How to see the Northern Lights in Iceland

Thursday, 17th 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 Volcanos and Extraordinary Light Displays

iceland bardarbunga volcano

Experience two of Iceland’s most remarkable natural features on this escorted short break. In the company of an expert driver/guide head out on day excursions to explore the interior by 8WD, reaching areas no other vehicle can access and visiting spectacular sites such as Eyjafjallajokull, the site of the infamous 2010 volcanic eruption as well as the Golden Circle. Staying a highland location, you’ll also have ample chances to spot the northern lights.

Find out more: See all this and more on our Volcanoes and Northern Lights holiday.

Iconic Superjeep and Northern Lights Sightings

icelandic superjeep glacier dt

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 Orcas

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: Go in search of orcas on our Orcas and Aurora escorted small group tour.

Mountains, Fjords and a Sleepy Fishing Town

iceland north siglufjordur harbour 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.

Fireworks and Aurora Displays

iceland west new year fireworks blue istk

Welcome the New Year in style, combining a stay in Iceland’s southern countryside with time in the capital. With vast open skies, this is the perfect place to enjoy the northern lights in absolute comfort. Enjoy a spectacular fireworks display as a four-course dinner is served on board a cruise from Reykjavik.

Find out more: Celebrate the New Year on our Northern Lights New Year Special.

Northern Lights and the Icehotel

sweden lapland icehotel art suite spring ph

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

Popular blog posts

UPDATED Aurora Prediction Alert – December 2018!

In October our northern lights experts predicted the chances of seeing the northern lights would be extremely high from the 2-7 November 2018 due to a strong auroral storm occurring. It happened and looks likely to occur again in early December...
  • Northern Lights

Friday, 9th November 2018

Jess Weatherson

Cathy Harlow: Hiking in East Greenland Tour Highlights

In summer 2019, Wanderlust award-winning guide Cathy Harlow is travelling again to the wild and remote East Greenland coast to guide our nine-day ‘Hiking in East Greenland’ adventure. There’s so much about East Greenland that inspires Cathy but there are a few truly special experiences that make this trip stand out, read on to find out more…
  • Adventure
  • Inspire Me

Wednesday, 24th October 2018

Cathy Harlow

Icehotel 2018/19 Designs Unveiled!

With every new year comes a brand new edition of Sweden’s iconic Icehotel and after months of deliberation, the designs for the 29th Icehotel have finally been revealed (we heard one was even designed on the back of a napkin!). Let us give you a sneak peak of what is to come!
  • Icehotel

Tuesday, 21st August 2018

Becky Masih

See the northern lights in March

Spring – with its longer hours of daylight and warmer temperatures – isn't far away and as the aurora’s still in the sky, February and March are a great time to travel to see the northern lights.
  • Northern Lights

Tuesday, 4th February 2014

Will Gray

Northern Lights in Tromso and Beyond

Our Nordic Specialist Mark was treated to an incredible display of the northern lights at Malangen Resort in northern Norway
  • Northern Lights

Thursday, 16th April 2015

Mark Champagne

Photographing the Northern Lights

Turn protons into pixels with William Gray's enlightening guide to snapping the aurora borealis.
  • Northern Lights

Wednesday, 11th July 2018

Will Gray

Best Places To See The Northern Lights

From waking up in a suspended glass cube – high in the treetops, to falling asleep under an aurora display inside a cosy glass igloo, there's nothing more relaxing than spending a night amongst truly spectacular surrounds.
  • Northern Lights

Tuesday, 15th September 2015

Destination Specialist