I don’t recommend going to Iceland specifically to see the Northern Lights. The northern lights can also easily be seen from Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Northern Russia. In the afternoon, I saw that the solar wind and the magnetic field had started to show higher activity! This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. I’m going to break down each month for you and what exactly you can expect for all four seasons in Iceland. The best time to see the northern lights are on dark, clear nights in the winter months and close to a New Moon. The forecast of auroral activity at midnight, scale 0 to 9, is shown in the upper-right box. What we can do, however, is pay attention to the aurora activity forecasts issued by the Icelandic Meteorological Office. Because this is entirely dependent on the whims of the glowing orb known as the sun, we can’t really predict it. Light pollution makes it harder to see the lights. The north's aurora borealis has an earthly sibling in the southern hemisphere, the aurora australis.​ It also has several alien counterparts, most notably in Jupiter and Saturn. This experience has taught me a few valuable things that I will now pass on to you. Seeing the northern lights will make you feel both small and inspired. Our northern lights tour is the best way to see the northern lights in Iceland! Iceland in September With the coming of autumn, September sees about 13 hours of sunlight and daytime temperatures of a cool 7.5° C (46° F). Season: Winter Aurora viewing is possible through all of autumn and winter, which lasts from about mid-August until mid-April . I suspect that I'm not alone about that, so I decided to write down my top 16 places to either watch or photograph the northern lights and hopefully you'll find it useful. To see the Northern Lights with your naked eye, you need: Darkness (winter only) Clear skies (no clouds) Aurora activity (Northern Lights) Northern lights watching. However, from late September to late March, it is dark after 6 … October, February and March are the best months for seeing the aurora borealis. As for Iceland last April, there are nightly forecasts for whether the Northern Lights will be active or subtle, as well … Öskjuhlíð is one of those places, right in Reykjavik. Are all your chances of seeing the northern lights lost? Even if you can barely see them with your naked eye, the pictures you take can look incredible! The Northern Lights in Ireland 2020 – Photos to get you Dreaming. However, the sheer fact that it is possible to see Northern Lights in this eight-month period doesn’t mean that they’re always visible. Image by author/@angiediam. Hidden Iceland. November - February are usually good months for Northern lights although there is never any guarantee. I have compiled this guide for you that will help you find the best time to see the northern lights in Iceland, as well as the best places to see them! We skipped September and decided to book in October (for further surety of chasing Northern Lights) and without being frozen in the winter or having to cancel plans due to road conditions. At those times, the northern lights can be seen as far south as Cuba! Also, don't forget to download their app (iOS or Android) to purchase tickets!​. The scale changes in accordance with the date selected under the cloud cover map. Trust me, once you are out there in the Icelandic cold, you will need them! These are the months with the most darkness. The more solar activity, the more brilliant the displays will be. Guaranteed darkness and clear skies have more of an impact on your chances rather than the specific month when you go. It might take a while for the northern lights to appear, so don't lose hope after only a short while. The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon that occurs in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. You are in a prime location for witnessing the northern lights in this rural location, away from the city lights. Furthermore, storms are more common in this season, occasionally leading to the cancellation of tours or the closure of main roads. The tour is for small groups only, which means that not only will you be more comfortable throughout your trip, but you will also save precious time by not waiting for a throng of other passengers. The Northern Lights season runs from 1st September, through winter, until 15th April, typically. Report inappropriate content . And don't forget to share with anyone who is coming to Iceland!​. The northern lights are ongoing and are visible briefly even in the months of May and August (though because it never gets properly dark in Iceland in … It also has the least rainfall of any month in Iceland’s Northern Lights viewing season. It’s important to dress well when hunting for the Northern Lights When can you see the Northern Lights in Iceland? So we’ve compiled a short list of tips to help you get the best of your trip to Iceland in the shoulder months. In fact, it is said that a couple of weeks before the French revolution, a red aurora was seen over England and was considered an omen of war. These tours run regularly from September to April whenever the lights are expected. Well, lucky for you, it's not just one time, but rather a long period! What is the Best Month to See the Northern Lights in Iceland? I knew that there would be a great Northern Lights show … As a result, I have plenty of experience with rushing from place to place just so I can see and photograph them. Don't rush into a poorly-planned trip, but also don't be disheartened and change your future plans. There are plenty of places you can visit in and around Reykjavik for a chance to see the aurora. Check out this awesome guide with all the best places to swim and relax!