Northern Lights Tour in Iceland

Dec 24th, 2011, 03:56 AM
  #1  
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Northern Lights Tour in Iceland

My husband and I are spending three nights in Iceland on our way home from the UK in mid February. We'd love to see the Northern Lights if the conditions are favorable. Has anyone taken a tour? If so, any recommendations as to the best company to book with? Any other helpful hints? We're looking forward to our brief stay; Iceland has been on my bucket list for a long time.
ellen75005 is offline  
Dec 30th, 2011, 07:55 AM
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In Iceland mid-December, we did our Northern Lights tour with Iceland Excursions: http://www.grayline.is/tour/All_our_...ry_/Iceland.is
I can't tell if it's the best, because I have no other point of comparison, but I was satisfied with the tour. They can't guarantee the lights, but it is good to be able to rely on experts who choose the best possible location for that particular night, and who are able to point the Lights to you - on the night we went, the lights appeared faintly over a mountain, and to the untrained eye, they looked a bit like white clouds (they did appear green in the camera viser though).
GinaTO is offline  
Dec 30th, 2011, 03:44 PM
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Thanks for the reply, Gina. I saw that tour and from what I've read, the expertise of the guide who you go with seems to be the most important element. Do you know if it's possible to make a reservation the day of? I had read something that said reservations have to be made at least two days in advance, but maybe that was for one particular company.

Ellen
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Dec 30th, 2011, 05:19 PM
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I remember hearing that reservations had to be made 24 hours in advance - those tours do tend to get fully booked. But you might be able to get on a same-day tour if they have spaces - the Iceland Excursions office is well situated, downtown Reykjavik, and the people are friendly, so you can always ask. Happy travels - Iceland is truly fantastic!
GinaTO is offline  
Dec 30th, 2011, 07:52 PM
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I suggest that you contact your local planetarium or university astronomy department and ask if the Northern Lights have any probability for the nights of your stay. I have seen them twice and entirely by chance. The first time was from the beach at Saugatuck, Michigan where a girlfriend and I were up late to watch an eclipse of the moon. The NL were far more spectacular than the eclipse. The second time happened as I walked out of a restaurant in downtown Anchorage, Alaska. It was absolutely stunning, with huge curtains of colored lights filling the sky. Good luck with Iceland.
spaarne is offline  
Dec 31st, 2011, 01:46 AM
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I didn't do the Northern Lights tour since I was there in the summer. You should do at least one other tour such as the Golden Circle. I went with this group http://www.re.is/ and Horizon. Both were excellent.
SusieQQ is offline  
Dec 31st, 2011, 01:48 AM
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Here is Horizon's website

http://www.icelandhorizon.is/
SusieQQ is offline  
Dec 31st, 2011, 01:57 AM
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For aurora predictions go to http://www.gi.alaska.edu/AuroraForecast. They have clickable maps so you can choose the map for the area you are in.
hetismij2 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2011, 02:33 AM
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Thanks for the info, everyone. Susie, I had seen Reykjavik Excursions but not the Iceland Horizon website which I've now bookmarked. We definitely want to do the Golden Circle Tour.

As far as the northern lights, my thought was to gauge the weather/sky conditions and hopefully make a last-minute decision. I'm hoping that in February there won't be lots of people, but you never know.

hetismij2, I have that site bookmarked. I've enjoyed looking at it from time to time. What did we ever do without the internet?
ellen75005 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2011, 07:38 AM
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SusieQQ on Dec 31, 11 at 5:46am
I didn't do the Northern Lights tour since I was there in the summer.


It seems to have nothing to do with the season. My Saugatuck experience was on a July 4th weekend and the Anchorage event was in September.
spaarne is offline  
Dec 31st, 2011, 08:06 AM
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spaarne, this thread is about Iceland... the tour companies don't even offer the Northern Light Tours in the summer because the chances of seeing them are so rare.
I have also had the chance to see them in the US in the summer,in Pennsylvania, but the OP was asking for information for her trip to Iceland this winter not how to see northern lights in the summer in the US.
SusieQQ is offline  
Jan 14th, 2012, 11:36 AM
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I can't recall the name of the tour company, but it's the one that operates out of the tourism office in downtown Reyk. We tried twice for the tour but it was cancelled both times due to bad weather. They wouldn't even take our money to reserve the spot - basically said to stop by later in the day to see if they'd decided to operate. Although we didn't get to go, I felt confident that they wouldn't just take our money any way and wander around for a few hours if there was no chance of seeing the lights. This was in November FWIW - four nights and not a single decent evening
hlphillips2 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2012, 01:11 PM
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I figure our chances of seeing them are 50/50 at best. I agree; I'd rather have a company that will be honest with us. At least we'll be able to have a nice dinner that night
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