By Michelle Yastremsky
During the months of September-April on a clear night, Iceland’s skies may transform into a colorful ballet of lights, in hues ranging from greens to purples to majestic blues.
While you can sometimes see this surreal light show from the streets of Reykjavik, the Northern lights are best viewed far from the lights of cities, surrounded by Iceland’s natural beauty. Here are some of the best places in Iceland to see the Northern Lights – get your cameras ready!
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Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon
Dazzling glaciers below, dazzling skies above.
Still blue waters dotted with icebergs in the purest of whites and blues – sounds like you’ve found Iceland’s famous glacial lagoon! Plan a visit to this picturesque site during the darker hours for the chance to catch a glimpse of the Aurora dancing above.
Enjoy a soak under an illuminated sky.
How can Iceland’s iconic bathing experience be even better? With a dazzling light show! While the lagoon closes earlier during the winter, you can still be one of the lucky ones to see the dance while enjoying a soak – just don’t forget to look up!
See the dance of the Aurora amongst bubbling lava fields.
At the edge of the Laugahraun lava field lies one of the best places to view the Northern Lights in Iceland – the geothermal area of Landmannalaugar. During the day, hike through the mountains comprised of colorful volcanic rock in rich orange hues, then wind down and wait for the Aurora to show. Please note that this area is not open year-round, and 4X4 vehicles are required to access this majestic site during the winter.
Colorful skies and black sand beaches!
The black sand beaches of Vik may be the show-stoppers during the day, but during the winter’s evening hours it’s the Northern Lights that demand attention. Embark on an adventure to find the famous ruins of the Solheimassandur plane crash for a truly chilling backdrop.
Increase your chances by going north!
Said to be the place in Iceland to view the Northern Lights, the area around North Iceland's Myvatn is home to volcanoes, steaming mud pools, and a famous lake for which it is named. Enjoy the show in town, or treat yourself to a soak in the Lake Myvatn baths while relaxing surrounded by locals.
Watch the show in the wilderness.
Remote, dramatic, and unpredictable, Iceland’s Snaefellsnes Pensinsula is the ultimate destination for the off-the-beaten path explorer. Spend the day hiking the path less traveled by, then set up camp near mount Kirkjufell and enjoy the dazzling dance in the skies above.