Northern Lights in Iceland: When to Go?

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Seeing the colorful light show put on by nature is something many globetrotters have on their bucket list. And recently more and more of them have chosen the remarkable out-of-this-world country of Iceland so as to combine Northern Lights seeking with exploring the destination’s incredible nature. In this piece, find out more about when to go to Iceland to see the aurora and some advice on how to make the most of your Iceland Northern Lights tours.


Seeing the dancing colors of the Aurora Borealis is surely an experience of a lifetime. As a rule, the Northern Lights are seen in polar countries in the Northern Hemisphere, and Iceland is among the best places on the planet to see them. Here you can find answers to often asked questions and some useful tips for your Iceland trip.


What time of the year is best for Northern Lights in Iceland?


Although actually Aurora Borealis is something that happens almost all the time, the lights are visible only when the weather is suitable. The conditions including the clarity of the sky, lack of a huge layer of clouds, as well as the state of the geomagnetic field all influence aurora activity. This means that it’s not guaranteed that you’ll for sure get to see the lights even if you come in the month when they are usually visible. Luckily though, there are pretty precise forecasts which daily predict the possibility of the lights’ appearance.


What’s for the best months to go on such an Iceland trip, generally, they are mid-autumn and mid-spring, from the second half of October to the first half of March. The winter months are also a great time when the probability of seeing the lights is quite high. Plus, the colder months of the year have shorter hours of daylight; and the darker it is outside, the better the lights are seen.


Won’t I freeze in Iceland if I go not in the summertime?


As a matter of fact, Iceland might not be as cold as you might think it is. Because the country is set located close to the Gulf Stream, the average temperature in Reykjavik in December is approximately 28 F.


Undoubtedly, the farther north you plan to travel to Iceland, the colder it’ll be. Plus, no one canceled wind. So even those who aren’t intimidated by the cold should in any case put in their luggage clothes and shoes to keep themselves warm. And if you plan to book activities such as a Northern Lights cruise, most likely special equipment and clothing will be handed out to you for the time of the trip.


What are the best ways to catch Northern Lights in Iceland?


Basically, it all goes down to several options, including the most popular ones among tourists: pre-arranged land tours or cruises. Usually, both are done in the evening time, sometimes even closer to night time. Land tours have buses or cars which pick you up in Reykjavik and take you to the best spots for observing the aurora. You make stops and spend some time enjoying this natural artwork, then, after several hours, you are driven back to the city.


As for the cruises, this is also a great way to see the Northern Lights. A boat takes you away from the city and you observe the lights right onboard. In most cases, such boats are equipped for seeing the lights both from the open-air decks and the inner ones.


Where is it better to stay in Iceland?


The majority of the fair-priced accommodation options are located in Reykjavik or in proximity to it. There are many quality hotels for any budget or even apartments for rent in Iceland’s capital. So even if you aim to spend most of your vacation time on day trips, it makes sense to book your stay in Reykjavik.


Of course, if you’re planning longer trips, there’s nothing to worry about as Iceland is not a desolate country and you can surely find something suitable in the region you plan to go to on your adventurous Icelandic tours to Europe.


Is there anything else I can add to my Iceland agenda?


Yes, you surely can and should! Thousands of people come to Iceland each year for its stunning nature and therefore not setting out beyond the limits of the capital city, Reykjavik, would be sort of a crime.


For starters, put Vatnajokull National Park to your travel plans as this is among the best places to immerse yourself in Iceland’s natural wonders no matter which time of the year you come. The Glacier Lagoon is another option to make your trip a highlight, and there you can enjoy the beauty of ice and the nearby waterfalls.


Another must-do is unwinding in the Blue Lagoon. This sky-blue thermal spring located under the sky is not only gorgeous but is also good for your health.


To conclude, if you want to witness unusual nature that might give you a feeling like you’re on another planet, Iceland is the destination for you. With both the Northern Lights and numerous other options for exploration, this will surely be one vacation not to forget!

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