Top 5 Magical Northern Lights Tours in Iceland: Where and When to Witness the Aurora

northern lights icelandThe Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are one of nature’s most spectacular displays, and Iceland is one of the best places in the world to witness this mesmerizing phenomenon. The dance of the auroras across the sky, with their ethereal hues of green, purple, and pink, creates a surreal spectacle that draws travelers from around the globe.

For those seeking to experience this natural wonder, a Northern Lights tour in Iceland offers the guidance of experienced locals who know the best times and places to witness the auroras. For an immersive experience, an 8-day Northern Lights package can provide an extensive exploration of Iceland’s landscapes by day and nights spent in pursuit of the Northern Lights.

The Classic Northern Lights Hunt

The Classic Northern Lights Hunt is a must-do for any visitor to Iceland, focusing on maximizing the chances of witnessing the auroras. This tour typically begins with a journey away from the light pollution of Reykjavik, venturing into the Icelandic countryside where the skies are darker and the Northern Lights appear more vivid. Guides on this tour are experts in reading weather and solar activity reports, ensuring that participants are taken to locations with the clearest skies. The thrill of the hunt, combined with the anticipation of the lights making their sudden appearance, makes for an unforgettable adventure.

northern lights huntIn addition to the expert guidance, this tour often includes educational components, where guides share insights about the science behind the Northern Lights and the folklore that surrounds them in Icelandic culture.

This blend of knowledge adds depth to the experience, allowing participants to appreciate the phenomenon on multiple levels. For those who choose an 8 days Northern Lights package, the itinerary is designed to explore various regions of Iceland, from the mystical Snæfellsnes Peninsula to the serene Eastfjords, offering day-time activities that complement the nightly aurora hunts. This extended package not only increases the chances of seeing the Northern Lights but also provides a comprehensive Icelandic adventure.

Photography enthusiasts will find the Classic Northern Lights Hunt particularly rewarding. Guides often include tips on how to best capture the auroras, from camera settings to composition. Participants learn to photograph the Northern Lights like a pro, ensuring they return home with stunning images. The tour’s focus on small groups means personalized attention, allowing for a more intimate and fulfilling experience. Whether the lights are faint or spectacularly vibrant, witnessing them in the company of fellow aurora chasers adds a communal spirit to the adventure, making it a highlight of any trip to Iceland.

Super Jeep Northern Lights Adventure

The Super Jeep Northern Lights Adventure takes the aurora hunting experience to a new level, utilizing the rugged capabilities of super jeeps to access remote areas that are otherwise unreachable. This tour appeals to those seeking an adrenaline rush alongside their aurora quest, as these vehicles traverse rough terrains, ford rivers, and navigate through the Icelandic wilderness under the cover of night. The destinations can vary from the lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula to the mountainous landscapes of Þingvellir National Park, each offering a unique backdrop for the Northern Lights.

vehicle in between snow covered fieldGuides on the Super Jeep tours are not only experts in the Northern Lights but also in off-road driving, ensuring a safe and exhilarating journey. The small group size allows for a customizable experience, with guides often able to adapt the tour based on real-time weather conditions and participant preferences.

The isolation of the locations visited minimizes light pollution, providing a pristine viewing experience where the Northern Lights can illuminate the sky in full glory.

These tours often include cozy stops where participants can enjoy hot chocolate and Icelandic snacks, adding a warm and convivial atmosphere to the night. Stories of Icelandic folklore and tales of the lights further enrich the experience, making the Super Jeep Northern Lights Adventure a perfect blend of thrill-seeking and cultural exploration. This tour is ideal for those who wish to combine their love for adventure with the pursuit of the Northern Lights, offering a unique way to explore Iceland’s nocturnal landscapes.

Northern Lights by Boat

For a different perspective on the Northern Lights, the Northern Lights by Boat tour offers the chance to witness the auroras from the water.

view of northern lights from boatDeparting from Reykjavik’s Old Harbour, this tour takes participants out into the Faxaflói Bay, away from the city’s light pollution, providing a dark, vast canvas for the lights to display their dance. The reflection of the auroras on the water adds an extra dimension to the spectacle, creating a mesmerizing effect.

The boat tours are equipped with cozy indoor areas and outdoor viewing decks, allowing passengers to choose their viewing experience based on comfort and weather conditions. The guides share fascinating information about the Northern Lights and their significance to Icelandic culture, enriching the experience with historical and scientific context. Additionally, the panoramic views of the Reykjavik skyline and the surrounding mountains from the bay add a scenic backdrop to the night’s main event.

This tour option is perfect for those looking for a serene and romantic way to chase the Northern Lights. The gentle rocking of the boat and the vast open skies create a peaceful atmosphere that is ideal for couples and those wishing to experience the auroras in a more relaxed setting. The Northern Lights by Boat tour combines the thrill of the chase with the tranquility of the sea, offering a unique and unforgettable way to witness one of nature’s most spectacular phenomena.

Northern Lights Photography Tour

The Northern Lights Photography Tour is designed for both amateur and experienced photographers who wish to capture the auroras in all their glory. Led by professional photographers with a deep understanding of aurora photography, this tour focuses on finding the perfect locations with optimal conditions for Northern Lights photography. Participants learn about camera settings, composition, and techniques to capture the dynamic and ever-changing auroras, making this tour both an educational and an adventurous experience.

person standing near a tripod under green sky with starsThe tour guides also share insights into the science behind the Northern Lights and the best practices for predicting their appearance, combining technical photography skills with the art of aurora chasing. This tour often ventures into the Icelandic countryside, where the absence of artificial light ensures the darkest skies and the most vibrant auroras.

Participants have the opportunity to photograph the Northern Lights against a variety of stunning Icelandic landscapes, from snow-covered mountains to reflective lakes, adding depth and context to their images.

Beyond the technical aspects of photography, this tour emphasizes the importance of patience and perseverance in capturing the Northern Lights. The guides create a supportive and collaborative environment, encouraging participants to share tips and celebrate each other’s successes. The Northern Lights Photography Tour is not just about taking home stunning photographs but also about experiencing the joy of capturing one of nature’s most elusive and breathtaking phenomena.

The Ultimate Northern Lights Chase

The Ultimate Northern Lights Chase is the most comprehensive and personalized aurora hunting experience available. This private tour is tailored to the preferences and interests of the participants, offering the flexibility to adapt to changing weather conditions and aurora forecasts. With a dedicated guide and vehicle, participants can explore far-flung locations across Iceland, from the mystical fjords of the West to the volcanic landscapes of the North, maximizing their chances of witnessing the Northern Lights.

The tour includes daytime activities tailored to the interests of the group, such as glacier hiking, hot springs visits, or cultural experiences, ensuring that every moment of the trip is filled with adventure and discovery. As night falls, the focus shifts to the Northern Lights, with the guide using their expertise to find the best viewing spots based on real-time data and years of experience. This personalized approach allows for a deeper connection with Iceland’s landscapes and a greater appreciation for the natural wonder of the auroras.


The Ultimate Northern Lights Chase is ideal for those seeking a luxury and bespoke travel experience. The attention to detail, the emphasis on personal preferences, and the commitment to finding the Northern Lights make this tour a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Whether celebrating a special occasion or simply wishing to explore Iceland in depth, this tour offers an unmatched level of service and a unique opportunity to witness the Northern Lights in the most magical and memorable way possible.

Each of these Northern Lights tours in Iceland offers a unique way to experience one of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural phenomena. Whether by land, sea, or through the lens of a camera, chasing the auroras in Iceland is an adventure that promises not just the chance to witness the Northern Lights but also to explore the stunning landscapes and rich culture of this extraordinary island.

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