Best Northern Lights Tour | Bustravel Iceland (2022)

Best Northern Lights Tour | Bustravel Iceland (1)
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  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Very easy
  • Electronic Voucher

  • Meet on location or pick up

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For many visitors to Iceland the main motivation for their visit is to catch a display of Northern Lights dancing above the unique vista of Icelandic nature. Join our Northern Lights bus tour from Reykjavík and grasp this once in a lifetime opportunity to enjoy this spectacular atmospheric phenomenon.

Best Northern Lights Tour | Bustravel Iceland (8)

Our operational team and guides have decades of combined experience in chasing this elusive spectacle and their experience will give you the best chance of catching the aurora display before you depart Iceland. Our guides will share fascinating stories and local folklore about the phenomenon and the night is completed by our special hot chocolate made from a secret recipe.

For more information check out our Complete Guide to the Northern Lights


  • Northern Lights hunting experience
  • Professional northern light guide
  • Aurora Museum Reykjavik entrance ticket (valid on the tour date booked)
  • Hot Chocolate


Your night of northern lights hunting begins with our fast and efficient pick up service. We pickup from designated hotels and tour bus stops throughout central Reykjavík. Just let us know when booking your preferred pickup location. When all passengers have been collected we leave the city light pollution behind and head out into the darkness of the Icelandic countryside.

Unlike other tours, we have no set itinerary or route that we follow. We generally travel no more than 90 minutes drive from Reykjavík and our guides seek out cloudless skies. Earlier in the day, they will have studied the aurora and cloud forecasts for the evening and based on this information they will have a good idea of the best areas to view the lights.

Whilsten route, your knowledgeable guide will share stories and information about the northern lights and Iceland. When we come to the location we have determined is a likely spot, you will get an opportunity to stretch your legs while you wait for the lights to appear. Your guide can also offer advice on the best camera settings to use when trying to capture the aurora.

Best Northern Lights Tour | Bustravel Iceland (9)

Patience is a virtue when it comes to the northern lights and you might have to wait in the cold for a while. This will be made with the free hot chocolate and light refreshments that your guide will distribute.
We hope that the lights will appear at the first location, but we may venture elsewhere if nature is not cooperating. Our team at BusTravel Iceland pledge to do everything we can to make your aurora dreams come true.
At the end of the night, we will drop you back in Reykjavík to the same location from which you were collected.

Aurora Reykjavík

As well as chasing the lights through the countryside away from the city lights, when you purchase this tour with us you will also receive a free ticket to the Aurora ReykjavíkMuseum in downtown Reykjavík. You can visit the museum at any time during the day and we can pick you up for the tour at the museum if you wish.

Best Northern Lights Tour | Bustravel Iceland (10)

The Aurora Museum is a great introduction to the science and wonder of the northern lights. This multimedia exhibition offers interactive displays and an educational centre outlining how people and cultures around the world interact and think about the Northern lights. The Museum also has information on the best camera set-ups to make a lasting memory of your time in Iceland.

What if we don´t see the northern lights?

Even with cloud and aurora forecasts and knowledgeable guides, the northern lights are sometimes too elusive for our liking. They are a natural phenomenon and therefore not always reliable even when we do our utmost.
If you are unlucky and don´t see the lights during your tour, we´ve got you covered. You can take our tour again another night for free! Your guide will let you know how to rebook. The offer for rebooking is valid for three years from the date of your tour departure. Unfortunately we cannot provide refunds for unsuccessful tours.

What's included

  • Northern lights hunt
  • Professional English-speaking tour guide
  • Hot chocolate
  • Aurora Museum Reykjavik entrance ticket (only valid for use on the tour date booked and if the tour is operating)
  • Wi-fi on board

What´s excluded?

  • Pickup and Drop off

Important Information

  • The tour duration is 3-4 hours but tour length can vary depending on the weather.
  • Wear warm clothes and shoes
  • Refunds are not issued for unsuccessful tours. We do allow guests to join the tour again on another night. This offer is valid for upto 3 years

Cancellation Policy

  • Cancellation fee of 100% if cancelled 1 day or less before departure

Guided Language

  • English


  • Best Northern Lights Tour | Bustravel Iceland (11)


Average rating:

14 reviews

Thank you for submitting your review

Great tour

Our bus driver (Georgios) and our guide (Josep) were great. The buses were on time, clean, and safe. Josep prepared us for the possibilities of success. He explained that our forecast chances to see the Aurora were “good” based on a Kp-index value of 2. Josep assured us of 2 things: 1) that was going to be cold and 2) that we were going to have hot chocolate. Depending on winds, clouds, and a full moon we were going to see something. They delivered the first two and over delivered on the lights and good times. Great show!

