The Northern Lights Tour from Akureyri
Join this tour from Akureyri in North Iceland to go and explore the dark, frozen winter night in search of the auroras. Akureyri is in the far north of Iceland, making the winters there darker and longer than in the south of Iceland, near Reykjavík. Akureyri is also a much smaller city, so you won't need to drive far out into the night to escape the town's light pollution. You’ll be picked up at your accommodation and taken outside the side to the beautiful countryside in the fullness of night, so you can get the best possible conditions to view the Northern Lights: dark and clear.
For centuries, viewers of these magical lights have tried to explain what they were (before they were explained as particles from solar winds reacting with gases in the atmosphere during the modern era, of course). Some cultures believed that they were messages from the dearly departed, or the fires of a creator god up in the sky. Winters in the north are often heavy with snow and ice, so you might not want to drive out yourself in search of the Aurora Borealis. You can let your experienced driver and guide do that for you. You have a chance to be a part of an unbelievable display of colour, light and texture on a cold, dark night, like something out of a fairytale.
It may be best, as well, to bring your camera for a keepsake from this unforgettable experience, and a thermos of something warm to ward off the chill as you search the night skies for glimmers of light flashing between the stars. Don't miss your chance to join this popular winter pastime of hunting for the Aurora! Check availability by choosing a date.
- Available: Sep. - Apr.
- Duration: 3 hours
- Activities: Northern lights hunting
- Difficulty: Easy
- Languages: English
- Highlights: North Iceland,
North Iceland is very popular area in Iceland and contains some of the best attractions on the island. Akureyri is the capital of North Iceland and is the second largest "city" in Iceland. Around 20.000 people live in North Iceland.
The North coast has four major fjords (or bays) with mountain ridges between them and each of the fjords has corresponding agricultural districts.
More attractions in the amazing Thingeyjasysla are mentioned below. Note that the first three areas are geologically speaking ancient formations, while Thingeyjasysla is recent and full of volcanic activity, young lava fields and tuff mountains.
In Eyjafjörður is the capital of the North, Akureyri with 17.000 inhabitants. It is a very charming town and highly popular with travelers, so we advise you not to miss it. Many cruisers land in the port of the town.
The older part of Akureyri is particularly worth a stroll. If you like skiing or snowboarding, one of the best skiing sites in the country is located nearby.
We also recommend the botanical gardens there, fine restaurants and many interesting museums, such as Davidshus and Nonnahus, dedicated to the memory of poet David Stefansson and Jon Sveinson, author of the Nonnabaekur ('Nonni’s books').
Not far from Akureyri is the unique turf framhouse of Laufas, a museum and a prime example of the old architecture and farmlife. Also not far from Akureyri are the submarine geothermal silica cones of Strytur, a natural wonder and an excellent place for a dive.
One of Iceland's most beloved poets, Jonas Hallgrimsson was born in Eyjafjordur, at the farm Hraun in Oxnadalur valley and the knife-edged lava peaks there are particularly stunning. Also essential when traveling in the area is the beautiful and peaceful island Hrisey, often called 'The Pearl of Eyjafjordur'.
Siglufjordur has the distinction of not falling under the regular four part division, as it straddles the border of Eyjafjordur and Skagafjordur. Here we highly recommend the herring era museum and the folk music museum. Indeed, Siglufjordur hosts an annual folk music festival that is truly worth experiencing.
Among major attractions in Hunathing are the Regional Museum at Reykir in Hrutafjordur, the Seal Watching Center at Vatnsnes and the Arnarvatnsheidi heath, with a large numbers of ponds and lakes full of trout.
In Skagafjordur, the largest town of which is Saudarkrokur, we particularly recommend the historical bishop’s seat of Holar and the agricultural university there, the Glaumbaer museum, and Drangey island.
Near Myvatn is the chaotic lava field Dimmuborgir, a truly amazing sight (and paid homeage to by the Norwegian Black Metal band of the same name).
Husavik is the whale watching capital of the North so don’t miss that one either.
The Jokulsargljufur National Park is home to some of Iceland's most beloved natural attractions, Holmatungur, Hljodaklettar and the Asbyrgi canyon. In the river Jokulsa a Fjollum is Europe's most powerful waterfall, Dettifoss.
At the Melrakkasletta peninsula you can see fascinating birdlife and there is good trout fishing to be made there. Seals may be sighted as well as whales off the coast. The vegetation is rich and this is an ideal place to enjoy the midnight sun. Northern lights may also be spotted from late August to early April.
