On my recent visit to Iceland, I could hardly contain my excitement when I landed on terra firma in Iceland. Why? I was able to secure a spot in a Northern Lights Hunt – Jeep Tour to go out and look for the Northern Lights. By that I mean in all of my prior trips to Iceland, each time I went out in search of the Northern Lights, the end result was always the same: No Northern Lights to be found anywhere. This would be my fourth trip in search of the lights and I was positive that this would be the time that I would finally see firsthand those elusive Northern Lights.
By booking through Iceland Travel, SuperJeep arranges your pick up about 30 minutes prior to the tour departure. Pick ups are made at area hotels and guesthouses in Reykjavík. Since we were staying in a flat near the Leifur Eiriksson Hotel, the same one where we were picked up for our horseback riding tour we took earlier in the day, we knew exactly how long it was going to take to walk to the hotel. To best understand what the Northern Lights Hunt – Jeep Tour is exactly, here is the description from the website:
This 4×4 Super Jeep tour is all about Northern lights hunting and you’ll spend the full 3-4 hours finding the best location for Aurora viewing.
Search for the Northern Lights by heading to secluded areas only accessible by 4WD Super Jeeps!This Northern Lights tour in Iceland takes you in a super Jeep out of town, far from the city lights to observe this fascinating natural phenomenon. Search for the Northern Lights by heading to secluded areas only accessible by 4WD Super Jeeps.
Our guide for the night was Gosi, hairdresser by day and Northern Lights chaser by night. Equipped in a state of the art BRAND NEW jeep by SuperJeep, we were ready to hit the road and find those Northern Lights.
These vehicles are not made for short people like myself although I am the height of an average American woman at 5’4″. It was fine when I started, but when I was too cold to feel much, I wished I had packed a step stool. Ok, I’m exaggerating as there wouldn’t have been room in my luggage anyway. The vehicle was brand new with GPS, great stereo system, and comfy seats. Who needs to pile into a coach with 80 people you don’t know when you can do a private tour like this one with only a few other people?
We stopped for a view of Reykjavík and what a view it was! We were even able to see the Imagine Peace Tower although for some reason my pictures and video didn’t seem to capture it. Whether you’re a huge John Lennon fan or not, you’ll definitely feel something when you see that tower of light emerging in the darkness. Don’t know what the Imagine Peace Tower is? The following information is from the Imagine Peace Tower website, but I encourage you to visit the site and learn more:
IMAGINE PEACE TOWER is a Tower of Light which emanates wisdom, healing and joy. It communicates awareness to the whole world that peace & love is what connects all lives on Earth. IMAGINE PEACE TOWER is an outdoor work of art conceived by Yoko Ono in memory of John Lennon. It is situated on Viðey Island in Reykjavík, Iceland. The artwork was dedicated to John by Yoko at its unveiling on October 9th 2007, John Lennon’s 67th birthday. IMAGINE PEACE TOWER is composed of a tall shimmering tower of light that appears every year and is visible from October 9th (John’s birthday) until December 8th (the anniversary of his death).
Unlike other Northern Lights tours I’ve experienced, we didn’t drive to one spot and sit and wait to see if we could possibly see the Northern Lights. Instead, I would say it was something like “Ghost Adventures.” Why would I equate hunting the Northern Lights to chasing ghosts and spirits? Because instead of sitting in one spot and hoping and wishing for the Northern Lights to appear, the guides used all of their high tech equipment and also communicated with others who were out and about looking for the Northern Lights to help find the best location for us to see them.
We spent a fair amount of time driving around, but I didn’t mind. After all, I was determined to see those elusive Northern Lights, right? If that means driving 90 minutes to Steðji in Western Iceland, hey — I’m all for it.
Now keep in mind that we landed in Iceland less than 12 hours before we were picked up for the Northern Lights Hunt – Jeep Tour, which meant that not only was I more than a little cold, but my internal time clock was off and my stomach kept reminding me of that fact. I did have a delicious lunch at Cafe Garðurinn, but I knew that wouldn’t be enough to keep me satisfied past midnight. Before heading out for the tour, we stopped in at Bónus to pack a little snack to eat in the jeep. By a snack, I mean a cheese sandwich, but it was good and I wasn’t complaining. I mean I was complaining about the cold, but definitely not about the cheese sandwich.
Although Gosi drove us to a few different spots to see the Northern Lights, unfortunately, it was not meant to be for me yet again. Why oh why Northern Lights do you do this to me?
Without the Northern Lights to be seen and with temperatures colder than what I like, I didn’t say no to the hot chocolate and Reyka vodka that was offered. In fact, I was so cold that I combined them and shall I say chugged the strange concoction down? Yes, I have no pride when I’m damn cold! It was fun listening to the guides talk to us and other guests about their experiences and I appreciated that they didn’t embarrass me when I insisted on trying to take video of what I thought were the Northern Lights, but was nothing more than the moon. SuperJeep has great guides and the experience was fun and entertaining, even if there were no Northern Lights that night.
TSG Tip: Book your trip for the Northern Lights the first night you’re in town. If you don’t see the Northern Lights that night, they’ll take you back out again for FREE!
Have you seen the Travel Shop Girl YouTube channel? Lots of great videos including videos from Iceland videos as well as Venice, Sydney, and other great cities and cruises, too. The video from the Northern Lights Hunt – Jeep Tour is now up on YouTube.
*While Iceland Travel provided me with the complimentary Northern Lights Hunt – Jeep Tour from SuperJeep, all opinions and photographs are my own.*