Aurora Borealis in Iceland: tour or independent?

The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, is a natural phenomenon that fills the night sky with almost supernatural colours. For people in polar latitudes, these are frequent events, but for many others, this is a rare sight. Iceland is an ideal place to observe the Aurora Borealis, sightings are possible from the end of August to April.

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Tours to see the Aurora Borealis:

The pros:

You benefit from the knowledge of a certified guide, who knows a lot about the Northern Lights and the local area, and he gives you anecdotes and stories that make the experience interesting and playful.

You do not have to worry about anything, the guides and the driver are there to chase the lights for you. They lead you to the areas where the chances of seeing the auroras are most favourable.

Often, your guide also gives some helpful photography tips, for successful photos of the Northern Lights.

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If you do not get to see Aurora Borealis on your tour, most companies will offer you a second (free) tour the following evening.

There are very nice excursions that combine several activities, such as aurora borealis and sled dog trips, aurora borealis by boat, or aurora borealis and snow mobile ride. It is a good idea to link two activities!

The cons:

With the growing popularity of Iceland in the winter, some companies use enormous buses to chase the aurora. With 80 people by your side, the show can be much less magical ... Make sure that the company you choose organizes excursions on a smaller scale.

Sometimes it is nice to be surprised by the Aurora Borealis randomly, as opposed to chasing around for them with a group, on a time schedule with a price tag.

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Independently seeing the Aurora Borealis:

If you decide to look for the Aurora Borealis independently, learn about the conditions that affect your chances of seeing them: cloud cover and solar activity. Finally, be aware that the aurora borealis is a natural phenomenon, we can never be sure when they will decide to make an appearance.

How to choose?

If you are travelling within the country, especially in the winter, try your luck and keep an eye out for the Aurora Borealis. You may see them by surprise on your journey. If you are only visiting for a couple of nights, and are staying mainly in the capital area, then it may be worthwhile to join an Aurora Borealis excursion.

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Aurora Borealis in Iceland: tour or independent?