When you are going to visit Iceland, you really want to get that northern lights experience. In order to do so, you need to consider some things when planning your trip. Look at the checklist to ensure you will have the best preconditions to see the northern lights.

Watching the Aurora borealis – or the northern lights – is an outstanding experience you will never forget for the rest of your life. Watching the green and purple lights dancing in the night sky under millions of stars is truly amazing.
First things first – you will only be able to see the Aurora in winter months, from October to April, since the night skies are getting very dark – dark enough to allow you to see the decent colors of the northern lights.

If you are traveling in Iceland somewhen between October & April you will also need to catch a combination of a clear sky without clouds on the one side and a high auroral activity. Great for planning is the website vedur.is It tells you the cloud cover and the auroral activity on a scale from 0 to 9. The higher the number, the better the visibility of the northern lights. Good for you: Iceland is so north thus the auroral activity index does not have to be extremely high. We have been able to see northern lights at an index of 3. However, the higher, the more intensive and bright they are.

When we have been to Iceland, we made a mistake in during the first days. We’ve been in our camper and went outside several times each evening and looked if we could see the Aurora. The problem: Your eyes will need some time to get used to the low light situation outside. With that said, once you are outside staying there for at least 10 minutes. Sometimes you will then be able to see the Aurora though you haven’t seen it before!

Capturing the northern lights with your camera can be really hard sometimes. Click on the button below to grab some tips!

  • Only visible from October to April

  • The darker the sky, the better (full moon is bad)

  • Clear sky, no cloud cover

  • High auroral activity index

  • Your eyes have to get used to the dark first

How to photograph the Aurora

Get some Aurora Impressions!