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12 Ways to Experience the Northern Lights in Iceland

08. April 2021, 27 min reading time

Known as the 'Land of Fire and Ice' and offering superior and authentic nature, Iceland boasts being one of the prime destinations to witness the flare of the Northern Lights dominate the skies in a perfect picture of electrifying colours.

Situated directly in the Auroral Oval, Iceland is an otherworldly phenomenon jotted down on many bucket lists across the world.

We are delighted to welcome you to witness the Northern Lights in Iceland and to hike a voluminous mountain, climb an arctic glacier, or witness land laid by lava.


What causes the Northern Lights?

So what are the Northern Lights? In short: they are magnificent lights formed of charged particles from the sun interacting with the Earth’s magnetic field.

Charged particles are streamlined into space from a disturbance in the sun’s magnetic field, known as solar winds. It is these charged particles that pass through the different atmosphere levels surrounding the Earth’s orbit.


Explore the glimpse of the Northern Lights in Iceland

Appearing high in the upper atmosphere and upon reaction, depending on the different excited atoms, is the vivid colour display known as the glorious Northern Lights.

Did you know that Aurora Borealis is potentially visible from every place in Iceland? That is why we believe that Iceland is the best destination to choose when in search of the exquisite Northern Lights.


The Northern Lights Season

The best time to experience the Northern Lights in the auroral oval is from late August through early April, when the days are becoming darker, the nights are lasting longer and the sky is glittered with stars.

Statistically, at the end of September and March, during the equinoxes, and with the best time for sightings in terms of solar activity and more visible skies, the Northern Lights season is at an advantage and welcomes travellers to the shores for an epic explosion of colours.


The magical phenomenon is visible in nearly every season

On the other hand, November, December and January offer you an extensive number of darker hours with substantial opportunities to ignite your night of aurora hunting with splashes of colour.

Did you know that while travelling in Iceland, you could experience all four seasons in less than one day? 

We advise you, regardless of the number of darker hours you are gifted, to pack clothes for every occasion and venture out into the wilderness on a spectacular Northern Lights tour, as far away from light pollution as possible to capture an electrifying performance of the Northern Lights.

Check out the best websites and apps to track the Northern Lights in Iceland.


Waterfalls, magical landscapes and the Lady Aurora! -
What else would you need?

If you seek a more in-depth and interestingly informative approach to the Northern Lights, including its ancient history, surrounding science and the best places to witness them, we invite you to read our expertly written Booknordics.com Introduction to the Northern Lights blog.


Aurora Borealis Tour and Holiday Adventures


Bring your camera along the journey!

Want to venture off the beaten track? Want to experience culture, heritage and see the local favourite spots away from the city lights and the hustle and bustle? Then look no further than a Booknordics.com once-in-a-lifetime Iceland tour, designed to blow your mind.

Whether you are looking for the perfect family vacation, romantic weekend getaway, adventurous multi-day package or an extensive tour of the island - our hand-picked holiday packages to Iceland have the best selection of Northern Lights tours possible.

Local experts are excited to enhance your expedition in Iceland, taking you to spots otherwise unreachable, sights otherwise unseen and experiences otherwise unheard of - a local expert guiding a unique Nordic tour, can offer you the chance to make your dreams come true - and more.


Northern Lights Hunt on Your Feet

With your feet firmly on the ground and your cameras at the ready, our hand-selected adventures by foot will give you that personal experience within the diverse Icelandic nature, as you hunt for the magnificent auroras and relax under the Northern Lights.

1. Get Away from City Lights


Enjoy the gifts of the breathtaking wilderness in Iceland 

What better way to experience the spectacular swirling overhead light show than to witness it from your very own Small-Group Tour from the great Capital - Reykjavik.  

With a small number of people, you are up close and personal to your loved ones, with an opportunity to introduce them first hand to the dazzling Green Lady - perfect for couples wishing for a romantic evening.

Imagine heading out, away from the hustle and bustle of the city lights and into the wilderness, keeping your eyes peeled for the perfect moment to set up the blankets, sipping on hot chocolate and being fully immersed in the world's top performance of natural beauty, the Aurora Borealis.

Sounds incredible, right?

2. Explore as Locals Do


Charming locals invite you to explore Auroras as they do too

This local beer tour incorporated with the beating heart of all travels - the Northern Lights is a must!

An ultimate experience in the heart of Reykjavik Old Harbour, perfect for foodies and beer enthusiasts who wish to learn a little more about the local delicacies and food craftsmanship. Not to mention those wishing to discover more about Icelandic culture, heritage, and current affairs. 

Indulge in an activity of tasting six different Icelandic beers and enjoying six traditional Icelandic courses, locally sourced and cooked by Bryggjan Brugghús Chefs and served ‘Tapas’ style.

