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Where can I see the Northern Lights in Iceland?

October 14, 2016

 

As you read this I will have just returned from Iceland on a quest to see the Aurora Borealis.  Nature in Iceland is designed to make you feel insignificant - volcanoes covered by ice loom over a verdant green coastline,, glaciers grind their way to the ocean, geysers erupt and the northern lights dance in the sky. All the while culture blooms - from medieval sagas to modern pop-musicians and Nobel-prize winning authors. And then there is the glorious food and the warm, quirky people - what is there not to love about Iceland?  And with air fares to Europe on Iceland Air as low as CA$500 this winter, what is there to stop you from a quick stop in this fantastic island nation and see the Aurora Borealis?

 

Where can you see the Northern Lights in Iceland?  

Well, pretty much anywhere.  Even in the capital Reykjavik the lights are never too bright and you can find dark spots near the Sun Voyager statue or on Seltjarnarnes.  But of course away from city lights and towering mountains you have the best view.  

 

That is why the south coast, the interior and places like the West Fjords and East Fjords are great places.  The most popular place to see the Northern lights is at Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, in southeast Iceland.

 

What is the best time to see the Northern Lights in Iceland

The best time to see the Northern Lights in Iceland is September through April - after all you need to have dark nights to see them.

 

Can we forecast the Northern Lights in Iceland?

Be sure to check out the Northern Lights Forecast which will give you forecasts of not only how active the Aurora Borealis will be, but also an idea of cloud cover and the times sun and moon rise and set.

 

What is the temperature in Iceland in winter?

Many people ask me: "Isn't it cold in Iceland in winter?"  Well... yes and no.  While the country is called Iceland... the average day time maximum temperature in Reykjavik is above freezing, while the daily night time low in winter is only a few degrees below freezing.

 

Are there any good tours to see the Northern Lights in Iceland?

I travelled with tour company Exodus and found their Iceland Northern Lights to be a great balance between seeing some of the country, long enough to have a good chance to see the Northern Lights, along with some unusual activities (such as a lava cave exploration and a glacier hike).

G-Adventures has a very similar package (albeit using simpler accommodation), while both Peregrine and Intrepid have 8-day comfort packages in the north of the country, which will increase your chances of seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland.  World Expeditions meanwhile has the ultimate dream trip - travelling for 16 days with acclaimed photographer Richard I'Anson through to see and photograph the Northern Lights in Greenland and Iceland.

 

Related posts:

 

Best places to see the Northern Lights

Highlights of Iceland

What is it like - travelling in Iceland in winter

Iceland Northern Lights - a trip review

 

 

 

 

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