Have you ever looked into the sky and had the galaxy gaze back?

The Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, are a breathtaking natural phenomena and one of the undoubted highlights of many Iceland holidays. But you’ll want to be careful during your travels: The lights are fleeting and rare, so to make sure you catch them, you’ll want to choose a destination that ensures the greatest chance of success.

Northern Lights in Iceland

Northern Lights in Iceland

Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas that we compiled in out travel guide to the Northern Lights.

The capital of Iceland, Reykjavík is a busy, popular city and a great starting point for your Northern Lights adventure. You’ll want to escape the city lights for the best view of the night sky, but there are plenty of buses and trains to take you to the outskirts, and until then you can enjoy Reykjavik’s many shops, hotels and restaurants. Undoubtedly Reykjavík claims the first spot on our travel guide to the Northern Lights.

Guide to the Northern Lights

Reykjavik, Iceland

Þingvellir was once home to the Vikings. These days you’re more likely to see keychains than horned helmets, but the legend still draws thousands of visitors each year, and the Northern Lights welcome them all. Enjoy the lakes and historical landmarks by day, then curl up with a blanket at night for what the Vikings considered a divine splash of Valkyrie battle and a representation of the courage of their people. Iceland holidays don’t get any better than this!

A small town bordered by mountains and fjords, Borgarnes is an excellent place to see the Northern Lights due to its remote location and lack of major pollution. You won’t suffer any crowds and the night sky will be crisp and clear, allowing you a front row seat to the best light show on Earth.

High in the clouds, the Esjan Mountains offer a dizzying look at the Northern Lights from a peak of 914 meters. You’ll probably want to visit in winter, when the cliffs are covered in snow, your breath is visible in the air and the Northern Lights are a kaleidoscope of colour and radiance. You can also enjoy hiking and skiing while you’re there!

Esja Mountain

Esja Mountain

A travel guide to the Northern Lights would not be completed if we don’t mentioned Akureyri.

Akureyri is so beautiful that it’s been nicknamed Höfuðborg hins bjarta Norðurs, or “Capital of the Bright North.” Thanks to its clear air and temperate climate, you can take the bright part literally. The worst of the world has been sheltered from Akureyri, making it a hot spot for those on the hunt for the Northern Lights Iceland . If you’re considering anywhere for your Iceland holidays, consider Akureyri.

Author Bio: Iceland holidays are a great opportunity to see the Northern Lights, get up close to whales or even the Arctic fox. Tom Browne, an avid travel writer, visited Iceland in November 2012 and wanted to share his experience of this spectacular sight.