Kirkjufell northern lights in Iceland.

Northern Lights Holidays Iceland 2024

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Northern lights and geothermal bath in Iceland.

The northern lights in Iceland

Thousands of people visit Iceland yearly, hoping to see the northern lights. Iceland is one of the top destinations to consider if you want to catch the northern lights. Thanks to its proximity to the Arctic Circle, Iceland enjoys milder temperatures than other Scandinavian countries. Additionally, the options for stunning scenery are endless in Iceland. Witnessing the northern lights in Iceland makes you wonder about the universe's immensity and appreciate nature's beauty.

About our Northern Lights Holidays Iceland

It is possible to hunt the northern lights in Iceland in many ways, whether you are staying in Reykjavik for a weekend or spending several days travelling around the country. Hunting the northern lights will be a memorable experience regardless of your choice.

Northern Lights Tours in Iceland.

Join a group tour

If you're short on time or staying in Reykjavik, consider joining a guided Iceland northern lights holiday or northern lights day trip. Guided tours remove the hassle of planning your northern lights hunt by letting guides handle everything, freeing you to relax and enjoy the experience.

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Rent a car

For those who prefer a more independent approach, renting a car and going on a northern lights hunt on your own pace can be a fun adventure. Our self-drive packages include flights, accommodation, a rental car, and a detailed itinerary designed by our experts. Aurora hunts require flexibility, and that’s where a rental car comes in handy. Research beforehand to find the best viewing spots and take safety precautions.

Private Northern Lights tour in Iceland.

Opt for a private tour

Consider a private tour if you want a more personalised experience and a higher chance of seeing the spectacular northern lights. The benefits of a private tour extend beyond the northern lights experience itself. You can decide the pace of your journey, pick the best hotel for aurora sightseeing, stay longer at sight, and access lesser-known locations hidden from the larger tour groups.

Northern Lights in Iceland.

How and where to see the Northern Lights in Iceland

So, how can you witness the dancing colours of the Aurora Borealis? The key is to venture out on a clear night away from the city lights. You can spot the aurora borealis, even in the capital city of Reykjavík. But for the best chances, head to areas with minimal light pollution, such as Kirkjufell or Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Other popular places are the Blue Lagoon, the Golden Circle and the South Coast.

Keep an eye on the weather forecasts during the day and pick a night with clear skies for the best chance to catch the aurora borealis. Book a guided tour to enhance your experience. The local experts will take you to the most promising viewing spots and share their local knowledge about this enchanting phenomenon.

Remember, patience is the key. Sometimes, nature's beauty takes time to reveal itself, but it is worth waiting for. Undoubtedly.

Northern lights tour in Iceland.

Iceland Northern Lights tours

Do you need to participate in a tour to see the magical northern lights in Iceland? Not, but going on a guided tour can be a great choice. The local guides know the best spots with minimal light pollution and clear skies with the highest chances of seeing the lights. You can forget everything about monitoring the northern lights activity and weather cloud coverage.

Tour operators often allow joining a tour the following night if the northern lights are not visible on the first night. However, a return tour typically isn't offered if you're booking a combo-type tour that combines a northern light hunt and an activity or sightseeing at other sites.

Couple observing Northern Lights from a hot tube in Iceland.

What are the Northern Lights? 

The scientific explanation behind this natural spectacle is quite intriguing. Gigantic flares or solar storms originating from the sun, located 150 million kilometres away, propel charged particles towards the Earth's atmosphere. Approximately 40 hours later, these particles come in contact with our planet's magnetic shield and get directed towards an oval-shaped region around the magnetic North Pole.

As they enter the upper atmosphere, electrons collide with atoms and molecules, creating the beautiful northern lights. The resulting colours may differ depending on the gas particles colliding: green, pink, yellow, blue, red, and violet.

Girl watching northern lights dancing, Iceland.

The best time to see the northern lights in Iceland

If you're hoping to glimpse the northern lights in Iceland, your best bet is to visit during the months with the most hours of darkness - typically from September through March. However, the aurora borealis is not visible in Iceland during the spring and summer months due to the longer days and lack of complete darkness.

The best months to observe the northern lights in Iceland are usually October to February. It is when the nights are the longest, providing the best opportunities for observing this natural phenomenon. However, it also brings with it sub-zero temperatures, demanding that you come well-prepared with layers of warm clothing and insulation.

Northern Lights behind the mountain Kirkjufell in west Iceland.

Your Iceland Northern Lights holidays

Ultimately, the best time for your Iceland northern lights trip is a personalised choice based on your preferences and the adventure you seek. Whether you opt for the pristine, wintry landscapes or the foliage autumn, Iceland is a magical place for catching the Northern Lights.

However, remember that the northern lights are natural and cannot be guaranteed. Visibility can be affected by weather conditions, solar activity, and light pollution. So, even during the recommended months, it is best to check the aurora forecast and be prepared for potential disappointment, as sightings are never guaranteed.

Glacier walk in Iceland.

Winter activities in Iceland

Exploring the magical northern lights is just one of Iceland's numerous attractions during late autumn and winter. Enrich your experience by combining the search for the mystical northern lights, sightseeing amidst Iceland's breathtaking landscapes and engaging in thrilling winter activities.

Join a snowmobile tour, take a glacier walk, soak in the blue milky waters at the Blue Lagoon, go ice caving or snorkel between tectonic plates in Silfra. You can also explore the wonders of the Golden Circle, go horseback riding, or opt for an exciting super jeep tour.

With so many options available, the possibilities are endless.

Glacier walk in Iceland.

How to dress for Northern Lights hunting

When packing for a northern lights adventure trip, the first rule of thumb is to prepare for the cold. Arctic temperatures can be unforgiving, especially during the winter months when the auroras are most vibrant.

Pack thermal underwear, insulated jackets, waterproof outer layers, and thermal socks. Remember to pack winter boots, crampons or ice cleats.

Layering is key, allowing you to adjust your clothing to the fluctuating cold temperatures and activity levels.

6 reasons for choosing Iceland for Northern Lights

 

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Guaranteed darkness

Iceland, being close to the Arctic Circle, experiences long and dark winter nights.

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Diversity

There are many great places in Iceland to visit, explore and see the northern lights.

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Availability

Most natural attractions as the Golden Circle are accessible year-round.

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Culinary paradise

Experience the Icelandic culture and its world of extraordinary cuisine.

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Perfect conditions

There are wide open spaces without any light pollution.

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Short distance

You don't need to travel far from Reykjavik to see the northern lights.


We help you with your Northern Lights Holidays