Best Place To See Northern Lights In Iceland

Best Place To See Northern Lights In Iceland

The mesmerising sight of the striking green and blue lights above the land of ice and fire, the northern lights or the aurora borealis, on the southern edge of the arctic circle manages to conquer the topmost spots on several people’s bucket lists. It is however a little tricky to find them in their glory, as you will need to be at the Best Place to see northern lights in Iceland. Moreover, while the chances of witnessing the northern lights are equally high during a variety of months and you just need to keep in mind a few basic factors required, such as clear skies and darkness, solar activity can be extremely sporadic and unreliable. While it is commonly believed that the highest chance of witnessing an auroral storm is during the solar maximum, which is the term used to define the period when the sun is at the most active point in its 11- year cycle, the northern lights are more common than people realise and can be witnessed in Iceland at almost any time. Now there are several spots in Iceland that can meet your requirements for viewing the northern lights (darkness, especially during the winter solstice with clear skies), below are a few spots that will make things easier for you and help you choose the Best place to see northern lights in Iceland, according to your needs:


Located near the capital city of Reykjavik, this large park has dense rows of trees that assist in blocking out the light pollution from apartment blocks nearby. If you manage to stand in the middle of the park, you will be blocked out from all sorts of light, which increases your chances of spotting the dancing colours in the sky. This could make Klambratún the Best place to see northern lights in Iceland for you.


Laugardalur is popular among the locals who like to participate in outdoor-activities. It is situated at the outskirts of Reykjavik and hosts a number of hiking trails, sports centres, a few huge outdoor thermal pools which stay open till about 10 at night, and an ice rink when the winter descends. In short, you can settle down for a while and enjoy the activities available while looking for the Northern lights.


This picturesque port city located in the Northern end of Iceland can be the Best place to see northern lights in Iceland due to its remote and slightly isolated geographical nature. The light intrusions are minimal and you can effortlessly find front row seats to an auroral storm when the skies are clear. Being closer to the Arctic circle might also play a role in improving your chances of spotting one.


This park can both be the Best place to see northern lights in Iceland at night, and a dream destination for birdwatchers during the day. Located very close to downtown Reykjavík, this nature reserve will give you a feeling of properly diving into the wilderness at the top of the Seltjarnarnes Peninsula. Grótta is an extremely tourist attraction on its own with the incredible views of the rough coastline and black sand. Make sure you dress for the winter as nights can get really chilly here.


Located about 61 m over sea level, in a forested area on the outskirts of Reykjavik, the futuristic looking glass structure lies between a greenhouse and an observatory. If you are looking for the Best place to see northern lights in Iceland, this has to be on one of the top spots on your list as the magnificent lights wriggling across the sky looks like bioluminescence from up here.


One of the more desolate spots, the beachfront of Vik will require you to drive a little over 100 miles towards the southeastern side of Reykjavik, towards the southernmost village of Iceland. This scarcely populated village will make sure there’s no intrusion of light and the black sand on the beach makes for the perfect backdrop for you to enjoy the heavenly illusions.

Pingvellir National Park

This spot makes for a dramatic landscape to witness the northern lights in. This can be the Best place to see northern lights in Iceland if you don’t mind a short half-hour drive towards the north eastern side of the capital and wish to view the magic from cosy translucent accommodations that will make you feel like you are inside a bubble while you stargaze.

Ásbyrgi Canyon

Ásbyrgi Canyon translates to Shelter of the Gods. This canyon can be reached by driving about 40 miles towards the town of Húsavik, on the Diamond circle road along the shores of the Skjálfandi. This far-flung location can offer an exceptional experience when it comes to viewing the Aurora Borealis, with the majestic, earthy and cosmic effect of the glacial canyon making you fall in love with the intimidating beauty of nature.


This lake of glacial origin is located towards the south eastern side of the country. You can only imagine what the view would be like when the lagoon freezes during the winter and the warm hue of the sunset transforms into the tranquil green and purple of the evocative luminous phenomena.

Reynisfjara black sand beach

Located near Vik, this black sand beach is the Best place to see northern lights in Iceland if you prefer enjoying the dramatic behaviour of the phenomena coupled with the aggressive soundtrack of the waves.


For those who are feeling adventurous and are willing to go the extra mile to make their experience memorable, like defying nature for example, Seljavallalaug allows you to be the audience to the magic show in the sky while sitting cosily in one of the country’s most iconic hot springs. This is hand’s down, the most unique way to experience the northern lights.


The mountain surrounded by lush greenery, covered in snow, makes for another breathtaking backdrop that will make your photos of the northern lights stand out. Over an hour’s drive from Reykjavík, this spot is located towards the northern side of the Snæfellsnes peninsula and will make you believe that nature likes to show off.

FAQs For Best Place To See Northern Lights In Iceland

Why is Iceland so famous?

Popular among tourists for its unique and extremely variety of nature and landscape settings, this country lets you experience some of the most exclusive activities in the world. From having its international airport being built in the midst of a lava field, to having tourists snorkel between tectonic plates, Iceland is truly one of a kind.

What is the best time to visit Iceland?

While the summer months of July and August are the most popular time to visit Iceland, visiting during the winter solstice ( September through March) can extend your chances to witness the northern lights due to long nights with clear skies. Keep in mind, Iceland experiences 24 hours of daylight during the summer months (June).

What is the best time to see the northern lights in Iceland?

There are two factors that need to be kept in mind while thinking about the best time to see the northern lights in Iceland; calendar wise, anywhere from October to March would be suitable. If you are considering the time of day however, anytime around midnight would be the most suitable to witness the Aurora borealis.

Is Iceland expensive for visitors?

The land of the mind blowing northern lights and incredible artistic landscapes and sceneries is comparatively expensive for visitors. On an average a week in Iceland might easily cost you over $500. The money spent however, is absolutely worth it, considering the experiences that can be participated in.

Which are the best cities in Iceland to see the northern lights?

While the Best place to see northern lights in Iceland might differ from person to person, depending on their expectations, interests and preferences, some of the most popular cities to witness nature’s magic show are:

  • Reykjavik
  • Vik
  • Siglufjörður
  • Hella
  • Höfn

What are northern lights?

Popularly known as Aurora or the Polar lights, the northern lights are a natural phenomenon seen in the high- latitude regions where dynamic patterns of lights in vibrant colours cover the sky and dance around, making for an awe-inspiring view. Scientifically, this display of colours occurs as a result of activity on the surface of the sun.


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