Fashionably Fit with Namastetics

I’ve noticed that increasingly, my girlfriends and I will opt for a fun workout class such as SoulCycle or Barry’s Bootcamp followed by brunch or dinner rather than going out for drinks. In a way, our generation has made working out our social activity of choice, but it also means the bar is raised on fitness fashion.

I recently came across Namastetics, a lifestyle brand that fully embraces this concept, and there’s been no turning back from it on days I have my workout “dates” of sorts.
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The Canadian brand is highly functional and technical in terms of its design and fabrics, which is what we first and foremost look for in our gear. But, the designs are super edgy and sexy – think mesh cutouts, “ripped” leggings, and ballerina straps. These “Fearless” leggings pictured above are so on trend with mesh cutouts and retail for $42.95.
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I own three pairs of Namastetics and I pretty much can’t go a workout class without three or four girls unprompted gushing over my leggings and asking me where I bought them. And, their price point is much more palatable than Lululemon and other competitors. Some of their leggings start at just $25. The “Midnight Ballet” leggings pictured above with fun tie detailing are also just $42.95.
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We also adore these “Breathe Easy” leggings, with fun mesh paneling, $42.95.

Oh, there’s also a feel good component to buying Namastetics. They donate an hour of yoga to someone in need with every purchase!

See more of our fitness coverage here:
Classes: Best Boutique Fitness Classes in NYC
Classes: San Fran’s Best Boutique Fitness Classes
Beauty: Foundation That Outlasts a Workout
Fitness Obsession: Foam Rolling
Our Favorites: Running Shoes

Decorating With This Season’s Hottest Trend: Succulents

I don’t think it would be too bold to coin 2017 the year of the succulent. From their presence in high-end boutiques to restaurants and even prints on designer clothing, succulents and cactuses are everywhere this year. I first became obsessed with succulents on a trip out to Palm Springs last year when I noticed how prominently all the places I visited used them in their décor. They really brighten up a room, have serious fashion credit and so many styling opportunities in terms of chic vases and other carriers. It was at that point that I decided to incorporate the trend on the East coast in my Manhattan apartment. It started with a few small cacti from Moorten’s cactus museum in Palm Springs on my ledge. Then, a friend turned me on to UrbanStems.com, which has been a game changer in terms of succulent décor.
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For those unfamiliar with UrbanStems, it is an online flower delivery service with the most gorgeous blooms. You can find everything from your traditional rose bouquet to wedding flowers and… succulents in a dinosaur vase. Yes, you read that correctly. UrbanStems has a set of four different golden planters such as a T-Rex and Triceratops each with their own pretty succulent inside. When I discovered these planters I nearly lost it. They were exactly what my apartment needed and have since become one of the most admired pieces in my apartment and a true conversation starter when I have guests over. My friends have since copied me and bought dinos of their own. They also make a great gift, especially for a housewarming, and are priced at just $45.
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For those looking for more traditional succulents, they also have other gorgeous planters, such as the Gibson ($55) which has a variety of succulents of all different textures and colors in a beautiful cement planter with a gold lip. The Huxley is also a great option and is packed with succulents in a wooden box.

Everything about UrbanStems is a luxury experience and seamless. The packaging the items comes in is beautiful and all of the plants arrived undamaged. The pricepoints make them perfect for gifting or for pretty inexpensively getting in on the succulent trend in your own home.

More Home & Decor:
Best of Home: Ziporah Towels
Best of Home: Gold Flatware
Best of Home: Rust Designs
Best of Home: Ovando Candles
Best of Home: Simple Human

Travel Guide: The Best Beach Clubs in Mykonos

For those who haven’t been, Mykonos is considered the party island of Greece. And it is home to some of the most amazing beach clubs. Think gorgeous people, DJs playing beachy tunes and cabanas to take the sun and drink champagne in. The morning hours are very chill, then comes 4 p.m. and the music turns up, people start dancing and champagne corks sound all the way until 9 p.m. when the sun finally sets.

