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Watching The Northern Lights From Hotel Laki, Iceland


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Nicolea Bode



Imagine standing in the darkness of the night, looking up at the sky, and witnessing one of nature’s most extraordinary wonders unfold before your eyes. The vibrant dance of colors across the starry sky, with hues of green, purple, and pink swirling and shifting, is an enchanting spectacle that few have the privilege to experience.


Welcome to Hotel Laki, your gateway to witnessing the mesmerizing phenomenon of the Northern Lights in Iceland. Nestled in the picturesque countryside of South Iceland, this charming hotel offers a perfect vantage point to admire the celestial display of the Aurora Borealis.


Located in the vicinity of Kirkjubæjarklaustur, a small village known for its stunning natural beauty, Hotel Laki provides a tranquil retreat away from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Surrounded by vast fields, dramatic mountains, and glaciers, this idyllic setting creates an ideal environment for spotting the Northern Lights.


The hotel’s strategic location, perched on a hill, offers unobstructed views of the night sky. With minimal light pollution in the area, guests have a higher chance of witnessing the ethereal dance of the Aurora Borealis in all its glory.


Hotel Laki welcomes guests with its warm and cozy atmosphere. The friendly and attentive staff are always ready to assist you in making the most of your Northern Lights experience. Whether it’s providing information about the best viewing times or arranging guided tours, they are dedicated to ensuring your stay is nothing short of exceptional.


So, grab your warmest coat, bundle up, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure under the dancing lights of the Northern Lights. Let Hotel Laki be your home away from home as you embark on a journey to witness nature’s most captivating show.


Location and Overview of Hotel Laki

Situated in the southern part of Iceland, Hotel Laki is nestled in the stunning countryside near the village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. This charming hotel offers a serene retreat amidst Iceland’s remarkable natural beauty.


The location of Hotel Laki is ideal for those seeking a peaceful escape while still being within reach of popular attractions. The hotel is conveniently located near the renowned Skaftafell National Park, known for its breathtaking glaciers and hiking trails. It is also nearby the iconic Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, where you can witness icebergs floating serenely in the glacial water.


Hotel Laki itself is perched on a hill, providing guests with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. It boasts a traditional Icelandic architecture, blending seamlessly with the picturesque countryside. The interior of the hotel is thoughtfully designed, incorporating modern comforts while still maintaining a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.


The hotel offers a range of accommodations to suit different preferences and budgets. From comfortable standard rooms to spacious suites, each room is tastefully decorated and meticulously maintained. Many rooms offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains, adding to the overall tranquility and charm of the setting.


In addition to its comfortable accommodations, Hotel Laki features a variety of amenities to ensure a pleasant stay. Take advantage of the hotel’s onsite restaurant, which serves a delicious array of Icelandic specialties and international cuisine. After a day of exploring, unwind and relax in the cozy lounge area, complete with a crackling fireplace.


For those who appreciate nature, Hotel Laki also offers outdoor seating areas where you can soak up the scenic views and fresh Icelandic air. With the absence of light pollution in the area, the hotel’s outdoor spaces provide the perfect spot for stargazing or even catching a glimpse of the elusive Northern Lights.


With its prime location and comfortable accommodations, Hotel Laki offers an ideal base for exploring the wonders of southern Iceland while providing a cozy and relaxing retreat after a day of adventure.


Best Time to Watch the Northern Lights

One of the most important factors in observing the enchanting Northern Lights is to plan your visit during the optimal time. While the Northern Lights can be seen in Iceland from September to April, there are certain months and times of the day when your chances of witnessing this natural phenomenon are higher.


The best time to watch the Northern Lights in Iceland is during the winter months, from October to March. During this period, the nights are longer, providing more darkness and therefore a greater opportunity to see the lights. Additionally, the weather conditions tend to be more favorable, with clearer skies and less cloud cover.


Within the winter months, the peak time for viewing the Northern Lights is typically from November to February. It is during this period that the geomagnetic activity is at its highest, increasing the chances of a vibrant and dynamic display in the sky.


When it comes to the best time of the day to watch the Northern Lights, the hours after sunset until midnight are generally considered optimal. During this time, the darkness is deepest, enhancing the visibility of the lights. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that the Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon and can appear at any time during the night.


It’s important to note that weather conditions can greatly impact your Northern Lights experience. Clear skies are crucial for optimal viewing, as clouds can obstruct the visibility of the lights. Therefore, it’s advisable to check the weather forecast and choose nights with minimal cloud cover for the best chances of seeing the Northern Lights.


