Northern lights super jeep tour with Superjeep.is

Earlier this week the Northern Lights forecast was looking extra promising and although I don’t necessarily run out of the house every time the forecast is good – I kind of wanted to go out there and see them that day. I have been so busy the last couple of weeks that I was basically just desperate to get out of the house and I probably would have said yes to just about anything at that point. I had also been wanting to try out a super jeep northern lights tour that had been recommended to me by a number of guests on my tours so the magical cogwheels in my head started turning and I got this great idea (imagine light bulb over my head): What if I call them up and ask if I can join them tonight?

And then I did. And they said yes, And I was like woohoo. And they were like cool.

I was also going to use the opportunity to take some amazing photos to accompany the tour description if ended up wanting to offer this tour to you guys through my tour page but lets just say that I was unsuccessful. To make a long story short(er) at first I couldn’t find my camera and the whole family turned the home upside down to find it. When I finally found it it was out of battery and then I had obviously been messing around with some settings the last time I used which I of course didn’t remember at that point so all the photos were, uhhh how to say it nicely, somewhat lacking.

My advice, after looking through the mess that are the photos from the tour, is to always take the time to go over your settings before you head out. Also, if you hide your camera in case of a break-in while you are away from home: write down where you hid it!

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I must admit that I was a bit skeptical about this tour. I was once skeptical about all northern lights tours but then I gave it a better thought and realized how many of our guests here in Iceland have zero experience in driving on our roads. In the snow. And the dark. So now I’m a converted believer in northern lights tours. This time I was skeptical because I wasn’t sure whether it was worth it to pay that much more to do a super jeep tour than the normal bus tour.

I was actually pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this tour!

I should put it out there as a disclaimer tough that I’m a closeted thrill seeker when it comes to motor vehicles. I’m also kind of scared of them but I think that’s part of the fun. And because of that I kind of love super jeep tours. I like that they can go to places you can’t go in other vehicles and I like that they are smaller and more personal than the bus tours.  And then I just love zooming through a pile of snow in the dark not quite knowing whether I’m going to get out of there alive or not. But deep down I do know it, you know?

My driver, Heimir, picked me up from a guesthouse close to my home and drove us out towards the darkness. In the car with me were four lovely but a bit older Brits that had obviously traveled quite a bit and shared Land Rover war stories with the guide from safaris in Kenya and such. Although there were only 5 of us in this jeep we were in a convoy of 8 jeeps all together and we stuck together for the entire tour.

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I read on Tripadvisor prior to the tour that people had been disappointed when they realized this wasn’t a private tour and that they’d been part of a convoy but I actually thought that added to the experience. I felt like I was in some sort of action movie and we were all on a secret mission together. The fact that I was sitting in the front with the driver and I could understand all the bad jokes the guides were making on the radio (mostly poking fun at each other) helped with that. Apart from that it’s good to know that your not on your own out there if something goes wrong.

We went to the first location, which wasn’t that far out of the city actually, and saw the most amazing northern lights there with a pretty background for the photos. Which I could now show you if I hadn’t been an idiot and all. There the guides took photos of everyone with the northern lights which they made available on their Facebook page later in the evening for everyone to enjoy.

Although this is a nice service, the way they went about it was a little bit Disneyesque in my opinion and it felt a tad bit like those photo booths you are made to walk through when you’re going to places like Alcatraz or Madame Tussauds where they then make you buy the photos. When we were in the US last year I always made a scene and refused to pose for those because they annoy me so much. But these guys obviously don’t make you pay for them, which is great, and it seemed to me that people in general liked this.

But this was also the only thing I kinda didn’t like and it’s a pretty minor thing considering how much I enjoyed this tour. And you could totally ignore it, like I did, without making a scene.

Then we went further and stopped at a second location where the lights were not quite as bright but still very visible. There they gave a little talk about the science behind the aurora, gave us some warm refreshments and just enough time to enjoy the lights without freezing our little behinds off. OK, OK, not so little behind in my case.

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On the way back into town the drivers tried to give their guests their money worth for the super jeep part of the tour and got stuck in the snow, which was fun, and tried (somewhat unsuccessfully) to drive over big piles of snow. My British friends were not fond of this though but I think our guide did a great job handling it and making sure everyone was comfortable.

