The northern lights, sometimes called the aurora borealis, are a spectacular natural light show that may be witnessed in the northern hemisphere during specific periods of the year. This results from the collision of electrically charged solar particles with gaseous substances like oxygen and nitrogen in Earth’s atmosphere. If you’re the kind of person who appreciates the extraordinary, you’ll be blown away by this sight.
Blue, green, pink, and violet flash over the night sky like a kaleidoscope. Aurora Borealis displays are most seen against a dark sky with little artificial light pollution.
Sites that monitor the aurora may be accessed from many prime viewing locations, and some hotels have employees trained to alert guests when the lights are seen (if requested). Here you’ll find information on the best places to see the aurora borealis in all its dazzling glory.
1. Norway’s City of Troms
Because of its location above the Arctic Circle, Troms is a prime spot in Norway for viewing the Northern Lights. For the northern half of the United States, the hours between early afternoon and late morning are completely dark from September until late March.
The aurora may be visible sooner because of the reduced ambient light. Being a contemporary city, Troms likely has many other attractions besides its starry night sky, such as the stunning Arctic Cathedral.
The city hosts the Northern Lights Festival in late January or early February, a multi-day festival of music and the performing arts. Anybody interested in seeing the Northern Lights may either do it alone, take a five-day guided trip of the Nordic nations with Kensington Tours, or embark on an exhilarating husky trekking expedition over the Arctic tundra.
2. Yellowknife, Northern Canada
Yellowknife serves as the administrative center for Canada’s Northwest Territories. Aurora Capital of North America is a frequent nickname for this city. During January, February, and March, the city puts on one of the most fantastic light shows on Earth because of its position at the geographic center of the Auroral Oval.
Yellowknife is ideally situated for winter activities such as ice fishing and snowmobiling, as it is located on the northern shore of Great Slave Lake. As the weather in Yellowknife begins to warm up around the end of March, the city celebrates its annual Long John Jamboree. There will be dog sled racing, ice sculpting, and sugar shacks during this festival.
3. Finland’s Lapland
Since Lapland is so near to the Arctic area of Northern Europe, its residents may be treated to a show of the northern lights on about 200 evenings every year. Santa Claus, the indigenous Sámi people, and over 200,000 reindeer all call the north region of Finland, Lapland, home.
Northern Laplanders who go Aurora hunting between September and March may be lucky and see the lights every other night. Between the hours of darkness and light, they may suddenly appear out of nowhere and disappear just as quickly.
At Santa’s Igloos Arctic Circle in Luosto, you may see a once-in-a-lifetime show without leaving the coziness of your glass igloo. This resort town is situated in the magnificent and rocky scenery of Pyhä-Luosto National Park, about 72 kilometers north of Rovaniemi.
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4. Fairbanks, Alaska
Fairbanks, Alaska, is a great spot to see the northern lights since it is directly under the Auroral Oval. Most auroral activity occurs in a ring-shaped region around the geomagnetic north pole of the Earth.
Spend Christmas at the North Pole at Santa’s House (around 13 miles southeast of Fairbanks). On clear nights between August 21 and April 21, tourists have a better than even chance of seeing the aurora borealis. Another two popular activities with tourists in the late summer are gold panning and rides on the Riverboat Discovery.
Tourists may embark on dog sledding trips in February and March and see the fantastic World Ice Art Championships. Booking a stay at the luxurious Aurora Villa is a requirement if you want to maximize your chances of seeing the northern lights.
5. Orkney Islands, Scotland
These exciting islands off the northern coast of Scotland are prime locations for viewing the Northern Lights. In this region, the aurora borealis, sometimes called the “Mirrie Dancers,” may be seen most clearly in the late autumn and winter months.
Orkney is famous for its stunning coastline, abundant sheep population, and frequent display of the northern lights. Right now, with the clear stars and the chilly evenings, stargazing is at its best. Wideford Hill, the shore of Birsay, and the beach at Dingieshow are just a few of the places you may take in the breathtaking light show. Ork
It is also common for visitors to stop by the Neolithic Heart of Orkney, a collection of structures that have been around since the Bronze Age. Visitors to the Orkney Islands should make Kirkwall their home base, a town dating back to the Viking era.