To the dark side

9th May 2003 at 01:00
How convenient that the next eclipse falls on a half-term weekend. Weather permitting, an annular eclipse should be visible from Iceland in the early hours of May 31. This rare heavenly phenomenon takes place when the moon is furthest from the Earth and the sun at its closest, so a rim of light remains around the dark disc of the eclipse, producing a ring of fire.

Iceland has fewer than 300,000 souls, so there is no light pollution to obscure a view. When the spectacle is over, the lava land beneath is worth exploring: geysers of hot water and steam spurt from the earth, and waterfalls thunder in basalt canyons. And don't miss a dip in the soothing waters of the Blue Lagoon.

Arctic Experience has put together a trip to the best eclipse vantage point, Skalafell. Prices for a three-night weekend break start from pound;463 per person, based on two sharing, and include return flights from Heathrow or Glasgow, transfers, three nights' accommodation with breakfast and all airport taxes. Details: 01737 214 214; www.arctic-experience.co.uk.

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