The tour took about 3.5 hours from when they picked me up until they brought me home again. Although I could have stayed out much longer (I was wearing my polar gear – all 17 layers) I heard people around me commenting on being cold so this was probably the perfect amount of time for this tour. It was somewhere around -10°C that night. I also really enjoyed how much fun the guides were having, there’s nothing worse than guides that hate their jobs, and the fact that even though there were quite a lot of people on the tour you still got that personal touch with your guide once you returned to the vehicle.

I would not have any problems recommending this tour to anyone. It’s not super action packed but just enough to make it interesting. And if you don’t see the lights on the first try – they allow you to come back and try again.

You can find more information about the particulars of this super jeep northern lights tour here.

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10 thoughts on “Northern lights super jeep tour with Superjeep.is”

  1. Tanja says:

    Hi! When you went to the tour did you see the colours in the sky or was there something like a white-grey cloud dancing in the sky and the green could be seen only in the picture taken by a good camera? We went to a tour where there was these white-grey clouds. Nice in a way but not nearly as special as when you can see the colours with your own eyes and not just in the picture. Like your blog and loved Reykjavik and all the beautiful graffitis!

    1. Auður says:

      On this tour they were visible to the naked eye and if anything the photos don’t do them justice. But that doesn’t depend on the tour, it just depends on luck and all the components coming together. You can’t really plan for seeing “good” northern lights, all you can really do is do some research about the conditions and hope for the best.

      The tour itself is more about the transportation and whatever else is offered on the tour and that part of this tour, in my opinion, is good.

  2. Tanja says:

    I am sure that this tour is good. I am sorry if you thought I had something bad to say about it. I just wanted to ask about the visibility and this was the first article about Northern lights that I saw. My bad.

    1. Auður says:

      No offence taken at all – I was just trying to explain that what kind of northern lights you see depends on luck and not the tour you take. Because all any tour can offer is transportation, maybe some info and possibly extras like hot chocolate to keep you warm – everything else is up to luck and mother nature.

  3. Mike says:

    Hey! Thanks for the blog! I’m a student form ecuador and I’m looking into either iceland or tromso for a small winter. Iceland offers so much it’s amazing! But I can’t seem to find a tour that includes the option of renting the winter clothes (which for me is an issue since I basically don’t own any), the trip will be 4 days or so, ando the northern lights experience is a must! I’m glad this tour provides pictures because the camara is a second issue!

    1. Auður says:

      Some of the overnight tours offer that you can rent rain jackets and pants if you book them. You might also want to look into this: http://outfitters.is/en/product-category/rent-rental-outdoor-gear-and-camping-equipment-reykjavik-iceland/clothing-and-footwear/winter-clothing/

  4. Joe says:

    Thank you for sharing all these details. I’m coming to Iceland in late March and noticed tours often have different start times and durations for the same day. They can start anywhere from 8-10PM and last anywhere from 3-5 hours.

    Would it be better to pick a tour that starts later (i.e 10PM) as I heard the best hours for northern lights are between 11PM-2AM? Also, astronomical darkness does not settle in until after 11PM in late March. http://www.timeanddate.com/sun/iceland/reykjavik?month=3&year=2016

    1. Auður says:

      I would think it’s better to go later because it’s getting brighter by the day but it doesn’t have to be pitch black for your to see them. Often they’re even more beautiful if the sky is a bit blue.

      There’s no science I think to when is the best time to see the lights – I think it’s just best to see them when all the elements come together and create good conditions. I’ve seen amazing northern lights at 6pm but also at 2am.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Curious, what time did they pick you up? You said the whole tour took around 3.5 hours? Would you recommend this over the boat tour to try and see the lights? Thanks – enjoying reading your blog.

    1. Auður says:

      I believe they picked me up about 15 minutes before departure because I was the first pickup. But I just don’t remember (pickup of this tour is generally 15 minutes before).

      It depends what you are looking for which one I would recommend more. I enjoyed this one more than the boat tour because I really got into this feeling of being on a mission in this little Landrover convoy and I did on a really good night so we saw a lot of northern lights. On the other hand, the boat tour is good because you don’t have to go very far and I always enjoy being out at sea. I liked seeing Reykjavík from the boat too and before the northern lights showed up it was amazing to see all the stars we normally don’t see in Reykjavík because of the light pollution. So both are good in their own way. If money is an issue then the boat tour is obviously the way to go.

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