It’s the moment we have all been waiting for – the northern lights are back! Technically, they never left, as the northern lights are a natural phenomenon happening year-round. After a solar storm, gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere collide with charged particles from the sun’s atmosphere, causing bright green, white, red and purple colours to dance across the sky. Even though northern lights occur all year, you can only see them when it’s dark.
It hasn’t been dark enough since April for the lights to be seen, but since mid-August, nights are back, with sunrise at 05:30 and sunset at 21:30. So, even though it’s still early in the season, you can see the lights if you are in Iceland now. In this article, we will tell you about some exciting northern light tours you can choose from.
Whales and northern lights
Do you want to see two of Iceland’s wonders? Then go on the whales and northern lights tour. This is a combo tour, which means you will go on two separate tours on the same day. First, you will go on a whale-watching tour in Faxaflói bay. Cetaceans often sighted are minke whales, humpback whales, sei whales, fin whales and blue whales. After the tour, you have time to go for a bite to eat or just walk around. In the evening, you will go on a northern lights cruise. Sailing away from the bright city lights greatly improves your chances of seeing the northern lights.
Book your northern lights and whales tour here.
Northern lights and stargazing
From September 1, you can go on a small-group northern lights and stargazing tour. First, you are picked up at your accommodation and driven out of the city. The location is picked based on the weather forecast. The guide will try to go off the beaten path, so you will not be bothered by big crowds. On location, the sky is explored by a stargazing telescope revealing details of stars, planets and our solar system. The guide will take a photo of you and the northern lights for free. And just when you are starting to get really cold, you will get a cup of hot chocolate and a kleina, a small Icelandic doughnut.
Book your northern lights and stargazing tour here.
Northern lights and snorkelling
Why not combine two of the most incredible experiences you can have in Iceland and watch the northern lights while swimming between continents? Begin the night by snorkelling in the amazing Silfra fissure, which separates the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. Follow up this up with a hunt for the northern lights in Þingvellir national park. With the right weather conditions, you could have an experience very few people have had!
Book your snorkelling and northern lights tour here.
Northern lights and ATVs
Does the hunt for northern lights sound a little slow for your taste? Speed it up by jumping on an ATV. Several tours are available that take you outside Reykjavík to the nearby Mount Hafrafell, where you can zoom around on a quadbike or similar ATV. Some tours are available at night so that you can hunt the northern lights and get an adrenaline rush at the same time. But makes sure to stop driving if you’re craning your neck looking up at the aurora!
Book your northern lights and ATV tour here.
Nothing is given in this world – and neither are northern lights. You’re never guaranteed to see them, and luck always plays a fair part. Sometimes they show up and dance through the sky for awestruck visitors, but at other times they won’t show, even though all conditions point towards a light spectacle. A clear sky, darkness and a recent solar storm greatly enhance your chances of seeing the northern lights. Keep an eye on the northern lights forecast for the best predictions.