North Iceland Northern Lights

Where can I see the Northern Lights?
5 min
December 14, 2023

At the end of one of your days exploring the many geological wonders visit the Myvatn geothermal Baths, with its mineral-rich waters and natural temperature of 36 – 40°C. This soothing experience is perfect at the end of a day exploring and being open until 10pm provides the opportunity of a northern lights display too!

For those more determined to see the Northern Lights we would recommend you take a Northern Lights tour. Available in either a minibus or SuperJeep head out into the wilderness. We would always recommend the Super jeep Northern Lights Hunts for the guiding and ability to go to places off the beaten track.

Every guide has their own favourite Aurora viewing spot with Europe’s most powerful waterfall, Dettifoss, Dimmuborgir with its lava tubes and weird lava shapes or by a river allowing the opportunity to see the Northern Lights reflected in the river are all popular choices. The guides will adapt according to northern lights and weather forecasts but their mission is to get you to see the Aurora Borealis!

The North Iceland Northern Lights season is split into two.

During the shorter autumn Northern Lights Season (Sept- Mid Oct) we would recommend you fly into Akureyri and hire a 4WD to self-drive to stay in the Husavik and Myvatn area. Here you can self-explore the Hverir bubbling mud pools, waterfalls including Europe’s most powerful waterfall, strange and exotic lava tubes and lava flows and the bird watching paradise of Myvatn. If you are looking for whales, Husavik is called the “Whale watching capital of Europe” and with a sightings incidence of 98% you can see why!

Our recommended break in the autumn is the Iceland Autumn Aurora Indulgence

A trip to Askja Volcano cannot be missed, though we would not recommend self-driving as it is highly likely you would need to be rescued as the driving conditions are challenging. Instead, take a SuperJeep tour and you will find this to be an extraordinary day where you will experience a whole range of volcanic landscapes from vast back deserts to lava flows and volcanic craters with a warm geothermal lake where the intrepid can take a swim. As you travel back through the interior of Iceland’s Highlands keep a look out for the Northern Lights as there is no better isolated place to see them in all of Iceland.

The winter North Iceland Northern Lights season lasts until early April and we would recommend you fly into Husavik and use transfers and SuperJeep tours as the weather is more extreme and dangerous for self-driving your own Northern Lights trip.

In winter once enough heavy snow has fallen (Early Dec) you also have the added activities of Husky Sledding and Snowmobiling that can be added to your northern lights holiday. Askja is sadly not open in winter as even experienced SuperJeep guides find the snow too deep and the rivers too high to be fjorded.

A really good Northern Iceland base is the Sel Hotel set in the heart of this beautiful landscape. The Skútustaðagígar pseudo-craters (vents that have expelled steam rather than lava) can be seen from the restaurant and the views all around are amazing. The pseudo-caters make particularly interesting foreground detail for your Northern Lights photographs.

This small hotel (35 rooms) is recommended by the locals and has a friendly and comfortable atmosphere complete with enthusiastic staff who really want to make sure you have a fantastic visit even providing an aurora wake- up call service for those wishing to see the Northern Lights.

We also recommend the larger Fosshotel Mývatn, which opened in 2017, offering 92 rooms in wonderful surroundings overlooking Lake Mývatn in an area which abounds with birdlife. A Larch clad, low-level building with a grass roof blends in with its surroundings to create a spectacular modern hotel with various room types and suites with outdoor hot tubs. On the ground floor, you will find a wonderful restaurant with the perfect view over the lake through large windows.

Take a look at our suggested Aurora break for visiting the North of Iceland in the winter.

The hotel is situated very close to the Myvatn Lake and baths (a lovely place for a natural geothermal swim) in an area that is a geologist’s dream location. Combined with some of the best Northern Lights viewing in Iceland this is a dream Northern Lights destination.

See our FULL range of Northern Lights Trips to Iceland.

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