Skip to content

Discover the Northern Lights

Iceland is an amazing place to experience the Northern Lights. Whether it’s your first viewing or your 500th, the Aurora Borealis never fail to dazzle. Seeing the aurora in Iceland is probably on your bucket list, but some people might not know much about when and where to view them.

And if you’re visiting Iceland during the winter, it’s practically required to go see them!

Here’s all you need to know about the Northern Lights, Iceland’s wintertime wonder!

Where can I see the Northern Lights in Iceland?

aurora in iceland

Hunting the aurora

Technically, you can see the Northern Lights anywhere in Iceland, as long as the sky is clear enough. There are even tons of great places in Reykjavík that you can view the aurora from!

But as you might expect, it’s ideal to go out into the countryside, as far away from the city lights as possible. You really want clear skies when hunting for the Northern Lights in Iceland. Here are some of our favorite places to hunt for this natural wonder!

Small group northern lights tours

northern lights tour reykjavik

What are the aurora?

Iceland's natural wonder

The northern lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, are caused by charged particles from the sun entering earth’s atmosphere. Usually only visible at higher (or lower, for our Antarctic readers) latitudes, they occasionally wander further down South.

Iceland’s aurora can vary in colour, but most of the time they are a vibrant green. Other colours can include white, red, and even purple.

Because the Northern Lights depend on weather conditions, solar activity, and the earth’s atmosphere, seeing the Northern Lights isn’t always a given. You might want to read up on aurora forecasts here before you head out.

Although we now know what the Northern Lights are, there have been many folk tales and myths about this natural phenomenon throughout history. It’s not hard to imagine magic beings and gods when viewing the Northern Lights here in Iceland!

Private aurora tours in Iceland

aurora tour in iceland

Which Northern Lights Tour should I book in Iceland?

Self-drive tour or tour bus: that is the question!

Of course, going on a self-drive tour for the Northern Lights in Iceland will give you all the freedom to hunt for this wonder by yourself. You don’t even have to leave Reykjavík to see them sometimes!

However, going on a professionally-led Northern Lights tour in Iceland can have many advantages.

For instance, your guide will know the best spots to get away from the city lights of Reykjavík, and may even have tips for photographing the aurora. Your professional guide will have years of experience doing precisely this, so why not benefit from their expertise?

Many tours even offer snacks and hot drinks, such as tea or hot chocolate for the cold winter night. So you don’t have to worry about anything besides showing up and having the adventure of your lifetime!

Northern lights boat tours

Related articles