Northern Lights Iceland Tour | Best Time to See

Northern Lights Iceland Tour: Enjoy the clear heavens simply by looking upwards towards this dance, straightened veils of lighting in white, green, or red, or choose a guided northern lights excursion to excellent monitoring and photography places. These excursions may include a trip to geothermal bathing places, day ship excursions, snowcat tours, or sightseeing in specific places. The odds of seeing the Iceland Northern Lights have been 66 percent through a 3 nights stay at North Iceland, and 90 percent for a five nights stay.

Well, power is your response and obviously everything goes back into the sunlight. While hurrying around endlessly in their magnetic trap, a few particles leak in the planet’s atmosphere where they start to hit atoms and those impacts cause the molecules to shine, thereby creating the auroras.

Aurora Borealis

The Northern Lights also known as Aurora Borealis are one of the most spectacular displays in the world, often observed in North Iceland and its environment on crisp and clear nights. This phenomenon happens in the surface of the air, made by electrically charged particles that produce the lean atmosphere glow, not as fluorescent lighting. The Northern Lights can be found in aurora straps which form 20-25 levels across the geomagnetic poles, both from the north and the south east-west.

The Aurora Borealis takes its title in the Roman goddess of sunrise, aurora, along with also the Greek name for the north end, boreas.

The Aurora Borealis is a natural phenomenon generated when solar particles interact with the air in the planet’s magnetic field. This releases energy, inducing odd luminous green stripes across the heavens.

White and green are normally the dominant colors but occasionally you will find considerable color variants since the composition and pressure of the air vary at various altitudes. In very substantial altitudes at which the pressure is reduced, there will be a red glow made by oxygen molecules when they’re struck by the very small particles of the solar wind. At lower altitudes, where there’s greater pressure, the impact-irritated oxygen molecules can shine with a greenish tinge and occasionally there’s a red lower boundary generated by particles colliding with nitrogen molecules in the immediate area.

What are the Northern Lights Features?

Their intensity is based upon the action of sunlight and the speed speed of the particles.

They look like dance lights in the skies and change in color. The lights generally look green, but sometimes purple, pink, red, blue, and orange. Their colors are contingent on the components being ionized.

Solar activity isn’t regular, nevertheless. Even if it’s a dark, clear night, there might nevertheless be absolutely no possibility of visiting with the auroras, as there just may be no solar activity.

Additionally, it suggests that on a midsummer afternoon, the skies could be living with Northern Lights, however they’re just obscured from the brightness of sunlight.

Because of the character of the planet’s magnetic field, the auroras only look at the rods, typically over the 60° latitude markers at the northwest, and beneath the 60° latitude from the south.

Iceland, that sits in the latitude of roughly 64° northwest, is therefore ideally situated to observe the aurora. Before science could clarify what these dance lights were, there have been lots of theories, during many distinct cultures.

Particular Native American groups allegedly thought they represented the spirits of their deceased; the brighter they shine, the harder that the deceased was believed to be.
It was the view of the Sámi individuals of Finnish Lapland, and other nearby areas, the lights had been a consequence of the firefox running quickly through the snow which his tail caused sparks to fly in the sky producing the aurora.

The auroras also have been considered omens.

Confederates who watched them at the skies at the Battle of Fredericksburg, meanwhile, considered they were a temporary however favorable omen. Even though they’d brutally win this struggle, the positive impacts of the aurora in their war efforts wouldn’t last long.

There’s so much to know about both the science and mythical sources of the aurora which an increasing number of discoveries are being made for the day, especially the hazards of powerful solar storms.

Best Conditions for the Northern Lights Iceland Tour

To see the aurora borealis in all their glory needs patience, fortune, and the following requirements to be fulfilled:

  • You have to be seen between September to April (while they could sometimes be seen towards the end of August, the lingering sunshine makes them quite faint)
  • There should be little unnatural lighting as you can (prevent watching under artificial lighting )
  • There should be sufficient solar action (generally anything higher than Kp two is a Fantastic guideline to watch the Aurora in Iceland)

These last two states can be researched before searching for the lights, by simply referencing that the aurora prediction and cloud cover forecast. But, it’s not possible to learn over a couple of days in advance precisely what the prediction will be. The aurora prediction is measured on a scale of 0-9 Kp-index, with anything over a Kp two usually being assuring for prominence in Iceland’s latitude.

In contrast to popular belief, the coldness of this fever doesn’t have any effect on whether the aurora borealis will reveal. In reality, you’re very likely to have a better experience that the warmer it’s, as you’ll have the ability to marvel at relaxation for more.