Once you are full of Icelandic pleasure, you’ll venture out into the unknown for the perfect end to a great evening. Iceland offers some of the best conditions for seeing the lights as the air is pure and the light pollution is minimal in this sparsely populated land.

Prepare to tickle your tastebuds, pamper your senses and leave your heart (and tummy) filled with joy on this spectacular tour, ideal to enjoy with your family or friends.

3. Catch the Green Lady and Sail from Reykjavík


Clear skies and breathtaking views

If you long for a change of scenery and enjoy the added adventure, setting sail from Reykjavik will leave you breathless in the wilderness.

Enjoy the peaceful 20-minute boat ride across the calming ocean, offering a beautiful reflection of the lights dancing in the open waters.

Once on land, granted with the darkness and serenity of the island, you are welcomed by unlimited chances of watching the lights change intensity and direction across the vast starry space, whilst capturing the ultimate photograph.

Enjoy a delicious warm drink, nestle down into the vast open nature and breathe in the landscape views of the Capital city under the illumination of the Green Lady. A flawless tour to enhance your Icelandic escape.


Venture the Golden Circle by Car

Let someone else do the driving!

Designed to offer you comfort and luxury whilst you sit back and take in the immense views of the surrounding Icelandic landscapes. Booknordics.com has an endless list of perfected tours with vehicles, designed to take all the stress away from your Iceland vacation and offer you a care-free holiday instead.

Need you to look any further?

4. Golden Circle and Northern Lights


Explore the breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage site of Iceland
- Þingvellir National Park

How do you feel about incorporating Iceland's most popular natural wonders all in one day? Experience one of the finest Northern Lights hunting activities after a joyful Golden Circle tour.

In the morning, visit the country's three iconic natural treasures; Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site where the American and Eurasian plates are drifting apart; followed by Gullfoss Waterfall, a glacial river that thunders 32 meters into a Canyon; and lastly, the hot spring area of the erupting Geysers, sending water and steam skywards approximately every 6 minutes. 

Later in the evening, venture into the surrounding Icelandic nature with free use of the astronomical telescopes for optimal moon and stargazing whilst enjoying a tranquil night under the Northern Lights. Allow them to light up the sky above, ending your day on a high.

This tour is sure to tick all the correct boxes for the perfect Iceland winter vacation adventure to share with your friends.

5. Private Jeep Tour


Crisp evenings and clear nights

Get away from the crowds and enjoy the natural phenomena with the company of your choice on a mystery Northern Lights private tour.

Leaving the Capital city of Reykjavik behind and wandering into the unknown is sure to spark a flame inside your heart on your Northern Lights quest with your loved ones. 

Iceland lies within the most active region of the auroral oval in terms of solar activity and grants some of the most incredible places to witness the fantastic colours of the Northern Lights, in all shapes and wonderful sizes.

The mystery behind the destination is enticing and all is taken care of in the capable hands of the local expert guides. Thrilled to enhance your experience to its fullest potential, this tour is destined for families on their amazing Icelandic getaway.

6. Deluxe Bus Tour


Pick-up service and a photographer included

Travelling in comfort is on many travellers' bucket lists when it comes down to choosing the perfect Northern Lights activity. 

During a Northern Lights deluxe bus tour, you will be travelling in style in a specially modified vehicle, designed to reach those picture-perfect places and make the Aurora Borealis viewing feel like a pampered luxury.

Joined by an experienced Northern Lights guide who will share plenty of insight into Icelandic culture and fascinating facts regarding the polar light lady herself, you can sit back and relax, watching the aurora display from the Icelandic countryside.

As a bonus, they will also have spent hours before the tour scanning over various weather maps, looking for an ideal spot for your viewing and the best possible place to capture that incredible imprint - the perfect camera shot. 

Booknordics.com likes the sounds of that. Do you?


Cruise Around the Icelandic Shores 

Hunting the Northern Lights from open waters, sailing away from the coastline with the gentle lull of the ocean beneath you is a Booknordics.com favourite and a truly unique adventure.

Take to the seas to witness the beautiful maritime wildlife off the Icelandic shores and experience a breathtaking view of the Northern Lights from a totally different perspective.

No wonder Iceland is known for its glorious water activities - this choice is the right one!

7. Reykjavík Northern Lights Cruise


Away from city lights, a fine lookout to the shores

Seeing the Aurora Borealis out on the North-Atlantic sea with beautiful mountains and the city lights in the background is something you won’t forget.

Aboard a Northern Lights cruise, you have an unimaginable 360° panoramic view at your disposal, giving unlimited chances of sighting the lights as they enrich your views with a magical backdrop.

Perfect for those couples searching for a sense of excitement and to capture a word-class photo to cherish forever.

