Northern lights

We can help you to find the Northern Lights in Iceland. We offer some great tours, where you can hunt for this majestic natural phenomenon. We at Iceland Travel have many local expert guides who are exceptional and seasoned Aurora hunters. 

Northern lights over ThingvellirIceland is one of the best places on Earth to spot the elusive Aurora Borealis and the auroral activity. Many places, only a short drive away from Reykjavik, offer great opportunities to spot this splendid and majestic natural phenomenon. Have you ever seen the auroras dance across the darkened night sky in vivid colors? It's beautiful. 

Just remember, since the auroas are a natural phenomenon there is never any guarantee that you will see them. Weather is a huge factor and though we often have clear night skies in Iceland (especially when it is cold) the lights can be elusive. You can greatly increase you chances in seeing them simply by e.g. find a great spot where light pollution is little to none. 

We have many visitors every year that come specially to see the auroras because Iceland is a great place to see them. Therefore we often get to hear the same questions. Here are some of them and our best answers. 

When is the best time to see the Northern Lights in Iceland?

The simple answer is: From September to mid-April, or when the nights are dark and cold. After equinox in September, the nights in Iceland are fully dark and that alone increases the chances of seeing the auroras. You might find some sources stating that the best time is November – February.

If you decide to visit Iceland during these months please consider that the weather can be unforgiving. There can be lots of rain and snow, which can seriously reduce your chances to see the auroras. In September and October we often see the auroras and also experience mild weather, more than during the darkest winter months. 

Just remember, if you come to see the Northern Lights in Iceland, that the auroras are a natural phenomenon and elusive as such. There is never any guarantee for them. 

Here is the longer and more complicated answer.

Northern lights over lighthouseSome Northern Lights Facts

Did you know that the auroras are caused by the Sun and the solar wind? Iceland is one of the best places in the world to view the auroral displays. 

The Aurora Borealis is a spectacular natural phenomenon and it can be quite elusive. You can read about aurora facts here, as well as learn about how these majestic lights form. 

There are many legends about the auroras. In medieval times seers and fortune tellers thought that the lights were harbingers of woe, war and famine. The Menominee Indians of Wisconsin believed the auroras indicated where the spirits of great hunters and fishermen, called manabai’wok, could be found. Many different cultures believed that the lights were spirits, either of their people or the animals that they hunted.

Many people travel to Iceland every year to see the Aurora Borealis. We often hear the same questions regarding this beautiful natural phenomenon. Here are a few Northern Lights facts and our best answers to the most frequent questions.

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Northern Lights videos and photos

It can be quite difficult to get the perfect photo of the auroras. Even professional photographers need to find the perfect spot, wait for hours and make sure everything is set up right.

We Icelanders live in a cold country, especially during winter, and that brings up many challenges when taking pictures of the auroras. Cameras and camera lenses can be affected by the cold, e.g. if you bring the camera from cold environment to a warm environment. This can be a real problem if you often jump in and out of a warm car. We have gathered few tips and tricks to the perfect aurora photo. Here are a few (read more here).  

Keeping the camera in a camera bag is recommended. You also need a good pair of gloves, along with other warm winter clothes. And don't forget to brings some snacks and a hot drink in a thermos. We also recommend that you read up on the aurora facts, to make sure you are in the right spot at the right time. 

If you're more in the mood to see a video of the auroras you will find some by clicking here

Northern Lights Tours 

We often hear from our customers that finding the right Tour can be quite the headache. We've tried to make it easier for you and would love to help you.

Northern lights over Litli StakkurWe offer a few different types of tours where you have a chance to witness the majestic Aurora Borealis. You can choose from escorted or guided tours, short daytours or explore Iceland on a road trip or a self-drive tour. 

Thousands of travelers from all over the world come to Iceland to hunt for the Northern lights, since this island is one of the best places in the world to see the auroras. In all our guided tours you will have expert local guides who are experienced aurora hunters. 

Northern Lights Forecast

The spectacle of Aurora Borealis requires dark and at least partly clear skies. You need to keep an eye for the weather forecast and make a note of where and when you can find the best condition for seeing the lights. We recommend that you watch the forecast on Icelandic Met Office's homepage, see here.

Just remember, that even though the weather is great, clear sky on a cold winter night, there's never any guarantee that the auroras will light up the sky. The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon. 


Northern Lights in Iceland

It's not uncommon to see the auroras on a dark night in Iceland. In fact, throughout the ages the Northern Lights are mostly linked in Icelandic lore and myths to weather, and the lights have not the same mystical theme as for many other nations. If the auroras were dancing and moving swiftly across the sky, many people believed that the weather would turn sour in the next few days. 


Click on the gallery to view some great Northern Lights photos.