As you’d expect, dark, clear skies contribute to a Northern Lights sighting, so September to mid-April is the best time to plan that trip and make the most of those long dark nights.
What does the timing depend on?
The elusive Northern Lights are unpredictable at the best of times — so picking the right time to try and spot them is crucial. The intensity of the light show actually depends on what stage we’re at in the sun’s Solar Cycle, which charts the 11-year phase of the sun’s activity and appearance. Right now we’re in the Solar Maximum stage, which means bright colours and regular sightings of the Northern Lights are common, but this will only last until 2018/19 when the descent into Solar Minimum begins. While you’ll still be able to see the Northern Lights during this time, sightings will be fewer and further between.
Meanwhile, if you fancy experiencing the Midnight Sun when you’re there, head north between the summer of months of May and July. During the summer solstice, the sun shines for almost 24 hours in Reykjavik.
All of our three and four-night Iceland holidays include a Northern Lights excursion, so you don’t need to worry about organising a trip yourself – we do all the hard work for you. As sightings are weather-dependant too, we’ll work out the best timings and places to spot them, and take you out on a repeat trip if you don’t see them the first time.
The tour will go out on your first night, and you’ll be picked up from the hotel at around 9pm. The coach will drive about an hour outside of the city to get away from any light pollution, and you might go to a few different spots to get the best sightings – half the fun of seeing the Northern Lights is the chase anyway. You’ll also need to be prepared for the extreme cold as clear weather in Iceland usually means temperatures below freezing and you’ll be standing outside for quite a while. Bring layers, and wear hoods, scarfs and touchscreen gloves to make sure you can still use your phone. Keep an eye on the Aurora Forecast and download the Northern Lights Photo Taker app to get the best images on your iPhone if you don’t have a fancy camera as well.
There’s tonnes to see and do in Iceland, plus you’ll stay right in the heart of Reykjavik — so you’re in the prime position to make the most of the city. As well as the Northern Lights trip, our holiday packages includes the Golden Circle tour where you’ll tick off geysers, geothermal spots dotted with hot springs and lava fields, Thingvellir National Park and Gullfoss Waterfall. Meanwhile, other popular tourists activities include spotting the Orcas that visit the coast in winter months between February and March and getting pampered in the Blue Lagoon. And, if you’ve always fancied being pulled by huskies through the snow, try dog sledding — the perfect way to tick off some Iceland’s top viewing spots and national parks.
The stylish Alda Hotel comes with a fitness room, sauna and outdoor terrace complete with a hot tub.
Just five minutes from the centre of town, Fosshotel Reykjavik chic interiors are filled with natural materials and green and blue accents, channelling the same landscape as seen in Game of Thrones.
lives up to its name. It’s right in the middle of town, next to the city’s main street, Laugavegur.
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