Do you have your camera ready?

8. Whale Watching under Clear Skies


Whale watching is a once-in-a-lifetime experience

This is one of Iceland's favourite family-friendly water adventure combos - Whale Watching and the Northern Lights in one magnificent package. 

Hop aboard to spend an adventurous afternoon searching for the glorious variety of whales in the incredibly beautiful Faxaflói Bay, followed by a relaxing evening at sea searching for the magical Northern Lights. 

Heading toward the horizon, be prepared to have a friendly visit up close and personal from the Minke Whales, White-Beaked Dolphins, Harbour Porpoises, and the magnificent Humpback Whales - perfect excitement for the kids!

Your local and friendly guide on board will tell you all about the history of the surrounding area, including facts, mythical stories, local folklore and answer any questions you are burning to have answered.

Later, watch the Northern Lights ablaze at night from a destination only known by coordinates, as your panoramic views are decorated in shining colours.

9. Northern Lights by Boat

beautiful_aurora_northern_skyBeautiful colours of the Aurora Borealis

Embark on an adventure, leaving the coastline of Reykjavik behind and travelling out onto the vast ocean top, for a magical hunt of the spontaneous auroras. 

Out on the calming waters, you have the advantage of next to zero light pollution and the peacefulness of being cuddled by a circle of pristine Icelandic air.

Let your senses relax and your mind soothed as you enjoy a beautiful vista of mountains and city lights blended in with the Aurora Borealis on the shoreline.

This adventure is ideal for those wishing to unwind after an adventurous day or for those seeking an evening of romance and bliss.


See how Spectacular Northern Lights Illuminates the Sky

The Icelandic folk love to incorporate multiple wanderlust adventures into one money steal of a deal.

If spending more time in Iceland is your cup of tea, then these outstanding tours are sure to brighten up your vacation. Or, is it that you wish to enjoy a jam-packed fun day consisting of local delights and treasures?

Whether you want relaxation, adventure or both - there is a little something to suit everyone.

10. Celebrate Christmas with the Ones Close to Your Heart


Reykjanes peninsula, the Blue Lagoon, the Golden Circle and the South Coast

Are you looking for the ultimate multi-day voyage? Here at Booknordics.com, we are thrilled to introduce the most spectacular of all adventures, one that will delight both adults and children - our glorious Christmas and the Northern Lights exhibition!

Escape on a 3-day and 4-night Christmas festivity package exploring the most phenomenal sights of Iceland whilst tasting the local cuisine along the way.

Explore Reykjavik, the Reykjanes peninsula, the Blue Lagoon, the Golden Circle and the South Coast whilst discovering and experiencing how the Icelandic countryside locals celebrate Christmas.

This excellent adventure includes two evenings of presentations, lectures and guided Northern Lights searches in beautiful South Iceland. A fantastic way to spend Christmas with your family - surrounded by the true, diverse Icelandic terrain.

Let the merry Nordic festivities begin!

11. Explore the Blue Cave on the South Coast


Explore the Blue Ice Cave within a 2-day Nordic tour 

Follow the North Atlantic coastline from Reykjavík, all the way down to the South Coast wonderland to become a Northern Light hunter.

Witness world-known waterfalls, stunning black sand beaches, gigantic glaciers, and the contrasting landscape sights as you drive along the beautiful coast on this fabulous 2-day tour.

Visiting otherworldly natural delights such as; Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, the Black Sand Beach - Reynisfjara and the ice dotted Diamond Beach. Conclude with a chance at hiking on the famous glacier of Vatnajökull to explore the magnificent colours of the captivating Blue Ice Cave.

During your fantastic adventure, you will be guided by the local experts to the best possible places to view the Aurora Borealis out in the open and surrounded by scenic bliss. 

An avid adventurer's dream of an impeccable Icelandic escape.

12. Warm Baths and Care-free Spa


Relaxing options and local delicates

As one of our ultimate favourites - combine a soothing and tranquil experience with the magical Northern Lights for a truly enchanting evening.

Replenish your energy with a delicatessen from a local style dinner buffet followed by an evening of relaxing bliss and geothermal bathing in Fontana Spa.

Experience three steam rooms built over a natural Icelandic hot spring and a traditional sauna along with three different hot pools. Ideal for a serene evening of relaxation and soothing waters accompanied by a panoramic view of the countryside around Laugarvatn.

Soak your muscles before an incredible Northern Lights hunt as they present their glorious exhibit overhead on your journey back to Reykjavík. 

If you’re looking for the ultimate loving experience, you found it right here.


Book a tour with Booknordics.com

Our fantastic Northern Light adventure choices in Iceland are all individually spectacular and we understand how hard it can be to choose the right one for you.

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