When to see the northern lights in Iceland

 In Local Advises, What to do, What you need to know, Winter in Iceland

Many people wonder when to see the northern lights in Iceland? Where to see northern lights? Is there any time or place better than other to see aurora borealis? Being a Local Icelander means we are quite spoiled when it comes to seeing the northern lights, I often need to remind myself of how lucky we actually are. Seeing the northern lights is a magical moment, seeing these green and colorful lights dancing is something that is hard to describe.

Keep reading for all the information you need know about when to see the northern lights in Iceland

We are lucky here in Iceland we are able to see northern lights for around eight months a year from late August till late April. Winter season is definitely the most common time to see the northern lights in Iceland. If my main objective were to see the northern light I would visit Iceland in the winter season, winter is from late October till the end of March, check our blog about the different season when is the best time to visit Iceland.

But to be able to see the northern light you need a little bit of luck on your side.

First of all, you need a clear sky to be able to see the northern lights, and there needs to be solar activity going on. What does that even mean? Read more.

What are the northern lights? Northern lights are the results of collisions between gaseous particles in Earth‘s high atmosphere and charged particles from the sun‘s atmosphere that were thrown at us by solar storms at high speed. When the solar particles enter in Earth‘s magnetic field, an ionization reaction happens, creating beautiful, colorful northern lights. Northern lights can vary in color, the most common one is green, but we can experience other colors such as purple, red or blue.

The intensity of the northern lights depends on the solar activity and the speed of the particles. The solar activity is not regular. Therefore we can have the perfect condition weather wise but no northern lights, you can follow some websites to check the solar activity. For example, Aurora forecast from UAF and also Aurora forecast, Icelandic met office. These websites can give ideas about when to see the northern lights in Iceland

 Where can you find northern lights in Iceland?

You should be able to see the northern lights from all over the island. If you have a good solar activity and a clear sky. For you to be able to see the northern lights in the city‘s there would have to be pretty good and strong lights because the light pollution can make it hard for you to see them. So we recommend driving away from any light pollution and finding a good spot to enjoy the dancing aurora borealis in the sky. It is also possible to join some northern lights tour. It is also possible to take your own car and go out and hunt for northern lights as we call it.

Always be careful while searching for northern lights in the dark. If you are on the main roads of Iceland, take the time and find places where it‘s safe to stop and where you are not exposed to other traffic. Under no circumstances, you should put your self in danger when trying to see the northern lights in Iceland.

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