Northern Lights in Iceland - A True Fantasy

Northern Lights in Iceland - A True Fantasy
It’s easy to agree that one of the most incredible natural phenomena of the world we live in are the Northern Lights in Iceland. You may know what it’s like to stand at the top of a mountain or feel the roaring ocean standing on a sandy beach. Words cannot explain the emotions you feel inside when you stand below an Icelandic night sky and behold the dancing green lights above. With an Iceland 4x4 camper van, hunting the Auroras is so much easier.

We realize how difficult it is to put into words how to feel about the Icelandic Northern Lights. But at 4x4 Camper van Iceland, we want you to know, why it’s important that you get to partake in this natural Aurora Borealis phenomenon at least once in your life!

Aurora Borealis legends and myths

Stories date back as far as the Greek Empire and travel as far as places like China and the United States. The Greeks believed that the lights in the sky were the goddess of the dawn, who’s name was Aurora. The Chines believed it was good and bad dragons dueling out fiery battles in the heavens. The North American Indians believed them to be the spirits of their ancestors watching over them.

Why the Northern Lights in Iceland are so fascinating

Like a lightning in the sky or a rainbow after the storm. The Iceland Northern Lights are nature's way of letting us know that it has the potential to make our jaw drop. What’s interesting about them is that the timing and circumstances have to be just right for you to be able to see them by the naked eye.

The Aurora Borealis happen all the time in the northern hemisphere. During the daylight, due to the sun's flares being the cause for the atoms and positive particles colliding. You simply can’t see it happening because the bright daytime hides it.

What are the best times to see the Northern Lights in Iceland?

Pinpointing an exact time frame to see them is impossible, as it depends on the solar activity. There are seasons that are better than others when your more than likely to see them. For example, the months between October and April, when the nights are longer. The best time at night to see the lights also varies as well. Mostly between 9pm to 1 am but they can take place whenever they want.

Remember, the Aurora Borealis is a natural phenomena and no one can predict the exact timing.

However, you can trust in the experts! Look around online to get the best information regarding the Aurora Borealis in Iceland. When it comes to Aurora forecast we trust in this one here. If having trouble spotting the Auroras, you could book a tour and have the professionals help you out.

Iceland Northern Lights
Photo:Dan Zafra

Best places to visit in Iceland for viewing the Northern Lights

There are a few places in Iceland where you will have better luck catching a glimpse of them. There are 5 ideal places we recommend to visiting for gazing. The following are excerpts of our advice:


Grótta is only a few kilometers from downtown and yet feels like much more. Located at the tip of the Seltjarnarnes peninsula, this bird-watching paradise by day is removed enough from the city to give you a good view. Dress warmly as you don’t want to be distracted by the cold when the Aurora arrives.

Þingvellir National Park

þingvellir National Park is also a great place to see the Icelandic Aurora Borealis. Only an hours drive from Reykjavík, this landscape of lava rock and moss make a great back drop. This area has almost no light pollution so you can watch even the dimmest Northern lights show.

Here you can camp with your Iceland 4x4 camper van and enjoy the show if the sky's are clear.

Ásbyrgi Canyon - "Shelter of the Gods"

Ásbyrgi Canyon, meaning Shelter of the Gods, is located close to Húsavik in North Iceland. A beautiful, remote setting in which to gaze at the dancing Aurora Borealis. With over a 100-meter high cliff sides and a woodland forest of ash, birch, and willow, enjoy the immersion in the landscape both cosmic and earthly.

Vik in Mýrdal

If driving a few hours out of town, head to the town of Vík. The black sand beach just next to the small fishing village is an incredible place as the backdrop to a dancing aurora. Just keep your eye on the waves, which are known to be strong with an undertow to match. Please be careful there.


Öskjuhlið is the closest thing to a forest in Reykjavik. Begin at the building called Perlan at the top which is shaped like a glass dome. If it is during opening hours, head to the observation deck on the top floor. This offers great views of the city as well as excellent visibility in all directions.

4x4 Iceland Winter camper van

Using your 4x4 Camper van to view the Icelandic Northern Lights

There’s no better way to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights than to track them down in your Icelandic camper van. Our Camper vans are ideal for traveling in remote areas and make it easy for you to see areas listed above.

Laying down inside your warm van wrapped in cosy blankets with the back door open and a full view of the northern hemisphere sky. Sound good, right? Some of the best opportunities to see the Northern Lights in Iceland are traveling in a camper van, with no hotels or Airbnbs to restrain you.

If you’re interested in booking a Camper van, feel free to let us know, and we’ll be sure to hook you up. Or, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re always happy to help!

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