5 Best places to chase Northern Lights near Reykjavik & MAP

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If you will be staying in Reykjavik between late September and early April there are changes you will see one of the most beautiful natural phenomena – The Northern Lights.

We hope that our list will be useful and you will be at the right place and time to capture some great shots.

When the activity of the Northern Lights is strong, you can see aurora even from the city center of Reykjavik. The most popular spots in Reykjavik are Perlan, Elliðaárdalur “the Rabbit Park”, old harbor or Grótta lighthouse. However, we don’t recommend to chase aurora in the city as the darker the better. Leave the city lights behind as light pollution kills all the effect and it is always better to experience aurora in the middle of the beautiful Icelandic nature. Especially when you can use an impressive background like a mountain covered in snow or a lake where you will be able to capture also the green reflections of aurora dancing on the surface of the water.

5. Gríndavik

a little port town in Reykjanes peninsula, where you can choose the ocean, mountains or a lighthouse as the background of your Northern Lights photographs.

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4. Heiðmörk

the largest park nearby Reykjavik. Actually its name is derived from Norwegian word Hedmark, which means an area with deep forests. In comparison to other Icelandic forests, Heiðmörk is a really deep, enormous forest and it’s dark enough out there, which means perfect for watching Aurora.

3. Þingveillir National Park

protects the area where two tectonic plates constantly spread creating a rift, you can visit Öxarárfoss waterfall and make some long exposure photos with the Northern Lights dancing above.

This aurora we experienced in the national park while driving along Þingvallavatn – the rift valley lake and the biggest natural lake in Iceland. Sometimes when the activity isn’t strong the Northern Lights take shape of a blurred cloud like on the photo below. Luckily when the activity is not so great you can always make some photos of stars – Orion constellation (on the right).

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2. Kerið

the volcanic crater in the Golden Circle area. All the places where Northern Lights can be reflected in water make the perfect Northern Lights photo locations. During winter you can spot also some ice floating on the surface of the volcanic lake.

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1. Kleifarvatn

is the largest lake in the Reykjanes peninsula and located on the fissure zone of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

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Sometimes the best place to see Northern Lights is just exactly where you are at the moment. Just look up as maybe Aurora is dancing above your head and make sure you have a tripod always with you while your stay in Iceland.

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The Northern Lights dancing above Reykjavik.

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