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Northern Lights in Iceland flag Show 20 activities

The extreme dark of the Icelandic winter has a few perks. Between September and April, Iceland is treated to a magnificent natural display: the phenomenon of the Northern Lights. On clear winter nights, sightseeing trips are organized around this spectacular natural phenomenon.

About Northern Lights in Iceland

Between late August and early April the nights in Iceland are pitch black. However, during these months there is a high probability that the northern lights will show and therefore it’s the perfect time for a Northern Lights tour. Iceland is one of the main countries that has amazing views of the Northern Lights during the winter. The lights are visible in it’s capital city, Reykjavik, but if you really want to get the best views, be sure to get out of the city and / or travel to the Northern part of the country as well.

To see the northern lights requires patience, luck, and the following conditions to be met:

  • The night must be as dark as possible (full moon will dim the aurora)
  • There should be as little unnatural light (light pollution) as possible
  • There should be little to no cloud cover
  • There must be enough solar activity

If you want to conduct some research yourself, check the cloud cover forecast and the aurora forecast (solar activity). Note however, you can only forecast a few days in advance!

Exploring and hunting down the auroras alone can be a bit tricky. Without a car, it is not easy to observe the northern lights. In the winter driving conditions can be tough for people who are not used to driving in the snow. On clear winter nights, sightseeing trips are organized around this spectacular natural phenomenon. Many tours combine watching the northern lights with other activities, such as whale watching, glacier hiking, a cruise, or dinner. Combining activities allows you to enjoy an amazing experience you will never forget.

We offer a great variety of northern lights tours in Iceland. Get detailed information below and book your tour directly online.

Highlights

  • Watch the northern lights near Reykjavik or the south coast 
  • Combine this phenomenon with other adventures - choose from different combo tours

If you are looking for more outdoor adventures in Iceland, please refer to our Iceland Guide for more information.

 

Best Time to Visit

Good season: October - March

Auroras occur throughout the year but the light summer months render them invisible to the eye so we have to focus on the rest of the year. Generally speaking, October to March are probably the most popular months for Aurora hunting in Iceland because they bring long dark nights. There are no guarantees of course but during an 2 or 3 day stay you have a very good chance to see the lights.

There is not really such time as best time of day. Once darkness falls, the Aurora can be visible at any time of day between as early as 4pm and as late as 6am. The majority of organized northern lights tours concentrate their search between 20:00pm and 22:00pm, combining the convenience of normal evening hours with having good dark skies.