Best time to see the Northern lights in Iceland


Hey I was just wondering, when is the best time to see the amazing Northen Lights?


Hi, Magnús! The Northern lights appear in the sky above Iceland quite frequently, but they can only be seen in the winter time when the sky is clear. In order for them to appear, you see, it needs to be dark, so even though the Northern Lights occur all year round, you will not be able to see them in the summertime because of the midnight sun which maintains 24 hours of daylight.

To see how active they are each night, you can check The Aurora Service Forecast, for an hourly prediction.

You can also find out more about the Northern Lights by reading this article.

I hope this helps!


Anytime when it is dark at night, and the skies are clear. So that means anytime (in the evening/nighttime) from late August until the end of April.

Even if it’s dark and the skies are clear, it’s not guaranteed that the Northern Lights are active, and it also varies how bright they are when they do come out. I like to compare them with other natural elements, such as wind or rain - if it’s a cloudy sky, it doesn’t necessary mean that it will rain, and rain can either be heavy or light, and pretty impossible to predict :wink:

To maximise your chances of seeing the Northern Lights there’s a couple of things you can do:
A) Book your trip to Iceland for a minimum of 7 days, so that it’s likely you’ll get a clear sky on at least one of those nights.
B) Keep looking up in the sky! Sometimes the lights come out for just a couple of minutes and then disappear, so if you only check the sky once every couple of hours, then you might just miss them.


Hey Magnus

Well it works a little bit like the stars : you need a clear and dark sky to see them + some northern light activity.

You can see them from end of August until April in Iceland if you have the conditions above.

But keep in mind that the weather changes a lot and very quicky in Iceland so I suggest you to check the forecast at the last minut on this forecast website
You can see them if you are located in the white part (green part means that there are clouds) and if you have some northern light activity (from 3/4 it begins to be good) during night hours

You can see some white, green and purple northern lights : the show is just awesome !

I also advise you to leave the city : northern lights are more visible in the countryside where there is less light pollution. Of course you can see some from Reykjavik, but the colors will be stronger if you are in a dark places without light around.

You can also join northern light tours and you have the choice : in bus or minibus or by super jeep or on a boat… The choice is yours ! You can find them HERE.

Small tips : if you want to take pictures of northern lights, I recommend tours on the land as the boat move. But on boat, you take also fresh air and you can enjoy also the view of Reykjavik from the ocean.

I hope it will help you :slight_smile:


Hi Magnús!

When it’s dark and cold and no clouds. Only in winter though. I saw some amazing lights the other night because it was really clear outside. But it’s hard to guess when they come out so remember to check the forecast. It’s also really nice to take the tours because many of them offer a free retry if you don’t see any northern lights. Also, they take you out of the city, so it’s better to see them where there are no streetlights.

Also, sometimes they just don’t come out for days, so the longer you stay in Iceland, the better chance to see them!


Really depends on your luck but you have to at least come in winter…


I’d honestly recommend like either November or January. Dunno, I just feel I see more lights then