Leggi questo post in Italiano
Northern Lights are definitely one of the things to see at least once in a lifetime and they are absolutely incredible, more than you can imagine.
Get ready to leave, Winter 2016/2017 will be the best time to see them. The Northern Lights are a phenomenon generated by the interaction of Earth’s magnetic field with solar winds. Their intensity varies in a 11 years cycle and we are now in the peak period.
We finally saw them in Iceland, in a night of April, it has been one of the most incredible experiences we ever had. Watching these colorful lights dancing in the sky leaves you speechless, totally astonished in front of the beauty and the magic of nature.
Don’t miss this unique opportunity (at least for another 11 years) to spot the Northern Lights. They’re an unpredictable phenomenon, we managed to see them in our third trip to Iceland (and the second time we went just to hunt the Aurora!), But following these tips, you will have an excellent chance of success!
Where to go?
Absolutely to Iceland! Take the opportunity and go discovering the incredible power of the Icelandic nature: take a look at our travel guide of Iceland.
The best places to spot the aurora during this winter are the Nordic countries not too close to the pole, such as Iceland and northern Scandinavia.
Some days ago, in Iceland the aurora was dancing over Reykjavik, an extremely rare event! For the occasion, all city lights were switched off.
When to go?
The Northern Lights are active throughout the year, but they are visible only in winter because of the right weather conditions. You can spot the them from October to April. Please keep in mind that the aurora is unpredictable and, even under the best conditions, you might not be lucky to see it.
How to get there?
Book now a flight to Iceland or to the North of Scandinavia! In the middle of Winter won’t be easy to get around in the snow by car, it will be better to rely on a local guide who will help you hunting for the Aurora. We drove around on a rental car, but we suggest you to take an aurora-hunters tour!
Even in Spring, be prepared to any possible weather condition… in April we ended up in a snowstorm.
How to see the Aurora?
First of all, you’ll have to cross your fingers and be a little bit lucky. Then, here are the conditions for a successful Aurora-hunting:
- a very cold and dark night
- clear sky with no clouds
- high solar activity
Keep an eye on this website to monitor your chances of spotting the Northern Lights: Aurora Forecasts sul sito dell’Iceland Met Office.
What will you need?
You’ll be around at night and it will be cold and icy out there. Gear up with some windproof and warm clothing. Do not forget gloves, scarf, hat and an hot drink.
How to take pictures
Taking pictures of the Northern Lights is definitely not an easy task. The photos you can see in this post were all taken by us.
- a good reflex camera
- a pack of batteries
- wide angle lens
- a pair of gloves
- a lot of patience
Where to stay?
If you want to take it easy, in Iceland you can find a design hotel where you can admire the Aurora having a glass of wine in the Northern Lights Bar. The ION Hotel is a true gem in the Icelandic nature and an unique example of sustainable architecture.
We stayed at the ION Hotel in October 2013, take a look at my post and trust me, if you’re in Iceland, stop by one night and have a swim in the hotel outdoor hot pool.