Even if each of the conditions above appear ideal, nature could be inconsistent, and they may not reveal. It’s, hence, a very simple truth that the more time you remain in Iceland, the likelier it is you will notice them.

If you are coming for only a few days, then you are limiting your odds of a crystal clear sky and a busy aurora. Bear this in mind whilst reserving your trip.

Another potential means to make certain you have the very best opportunity to capture the aurora would be to visit that the Westfjords or even North Iceland. These regions have more hours of darkness and frequently mathematically less frequent cloud cover, and so provide more chances to find the aurora borealis.

North Iceland, especially in the East, also tends to have better weather compared to the South-East. Sleeping under a canopy of stars significantly increases your odds of seeing the lights.

Naturally, there’s a small possibility that even in the event that you take every chance, you still may not see them. That having been said, there’s also a possibility you will see that the Northern Lights on the airplane over to Iceland, or about the driveway from Keflavík airport.

Luck is obviously a variable where character is concerned and especially in regards to grabbing the aurora borealis.

What are the Best Places to See the Northern Lights?

When thinking about the very best places to observe the Northern Lights, it is worthwhile considering your traveling plans generally and considering where in Iceland you’ll be staying.

The Aurora Borealis, or northern lights, start high in the planet’s atmosphere in altitudes from 60 to over 250 kilometers when charged particles from the sun become trapped in the planet’s magnetic field. The end result is a vibrant, dancing light series.

The very first time that I filmed an aurora was out of an icebreaker near Antarctica. As luck would have it, are a lot more accessible places in the event that you want to take in such mild displays yourself.

To find the best seats to this celestial landscape, think about anyplace with a magnetic latitude over 55° and reduced light pollution.

On clear winter nights, holiday excursions are coordinated around this magnificent –although fickle–natural occurrence. The perfect place for sightings fluctuates and trip leaders are proficient in”searching” the lights, finding places where conditions are perfect for viewing them on any given night.

There are no guarantees you will observe the Northern Lights during your stay, but typically, sightings are instantly improved outside populated regions, particularly from the light-pollution of their capital. A variety of resorts in the countryside provide special Northern Lights service.

Step one would be to search for them without leaving the city you’re staying in; the next would be to have a guided excursion out into character; the next is to push out and hunt on your own. Or finally, you may have a boat cruise.

All these options have their own benefits and drawbacks, so keep reading in order to determine which will suit you on your holiday.

1. Iceland

northern lights iceland
Northern lights Iceland Tour

The latitude and longitude of the nation prefer aurora seeing, but the weather does not always cooperate. But a fantastic coastline street around the nation enables you to chase clear heavens.

I’ve seen my very best auroras out of Kirkjufell mountain on the west shore. In large action you can also spy the northern lights in the suburbs of Reykjavík; the Grotta Lighthouse is a favorite viewing spot.

Across the nation, skywatchers can take from the dance lights from outside hot tubs, within Bubble lodges, and out of sexy spring lagoons.

Located only two levels below the Arctic near-global airport and near the striking Denali National Park, Fairbanks is your very best spot from the U.S. to take from the northern lights. It has its own prediction system and provides tours to take visitors from city lights.

When to Move: Late August to mid-April

2. Fairbanks, Alaska

iceland northern lights
Iceland Northern Lights

This Northwest Territories funds on the shores of Great Slave Lake boasts its Aurora Village and exceptional actions for northern lights tourism.

Canada is a aurora viewing heaven, as a result of the northern latitude and reduced light pollution; anyplace in the nation, Wood Buffalo and Jasper National Park are popular viewing areas.

I’ve seen spectacular auroras in the village of Ersfjordbotn, 12 kilometers from Tromsø. Other popular places in the nation are the Lofoten Islands along with also the far northern cities of Alta, Nordkapp, and Kirkenes.

When to Move: Mid-September to late March

3. Yellowknife, Canada

best time to see northern lights in iceland
Best Time to See Northern Lights in Iceland

Sweden’s northernmost city of Kiruna is a gateway for attractions that are nearby. A brief drive from town takes you to a fantastic place for aurora viewing. The weather is significantly more stable compared to the northeast shore, but it is colder too.

In Finland’s Lapland area, Rovaniemi functions as a gateway city to neighboring national parks–in which in winter it’s possible to place frozen snow-covered trees known as Tykky sculptures together with the northern lights.