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By Manuel on 2022-10-11

One of the best

It was one of the memorable northern light chasing.Thanks to the expert guide Daniel,Highly recommended.

By Sayooj on 2022-08-26

THANK YOU! Unforgettable.

We simply had one of our best adventure on 4th March '22. This tour is the one to choose if you are hunting the NL. It was easy to book and also to reschedule, since the first night we didn't catch the lights. They are available on the phone and via email - there was no occasion we couldn't reach them - and they have pick up provided in Reykjavik, they send all info in emails frequently. Our tour guide was Geri (the best of all) and I do want to mention our driver Maciek also, since despite the snow and closed roads he did take us to the best spot and we felt safe the whole time with him, he is quite a character btw. Geri simply made this night unforgettable, picking the spot, talking about Aurora, helping with phone and camera settings to have the best pictures possible and giving us the night we never forget. Thank you Bustravel, highly recommend*****! (Oh, they had hot chocolate also, but we even forgot that during the amazing show.)


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By Fanni Szigeti on 2022-03-04

A magical night

What a great tour! Everything was so good especially Daniel our guide, he was so knowledgeable about everything from the lights themselves to the camera settings on our phones and it's down to him we managed to see the lights! After a very cold wait in the middle of the national park he said we'd wait another 20 minutes with our hot chocolates (best we've had!) just in case despite the fact many other tours had already gone home and just wow. Not only did we manage to see the beautiful northern lights my partner and I got engaged under them and Daniel captured the most magical engagement photos. Would 1000% recommend!

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By Natasha on 2022-01-18

Northern Lights Bus Tour


By Linjing Fan on 2021-12-14

Northern Lights Bus Tour

We couldn't see anything. Daniel our guide was the best. We 're coming back next year to try again

By Jordi aitor Muñoz on 2021-12-12

Northern Lights Bus Tour From Reykjavík

Me and my family took the northern lights bus tour and we enjoyed very much. The trour was rescheduled two times because of the storm and the bad conditions, and every time there was a change they write and ask you in case you prefer to cancel.The BusTravel agency is a great company, the pickup is always on time.Regarding the northern lights bus, they have another car that goes ahead and is looking for clear sky and lights, so the bus knows were to go.When we were out of the bus looking for the lights, they gave us hot chocolate.In case you don't see northern lights, they allow you to repeat the tour for free.I really recommend you this company because of its transparency, kindness, good guides, and in case you need any help or change, they answer your email very quickly so you can solve any problem you have.We 100% recommend using this company not only for this tour, but for all the tours in Iceland.

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By Mar Schilt Catafal on 2021-12-07

(Video) Iceland in Winter ❄️🇮🇸 Northern Lights, Practical Travel Tips, Winter Activities!

Northern Lights Bus Tour from Reykjavík

The tour was good - enjoyed the drive and the guide was fun. Sadly, the lights were low key that evening.

By John Blanchette on 2021-12-04

Worth the wait

Patience is a virtue when wanting to see the Northern Lights. However having spoken to other people who were in search for the lights the same day and were unable to see them, our tour guide took us out to the coast and after about 3 hours we managed to get some truly amazing pictures. Worth the wait, but you really do need to be patient. I have to rate this 5 stars as others who had booked with other companies were unable to see them that day.

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By Mo on 2021-12-03

No Lights but Great Fun!

We had a great evening chasing the Northern Lights guided by Daniel AKA "The Aurora Whisperer", Although we did not manage to get sight of the lights, we hope to take advantage of the free re-book next time we come to Iceland.Daniel was full of useful information an explanation which meant that the trip was still enjoyable. He was also in contact with other tours to try and find clear skies. He also helped us set up our cameras to best capture the lights if they appeared.The bus was comfortable and warm. We had some hot chocolate and some Lava Rock Chocolate which all added to the experience. Highly Recommended. many Thanks.

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By Ian Kelly on 2021-11-27

Northern Lights Bus Tour

A good organisation, very professionals guides.

By Simonetta Zamporlini on 2021-12-29

Good hunt for the aurora

(Video) AURORA BOREALIS | Comparing the best places to see the Northern Lights: ICELAND vs LAPLAND vs TROMSO

First time the tour was booked for Monday evening but we only had several snow storms and strong winds. Maybe the place was not the best - there was a strong light in little distance, I know that was not enough for not seeing aurora but that light was annoying.Next day we waited till midday for the rebook of the tour and in the end we had to write to the customer support. One from our six in the group had to write repeatedly during all afternoon/evening and finally got the rebooking.Second evening was totally different - a fantastic experience. The guide, Daniel, was brilliant with tons of information, including stars and constellations. His radio voice was fantastic! ;))He helped us in having very decent/profi pictures by using his iPhone and shared them afterwards. Many many thanks, Daniel!

