Aurora Borealis magic in Iceland!

Aurora Borealis magic in Iceland!

27.11.2015 | Bryndís Pjetursdóttir

Standing outside in the countryside on a cold winter day, staring into the sky and watching an incredible show of Aurora Borealis is simply magical! The beauty is difficult to describe as the shows evoke feelings of tranquility, quietness and joy. In those few moments there is nothing else that matters and life becomes very simple and peaceful.

Over the years, I have been fortunate to see incredible Aurora Borealis shows, my favorite memory is from when I was hiking with friends and on the way up we had a glimpse here and there of rays of green glow. When we finally made it up we were rewarded with an unbelievable view – it was breathtaking not just the beauty of the aurora but this feeling of being one with nature.

…but what is Aurora Borealis?

Aurora borealis in icelandPhoto: Aurora Borealis in Iceland

Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, appear in many forms from scattered clouds to shooting rays that light up the sky with an eerie glow. Aurora Borealis are caused by solar wind - electrically charged particles that the sun sends across the solar system. The particles interact with the Earth’s atmosphere, causing energy in the form of visible light, usually (but not always) green in color.

Best time to see Aurora Borealis in Iceland?

Aurora borealis over Hraunfossar waterfalls

Photo:  Aurora Borealis over Hraunfossar in West Iceland

The long period of darkness during winter provide the best time to watch the aurora display in Iceland. Statistically, from October to March are the best months and between 21:00 and 02:00 the best hours to viewr Aurora Borealis. The moon also plays a role, a full moon may shade the glow from the aurora but it could also be a nice additional subject for Northern Lights photography.

The aurora is unpredictable and important to keep in mind that Aurora Borealis are a natural phenomenon and sightings can never be guaranteed. We therefore recommend thinking of them as an added bonus to your winter holiday in Iceland. Hopefully you are fortunate enough to see them lit up the sky in all their glory but it all depends on favorable conditions - dark, clear night skies give the best chances.

Best place to see Aurora Borealis in Iceland? 

Northern Lights - Aurora borealis in Iceland

Photo: Aurora borealis in Iceland

The best place to see Aurora Borealis is the Icelandic countryside! There is just something about standing in the vast countryside watching the aurora dancing mischievously in the sky daring you to look away! The experience is heightening in those conditions and we highly recommend it. Also while exploring the country you can keep an eye out for the aurora forecast from the Icelandic Met Office, which forecast auroral activities for the week. Thus, you can explore Iceland while making sure you don’t miss out on the beautiful lights. 

Need ideas for your trip that include the magical green lights?

 Aurora Borealis at Jökulsárslón.jpg

Photo: Aurora borealis in Iceland

We recommend our guided Northern Lights Adventure tour that includes exploring the Icelandic countryside and staying in rural locations which are ideal conditions for viewing Aurora Borealis. On the guided tour you will have the chance to explore the best that Iceland has to offer, meeting the locals and enjoying delicious Icelandic food along the way. View or selections of Northern Lights tours and the ideal place to stay in Iceland’s countryside this winter.

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