The Northern Lights: A recipe for success

Posted by Kublai on 24 Jun 2014

The elusive Northern Lights are a big reason to visit Iceland during the fall and winter months. But their appeal also lies in their fickleness: We’d love to promise you’ll spot these mystical wonders during even a short trip, but only Mother Nature knows when to sweep these colourful curtains over the night sky.

Still, much of the fun is in the hunt, and there are several ways you can maximize your chances of success:

  • Time it right: You’ll only catch the Northern Lights when it’s dark, so the viable window is from the end of August to late April, before near 24-hour daylight takes over the country.
  • Rain is bad: Well, not rain exactly. But just like daylight, clouds are not a Northern Lights spotter’s friend. Wait for clear skies.
  • Get out of town: Light pollution from Reykjavík or other communities can block out some of the best viewing. Even locals drive to the outskirts of town on evenings when the show is particularly spectacular.
  • Put away the camera: You read that right. All too often, after hunting for hours, an unforgettable display of multi-coloured lights will dance right overhead, but people are so busy holding iPhones in front of their faces and struggling with tripods that they forget to stop and experience the moment. Leave the photo-taking to professionals. Being there is priceless.

Weather permitting, Gray Line Iceland offers daily Northern Lights tours during the season. We’ll take you to the best places for aurora activity that day, with some Icelandic folklore along the way.

Recent articles

What to Do in Iceland in August

Looking for things to do and see during your Iceland vacation in August? Wondering what to pack and what the weather is like? Click here for all the info.

Top 5 Rainy Day Activities While on Holidays in Iceland

In Iceland on vacation and it's raining? Wondering what to do on a rainy day in Iceland? Click here to plan your day and keep exploring!

What to Do in Iceland in July

Click here for all you need to know about your holiday in Iceland in July - whether you're searching for activities, what to pack or festivals.

Your adventure in Iceland starts here

Here are some great tours we recommend