​. You can select the day and time you want to see the northern lights, and depending on the aurora scale and how clear the sky is, you can predict if it is worth it going on a northern lights hunt. Iceland has always had a great reputation for the Northern Lights, but to really capture the best displays you must get away from the light pollution of Reykjavik and head out in search of darker skies. It is better to go there with a car, as Reykjavik's public transport is not the greatest outside of the central areas. Let’s find out! That said, the lights can’t be controlled and their appearance is never a given. The companies that lead these tours have taken the guesswork out of it for you. Iceland is a place that can change completely depending upon the time of year you visit. Sometimes even us locals don't see them for weeks! Winter is the best time to see Northern Lights in Iceland. Iceland is well-known for its spectacular Northern Lights, Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle, ice caves, volcanoes, and much more… And that’s not all! This is especially true if it’s a short one or two-day trip. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. Close. When there is a period of strong solar flare activity, it is followed by lots of bright, beautiful waves of light in the heavens a few days later. The aurora can appear and disappear rapidly, so time is of the essence. It is true that the sun's activity varies throughout periods of time, and that we are entering a calmer period, but I promise you the aurorae will always be there, looking as magnificent as ever. Try not to plan your trip during the full moon. Some sources will recommend November to February, as they are the darkest months with the longest possible window to see the lights, however these sources often fail to take into account that these months can have the worst weather with lots of … So if you decide to visit those places, why not book a car with us?​, So, you have decided to book a tour to see the northern lights. Therefore, the northern lights period in Iceland spans from the end of August to the end of April, when there is sufficient darkness. The northern lights are a marvel of nature. Remember to dress really warmly with lots of insulating layers. And we are glad we did that. A big solarstorm is coming, don’t miss your chance to catch some amazing Aurora displays! When trying to determine the best month to see the Northern Lights in Iceland, it’s more of a range than a specific month. Therefore, look for the white areas!​. However, this … An aurora (plural: auroras or aurorae), sometimes referred to as polar lights (aurora polaris), northern lights (aurora borealis), or southern lights (aurora australis), is a natural light display in the Earth's sky, predominantly seen in high-latitude regions (around the Arctic and Antarctic).. Auroras are the result of disturbances in the magnetosphere caused by solar wind. Visit their site to find out more about bus schedules and to plan your trip. You’ll need clear or at most partly cloudy skies in order to view the Aurora Borealis. Iceland Weather October northern lights possibility – Northern Lights in Iceland are easy to sight in October, ... October is also the wettest month in Iceland. Each of the below photos was taken in the magnificent County of Donegal. ​. That means that there is always, technically, northern lights. Therefore, not only will it be calmer and more relaxing than your average tour, but also it will give you the chance to hunt for the aurora faster, without wasting precious time waiting. Sometimes it is possible to photograph the northern lights on your phone, but the best pictures can only be taken by a camera on a tripod, as you will need long exposure. It is truly magical, and it is always hard to believe that such a thing exists in the world. The Northern Lights in Iceland in September tend to be good thanks to the autumn equinox and less cloud cover. That is because the pictures that you have seen are long exposure, meaning that they have captured the lights over a period of time. However, you are there, you are witnessing the same thing that humans have witnessed for eons, the same thing that made them imagine gods and spirits and magic fire foxes. You’ll have a great time experiencing something that not many people get to see in their lifetimes. Millions of travellers flock to Iceland every year to witness and photograph this incredible natural phenomenon, but not everyone knows where it comes from. The country that you experience in the summer, with music festivals, whale watching, and the Midnight Sun, is a completely different one than the island blanketed in snow where tourists go trekking on glaciers or explore ice caves and glacier caves. They also show cloud cover, another key factor in Aurora Borealis observation. For the best and coziest northern lights hunt, join us in our tour! Don't get caught out in the cold when travelling to Iceland - prepare your visit with our handy travel guide resources that cover everything from visas to weather and seasons, how best to see the Northern Lights and where best to visit plus plenty more tips. Akureyri is the unofficial capital of northern Iceland with a population under 20,000 people, and opportunities to explore the remote areas that are prime for viewing the Northern Lights. Come with us on an Icelandic whale watching tour, leaving from the old harbor of Reykjavik in the afternoon and then join us in tracking down the Aurora Borealis in the evening. Move the slider below the cloud cover map, or click directly on a day or time. It is very rare for the northern lights to look as they do in pictures to our naked eye. Book a spot here! Currently, the Met Office predicts clear skies in most of the country, but a low chance of northern lights. If you consider Norway vs Iceland northern lights, Svalbard in Norway has one of the most fascinating lights that appear very appealing in winter. Where to See the Northern Lights in Scotland. It’s completely up to you whether or not you want to pay for a Northern Lights excursion or go it alone. Northern lights over Kirkjufell mountain in Iceland, For those of you who wants to venture off the beaten track, there is also the Arctic Henge, a stone structure in the north of Iceland, far from the main roads.