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

Aurora Borealis in Iceland

What are the Northern Lights?

The Northern Lights are a spectacular show of lights dancing in the sky, a show that everyone dreams to see at least once in their lifetime.
They occur when electrically charged particles from the sun collide entering the earth’s atmosphere.
The Northern Lights can be seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and the southern hemispheres. They are called “Aurora Borealis” in the north and “Aurora Australis” in the south.

Aurora Borealis can appear in different colors, the most common is pale green. Aurora can also have shades of pink, red, blue and violet and the lights appear in many forms, coloring the dark skies in fascinating ways.

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Where and when can you see the Northern Lights in Iceland?

Aurora Borealis is a natural phenomenon which can occur anytime of the day and of the year, but it is only visible when it is dark.
In reality, the electrically charged particles from the sun which originate the Northern Lights enter the Earth’s atmosphere all year round, but if the skies are bright, the Aurora is not visible.

Aurora Borealis can be observed in Iceland and around the Arctic Circle in the autumn and winter season, when it is dark outside.
In Iceland, the Northern Lights are visible from the end of August/mid September to the beginning of April. The best months to observe Aurora Borealis in Iceland are said to be November, December, January, and February, when it is darker.

What time is best to see the Northern Lights? 

There is not a specific time to see the Northern Lights.
The Northern Lights can be seen any time of the day, as long as it is dark outside.
If you are in Iceland in the depth of winter, you will see that it is pretty much dark all day long, with only 4-5 hours of daylight, which means you have more chances to see the Northern Lights because it stays dark longer.

If you are planning your holiday to Iceland, make sure you come in the winter for more chances to see the Northern Lights.

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Can you see the Northern Lights every day in Iceland? 

As already mentioned, the Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon and it is quite impossible to predict exactly when and where they will occur. There are many factors to take into consideration and luck is one of them.
There might be a high level of solar activity predicted for a certain day, but you will also need to be lucky to be out staring at the sky in the right place at the right time. You need to be patient, willing to wait long hours and keep in mind that, no matter how good the forecast is, you are trying to observe a natural phenomenon, so nothing is ever guaranteed.
A big role in your chance to observe Aurora is played by the weather: if it is cloudy or snowy, you will not have many chances to see the Lights.
To better observe the Northern Lights, you should also avoid places with a lot of light because that will cause the Northern Lights to fade. A full bright moon might decrease your chances to see clear Northern Lights.

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There are Northern Lights Tours from Reykjavik, where an expert guide will drive you to the best places to spot the Northern Lights and, if you don’t see any that night, you usually have the chance to join another tour for free.
Join our combo tour to explore the best of Iceland: a lava tunnel, Reykjanes peninsula, and the Blue Lagoon, with a chance to see the Aurora.
If you are only interested in going aurora hunting, then check out our Premium Northern Lights Tour or our Northern Lights by Minibus, perfect for big families or groups.
is great if you want to combine some sightseeing with the chance to see the Northern Lights during your holiday in Iceland.

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So if you dream of seeing the beautiful Aurora Borealis, plan your holiday to Iceland this winter!
Be patient and have fun while you go hunting for Northern Lights. Get ready for an experience you will not forget.

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