Below are some ideas of travel destinations to see the Northern Lights. Once you have picked a destination you also need to choose the right season in order to have the best chance to see the Northern Lights.
What Are the Northern Lights?
The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon that can only be observed near the poles during sun storms: the electrons and protons coming from the sun come in contact with the atmosphere, and their reaction with oxygen and nitrogen atoms creates the famous Northern Lights: belts of colored lights.
Where to Go to See the Northern Lights?
In the first place, you must remember that the Northern Lights, just like any other natural phenomenon, are unpredictable. Nevertheless, chances of seeing them grow as you get closer to the poles. The areas located between latitudes 65° and 75° are privileged observatories.
You need to stay as far as possible from light pollution, so you will need to leave the cities if you want to see the Northern Lights in the best conditions possible.
- Iceland is one of the first countries we think of when we plan a trip to see the Northern Lights, and there is a good reason for that. Once you leave the country’s capital, Reykjavik, it is really easy to see them. There are specific circuits dedicated to the observation of these luminous phenomena.
- Norway, especially its northern region, is another good option. From the city of Tromso, you can go on an excursion especially planned around the observation of the Northern Lights. The Norwegian Sapmi (Finnmark) is also a popular spot among Northern Light hunters.
- Finland is also one of the best destinations to see the Northern Lights. All the region of Ivalo is particularly well suited for this purpose.
- In turn, Sweden is also a good tourist destination for the observation of Northern Lights, especially its northwest. Abisko National Park is home to the Aurora Sky Station, a well renowned place to see the Northern Lights.
- Finally, the north of Canada, Alaska, and Russia, are areas where the Northern Lights can be seen relatively easily.
What Is the Best Time to See the Northern Lights?
Once you have chosen a destination to see the Northern Lights, you need to pick an adequate season and time. In fact, this phenomenon cannot be seen all year. Light stripes are much more likely to be visible between mid-September and late March, when the nights are longer. It is recommended to be at an observation point between 6 PM and 1 AM. The periods close to the equinoxes are especially favorable.
Of course, weather conditions will affect the quality of the spectacle: clouds and snow storms are not favorable to see the northern lights. This is why you will need to find the driest season and the right weather according to your chosen destination.