One of the main attractions for visitors to Iceland is the opportunity for a sighting of the magnificent Northern Lights. Iceland is perfectly situated in the northern hemisphere to be able to offer excellent views and frequent sightings of this phenomenon. There are many ways to find the best locations, however, and this is key for an optimal experience.
Timing Is Everything
The best times of the year to see the Northern Lights, Iceland’s greatest light show, is between the months of October to March. It is especially important to select a location with consistently clear skies and one that is well away from any artificial city lights. Consequently, it is not unusual to be led to quite remotely located hotels if viewing the Aurora Borealis is your goal. As timing and location are everything, it is strongly advised to travel with expert specialised companies, who are skilled in creating the best possible experience for their guests.
The lights may not be immediately apparent or visible to first time viewers, so it is a much more rewarding experience if you allow a local expert to guide you to the best known sighting locations at the most appropriate times. These guides are also very knowledgeable about the fascinating science behind the Northern Lights. Iceland also has a rich culture and history full of folklore and superstitions surrounding the lights, which many guides love to talk about. They will also be able to assist visitors in finding the best photography locations and opportunities to capture images of the lights.
Best Methods of Transportation
The country has a fairly rugged terrain that is best navigated by an expert. Most of the excursions will be via off-road trails in a four-wheel drive ‘super jeep’. These vehicles are equipped to handle the rough terrain and flexible enough to access some of the more remote areas, which provide the best viewing opportunities of the lights away from artificial lighting. Obviously, weather conditions will also affect viewing opportunities.
A Unique Experience
For many, the opportunity to view the mesmerising Aurora Borealis is a once in lifetime experience. However, for the best view of the Northern Lights, Iceland provides more than just an ideal location. From the stunning volcanic landscape and geographical spectacles, such as glaciers and geysers, to the exquisite cuisine, a visit to this incredible country is truly awe-inspiring. The slightly milder temperatures of the country (compared to other sighting locations), also makes the experience somewhat more comfortable and accessible for many.