​, Are you looking for more things to do in northern Iceland? Golden Circle, Secret Lagoon & Bubble. Iceland Iceland Guide. Book a spot here! So what is the best month to see the Northern Lights in Iceland? Northern Lights are visible in Iceland from September to April. Let’s start with the basics. Sometimes I can even see them from my bedroom window! You can try going to ​Kirkjufell, the mountain famous for its shape, which is rather close to Reykjavik. Words can only describe a fraction of the awe you feel when you see the aurora with your own eyes. The highlight of Icelandic nature is a must-see if you visit Iceland in winter. However, if you want to maximize your chances, I suggest that you visit during the darkest months. You need darkness to see the Northern Lights, in Iceland from mid-April onwards nightfall arrives very late, making it a bit awkward to operate tours. It is windy too at the same time, so waterproof-windproof clothing, as usual, are your uniforms. If you want to book a tour, check out ours!​, Northern lights in Reykjavik, Iceland. The forecast of auroral activity at midnight, scale 0 to 9, is shown in the upper-right box. Good luck in your quest to find the Aurora Borealis. The Solar Cycle - Solar Maximum/Solar Minimum Our Sun goes through an activity cycle that lasts approximately 11 years and sees it pass through Solar Maximum (highest solar activity) and Solar Minimum (lowest solar activity). Stay patient. They monitor solar activity and based on that, are able to reasonably predict how strong the Northern Lights will be on any given night. It’s really a question of luck, location, and timing. However, these months also have the worst weather with lots of rain, snow and clouds. But you won’t be able to see anything if they are blocked by clouds covering the nighttime sky. In Iceland they can be seen from September until April. When there is a period of strong solar flare activity, it is followed by lots of bright, beautiful waves of light in the heavens a few days later. The stronger the solar wind, the stronger the northern lights! Therefore, on two nights we have included Aurora hunting activities for you. Look towards the North. Why should I visit Iceland in September or October? Bring a DSLR and a tripod. In over 35 years of operating Northern Lights trips to Iceland, I have never seen a prediction as positive as this before. In my opinion, our northern lights tour is the best of its kind in Iceland.​. Briefly, you need two things for the observation of Northern Lights or Aurora: darkness and clear sky. Northern Lights tours cease operating around mid-April, but the Aurora can still be seen in May. You want nights that are fully dark, so technically the nighttime wonder is visible eight months out of the year. The Northern Lights season in Iceland is from September to mid-April. What are the Northern Lights? South Coast Tour. It's one of the most beautiful phenomena in the world, and something you can't miss! 4-6: Húrra! I have seen this a lot around the internet, and it is simply not true. Due to high levels of precipitation, most months during the Northern Lights season have plenty of overcast days and nights, so perhaps a better strategy would be to plan a longer trip to increase the probability of seeing them. So typically, the ideal period for seeing them is during the winter, which is from late September to April. In the summer you will no doubt get to see the Midnight Sun, while in the winter your chances are high of seeing the Northern Lights. The season for good Northern Lights viewing is starting to ramp up towards the end of the month. As I mentioned earlier, the most important factor when it comes to hunting for the northern lights is darkness. This is the most usual forecast. It's a good reminder of how beautiful, complex and marvelous our world is. 7-9: Highly unusual, maybe your friends and relatives at home will see the Northern Lights… That is because in order to see them, you need darkness. So, don't forget to book your spot here!​, The northern lights forecast from the Icelandic Meteorological Office, Arguably, the most useful tool when you are looking for the northern lights is the northern lights forecast. Besides, it can be quite stressful to look for the northern lights on your own. Iceland’s long winter is the best time for seeing the northern lights in Iceland. One Stop Northern Lights Forecast. Who doesn't get a little stressed when driving around a foreign country? You might find it difficult to navigate Icelandic roads, especially in winter weather conditions​. The sun blasts our planet with solar winds. During your stay, take advantage of the guided Northern Lights Safari and late-night trek to the hotel's Camp Aurora. All of them are quite dark at night, as there are no street lights or houses around. September through April are the best months to view them as far as darkness is concerned. You could celebrate Christmas in a loch-side lodge, toast Hogmanay (the New Year) in January in Edinburgh, or take advantage of less rain in February. Therefore, I believe that the best months to see the northern lights in Iceland are October, November, February and March. Mary J. Luxembourg City... 9 posts. Between October and March , longer nights give you ample opportunity to see the aurora if the weather permits. You’ll need clear or at most partly cloudy skies in order to view the, It’s completely up to you whether or not you want to pay for a, The 26 Campsites in Iceland Open