"Finding Nirvana is like Locating Silence" Jack Kerouac- Dharma Bums
Vik is a great little town. It is quiet but has a restaurant that is open until 10 (which is rare everywhere except for Reykjavik and Akureyri). The beach is wonderful, and the cliffs boast a large puffin colonies.
Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss are both on major tour company routes, but are both worth stops for great photo ops. Remember to bring full waterproof pants and jacket as you can get as close as you want to the falls and even walk behind Seljalandsfoss.
The big ticket. We had waited the entire trip for the sky to clear for just an hour or two so we could see the lights. The harsh reality is that you can only see this phenomenon in the winter, a time usually characterized by total cloud cover. Another important factor in seeing the lights is how good you are on little to no sleep. You want to drive all day, hike, see everything, and do most of it while fighting wind/rain/sleet/snow.... you also want to stay up all night and see if the clouds will part. It catches up to you.
Aurora advice based on our single week of experience: