With its untouched nature, serene waters, and astonishing cliffs, Iceland is one of the best places in the world to experience the northern lights phenomenon. The island country also is located on the latitude of about 64° north, which is suitable to see the aurora. You can choose a place far away from cities—the darker the better, although if you find yourself caught by aurora borealis in Reykjavik, you'll be able to see something as well. The undertones of blue, yellow, green, and if you get lucky, red will make your Icelandic nights so much brighter.
When to see northern lights in Iceland
The season for the natural light show lasts from September to mid-April. At other times, the midsummer light is simply too bright to see the aurora. To see the dancing lights the night has to be extremely dark so avoid full moons. On the contrary, the winter equinox period is usually a good time. The night should also be very clear, without clouds that block the lights. The northeastern part of Iceland usually has fewer clouds than other regions. Also, check for solar activity on one of the special websites. You are looking for numbers larger than Kp 2 which gives you a good chance to witness the wonderful phenomenon and capture it on camera.
Westfjords region in North Iceland is known to have longer nights due to its location and fewer clouds than other parts of the country, which gives better chances to get a glimpse of aurora borealis. The region is also less populated so there is less light pollution. You can book a guided tour with one of the local operators or go on an aurora chasing adventure by yourself. The old Viking ruins at Vatnsfjörður and the historical town of Ísafjörður will provide some picturesque details for your aurora pictures,
East Iceland or Austurland is also known to be a good location to watch northern lights. Most tours take place around Egilsstaðir, a small town, located on the banks of the Lagarfljót river. Reflections in the river will help you make stunning aurora photos. Go on a hike with a local aurora-watching group to get away from the lights and closer to stars.
Greater Reykjavik area luckily doesn't have that much light pollution which makes it quite suitable for the Northern Lights chase. The ideal spot for that is Grótta, a nature preserve on the very end of the Seltjarnarnes Peninsula, north-west of Reykjavík. If you get lucky you can capture Northern Lights against Iconic Grotta Lighthouse. The area is also known for its vivid birdlife. Laugardalur Park and Oskjuhlid forests are good places to go on a night excursion, being not far from the center and easy to navigate.
Northern Lights Cruises
Boat tours is an easy option to enjoy Northern Lights in all their glory. The boats will take you far into the sea and away from light pollution. Water reflections will create great effects, and it's also a very comfortable option since you don't have to hike in the cold night. Northern Lights Cruises are available from Reykjavik, heading to Faxafloi Bay and from Akureyri, going to Eyjafjordur Fjord. The tours last for about two hours