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Exploring The Northern Lights of Iceland

Iceland is an exclusive off-beat travel destination in the middle of the North Atlantic and it is the perfect destination for those who are looking for the unexpected or something out of the ordinary. It could be said that traveling to Iceland can change the way you see the world. Because Iceland is so diverse and therefore, Iceland as a destination should be on the bucket list of every avid and wanderlust traveler.

Northern lights in winter forest
Northern lights in winter forest

Iceland is widely known as “The Land of Fire and Ice” and the extreme contrast in Icelandic nature is a huge part of the appeal. But also, Iceland grabs the third position in the list of worlds friendliest countries so for you as a  wanderlust traveler it could be said that it is easier to feel comfortable when the people of Iceland are welcoming and friendly, with a positive attitude towards you as a traveler and to all the diverse cultures.

If  you’ve ever wanted to experience The Northern Lights, read on to learn how to be prepared for the next season of the Northern Lights, an ethereal and surreal dance of natural lights.


The Northern Lights

The time of year you choose to travel to Iceland will make a big difference to what you see and how you experience the country, as well as how busy the attractions are. It is a fact that during winter is the least busy time in Iceland and that this time of year comes with the unbelievable Northern Lights.

On clear, slightly cold, and dark winter nights between September and April, Iceland is treated to a magnificent natural display which is the phenomenon of Aurora Borealis, or what is commonly called the Northern Lights. These are the only months where the nights are long and dark enough that they are visible. Iceland is a true and genuine Off-Beat location for this magnificent ionizing light show, which leaves its audience amazed. And due to its location in the middle of the North Atlantic, it provides the best climate, tranquillity, and wondrous environment to watch nature’s greatest spectacle play out above for your senses to enjoy.

The Northern Lights is a natural and magnificent phenomenon created when the solar wind particles interact with the Earth’s magnetic field. When these particles hit its atmosphere, they travel down the magnetic field lines and finally enter Earth’s atmosphere at the poles, where the field is naturally weakest. This excites the particles that release ionizing energy, causing peculiar luminous green and purple, but occasionally red, pink, orange, and blue streaks flowing waves across the skies. It’s simply unforgettable due to the breath-taking experience which is immersed with the forces of nature.


One of World’s Best Northern Light Hotel

Hotel Húsafell is proud to say that FORBES magazine named Hotel Húsafell as one of the world’s best hotels to experience the Northern Lights. So, listen up!

Hotel Húsafell is a year around resort but also a luxury winter lodge where you can for example take in the most impressive light display nature has ever provided from an outdoor fully sustainable geothermal bath or from your own hotel room or just by taking one step outside to enjoy the show in the lush landscape that surrounds Hotel Húsafell and its area. Therefore, Hotel Húsafell is most certainly a place with far less of a human footprint on nature because you are away from the light pollution, and you are present in the heart of Iceland’s aurora zone.

Hotel Húsafell was the first Hotel in Iceland to offer automated Northern Lights Auto-Aurora Wake-Up-Call service and still offers waking its guest up. So, while staying at Hotel Húsafell, you don’t have to worry that the Northern Lights will pass you by because its staff will make sure you experience them when they appear by offering you free automated Northern lights Auto-the Aurora Wake-Up service.

Hotel Húsafells staff is trained to provide Aurora-Chasers with expert tips and app suggestions for capturing the Northern Lights. But also, the hotel’s in-house restaurant is designed for optimal Northern Lights viewing with floor-to-ceiling windows so guests can gaze upon the lights while dining.

Keep in Mind

But keep in mind that just like any other phenomena dependent on weather, seeing the Northern Lights has a lot to do with luck, patience, and being in the right place at the right time. Although, there are certain things you can do to increase the odds of seeing the enchanting flowing waves across the skies.

The best place to check out nightly Aurora forecasts is on the Icelandic Meteorological Office’s website. You can also check at Aurora Reykjavik, which also provides handy instructions on how to interpret a Northern Lights forecast.

Stay Warm!

Experiencing the Northern Lights is probably one of the best things to do in Iceland because you will get the opportunity to see a completely different show from what anyone has ever seen before. But Iceland is a cold country, especially during winter. So, keep in mind that choosing the right clothes is an important aspect to consider. It’s all about staying warm because you will most likely be standing outside (or not) and you do not want to risk getting freezing cold.

So, wear comfortable winter clothes that cover you, that don’t obstruct your line of sight. 

Just remember to breathe in the experience and embrace the moment under the phenomenon and flowing waves of the Northern Lights’ night skies on an Icelandic winter.

Northern lights (Aurora Borealis) over cottage in Lapland village. Finland
Northern lights (Aurora Borealis) over cottage in Lapland village. Finland

There is Just One Thing!

Although the Northern Lights season is coming to an end, there is no reason to panic because you have plenty of time to pencil it into your itinerary. Whether you are ranging from a solo traveler, wanderlust backpacker, unique family adventurer or luxury escapist, Hotel Húsafell and its staff can assist you in making planning your Northern Lights trip.

If you have the chance, we recommend you book early so you will have a bigger selection of dates at the hotel and choice of activities. 

Book in advance to to take advantage of deals and discounts. The hotel’s Northern Lights offer includes:

Do not forget to request your Northern Lights wake-up-call when you’re staying with us during the Northern Lights season.

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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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