Far north, straddling the Arctic Circle is Grimsey island, the northernmost inhabited territory of Iceland, with a population of about 100 people. It is renowned for its fishermen, its rich vegetation and birdlife.Akureyri,
Akureyri, ‘The Capital of the North’ is a town in the fjord Eyjafjordur in North Iceland. It lies just 100 km away from the Arctic Circle. It is Iceland’s second-largest urban area with a population of about 17,800.
Akureyri is an important fishing centre and port, but in the last few years tourism, industry, higher education and services have become the fastest growing sectors of the economy.
An international airport is located about 3 km from the center. A large number of cruisers also stop at Akureyri. One of Iceland's best skiing sites is found by Akureyri, at Hlidarfjall.
Traditionally Akureyri has survived on fisheries and some of Iceland’s largest fishing companies, like for example Samherji, have their headquarters there. Other large companies include Brim, Nordurmjolk, and Vifilfell hf, the largest brewery in Iceland.
FSA/Akureyri Hospital is a major employer in the area and is one of two major hospitals in Iceland.
Akureyri has excellent facilities for travelers and is located a short drive from many of Iceland’s top natural, cultural and historical attractions.
Nature & Landscape
Akureyri is surrounded by mountains, the highest one being Kerling (1538 m). The area around it has rich agriculture and a beautiful mountain ring.
The innermost part of the fjord, Pollurinn ('The Pool') further lends the town a special character. The climate in Akureyri is generally very pleasant.
The islands Hrisey in the middle of Eyfjordur and Grimsey, straddling the Artic Circle, both belong to the municipality of Akureyri. Hrisey is often called 'The Pearl of Eyjafjordur' and Grimsey 'The Pearl of the Artic' and these beautiful and peaceful islands are highly popular with travelers.
History & Culture
During World War II the town was an important site for the Allies and the town grew considerably after the war, as people increasingly moved to urban areas.
Akureyri has a strong cultural scene, with several bars and renowned restaurants. Folk culture in general is more prevalent there than in Reykjavik. During the summer there are several notable festivals in Akureyri and its surroundings.
Sites of interest in Akureyri include the brand-new Hof concert hall and Akureyri’s many museums, The Nature Museum, Nonnahus, a.k.a. Jon Sveinsson Memorial Museum, for the writer, David's house or David Stefansson Memorial Museum, for the poet, Akureyri Art Museum.
Akureyri also has several churches, Akureyrarkirkja being the most notable, as well as beautiful botanical gardens. The old town is particularly charming, ideal for a nice walk.Eyjafjörður,
Eyjafjordur is a fjord in North Iceland, over 70 km in length from the mouth to the bottom of the fjord. There are high mountains on both sides, the highest being Kerling (1538 m). The capital of the North, Akureyri (ca. 18,000 inhabitants) lies at the bottom of the fjord.
Five smaller fishing villages are scattered on the shore and the agriculture in the countryside is lively. Big fishing companies are located in Akureyri and there is a university there. Higher education, tourism and services have become among the fastest growing sectors of the Akureyri's economy in recent years. Akureyri has a strong cultural scene and we particularly recommend strolling through the old part of the town and visiting its many interesting museums, such as Nonni Museum and Davidshus. If you like skiing or snowboarding one of the country's best skiing sites is located at Hlidarfjall by Akureyri.
The islands Hrisey and Grimsey, known as the 'Pearl of Eyjafjordur' and 'The Pearl on the Artic Circle' both belong to the municipality of Akureyri. These beautiful and peaceful islands should not be missed by those traveling to the North.
One of Iceland's most beloved poets, Jonas Hallgrimsson, was born in Eyjafjordur, at Hraun in Oxnadalur. The knife-edged peaks over Hraun, formed by glaciers and frosty weather, are highly impressive sight. The best known of these is Hraundrangi ('Steeple Rock'), as one of Jonas's most famous poems, the love poem Ferdalok ('Journey's End') refers to the clouded love star over the peak.
The star of love
over Steeple Rock
is cloaked in clouds of night.
It laughed, once, from heaven
on the lad grieving
deep in the dark valley.
The poem ends on a more hopeful note, however:
The heavens part
the high planets,
blade parts back and edge;
not even eternity can part
souls that are sealed in love
Translation by Dick Ringler. Shared with kind permission.
Pickup time : 21:00
Fully guided tour
What to bring:
Good walking shoes
Good to know:
● Changes to itinerary and cancellations are notified only via email
● Due to weather and/or road conditions we might have to alter the itinerary, have longer journey time or cancel the tour
● The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon and beyond our control. They are visible in Iceland from September through April but visibility is subject to Northern Lights activity and cloud coverage
● We cannot guarantee sightings even if the tour is operated