The Secret to Seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland

The Northern Lights are most certainly one of Mother Nature's masterpieces, and one of the best places to see them is in Iceland.

As electrically charged particles dance through the evening sky, it's guaranteed to leave you in awe and amazement. Of course, there are some secrets to being one of the lucky few to catch them!

1. Get out of the city. 

Yes, you can see them from cities including Reykjavik, but it is best to get far away from the bright lights of the big city.

2. Check the weather report. 

It can be difficult to see them on cloudy nights, and it's always a good idea to check the cloud forecast to find a spot that isn't obscured by cumulonimbus clouds floating overhead.

3. Go long after dark. 

Sunsets in Iceland occur about 3:30 p.m. in the winter and between 9 p.m. and midnight in the summer. Plan your trip accordingly so you will arrive at your viewing spot after the sun has sunk below the horizon.

4. Climb a mountain...or don't. 

While you can certainly climb a mountain to see the view, it's not necessary. You will be able to view the aurora borealis from a distance of up to 200 miles so climbing to the top of a mountain really isn't necessary, but it can be a lot of fun.


5. Take a tour. 

Yes, you can drive yourself, and if you're looking for a romantic evening, that is certainly the best way to go. However, if you are looking for information about Iceland and the Northern Lights, a guide with a group is a great way to go. Moreover, a guide knows how to find the lights every evening and will do their best to make sure you get the view of a lifetime.

6. Check the Aurora Forecast. 

The Aurora forecast shows expected aurora activity for any given night and location. This makes it easier for you to find the best place to view the northern lights. Checking the forecast in advance also makes it possible for you to find the best way to navigate to the desired spot.

7. Play with your camera. 

The best way to capture the most amazing images of the northern lights is to practice taking nighttime photography with your camera before you go. Learn the settings you need and practice taking shots before you get on the plane.


Always wear plenty of warm clothing and ensure your vehicle is equipped for winter driving with the proper snow tires, emergency kits, spare tires, etc. This will help keep you safe and comfortable so that you can enjoy the amazing spectacle taking place overhead.

Contact WanderList Tours today to learn more about our Iceland trip!