The Best Time to See the Northern Lights in Iceland and The Best Locations

Do you ever hear about the northern lights? Of course, you may ever dream about it in some days of your life; then, you are not alone. We all have dreamed of enjoying something fascinating, like stunning backdrops.

Similarly, thousands of visitors visit the land of fire and ice every year with the desire to enjoy the northern lights of Iceland. Moreover, if you are a regular traveler, you may also have Iceland on your list.

Well, northern lights are the legendary ones that you can enjoy with patience and adequately plan the time and location. Keep in mind that the time and location planning help boost the chances of seeing the northern lights in Iceland.

Here we will provide you with the appropriate guidance related to the best location of Iceland to see the northern lights and be at the right time.

So let’s dive into the northern lights hunt.

See the Northern Lights

What Are The Northern Lights?

According to the auroras, northern lights, southern lights, and polar lights are natural. This is because it appears at the high latitude of the sky near the antarctic and arctic circles.

  • The polar lights appear in the auroral zone in a particular band. For example, it appears above the 60th parapet in the north region and the 60th parallel below the south.
  • However, in the northern hemisphere, the lights are referred to as the northern lights called the Aurora Borealis.
  • Commonly light appears in both northern and southern hemispheres at the same time and in a similar pattern.
  • You can say that it presents the mirror image on both sides. Northern and southern lights are identical, whereas the polar lights have lower latitudes.

What Causes The Northern Lights?

As we already said that the northern, southern, and polar lights are a natural phenomenon. So, according to nature, it is caused by the collisions of the electrically charged particles that travel around the earth’s solar wind and magnetic field.

  • Gas molecules are explosive at the sun’s surface due to the incredible heat levels. But the particles also have high energy, due to which they escape from the sun’s gravity.
  • In this way, hot plasma releases from the sun and is then blown into space-time to time towards the earth’s supersonic speed. This process is referred to as solar wind.
  • When the solar wind reaches the planet and crashes with the magnetic field, the charged particles enter the atmosphere. Some week particles escape and make the magnetic pole.
  • However, after entering the earth, the sun particles interact with gas atoms and collide. This collision causes light emission and energy.
  • The attractive lights that we can see result from that collision and make an ethereal noise.

Northern Lights in Iceland

Why Is Iceland The Best Country To See The Northern Lights?

As we already discussed that the aurora appears near the poles. So when the solid geometric storm hits the planet’s atmosphere, they may have the lower latitudes. Keep in mind that it will only happen once in the decade or maybe in many decades.

One of the common questions among visitors is why Iceland is the best country where northern lights forecast? So Iceland is between the 63 to 66-degree latitude north, and it is the perfect position that offers sunshine for most of the time during every year.

Moreover, Iceland is one of the ideal travel destinations for the northern lights, and it is also the slightest cold. The warm gulf stream travels around Iceland and makes the climate milder for the visitors, and they can happily enjoy the fascinating northern lights. You can also check out the best sleeping bags if you’re planning to camp there!

Best Time To See The Northern Lights In Iceland

If you want to enjoy the northern lights in Iceland, you need to be careful about the right time. The right time of watching the lights of the north depends on the year and daytime.

  • According to research and love facts, October and March are the best time to see the northern lights in Iceland.
  • If we talk about the best time of the day, then it is the hours around midnight. It can be an hour before or after midnight.
  • Here we will explain why it is the best time and season to enjoy the northern lights tours in Iceland.

Northern Lights Season In Iceland

The best season to see the northern lights in Iceland is between October and March. However, it doesn’t mean that the north of lights will not appear during the other times of the year. But the chances during October and March are high to see the northern lights in Iceland.

Moreover, winters are also the ideal time to visit Iceland. Winters have longer nights of the season and also have extended hours of darkness. So it also increases the opportunity to spot the northern lights.

Best Place To See The Northern Lights

Best Time Of Day To See The Aurora Borealis

Aurora borealis offer appears during the darkest part of the night. So it is around the midnight hours between 11 to 2 pm.

  • It is the darkest time of the night but only in the nights. So it isn’t easy to find the aurora borealis on full moon nights.
  • However, you can spend the night stargazing and look for the worth display of the northern lights.
  • Some restaurants also offer the stunning backdrop that appears during the might night in the location of Iceland.

Best Place To See The Northern Lights In Iceland

One of the common questions is what is Iceland’s best location to see the northern lights. So let be clear first that there is no particular place where the lights look first or look better. The aurora display is in the sky, so you need to find that perfect location to have a clear and ideal display.

  • You can spot the aurora Borealis at any location of Iceland, even by staying in the capital city of Reykjavík.
  • However, some factors decrease the sky’s visibility in specific areas like light pollution or artificial lights.
  • So here are some best places where you can find the Aurora Borealis in Iceland.

Vík And South Iceland

Vik has black sand beaches that provide a perfect location for the northern light hunters to enjoy the stunning backdrop. It is located at a few hours’ drive from the Reykjavík if the traveler follows the rind road path. Moreover, it is the dramatic beach of Iceland.

West Fjords And North Iceland

It is a different region towards the north than Reykjavík. So it would help if you took long hours of darkness and the opportunity of northern light visibility increases. In addition, the small urban population area has fewer artificial lights to have a clear backdrop view.


If you prefer to be in the bigger city and northern lights forecast the aurora, Reykjavík is the most prominent capital. It has parks with less light pollution for the aurora display. Grotta Lighthouse on the Seltjarnarnes peninsula is one of the recommended locations in REYKJAVÍK to enjoy the warmth of the northern lights.

Aurora Borealis

Final Verdict

We hope this guide is helpful for you in understanding and deciding the right time and place for capturing the northern lights. You can also have a guided northern lights tour to enjoy city lights. However, keep in mind that you will only spot the moment when you have the appropriate planning.

Leave a Comment