Iceland is one of the best places in the world to see the elusive Northern Lights. To help you catch a glimpse of this natural display of swirling colors in the sky this winter, we've gathered insider tips and our top guided experiences. See below ... 

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Jose L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

U need to have patience a lot of warm clothes.

Doing what: Northern Lights Night Tour from Reykjavik

Susan C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

Amazing tour. Saw the lights but it wasn't that strong. They take free picture of you there if you want and post on their facebook site.

Doing what: Northern Lights Tour from Reykjavik

Patrizia C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

We were one of the lucky people we have managed to see the northern lights also changing colour! Amazing! Once life time experience you must do!

Doing what: Northern Lights Night Tour from Reykjavik

Heather W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2016

We were always in the knowledge that the lights might be elusive and we had a lot of waiting around in the dead of night as you would expect -but that was all the more exciting! The lights did not show themselves to the naked eye - but our camera saw them and we were so chuffed to have captured them. A word of advice - have a good camera with a long exposure feature :-

Doing what: Northern Lights Tour from Reykjavik

lynda f

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2016

absolutely amazing!!! didnt get to see the lights weather was too bad but it didnt stop us seeing other wonders of iceland, highly recommend. local quisine and beer was great. and not seeing lights is an excuse to return..

Doing what: Northern Lights Tour from Reykjavik

Killian M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2016

Didn't get to see the lights but you can keep trying if that happens lifetime guarantee!. The first night was too choppy so they organised a bus to go into the countryside instead. They provided us with cosy overalls on the boat and gave us plenty information on both the bus and the boat actually. As the night wore on, they gave us a free hot drink - I don't think this was ordinarily included, it was just quite rough and cold so they were being nice. Even though I didn't get to see the lights, they tried their best and I had a great time.
The harbour isn't perfectly dark but they go out a fair distance and it's an experience unto itself.

Doing what: Northern Lights Viewing Cruise from Reykjavik

Zulimar S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2016

During our week in Iceland, there were only 3 clear days so our original trip was cancelled and rescheduled two days later. Since the week wasn't particularly great weather-wise, Gray Line received over 250 orders in the last hour of when we went so it was pretty chaotic. BUT I have to say the tour guides were incredibly nice, organized, and very optimistic about seeing the lights.

Even though it was still not the clearest days, we were able to see 3 northern lights an hour into our tour. It was beyond magical and a beautiful experience. Due to the large size of passengers, everyone was cheering when the lights were dancing and it was such a memorable time.

The tour guide was the BEST guide I've ever had. Incredibly optimistic, friendly, and funny. He checked in on everybody to make sure we were satisfied with the tour. Very personably, highly recommend.

Doing what: Northern Lights Night Tour from Reykjavik

lauryleeds

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2016

I am rating this tour a 4 only because the Northern Lights were very very faint. SO faint, we couldn't capture them on camera.. However, the people I got to meet on the coach that took us out to look for them were amazing. All in all in was a good time out.

Doing what: Northern Lights Night Tour from Reykjavik

jackiejennings123

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2016

A great tour by sea. Coveralls and jacket provided. Large boat which gave passengers the space to spread out. Informative tour which started at 10pm and finished at 12.30am. We saw glimpses of the Northern Lights which was a little disappointing but the tour organisers did try very hard to keep all the guests entertained. We would definitely do it again.

Doing what: Northern Lights Viewing Cruise from Reykjavik

HANH H

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2016

Your opportunity of the northern light is all by chance. You'll need 1 clear or close to clear skies and 2solar activity to be happening up there. You can only see it between Sept to April I believe. Sept-Oct it does get very rainy and then after that it does get snowy, so it's really the luck of the draw! You can use the following website to project how clear the skies will be and the solar activity as well. However nothing is guaranteed. When we went, it was partly cloudy with patches of open skies which is where the bus went. The solar activity was a 5, Earth was entering a solar storm during this time according to the website.

We did see the lights, they are beautiful but definitely not as mesmerizing as all those digitally enhanced photos we see! The lights are more of a darker green but I guess depending on how strong the solar storm is it can vary. The tour guides were not impressed with what we saw so they did offer us to come back on a future tour for free and it's good for 2 years. But they also mentioned the photos we always see of the northern lights is not what you will see with your naked eye.

