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Icelandic Northern Lights

Posted on 19th July 2016 at 12:32pm

The Northern Lights to Illuminate the Soul – The Icelandic Saga.

There are many reasons why a visit to Iceland can be a great thing to do. The chance to see the Northern Lights is one of them.

My Recent Northern Lights Tour

Northern Lights from IcelandI am not a religious person but seeing the lights for the first time approached a spiritual experience. The scale of the light show had to be seen to be believed.

They are totally unique, to look up and see different parts of the sky lighting up in various shades and intensity of colour is truly wonderful. I felt a special connection with nature, and its power, when this light show got going.

The lights can be elusive. Our tour, which started at 9.00 pm was scheduled to end at midnight but in the event we only got back to base at 2.00 am. Top marks to the staff who were never going to say: “Back in the bus” just as the lights got under way.

Parts of Iceland have a certain magnificent bleakness – at times you could imagine being on the moon. The sense of otherworldly difference was highlighted by being knee-deep in snow in the dead of night – there was no artificial light for miles.  This really was the perfect backdrop for the Northern Lights.

You can never do the Northern Lights show justice by writing about it or even showing photos, it’s absolutely one of those things you must see for yourself to get the full experience.


If you want to take some pictures, you will need a tripod and a camera with a time-lapse facility or have a long shutter speed. Don’t forget to have warm clothes and to take a snack. The lights are well worth the wait.

Also, the best time to see the Northern Lights in Iceland is from September to the end of April.

Gray Line Icelandic Tours

There is a great company in Iceland who organise trips to see the Northern Lights, Gray Line Iceland Tour have an excellent website which will detail every aspect of your tour.

They have over 25 years experience and cover way more than the Northern Lights tour. We highly recommend using Gray Line as they have many contacts to make this once in a lifetime experience truly memorable.

Icelandic Aurora Forecast

If you want to look at the Aurora forecast for Iceland just click here to be taken to the Icelandic Met Office.

Key Facts

Nasa photo of Northern Lights

What is the Translation of ‘Aurora Borealis’ ?  Aurora was the Roman Goddess of the dawn and Borealis is the Latin term for northern.

What  Causes the Northern Lights?  They result from collisions between gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere with charged particles which have been released from the sun’s atmosphere. Variations in colour are due to the type of gas particles that are colliding. The most common aurora colour which is green, is produced by oxygen molecules located about 60 miles above the earth. The rarer red auroras are produced by high-altitude oxygen, at heights of up to 200 miles. Nitrogen produces blue or purple aurora.

Where are the Best Places to See Them? Iceland and the Lapland areas of Norway, Sweden and Finland are the best places in Europe. The north western parts of North America such as the Yukon and Alaska are favourable locations.
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