The aurora borealis are one of the greatest phenomena in nature. Watching the northern lights swirling as they paint the star-studded black velvet sky with their kaleidoscope of shimmering colors is something you never will forget. We take you out into the true darkness of the countryside, well away from city lights, giving you the very best chance of seeing the lights at their glittering best. Your guide will also take free photographs so you can keep the memory!
Sept. - Apr.
~ 4 hours
Suitable for most people in fair condition.
Meet on location
Guide to client ratio
Departs from Overwrite
Small Group Experience
The Northern Lights
Guided Tour in a Minibus
Northern Lights Photos
Pick-up & drop off from Reykjavík
Northern Lights Photos
English Speaking Tour Guide
Free WiFi on Board Your Bus
On this minibus tour, we cannot tell you in advance exactly where our quest for the northern lights will take us. We follow the best aurora and cloud forecast available to optimize your chance of seeing the northern lights dancing their glorious magic across the night sky. One thing is guaranteed, we will take you far away from the city lights! We could go to Hvalfjörður, Þingvellir, Reykjanes, or to some other South Iceland countryside location. Traveling by minibus, we can go to some places which the big buses cannot reach!
Witnessing the northern lights is an unforgettable experience bringing some extraordinary photo opportunities. There is the excitement of hunting for them, then the awe-inspiring moment when they appear. Sometimes they show, at first, in quite a subtle way before their colors build, strengthen and expand into swirling and dancing patterns across the sky. Whether they are at their most dramatic or not they are always surreal and special. Green and yellow auroras are very common, both in Iceland and elsewhere. Blues, violet and rose northern lights are less common because they contain elements of the red spectrum in varying degrees. Really red auroras, from rose to brighter and darker red tones are more common in Iceland than anywhere else in the world, although they are still quite rare.
Your guide is very likely to snap a photo of you that you will then be able to access online after the tour. This is a moment you are going to want to have on film!
The northern lights are created by chemical reactions when streams of particles from the sun hit the earth´s atmosphere. These streams are carried by the solar wind towards the north and south poles. Which kind of gas particle the solar particles collide with will determine the color of the lights.
Pick up is at 20:30 pm from your hotel or a nearby meeting point in Reykjavík. Picking everyone up can take up to 30 minutes, your patience is much appreciated. Available pick-up points: Arctic Adventures’s pick-up list.
Please remember to bring:
Hiking boots or very sturdy footwear, warm outdoor layers, weatherproof top layer, headwear, gloves, and scarves. There is no such thing as too many layers on a northern lights tour! A tripod for your camera is very useful too.
What if I don’t own all of these clothing items? Don’t worry, you can always rent sturdy hiking shoes, waterproof jacket and pants in the booking process. We do not rent gear from locations, it must be ordered in advance.
As the success of the northern lights tour is heavily dependent on weather conditions, we reserve the right to cancel the northern lights part of the tour until 18:15 on the day of the tour if the aurora forecast is not looking good. When this happens your payment is fully refunded. If the tour goes ahead and no northern lights are seen we offer clients the chance to join another evening’s departure free of charge upon availability. Note that you need to contact us to re-book.
This is a great question. We ask all participants to be ready from the start of the pickup time indicated. This is because you may well be the first pick up of the day. Please be at your assigned location at the start time that you chose when booking the tour.
Here you should wait for your guide.
Have your email and phone number listed with us so we can contact you if we run into any trouble finding you.
Yes, we do. Langjökull Ice Cave is a magical experience, the tour has no minimum age and is a wonderful option for the whole family. Whale Watching with our partner company Special Tours, has been a favourite with families traveling with young children, these guys have a great success rate in seeing whales (upwards of 98% in the summer time).
Another option would be the Landmannalaugar Safari on this tour you get to explore parts of the Icelandic highlands and bathe in natural hot springs. Most of our jeep tours are also suitable for children over the age of 6 years old. If you would like a nice and relaxing experience we would also recommend the Golden Circle & Secret Lagoon tour.
Your safety is our number one priority! Keeping this in mind, Arctic Adventures reserves the right to adjust the itinerary and/or take different routes depending on conditions. Please read more information in our cancellation policy.
The standard in Iceland is 230V and 50Hz and we use F-type power sockets and plugs, so you might have to bring an adaptor if you are visiting from UK, USA, Canada or other countries using a different voltage, Hz or plugs.
Our tours are split into four different categories that help participants to understand what to expect from the tour. The categories are Easy, Moderate, Challenging and Demanding. Each tour is rated making it easier to find tours that suit you.
Unfortunately, there isn’t just one simple answer to this question.
There isn’t just one single setting for your camera that ensures great photos. But if you have manual options, you are probably best served with experimenting with various combinations of ISO, aperture, and exposure settings. As a rule of thumb, ISO setting between 800 and 3200, aperture between f/2.8 and f/5.6, and shutter speed at between 15 seconds and 30 seconds have proven effective.
A good thing to keep in mind, ISO setting between 800 and 3200, aperture between f/2.8 and f/5.6, and shutter speed between 15 seconds and 30 seconds have given great results.
Different combinations may give very different results. Higher ISO setting will allow you to capture faster exposures, but the downside to this might be for example grainier images.
If the shutter speed is above 15 seconds it will result in a slight star movement.
Wider angle lenses are usually more versatile in low light settings, but longer lenses give you different options for compositions. Make sure that you remove all lens filters, as they may distort images. You will probably get the best results with manual setting for infinite focal length
Like you might have heard, the northern lights are a pretty difficult thing to predict. You can check en.vedur.is to see the forecast and if the level is high and the skies are clear then it’s very likely that the tour is going. We do update our website’s tour departure sheet with the information at 17:00 pm the latest. If the tour is cancelled, you will receive an email from us.
If we think there is no chance at all of seeing the lights we will cancel the tour. We don’t want to bring you out and disappoint if there is no chance to see the lights.
The Northern Lights season is said to be from late August until mid-April. However, if you want to increase your chances of seeing them, it is best to wait until the clear winter months of mid-September until March.
If luck and weather are on your side, then you will be able to see the Aurora Borealis above the inviting streets of Reykjavik. Whether you see the lights or not are dependant on two different factors. The first being the weather. If the sky is clear, no clouds, then you are halfway there to seeing the astonishing spectacle that is the Northern Lights (although light pollution can sometimes be a problem). Increased solar activity is the second half so, if these two merge together you may well be able to see the Northern Lights from Reykjavik.
Disclaimer All our tours are undertaken on the responsibility of its participants. Arctic Adventures does not assume any responsibility for accidents that are caused by its customers or can be traced to their own actions. Participants have to sign a waiver before undertaking all trips stating that they realize that all outdoor activities carry an inherent risk.
Magical Auroras | Average rating: 5/5 based on 23 customer reviews
"Tour Guides Went Above & Beyond" | By
Penny Johnson 22/10/2018
We were impressed by the Northern Lights, they were beautiful. The tour guide was just as impressive. He knew so much about Iceland that he shared throughout the tour, and kept us out way past my early bed time trying to get us an even more impressive viewing if the Northern Lights than our first sighting. Our first sighting was breathtakingly beautiful.
"Northern lights tour" | By
Was good to have a tour guide to drive you around once you're outside the city as it is really dark. No guarantee that you will get to see the Northern Lights, but we were very lucky and had a beautiful show that evening.
"A Night to Remember" | By
Joyce Jennings 10/10/2018
We had a wonderful experience from pick up to drop off. Our guide, Nick, was helpful and informative. We enjoyed having a smaller group in a minivan. And to top it off, we just downloaded the photos taken of us in front of the Northern Lights. What a treasure!
"My family agrees that this was one of the top..." | By
Laura Allen 09/10/2018
My family agrees that this was one of the top, if not the top tour we’ve ever been on-our guide, Arnar Saevers, was the best guide we have ever had. It was a fantastic trip and some friends and I are planning to come out again in the Spring-Skal!
"Outstanding" | By
Alessandra Curcio 09/10/2018
I had a great time with both tours that I have booked with you! I will certainly recommend it to my friends.
But if possible, I would like to receive the northern lights photos of this tour that I went on October 2nd.
