Northern Lights in Iceland

Catch the elusive Aurora Borealis in Iceland

The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are one of nature's most spectacular light displays, captivating the imagination of those lucky enough to witness its dance across the night sky. Among the prime locations to experience this celestial phenomenon, Iceland stands out as a top destination for aurora enthusiasts. 

DT 310 Private Superjeep Northern Lights

4 h
159.900 ISK  143.910 ISK
Perlan Friends - 10.0 %

Northern Lights Small Group Tour with Hot Cocoa & Free Photos

4 h
18.990 ISK  17.091 ISK
Perlan Friends - 10.0 %

Aurora Basecamp Night pass

1h 30m
4.505 ISK  4.055 ISK
Perlan Friends - 10.0 %

Northern Lights with the Aurora Viking

4 h
19.900 ISK  17.910 ISK
Perlan Friends - 10.0 %

Reykjavík Northern Lights Cruise

2 h
13.990 ISK  12.591 ISK
Perlan Friends - 10.0 %


3 h
8.990 ISK  8.091 ISK
Perlan Friends - 10.0 %

Northern Lights Tour

3h 30m
8.699 ISK  7.829 ISK
Perlan Friends - 10.0 %

The Science Behind the Northern Lights 

To truly appreciate the beauty of the Northern Lights, it is important to understand the science behind them. The Northern Lights are a result of the interaction between charged particles from the sun and the Earth's magnetic field and atmosphere. Solar winds, consisting of charged particles like electrons and protons, collide with gas molecules in the Earth's atmosphere, producing the vibrant hues that characterize the Northern Lights. The most common colors observed are green, pink, violet, and blue, depending on the type of gas molecules and the altitude at which the collisions occur.

Iceland: A Prime Destination for Northern Lights 

Iceland stands as a prime destination for witnessing the captivating dance of the Northern Lights. The unique geographical location, proximity to the Arctic Circle, and pristine natural landscapes make Iceland an ideal destination. Situated on the cusp of the Arctic region, Iceland's clear, unpolluted skies and minimal light pollution create optimal conditions for viewing the Northern Lights. Its remote and expansive landscapes offer unobstructed panoramic views of the night sky, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the magic.

The Northern Lights season, spanning from September to April, offers an extended window of opportunity for travelers to catch a glimpse of this natural phenomenon. Combining scientific wonder with cultural resonance, Iceland offers a unique and unparalleled experience for those seeking to witness the enchanting Northern Lights dance across the Arctic skies.

Folklore and Mythology

The Northern Lights hold deep cultural significance for the Icelandic people, influencing folklore, art, and even naming conventions. In Icelandic folklore, the Northern Lights are often attributed to mystical creatures and otherworldly events. They are believed to be the spirits of the dead, putting on a celestial show for those still living. The lights are also associated with benevolent spirits, offering protection to those who witness them.

The Northern Lights have inspired numerous works of art and literature in Iceland. Artists and writers often seek to capture the otherworldly beauty and transcendental quality of the auroras.

Iconic Icelandic literature occasionally references the Northern Lights, emphasizing their enduring presence in the country's cultural narrative.

Best Times and Locations

To maximize your chances of witnessing the Northern Lights in Iceland, it is crucial to plan your visit during the optimal times and choose the right locations.

  • Seasonal Considerations: The peak Northern Lights season in Iceland spans from September to April. During this period, the nights are longer, providing more extended opportunities to witness the auroras.
  • Weather Conditions: Clear skies are essential for Northern Lights visibility. Therefore, choosing a time when the weather is relatively calm with minimal cloud cover is a good idea. Keep an eye on weather forecasts and be prepared to be flexible with your plans to chase clear skies.
  • Location Matters: While the Northern Lights can be seen throughout Iceland, locations outside of the capital area and large towns are more favorable due to lower light pollution.

Practical Tips

  • Stay Informed: Keep yourself updated on solar activity and the local weather forecast. There are various apps and websites dedicated to providing real-time aurora predictions and cloud cover information.
  • Photography Gear: If you plan to capture the Northern Lights on camera, bring a sturdy tripod and a camera with manual settings. 
  • Warm Clothing: Iceland's winter nights can be chilly, so dress in layers and bring warm clothing, including thermal wear, gloves, and a hat.
  • Patience is Key: Northern Lights displays can be unpredictable, and it might take some time before you witness the full splendor. Be patient and enjoy the unique beauty of the Icelandic landscape while waiting.

The Northern Lights in Iceland offer a mesmerizing blend of scientific wonder and cultural richness. From the vibrant colors dancing across the Arctic sky to the centuries-old folklore and modern naming conventions, the Northern Lights continue to captivate the hearts and minds of those fortunate enough to witness their celestial ballet. Planning a trip to Iceland during the optimal season, choosing the right locations, and embracing the cultural significance of the auroras will undoubtedly enhance your experience, creating memories that will last a lifetime. So, bundle up, head to the land of fire and ice, and prepare to be enchanted by the magic of the Northern Lights.