Popular travel magazine and website Travel + Leisure agrees that Iceland is among the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights and recently published a handy how-to guide to ensure a successful hunt for the aurora borealis during a holiday in the land of fire and ice in 2020.
Front Row Seats
Perched at the top of the globe under the jetstream, Iceland offers an ideal vantage point for one of mother nature’s most spectacular shows. And with its long nights during the Northern Lights’ season, visitors have an extended viewing period before the skies become too bright to see the phenomena.
Tap into Expert Knowledge
Many venture out on their own to see the Northern Lights, which can be a lot of fun as long as travelers follow all safety regulations for driving in Iceland in winter. But for the best shot to see the lights, many visitors choose to rely on the knowledge and experience of Iceland’s Northern Lights gurus through the tour operators. Various companies have different strategies to see the lights, but most of them involve auroral forecasts, weather conditions, a ground network that reports on possible sightings and good, old-fashioned gut instincts from people who have been chasing the lights for years.
The Thrill of the Hunt!
While no one can guarantee that visitors will see the lights, the adventure of seeking them out is often half the fun, and designing a trip that hinges on more than seeing the lights can be the secret to a fabulous experience regardless of the outcomes. Many visitors couple a search for the light with other activities like ATV adventures, harbor cruises from Reykjavík or geothermal bathing (there’s nothing as quintessentially Icelandic as looking up and seeing the Northern Lights from the warm embrace of thermal waters).
Coming Prepared is Easier Than You Think
From gear recommendations to forecasting websites, there are many resources to help you get the most out of a Northern Lights trip to Iceland. And now more than ever, anyone can take dazzling pictures from their outing without expensive cameras and loads of equipment. Smartphones have come a long way in capturing spectacular images of the elusive aurora.
Memories of a Lifetime
Once you’ve booked your trip and geared up, don’t forget to give yourself time to actually see the lights. If you’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse, put down your camera and allow yourself to revel in their extraordinary beauty. You’ll make memories to last a lifetime beyond any snapshots.