"Twas a late cold night..." | By
We knew it was a long shot because of the weather and so when we did see the lights we were all so happy! Pics taken - beautiful - glad we went. We did learn some great photography tips and tricks from our guide.
If I could give those booking the tour a heads-up though, plan on just the pick-up and drop-off at all the available locations to take an hour or so each way. We didn't get dropped off until about 240 am that night. Also, the bus was FREEZING and after long bouts of standing outside in the relative cold of a September Iceland dead of night, it would have been nice to have some heat on the bus.
"Best tour company there is" | By
I can't say enough great things about Arctic Adventures. Their guides are great and their customer service is the best in the industry. We were scheduled to take a tour to see the Northem lights but my wife became ill as the tour bus reached our pick up location. He told us not a problem and would make sure we got rescheduled for the following night. 20 minutes later, we get an email confirmation that the reschedule was confirmed for the next night.
"Martis was a great guide!" | By
Martis was a great guide! My friends and I had a blast snowmobiling. We got to go fast with a small group and it was awesome.
"Great tour and great company to travel with" | By
We did a three-part combo tour with Arctic Adventure and overall the company was great and I would highly recommend booking with them. They kept the groups informed, the communicated well, the vehicles were clean, the groups were small and the guides were very knowledgeable of their surroundings. Everyone we came in contact with was very kind and humble. Great job across the board.
"Lifetime experience" | By
Aniket Shiyal 03/04/2018
The tour experience is really awesome. Tour guides were really good in the forecast reading. Had a awesome experience of the Northern lights. Enjoyed and memorized a lifetime experience.
"Nice and accomodating staffs" | By
Charisse Mendoza 28/03/2018
We really like the attitudes of your staffs/tour guides in our entire trip. They always lending a hand and making sure that we are enjoying the whole trip. Some even do their best to give extra places for us to see when there is still enough time. If we will get a chance to go back to iceland again we will definitely book our tour with you again. Thank you so much for the very unforgettable experience! -️ God bless! And more power Arctic Adventures!
"Magical Auroras Mini Bus Tour" | By
Felicity Stone 01/02/2018
We set off on our tour with the wonderful Clements as our guide. As we drove he explained the science behind the Northern Lights and why they are such an unpredictable phenomena.
Clements then took the time to tell us all how to set up our cameras to take photos of the Lights should we be fortunate enough to experience them.
We drove out into the darkness and waited in hope for the Lights to present themselves.
While we only saw a tint in the sky with our own eyes, thanks to Clements we dd obtain pictures of the Lights on our cameras.
As per Arctic Adventures’ policy, wehad the opportunity to re-book the tour free of charge to try again another day.
We couldn’t fault the tour. We were picked up where we said we would be on time and Clements did everything in his power to give us the opportunity to see the Northern Lights. Through no fault of Arctic Adventures it just wasn’t happening that night.
Clements was friendly and had lots of interesting facts to share with us. He was happy to answer our questions and help us with our cameras. He was patient and obviously very enthusiastic about sharing the Northern Lights with his tour group.
I hope to return to Iceland and will certainly use Artic Adventures again to continue my hunt for a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
"Dedicated light hunters" | By
Andrew Webb 23/02/2018
This was an excellent tour. Clemy was a brilliant guide with a real passion for the magic of the Northern Lights. Would really recommend.
"Absolutely amazing experience!" | By
Lauren McClelland 09/03/2018
My boyfriend and I took the Sensational Iceland - Waterfalls, Glacier Hike and Northern Lights tour in the last week of February and it exceeded all of our expectations. Our tour guide, I think his name was Thomas (he mentioned he was greek) was absolutely fantastic- probably one of the best guides i've ever had anywhere in the world. He was kind, thoughtful, and very knowledgable. He took time to explain things to us about the country and the stops we were making. He was very patient with the group and allowed us some extra time at rest stops along the way even though it meant he was back in the city a little later than expected. The northern lights tour was cancelled a couple times due to the weather so we didn't have him as our guide for that unfortunately. However, we were happy that they did cancel it until it was a clear enough night. I appreciated that they didn't waste our time as other companies have in the past. I would definitely recommend this tour to others!