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By Dana Robota on 2021-11-16

Northern Lights Bus Tour from Reykjavík

Awesome !! We could see the northern lights and the show was soooo wonderful !Thanks a lot !

By Hajar RABIA on 2021-11-16

Fantastic spectacle to see

Great tour. Our guide Emma was very knowledgeable of the Northern Lights and knew a lot of the science behind them. We where lucky enough to see them on our first stop and we where shown how to set up our phones and those who had cameras where given advice on what settings to use. I'm an amateur astronomer and I learned something new that night. Totally recommend this tour just bring plenty of warm clothing and if your using a mobile phone try and bring a tripod or stand for your phone as you need long exposure shots.

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By Steven Crane on 2021-10-09

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(Video) Northern Lights in Iceland: How, Where & When To See Them!

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What are the chances of seeing northern lights in Iceland? ›

Your chances of seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland are very high, thanks to an 8-month aurora season, long hours of darkness during the winter, and low light pollution throughout most of the island.

How do you guarantee to see the northern lights? ›

Unfortunately, there is no 100% guarantee of spotting the Northern Lights. Being in the right place at the right time helps i.e. northern Norway in winter, which is why Hurtigruten feels confident enough to offer its unique Northern Lights Promise. But there are forecasts available.

Is it worth doing a Northern Lights tour? ›

Northern Lights tours are great because the tour operators have been chasing the Northern Lights for years and can find the best spots for potential viewing even when there is low hanging cloud cover. Most tour operators will even offer for you to join a tour the next evening if you don't see the Northern Lights.

Is 2022 a good year to see the Northern Lights? ›

"There will continue to be aurora viewing opportunities in 2022," Steenburgh said. "The solar cycle is indeed ramping up and as solar activity increases, so do the chances for Earth-directed blobs of plasma, the coronal mass ejections, which drive the geomagnetic storms and aurora."

Which month is best for Northern Lights? ›

The best time to see the Northern Lights is on clear nights around midnight during the Aurora season starting at the end of August and finishing by mid-April. However, if you are at a lower latitude and there is a big solar storm, you can enjoy the Aurora even during the summer months, like June or July.

Are Northern Lights guaranteed in Iceland? ›

Since the Northern Lights are very unpredictable and no one can guarantee that you will actually see them during your stay in Iceland, it is important to incorporate other activities into your travel plan.

Do the Northern Lights happen every night? ›

There is no official season since the northern lights are almost always present, day and night. Caused by charged particles from the sun hitting atoms in Earth's atmosphere and releasing photons, it's a process that happens constantly.

Is aurora borealis visible in Reykjavik? ›

It is possible to see the northern lights from Reykjavik. But it is uncommon due to the light pollution of the city lights. However, if you're in Reykjavik while there is high northern lights activity and clear skies. Then your best to see the northern lights in Reykjavik is by the 'Grótta lighthouse.

What are you not supposed to do at the Northern Lights? ›

Don't whistle at the Northern Lights

The biggest faux pas you can commit while viewing the Northern Lights is to wave, sing or whistle at them. Alerted to your presence, the spirits of the lights will come down and take you away.

Can you only see the Northern Lights through a camera? ›

In fact, reddish colors are most often only captured with cameras and not the human eye. So the short answer is yes to both: some you can see as clearly as the moon, others you can see more vividly with a camera.

Can bare eyes see Northern Lights? ›

Auroras appear to the naked eye as a very faint, white glow in the night sky to the magnetic north. Many auroras are totally invisible to the naked eye or can only be seen by looking at them indirectly, i.e. out of the corner of your eye. It is extremely rare to see them in colour with the naked eye.

Which is the cheapest country to see the Northern Lights? ›

In this article, we will outline the five cheapest places to see the Northern Lights.
  • Abisko, Sweden.
  • Murmansk, Russia.
  • Shetland Islands, Scotland.
  • Reykjavik, Iceland.
  • Tromso, Norway.

Do you need a lens to see Northern Lights? ›

A good wide angle lens will allow you to cover as much of the sky as possible and more of the light show. For this, you'll need a lens which can be set to a fast aperture of minimum f4, and ideally f2.

Do the Northern Lights make noise? ›

Listeners have described them as a faint rustling, clapping or popping. An observer in the 1930s said the northern lights made “a noise as if two planks had met flat ways — not a sharp crack but a dull sound, loud enough for anyone to hear.”

