My guests are usually wondering about how best to see the northern lights, whether it’s best to watch the sky outside the hotel in the evening or to go on special “hunting” tours. There is no definite answer to that. because these are two options, entirely incomparable.
When you join a special northern lights private tour then the guide takes you to an area with a clear sky. If we see the stars we might see the northern lights. The guide prepares you for what to expect regarding the northern lights, shows you how to look for the northern lights, what to look for, where, how they behave, how you notice the northern lights when they are strong or weak because there is no guarantee that the northern lights are strong if and when you see them. They may be weak even so that your eyes are having difficulties seeing them. The camera on the other hand shows the green color and the difference between the northern lights and the clouds.
I always try to take the camera with me on my northern lights tours. You get free access to the best photos through my facebook-page and other social media.
A northern lights tour gives you the mobility, the chance to go hunting the northern lights instead of waiting passively at the hotel for a clear sky and for the lights to appear on the sky. The chance to see the northern lights might be just above your hotel but it might also be necessary to go “hunting”. In the car we drive to a different place(s) if needed to find a view to the sky where we can see the stars.
The hotels in the countryside in Iceland know that the guests are interested in seeing the northern lights. The hotels offer wake-up calls, so if you have given your permission to receive a call like that, the staff might wake you up in the middle of the night to watch the lights.
It is always your responsibility to stay outside watching the lights. They don’t stay the same and you are always taking a chance. If you go inside and back to bed before the main show begins then you might miss a spectacular show. Or you might stay awake for hours watching the stars in severe cold without any northern lights.
If you really want to see the northern lights then it is important to be patient and watch the sky for hours if needed.