There are few more bucket list-worthy experiences than seeing the northern lights: front row seats to the biggest natural phenomenon on earth. The Vikings saw the lights as Bifröst, a glowing bridge that connected the mortal realm on earth with the gods in Asgard. In these less mythical days, and with a little imagination, you can see them as a different type of bridge: a connection to the celestial miracles of the universe, a reminder that there is still so much out there beyond our own horizons that we don’t know or understand.
At high latitudes and with its long, cold wintry nights, Iceland is perfectly situated for catching nature’s biggest light show. And when you’re not hunting the Aurora there are countless other sights–both natural and manmade–to make it well worth a trip in its own right. Ad to that the convenience of stopping off on trans-Atlantic flights and it’s easy to see why Iceland has become such a hot destination in recent years.
But it’s essential to plan ahead. You can’t expect to hop on a plane and arrive in the middle of a light show. To be sure of seeing the lights, good timing and choosing the right location are key. That’s why we created this guide: to explain how a typical trip works, where you should aim for, and what time of year to visit. You’ll also need a good in-destination guidebook and (most likely) a reliable tour operator, but start here and you’ll find everything you need to start planning a successful trip.
Welcome to Iceland! Happy Aurora hunting!