One thing that makes Iceland very special and truly unique is the fact that it is the best place to see the Northern Lights. This amazing celestial event is mystical and elusive, and is often referred to as the Aurora Borealis. The northern lights or Aurora Borealis is one of the most spectacular natural events.
Aurora Borealis is one of main reasons why tourists are interested in visiting Iceland. However, because events in the sky are difficult to predict, people often return without witnessing it. Nothern Lights do not occur all the time, and can only be seen when the night sky is bright and dark. However, there are lots of travel ideas that will fulfill your dream of seeing the Northern Lights! Here are some tips and suggestions to witness this magical spectacle in Iceland:
Visit between September and March, or November and December
During this year, the sky is usually more clear and darker, with fewer clouds. Even the temperature is much colder, thereby making the weather conditions ideal. December so far is the darkest month, and thus it gives you a better opportunity to spot the Aurora Borealis. The lights were known to come and go in groups of successive nights – they may appear for two to three nights, and disappear during the next 2-3 days and so on.
Long stay in Iceland
It is always recommended to stay for at least a week in Iceland to see this wonder of nature. While there is every possibility that bad weather may diminish your chances of seeing it if you are here only for 2-3 days, it will not be the case if you are here for at least a week.
The dilemma of renting a car versus driving on your own
It would be wise to go on a guided tour than driving on your own. Tour guides always know better, and can help you in spotting the Northern Lights. Also, some rental companies offer a ‘do-over’ package, which means that if you are unable to see the Northern Lights, they will bring you back either without charge, or with a nominal fee.
The best time to see the Northern Lights
Northern Lights can be best seen when it is dark. Post 6 pm is a good time to venture out if you want to see this phenomena.
Away from the city
While Iceland is relatively unpolluted, the major cities may be prone to light pollution. This may diminish your chances of seeing the Northern Lights. It is therefore recommended that you go slightly away from the city, and try to enjoy this spectacle from there. Here’s what you can do –
- Departure to the island of Grimsey
- The Northern Lights are most visible in the Arctic Circle, which passes through the island of Grimsey.
- Take a photo with a long catch of lighting
Make sure that your camera is always setup to capture this wonderful phenomena of nature. You never know, the next desktop picture chosen by a Smartphone or a Desktop Computer company may well be yours!