Witnessing the Northern Lights dance across a clear night sky is an incredibly humbling experience. It’s actually quite difficult to sum it up into a few measly words to be honest. Sorry, but this is just one of those things in life that you are going to have to do for yourself, as no written description could possibly do it justice. It really is that powerful and overwhelming an experience.
Witnessing the heavens above explode into a kaleidoscope of swirling colour is not something you are ever likely to forget – and with this in mind, I would like to suggest you take the time to prepare for it accordingly. Don’t just pick any old tour off the shelf. In order to get the best out of the moment you need to plan this and shop around. Trust me.
Today is October 5th 2016, and as I write this post the world is in love with Iceland and the Northern Lights. Sightings have been exceptionally good this last week and the internet and social media have been brimming with videos and images that are so beautiful they literally make you gasp.
#northernlights #norðurljós have been trending big time – and the city lights were turned off in Reykjavik a few days ago in order for local inhabitants to enjoy a few hours of light pollution free aurora viewing. Something which took the attention of the International media with the New York Times publishing a video and declaring,´this is the reward that everyone in Reykjavik, Iceland, got for turning off the lights.’
And so with this in mind, I decided to set myself the task of tracking down the most enjoyable way for visitors to witness the Northern Lights in Reykjavik, Iceland.
My search led me to East West Iceland – a fresh, new travel company who ‘firmly believe that in order to experience and enjoy all Iceland has to offer, one must let go of time and give in to nature.’
‘Let go of time and give in to nature‘…. Oooh, I like that!
The Northern Lights don’t adhere to a timetable and so there really is no way of knowing quite when (and if!) they will appear. Therefore a flexible ‘tour attitude’ is a must as Northern Light tour itineraries are really not that easy to plan in advance. Cloud cover essentially determines the direction in which the tour will run – as understandably, a clear sky ensures the best possible chances for sightings.
East West Iceland keep a close eye on the aurora forecast (utilising data from NASA no less!) and they plan their Northern Light trips accordingly – thus ensuring you get the absolute maximum chance for great viewing.
Another huge plus is the form of transportation they use – the Icelandic Super Truck. These beasts are built for the harsh Icelandic terrain and will take you further off the beaten track than the other standard ‘motor coach tour’ options you might see offered on the web. You really do need to be away from city lights and head to a light pollution free environment to get the best possible viewing experience and travelling by Super Truck is definitely the way to go.
I am presuming that you want this moment to be special, right? In which case I’m guessing that you would also prefer to share it with as few people as possible, right? Well, that’s another plus for the East West Iceland tour, smaller groups = bigger impact.
And I’m also presuming that you want to be able to enjoy the aurora spectacle in some form of semi-comfort. East West Iceland will bring along rugs, camping chairs and other Icelandic ‘winter warmers’ in the form of hot chocolate and Icelandic kleina to keep you warm and cosy as you take in the greatest light show on earth.
Something to celebrate? Or planning a big announcement perhaps? Then what better way to do it than under the Northern Lights in one of the most beautiful and unspoilt environments on earth – Iceland…
Just ask East West Iceland to provide the bubbly and the glasses (in advance), and you have yourself quite a ‘moment’ there!
Insider’s Tip: Remember to dress very warmly. Hat, gloves, scarf, closed-toe shoes/boots with a non-slip sole, wooly socks, warm coat etc etc. You’ll be very glad you did.
So there you have it. My suggestion on the how to go Northern Light hunting in Iceland like a Pro. By choosing a company like East West Iceland you are able to maximise your experience to the full.
Great transportation with great driver guides, relax in the knowledge that the trip has been well prepared and the aurora forecast well noted, a more intimate experience travelling by Super Truck than with a large group in a full sized motorcoach, ‘cosy viewing’ with rugs, camping chairs and warm refreshments (it can get cold very quickly when you are standing around!) – and an opportunity to travel off road and get as far away as possible from any light pollution that may hinder the visibility.
All boxes ticked!
Please remember that the Northern Light sightings cannot ever be guaranteed and that they are not visible during the bright summer months due to Iceland’s northerly location. Most local tour operators agree that the months between September and March are usually best for viewing.
Please find flight information here and I hope to see you in Iceland soon!