There are so many beach clubs in Mykonos that picking the right ones is key. You don’t want to end up at one of the fratty, college ones. Check out our must-visit guide to beach clubs in Mykonos below.

Scorpios:

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Scorpios is one of the newest beach club additions in Mykonos and it doesn’t disappoint. It’s got a distinctly Burning Man on the Mediterranean vibe. Think monochromatic shades of tan and sand, wooden cabanas, body painting, hammocks, fire circles and other-worldly slow beats with live drummers, etc.

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Scorpios attracts the “it” crowd. Models, athletes, leggy Europeans, etc. During the day, you can rent a cabana by the beach. It is also the most spectacular place to watch the sun set. We wound up at Scorpios three of our four days in Mykonos, if that’s any indication of what it’s like. At sundown, the percussions pick up, but the vibe is still very mellow as people dance to tribal beats while watching the sun set under strung edison lights.

The dress code: hot bikinis and lacy coverups. Tie-up sandals also encouraged. Feather headbands? Do it.

Nammos:

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Where do I start with Nammos? It was hands down our favorite day in Mykonos and the best party we went to (from what we remember). It may be because our early lunch at Nammos consisted of two glasses each of vodka on the rocks with Greek Salads. We then went shopping at Luisa, Nammos’s store which is stocked with amazing Missoni bathing suits, Eugenia Kim hats and Karen Walker sunglasses. The day got even better when we decided to order a bottle of vodka just for the two of us. So, by the time the party kicked off at 4, you can probably imagine the state we were in.

Nammos attracts a really affluent crowd. There’s a 120,000 pound bottle of Armand De Brigand Brut Gold on their menu, after all. It is also a celebrity hot spot. Once the beats picked up, out came a surprise bottle of Veueve Cliquot for us. That went down quickly as we danced to club music and swam in the ocean. We then wound up at a table that had approximately 16 bottles of rosé for us to drink while we danced and smoked turkish cigarettes and cigars. Next thing we knew, the sun was setting over the ocean.

Parts of Nammos are a blur, but a really, really fabulous one. We’re already talking about going back to Mykonos next summer and recreating this day. I may have lost a really expensive pair of sunglasses, and my friend may have lost her feather headband, but those are small prices to pay for the amount of fun we had. I’d put it high on the list of beach clubs to visit.

Panormos:

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Panormos is a beautiful beach club overlooking Panoramas Bay. The decor is impeccable: Wooden beach loungers, a gorgeous restaurant (pictured above) with views of the turquoise bay, a great shop. and good vibes.

Visually, we thought Panormos was the prettiest of the beach clubs we visited and we liked the chill vibe during the day. There are lots of people in their late twenties and thirties ordering bottles of  rosé and champagne. We loved that it had a very Grecian feel to it — the champagne, for instance, was served in a brass boat surrounded by bunches of grapes and strawberries. There is a DJ and a saxophonist playing to the beats.

Like Nammos, the energy picks up around 4 p.m., unless it is one of the days that they have a night party. In that case it will close around 6 so that they can set up. The restaurant requires reservations, so keep that in mind, as do the beach loungers. Don’t try just rocking up and getting a chair — it’s a bit of a process, so reserve in advance.

Planning A Trip to Greece? Check out our Travel Guides:

Travel Guide: Where to Eat in Santorini

Travel Guide: A Day Sailing Around Santorini

Travel Guide: Where to Stay in Santorini

Travel Guide: Where to Eat in Mykonos

Let me upgrade you: running shoe edition

I’ve upped my running game in the last few months and as a result, I developed a nasty case of runner’s knee, which I’ve chronicled here on the blog. The pain was super intense and sidelined my running for a while. After visiting one of Manhattan’s top sports surgeons, I learned that my footwear plus a lack of stretching was the likely culprit.

My sneakers were Nike cross trainers and about a year old, which didn’t seem unfit for me. But, once I upgraded to actual running shoes, I saw a world a difference. After doing extensive research (like REALLY extensive research where I interviewed all my friends who run marathons, read every article on the internet, etc.) I decided to order two pairs of running shoes to wear during my workouts. Below is my write up of each, and let me just say they have been God sends. Can’t recommend them both enough (Sorry, Nike!).

