Best Time to See Northern Lights in Iceland

Northern Lights

You are here

Last updated:

Enigmatic Iceland is one of the world’s most interesting destinations for nature travel. Thousands of travelers annually head to Iceland to spot the Northern Lights, and in this article, you can find out when is the best time to go Aurora-hunting in Iceland, how to tour Iceland, and more.

The natural phenomenon of Northern Lights is indeed something magical. The colorful light show can be observed all around the globe in countries that are set above the Arctic Circle, and Iceland has a great location for seeking the Aurora. Below are some handy recommendations and answers to popular questions on how to plan your Iceland getaway better and what to expect from an Iceland tour with Northern Lights.

Which Months are Best for Iceland Northern Lights Seeking?

Speaking of Iceland nightlife, pretty much nothing in the entertainment world can compete with the Aurora-colored sky. If you've ever heard that you can see the "natural light show" any time of the year, in part this is true. The Aurora can be visible even in the summertime provided that there are all needed weather conditions. Nevertheless, when it comes down to Iceland travel, it is advisable to go at the end of autumn, specifically from the second part of October till mid-March to expand your chances of seeing the lights.

The main reason for that is that there are fewer daylight hours during the winter time and thus the Aurora Borealis can be seen clearer and for a longer period of time (in case the sky isn’t covered with clouds, of course).

Northern Lights Seeking

The temperatures do drop low during this time of year when compared to the summer months, and for this reason, many people become concerned about whether they can handle the frigid winter weather and should visit Iceland or not.

But as a matter of fact, due to its location near the Gulf Stream, Iceland’s Reykjavik has quite normal and totally bearable outside temperatures in winter. For instance, the average temperature is approximately -2°C (which is around 28°F) in months like December. Not that polar, huh?

Of course, without a doubt, packing warm clothing is a must but the bright side of it all is that Iceland Northern Lights tours, cruises, and guided day trips usually include all the needed equipment and even provide special thermal clothing which is specially designed for keeping you warm even in the harshest cold.

Quick Iceland Facts:

  • Capital: Reykjavik
  • Currency: Icelandic Krone
  • Size: 103,000 square km (approx. 40,000 sq mi)
  • Population: approx. 350,000

What are the Ultimate Ways to Observe Northern Lights in Iceland?

One of the ways to go on an Iceland Northern Lights journey is on a land tour. As a rule, such Northern Lights tours are done by car or bus, and travelers are accompanied by a specially trained guide who not only shares handy information about the phenomenon but is also responsible for safety. Such trips to Iceland out of town can be short with durations of around 3 to 5 hours or full day trips. Along the way, you make stops in top places to observe the lights and are afterward taken back to your hotel. This activity is among the most unique things to do in Iceland in February and other winter months.

Another popular way to see Northern Lights in Iceland is by going on a Northern Lights cruise. Such cruises are done for several hours and are available all year round even in winter. Generally, you board a well-equipped boat that takes you to the waters surrounding Iceland so you can see the Aurora from the water side from either the open decks or from inside.

Northern Lights

What Else to Include to an Iceland Tour to Make the Most of the Trip?

In case you’re considering to go on an Iceland tour Northern Lights should surely top your "to-do" list. But there are actually many things you can add to your Iceland tour itinerary to enhance your overall winter experience.

Undoubtedly, saving a day to relax and unwind in the world-famous natural geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon that are not far from Reykjavik is a must and one of the top things to do in Iceland.

Although the Blue Lagoon is out in the open air, this thermal mineral-water spa can be visited any time of the year.

The water is believed to have rejuvenating and healing properties and is therefore often recommended for health and beauty purposes apart from its picturesque scenery and views.

Blue Lagoon

Another good alternative to spice up your journey is going to the Glacier Lagoon. Often called the country's crown jewel, this region in southeast Iceland is home to outstanding natural wonders.

On the whole, tours to the Glacier Lagoon take a full day, at least 14 hours, including the travel time from and back to Reykjavik on a bus or car.

Apart from the marvelous huge chunks of ice of the beautiful Glacier Lagoon, the territory of the reserve also has incredible waterfalls which are breathtaking Iceland attractions.

There's even a Diamond Beach, named due to its glimmering pieces of crystal-clear ice brought by waves to the shores of a black sand beach (for sure among the top things to see in Iceland).

What is more, if you're still wondering what to do in Iceland, apart from spotting wildlife, you can even add exploring sky-blue ice caves hidden in the glaciers to your travel plans.

Things to See in Iceland:

  • The Blue Lagoon
  • The Glacier Lagoon
  • The Dynjandi Waterfall
  • The Djúpalón Beach
  • The Gullfoss Waterfall

Places to Stay in Iceland

Planning a trip, the question of "where to stay in Iceland" will certainly come up. Most travelers arrive in the capital city, Reykjavik, and choose to live there too as the city offers many accommodation options and, arguably, the best hotels in Iceland. The question regarding other regions in Iceland where to stay, note that you may come across low availability depending on which part of the country you plan to go to, nevertheless, there are quite many variants in the south and in the north of Iceland from small guesthouses to unique resorts. What's for Iceland tour packages by Firebird Tours, we already include hotels with great central locations as well as airport transfers for you both if you're joining a small group tour or a have a private one.

So, if you're wondering which Northern Lights tour Iceland is the one for you, we’d say go on a pre-arranged one with several Northern Lights seeking activities during one trip to get better rates and a worry-free experience. And it's completely up to you whether you'd like a fully customized program which is put together solely around your preferences from start to finish or would enjoy being part of a small group of travelers (15 people or less).

Summarizing the above, Iceland is surely a destination that's all about adventure. No matter which time of the year you choose for your Iceland vacation, it’ll definitely leave you with memories that’ll last a lifetime. Browse Iceland vacation packages by Firebird Tours and make your bucket list trip come to life!

What to Choose?
Set off on a pre-arranged tour with several Northern Lights seeking activities in one trip and enjoy better rates and a worry-free experience.