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Where to stay in Iceland?

Wolverhampton...
Level Contributor
8 posts
24 reviews
Where to stay in Iceland?

I’m taking my dad to Iceland as a surprise around this time next year but neither of us have been before and so I wanted some advice.

The main thing we want to do is see the northern lights! Is the end of March, start of April too late to guarantee a sighting? Our dates are flexible!

We want to stay in a place where there’s lots to do - we will however only be staying for 5 days. We are probably going to stay in an airbnb as they’re much more affordable and closer to town centres etc. But which area of Iceland is best to stay for the northern lights? We will be flying to Reykjavik from Manchester. If you suggest a place please can you tell me what there is to do close by.

Thanks!

7 replies to this topic
Reykjavik, Iceland
Level Contributor
70 posts
1. Re: Where to stay in Iceland?

It's always a chance with the northern lights. Late March/April is still a good time for viewing, but the weather dictates a lot! There can be great lights, but cloudy skies. Or clear skies, and no aurora. So, with 5 days you may get lucky, or you mat not see anything. If seeing northern lights is the only reason you'd come to Iceland, you may need to rethink your plans and see if there is anything else in Iceland that would make your trip worthwhile to you and your dad.

Wolverhampton...
Level Contributor
8 posts
24 reviews
2. Re: Where to stay in Iceland?

So is March/April a good time to go? Or are other months better? Where would you suggest staying in Iceland?

Cologne, Germany
Destination Expert
for Iceland
Level Contributor
12,766 posts
88 reviews
3. Re: Where to stay in Iceland?

March is a good time to go for a winter visit, but potentially not a good time to plan a self-driving trip, since the weather can be challenging and may require lots of experience driving on icy, narrow roads in strong winds.

If you want a chance to see the NL (know that it is down to luck) and want to self-drive, September would be better.

Canada
Level Contributor
10,314 posts
81 reviews
4. Re: Where to stay in Iceland?

You used phrase "guarantee a sighting". There are NO guarantees no matter what month you come. Manage your expectations. Mid April even the tour companies stop taking people out at night on NL trips. Most people on a short trip to Iceland, add the Golden Circle and the South Coast to their itineraries. Use google for more info,

Reykjavik, Iceland
Destination Expert
for Iceland
Level Contributor
13,661 posts
60 reviews
5. Re: Where to stay in Iceland?

Probably Reykjavik is the answer, since you can take lots of day tours from there.

But staying in Reykjavik also requires you take NL tours in the night, since light pollution doesn't quite help the viewing.

Another option is taking a multiday-tour, where you'll have accommodations in the countryside. If you're lucky with the weather and have some patience to monitor the skies yourselves, then there you are, auroras for free from outside the hotel premises.

In my opinion multiday tours are the best bang for the buck. Mainly because it's the only way to reach the iceberg lagoon of Jökulsárlón, for example. You wouldn't do it in a day tour, not in a sensible way.

One little word of advice though: manage your expectations. Viewing the northern lights really should be considered a bonus to your trip, not the goal. Mother Nature can be quite unforgiving sometimes. Anyway, Iceland's landscapes will certainly not leave you disappointed.

Mid April is the closure of the aurora season. Mid March could be a good time.

Reykjavik, Iceland
Destination Expert
for Iceland
Level Contributor
13,661 posts
60 reviews
6. Re: Where to stay in Iceland?

From Manchester... did you say? That's interesting ...

Normally I strongly recommend that people book directly with the local tour operators. This is going to be the exception to the rule.

There's one British travel agency that's even been in the news here 'cause they're running flights & package tours to north Iceland, directly from some of the UK airports which are nearer to us. And they're in good cooperation with the locals here. They're actually doing an excellent job, so I feel ok recommending them.

superbreak.com/themeparks-attractions/incred…

Have fun !!

Edited: 25 March 2018, 20:48
Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
259 posts
57 reviews
7. Re: Where to stay in Iceland?

While I did my trip during a different time of year, and this was almost four years ago, some of the information in this article I wrote may be helpful for you for planning your trip to this awesome country. It highlights some of the areas I went to, and may provide some tips on places to check out :).

https:/…The-Ring-Road

Hope it helps!

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