"Wonderful experience" | By
Luis Uribe 10/03/2018
The tour guide was simply extraordinary, he educated us about the phenomenon of the boreal aureoras, besides the history of Iceland, tricks of how to take the photos, his patience to take pictures to each one and have a memory for life. It is evident that he loves his work and his country, he gives the best of himself so that everyone has the best experience.
"A personal touch, a great guide and the Northern Lights spectacle in full flow!" | By
Dan Bullock 13/03/2018
We chose one of the mini-bus tours due to the positive things we'd read and, even more so, the hope that something a little more focused would bring us a more unique evening and... we were very lucky to be perfectly right!
Clemmy was our host for the evening, picking us both up on time and joining others already on the mini-bus, I'd say there was about 15 of us in total so a good small group. After some great history on the way out of history on how the Northern Lights form, he kept us up-to-date on all aspects from the science to the hope of luck in seeing some. Conditions were perfect with a clear sky but, of course, it was also very cold on the wind-chill so ALWAYS BRING LAYERS for these tours. It's the very nature of what you're doing, as you could end up anywhere!
Once we reached our destination, and weaved our way past the large coaches, we were alone in the darkness and stepped out to see the beginning of nearly 2 hours of 'action', and it was spectacular. Other than layers, I'd highly recommend taking a camera (DSLR) to take some photos should the phenomenon occur. If you also get Clemmy, then he may even help with your settings, even though I was reasonably close to getting it right, he changed one thing to give the best results. Awesome evening, we felt so lucky!
When the expectation meets what you hope, and exceeds it, well, that's the perfect match-up.
"Fantastic tour, fantastic guide" | By
Judith Gilbert 17/03/2018
This tour was fabulous! Of course there is never a guarantee that you will see lights, but our guide Klemmi was a real full-blooded aurora hunter, so enthusiastic. He knew how to beat the clouds and found a spot. He explained so much about the lights, what they are, how they come to the earth's poles, what conditions are necessary for them to be visible, or, if not visible to the naked eye, then visible to the camera (yes, there's a difference). He was great! A great guide and a great teacher - and a safe driver. I am a photographer but never photographed the aurora - he had great tips and I got wonderful shots. Definitely want to go out with Arctic Adventures again the next time I am in Iceland. Thanks so much for a great tour, Klemmi!
"Excellent Tour" | By
Daniel G 17/03/2018
We had a very informative and charismatic tour guide who was very knowledgeable. He made some adjustments in location we needed to get a great show.
"Beyond expectations" | By
Tour guide was very knowledgeable during our glacier hike. He was proactive in sharing with us information about Iceland. Open for questions. Ready to take pictures of us at any stage. Clean and comfortable mini vans. Pick up timings were accurate and driver easy to locate. We DID see the Northern lights, the sane day of our tour I got an SMS about the weather forecast and the fact that the tour was confirmed as the northern lights remain a natural phenomenon and not guaranteed to see. It was an amazing experience. Professional pictures taken of us and shared on website. Just a wonderful tour company to book a tour with. Recommended 100%
"Northern Lights" | By
Our family took a Northern Light tour with Arctic Adventures on 03.08.14. It was well worth traveling on the tour they new actually where the lights would be best seen and can't say enough on the beautiful pictures that were taken from that event. This was a top event on our bucket list and it didn't disappoint. Thanks again.
"Very happy with our guide" | By
Very happy with our guide for the tour (my apology, cannot spell his name) He tried his best to make the Long drive interesting and fun. V knowledgeable in controlling the special vehicle by deflating the tires when on soft ground and filled it up on our return to hard tarmac road.
"Our guide was very informative friendly" | By
Peter Kardys 10/03/2018
Our guide was very informative friendly.
The small group was the way to go. We were very lucky to see a Great show of lights including red visable to the eye, no camera to see the colors. This was our fourth adventure with Artic Adventures and every one was Great!!!
"Nothing short of spectacular" | By
Christian Mera 14/03/2018
My girlfriend, Aubree West, and I went on our tour with Clemney who was nothing short of spectacular. He went above and beyond in explaining what exactly we were looking for and described the formation of the lights with every relevant detail possible. He made the tour very enjoyable to where we requested to be placed with Clemney on our second attempt to see the lights when we did not get to see them on our first try. Overall, a great experience!