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ICELAND -- The Northern Lights is a beautiful and cruel mistress. Just when you think you’ve got her, she slips out of your fingers. Nothing can be as frustrating as planning a trip to Iceland to see the Northern Lights, only to not see them.
Though the Northern Lights have evaded my grasp over two trips, I’ve collected a number of great tips from locals to increase our chances of finding them.
Tip 1: Avoid areas with lots of unnatural lights
The aurora is visible when the sky is very dark. That means it is often very difficult to see the Northern Lights in cities/towns/villages that produce a lot of light. So don’t expect to see the Northern Lights from the comfort of your hotel room.
Tip 2: Find lights in the countryside
As I mentioned above, you’ll have the best chance to see the Northern Lights OUTSIDE of cities and towns. Rent a car or book a tour that brings you outside of areas with lots of unnatural lights.
Tip 3: Don’t go searching on cloudy nights
Clouds often block your view of the Northern Lights. They’re up there. I promise. But those friggin’ clouds are ruining your special moment.
Avoid areas that are expected to be cloudy by visiting the Iceland weather center’s website.
Tip 4: Use local knowledge
There will be times when you can see the Northern Lights right out your window. But there a lot of other times that you’ll have to go hunting for them.
You can see the Northern Lights from September until mid-April in Iceland. But in order to see them, you’ll have to leave bright city lights of Reykjavik. There is a constantly updated Facebook group that alerts people to the various locations around Iceland where you can see the Northern Lights.
If you do happen to get a great shot of the Northern Lights, send me them and I’ll feature them here on the blog!
Email all pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and description of where you were!
Hey! I'm Christian.