Another key factor to consider is the lunar cycle. It’s generally recommended to plan your visit during the new moon or when the moon is in its waning phase. A darker sky allows the Northern Lights to shine more brightly and vividly.


To maximize your chances of witnessing this stunning phenomenon, it’s also advisable to stay in a location with minimal light pollution. Hotel Laki’s countryside location provides an advantage, as the absence of city lights enhances your viewing experience.


Remember, the Northern Lights are a natural wonder, and their appearance is never guaranteed. Patience and persistence are key. Even if you are not fortunate enough to witness the lights on your first attempt, don’t be disheartened. The beauty of nature lies in its unpredictability, and every effort made to witness the Northern Lights is a thrilling adventure in itself.


Choosing the Right Room

When planning your stay at Hotel Laki to experience the mesmerizing Northern Lights in Iceland, choosing the right room is essential to enhance your overall experience. Hotel Laki offers a range of accommodations, each with its own unique features and advantages. Here are some factors to consider when selecting the perfect room:


1. View: For an optimal Northern Lights experience, consider choosing a room with a view of the night sky. Many rooms at Hotel Laki offer panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including the mountains and unobstructed sky. Waking up to the sight of the Northern Lights dancing outside your window is an unforgettable experience.


2. Size and Comfort: Hotel Laki offers a variety of room types, from standard rooms to spacious suites. Consider the size of your group and the level of comfort you desire. If you value extra space and amenities, such as a cozy seating area or a private balcony, upgrading to a suite may be a good option.


3. Location: The hotel’s layout allows for different room locations, including those closer to the main facilities or more secluded areas. Depending on your preferences, you can choose a room that is easily accessible or one that offers more privacy and tranquility.


4. Facilities: Take into account the facilities and amenities that are important to you. If you enjoy the convenience of having an ensuite bathroom or prefer a room with a minibar and coffee-making facilities, make sure to check the room descriptions to find the accommodation that suits your needs.


5. Accessibility: If you have any specific accessibility requirements, such as wheelchair accessibility or rooms adapted for guests with disabilities, make sure to inform the hotel in advance. They will be happy to assist you in finding the most suitable room to meet your needs.


Remember, availability may vary depending on the season and other factors, so it’s advisable to book your room in advance to secure your preferred choice.


No matter which room you choose, Hotel Laki’s commitment to comfort and hospitality ensures that your stay will be pleasant and memorable. From cozy furnishings to modern amenities, each room is designed to provide a relaxing environment where you can unwind and recharge after a day of exploring the wonders of Iceland.


Whether you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights from your window or simply seeking a comfortable haven surrounded by nature, Hotel Laki offers a range of rooms that cater to every traveler’s preferences and needs.


Hotel Facilities and Amenities

At Hotel Laki, your comfort and satisfaction are top priorities. The hotel offers a range of facilities and amenities to ensure a pleasant and enjoyable stay while you embark on your Northern Lights adventure in Iceland.


The onsite restaurant at Hotel Laki is a culinary delight, serving a delicious array of Icelandic specialties and international cuisine. Indulge in traditional Icelandic dishes made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and savor the unique flavors of this Nordic country. The warm and inviting atmosphere of the restaurant creates the perfect setting for a memorable dining experience.


After a day of exploring the stunning Icelandic landscape, take some time to relax in the cozy lounge area of the hotel. With comfortable seating and a crackling fireplace, it’s the ideal spot to unwind with a good book or engage in conversation with fellow travelers. Sit back, enjoy a hot cup of coffee or a refreshing beverage, and let the relaxed ambiance of the lounge rejuvenate your spirit.


Hotel Laki takes pride in providing excellent customer service. The friendly and attentive staff are always ready to assist you with any queries or requests you may have. From offering recommendations for nearby attractions and activities to arranging transportation, the hotel staff goes above and beyond to ensure your stay is as comfortable and convenient as possible.


For nature enthusiasts, Hotel Laki offers outdoor seating areas where you can admire the stunning views of the Icelandic countryside. Surrounded by the beauty of nature, these outdoor spaces create a tranquil setting to relax, read a book, or simply soak up the fresh air. The absence of light pollution in the area also makes these spaces perfect for stargazing and, if you’re lucky, even catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights.


As a guest at Hotel Laki, you can also take advantage of the hotel’s complimentary Wi-Fi, allowing you to stay connected with loved ones or share your incredible experiences with the world. Whether you want to upload breathtaking photos of the Northern Lights or plan your activities for the next day, the reliable internet connection ensures you remain in touch with the outside world during your stay.


Lastly, Hotel Laki offers ample parking space, making it convenient for those traveling by car. Whether you’re renting a vehicle or driving your own, you can rest assured that your transportation needs will be met during your stay at the hotel.


