Gray Line Iceland - What Actually Are The Northern Lights?

Posted by Admin on 10 Jan 2017

Northern Lights in Iceland: A Captivating Natural Phenomenon

Northern Lights


The northern lights, also known as the aurora borealis, are a breathtaking natural phenomenon that grace the skies of Iceland. These mesmerizing lights have captivated people for centuries, and witnessing their ethereal dance is an awe-inspiring experience. In this article, we will delve into the science behind the northern lights, explore what they look like, and discover why Iceland is one of the best places to witness this magical spectacle.

The Science Behind the Aurora Borealis

The aurora borealis occurs high above the Earth's surface in the thin atmosphere. It is created by the interaction of electrically charged particles, known as solar wind, with the particles in the upper atmosphere. These particles, consisting of protons and electrons, are emitted from the sun and travel through space. When they reach Earth, they interact with our planet's magnetic field and atmosphere, resulting in the creation of the northern lights.

As the charged particles collide with molecules in the Earth's atmosphere, they cause the molecules to emit light. These collisions occur on a molecular level and collectively create a mesmerizing glow that fills the sky. The color of the lights is usually green and white, but it can vary depending on the altitude of the lights and the composition of the particles present.

The Enchanting Beauty of the Northern Lights

Green Northern Lights

When you witness the northern lights, it feels as if streams of light are dancing across the sky, gracefully flowing back and forth. The vibrant green hues are the most common, but shades of pink, purple, and blue can also appear, creating a mesmerizing display of colors. The intensity and patterns of the lights are ever-changing, making each viewing experience unique.

Iceland: A Premier Destination for Northern Lights Viewing

Blue Northern Lights

Iceland is renowned as one of the best places in the world to witness the northern lights. Situated under the aurora oval, a region around the North Pole where the lights are frequently seen, Iceland offers optimal conditions for viewing this natural phenomenon. While it is generally recommended to venture away from light pollution, there are instances when the lights can be observed even in Reykjavik, the capital city, during the darkest and clearest winter nights.

The rugged landscapes and vast open spaces of Iceland provide the perfect backdrop for the northern lights. The country's remote locations offer unobstructed views of the sky, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the full glory of this celestial spectacle. Whether you are exploring the Golden Circle, venturing into the highlands, or relaxing in a geothermal hot spring, there are countless opportunities to witness the northern lights in all their splendor.

Embark on a Northern Lights Adventure with Gray Line Iceland

Gray Line Iceland, a trusted and experienced tour operator, is your gateway to an unforgettable northern lights experience. With their years of expertise and knowledge, they are well-equipped to guide you to the best spots for viewing the lights. Their dedicated team closely monitors weather conditions and forecasts from the Meteorological Office, ensuring that you have the best chances of witnessing this natural wonder.

Northern Lights Mystery Tour

One of the most popular tours offered by Gray Line Iceland is the Northern Lights Mystery Tour. This excursion takes you on a thrilling adventure into the Icelandic wilderness, far away from the city lights. With expert guides leading the way, you'll embark on a quest to find the best vantage points for viewing the lights. The tour includes transportation, knowledgeable commentary, and warm drinks to keep you comfortable as you marvel at the dancing lights above.

Northern Lights Deluxe Tour

For those seeking a luxurious and indulgent experience, the Northern Lights Deluxe Tour is the perfect choice. This tour combines the enchantment of the northern lights with the comfort of a deluxe vehicle. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride as you traverse the Icelandic landscapes in style. With a warm blanket, hot drinks, and a light meal provided, you can fully immerse yourself in the mesmerizing beauty of the lights.

Northern Lights Cruise from Reykjavik

If you prefer a maritime adventure, the Northern Lights Cruise from Reykjavik is an excellent option. Embark on a journey across Faxaflói Bay, where you'll be surrounded by the tranquility of the open ocean. As you sail away from the city lights, the northern lights may make their appearance, illuminating the night sky. This unique perspective from the water offers a different and memorable way to witness this natural phenomenon.

ATV and Northern Lights Tour

For the adventurous souls, Gray Line Iceland offers an exciting ATV and Northern Lights Tour. Hop on a quad bike and embark on an exhilarating ride to the top of Mount Hafrafell. As you reach the summit, you'll be rewarded with panoramic views of the Icelandic landscapes and, if luck is on your side, the dancing lights of the aurora borealis. This thrilling combination of adrenaline and natural beauty promises an unforgettable experience.

Secret Lagoon and Northern Lights Hunt Tour

For a truly magical experience, the Secret Lagoon and Northern Lights Hunt Tour is an excellent choice. This tour takes you to the enchanting Secret Lagoon, a natural hot spring nestled amidst lava fields. Immerse yourself in the warm geothermal waters as you soak in the serene surroundings. Afterward, embark on a quest to find the northern lights, guided by experienced professionals who know the best locations for viewing. This combination of natural wonders is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Prepare for Your Northern Lights Adventure

As you prepare for your northern lights adventure, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, it is essential to dress warmly and in layers, as the Icelandic weather can be unpredictable. Warm clothing, including hats, gloves, and sturdy footwear, will ensure your comfort throughout the excursion. Additionally, it is advisable to bring a camera to capture the beauty of the lights. Remember to familiarize yourself with the camera settings and techniques for photographing the northern lights, as they require specific adjustments to capture their true essence.

Gray Line Iceland provides helpful tips for your northern lights excursion on their blog. From understanding the best time to go, to mastering the art of photographing the lights, their blog offers valuable insights and advice. Make sure to check out their article on top tips for your northern lights excursion in Iceland for a comprehensive guide to maximizing your experience.


The northern lights in Iceland are a mesmerizing natural phenomenon that should be on everyone's bucket list. With their vibrant colors and captivating dance across the sky, they provide a truly magical experience. Iceland, with its optimal viewing conditions and breathtaking landscapes, is the perfect destination to witness this celestial spectacle. Embark on a northern lights adventure with Gray Line Iceland and let their expertise guide you to the best spots for viewing. Prepare for an unforgettable journey into the heart of Iceland's enchanting winter wonderland, where the northern lights will leave you awe-inspired and filled with wonder.

Bless. Bless.

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