The Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis are a divine display of nature, and occur in the polar regions of Earth, typically above 66 degrees north latitude, where parts of Russia, Alaska, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden fall. Similar natural phenomenon occurs at places below 66 degrees south, but that is called the Aurora Austrialis, that is relatively more unpredictable (as per documented sightings) and has much lesser places from where it can be regularly seen as such latitude are mostly falling on the Oceans. Here we present our 5 picks for seeing the Northern Lights, where it is not just about the Aurora but also about some of the most surreal landscapes on the planet. Read on –
Famous for its rugged mountain tops, untouched islands and open seas, this archipelago is a sight to behold, especially in the winter months of October to February, when the sky comes alive in a thousand colours. Towards the northwest coast of this paradise lie the beaches where one can witness the Aurora. Uttakleiv Beach has mountain ranges in its background, making it a beautiful spot to view the Aurora. Skagsanden Beach is a famous haunt for surfers and photographers and is a great place for viewing northern lights. For people who prefer open waters and nothing to obstruct their view, Storsandes Beach is the place to be. Hamnøy Beach, a fishing village, located near the city of Reine has a famous bridge, an ideal spot to view northern lights.
To reach Lofoten, one can take a train from Stockholm, Kiruna, Narvik, and even Oslo. If one wishes to reach by boat, there are numerous express boats and ferries running throughout the year between Bodø, Værøy , and Svolvær. If one wants to fly in, the nearest airports are Bodø Airport, Harstad/Narvik Airport, Svolvær Airport, and Røst Airport.
Tromso is located in the middle of the Northern Lights Oval, where the probability of seeing northern lights is the highest in the world. On a day when the sky is really clear, the aurora is sometimes visible in the city itself. However, to get the best experience, visitors usually travel outside the city. The best place, however, is up the mountain, which is reachable by Fjellheisen Cable car. There are many options for seeing the northern lights in Tromso. One can go to different remote places with the best views, also one can get good vantage point of the city from a nearby hilltop. Apart from the splendid experience of viewing northern lights, Tromso also offers a lot of activities like whale watching, dog sledding, snowmobiling, etc.
One can travel to Tromso by boat (express boats connect Tromso to the rest of the country), by road, and even by plane. There’s no shortage of accommodations in the largest city of northern Norway, with luxurious five-star hotels to budget lodges.
Abisko Sky station, Sweden
A large outdoor terrace, and a lookout tower, where you get chair-lifted is one of the best places in the world to gaze upon the beautiful northern lights. The view is unobstructed, as this structure stands atop Mt. Njulla. The place doesn’t have much precipitation and is removed from the hustle of the city, making it clear and free from light pollution. A cosy restaurant is also situated on the sky station and it serves delectable four-course meals.
To reach here, one can take a direct airport transfer from Kiruna or Narvik. You can also reach here by rental car, taxi, or bus. Guests can stay in the nearby town of Abisko, where the options are plentiful.
Rovaniemi is the administrative capital of Lapland, Finland’s northernmost province. There are a plethora of places around Rovaniemi where visitors can view northern lights, as really strong Auroras can be found here. Rovaniemi is the place of santa claus and this THE PLACE TO BE during Christmas holidays, which is also the polar night in these regions. Santa Village in the town is must see. One can visit the Arctic Garden, just a 10-minute walk from the city. The other option is the top of Ounasvaara Fell, where you can get unobstructed views of northern lights. You can go hunting for northern lights by snowmobiles, husky sleds and even Reindeer sleds.
One can reach Rovaniemi by plane; Rovaniemi airport is just 8kms from the city. Train stations and bus stations are located at a stone’s throw to the city centre. One can also get taxis from nearby cities. There are a wide range of hotels as well as lodges and cabins spread all over the city, so finding an accommodation is not difficult here.
Kirkjufell is the most photographed mountain in Iceland, notable for its symmetry. It is located on the northern coast of Snæfellsnes peninsula. During clear skies, capturing the beautiful Aurora here, with the mountain in background, produces other-worldly photos. This is a truly picturesque location, so it comes as no surprise that a lot of tourists frequent this place. There are lots of options available for guests who wish to capture northern lights here, the mountain looks different from different approaches, the side view looks completely different from the front view below. The mountain itself is a bit of a hike, so only experienced climbers are advised to visit here, particularly during snow. However, those who do visit have nothing but praise for the gorgeous views that greet them.
Accommodation is available at the nearby town of Grundarfjörður, which is a two-hour drive from Iceland’s capital Reykjavik. There are plenty of guesthouses, apartments and hotels available here.
We hope you enjoyed this list as much as we enjoy travelling to these places. To plan a Northern Lights expedition, reach out to our Nordic experts today!
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