The northern lights are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland. Every year, thousands of nature lovers visit this island in the arctic, just to view this natural phenomenon. However, they also tend to be highly unpredictable and elusive.
Although they appear during a certain period, several factors come into play, when it comes to seeing them. They include weather, location, and season and most importantly luck. There are no guarantees that you will see them when you visit at a certain time of the year. Before you book your trip, here are 7 things you don’t know about the northern lights in Iceland. We had some help from Iceland Buddy Northern Light Tour Guide to get some valuable travel advice into our article and I want to thank them for their input here, visit them here.
Don’t Plan Your Trip around Them
As you probably know, nature plays by its own rules. You wake up to a bright sunny day, clouds appear out of nowhere and suddenly it’s raining. The same case applies to the northern lights… Therefore, if you intend to visit Iceland to see the Northern lights, you might be disappointed. Plan your trip around the fantastic opportunities available, and you might just be lucky.
They are Unpredictable
You need a clear, dark night, in order to see them properly. They mainly appear from mid-September all the way to March. You can catch them anytime between 6am to 6pm. Additionally, solar wind or solar flares on the sun should be present. There are also Aurora forecasts that you can use. However, nothing is certain.
Arctic Weather Changes Drastically
Equally unpredictable is the arctic weather. You can encounter sunshine, hail, snow, sleet, and high winds, all in a single day. Therefore, just because you woke up to a sunny day does not mean it will be like that throughout out. If you manage to catch them, take photos and just enjoy the moment. It might be raining the next minute.
Go to the Countryside
As previously indicated, it has to be dark and clear outside, for a chance to see the Northern lights. Such conditions are mostly found outside the city, where there isn’t much pollution. They are only visible when they are strongest in cities like Tromsø and Reykjavik. However, if you want a better view, head over to the countryside.
Appears in a Color Spectrum
The Northern lights are a combination of unique colors which include white-gray. These colors are usually created by atmospheric height and the spectrum of the Earth’s colors. Your naked eye will mostly see the green light, since it tends to be the most dominant. They also appear in white-gray sometimes, depending on the color-dispersion.
Length of Your Stay
As much as it appears like a marketing cue, the length of your stay in Iceland will also determine whether you can see them or not. To increase your chances of seeing the Northern lights, then you should stay at least 7 days in the expected months.
The Northern lights are awesome and spectacular. Everyone should make an attempt to see them, at least once during their lifetime. The above tips are just a guide on how to organize your trip and to increase your chances of seeing them.