When to Visit : Mid-September to late March

4. Tromsø, Norway

iceland northern lights tour
Iceland Northern Lights Tour

The biggest urban region in northern Norway is 217 km north of the Arctic Circle, but as a result of the Gulf Stream the shore has surprisingly mild temperatures. Additionally, it has beautiful scenery, magnificent fjords, along with also the Lyngen Alps.

I’ve seen spectacular auroras in the village of Ersfjordbotn, 12 kilometers from Tromsø. Other popular places in the nation are the Lofoten Islands and also the far northern cities of Alta, Nordkapp, and Kirkenes.

When to Move: Mid-September to late March

5. Northern Sweden and Finland

when to see northern lights in iceland
When to See Northern Lights in Iceland

Sweden’s northernmost city of Kiruna is a gateway for attractions that are nearby. A brief drive from town takes you to a fantastic place for aurora viewing. The weather is significantly more stable compared to the northeast shore, but it is colder too.

In Finland’s Lapland area, Rovaniemi functions as a gateway city to neighboring national parks–in which in the winter it’s possible to place frozen snow-covered trees known as Tykky sculptures together with the northern lights.

When to Move: Mid-September to late March

The best ways to see the Northern Lights in Iceland, you’ve got three choices:

1. Northern Lights in Reykjavik

If your budget is an issue, and the concept of leasing an automobile to observe the Northern Lights or reserving a trip appears overly extravagant, you may always aspire to grab the auroras in the city or city you’re staying in.

Make a Northern Lights Iceland Tour of Reykjavik as it is the best way to see them would be to locate the strangest location possible and wait until your eyes have adjusted. Reykjavík, by way of instance, is rather a spread-out town with many parks. Thus you will find a fair few areas to get this done. Maybe the best place is by Grótta lighthouse, on that the Seltjarnarnes Peninsula at the North-Westernmost stage of their capital.

There’s hardly any light-pollution along this particular stretch, which means that, on clear nights with a great prediction, you get a fantastic chance at seeing them. In Reykjavik, in the winter equinox, you are going to have roughly twenty-five hours of darkness, while in the northernmost areas, it’s nearer to twenty-two.

There’s also somewhat whirlpool bathtub (Kvika Foot Bath), which you may heat up your feet in some time waiting for them to reveal.

Oskjuhlid is another wonderful spot to search the aurora. The woods, which encircles the favorite landmark and restaurant Perlan, is quite dim, so celebrating from among its clearings often achieves excellent results.

Otherwise, seeing from among the town’s parks, for example Klambratun or the bigger Laugardalur Park, is also an alternative. In settlements beyond Reykjavik, there’s generally a lot less light pollution, which makes this simpler.

The most important exception to this can be Akureyri, where you might want to get into the outskirts of town to discover a dim enough vantage point. Regrettably, looking for the aurora borealis from metropolitan regions has many distinct disadvantages.

Primarily, there’ll always be light pollution in cities and towns than at the untouched landscapes of Iceland’s character.

Second, you lack freedom, so if there’s a tiny cloud cover blocking the very best of the auroras, then you won’t be able to move about it to get the best viewing experience.

It must be noted that when the auroras are extremely powerful, you might have the ability to view them from urban regions in spite of light pollution, like from a beer garden, your resort or merely the road.

Even if they’re rather different, they’ll be more extreme the darker your environment.

2. Northern Lights Iceland Tour

The most frequent means to search for the aurora borealis is by carrying a guided minibus excursion .

These tours operate frequently from September to April if the lights are anticipated, and if they’re cancelled or ineffective, you will often get another chance to see them at no cost.

This 3-day tour, as well as some Northern Lights search, comprises the South Coast in the winter combined with Jökulsárlón, the Golden Circle, and Ice Caving. You’ll be under the care of a Northern Lights pro, who’ll instruct you where to locate and photograph the Northern Lights.

On a guided tour, you’ll be portable enough to proceed to where the prediction is most powerful, and cloud cover is in its minimum, and you won’t need to be concerned about driving in Iceland’s chilly conditions.

Obviously, such excursions may also introduce one to landscapes you might not see. People on a budget will love reasonably affordable bus excursions, which require you into the most promising places without costing too much.

Those worried about the price –or simply very excited to get a more private, immersive experience–may elect to choose a super-jeep excursion out of Reykjavik.

On this kind of excursion, you’ll have a far smaller group, which means that you have more chances to talk with your own guide and fewer people crowding around you whenever you’re seeing the Northern Lights.

You’ll also have the capacity to reach areas larger buses can not go for the many distant viewing places, by traveling over down and rivers bumpy trails.

