We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

areas near Keflavik to see the Northern Lights

Glasgow, United...
Level Contributor
45 posts
44 reviews
Save Topic
areas near Keflavik to see the Northern Lights

Planning a trip in December, thinking of staying in Keflavik area for 5 nights.

Looking for areas close to Keflavik we can go to, to get a good view of Northern Lights. We will have a car.

I know of Lake Kleifervatn. Are there any other good spots?

Hotel Berg looks a reasonable spot to park and walk NW a little - any good?

Thanks for your help.

Boston...
Level Contributor
20,889 posts
654 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: areas near Keflavik to see the Northern Lights

There's no good reason to stay near the airport for your trip to Iceland! Very few tours leave from there and there are quite limited options for dining and shopping. You're much better served staying in Reykjavik.

Regarding the lights, any place with no street lights will work. You can go by the lake, or you can pull off of any road a safe distance and wait for your eyes to adjust.

Glasgow, United...
Level Contributor
45 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: areas near Keflavik to see the Northern Lights

Hi NT,

Thanks for reply.

We have been to Iceland before and done the ring road (it was awesome) but I was gutted never got to see the NL, so this time round it's all about the NL.

Another possibility is to stay outskirts of Kopavogur, so we can dash out quick on the road to see the NL but still be fairly close to Reyk city centre. What would you recommend?

Salisbury, United...
Level Contributor
10,017 posts
150 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: areas near Keflavik to see the Northern Lights

Manage your expectations as there is a good chance you may not see them. Flexibility is the key but it does involve driving at night in the pitch black on icy roads. If you do this for several nights it gets very tiring staying out until the very early hours. Staying in Reykjavik gives you the chance of taking tours.

If the nights are completely clear it's easy to drive, park up and wait. The problem comes if there are only breaks in the cloud. It is really difficult to know if you are in the right place and where the breaks are. Going on a tour all the tours keep in touch looking for the gaps in the cloud.

I have been many times in the winter and am fairly confident with clear conditions but if there is only gaps in the cloud this is when local knowledge is best. It's a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack for the inexperienced.

I used 2 apps this winter and both showed the cloud cover in completely different places, this is when a tour is worth it.

Enjoy.

Boston...
Level Contributor
20,889 posts
654 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: areas near Keflavik to see the Northern Lights

I'm a big Do It Yourselfer, but for the lights I'd take a tour, since the guides know the dark places and can drive when I'm sleepy and are in contact with other guides exchanging info on the best places to see the lights.

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
18 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: areas near Keflavik to see the Northern Lights

if your trip is solely to see northern light and since you area familiar with Iceland. I would suggest rent a car and be flexible. Check Vedur.is and check the aurora forecast and base your night around that area.

-rental cars are cheaper in off season and farm/cottages are cheaper as well. Roads are well maintained and easy to follow.

Reykjavik, Iceland
Level Contributor
5,769 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: areas near Keflavik to see the Northern Lights

@3travelbugs111, driving in Iceland in December is anything but easy.

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
15 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: areas near Keflavik to see the Northern Lights

If the Aurora is active, you can actually see them from anywhere, just make sure to check en.vedur.is and check the cloud cover. If your area is clouded you need to move.

I saw them while driving in downtown Reykjavik and then once again on a different day from my hotel room window in Reykjavik. both times it was around 9:30 PM. That was on Monday and Tuesday this week. Yesterday it was so strong that Reykjavik turned off the lights on the street so people could see the show, unfortunately I was already flying back home.

On Monday I headed to Thingvellir National Park and got a great show. It was totally dark. On Tuesday I just stayed at the light house in Reykjavik (Got really crowded) and got the same view so need to be desperate looking for a very dark place. If the activity is high anyplace will do.

If you definitely want a dark place, anywhere in between the blue lagoon, Reykjavik and Keflavik will be very dark, just find a safe spot to park.

India
Level Contributor
85 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: areas near Keflavik to see the Northern Lights

I was in Iceland for ten days and did not manage to see the Northern Lights. I kept checking the website daily.

The day we left Iceland 28 Sept it was so strong and active. We met a group who were on a trip for 15 days and they did not see it even once. We met another family and on their first day they saw it in Rekjavik.

I guess its just luck.

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
15 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: areas near Keflavik to see the Northern Lights

I would say it's more about patience and a tiny bit of luck. I was able to see them from Reykjavik on the 26th and 27th of September and from Grundarfjordur on the 25th even though it was cloudy there.

My best advice would be to plan ahead. Check earlier during the day a spot with no cloud coverage and head there before it gets dark. All the times we saw them they were very active around 9:30 pm - 11:00 pm. On the 26th we were able to see them really strong from Thingvellir National Park parking lot from like 10:00 PM until 1:00 AM.

One thing to mention is that I say patience because it doesn't mean that if they are active you'll see them all the time dancing above you. If you select an hour timeframe I would say 70-80% of the time what you'll see with your bare eyes is like greenish spots in the sky and then suddenly they will become brighter and show you the different colors.

For those who have not see them before when I say greenish spots think for example on a gray or beige carpet and then pour milk on it. Where the milk was spilled you will notice a slight difference in color. When you are looking at the sky you will see that slight difference in color or it might seem as there are clouds but it's actually the northern lights. If you are unsure, try to take a picture with an SLR camera, as an example set it to manual with 5 seconds and to around 3030 Kelvin and 800 ISO. If you see in the picture a blast of green, just sit tight because soon you'll be able to see them with your bare eyes.

10. Re: areas near Keflavik to see the Northern Lights

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 05 October 2017, 05:15