Low in the north, a faint green glowing arc emerges from the Arctic twilight. As dusk fades, the glow brightens and expands—perhaps into rays reaching toward the zenith or into curtains of light swaying across the sky. After a time, the celestial light show fades. TravelQuest skywatchers who witnessed this cosmic spectacle return to the warmth of their lodgings, still in awe at the marvelous display of heavenly lights.
Witnessing the northern lights, the aurora borealis, is high on many people’s bucket list. But to see them, you need to travel north, into the Arctic. One of the best places to see these dancing lights is Iceland. Here’s why.
All the prime aurora-viewing locations lie beneath a narrow, invisible doughnut-shaped region in the sky called the aurora oval. Iceland sits directly beneath this oval, making the island one of the best places to catch sight of the northern lights. The aurora is a more-or-less permanent feature of our planet’s high latitudes and, weather permitting, is almost always visible in the skies over Iceland.
When planning a northern lights trip, keep in mind that there is no guarantee you’ll see them. So it’s often said: Go for the scenery, hope for the northern lights. The aurora borealis is almost as unpredictable as the Arctic weather. But thanks to the amazing Icelandic scenery, it’s well worth the journey to this remarkable little island in the North Atlantic.