A natural phenomenon. The collision of gaseous particles with the charged particles from the sun. The painting of the Gods. Sky’s light show in darkness. The result of a swift running Firefox that caused sparks of Aurora to fly up in the sky. A glowing arch that led the fallen warriors in a battle, towards their final resting place. Science, art, Finnish mythology, Norse mythology- the Northern Lights are different things to different people and different regions. Some saw it as a blessing from the Gods, some as a signal sent by the universe to start farming. Whatever the beliefs or folklore associated with it, Aurora Borealis is sure a thing of beauty, an angel sent from heavens. The Scandinavian countries are extremely lucky to be the most frequent platforms for this phenomenon. Hence, in this post, you will be taken through all the places to travel to, to experience Northern Lights in Iceland.
If you’re no fan of the Northern Lights (No judgements buddy), take two minutes and look at the pictures below. Look at how even the stars seem dull in comparison to the Northern Lights in Iceland. Check how even the most enticing landscapes are put to nothing by these daring lights. There is no going back from that Wanderlust.
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Thingvellir is a historical natural reserve situated around Reykjavik’s corner. It housed Iceland‘s parliament centuries. Yes, that forlorn little church in the middle of vast ice wilderness. I wonder how you get there. But all that apart, it is one of the easiest places to watch Northern Lights in Iceland. You could camp right under the stars and nobody would mind. The eerie air of the place will catch up with you in minutes and when the lights start dancing, you will feel the sense of belonging soar inside you.
Reykjavik is Iceland’s rightful capital in aspects. Even when it comes to Northern Lights, there are a lot of places that you could drive up to and camp, just one hour away. Avoid the main city locations, because, light pollution! Thingvellir is close by. The Eyjafjallajökull ranges are not only a great place to witness Northern lights but are also breathtaking hiking trails. Kirkjufell, the tiny peak that’s the centre of every second Aurora wallpaper in Iceland, is put up just ahead of Reykjavik’s north.
Vik is a picturesque seaside town with great skies that are full-time canvases for the Northern Lights. With a cute little church that acts as a centre-piece of this settlement, there is just empty space all around. With the wind howling in your ears, and a spine-chilling snow breeze blowing, the stars start coming out in the darkness. Light starts shimmering and playing around the atmosphere, weaving through the sky. This is such a beautiful sight to watch. Nobody should miss it. Just to watch pictures of the place is inviting enough. Imagine actually being there.
Westfjords is a peninsular region situated near the Denmark Strait, off the Greenland coast. It is connected to Iceland through a narrow isthmus. Hair-raising cliffs, beautiful panoramic coastlines, sharp mountains are characteristic of this region. Northern Lights are found throughout the year here, in a spectacular show of stellar green. Little towns are situated in specific corners of the fjords. You could move your camp around these settlements and interact with the folks. Maybe they will offer you a bowl of hot Kjotsupa. Maybe not! But it will be a great story.
Spotting Aurora occurrences of blue are very rare. Even rarer are purple, red and pink lights. If the air is filled with nitrogen, they collide with the charged particles and bring out the colours on this side of the spectrum. Hence the above picture will give you a faint idea of the lengths the photographer would have gone to capture a picture of such hues. Djupavik is a rather unpopular seaside town that a rare traveller visits for the star trails. Sometimes a lucky one or two furthers there during winter and encounters the stunning lights. What I’m trying to tell you is, if you ever need a quiet getaway, like a place where you’ll be the only person at a particular time, head to Djupavik. Chances are you will experience the best of Northern Lights.
Thorsmork literally translates to ‘Valley of Thor’ in the Norse language. Situated between two beautiful rivers, it is powered buy glaciers underneath. The valley is a beautiful location with stark contrasts between the green of birch forests and the blue-white of glaciers & crystal peaks. Northern lights or not, the valley and the surrounding mountains are definitely worth a visit, at least once. During the day, it looks like an elaborate moss covered, machine-scooped rock mountains, with trickling springs of frozen ice in between ridges. During the night it acts as a platform for magnetic Aurora activities that turning it into a photographer’s paradise. All throughout winter.
Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t think there is much to convey about Skogafoss waterfalls after the picture has said enough. If the place doesn’t sing, calling out to you, I don’t know what will. Such a breathtaking waterfall with a possibility of Aurora Borealis is a deadly combination to come by. I mean, look at the palettes of blue! You could just walk up to this waterfall and get drenched while watching the Northern Lights.
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