The magic Northern Lights
At the top of my bucket list: the Northern Lights. One of the most stunning natural phenomena in the world. The most amazing show of beautiful colours in a dark sky. The Northern Lights. But what is the best time to see this phenomenon?
When can you see the Northern Lights?
You can see the Northern Lights when the days gets shorter and darker. From mid-September to mid-April. This is when the days are shortest in Northern Scandinavia. And you are much more likely to see the lights. Tip: a full moon will make the sky lighter and harder to spot the lights. So if possible, go when the moon is small and the sky is dark. The contrast will show the lights at their best.
It doesn’t need to be freezing cold to see the Northern Lights. However, when it’s freezing, the sky is usually clearer and you will be able to spot the lights better.
Where can you see the Northern Lights?
Popular places are Canada, Alaska and Greenland. But you can also see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) in Northern Europe, near the polar circle: Lapland, Scandinavia or Iceland.
Unfortunately, it isn’t guaranteed you will see the Northern Lights. However, there are a few special websites where they predict their appearance.
1. Aurora Borealis in Lapland
The most popular place in Europe to spot the Northern Lights is Lapland. Beautiful snowy scenery. Huskies. And reindeer. You can either stay in a fairy-tale-like glass igloo or in the Arctic Snow Hotel, including a fire place, jacuzzi and sauna!
2. Spotting the Northern Lights in Scandinavia
You can also see the Northern Lights in the Northern tip of Norway and Sweden. Popular destinations in Norway are Tromsø and Lofoten. And also in the most Northern tourist spot of Svalbard, you stand a good chance of seeing the lights. In Karuna (Sweden) you can stay in the first ice hotel of Sweden. And in Norway you’ll find the most stunning and fairy-tale-like places to stay. Like a snow hotel or an igloo hotel.
3. Affordable Iceland
Iceland is probably the most affordable place to admire the Northern Lights. And there is a lot more to do. Like cross-country skiing. Glacier walks. Or rides on a snow mobile.
Other great and affordable place to spot the Northern Lights are the Shetland Islands (Scotland) and the most northernly tip of Ireland.