The wonder of the northern lights is a natural phenomenon that can be seen in the sky during winter. It is caused by solar winds and magnetic fields, appearing as a spectrum of colors on the night sky as if by magic. Hard to find a person who doesn’t find the idea of hunting the aurora borealis and taking some out-of-this-world pictures at least slightly appealing, but, unfortunately, not everyone can enjoy the majestic wonder at home. So, as you can imagine, Northern Lights vacation packages are quite popular among globetrotters who strive to see these miraculous sights. But do you know what destinations are perfect for this particular activity? And what is the best time to catch it? Let’s find out!
Best Time to Observe the Aurora Borealis
You can usually observe the aurora borealis from September to April, but if you go hunting the beautiful phenomenon somewhere from November to March, you can significantly increase your chances for success (and keep in mind that the Christmas holidays are booked far in advance).
Clearly, the northern lights hunting is a night activity, and you won’t be able to enjoy the experience during the day. What is more, to fully bask in the adventure and admire the astonishing spectacle, you need to get pretty far away from the city lights.
And if you don’t find the idea of standing in the middle of nowhere at night when it’s far below zero outside, Scandivania offers a few very interesting solutions. The region boasts several unique accommodations, such as a glass igloo hotel in Finland, Treehotel in Sweden, and Ion Adventure Hotel in Iceland. And all of them designed to enhance the extraordinary experience and offer to admire the views from luxury accommodations.
Top Places to Observe Northern Lights
Tromso in Norway
The Northern Light is a natural phenomenon that you can witness in all the Nordic countries, but it seems to be more frequent and intense in Norway. The country has over 500 dark sky preserves across its land area (second only to Canada) as well as some of the best viewing spots for aurora borealis seekers, and the charming city of Tromso is among the most popular options. It is set 300 km (186 mi) above the Arctic Circle and famous for stable weather, which is an awesome combo when it comes to admiring the dancing lights.
Rovaniemi in Finland
Rovaniemi is another amazing option. One of the secrets of the city’s popularity is that it doesn’t just provide awesome conditions for the northern lights hunting, but also houses the Santa Claus Village – a place as magical as Disneyland! Clearly, this destination is in high demand (in December and January especially), so make sure to start planning your tour at least half a year before the desired date of departure.
Reykjavik in Iceland
And what about Reykjavik, the stunning capital of Iceland? It is not as high above the Arctic Circle and weather can be unpredictable at times, but that does not discourage many visitors from coming here to see the northern lights, as well as soak in the warm waters of the world-famous Blue Lagoon Geothermal Pool and explore the splendid Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.
Beyond the Nordic Region
If Scandinavia doesn’t have that special appeal to you, you can always choose magnificent Russia for your getaway. Although it might not be the most famous choice, the Russian city of Murmansk offers a great opportunity for hunting aurora borealis.
Or why not go to Alaska, one of the most remarkable regions in the United States, enchanting in its wildness and untamed beauty? The northern lights can be witnessed there from August to March, there is no need to travel there in the deep cold winter to catch it.
As you can see, the choices of where to see the northern lights are plentiful and diverse. What unites them all is that all of the options are wonderful and inspiring. You simply can’t make the wrong choice. Well, not true. The wrong choice would be to stop at just one destination instead of planning to visit them at some point. So, where are you going first?