best time to see the Northern Lights

When is the best time to see the Northern Lights in Reykjavik, Iceland?

The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular and beautiful of nature’s phenomena. In classic mythology, Aurora was the Roman goddess of dawn, while Boreal is a Greek and Latin word meaning North. The Southern Hemisphere’s equivalent of the Northern Lights is the Aurora Australis. Auroras can sometimes occur at lower latitudes, even as far south as the equator, though this is a very rare occurrence. If you’re planning your holiday to see the lights, you’re probably wondering about the best time to see the Northern Lights in Reykjavik, Iceland? In this article, we help you find the best time for you.

best time to see the Northern Lights

Northern Lights seen on a Northern Lights by Boat cruise from Reykjavik

The best time to see the Northern Lights is from September to mid-April

In the summertime, it’s not possible to view the auroras due to the long daylight hours in the Northern Hemisphere. The aurora’s colors correspond to different types of gases in the ionosphere. Oxygen molecules give off green or red light depending on how high they are in the ionosphere, whereas nitrogen molecules give off blue or violet light. The most common color observed is pale green.

best time to see the Northern Lights

Northern Lights By Boat – sailing away from the city lights


Usually, how long is the Northern Lights display?

Typically, a Northern Lights display lasts for a few minutes and occurs several times per night. Auroral activity is at its most intense during the hours before midnight and it just so happens to be that this is the time we sail out on our Northern Lights by Boat cruise from Reykjavik. Light pollution, particularly from city lights, can dramatically reduce visibility. So, for optimal viewing, enthusiasts should try and leave brightly lit areas. Even sailing traveling 10 or 15 minutes outside the city can significantly optimize you sighting chances and therefor your enjoyment of the Northern Lights.


To look skywards on a crisp, clear night and see these giant curtains of light weaving and swaying, gliding and flowing gracefully across the northern heavens is pure MAGIC!


best time to see the Northern Lights

Aurora Borealis display seen from sea

The Norwegian poet Knut Hamsun, in his poem Snow, aptly described the aurora as a “heavenly feast”.



Book your Northern Lights Adventure from Reykjavik now!

We look forward to seeing you on our Original Northern Lights by Boat Cruise from Reykjavik this winter. In case of no sightings of Northern Lights on your tour, you get a free ticket to try again so we highly recommend booking this activity on your first night as that will highly improve your chances of seeing Northern Lights! In case your tour gets canceled due to unfavorable weather forecast please contact our office as we have an optional backup plan waiting for you. You don´t pay anything extra for the backup plan and you get to keep your ticket to join the Northern Lights by Boat tour on another night! On the other hand, if you want to include the backup plan in your ticket and pay less then book the Northern Lights by Boat with a backup plan.


All aboard for an Adventure!
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