Best Time to See the Northern Lights in Iceland 2019 & 2020

best time to see the northern lights in Iceland

Iceland is one of the most magnificent places in the world to view the Northern Lights. I was fortunate to be able to view them on both my trips to Iceland. I saw the Northern Lights because I was able to maximize my chance of seeing them. It’s one of the most incredible views, that you will definitely remember for the rest of your life. Today, I’m excited to share with you my tips that will help you increase your chance of being able to see the Northern Lights. Continue reading to find out the best time to see the Northern Lights in Iceland!

when to see the northern lights in iceland
The Northern Lights photographed on a Mountain Top in Iceland
Northern lights Iceland in May
Northern lights in Iceland photograph taken off a highway

Best time to see the Northern Lights in Iceland

One thing that is very important to note, that if you are traveling to Iceland only to see the northern lights I highly recommend you rethink your plan. I say this because the Northern Lights aren’t a guarantee. I’ve had tons of friends travel to Iceland only to be disappointed by the fact the Northern Lights didn’t make an appearance in the night sky.

Before we jump into how you can increase your chances of being able to see the Northern Lights I will explain to you what exactly the Northern Lights even are. You probably have heard them referred to as dancing lights of the sky or aurora lights. I could go into a more detailed explanation but:

To summarize the Northern Lights are: Particles from the sun strike the atoms on the Earth’s atmosphere. When this happens, electrons are positioned at a higher energy level. When the electron’s energy lowers it releases a photon also known as light. This process is what creates the beautiful Northern Lights! 

Overall, you will be able to increase your chance of seeing the Northern Lights the closer you are to the Poles (North and South Pole)

The good news is Iceland is located on the high – attitude meaning it’s easier for us to track the best time to see the Northern Lights in Iceland. From Mid April  – Mid August you won’t be able to observe the Northern Lights. So if you are going to Iceland only to see the Northern Lights it’s very unlikely that you will see it during this time period. On the flip side if you go to Iceland between End of August –  to Beginning of April you have a high probability of seeing the lights. If you want to maximize your chances of seeing the Northern Lights I recommend you go between the End of September until Late March.

In short the best time to see the Northern Lights in End of August to Beginning of April, and avoid Mid April to Mid August.

I could have easily stared at the Northern lights all night long. I’ve written several different articles about the Northern Lights including how to take photos of the Northern Lights and what to wear and Pack to see the Northern Lights. As I mentioned before, the Northern Lights in Iceland was one of the most magical, breathtaking, things I ever got to experience. Words can’t describe how unbelievable they are, definitely something everyone needs to see!

Sincerely Petite in Paris,

Diane

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When to visit the northern lights

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1 Comment

  1. Margie Sanders flower
    October 13, 2019 / 7:16 pm

    Thanks for sharing

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