With its exceptional facilities and amenities, Hotel Laki ensures that your stay in Iceland is comfortable, convenient, and memorable. From culinary delights to cozy lounges and captivating outdoor spaces, the hotel provides the perfect backdrop for your magical Northern Lights experience.


Guided Northern Lights Tours

Embarking on a guided Northern Lights tour is an excellent way to maximize your chances of witnessing the captivating Aurora Borealis while staying at Hotel Laki. The hotel offers a variety of carefully curated tours that provide insights into the science and folklore surrounding this mesmerizing natural phenomenon.


Experienced guides lead these tours, providing expert knowledge and taking you to the best locations for optimal Northern Lights viewing. They are well-versed in the behavior of the lights and are skilled at finding the most favorable spots based on weather conditions and geomagnetic activity.


The guided tours typically begin in the evening, allowing you to venture into the dark Icelandic countryside when the chances of spotting the Northern Lights are at their highest. The tours take you away from light pollution, increasing the likelihood of a spectacular display.


During the excursion, the guides will share fascinating facts about the Northern Lights, including the science behind their formation and the cultural significance they hold for the people of Iceland. You’ll learn about the mythology and folklore surrounding this celestial phenomenon, gaining a deeper appreciation for its beauty and mystery.


Photography enthusiasts will also benefit from the guidance provided on these tours. The guides are proficient in capturing the Northern Lights, and they can offer valuable tips and techniques for capturing the best possible photographs of this ethereal spectacle. They can assist with camera settings, composition, and even help you overcome the challenges of capturing the lights in different lighting conditions.


Hotel Laki’s guided Northern Lights tours prioritize guest satisfaction and comfort. The group sizes are kept small, allowing for a more intimate and personalized experience. You’ll have ample opportunities to ask questions and engage with the knowledgeable guides, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of the Northern Lights phenomenon.


It’s important to note that the Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, and their visibility cannot be guaranteed. However, by joining a guided tour, you increase your chances of witnessing this magical spectacle and gain a deeper understanding of the science and folklore behind it.


Remember to dress warmly and wear comfortable footwear for the guided tours, as you may spend several hours outdoors. Be prepared for changing weather conditions and keep an open mind as you embark on this remarkable adventure.


Hotel Laki’s guided Northern Lights tours offer an exceptional opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty and wonder of the Aurora Borealis. Whether you’re a first-time observer or a seasoned Aurora chaser, these tours provide a unique and unforgettable experience that will be cherished for a lifetime.


Tips for Northern Lights Photography

Capturing the beauty of the Northern Lights through photography is a thrilling endeavor. To make the most of your photography experience while staying at Hotel Laki, here are some helpful tips to enhance your Northern Lights images:


1. Equipment: Use a camera with manual settings, preferably a DSLR or mirrorless camera, which allows greater control over exposure and focus. A wide-angle lens is ideal for capturing the expansive night sky and the dancing lights.


2. Tripod: Invest in a sturdy tripod to keep your camera steady during long exposures. This minimizes camera shake, resulting in sharp and crisp images of the Northern Lights.


3. Manual Mode: Switch your camera to manual mode to have complete control over the settings. Start with the following settings as a baseline: ISO between 800-1600, aperture around f/2.8 to let in more light, and a shutter speed between 10-30 seconds.


4. Focus: Set your lens to manual focus and adjust it to infinity (∞) or use the autofocus to focus on a distant object. Double-check the focus using the camera’s zoom feature to ensure the stars and lights are sharp.


5. Exposures: Experiment with different exposure times to achieve the desired effect. Longer exposures will capture more light and movement, creating trails of the Northern Lights, while shorter exposures will freeze the motion.


6. RAW Format: Shoot in RAW format to retain maximum details and flexibility during post-processing. This allows for better adjustments to exposure, white balance, and color temperature in editing software.


7. White Balance: Set a custom white balance or use the “daylight” or “tungsten” settings to correct the color temperature and avoid any unwanted color casts in your images.


8. Composition: Consider the foreground elements to add visual interest and depth to your photos. Experiment with different compositions by including landscapes, trees, or even people to provide a sense of scale and context to the Northern Lights.


9. Patience and Timing: Be prepared to wait patiently, as the Northern Lights can be unpredictable. Keep an eye on the sky and take multiple shots throughout the night to capture different stages and movements of the lights. A remote shutter release or self-timer can help minimize camera shake.


10. Experiment and Enjoy: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different settings and techniques. Every Northern Lights display is unique, so allow yourself to be creative and try different approaches. Don’t forget to take a moment to simply enjoy the beauty of the lights with your own eyes, not just through the lens.


