Iceland to be “Sold Out” for 2026 Eclipse

Sævar Helgi Bragason stargazing.

Popular Icelandic astronomer Sævar Helgi Bragason (often known as “Star-Sævar”) warned in a recent interview with RÚV that many accommodations may already be booked for the 2026 total solar eclipse.

Best visible from Látrabjarg

The path of totality for the 2026 eclipse will run from Iceland’s Westfjords to the Reykjanes peninsula. It will be visible from the capital area, but astronomers say it will be best viewed from the popular cliffs of Látrabjarg. “It will last longest at Látrabjarg, and if the weather is good, a large number of tourists can be expected to go there,” Sævar recently stated in an interview with RÚV. He also stated that travellers can expect much of Iceland to be sold out for the eclipse.

“The difference between a partial eclipse and a total eclipse is like comparing apples and oranges,” Sævar stated. Though a partial eclipse will be visible in parts of Europe and North America, Iceland will be one of the best places in the world to view the total eclipse.

Sævar stated that travellers have already begun booking accommodations and that many of the best viewing sites are already making plans to accommodate the large number of eclipse chasers.

Authorities at Látrabjarg, a sea cliff and popular bird-watching area, have already begun making plans to accommodate the greater-than-average number of travellers.

Sævar continued: “Several hotels are fully booked, both within and outside the path of totality. Major travel companies are organizing trips here, and they are struggling to secure hotel rooms. And I can confidently say that Iceland will be sold out on that specific day.”

The 2026 eclipse

The total eclipse will be visible on August 12, 2026. It will pass over the Arctic, Greenland, Iceland, and Spain, with partial visibility in North America, Scandinavia, Europe, and West Africa.

In Iceland, the path of totality begins at Straumnes Lighthouse in the Westfjords, lasting 1 minute and 57 seconds, extending to 2 minutes and 13 seconds at Látrabjarg. The eclipse will move swiftly at 3400 km/h (2110 mph) and leave Iceland at Reykjanestá Lighthouse around 5:51 pm.

Afterwards, it travels across the Atlantic, reaching Spain approximately 35 minutes later. In total, the eclipse (including the partial eclipse) will be viewable for about two hours in Iceland, though the total duration of totality will be significantly shorter, around 18 minutes.

Amateur astronomers and eclipse chasers can find further information about the 2026 total eclipse in Iceland here.

Read our interview with Icelandic astronomer Sævar Helgi Bragason here.

Total Solar Eclipse In Iceland Expected To Attract Thousands

total solar eclipse

The next total solar eclipse visible from Iceland will occur on August 12, 2026, with the totality beginning at 5:48 PM, Icelandic time. Iceland’s most famous astronomer and a member of Parliament both expect thousands of visitors.

Can the roads handle it?

While this eclipse is still a ways off, there is a need to prepare quickly. It is estimated that the eclipse will be best seen from Látrabjarg, in northwest Iceland. Látrabjarg is a somewhat popular destination already, but also off the beaten track, and for this reason Pirate Party MP Andrés Ingi Jónsson has posed a formal question to the Minister of the Interior asking, “What measures will be taken so that the road system will be able to handle the large amount of visitors who are predicted to seek out experiencing the total solar eclipse on the 12th of August 2026 at Látrabjarg?”

The minister has not yet responded at the time of this writing.

One of the most beautiful natural events

Sæv­ar Helgi Braga­son, better known to Icelanders as Stjörnu-Sævar, told MBL that he believes many visitors can be expected.

“A total solar eclipse is one of the most beautiful natural events you can see,” he said. “People from all over the world travel by the thousands just to experience them.” As such, he believes it fair to estimate a sharp influx in visitors to Iceland around the time of the eclipse.

As this will be happening in August, when tourist numbers are already near their peak, getting the infrastructure prepared in advance is important.

An historic event

As with most places in the world, Iceland frequently experiences partial solar and lunar eclipses. However, the last total solar eclipse that could be experienced in Iceland was in 1954.

Látrabjarg will indeed be a great place to see the total solar eclipse of 2026, as it both lies in the west of the country and is far from light pollution. That said, there are numerous other good locations from where one could experience the eclipse to an enjoyable degree, albeit for a slightly shorter amount of time.

If 2026 seems like a ways off, bear in mind that the next total solar eclipse visible from Iceland will be in 2196.

Subscribers to Iceland Review can read our interview with Sæv­ar Helgi Braga­son here.

Moon and Venus Meet in Iceland’s Morning Sky

The moon and Venus seen from Iceland, November 9, 2023

This morning, November 9, locals and travellers looking up from Iceland saw an unusually beautiful sight: Venus and the Moon, the two brightest objects in the night sky, side by side. The phenomenon was visible to the naked eye while the sun was rising between 9:00 and 10:00 AM this morning. The Moon then passed “in front” of Venus, which appeared once more from behind it just before 10:00 AM.

The Moon and Venus meet in this way once a month, according to astronomer Sævar Helgi Bragason, who runs a popular Icelandic astronomy website, Stjörnufræðivefurinn. The phenomenon will occur next on the morning of December 9, but the two celestial bodies will be much further from each other than they were this morning. By early January, Venus will have dropped so low in the sky that its meeting with the Moon will no longer be visible from Iceland.

The Moon is not meeting Venus exclusively these days, however. On the morning of November 20, it will appear near Saturn, and on the morning of November 25, it will be seen close to Jupiter. It remains to be seen whether the sky above Iceland will be clear enough to view these celestial trysts.

Dazzling Northern Lights to Be Visible in Iceland Tonight

Northern Lights over a lake

Clear weather conditions and solar wind are expected to make for bright and powerful northern lights tonight, Mbl.is reports. When space is at its windiest, the northern lights are at their most beautiful, a press release from a science communicator notes.

Clear weather and solar wind

In a press release published today, Sævar Helgi Bragason – educator and science communicator (editor of the Astronomy website) – predicts that clear weather conditions and solar wind will make for dazzling northern lights tonight, Mbl.is reports.

Sævar points those interested to the Icelandic website Auroraforecast, which publishes information regarding space weather, the magnetic field, and cloud cover over Iceland. The website provides all the most important information needed for people hunting for northern lights.

“The Northern Lights are created when fast-moving ionised particles from the Sun, referred to as solar wind, collide with the Earth’s upper atmosphere. When space is at its windiest, the northern lights are at their most beautiful. This fast solar wind that we are experiencing right now can be attributed to a coronal eruption on the sun last March 11,” Sævar Helgi stated in the press release.

Questions concerning a “bright star in the west”

As noted by Mbl.is, Sævar revealed that he had received numerous inquiries from people about that “bright star that shines in the west at sunset.”

“This is Venus, the star of love. It is rising and will be prominent in the evening sky until summer. Jupiter is lower and descends rapidly in the sky until it disappears behind the sun as seen from us during the month.”

Star Stuff

Sævar Helgi Bragason stargazing.

“The more you know about the nature that surrounds you, the more precious it becomes and the more important it becomes to protect it.” That’s the simple reasoning behind Sævar Helgi Bragason’s mission to educate the Icelandic public about astronomy, climate change, and science in general. During a working day that stretches from seven in […]

This content is only visible under subscription. Subscribe here or log in.

Continue reading