The Happy Nomad | Bamba's Travel Blog

Chasing Aurora Borealis: Why You Need To See The Northern Lights

Hunting Aurora Borealis is on a lot of traveller’s bucket lists, and even though it’s visible for 8 months a year, it remains pretty elusive. There are plenty of ways to give yourself an opportunity to witness this natural phenomenon in all it’s glory, and Iceland is an excellent spot to find them. We will give you the inside scoop to be ready for this once-in-a-lifetime experience to see the Northern Lights.

What Are They?

Before you see the Northern Lights, you should probably know what they are- right?  Basically they are (generally but not always) green lights that can be seen from places in the far north such as Iceland, Scandinavia, Alaska and northern parts of Canada. The Aurora Borealis happens when particles from the sun enter Earth’s atmosphere and collide aggressively with gas atoms. Native American tribes believed that they the lights represented the spirits of the dead, and the brighter they shone, the happier the deceased were.

 

Best Place To See Them

To be sure to spot the dancing lights, your best bet is to travel to the north of Iceland. Going far from the cities means, you will also avoid urban light pollution and the sky will be at its darkest, giving you your best shot at seeing the lights as bright and as clear as possible. The only time to schedule your trip is between November and March, the nights are longer and the ideal weather is a clear night with no clouds- perfection.

 

Patience Is A Virtue!

Patience, patience, patience! It’s all about luck, and Aurora Borealis is a natural phenomenon with no itinerary or sympathy for her admirers, waiting in the darkness. Be prepared to show your commitment, it will be chilly: make sure you wrap up, it could be a lonnnng night!

 

Photography Tips

Of course you’ll want to take some pictures of this magical night! Knowing your camera before you head on your trip is a must to take good pictures. Try playing and practicing with your equipment before the D-day (N-night?) to avoid wasting time when you see the Northern Lights.

 

Don’t Blame It On The Lights

No matter what location you choose to chase the infamous lights, make sure you pack in heaps of fun activities and plans. So if you don’t happen to spot them this time around, no big deal- you still had a blast! And now you have to plan another fun filled trip to try and catch them again, I think we can work with that!


Ready for your Icelandic quest to find the Northern lights? Check out our Iceland tours here!