The Northern Lights, or the Aurora Borealis, are visible in Iceland after dark from late August until the end of April. All you need to view them is clear skies, patience and a bit of luck.
The Northern Lights appear when electrically charged particles from the sun hit the atmosphere of the earth, causing a colourful display of dancing lights across the skies of the northern hemisphere.
The aurora borealis appear in various shapes, colours, and formations, and the viewing experience is never the same. Sometimes you can just barely make them out on the horizon while other times they put on an extravagant multi-colour display of lights across the whole sky.
Þórsmörk is an excellent place to view the Northern lights as the high mountains and towering glaciers around our location, shelter us from the prevailing cloudy winds from the south. For that reason, the skies above the Þórsmörk Valley are very often clear as the clouds do not reach us over the mountains. Þórsmörk is far away from the nearest town, so there are no city lights that affect the view to the skies when the Northern Lights do appear.
The likelihood of seeing the Northern Lights can be predicted up to a certain degree by comparing weather forecasts and the strength of solar winds carrying electrically charged particles to the earth's atmosphere. Predictions and further information are available on the Icelandic Met Office website.
It can get quite cold waiting outside during the night, so we recommend dressing warmly. Pay attention to keeping your feet, hands and head warm as you lose a lot of heat through these body parts. Patience is key as there's no particular time of night when the aurora borealis appear nor is the activity the same every night. Even when the forecasted activity is quite low, it can sometimes result in quite the show. Take your time, stay warm, look to the sky and enjoy the show.