These dancing lights are at the top of many bucket lists around the world and bring in thousands of tourists to Iceland every year. Depending on the weather conditions, cloud cover, and your location, they can be hard to spot. Here's a little reminder of the top tips when visiting Iceland to see the Northern Lights:
- Visit between September and April.
- The night must be as dark as possible.
- There should be as little unnatural light as possible.
- There should be as little cloud cover as possible.
- There must be enough solar activity.
Luck is always a factor where nature is concerned, particularly when hunting the aurora borealis (The Northern Lights).
Here are the top 5 places to see the Northern Lights in Iceland.
A mountain framed by a waterfall and surrounded by lush greenway (or snow in winter), Kirkjufell already looks perfect without the Northern Lights- it is frequently dubbed 'the most photographed mountain in Iceland'. Kirkjufell makes you fall deeper in love with this varied country and provides a stunning back group for the light display to boot.
Located on the north coast of the Snaefellsness peninsula, just a two-hour drive from Reykjavik.
2. Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
Near the southern town of Vik is Reynisfjara, known for its black sand beach, basalt columns and ocean stacks. It's one of the best places to see the Northern Lights in Iceland because it provides both a dramatic view and the soundtrack of the waves while the night sky puts on its show. Legend has it that the basalt stacks were once trolls who tried to guide a ship to shore, and when daylight broke, they transformed into the sharp needles of rock you see now, forever stranded out at sea.
Jokulsarlon is a glacial lagoon that should be on your Iceland bucket list. It just so happens that the utterly unique landscape also makes one of the best places to see the Northern Lights in Iceland. Located in the Southeast, bordering Vatnjokull national Park, the crystal-clear ice boulders on the black sand beach pick up the red and green glow of the aurora borealis, creating a kaleidoscopic effect.
4. Pingvellir National Park
Iceland is a sparsely populated country, so you don't have to go far to get away from light pollution, Pingvellir (Thingvellir) National park is historically significant in the country: It was the site of Iceland's parliament between the 10th and 18th centuries and where the Silfra Drift (the meeting of the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates) is located. More importantly, it offers clear night skies necessary to see the Aurora.
5. Grotta Lighthouse
A birdwatching paradise by day, the nature reserve of Grotta is only a few kilometres from downtown Reykjavik. However, it feels as if you've driven much farther into the wilderness- it lies at the top of the Seltjarnarness peninsula, With its jagged coastline and black sands rinsed by the icy Atlantic, its a hugely popular attraction on its own right, And as it's away from the capital city lights you have a decent chance fo witnessing the Autota Borealis, as well.