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Northern Lights in Iceland: Is Winter the Best Time for Viewing?

Winter is the Perfect time to see Northern Lights in Iceland

Seeing Northern Lights in Iceland was on my bucket list for such a long time! I have always wanted to see this incredible phenomenon with my own eyes and when I did, one of my dreams came true!

If you prepare for a trip to view Aurora Borealis, you need to understand that the most effective time of year to see Northern Lights in Iceland remains in late fall and also during the winter season if you take into consideration the sun’s activity. You have my word that it will certainly be an outstanding and also unique experience!

perfect time to watch Northern Lights in Iceland

Perfect time to see the Northern Lights Iceland

WHY Is winter the perfect time to see Northern Lights in Iceland?

First of all, you need to know when is the best time to see Northern Lights in Iceland and after that start planning your trip accordingly.

It is very clear for everybody that summer is the best time to visit Iceland but not necessarily for Northern Lights. The days are long and sunny, ideal for hiking and exploring the land. Waterfalls, volcanoes, hot springs and many other attractions wait to be discovered by curious tourists.

But for Aurora Borealis, it needs to be total dark outside and you need to be far from any light pollution. And this is the main cause why summer is not the right season for Aurora Borealis.

perfect time to see Northern Lights in Iceland

perfect time for observing Northern Lights in Iceland

On the other hand, winter in Iceland has short days and long nights, with many hours of dark. So, from this perspective, winter sounds like the perfect time to see  Northern Lights in Iceland. All you need to do is to drive in places with total darkness, far from cities and lights and you might see Aurora Borealis.

You might have to travel dozens of miles and wait many long and cold hours for the perfect shot.
And for this, you will need to have your own car. That is why I say that renting a car is the smartest thing you can do if you want to chase Northern Lights.

Get the best price for your car rental today

The main downside of visiting Iceland in winter is that during winter, the nights are pretty cloudy and foggy, so even if it is dark, because of the clouds you cannot see the Green Lady dancing in the sky.

That is why most of the scientists say that the perfect time to see Northern Lights in Iceland is late autumn and early spring.

Wait a moment! I did not say that during winter it is impossible to see Aurora Borealis, but the chances to see this phenomenon are higher in autumn and spring also because around equinox the solar activity is really high.

With a little luck, you might see the Northern Lights on Icelandic sky in winter, too!

Just remember the total dark, high solar activity and no clouds on the sky! This is the recipe of seeing Aurora Borealis!