Make sure you have a good camera where you can adjust the shutter speed and a tripod otherwise you won't get good images. If you only have an iphone, there is an app slow shutter that will allow you to capture the lights. The pictures are blurry but you can't expect much from a non-DLSR. I had many people complimenting me on the images and just even the ability to grab a shot since they could not with their cameras or smartphones. the sky, the stars, the lights, it's still beautiful weather you see it or not!

The only thing I was disappointed with was the tour guide. She wasnt very engaged and very monotonous. We've been on tours with this company and this was the only time I was not impressed. But then it was late in the evening, so I didn't mind sleeping on the ride there!

Doing what: Northern Lights Night Tour from Reykjavik

Diz

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2016

Sadly we didn't get to see them due to inclement weather thanks Hurricane Nicole and we're given the opportunity by the tour company to go out the following night chasing them once again but still no luck. Mother Nature just didn't want to cooperate with us. Nonetheless, our Iceland experience was phenomenal!

Doing what: Northern Lights Tour from Reykjavik

Jill C

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2016

The tour was good. We did get to see the lights and that was a thrill. The only gripe was there were several hundred of us observers at the same location making some what crowded and many of fellow observers smoked.

Doing what: Northern Lights Night Tour from Reykjavik

Jill C

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2016

The tour was good. We did get to see the lights and that was a thrill. The only gripe was there were several hundred of us observers at the same location making some what crowded and many of fellow observers smoked.

Doing what: Northern Lights Night Tour from Reykjavik

Kristin T

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2016

We saw the northern lights briefly - amazing!The cruise provided some very warm attire which was great and the crew was friendly. There was just so many people jammed on the boat it wasn and #39;t the greatest feeling (sardine like feeling). Definitely recommend the cruise, as the city lit up is beautiful

Doing what: Northern Lights Viewing Cruise from Reykjavik

Kevin M

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2016

We were picked up on time and headed out - first stop was a bit of a non-event, not only due to the lights not appearing, but there were lots and lots of other buses and the spot was very busy. Second stop was a lot better, fewer buses and darker skies. A few glimpses of the lights but nothing of note, all the coaches began heading off, but our coach delayed a bit and, just as we got on, the guide let a roar for us to get out - the lights were above and, for a 5 minute spell they put on a great show. Our guide did very well as we were the only coach that stayed and we were rewarded.

Doing what: Northern Lights Night Tour from Reykjavik

Leslie S

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2016

The tour was very good. The tour guide friendly and informative. Unfortunately we didn and #39;t get to see much of the northern lights. But the skyline and stars were amazing

Doing what: Northern Lights Tour from Reykjavik

Veronica A

3 star rating: Worth doing
November 2016

We were told that you can't always see the lights with the naked eye. However, a camera with a slow shutter speed and tripod would have been the ticket. Someone who had that did have some fabulous photos that same night. I expected a colorful sky so it was a little disappointing. Otherwise, it would have been a great tour.

Doing what: Northern Lights Night Tour from Reykjavik

Shaw P

3 star rating: Worth doing
November 2016

The lights are magical and unpredictable. We were very well looked after and the café at the 'light site' was excellent. We waited for 2 hours and the tour guides very reasonably gave up. Then the lights appeared briefly on the way back home. Hard to give a great review when we only saw the lights in the distance from the bus for less than 5 mins. No ones fault but would not try again.

Doing what: Northern Lights Night Tour from Reykjavik

Mirna W

3 star rating: Worth doing
November 2016

Cloudy... couldn and #39;t see anything :-(

Doing what: Northern Lights Night Tour from Reykjavik

Vanessa L

3 star rating: Worth doing
November 2016

This tour was operated by Grey Line, it was probably the most anticipated tour for us. The excursion was cancelled for the first few nights due to unfavourable weather conditions, which is understandable.
After 3 nights, we were finally able to attend. When we called to confirm our booking, the telephone agent advised us to be ready 30-60 mins prior to pickup. With so many tours being run daily, we thought it would be best to wait outside to spot our specific bus because it was hard to tell from the inside of our hotel. Personally, standing outside in the cold for 30-60 mins is a bit of a steep ask for customers, but perhaps that's just my opinion. After waiting the full 60 mins, we called back to check where our driver was. The operator said he'd be sending someone over right away, but didn't answer when we asked if the driver forgot to pick us up. Within minutes another driver finally came by, only to drop us off down the street 5 min walk. I understand that the hotel pickup is a courtesy, but I would have preferred to walk the short distance than wait outside for 60 mins. No apology was given either.
Because the tour was cancelled for many days prior, there were about 5 or 6 full coach buses and we had to get on and off a few before finding seats. Unfortunately after two stops, we were not successful in seeing the Northern Lights which is to be expected.
Finally after over 4 hours of trying, it was time to give up and go home. During this time, our tour guide/bus driver forgot to drop off 3 different passengers at 3 different hotels, causing us to loop around in circles. This extended an already frustratingly long night for the rest of the tourists.
I do appreciate that the tickets are valid for 2 years if the night does not go as planned. However, all in all it seems as if there could be better organization skills for a tour with so many people.

