptions’. Make sure you’re signed up to our Volcano Hotline and we’ll contact you with details of potential last minute trips.