When is The Best Time?

When can you see the northern lights?The best time of the year to see the northern lights in Iceland is from october until april. In may the days are getting longer than the night and when it is too bright you will not see the aurora.

Clear sky is another very important factor in aurora sighting. In a country like ours, it is impossible to predict the weather with any certainty more than 4-6 days ahead. But the good news is that most tour guides here have a way of finding a place with an opening in the sky if there is aurora activity. That can be near high mountains, down by the coast or deep inside fjords, all depending on wind direction.

Aurora activity is then of course the major factor. If you are serious about finding the aurora you might have to spend a few days here. The aurora is a natural phenomeon and can never be guarenteed, but if there is clear sky you have a pretty good chance of seeing them.

But, when, Tryggvi? When?

So there is no magic formula for you, I am sorry to be so honest. But it’s a calculated chance. As I explain here there is a season that you are more likely to see them, simply because the climate averages tell you that the weather is a bit more stable later in the winter than early in the winter. But climate averages in Iceland are not very reliable, and you must always expect that conditions will not be in your favor.

Manage your expectations

Another thing I want to mention is an advice from a local photographer, used to observing the aurora. The Internet is filled with amazing shots of the aurora. The whole sky is lit up with amazing action, creating shapes and forms that look like angels, birds or whatever. But as so often, when things look too good to be true, they often are…with modern cameras and post-production software incredible things can be done that the human eye will never see. So be thankful for seeing the aurora, if you see them, and use the opportunity to learn how they really are, but not how they can be used to produce an image.

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