Doing what: Northern Lights Night Tour from Reykjavik

LeeAnn U

3 star rating: Worth doing
November 2016

I know it's all about Mother Nature, but we didn't see the Northern Lights, drove around for several hours and only got off the bus twice for a comfort break. We have 2 years to try and see it again, but how often does someone get back to Iceland. Non refundable. The program is well run, just no guarantees on a viewing, and that's tough to loose money.

Doing what: Northern Lights Night Tour from Reykjavik

Heather United States of ... 

3 star rating: Worth doing
November 2016

I gave this tour 3 stars even though we ended up seeing the Northern Lights, mainly because it was disappointing leading up to it. Reading the tour description led me to believe we'd be taken to a few different locations, in the pitch black to hunt for the northern lights. Instead, we only stopped at one location, which was essentially a roadside cafe brightly lit from both the inside and outside, along with lights from dozens of other buses. We were also right off the main road, so there were constantly car lights driving by. If we were supposed to be far from city lights, this wasn't exactly what we had in mind. Luckily, most the buses left after awhile, and we eventually saw the lights out of the 4 nights we were in Iceland, this was the only night they appeared. I never knew they would move so quickly across the night sky! If you are looking for a budget friendly version, this tour is fine, just be aware that you will be on a full-sized bus packed with people and will likely be dropped off at a location with dozens of other buses just as full. If I were to do it again, I'd spring for a smaller Jeep tour to get a more personalized experience.

Doing what: Northern Lights Night Tour from Reykjavik

Elizabeth P

3 star rating: Worth doing
November 2016

We booked this trip for our first night but due to rain it was cancelled and we went the following night. We were picked up from the hotel and then shipped to a central bus area. There were so many people but probably due to previous night being cancelled. We set off to the site and our guide was very enthusiastic which at times felt a bit much. On route we were told if we didn't see the lights we may need to move but at no time were we told if and when we should return to the coach. We were told we could wait in the coffee shop or coach for the lights but a bit confusing as you need to we outside to see them....so we set off on our own down the path and got more info from guides walking round. We got to see the lights but had to keep going back to the coach to check we didn't need to leave, a bit annoying as the guide hadn't given us a time to be back. Quite poor instructions but a fab trip!!

Doing what: Northern Lights Night Tour from Reykjavik

amy m

3 star rating: Worth doing
November 2016

The bus was clean , guide was friendly and smart. Only saw a faint glimpse of the lights though

Doing what: Aurora Borealis Northern Lights Tour from Reykjavik

reliasof

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
November 2016

This is a tough one for me to review. The problem is any person who rates this poorly didn't see the lights. I think that this is a 50/50 chance to see them on any given trip. I purposely scheduled a Friday night tour because in the event the excursion was cancelled or you don't see the lights, we were allowed to go back for free the next night. This particular event was cancelled 2/3 nights we attempted to see it. The one night we did go out was executed poorly on Gray Line the company who takes you out on the tour, Viator is the intermediary. On the night we went out, they took 3 buses out to a very lit church to see the lights. It would have been tough to see even if they were out due to the light. As we went to the spot most likely to see the lights due to the location and the geothermic activity, the lights apparently came out. They announced it to all of us. Instead of stopping to see them, they drove us to another town at a pretty much closed diner. We ended up going to that ideal location and waited for about 5 minutes before they called the entire trip over. We sat in the light filled church area for 30 minutes in comparison. I am not sure why they would announce we see the lights and then not show them to us. I think Gray Line dropped the ball on this one and even though we were told since we didn't see the lights that night, we are allowed up to 2 years to come back and see them for free, I am not sure I would attempt this again. A different company may be wise.

Doing what: Northern Lights Night Tour from Reykjavik

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