Brooks Glycerin 14: First off, Brooks came highly recommended by all my runner friends and the brand specializes in running, which meant it was a natural place for me to start on my expedition for the perfect and most supportive running shoe. When the Glycerins arrived, I was super impressed by how pretty they are. I opted for the pattern shown above, but this shoe comes in an array of color combinations, meaning there is something for everyone. I liked that fashion wasn’t an afterthought for the brand, even though they are known for being so technical.

When I put the shoe on, there was an immediate difference in how they felt on my foot compared to my old Nikes. The padding and buoyancy under my toes was so noticeable that I couldn’t believe I had deigned to put my foot in a cross trainer when this had been an option the whole time. Once I got on the treadmill, my gait had completely changed and it felt like the shoe was absorbing the impact of my running rather than my ankles and knees. The effect is that you feel like you are running on air, not a hard treadmill. I’ve been using this pair when I take breaks at work, so I keep them at my office, and running in them is such a treat. I haven’t had any flare ups of runner’s knee, which is a testament to the build of the shoe. Total keepers that I would highly recommend. They cost $120 and can be purchased here.
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Newton Gravity 6: Newton was not a brand I was familiar with, but it’s very well known in the running world I soon learned after setting out on my research. The company is called Newton Running, and I learned through this experiment that if you’re going to run, you should stick with a sneaker maker who makes running its sole purpose (no pun intended). Like the Brooks, this shoe had uber cushioning that made you feel like you are walking and running on air. I’ve come to learn that this is extremely important in preventing the range of ailments you can get from running without proper support. There’s a reason that this shoe became the company’s top-selling model since it launched.

When I put the shoe on and started my runs, both on the treadmill and outside, I almost felt like I was bouncing off of the floor because of the “POP1” platform built into the sole. Seriously, it’s a game changer. I found myself running longer runs and having no discomfort in either knee. I also love that the sneaker is made of a breathable mesh that keeps your feet from sweating. Overall, the sneaker is majorly supportive, comfortable and fashionable. Would also highly recommend to friends and readers. Newton Gravity 6’s retail for $175.

What We’re Loving: Corseted Belts

We like big belts and we cannot lie. These waist-cinching accessories are becoming a focal point of outfits across the globe, starting with fashion week. On a recent trip to Barney’s, they were all over the department store, and I’ve been slowly incorporating them into my warndrobe. Here are some of our favorites.
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I saw this Alaia laser-cut belt on display at Barney’s and literally have not been able ot get it out of my head. It’s equal parts dainty and feminine and I need it on my waist. It’s $1,640, but fab. Also comes in black.
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This bow belt from Zara creates the perfect hourglass and is easy on the wallet at $25.90
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This Roxy waist belt comes in black and tan and has a bit of an equestrian feel. $114
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No need to splurge to get a taste of this trend. This number from Asos runs less than $50.

Our Newest Obsession: Face Masks

I can’t pinpoint exactly when face masks became a “thing” but for the past year or so, my friends and I have become obsessed with the beauty trend. From Korean sheet masks to hydrating and repair masks and eye patches, my beauty cabinet has become overrun by face masks and it’s one of my favorite go-to beauty pick-me-ups. My girlfriends and I have even reserved one night a month where we bring over facemasks, order in sushi, drink wine and catch up on chic flix. (And maybe this is a sign of our age, but we look forward to this night of rejuvenating more than our fancy dinners and nights out)

Given that we’ve become connoisseurs of sorts, I wanted to share the face masks that I use that are in heavy rotation as part of my beauty routine.

