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How to see the Northern Lights in Iceland

Wednesday, 16th September 2015

Destination Specialist

icelandic horses northern lights

Sitting just below the Arctic Circle, and perfectly placed within the auroral oval, Iceland offers visitors a very real prospect of witnessing the northern lights when travelling during the winter months.

For many, a sighting of these mesmerising lights is a dream come true, but as any aurora hunter will tell you, there are no guarantees. It is for this reason that we’ve put together a list of our favourite ways to maximise your chances of seeing the northern lights, whilst making the most of your time away… regardless of nature’s cosmic whims.

Dramatic Landscapes and Extraordinary Light Displays

iceland northern lights over hotel ranga

Experience the raw beauty of Iceland’s remarkable natural features on an escorted short break. In the company of an experienced guide and like-minded fellow travellers, head out on day excursions to explore waterfalls and the iconic trio of sites that form the Golden Circle. Staying a countryside location, at Hotel Ranga, you’ll also have ample chances to spot the northern lights as well as relax in hot tubs and dine on fabulous food.

Find out more: experience our flagship small-group tour, Northern Lights Special

Iconic Superjeep and Northern Lights Sightings

iceland superjeep on glacier rl

Discover Iceland’s wilder side by Superjeep, escorted by an experienced driver/guide. These specially-adapted, go-anywhere vehicles are an Icelandic obsession, boasting up to 48″ tyres. Explore the southern countryside – home to rugged wilderness and open plains that are perfect to demonstrate the capability of these vehicles. Staying in a countryside hotel or mountain hut, keep watch for the aurora at night.

Find out more: Experience a superjeep on our thrilling Superjeep weekend Safari holiday.

Orcas by Day, Aurora by Night

iceland watching orcas off snaefellsnes peninsula rth

Not just for whale enthusiasts, this superb holiday is based on the dramatic Snaefellsnes Peninsula. In the company of our award-winning guides, experience the country’s natural wonders both on land and at see as well as learning about its fascinating history and culture. Your rural location is the ideal for aurora viewing, should they appear.

Find out more: Join our Orcas and Aurora escorted small group tour.

Mountains, Fjords and a Sleepy Fishing Town

north iceland siglo hotel siglufjordur winter rth

In Iceland’s north lies the sleepy fishing town of Siglufjordur – home to the recently renovated Siglo Hotel. A charming retreat filled with local charm and a peaceful atmosphere, this is a sublime location for when the northern lights appear. Whether you’re on your private balcony or sitting by the waterfront – watching the lights fall over the landscape is a real treat.

Find out more: Find out more about Siglo Hotel.

City Sights and Aurora Displays


Combine city culture and sightseeing with day trips into Iceland’s south-west countryside. You’ll want to head out of the city in the evening for the best chances to spot the aurora.

Find out more: Reykjavik City Break.

Northern Lights and the Icehotel

icehotel33 art suite high score by sonia chow and huschang pourian ak

A thrilling combination of fire and ice, discover the very best of Iceland’s south, then head to Sweden’s capital to take in the culture and cuisine. Your final stop will be at the incredible Icehotel. Look out for the thrilling northern lights display in the evening, before going to sleep on a bed made of pure ice. And, in the morning, why not take part in an array of winter activities in the snowy surrounds.

Find out more: Combine Iceland with the Icehotel on our Iceland and the Icehotel holiday.

Want to know more?

Enquire online or speak to one of our Travel Specialists for help with planning your northern lights adventure.

See all northern lights holidays in Iceland