The Traveling Professor recently returned from running a small group tour to Iceland and the Northern Lights. The 2021/2022 season has seen some of the best Northern Lights in years. On our small group tour to Iceland, we had one night of exceptionally terrific Northern Lights. See the photos here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/8rhooDsvKJ9X3QLG9
What are the Best Times of Year to See the Northern Lights in Iceland? The best months are September through March. In the past year, the months of September and March were probably the best displays of the Northern Liights. For instance, the predicted strenght of the Northern Lights tonight, March 30 is extremely strong. The Professor actually prefers September because there is less chance of bad weather affecting travel in Iceland. The Northern Lights are usually not visible in the last part of May, all of June and July and the first half of August simply because it is not dark in Iceland.
What Conditions Must be Present in Order to See the Northern Lights? It needs to be dark. The skies must be clear. There must be Northern Lights (Aurora) activity. The Traveling Professor and many other hunters of the Northern Lights use an app that gives a good indication if it will be a good night to see the Northern Lights in Iceland: https://en.vedur.is/weather/forecasts/aurora/
Are the Icelandic Northern Lights "Guaranteed"?: No. As mentioned above, it needs to be clear skies and Mother Nature has to be in a cooperative mood. However, Iceland is a good place as any to find them.
Do the Northern Lights Always Look Like Those We See in those Photos? Not always. To be honest, in most cases, the Northern Lights look more like white clouds in the sky. But if you get good Northern Lights like the ones The Traveling Professor and his small group of travelers saw on their small group tour this month, they are better than any of those photos you may have seen. The Northern Lights, when seen in person can be vibrating, dancing, and moving along the sky from horizon to horizon. They are usually green in color but sometimes they can be red and purple. They usually appear for about 30-45 minutes, then disappear.
Is a Special Camera Needed or Can the Northern Lights be Photographed with a Cell Phone? First of all, whatever type of camera is being used, a tripod is necessary to capture the Northern Lights. Here is a website that does a great job in answering Northern Lights photography questions: https://www.tourradar.com/days-to-come/how-to-photograph-northern-lights/
Can the Northern Lights be Seen in Reykjavik? Sometimes they can be seen in Reykjavik. But it is probably a better idea to travel outside the city, where there is less light pollution, to get the best effects of the Northern Lights.
Join The Traveling Professor on a small group tour to Iceland and the Northern Lights. We will be traveling in September of 2022 and March of 2023. For tour details, click HERE.