The incredulous and breath-taxingly beautiful colourful lights that dance in the darkness of winter nights are known as aurora borealis or simply, the Northern Lights. This is the result of the sun’s electrically charged particles colliding when they enter the earth’s atmosphere. These lights can be seen above the magnetic poles of the southern and northern hemispheres. In Iceland, the aurora lights can be visible for up to 8 months a year, depending on the weather.
When is the Right Time to Catch a Glimpse?
Icelanders are at an advantage because it’s common to be able to see the aurora borealis (known as aurora autralis in the South) up to 243 days a year. The best time to see the lights is mid April ‘till late September. However, that depends. Since they can only be seen in the darkness of the night, they’re impossible to spot during the summers. This is because the skies in the country are too bright during this period. When checking the forecast for the Northern Lights, make sure to check for ‘white spots’. This means the skies are clear. You’ll be able to see the aurora as early as August, which is when the winters start.
Where Can You Spot the Lights?
When landing at Keflavik International Airport, depending on the weather, you can sometimes spot the Northern Lights from the plane. If you don’t see them, take a trip to Reykjavik. The 45 minutes trip via bare and unoccupied landscapes is the perfect way to catch a glimpse.
Winters mean longer nights and shorter days. This means it’s the perfect time to find a comfortable spot and wait. If you’re a hiking enthusiast, you’ll be able to spot them on your hike. However, we recommend going to Jökulsárlón since it’s the best place to see aurora borealis.
Northern Lights Tour
Iceland has become popular for not just its breath-taking waterfalls, beautiful glaciers and the lagoons, it has become known for the Northern Lights. In fact, most tour operators offer a tour of the vividly beautiful lights. You will be given an extensive tour, accompanied by a professional photographer, who will take a picture of you with the aurora lights in the background. In case the lights are not visible, as they are not guaranteed due to weather conditions, the tour will be postponed until they can be seen clearly.