Where is the best place in the world to see the Northern Lights? ›

1. Tromso, Norway. Based in the heart of the aurora zone in the Norwegian Arctic, the city is widely regarded as one of the world's best places to see the Northern Lights.

Where is the best place to see the Northern Lights in 2022? ›

According to him, spots like Fairbanks in Alaska, Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Churchill in Canada, and Iceland and northern Norway are all safe bets. The NOAA website has additional tips on where to view the aurora with links to maps that show where the light show can be seen.

How reliable are the Northern Lights? ›

When it comes to the Northern Lights, we can assure you that the forecast is quite accurate. Gone are the days when a meteorologist on duty was solely responsible for the text and measurements of the forecast (meaning that sometimes the accuracy of the forecast was not so good).

What time of night are Northern Lights most visible? ›

November through to February offer the darkest skies and longer evenings for maximum sky-gazing. The strongest lights tend to appear between 9pm and 2am, though the best sightings often occur between 11pm and midnight.

How far in advance can you predict Northern Lights? ›

As a naturally occurring phenomenon, the appearance of the Northern Lights is notoriously difficult to predict any further in advance than about two hours before it happens.

What year will the Northern Lights be the brightest? ›

During the winter of 2020, the Northern Lights viewing was typical for a solar minimum year. But from 2020 onwards, there will be a slow ramp-up in solar activity, and auroras should increase in frequency, peaking in 2024/2025 with the Solar Maximum.

Can Northern Lights be touched? ›

Secondly, the aurora are essentially photon emissions from nitrogen and oxygen molecules, so you can't really touch it (as much as you can 'touch' a sunbeam). Even the gas that emits the photons is extremely tenuous.

Does the Blue Lagoon have Northern Lights? ›

Can you see the Northern Lights from Blue Lagoon? Yes, absolutely. Blue Lagoon is the perfect location to see the Northern Lights during the season. We are set in nature, surrounded by moss-covered lava fields.

Is northern Iceland worth it? ›

Whale Watching Tour with Transfer from Akureyri

From the earliest Norse settlements to some of the most picturesque and unique attractions in the country, the North has much to offer travellers visiting Iceland this year. Its untouched nature, historical landmarks and vibrant culture all make it well worth the visit...

Can you see Northern Lights from a plane? ›

A passenger got a stunning aerial view of the aurora borealis thanks to a perfectly timed flight. The aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, is an astronomical phenomenon where curtains of colored light fill the night sky in the Northern Hemisphere.

How long do Northern Lights normally last? ›

The length of the display also varies depending on the solar activity. Generally, you can expect a good light show to last between 15 and 30 minutes. And if you're really lucky, it may go on for a couple of hours.

Do the Northern Lights look like the photos? ›

No matter what you see outside, the real Northern Lights are not like what you see in photos. The discrepancy occurs because the specific cells that our eyes use to detect light at night also happen to be terrible at detecting color, according to Dr.

What is the cheapest month to visit Iceland? ›

Put simply, the cheapest time of year in Iceland is during its off-peak season; this covers September to November and January to May. Visiting Iceland in Autumn or Spring will be kind to your wallet and allow you to visit popular destinations without them being crowded, a win-win!

What is the best month to go to Iceland? ›

The summer months — July and August — are Iceland's warmest, and have long been the most popular time to visit. And June, with its 24 hours of daylight, sees just about as many tourists as the peak of summer.

How far is Reykjavik from the Northern Lights? ›

Around Reykjavik (max 45 minutes drive)

If you only have a few days in Iceland and plan to stay in its capital Reykjavik fear not: there are plenty of places in close proximity to witness the northern lights.

Why don't you whistle at the Northern Lights? ›

Thought to be the souls of the dead, the Sámi believed you shouldn't talk about the Northern Lights. It was also dangerous to tease them by waving, whistling or singing under them, as this would alert the lights to your presence. If you caught their attention, the lights could reach down and carry you up into the sky.

What are the two most important things needed to see the Northern Lights? ›

A good display may last for no longer than 15-30 minutes at a time, although if you're really lucky, it could extend to a couple of hours or longer. To see the Northern lights, the sky needs to be dark and clear of any clouds. Some people claim the aurora comes out when temperatures are colder.

What does the Bible say about the Northern Lights? ›

The northern lights is also mentioned in the Bible, in the book of Ezekiel in the Old Testament. In the 2,600 years old description it says:” I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north–an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light.”

Can a phone take pictures of Northern Lights? ›

📷 Tips: with hello aurora app you can see where people spotted the Northern Lights in real-time. With this it will give you a hint on where the aurora is visible during that night.