in Winter – A Comprehensive…, 24 Hours in Akureyri: Iceland’s Second City, Reykjavik Sightseeing: Hallgrímskirkja Church, 24 Hours in Reykjavík: A One-Day Itinerary. Iceland is perfectly positioned in the Auroral Zone and offers the chance to see the Northern Lights 7 to 8 months per year! How to Do an Iceland Northern Lights Tour By Campervan, Car, Campervan, or Motorhome – What’s the Best Vehicle for an…, Iceland Photography: How to Get the Best Shots and Where, Spring Camping in Iceland – April and May, 7 Reasons Why the Best Time to Visit Iceland Is the Off-Season, Ultimate Etiquette Guide for Iceland’s Blue Lagoon, Iceland’s Thingvellir National Park: The Story Behind This Valley, Glaciers of Iceland – An Adventure on Ice, Elephant Rock in Iceland: A Cool Place to Visit, The Ultimate List Of Campsites Open All Year in Iceland. Move the slider below the cloud cover map, or click directly on a day or time. If there is a full moon, it might make it more difficult for you to see the northern lights. To catch this fantastic natural phenomenon, you need a fully dark night. What we can do, however, is pay attention to the, When trying to determine the best month to see the, Let’s say you already checked the aurora forecast and activity predictions are high. That’s great news! Best Time to See the Northern Lights: Many people come to Iceland hoping to see the aurora borealis, or northern lights.It’s an ideal place to do so, as the country’s small population and long distances between towns make it easy to escape light pollution, even if you’re in or near Reykjavik. Theres plenty more to see than just the Northern Lights in September and October. To increase your chances, though, you could join a dedicated tour led by a local guide. Itinerary for Northeast Iceland’s Diamond Circle Route, RV Dump Stations in Iceland: How and Where. It is usually light drizzle leading to pouring rains especially in the middle of the month and end. There is no one month that you can pick and when you are sure you will be able to see the auroras. While it is fun to imagine that there is a fire fox blazing through the sky and leaving a trail of lights behind it, the actual origin of the aurora is much simpler. In this period of time, no Northern Lights can be observed. The Northern Lights season is from late August to mid-April. Iceland's far north ocean location makes for fluctuating weather. Think of the Aurora Borealis as more like the icing on the cake. The Northern Lights trip the light fantastic above Iceland in static patterns, and often as moving patterns that sweep the sky, stretching usually around 80 km (50 miles) from beginning to end, and appear as either bands, arcs, or spirals. May-Sep is the best time to visit Iceland if you want to go whale watching; you can combine orcas with Northern Lights in late Sep. Jun-Aug offer endless days, low 20s warmth plus summer festivals. Day Tours, Golden Circle, Blue Lagoon. My name is Egill, and I'm your local friend in Reykjavik! I wish you all the luck in the world with catching the northern lights. The best season to see the northern lights in Iceland is from September to mid-April – these are the months where there are full dark nights. The Northern Lights are more prevalent during Solar Maximum the last of which occurred in June 2014. What is the best month to see Northern Lights in Iceland? Our planet is bombarded constantly by solar storms. Visit their site to find out more about bus schedules and to plan your trip, join our tour and enjoy our snacks and hot chocolate. Here’s a little taste of what you can expect if you are lucky enough the catch the Northern Lights in all their glory. The map of Iceland shows forecast of cloud cover. When is the best time to see the northern lights in Iceland? October 23rd (2020) was a very cloudy day, which is the worst enemy of great Northern Lights displays. They’re also aware of exactly where to go to get the best viewing spots outside of the cities and towns. Go out! Long, starry nights of fall and winter make months from September to February well-known for northern lights journeys. This sun graph shows the darkest and brightest months in Iceland, Apart from darkness, though, you also need clear skies! Alaska’s Northern Lights season is between mid-September and late-April, peaking in February and March.. Fairbanks is located right below the auroral zone, and is known for its consistently clear skies due to its low precipitation. It is something that everyone who visits Iceland should experience at least once, and I really hope that my tips will help you see them and capture them! If visiting Iceland in Winter, expect short days, cold (but not as cold as you would think) temperatures, a blanket of snow and a high probability of seeing the northern lights. In my opinion it´s important to go out into the country for a couple of nights, away from the city lights. This family-friendly tour consists of whale watching and the magical Aurora tour, combining two popular tours within one day. See our best Winter Self Drive Tours. You don't need any previous experience or fancy equipment, just the guidance of an expert! The benefits of doing it yourself are of course cost and the freedom to go where you please. They check the forecasts of auroral activity and cloud cover. January is the ‘wettest’ month of the year in Iceland (when it snows the most), so keep that in mind when you’re planning a trip since clouds are more common then too. Can you see the northern lights in Reykjavik? If only it was that easy! I'm glad you took my advice.​, You might be wondering what is the best tour to book. Day or time they ’ re also aware of exactly where to go to get the best its... Shows forecast of auroral activity and the cloud cover emit supercharged particles that make their way toward.! 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