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whole point of our visit is to see the northern lights

S.W Wales
Level Contributor
249 posts
15 reviews
whole point of our visit is to see the northern lights

My wife has always wanted to see the northern lights so ive decided for a birthday suprise to take her to reykjavic for 4 days at the end of october.

With the main focus of the trip being able to see the lights would you recommend a tour from reykjavic? Or hiring a car or even staying out side rekyjavic to jncrease our chances of seeing them?

Any advice at all?


Level Contributor
1,420 posts
1. Re: whole point of our visit is to see the northern lights

By staying in Reykjavik you have the flexibility to go where the lights are visible at that moment (if anywhere), if you stay outside the city you may be in a good location to see lights should they appear but you might be stuck out in the middle of nowhere if the lights do not show or if they are visible somewhere else.

Level Contributor
2 posts
86 reviews
2. Re: whole point of our visit is to see the northern lights

Hi there

My visit to iceland had the Northern Lights at the top of the priority list and like Valdisig says mobility is the key to seeing them ..... and luck. There are tours out of Reykjavik every night (when the solar activity is predicted to be high AND the cloud cover offers a break) and they will take you to the best places on that night but check they will give you another chance if there is no show. It was immensely frustrating for a whole week though as on some clear nights there was no activity and some cloudy nights the activity was good but all you saw was a green glow behind the clouds. It is possible to see the lights down in Reykjavik harbour as it looks north out to sea and we did but the best option is to go with a tour company so you can be in the right place at the right time to see them. The activity changes (and can be monitored) hour by hour as does the cloud cover in different locations so if you had a car you could light chase as the companies make informed guesses around 6pm as to whether they are going out that night but they can and did get it wrong. Best of luck to you and your wife

Santiago, Chile
Destination Expert
for Scottsdale
Level Contributor
1,216 posts
1,296 reviews
3. Re: whole point of our visit is to see the northern lights

as iceland's weather is ever changing by the minute... please do not be disappointed if a week long cloud cover comes and does not allow you to see the lights. i would have back up plans... Blue Lagoon spa is a place the wife would love...

Level Contributor
2,328 posts
21 reviews
4. Re: whole point of our visit is to see the northern lights

Just to mention what have been stated many times earlier on this forum: Coming to Iceland (or any other place for that matter) just for a few days exclusively to see the northern lights is potentially risky business, and could mean that you will leave disappointed, since you have no guarantee that they will be visible at the exact dates you will be there. So if you want to go you need also to have other things to do and see, and take the lights as a bouns IF they show.

Reykjavik, Iceland
Level Contributor
132 posts
5. Re: whole point of our visit is to see the northern lights

I recommend you to go and stay one or two nights in the country side if you can. You have much better change there to go northern lights hunting. There are many travel companies that offer Two day tour to the south coast and Jokulsarlon glaicier lagoon and then you will see the main attractions on the way and it the weather conditions are good you can go northern lights hunting in the evening far away from city lights.

Another option is to go to the higlands like Landmannalaugar or Hveravellir.

There are also companies that offer two day tours to Snæfellsnes peninsula which is beautiful area for sightseeing and hiking.

Many people also rent a car and follow the northern lights weather forecast on vedur.is

Hope this helps :)

Salisbury, United...
Level Contributor
10,288 posts
149 reviews
6. Re: whole point of our visit is to see the northern lights

I write as a tourist who has visited Iceland on a good few occasions in winter. Flexibility is the most important key to trying to see the NL's. The best way to do this is to stay in Reykjavik as you have great access to the countryside in many directions. Travelling time is not too great to the dark countryside. Tours can take you up to Snaefelsness, along towards Selfoss, a Golden Circle or towards the Keflavik, a vast area. The key being chasing the clear skies and hoping for solar activity.

Go and base yourself in the countryside, say Selfoss and you have to hope the clear skies are fairly close by. If the clear skies are over Snaefelsness you wouldn't want to drive that far but in Reykjavik the drive is much shorter. In Reykjavik you have a good choice of tours, restaurants and thing to do if the weather is not so good.

As others have said don't pin your hopes on seeing the NL's, I went twice before I saw them. Go to Iceland because you want to see the magnificent sights of Iceland and treat the NL's as a bonus.

Enjoy your trip.

7. Re: whole point of our visit is to see the northern lights

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