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  • Writer's pictureJulie Prusak

Viewing the Magical Northern Lights in Iceland

Updated: Oct 19, 2022


Iceland is admitting vaccinated travelers, airlines are adding flights, and cruise lines are adding itineraries and even new ships (Crystal Endeavor) to serve the demand for travel to Iceland this summer. There are many reasons to plan your trip now to the “land of fire and ice."


Iceland is an impossibly beautiful country. Formed by volcanoes and settled by Vikings, Iceland is home to pristine fjords and glaciated tundra, geothermal pools, and thundering waterfalls. Iceland is also one of the best countries for viewing the northern lights, thanks to its high altitude. The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, have enchanted people for centuries. In Iceland, these colorful lights have been the center of entertainment and mythology in the country’s culture.


If you’re interested in taking a trip to Iceland to see the Northern Lights, here are a few tips to know before you go!


WHEN TO GO


To see the Northern Lights, you need complete darkness and a clear night. For this reason, the best season to see the lights is from late September to March. Since the sun sets around 6 pm each day during this time, you'll have plenty of opportunities to see the lights dance across the sky without having to stay out late.


WHERE TO SEE THEM


Unlike most countries, you don't have to travel far out of your way to get a glimpse of the lights. Reykjavik is the only capital city besides Nuuk, Greenland, where you can still see the Northern Lights amid the city lights. For travelers who want to make the most of their trip, you can take a guided Northern Lights hunting tour that will take you to some of the most magnificent vantage points across the country.


NORTHERN LIGHTS MYTHOLOGY


While we now know that the dazzling, dancing lights are caused by solar particles entering the earth's magnetic field high in the atmosphere and ionizing, this wasn't always the case. Icelandic culture is deeply rooted in mythology, and it was believed that the lights could help relieve the pain of childbirth. Viking legend suggests that the lights were a reflection from the shields and armor of the Valkyrie, who would choose who dies in battle and who lives to fight another day!


While the Northern Lights can be very unpredictable, they are spectacular to see. Spend an evening under the stars and witness the magical beauty of the Northern Lights in Iceland. While Iceland was the last European country to be settled, it may be the first you visit post-pandemic.


Contact us today to start planning your ultimate Icelandic adventure.


Contact us today to learn more about planning your trip.




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