Plenty of people are put off by the cold and the dark of winter in Iceland, but this year, they'll be missing the best northern lights in half a century—and the chance to enjoy the contrast of cold air and warm water at the famous Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. Lonely Planet just named Iceland one of its top travel picks for 2013, citing great value for the money.
EuropeanDestinations.com's Reykjavik Getaway, from $716 with airfare from New York (JFK) and six nights' accommodations (plus daily breakfast), ranks high on the value-for-money scale. And airline Icelandair has discounted packages, including a Northern Lights Escape, with airfare from the U.S. plus connecting airfare to northern Iceland, five nights' accommodations, a northern lights tour, and other extras. The package starts at $909 per person for travel between January 6 and April 26.