8 Best Vacation Homes in Iceland to See the Northern Lights
A country like no other, Iceland is the kind of unique travel destination that can’t be missed or replaced by an excursion somewhere else. At the risk of overusing a word that should only be used sparingly, Iceland has a unique geology, culture and history. For these reasons, it is a must-visit place in every way.
The Northern Lights shine all over the island, illuminating thousands of incredible natural and man-made sights. These include Promethean volcanoes, vast fjords, otherworldly geysers and unique museums. Iceland is both small and vast, a country that is relatively small but in which space seems to stretch endlessly and each horizon feels like a planet in its own right.
The country’s natural beauty, lush springs and deliciously wacky attractions (I’m looking at you, Penis Museum) are generally accessible year-round (although the roads are very well maintained, winter storms can still create delays). But visitors drawn to the Northern Lights, that eternal and elemental expression of northern magic, should plan their trips more carefully.
The shorter the days, the more likely the auroras are to perform their captivating dance of light and color. The best time to see the Northern Lights is between September and April. Most visitors will prefer the front and back ends of this period given the island’s harsh winter climate. In terms of location, the atmospheric phenomenon occurs all over the island, but light pollution makes the Northern Lights less common in Reykjavik and other population centers on the island.
Finally, it is important to remember that Iceland is a land of exquisite emptiness dotted with tiny hamlets and villages. Although there are excellent restaurants in the capital, the country generally lacks fine services (spas being the exception), and what there is to find is quite expensive.
To help you achieve your dreams of seeing the Northern Lights and all that Iceland has to offer, here is a list of eight Vrbo rentals in Iceland. Geographically dispersed across the country, each promises a unique adventure.
Picturesque Cottage on the Grand Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Rent now$214/mo per night
Guests of this quaint cottage are well placed to see the wonders of Iceland. There are a myriad of majestic sights to see on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, the Northern Lights being just one of many. As the drone footage Captured by owners attest, this Vrbo rental in Iceland is located in a remarkable location.
The cottage, and a few others like it, are an additional source of income for owners of a successful horse farm. Riders are welcome to take a ride, as are anglers encouraged to try their luck and test their skills in the river that runs through the farm. Enjoy modern accommodation and easy access to the peninsula’s volcanoes, geothermal pools and glaciers. The interior is clean and has all the conveniences demanded of modern life.
Bathrooms : 1
Apartment in an Ocean Villa
Rent now$205/mo per night
Far enough from the capital’s light pollution but close enough to visit Reykjavik’s attractions, this beachfront villa is a great place to see the Northern Lights. The guest area is fully furnished and includes a full kitchen, bedroom and living area. The property is in a rural area near the ocean, giving visitors access to a private beach and a vivid picture of the Icelandic countryside.
Bird watching can be done from the yard and a popular whale watching spot is just 20 minutes away. The famous blue lagoon the natural spa is a bit closer. Other nearby attractions are the Geldingadalir Volcano and of course downtown Reykjavik itself.
Bathrooms : 1
Modern house in an unbeatable location
Rent now$569/mo per night
Cleverly designed, spacious and perfectly located for in-depth exploration of South West Iceland, this enviable modern home is your gateway to a fantastic journey to one of the most fascinating places in the world. It is the ideal base for visitors wishing to discover all the Nordic charms of the “Golden Circle”, a triangular route made up of Thingvellir National Parkan explosive geothermal area and an explosive waterfall system.
Be captivated by all this and more, then return to a warm and comfortable space with an unparalleled sense of satisfaction. The four-bedroom property is split between two buildings. It has a fully equipped kitchen and an outdoor area with a barbecue and a hot tub.
Bathrooms : 2
Rent now$141/mo per night
Iceland is full of stunning geological formations, but that doesn’t mean that every home has gorgeous rock features in its backyard. This cabin in the west of the country is one of the well-placed exceptions. Although they are not geographically part of Scandinavia, homes like this prove just how well Icelanders have mastered the art of Scandinavian design.
The cabin has a basic kitchenette, a queen bedroom, and a cozy living room with a trundle bed. The village of Borgarnes is 15 minutes away and has all the hallmarks of civilization (ie grocery stores and restaurants).
Students of the sagas will want to make the trip to the nearby village of Reykholt. Long the home of Snorri Sturlusonauthor of the priceless 13th century Edda in prosethe humble town is home to a cultural Center dedicated to his most famous son. Múlakot is also well located for visitors wishing to explore the beautiful Snaefellsnes peninsula to the west.
Bathrooms : 1
The foreman’s house
Rent now$457/avg per night
Where better to see the Northern Lights than the north coast of Iceland? This 19th century structure in the village of Husavik has a newly renovated kitchen, five bedrooms and the ambiance of a cozy family home.
Geomer, a world famous natural spa on the coast, is just a 10 minute walk away. Husavik is a true Icelandic village, considered the capital of whaling (it has a roaring trade among watchers as well as hunters). For those who love the northern lights and wilder sites, the trip to Asbyrgi Canyon can’t be missed. Although less than an hour away, visitors will assume they have been transported to another planet. In addition to its stunning beauty, the region’s isolation makes it an ideal location for Northern Lights enthusiasts.
Bathrooms : 2
Cottage Near Waterfalls
Rent now$297/avg per night
Built in 2019, this chalet offers guests the comforts of modern living while they seek out the natural wonders of the area and wait for the Northern Lights to inspire them. An otherworldly wooden and glass box, the house is like a fallen spaceship in a stark but beautiful desert. It features high end leather furnishings and a full kitchen. The property has two double bedrooms and is in a small cluster of similar cottages.
The house is very close to the 200 foot waterfall which is the Seljalandfoss Waterfall. Follow the river, join the sea and float to the island of Heimaey, nicknamed the Pompeii of the North after a devastating eruption in 1973.
Bathrooms : 1
Lake House on the Golden Circle
Rent now$295/mo per night
Another great base for exploring the many wonders of the South Country, this home on Swan Lake is also a great place to see the Northern Lights. The house is a short walk from the lake and offers stunning views of Ingolfsjall, a mountain named after the discoverer of Iceland. It offers easy access to the Golden Circle and other attractions, including horseback riding trails and some of the only golf courses in the country.
The house has a hot tub facing the lake and the mountain and comfortable interior spaces. The dining room has a rustic wooden table and a full kitchen. The master bedroom has a king bed and sleeping spaces for a child and two babies, then there is a bedroom with a double bed and a third with two twin beds and a bunk bed. The property is ideal for families, but a couple will still enjoy some private time.
Bathrooms : 1
Tvera in the Westfjords
Rent now$369/mo per night
The northwest corner of Iceland, known as the Westfjords, is a secluded land of fjords, fishermen and unforgettable sights. Due to its northern latitude and longer nights, it’s another great place to see the Northern Lights (and many other breathtakingly colorful sights). Tvera’s cottage is an excellent property to explore this wild and wonderful land.
A spacious building in an open landscape, it can accommodate a whole group of beauty lovers. Modestly decorated with new furniture, it does not seek to obscure the fjords and mountains seen from its windows. The 25-minute drive to Dynjandi, the area’s stunning 300-foot waterfall, is every bit as scenic as the falls themselves.
Bathrooms : 2
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