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MaskerAide: What initially appealed to me about MaskerAide was the fun and vibrant packaging, which is colorful and has cartoons of girls who look like us indulging in their products. Then I tried their range of sheet masks and hydrating eye gels and am super impressed. Not only are they extremely affordable – their sheet masks are less than $7 – they smell great, leave you hydrated and refreshed. I’ve started taking MaskerAide with me on trips and as strange as this sounds (my gfs were appalled when I told them I do this, but they all have since copied me) I wear a sheet mask during flights because airplanes really dry my skin out. I bring one for the flight there and one for the flight back, which is even worse because I’m usually dehydrated from a weekend of rose, and this seems to do the trick. Their eye ges are also great for brightening and firming up the sensitive under-eye area.
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Starskin: What immediately attracted me to cult beauty brand Starskin were their sculpting and plumping face masks, which have the appearance of being a lace mask. Honestly, I’d wear it to a costume party if I could. Their range is expansive, and also addresses concerns such as anti-aging, smoothing, illumination, detoxifying and a whole cast of issues we worry about after a certain age. I love the packaging and the silky feel of the masks and it truly feels like a luxury product. Masks start at $10 and go up to around $28.50.
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Decorte Slim & Firm Concentrate: Decorte face masks are a splurge – a set of six masks runs $180 – but they are my go-to before a big event such as a wedding, speaking gig, etc. The masks are two parts – an upper mask and lower mask and I feel automatically rejuvenated after wearing it. It’s my favorite mask during the holiday season when I may have been overserved or had too much processed foods and sugars because I feel like it plumps up my face and gets me back to a presentable form of myself. Also, Kate Moss is their spokesmodel, so that’s good in our book.

The Best Shampoo & Conditioner For Color-Treated Hair

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It’s that time of year where we get into the warmer months and look to lighten our hair for the summer. Having just gotten balayage to my nearly-black hair for the first time in ages, I’ve been on the hunt for the best products to make sure that my color lasts and is protected from turning brassy. My stylist coached me on ditching my store-bought shampoos and conditioners and giving them a serious upgrade to make my color last. The key was to look for products that are Sulfate-free. I wound up trying Nexxus’s Color Assure line following my balayage and have been so pleased with the results. The range has shampoos, conditioners, primer and a glossing tonic, and it’s the perfect system of sorts to protect my newly lighter locks.

I absolutely adore the consistency of the shampoo and conditioner and was impressed by how much of a lather I was able to build. One of the common knocks against sulfate-free products is that they don’t bubble up as well as regular shampoos, but this wasn’t the case at all with this range. I also like that it is infused with white orchid extract.

The range is also much more affordable than many competing products I looked at. The 13.5 ounce shampoo and conditioner is just $17.99. The primers and tonics are less than $20. This has become part of my weekly routine to keep my hair glossy and hydrated and looking true to the color my stylist intended for me and would whole-heartedly recommend it to readers!

Louis Vuitton X Jeff Koons


We are living for Louis Vuitton’s newest collaboration with artist Jeff Koons, dubbed “The Masters“. The collection is decidedly high brow. Koons samples from some of the great classic artists to have ever lived, emblazoning some of their most iconic painting across Louis Vuitton’s canvases. The artists include Fragonard (pictured), Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Rubens and Titian. We love how the Old Masters are remixed and given new life by the collection. The prints are bold, and not for everyone, but they are near the top of our wish list right now.

Getting a Glow With Sugared + Bronzed

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We recently went on a two week vacation around Europe, and leaving in late February, I was feeling majorly pasty. It’s easy to forget how much better you look with a tan until you peruse photos of yourself in the summer. It makes you look thinner and more toned and just overall prettier, so I decided to fix the problem pre vacation.

I’ve warded off tanning beds a decade ago because of cancer risk and wrinkles and I’ve found I’m not the best at applying my own sunless tanner, so I turned to the professionals at Sugared + Bronzed, a national upscale airbrush tanning boutique, for help.

First off, I loved the vibe of the shop, which is in Union Square. It is clean and chic and sets the tone of your appointment. I walked into a room, stripped down and anxiously awaited my custom tan. I rubbed lotion around my hands and ankles to prevent staining. An employee walked in and we decided which level of tan I wanted (long weekend in Miami? A week in Barbados? Just a bit of a glow?). I chose to look like I had just been away for a long weekend. Next, the process began. The employee methodically sprayed each part of my body and even spent some time on my cheeks to create contoured cheek bones (totally recommend!). In ten minutes it was over. I sprayed myself with an air hose to completely dry off before putting on my clothes and soon after I was on my way.

