Midnight Sun Tours

Midnight Sun Tours

Summer in Iceland is the season of the midnight sun whose scarlet embrace provides a golden ambience throughout the night. Midnight sun tours allow you to make the most of this phenomenon by visiting Iceland's most famous natural attractions during the bright nights.

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Midnight Sun Tours

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Karen Devaney

Karen Devaney

12/10/2018, 12:06
Review of Slow-Paced 10 Day Summer Self Drive Tour of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Golden Circle & South Coast

What a wonderful trip! Guide to Iceland is far and away the best travel company we have ever used. The pre-trip information we received was second to none and the many questions I asked before we left were answered promptly and informatively. The itinerary was extremely detailed, with lots of accurate information about each place we could choose to visit en route to each hotel. On our first evening in Reykjavik we popped into City Hall, as suggested, and met Francisco. We couldn’t have wished for a more helpful representative. Prior to leaving the UK we received an email informing us that our whale watching tour on day 2 on the Snæfellsnes peninsula was cancelled due to high winds. Francisco re-booked us on an early-morning whale-watching tour in Reykjavik so that we didn’t miss out and could continue with the rest of our itinerary, as planned. (This was actually an upgrade, but he did it at no extra cost – what great service!) Our hire car (Toyota Auris) from My Car was almost brand new. Unfortunately, insufficient time was allowed by them for us to land, clear passport control and get to the information desk for our pick up, so we had to wait an hour for the next one. Driving was very straightforward (although the gravel roads took a bit of getting used to!) and we were so glad we had chosen this slow-paced tour, allowing us plenty of time to enjoy the well-selected sights on our itinerary. We also found a few other unexpected gems along our route. The comfort hotels were all good and easy to find. Although this tour doesn’t cover the whole of Iceland, it gives you a very comprehensive experience of what Iceland has to offer. We saw so many natural wonders – volcanoes, glaciers, geysers, hot springs and bubbling mud pools, lava fields, black beaches, waterfalls … We agreed that it was impossible to choose just one highlight, but my husband was particularly struck by his first sight of a lava field and the amazing alien yet beautiful volcanic landscape. For me, the wet black sand covered in glistening “diamonds” and the sound of the crashing waves was truly magical and made a lasting impression. We descended 120m into a dormant volcano and had the unexpected and very moving experience of our guide, Hilmir, singing a beautiful Icelandic lament; we explored the longest lava tube in Iceland and chatted with the most passionate geologist who was happy to share his specialist knowledge and time with us; we experienced four seasons in one day; we bathed in a beautiful hot spring in the middle of nowhere – it was raining with a biting wind when we arrived, but sunny and sheltered when we got in; we walked along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and clearly saw the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates; we marvelled at the geyser gushing 30m into the air every 5-10 minutes and walked/climbed behind a mighty waterfall; we got close to giant icebergs from the great glacier on a thrilling rib ride; we saw seals and their pups basking on the rocks, and minke whales and dolphins in the sea, and it was amazing to see the gannets folding back their wings to plummet into the water like torpedoes … Thank you, Guide to Iceland, for organising our trip for us – we will always remember my husband’s 50th birthday celebration – it was very special.

Frequently asked questions

What time of the day do midnight sun in Iceland tours operate?

Midnight sun tours in Iceland operate throughout the night, usually beginning in the evening and finishing in the early hours of the morning.

Can I see the midnight sun in Iceland in early August?

The sun will descend beneath the horizon for a few hours, but the nights will still be bright. By mid-August, there will be a few hours of darkness each night—but then, the black sky will provide the perfect canvas for the northern lights to appear.

Where is the best spot in Iceland to see the midnight sun?

The midnight sun is a phenomenon that occurs all across Iceland, meaning that your experience only depends on the natural scenery in which you choose to immerse yourself. Of course, having a clear horizon gives you the best view of the midnight sun.

Why does the midnight sun in Iceland only shine during summer?

The Earth’s axial tilt causes yearly seasonal differences as the planet spins around the sun and because of Iceland's proximity to the North Pole it can be seen in Iceland. During summer, the North Pole leans toward the sun, but in winter, the North Pole leans away from the sun.

Is the midnight sun visible in other parts of the world?

Yes, north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle, the midnight sun shines during summer. You can, for example, also see the midnight sun in places such as Canada, Nunavut, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Greenland, Denmark, Russia and Alaska.

Is it safe to look directly at the midnight sun?

You should not look directly at the sun because the human eye is very sensitive, and prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can lead to blindness. With that said, advocates of sun gazing believe that looking at the sun is restorative and therapeutic. The practice is performed at sunrise and sunset, a few seconds at a time—and technically, the midnight sun in essence is a prolonged sunset.

Does the midnight sun change colour like the northern lights do?

During the nighttime, the sun will take on deeper shades of orange and red than during the daytime. The sky can even turn pink or purple. The exact color spectrum, however, depends on atmospheric conditions.

Can you sunbathe under the midnight sun in Iceland?

Technically yes, but you don’t get many opportunities to sunbathe in Iceland, and the temperatures are rarely high enough for it to be warm and cozy. However, people often get a tan in Iceland, especially if they go on glacier hiking tours, as the white surface of the glacier is highly reflective, making the sun even stronger!