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Witnessing Northern Lights in Iceland: The Ultimate Experience

If you are planning to see Northern Lights in Iceland here are the most important things you should consider so you have an unforgettable trip that is aimed to see this unique and beautiful phenomenon.

There is no definitive answer to the question of how best to see the northern lights in Iceland.

However, there are certain things that you can do to increase your chances of seeing this amazing natural phenomenon.

Here are a few tips:

Visit during the winter months. The northern lights are most visible during the year’s darkest months, from October to March.

Get away from city lights. The further you are from artificial light, the better your chances of seeing the northern lights. Head out into the countryside or even up into the mountains for the best views.

Stay up late (or get up early). The northern lights are most active during nighttime, so you’ll need to be prepared to stay up late or get up early to catch them.

Be patient. The northern lights are a notoriously fickle phenomenon, so even if you do everything right, there’s no guarantee that you’ll see them.

But the good news is that even if you don’t see the northern lights, you’re sure to have an amazing time in Iceland no matter what!

see Northern Lights in Iceland
Choose best time for Northern Lights in Iceland 2020

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What are Northern Lights

Definition: Aurora Borealis is the frequently utilized term for Northern Lights.

Aurora or auroras, aurorae, sometimes referred to as north lights (aurora borealis), polar lights or southerly lights (aurora australis), is a natural green light that appears at night skies of the Earth.

It can typically be seen in the Arctic circle regions as well as in Antarctica.

Best time to see Northern Lights in Iceland

First, let’s settle on what “best” could mean. Because it can imply various points relying on different elements.

Some of the months are great because they have much more hours of darkness meaning a higher possibility of seeing Aurora Iceland.

Some months are best due to the fact that the temperature levels are much better because it is not so chilly.

Some months are excellent due to the fact that there are fewer groups meaning more perfect images.

Some months are great because they are quickly accessible, because there are better weather conditions.

Some months are excellent because they have the highest possible solar task.

Some months are perfect due to the fact that they are less expensive being outside the high season for Aurora Borealis.

We still consider the best season for Northern Lights to be in autumn and early winter, that is from September to December.

In Conclusion: The best time for Aurora Borealis in Iceland is starting with September and ends in March, these two being the best two months when you can spot the Aurora Iceland.

Aurora season sometimes ends at the beginning of April.

Best places to see Northern Lights in Iceland

Finding the best spot to see Aurora Borealis is not easy, not because they are hard accessible but because in Iceland there are so many beautiful places to photograph the northern lights, that is really hard to choose one as being the best.

It all depends on your taste and on where you prefer to be when the green lady dances in the sky.

Here is my list of favourite top 9 locations for Aurora Borealis, but the list can easily be extended

We analyzed each of the spots in detail in this article: Best places to see the Northern Lights in Iceland

  • VIK: is the most southern village in Iceland
  • KIRKJUFELL: is the best mountain to see Aurora Borealis in Iceland
  • SKOGAFOSS: is the most beautiful waterfall to see the North Lights in Iceland.
  • DC PLANE WRECK: The abandoned plane crash on the sólheimasandur volcanic beach is one of the great places to shoot Northern Light in Iceland
  • HVOLSVOLLUR: This beautiful church is the perfect place to see the Northern Light away from the cities, in total darkness.
  • STOKKSNES: This wild beach offers unique photo compositions and stunning place to view the Northern Light in Iceland.
  • GROTTA: the perfect spot for Northern Light in Iceland close to Reykjavik
  • THINGVELLIR NATIONAL PARK: Silfra drift is the perfect location to see North Lights in Iceland
  • JOKULSARLON: the glacier lagoon offers the best view of the Northern Light in Iceland

If you prefer a shorter list and just seek the top 5 best places to watch Northern Lights in Iceland read this: 5 best places for northern lights in iceland

See the Northern Lights in Iceland
See the Northern Lights in Iceland

Accommodations to see Northern Lights in Iceland

If I were to split Iceland into just 5 regions where you can see Aurora Borealis, the best accommodations for these regions are:

Book your overnight stay in Capital Region:

Midgardur by Center Hotels

  • Close to Reykjavik main attractions
  • has parking place for the car
  • Northern Lights wake up call services

Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre

  • Close to Reykjavik main attractions
  • very modern rooms and great breakfast
  • assist in preparing an unforgetable Northern Lights tour

Storm Hotel by Keahotels

  • Close to Reykjavik main attractions
  • tasty breakfast
  • pick up and drop off from the hotel for Northern Lights tours

Book your overnight stay in Southern Region:

Seljavellir Guesthouse

  • right near the Ring Road
  • far from any light pollution
  • cozy rooms and great breakfast
  • each room have a terrace from where you can see the northern lights

Magma Hotel

  • modern rooms with Nordic design
  • far from any light pollution
  • Views of the lava-fields
  • black sand river and even Vatnajäkull Glacier

Hotel Berg

  • next to Keflavik marina
  • Blue Lagoon is 20 minutes drive
  • good place after a long night of chasing Northern lights

Book your accommodation in Northwestern Region:

Siglo Hotel

  • car hire at the reception
  • hot spring bath
  • hot tub and sauna
  • view over the harbour

Hestasport Cottages

  • individual cottages with nice view over the surroundings
  • remote area outside Varmahlíd village

Ytri Vík

  • remote area
  • view over the sea
  • far from any light pollution
  • with nice rooms and a fully equiped kitchen

Book your overnight stay in Northeast Region:

Vogafjós Farm Resort, Myvatn

  • individual cottages far from any light pollution
  • close to Myvatn Natural Pools
  • great breakfast and cozy rooms

Hotel Kea by Keahotels

  • located in Akureyri
  • the capital of the North
  • with nice rooms and great breakfast
  • staff very helpful will give you good tips for chasing Northern Lights

Skógar Sunset Guesthouse

  • remote location
  • 13 km away from Husavik
  • offer nice rooms overlooking the beautiful scenery
  • each room have a terrace from where you can see the Northern Lights

Best accommodations in Snaefellsnes Peninsula:

Our top choices for this area were Budir Hotel that is close to Budakikja, an iconic black church. Not far is the other nice accommodation Guesthouse Hof that has a great value and nice position.

Both are excellent places to stay in and just wait for the aurora borealis to show up:

Budir hotel

  • located in the Snaefellsnes peninsula
  • close to Kirkjufell Mountain (wizard hat mountain Iceland, also called Church Mountain)
  • nice cleand and cozy rooms

Guesthouse Hof

  • 60 km away from Kirkjufell
  • offer rooms with wooden interior
  • close to a volcano and a geothermal swimming pool
  • remote location perfect for watching Northern Lights

Book your overnight stay in Snaefellsnes: