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NORTHERN LIGHTS WEBCAM IN ICELAND

 

We at Midgard, along with our friends at the LAVA Centre, have set up a dedicated Northern Lights webcam here in Hvolsvöllur for real-time sky monitoring. This is useful both for guests planning to visit Hvolsvöllur and those already here in South Iceland.

Spotting the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) is a dream for many travelers and Midgard Base Camp in Hvolsvöllur is the perfect location for this bucket list experience. Located amidst the stunning landscapes of South Iceland and within a 1.5-hour drive from Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, it offers an ideal setting.

On this page, you can not only observe the Northern Lights live in Hvolsvöllur, South Iceland but also find all the necessary information you need to experience Northern lights.

FAQ about Northern Lights/Aurora Borealis in Iceland

What is the best place in Iceland to see the Northern Lights?

Wondering how to see the Northern Lights in South Iceland? It’s easier than you think! Start by choosing the best location, such as Hvolsvöllur (92.13km, or 57.25 miles away from Reykjavik), known for its clear skies and minimal light pollution. And soon you could be chilling in the rooftop hot tub at Midgard Base Camp while the Northern Lights put on a show.

If you crave total darkness for the best view, just take a quick 5-minute stroll from our place and voilà! If the aurora forecast is looking good but visibility from Midgard Base Camp isn’t, no worries – we can sort out a tour with Midgard Adventure to track down those elusive lights.

When is the best time to travel to Iceland to see the Northern Lights?

Plan your visit when Northern Lights are most likely to appear. The magic happens from the beginning of September until the end of March when the nights are the longest. But a pro tip, we have had incredible sightings as early as mid to end of August and even all the way until May 1st – so when traveling during that time and if you are okay with staying up late, then you might be in for a treat!

What to avoid when booking a Northern Lights tour?

Avoid crowded Northern Lights bus trips from Reykjavík unless that’s your thing. Small group tours allow you to explore at a more leisurely pace, with greater flexibility and personal attention. You can also explore on your own. Further down we discuss whether it is better to do a Northern Lights tour or explore on your own.

Is it guaranteed that I will see the Northern Lights?

While we can never guarantee that you’ll see the spectacular Northern Lights because they are weather-dependent, you are more likely to see them in our town of Hvolsvöllur or Hella than if staying in Reykjavík. When looking at the Northern Lights you want to be in an area of little or no light pollution.

Can light pollution prevent me from seeing the auroras?

The Northern Lights can occur at any hour at night so here’s what you should do: book accommodation away from cities and bigger towns. Light pollution is your enemy on a Northern Lights chase. That way you can enjoy the light from just outside where you are staying. Even better if they have a rooftop hot tub, like us.

Why is flexibility so important when planning a Northern Lights adventure?

During winter the weather and road conditions can change quickly so you need flexibility when you travel. Make sure you book a tour that offers that kind of flexibility. If you don’t want to have to think about weather forecasts and road conditions you should go for a multiday Northern Lights package. That way you can just relax and let the operator do their thing. They are locals and know what to expect.

How long should I stay in Iceland to increase my chances of seeing the Northern Lights?

Stay for a few days to up your chance of catching the Northern Lights. Our Northern Lights Adventure Package spans four days but why not plan on extra days for an even better shot at spotting them? Of course, the more time you have, the more patient you can be, the more likely it is. But be aware, that nature does not follow a schedule. So we had guests that stayed for 3 nights and saw them 3 times in a row, other people might be in Iceland for a week and not even get a glimpse. And that unpredictability is one of the beauties of it.

Where to stay?

Midgard Base Camp in Hvolsvöllur, South Iceland is a relaxed hotel & hostel style accommodation with a cozy adventure vibe. Rooftop sauna and hot tub with spectacular views: horses, volcanoes, islands & glaciers – and when dark a perfect spot to experience the Northern Lights.

4-Day Northern Lights Tour

This tour hits all the spots! This is a personal, small group tour, made for people that like to connect with locals, get up close to Iceland’s geographical wonders and experience the magical Northern Lights. Everything is included, from pick-up to drop-off. Make sure you check out the stellar reviews.

Hvolsvöllur, the Northern Lights town!

Exploring the Northern Lights in our small town Hvolsvöllur or Hella is ideal due to their relatively low light pollution and favorable geographical location.

Low Light Pollution:

Hvolsvöllur is situated away from major cities and urban areas, resulting in minimal artificial light pollution. This makes it easier to witness the Northern Lights (Auroras Borealis) in their full glory without interference from surrounding lights.

Geographical Position:

Hvolsvöllur is located in southern Iceland, which lies within the auroral oval – an area where auroras are frequently visible. Its proximity to the Arctic Circle increases the likelihood of experiencing strong displays of the Northern Lights. In fact, Iceland is the only country in the world that is entirely within the auroral oval.

Scenic Surroundings:

Hvolsvöllur offers picturesque landscapes, including wide-open spaces and scenic vistas, providing an excellent backdrop for observing the auroras and capturing memorable photographs. Famous Icelandic natural attractions like Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss, Sólheimajökull, Dyrhólaey and beautiful black sand beaches are all just a very short drive away. In short, our town, Hvolsvöllur, is a nature, adventure and Northern Lights paradise in the heart of South Iceland, at the gateway to the highlands.

Practical tips if you are planning a trip to Iceland to see the Northern Lights

When looking for Northern Lights in Iceland, there are a few things that can increase your chances:

 

  • Patience is key. You will need darkness and clear skies.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for those northern lights months. Plan your trip between September and April—that’s when the nights are the longest.
  • Avoid staying in Reykjavik. Opt for accommodation with minimal light pollution, such as the Midgard Base Camp in Hvolsvöllur, South Iceland.
  • Stay away from those big bus tours from Reykjavik. They go out no matter the forecast and it’s not the best experience. If you decide to go for a Northern lights tour, we always recommend choosing a small group tour that offers flexibility and personal attention like ours 4-Day Northern Lights Adventure. You can check it our here.
  • Book your tour package in advance. While winter might seem quieter for travelers, our base camp and northern lights tours are actually super popular tickets that sell out fast! To make sure you don’t miss out on the fun, it’s smart to book your multi-day tours ahead of time. You don’t want to be left out in the cold. Well, not literally, but you know what we mean.

Safety Tips when searching for the Northern Lights

Stay safe and comfortable during your Northern Lights adventure with these tips:

 

  • Dress in layers to stay warm in Iceland’s cold climate. Bring a small backpack to carry with you extra clothes and something to snack on.
  • Bring a flashlight and wear sturdy shoes to navigate dark and uneven terrain.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and follow the guidance of your tour guides or locals.
  • For weather forecast and alerts check vedur.is
  • For road conditions check road.is
  • If you are driving around on your own, searching for the Northern Lights, ask the driver not to search for them while driving (this might sound stupid but believe us, it is needed because the driver will be tempted to look at the sky like the rest of you). Also, never stop the car on the side of the road. Exit the road completely to find a safe spot to park and then exit the car. The winters in Iceland are very dark and spotting pedestrians can be difficult.
  • If you are not used to driving in harsh winter conditions, consider booking a Northern Lights package (like this one) where a professional guide will take of driving and assessing conditions.
  • If you decide to rent a car, take time to google how to drive in winter in Iceland and make sure your rental car has good winter tires. If you are looking for a good rental company (there are many not so good), we recommend Blue Car Rental.

Should I book a Northern Lights tour or explore on my own?

This is a good question. Both are good options but they come with different benefits:

The benefit of booking a Multi-day Northern Lights tour like ours is that you will not have to plan as much yourself. The hard work of planning has been done for you by an experienced local travel expert. Another important thing to consider is that not everyone is comfortable driving in harsh winter conditions. If you are not used to driving in different kinds of snowy conditions with limited visibility, where conditions can change very quickly, we recommend you book a tour. Also, traveling with a passionate local guide adds a lot to the travel experience that you would otherwise miss.

If you decide on booking a tour it is a bit tricky deciding on which tour because there are so many. Here are a few reasons why you should choose our 4-Day Northern Lights Adventure Package:

  • We have been operating this tour since 2017 and the reviews are stellar
  • You will discover the famous places you have probably heard of already like the Golden Circe (Þingvellir, Geysir and Gullfoss) and the stunning spots on the South Coast but you will also go-off-the beaten track and visit Þórsmörk Mountain Reserve on a Super Jeep. This is a big deal as most travelers don’t get to visit remote areas like the valley of Thor.
  • We don’t do big groups, we prefer smaller groups where we can easily remember everyone’s name. Click here for 14 reasons to book a tour with Midgard
  • You will be based at Midgard Base Camp which is a relaxed hotel & hostel style accommodation with a cozy adventure vibe
  • You will eat at Midgard Restaurant, which holds the number one spot on TripAdvisor in South Iceland.
  • Our Midgard guides are passionate and eager to share with you their stories and their favorite places.

The benefit of exploring on your own is that you can go exactly at your own pace, you can make your own itinerary based on your own research plus you can really make it a budget friendly, focusing on specific priorities.

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Contact us

+354 578 3180

sleep@midgard.is

Dufþaksbraut 14 - 860 Hvolsvöllur

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