The whole process was quick and easy and I looked great in all my vacation photos. I also loved that the tan was perfectly even and lasted a really long time (Nearly my entire vacation). The customization of the tan and the way the staff is really invested in giving you the outcome you want goes a really long way.

Interested in experiencing Sugared + Bronzed yourself? An airbrush tan costs $39 or $49 depending on whether you get the standard or express tan. They also offer sugar waxing which is a less abrasive form of hair removal. I haven’t tried it yet, but will report back once I do!

Discovering Iceland

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We recently spent five nights in Iceland and it was a vacation unlike any other. The terrain is beautiful, but hard to navigate because of the snow and ice conditions. And, so much of what you’ll want to see and experience if outside of Reykjavic, which is the best place to stay on your trip, but makes it harder to do sightseeing. So, we decided on having the best of both worlds: we stayed the entire time in Reykjavic so that we would be in close proximity to great shopping, restaurants, bars and hotels. And we did a massive amount of research on the best tour operating group to bring us outside of the city for all of our sightseeing an excursions. As I mentioned, we spent weeks researching the best tour guides because the excursions are often full-day affairs and can be expensive. We decided to book every one of our tours with Discover Iceland and were so pleased with our experience.

Discover Iceland has a range of options for your tours, and they offer plenty of itineraries. If you’re on a budget, they offer bus tours to many of their itineraries. Or, you can do what we did and have a private tour in a Super Jeep. We decided on the more expensive Super Jeep option for a number of reasons. First off, there were four of us and we liked the idea of keeping it to just us and a guide who would also drive us. We also liked that a Super Jeep could access parts of Iceland and roads that a large bus can’t navigate, so we got to see a bit more and off road a bit, which was super fun. We also were able to customize the tour a bit, deciding to stay a bit longer here or a little shorter there depending on our interests. It was totally the right call for all of these reasons, plus some you’ll see below. Many people are conflicted about whether to rent an SUV and try to do the sights on their own. I can confidently say after being in Iceland during the winter that you should absolutely not try to attempt the tours on your own. The conditions can be absolutely brutal and totally dangerous and it’s safest and easiest, to leave it to the professionals at Discover Iceland who seamlessly navigate the terrain and conditions day in and day out.

The first tour we did was of Iceland’s famous “Golden Circle.” If you only have time for one tour, let this one be it. It gives you a look at some of Iceland’s most iconic sights, one more beautiful than the next. Our driver, Ivar, picked up up promptly at our hotel at 8:30 a.m. in a ginormous Super Jeep with giant tires equipped to navigate the snow and we set off outside of Reykjavik. We loved that our guide was extremely familiar with Iceland’s geography, traditions and history, and he helpfully pointed things out along the way and even told us local lore and tradition as we headed to our first stop, Thingvellir National Park. Driving to the park in a Super Jeep was a ton of fun because there had been snowfall the night before, so it proved to be an adventure. The park itself, which is a Unesco World Site, is beautiful and we saw where people dive between tectonic plates and were able to roam and take some beautiful pictures.
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Next, we visited one of the sights I associate most with Iceland and was most excited to see: Gulfoss Falls. This massive waterfall is just astoundingly beautiful, and all the pictures I had seen of people posting it on Facebook and Instagram don’t do it justice. When we arrived, it was snowing extremely hard and the snow obstructed the views a bit. Ivar gave us as much time as we wanted to take in the waterfall and he even kindly took a bunch of group photos for us, which was really appreciated. He became our unofficial photographer throughout the trip, which was another benefit of booking a private tour through Discover Iceland. He let us stay until the snow cleared and we got unobstructed views of the falls. One of the things you learn about Iceland within a day of being there is that the weather is unpredictable and can change drastically minute to minute.
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After the waterfall, we did one of the coolest things we did during the entire trip. We got snowmobiles and drove them on a giant glacier for an hour. We paired up in groups of two and set off onto a beautiful glacier with the help of a guide and halfway through we switched drivers with whoever was on the back of the snowmobile. This was such a unique and exhilarating experience, especially given that we did this in the middle of a really big snow storm. It was unlike anything any of us has ever done, and it gave us some major bragging rights when we came back to the U.S.