Remember, capturing spectacular Northern Lights photos requires practice and experimentation. The key is to have fun, embrace the challenges, and appreciate the awe-inspiring beauty of nature’s light show.


Other Activities in the Area

While the main highlight of your stay at Hotel Laki is undoubtedly the opportunity to witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy in the surrounding area. From exploring natural wonders to immersing yourself in Icelandic culture, here are some of the top activities to consider during your visit:


1. Skaftafell National Park: Located nearby, Skaftafell National Park is a nature lover’s paradise. Lace up your hiking boots and discover stunning glaciers, crystal-clear waterfalls, and scenic hiking trails that wind through the breathtaking Icelandic landscape. Marvel at the majesty of Svartifoss, the Black Waterfall, known for its unique basalt column formations.


2. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon: A short drive from Hotel Laki, Jökulsárlón is a spectacle that cannot be missed. Witness the ethereal beauty of floating icebergs as they slowly make their way from the glacier to the nearby Atlantic Ocean. Take a boat tour of the lagoon to get up close and personal with these mesmerizing ice formations.


3. Diamond Beach: Adjacent to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Diamond Beach is a photographer’s dream come true. Marvel at the contrast of the sparkling icebergs against the black volcanic sand, creating a scene that resembles a glistening diamond-studded beach.


4. Laki Craters: Discover the volcanic wonders of the Laki Craters, a volcanic fissure system that stretches for kilometers. Hike along the trails and explore the unique landscape formed by the eruptive eruptions that occurred in the late 18th century.


5. Vatnajökull National Park: As you explore the area, consider a visit to Vatnajökull National Park, one of Europe’s largest national parks. Admire the vast expanse of Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull, and explore its ice caves for a truly unforgettable experience.


6. Icelandic Horse Riding: Experience Iceland’s unique horse breed, the Icelandic horse, through a guided horseback riding tour. Explore the scenic countryside on horseback and connect with these friendly and versatile creatures, immersing yourself in the local equestrian culture.


7. Cultural Immersion: Dive into Icelandic culture by visiting the nearby village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Explore historical landmarks such as Systrafoss Waterfall and the preserved turf houses at Kirkjugólf. Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting traditional shops, museums, and engaging with the friendly locals.


8. Hot Springs and Geothermal Baths: Unwind and relax in the geothermal baths and hot springs that can be found in the region. Take a dip in one of the natural hot springs, such as Seljavallalaug, or indulge in the luxurious geothermal spas that offer a refreshing experience after a day of exploration.


These are just a few of the many activities available in the area surrounding Hotel Laki. Whether you seek adventure, natural beauty, or cultural immersion, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this stunning part of Iceland. Speak to the knowledgeable staff at Hotel Laki to get recommendations and assistance in arranging these activities, ensuring a memorable and well-rounded experience during your visit.



Hotel Laki, nestled in the picturesque countryside of South Iceland, offers the perfect escape for those seeking to witness the magical Northern Lights. With its serene location, warm hospitality, and range of amenities, Hotel Laki ensures a memorable and comfortable stay while you embark on your Aurora Borealis adventure.


The strategic positioning of Hotel Laki provides unobstructed views of the night sky, allowing guests a higher chance of witnessing the captivating dance of the Northern Lights. The absence of light pollution in the area enhances the visibility of this natural phenomenon, creating an optimal setting for stargazing and experiencing the ethereal beauty of the night sky.


Choosing the right room at Hotel Laki is crucial to enhance your Northern Lights experience. From rooms with stunning views to comfortable amenities, the hotel offers a variety of accommodations to suit different needs and preferences. The attentive and friendly staff are always ready to assist, ensuring your stay is nothing short of exceptional.


Hotel Laki also provides a range of guided Northern Lights tours led by experienced professionals. These tours offer valuable insights into the science and folklore surrounding the Aurora Borealis, increasing your chances of witnessing this awe-inspiring phenomenon while capturing incredible photographs.


In addition to the Northern Lights, the surrounding area offers a plethora of activities to explore, from glaciers and waterfalls to cultural experiences and hot springs. Skaftafell National Park, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, and the Laki Craters are just a few of the natural wonders waiting to be discovered during your stay.


Whether you’re an avid nature enthusiast, an adventurous traveler, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, Hotel Laki provides the perfect base in the captivating landscape of South Iceland. So, pack your camera, bundle up, and get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime experience under the enchanting Northern Lights.


Book your stay at Hotel Laki and let the magic of the Northern Lights unfold before your eyes.