Can iPhone camera pick up Northern Lights? ›

Taking photos

Turn on Stars Mode (a green icon means it's turned on). You're now ready to take a photo – just tap the shutter and wait about 15 seconds. If the lights are faint, try turning on Light Boost too, it can really help bring out them out. The “sun icon” button turns Light Boost on.

What is the rarest color of the Northern Lights? ›

On rare occasions, sunlight will hit the top part of the auroral rays to create a faint blue color. On very rare occasions (once every 10 years or so) the aurora can be a deep blood red color from top to bottom. Pink hues may also be seen in the lower area of the aurora.

Is Iceland or Alaska better for Northern Lights? ›

If you're wondering if Iceland or Alaska is better for viewing the Northern Lights. The answer is that both offer incredible opportunities. The ideal position for viewing the Aurora Borealis is north of 65 degrees latitude. It will need to be a cloudless night and preferably away from city lights.

Is Iceland or Norway better for Northern Lights? ›

Those hoping to spot the Northern Lights should always choose Norway, while wildlife-lovers are better catered to in Iceland.

How do I turn my iPhone into star mode? ›

Tap the star icon at the bottom of your screen and choose Stars Mode. To enable light boost, which will increase how much light hits your camera's sensor, tap the sun icon. Tap the settings icon to set the exposure and noise reduction levels. Set ISO Boost to High.

Why do Northern Lights look better in photos? ›

For the human eye, colors of the Northern lights are much weaker. One reason is the difference between the camera and our eyes. Our night vision is limited and not as colorful, the camera doesn't have the same limitations. Therefore the colors are mostly stronger in the photos, compared to how we see them.

Do you use a flash for Northern Lights? ›

Your flash, however, is a harsh light pollutant and will wash out the Northern Lights and temporarily blind everyone around you. Make sure your flash is set to OFF.

Do the Northern Lights smell? ›

While Northern Lights was bred to be grown indoors, cannabis growers favor this low odor strain which produces flowers quickly. After the flower is cured, the buds of the Northern Lights strain smell subtly of pine and citrus.

Can you smell the Aurora Borealis? ›

We have just been pointing out, as concomitant effects of the aurora borealis, a noise of crepitation analogous to that of distant discharges, and a sulphurous odor similar to that which accompanies the fall of lightning.

Is north or south Iceland better for Northern Lights? ›

The further north you go in Iceland, the better your chances of getting a glimpse of the northern lights. With beautiful hikes to be had during the daylight hours and hardly any light pollution at night, head to the small and picturesque northern fishing town of Siglufjörður, located in a stunning narrow fjord.

Which is better for Northern Lights Alaska or Iceland? ›

If you're wondering if Iceland or Alaska is better for viewing the Northern Lights. The answer is that both offer incredible opportunities. The ideal position for viewing the Aurora Borealis is north of 65 degrees latitude. It will need to be a cloudless night and preferably away from city lights.

Where is the best place to see the Northern Lights in Reykjavik? ›

One of the most convenient places to wait for the Northern Lights is out by Grótta lighthouse in Seltjarnarnes, which is just five minutes from downtown Reykjavik by car. The lighthouse itself adds interest to any pictures you might take and it's easy to find.

Is Northern Iceland worth it? ›

Whale Watching Tour with Transfer from Akureyri

From the earliest Norse settlements to some of the most picturesque and unique attractions in the country, the North has much to offer travellers visiting Iceland this year. Its untouched nature, historical landmarks and vibrant culture all make it well worth the visit...

How much is it to stay in a bubble in Iceland? ›

Stays in a bubble range from 28,900 to 29,900 ISK per night.

Are there glass igloos in Iceland? ›

FAQs. Are there glass igloos in Iceland? No. There are currently no Glass Igloos in Iceland.

Is the Blue Lagoon a good place to see Northern Lights? ›

Blue Lagoon is the perfect location to see the Northern Lights during the season. We are set in nature, surrounded by moss-covered lava fields. There is minimal light pollution to disturb the view. At Blue Lagoon, we monitor the skies during the Northern Lights season and follow the aurora forecasts.

What is the most beautiful part of Iceland? ›

The 15 Most Beautiful Places in Iceland
  • The Westfjords. The Westfjords are a stunning and remote part of Iceland, often overlooked by tourists in favour of the more popular sights. ...
  • Þingvellir National Park. ...
  • Jökulsárlon Lagoon. ...
  • Landmannalaugar Mountains. ...
  • Blue Lagoon. ...
  • Reynisfjara Beach. ...
  • Dynjandi Waterfall. ...
  • Mount Mælifell.
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