Why Are There so Many…

This part of the year is considered the off-season for Icelandic tourism. Typically, people prefer to travel there when it is warmer and the sun is out nearly all day. Of course, visiting during the off-season was why we got such a good deal on our package. There was another, unexpected, benefit to being in Iceland in November that turned out to be one of our favorite parts of the trip.

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The sun would rise around 9:30 or 10 in the morning and set between 4 and 4:30 in the afternoon. It hovered close to the horizon all day and peaked only halfway up the sky.

 

This is what noon looks like.
This is what noon looks like.

 

Photographers and cinematographers like to shoot landscapes during the last hour of daylight. The sunlight is softer and brings out the colors of the land better. They call it “The Magic Hour.” In Iceland, that magic hour can last for about a quarter of the day.

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The weather was frequently rainy, though the rainclouds came and went pretty quickly (or we were driving out from under one and into the next a lot). The upshot of this was that because of the low angle of the sun, any time it was rainy — or even a little misty — you could see fantastic rainbows. Big, huge, full, and often double rainbows, everywhere, all the time, every single day of our trip!

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It was spectacular. The landscape was already amazing to take in; the constant rainbows upped the experience all the way to “magical.” The girls will tell you this was the best part of the trip.

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