A travel trip into Iceland often carries the primary purpose of getting one to view the famous Aurora Borealis, and we don't blame you.
In Iceland, Northern Lights tour providers get to unleash their creativity as seen with the various types of tours that can be enjoyed by every visitor. It's a time away from your usual city lights -- a trip of a great escape.
Oh the lights, the Northern Lights of true beauty.
During the winter, the Northern Lights or also known as the Aurora Borealis, is a celestial show on a Northern sky. Most describe the phenomenon of the light show as dancing colors and ribbons in the calm air and sky.
The Aurora Borealis is a sure top on people's bucket lists, yet only a few get to fulfill and tick this off their list. It can be seen in parts of the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, and other countries in Europe. Although, apart from the national park highlight, Iceland is one of the best places to immerse oneself into the Northern Lights.
As much as people love to hope for a guarantee, the Northern Lights appear under their own circumstances, on their own chosen day or days. However, there are many ways to increase your chances, like which months you choose to visit, the specific weather conditions of the day, your chosen location, and more. It is also important to note that the Northern Lights are less likely to appear on a sky with light pollution, such as a bright moon.
In replacement of your city lights, Iceland offers many different types of Northern Lights tours like watching the Aurora from a blue lagoon on a winter day.
A highlighted way to enjoy the lights the Northern sky has to offer is kicking off in Reykjavik. It is the largest community in the country with a lot of activities for tourists, and stands only 20 minutes away from the typical locations for Aurora sightings.
Apart from a day guide on a tour of the Northern Lights or the Aurora Borealis, Iceland has a city life that tourists should search for, like Reykjavik.
Typically, the Northern Lights season in Iceland ranges from late August to mid April due to their clear skies. Although, the best time with higher chances of a night show are during the winter months or more specifically, September to March. Additionally, these two months are individually considered as the peaks of the natural phenomenon.
The night sky of the Northern Lights can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. In Iceland, the best tours are the bus, boat, super jeep, snowmobile, and ATV tours. When tied with other attractions, the best is the tours with the Reykjavik Secret Lagoon, Golden Circle, and Fontana Geothermal Baths.
While there are several tour types to view the light show, some Iceland visitors may opt not to. Though, the tour providers are knowledgeable with the optimal locations and times. On the other hand, their options are looking for them within your area of stay, drive out of the area and search, or take a casual boat cruise with your fingers crossed!
As the tours for seeing the lights vary in the number of days, location, and experience inclusions, there is a wide range of prices. In Iceland, Northern Lights tours range from $58 to $3000. When it comes to viewing the light of Iceland, it is a good idea to know your budget and desired experience.
Based on the reviews of previous visitors and the local population of Iceland, the best areas for the popular nights of light are the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Lilja Guest House, Reykjanes Peninsula, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, and the Seljalandsfoss Waterfall. For those on a strict budget, you can find a dark night sky and try your free luck!
Not to be the bearer of bad news, but there is no guarantee of the popular experience on a tour. Though, it is important to note that tour providers often cancel if the weather conditions and forecast do not look optimal. However, there are a few things to increase your chances such as tours, a forecast, a specific time of day, and visiting during the season or even better, during the peak months of September and March.
If the primary reason for your visit to Iceland was to experience the natural phenomenon and did not end up doing so, it's okay! Most visitors who face this still leave with a sense of satisfaction and enjoyment. Iceland is a beautiful country with plenty to offer -- and, there's always a next time!
This is where the forecast comes in! A clear, dark sky with minimal light pollution increase the chances of a longer show. It could last all night long for many hours, although, it could also last for only 10 minutes. In terms of tours, it depends on the inclusions, but you should allot at least 4 hours away from your hotel stay.
Now, the science behind it. The common misconception is involving the particles from the sun.
Truth: In the Earth's upper atmosphere, protons and electrons, or charged particles in general, from the solar wind will hit this atmosphere. As they do so, they release energy and change from an excited state to a ground state. And this is how one can get to absorb the beautiful sky.
Ultimately, it's best to follow a clothing guide for the viewing. It depends on the tour you have chosen, but get packing with walking boots, trousers, woolen socks, hat, waterproof jacket, gloves, and a scarf. Assuming you will be visiting during or near the winter months, these are your essentials for your travel trip.