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Iceland’s geographical position a few degrees south of the Arctic Circle makes it very well placed to view the aurora borealis, commonly seen across the country between mid-August and mid-April. The strobing lights frequently appear in the skies above Reykjavik, but light pollution can make them tricky to spot.

This evening tour with a private guide takes you out of the city to increase your chances of seeing a display in the inky-black sky. Your guide will also help you to understand the science behind the lights and give you tips on how best to photograph them.

You’ll be collected from your hotel in Reykjavík at 9pm on the evening of your tour and venture out of the city with your private guide. During the tour, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to get out of your vehicle and explore on foot.

Once your guide has found a suitable spot to stop and look for the lights, you’ll get out and wait. Solar activity is never guaranteed and it may take some time before the lights appear.

Depending on aurora activity, the lights may appear as a long, cloud-like arch across the sky, or you may see more defined, ribbon-like layers with distinct neon-green and purple hues. Your guide will point out the first signs of the lights and explain what causes this unusual celestial activity.

Using images captured on their digital SLR camera, your guide will help explain the structure of the aurora and demonstrate their vibrancy and complexity.

If you wish to photograph the northern lights yourself, we recommend bringing an SLR camera and tripod — it’s very difficult to capture them on a phone or compact camera. Your guide can give you tips on photographing the aurora, including how to get the optimum settings on your camera.

Hot chocolate is provided during the evening to help keep you warm. Patience and flexibility are essential on this tour. If the weather is bad, cloudy skies are forecast, or solar activity is low, the tour may be cancelled or postponed to the following evening.

You’ll return to your hotel in Reykjavik at about 1am.

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Photos of Privately guided northern lights tour