Seeking the Northern Lights in Iceland

Seeking the Northern Lights in Iceland

Many travelers to Iceland feel that no trip there is complete without marveling at the spectacular Aurora Borealis. You can see the Northern Lights in the city Reykjavik, but in order to increase your odds of witnessing the spectacle, you should rent a car or join a tour of lights seekers.

You could combine the hunt with swimming in one of Iceland’s many hot springs, or you could even have an impromptu picnic while enjoying magnificent light show compliments of nature.

You will have to go in winter or early spring if you want to see the lights though, and many flights to Iceland are seasonal and not scheduled during those months.

Using United MileagePlus to book Scandinavian Airlines
Using United MileagePlus to book Scandinavian Airlines

You have only one option if you want to fly to Iceland to see the lights using miles: Scandinavian Airlines, a member of the Star Alliance. If you have United Mileage Plus miles, you can make it happen. The availability from New York is pretty good for the next winter, especially in March.

Going to Iceland in winter means you will miss out on a lot of other sights. The days are very short, so besides the Northern Lights and geyser-hopping, there is not much else to do but take advantage of the nightlife.

Because many tours don’t run in the winter, you won’t get to the north and west fjords or Greenland. That is the trade-off you will have to accept to see one of nature’s phenomenon.

Summer Flights

You would have to visit Iceland twice—in winter and summer—if you want to experience everything this amazing country has to offer.

Hot springs in Iceland
Hot springs in Iceland

Summer travel gives you many more options. There is a non-stop flight from the New York to Reykjavik on Delta. Or you can use American AAdvantage miles on Airberlin via Berlin, Düsseldorf, Munich, and Hamburg. You could also fly via Vienna with Airberlin subsidiary Niki Airlines.

With United Mileage Plus miles, you can travel on Lufthansa via Düsseldorf (ends mid-October 2014), Austrian Airlines via Vienna, or Adria Airways via Ljubljana. Whatever route you choose, it will cost you 60,000 miles roundtrip.

Don’t have time to visit Iceland twice? If you can’t see the real thing, there is always Aurora Reykjavík. It is not the same, but at least you can enjoy the Northern Lights any time you visit.