As you will know from my previous blog we hired a big 4x4 jeep whilst in Iceland.
On two of our three nights there we headed out into the unknown hunting the famous Aurora. We used the following website to determine the cloud cover and activity and therefore which direction was best to head in:
Head out on nights where the Aurora is at least a two, make sure you drive at least 45 mins out of the city to ensure complete darkness and no light pollution and try and head in the direction of clear skies to maximize your chances.
In the car make sure you have warm clothes, water and snacks, torches as well as fully charged mobile phones! Maybe also tell your hotel where you are going in case of emergency as the roads can be very difficult to drive on in Iceland and pathways often get closed at a moments notice leaving you stranded. Also be prepared to stay out well into the night (as late as 3am) for the best chances.
Despite two very long all night stays in the car we unfortunately did not see the lights at all. We had very strong winds, lots of cloud, blizzards and low activity throughout our stay and none of the organised trips were successful either. Clearly we are all very disappointed BUT this was still an amazing adventure, we ended up stuck in the snow, we got towed by a local, it was all very dramatic and very exciting and for the most part we felt very safe and warm in our car.
I personally think going it alone provides more of an adventure than the organised tours but take precautions and be safe. If in doubt ask locals where to go, they have all seen the lights and are more than happy to help!
So let's hope we have more luck in Tromso in 2016!