After snowmobiling we checked out Iceland’s famous Geyser Strokkur, which are natural wonders. Luckily for us, the main geyser exploded within just five minutes of us getting there, so we were able to see the show relatively quickly. Ivar showed us another waterfall on the way back to Reykjavik, which was also just stunning and we got beautiful group pictures under it. My friend even snuck behind the back of the fall. We were back at our hotel by 6:30 p.m., just in time to shower and get ready for dinner and a night out on the town.
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On our second day, we were scheduled to do a private Super Jeep tour of Iceland’s Grand South Coast tour with Discover Iceland. We woke up early in the morning and looked out the window of our hotel to learn that in the few hours we were asleep, Iceland was hit with a blizzard! More than a foot of snow had come down overnight, which was the most snow Iceland had had in decades. We went down to the lobby of our hotel and found that guests who had booked tours for the day with other tour companies were upset because almost every tour that day was canceled because of the conditions. Ours, however, was not. We were ecstatic because this was the only day of the trip we could do the Southern Coast tour and Discover Iceland made every effort to make sure we’d still get to go out and do the tour and do so in the safest manner possible. Because many roads were closed, Ivar got to us a little late, but he gave us notice that he would be around an hour late, which was totally fine. He extended the tour an hour on the back end to make up for it.

Then we started the most memorable part of the trip — driving to the Southern Coast in the aftermath of a blizzard. The entire country was in white out conditions and covered in a blanket of glistening snow. For much of the day, we were the only vehicle on the road and had full access to the terrain.
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Our jeep bounced up and down as we drove over glaciers and through feet of snow. It was so memorable and fun, and the entire time we felt safe because we were going at a reasonable speed and Ivar kept checking the tire pressure, etc. We drove to a beautiful glacier where there was an ice cave that we could peek inside, which was really cool. Then, we went to a black sand beach, which is something my friends and I were really looking forward to doing since we booked our flights to Iceland. It was beautiful and the waters were wild because of the storm with giant swells crashing on the black sand. We then stopped by a volcano that was responsible for the disruption of most trans-Atlantic flights a few years back. It was a wonderful, and truly adventurous day.

We also were able to stop every time we saw Icelandic ponies on the side of the road and take photos with them because we had the Super Jeep. (All the photos in this blog post are photos we took ourselves while on the tours.)
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The last tour we did with Discover Iceland is the Northern Lights tour on a minibus. The Northern Lights are famously unpredictable, and they don’t come out every night. In order to see them, you have to drive a few hours outside of Reykjavik into complete darkness, which we do not recommend attempting on your own. I liked that Discover Iceland allows you two tries at seeing the Northern Lights. So, if you go out with them on a night that the lights don’t show up, they allow you to go out with them again one more time free of cost, so you get two attempts for the price of one. I also liked that their office gave us updates throughout the day about the odds of us seeing the lights given the clarity and weather patterns.

The bus picked us up at 8:30 and we were off. We liked that it was a small bus and the driver was really entertaining. Next, we drove a few hours into complete darkness and pulled up next to a lighthouse near the coast. Shortly after arriving, we were treated to a show from the Aurora Borealis. We were extremely lucky to see them on or first attempt within minutes of arriving. Shadows of green magically appeared in the sky and slowly created patterns in the sky. It was frigidly cold the night we went, so it was nice to be able to pop in and out of the minibus to warm up. Our driver even made us hot chocolate to keep us cozy. Having seen the Northern Lights, we were pretty much able to cross off every item on our Iceland bucket list using Discover Iceland as our guides for each step of the way. i would gladly recommend them to my friends and readers. Their customer service department is super responsive and helpful and they will also help guide you to the tours that will best achieve the itinerary you want to see. If you have the ability and budget, I would say to definitely do the Super Jeep tour as it was the highlight of our trip.