Northern Lights Magic
Reykjavik Excursions offers three amazing tours to see the northern lights
The northern lights can be elusive but the local expert tour operator Reykjavik Excursions takes you to the best viewing spots away from the bright city lights for best possible viewing.
The season for northern lights typically starts early September and ends mid-April. Some people wonder why there are no northern lights tours in summer which is a valid question as the northern lights exist all year around. However, Iceland is blessed with up to 24 hour daylight in summer which makes it impossible to see the lights at that time.
Each northern lights experience is different. Ideally the lights are bright and displays last for hours in the late evening and early morning. The expert tourist guides at Reykjavik Excursions know the characteristics of the lights and maximize your chance to see the lights even on nights when the northern lights activity is low and the sky is partly cloudy. On occasion trips are cancelled due to heavy cloud cover.
This season Reykjavik Excursions offers three exciting tour options to see the northern lights.
The Northern Lights Tour is Reykjavik Excursion‘s tried and tested northern lights tour and has been hugely popular in the past. This tour is available every night from September through mid-April. On this 3-4hour tour you‘ll travel with a local English-speaking professional tourist guide who is an expert in finding the right places to stop which effectively maximises your chance to see the lights.
The route changes each night according to the cloud cover conditions. Several routes are available and the employees of Reykjavik Excursions have long experience with reading the cloud forecast to maximise the chances of seeing the northern lights.
Reykjavik excursions cannot guarantee northern lights activity and sighting. However, if unsuccessful, the company invites its guests for a repeat tour another night for free. It is necessary to book a repeat tour with the company.
Glacier & Monster Truck Adventure
New in 2013 is the 8.5 hour Glacier & Monster Truck Adventure. On this tour you‘ll visit Langjökull, Iceland‘s second largest glacier. The bus meets up with a specially modified 8×8 Monster Truck along the way, which brings you to one of the most unique places you‘ll ever set foot on, the Langjökull glacier area. You‘ll have the opportunity to learn about the Northern lights, the glacier itself, the local nature along with some local stories. A stop at a local farm provides guests with the opportunity to enjoy optional light refreshments, coffee, and local farm style icecream.
In 2013 this tour starts 20 September and runs through 31 December. In 2014 it starts 21 January and runs through 15 April.
Warm Baths & Cool Lights!Also new in 2013 is the Warm Bath & Cool Lights Tour. In addition to the hunt for the northern lights you‘ll enjoy a relaxing bath in warm water at the open air Laugarvatn Fontana geothermal water and steam bath spa.
Included on this tour is the bus fare, an English-speaking tourist guide, local style buffet with light refreshments and entrance fee to the Laugarvatn Fontana spa. This tour runs from 15 September 2013 until 15 April 2014 and lasts about 6.5 hours.
What to bring
Warm clothing is essential as hopefully you’ll be spending some time in the outdoors enjoying the lights. Wear a hat, gloves, warm shoes and several layers of clothes. Photographers love shooting the Northern lights for a good reason. They can usually get a picture that far exceeds what the human eye can see. Photographers should bring a tripod and an external shutter release for time exposures. After manually setting the focus to infinity set your camera as follows: ISO 200, f.2.8 and expose for 30 seconds. Please note that the use of built-in or external flashguns disturbs other guests as the eyes need some time to adjust to the darkness for northern lights viewing.
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