Northern Lights Tours

The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) are a sight not to be missed when visiting Iceland. There isn't much that compares to seeing this natural phenomenon on a cool winters night.

The northern lights tours take about 3 to 4 hours. Your driver and guide will take you to the country side to escape the city lights. Heading out searching for the best location to see the aurora.

Join one of the many tours out into the country side and perhaps you too could see these elusive light shows.

Search our marketplace for

Northern Lights Tours

The northern lights are best seen during night time between October and April. The northern lights tours will start between 8 PM and 10 PM every night as long as the forecast is good.

Predicting the Northern lights

Northern Lights predictions are based on two elements:

  1. The cloud coverage as you need a clear night sky to view the lights. If the sky is too cloudy there is a chance the tours will be cancelled. In such cases we will notify you and either re-schedule for another day or refund your payment.
  2. The Kp index is an indicator of how strong the aurora might be. This is a scale of 0 to 9 but even on a day where the value is 0 the northern lights can be clearly seen. The higher the value the stronger and closer the aurora is. Average Kp value is about 2-3.

Operation of the northern lights tours

The driver and guide will keep a close eye on the forecast, monitoring the clouds and the activity. Based on these facts and their experience they will head out in the best direction each time. Here are some of the tools that are used

Once the northern lights are seen they will stop in a secure location and let the passengers out. This gives you time to enjoy the view, take some photos and admire mother nature at her finest. Check out our guide on photographing the northern lights

Northern light tours options

Northern lights tours come in many shapes and sizes. The most common northern lights tours are in a standard coach or by taking a northern lights cruise on a boat. We also have smaller group experiences in mini buses or super jeeps. Private northern lights tours can also booked.

If no northern lights are seen

Nature can be tricky and there is always a chance that no northern lights are seen. If you go out on northern lights tour and nothing is found we can reschedule your trip at no extra cost*.
(*unless otherwise stated)

Cancellation due to weather

The weather in Iceland is a bit tricky and can change with short notice. In the case of cancellation due to weather or bad forecast we can either reschedule or refund you.

What are the northern lights?

The cause of the Northern Lights is as mysterious as the many folklores that surround this magnificent quirk of nature.

The Fox Indians of North America believed the northern lights to be an omen of war and pestilence. Finland has old tales of an arctic fox who would brush up against mountains sending sparks into the sky causing the aurora. Scottish tales tell the lights being epic battles between mighty warriors and fallen angels.

Scientists believe the Northern Lights are the result of collisions between particles from the Earth and sun. Variations in colour depend on the type of gas particles that are colliding. The most common colour is a pale white and yellow hue with hints of green. At high levels you will also see blue and purple and even red aurora.

The lights will often dance around and ripple across the sky as they brighten the dim night.

Booking northern lights tours online

Tours can be booked with very short notice, even as little as an hour before departure. We do recommend booking early as these popular tours tend to sell out fast.

Northern lights tours depart from Reykjavik as well as many other locations around Iceland. You can find tours from Reykjanes by the Keflavik airport, from Akureyri and Mývatn in the north of Iceland. There are also a few tours going out from the south and east regions.

Pickup is made from most major hotels and guesthouses as well as designated pickup stops in downtown Reykjavik.

Let us take the hassle out of the northern lights hunt by offering you one of these great Northern Lights trips. Each comes with a knowledgeable guide who will make sure to get you to the best locations to view the lights!


Looking for something to do in Iceland?

Learn the secrets

Get Local Advice