It’s possible to join some guided Northern Lights excursion along with different trips, for example sightseeing across the Golden Circle.

There are a couple of disadvantages to choosing a guided tour of Icelandic characters to find the lights. Possibly the sole reasons, out the funding, to select another alternative is if you’d like the uniqueness of seeing the auroras in the top layer of the sea, or when you feel confident to push out to yourself.

In case you’ve got a valid driver’s permit together with English characters (it could be written in different languages, not other scripts), you have the choice of leasing a vehicle and searching for your Northern Lights yourself.

This choice usually means that there’ll be no other band members deflecting you in your excursion, no time constraints, and you’ll be able to select where you go searching.

Before choosing this choice, it’s vital to be conscious of your own restrictions.

Though in September, October and April, the streets are mostly clear of icehockey; they could be more difficult to push from November to March.

In case you’ve got very little experience driving in icy, dark, rural states, it’s ideal to consider alternate opportunities. Should you feel comfortable, it’s still crucial you lease a four-wheel-drive automobile.

You also have to assess the street states and the weather prediction prior to leaving, to ensure your planned destination is available. The latter are also a valuable tool to you for attaining the best outcomes.

As said previously, it is going to inform you that the aurora prediction on a scale of one to eight (anything from three and over is well worth putting out for, and also 2 is generally observable ) and the cloud cover across the nation, so you understand where the heavens will likely be clearest.

Though giving you freedom and privacy, this alternative does have its drawbacks.

Primarily, you may lose out on the understanding of an experienced guide, who not only understands the Northern Lights nicely but also the many secluded areas to see them.

Second, driving in Iceland in winter can be very stressful, and that, considering most travelers are working to unwind on vacation, may signify this is not the choice for you.

No matter leasing a vehicle and searching for your Northern Lights stays a superb solution for the rough and adventuresome.

3. Northern Lights Iceland Tour by Boat

The last method to enjoy this unbelievable phenomenon of the aurora borealis is by seeing them onto a Northern Lights Iceland Tour by Boat.

These excursions are extremely convenient, heading directly away into Eyjafjordur Fjord or even Faxafloi Bay in the Caribbean harbors of the various cities. You won’t need to journey far from the port so as to be much enough clear of town lights to grab a sighting.

Despite the fact that you do not really have the freedom which may be discovered on a typical bus or even super jeep excursion, you’ve considerably greater than if located in a city.

The most important benefit of this encounter, however, isn’t so much that the’search’ of those lights. Instead, it’s all about enjoying being outside the sea surrounded by beautiful landscapes, at least, beneath a canopy of stars.

If there’s absolutely no aurora to be appreciated, you will generally still be provided another opportunity should your trip be canceled or ineffective.

In both Faxafloi and Eyjafjordur, a Northern Lights railroad could also coincide with an accidental whale viewing experience.

Minke whales are more commonly seen from Reykjavík, while Humpbacks are regular visitors to the northern seas, however, these are typically only found in the summertime.

Booking Northern Lights Holidays in Iceland

If you’d like your vacation to Iceland to be centered on watching the lights there are lots of winter self-drive holidays and package vacations that will make this type of chance.

These bundles of northern lights Iceland tour might even suit those just in the nation for a limited period, like this three-day self-drive into the ice caves and this five-day bundle around the South Coast and Golden Circle.

Coming for weekly could introduce a lot more chances. In which event, this seven-day Northern Lights self drive holiday, where you are able to respect the country’s beautiful landscapes from the day and search the heavens for auroras during the night, could be perfect.

This holiday also supplies you with the opportunity to view the auroras over Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, a mesmerizing adventure where the lights may frequently reflect from the icebergs below.

You could also completely encircle the nation and that the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, searching for them every night, on this particular twelve-day self-drive holiday though this choice should only be contemplated by people very positive on the street.

Should you prefer not to push yourself, then this seven-day winter program is a fantastic alternative, with its own mix of amazing sights, exciting actions, and possible Northern Lights gazing every evening.

In the same way, you may observe the whole ring-road of both Iceland and the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in the winter without forcing with that this eight-day bundle.

Best Time to see Northern Lights in Iceland

From the polar latitudes, auroras may look on any dark night. Extended winter nights are great but not always the ideal time. I propose autumnal equinox in September when there are nice temperatures from polar latitudes. Locate the dark hours of your place here, or using a sky guide program.

And remember, apart from the weather, a dark sky and the ideal season will be the keys. Attempt moonless nights.

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