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Prime Time for Viewing Aurora Borealis in Iceland

Best time to see Aurora Borealis in Iceland also known as Northern Lights can be seen in Iceland’s dark clear sky from September to March, sometimes until late April.

Best time of year for Aurora Borealis in Iceland

Best time of year for Aurora Borealis in Iceland

Northern Lights is a phenomenon that can be seen only in some parts of the world when the weather conditions are right and the solar activity is high.

Where does Aurora Borealis term come from?

The Aurora Borealis takes its name from Aurora, the Roman siren of dawn, as well as Boreas, the Greek name for the north wind.

On clear, crisp wintertime nights in Iceland, you can experience the North Lights dancing amazingly throughout the sky as there are many hours of darkness.

Seeing this wonderful light show with various colors dancing as well as twirling prior to your eyes is nothing except incredible as well as each display screen is completely distinct.

Some say it’s a life-altering occasion. The Northern Lights are among the greatest draws to see Iceland in the winter season, the drawback being that they are a natural sensation as well as hence elusive and also unpredictable.

Iceland is your winter months wonderland where you can experience snow-covered waterfalls at every edge, dawns as well as sundowns that reflect pink as well as orange across the sky as well as pitch-black lava fields covered with a blanket of snow.

Seeing the Northern Lights would certainly be the cherry on the top in addition to your winter season journey, a perk to an or else impressive experience with wacky experiences.

Best time to see Aurora Borealis in Iceland

Best time of year to see Aurora Borealis in Iceland

Best time to see Aurora Borealis in Iceland

Darkness is a key element when searching the Green Lady dancing in the sky.

Iceland is located at a high latitude, indicating there is no darkness from mid-April until mid-August, so during this period of time, no Northern Lights can be observed.

Even if the solar winds are strong and solar maximum activity if there is no darkness you cannot see anything in the sky.

Generally, the Northern Lighting season is from late August to mid-April so you can start preparing your Northern Lights tour and your trip to Iceland.

However, from late September to late March, it is dark after 6 pm, and also one takes pleasure in optimum possibilities.

On an annual basis, the Northern Lights go to their top in September as well as March because they are equinox months.

And if you are lucky enough and catch a few nights with no cloud cover then for sure you will be witness to this unique natural phenomenon.

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The best time of day for Northern Lights in Iceland

First of all, in order to see the Northern Lights, the skies should be dark.

This promptly eliminates daytime hours as well as in contrast to popular opinion, it is not pitch black in the Aurora Zone for the whole winter.

Indeed, regardless of the sunlight not showing up above the perspective, also the quickest day, 21 December, brings three to four hours of grey/blue light which renders the North Lights unnoticeable to the naked eye.

March and September are equinox months, considered to be the best time to see Aurora Borealis in Iceland.


When darkness drops, the Aurora Borealis can be seen at any moment of the day, but the maximum time appears to be around 9.30 pm to 1 am which is when everyone concentrates the majority of the searches for northern lights.

11-year cycle for Northern Lights

In the longer term, auroral displays are associated with an 11-year cycle in sunspot tasks as well as various other perturbations of the sunlight.

The extra restless the sun, the more aurorae. 2006-7 represented a minimum in the solar task, and also the next optimum in solar activity will certainly be around 2013, with regular Northern Lights shows likely for another 2 or three years after that.

Solar Storms and Northern Lights

In addition to these more or less normal variants in the regularity of the aurora, there are also less predictable, unpredictable displays resulting from solar tornados.

A few of these, especially near solar-activity optimum, can bring about visible Northern Lights extremely far south if you remain in a location with clear, transparent evening skies.

The “Alerts” area below will certainly help you stay on top of solar activity and get ready for some watching when a solar storm does happen.

Iceland Aurora Borealis

Iceland Aurora Borealis

Go hunting for the Northern Lights in Reykjavik

If your budget plan is a worry, and also the concept of renting out a car to see the Northern Lights or scheduling a trip seems too lavish, you can always wish to catch the auroras from the city or town you are remaining in.

The best method which to see them is to find the darkest location feasible as well as wait until your eyes have actually changed.

Reykjavík, as an example, is rather a spread-out city with lots of parks, hence there are a few areas perfect for Northern Lights hunt.

Searching for the Northern Lights in September or March highly increases your chances of seeing the green lights if you choose to go to Iceland during the best time to see Aurora Borealis in Iceland.

Possibly the most effective place is by Grótta lighthouse, on the Seltjarnarnes Peninsula in the north-westernmost factor of the capital a place very prefered by many tourists to photograph the Northern Lights.

There is very little city light-pollution along this stretch, indicating that, on clear evenings with an excellent forecast, you have a fantastic chance at detecting them.

There is additionally a little geothermal bathtub, where you can heat your feet up while waiting on them to reveal.

For those of you looking to book a tour in Iceland to capture the Aurora Borealis on the Icelandic sky, you have to know that there are plenty of local tour agencies which offer all kind of tours to hunt Northern Lights.

The tour usually starts from Reykjavik with pick up from your hotel and last for a few hours, till midnight.

Super jeeps are used to transport tourists to inaccessible places, far from any light pollution,  places known by tour guides to be the best for seeing Northern Lights.

One of the best tours which you can book if you want to spot the Green Lady without travelling far from Reykjavik is Reykjavik 3-Hour Small-Group Northern Lights Tour , a three hours tour with hotel pick up and drop off, ginger biscuits and a cup of hot chocolate included.

Reykjavik 3-hour Small-Group Northern Lights Tourr

Reykjavik 3-hour Small-Group Northern Lights Tour

Tip before going: take a look at the Aurora forecast for maximising your chances of seeing it live on the Icelandic sky.

For those of you who like adventure, we recommend to rent a car and chase the Northern Lights on their own.

If you are visiting Iceland in winter, most probably parts of the Ring Road are closed so you can travel just along the south coast. But this is not such a big problem because the southern coast and Reykjavik are among the best places to see Aurora Borealis in Iceland.

Best accommodation for Northern Lights

1. Midgardur By Center Hotels a beautiful hotel located in Reykjavik, close to the city’s main attractions with free parking place and Northern Lights wake up call service.

2. Retreat Lagoon Blue is located inside the Blue Lagoon, far from any light pollution and offers great rooms and tasty breakfast.

3. Seljavellir Guesthouse Hofn located near the Ring Road, far from any light pollution with cosy rooms and wonderful terraces from where you can see the Northern Lights.