11 Best Places To See Northern Lights
Nyctophile is being referred to as the persons who love the night sky or darkness. If you are such a person then witnessing the phenomenal show of Northern Lights dancing across the sky should be in your bucket list. The auroras sometimes referred to as polar lights, northern lights if seen in the Arctic region and southern lights is seen in the Antarctic region, are a natural display of lights which occurs due to the electrically charged particles from the sun entering the Earth’s atmosphere and colliding with gaseous particles of oxygen and nitrogen. After knowing all these facts you must be searching where and what are the best places to see the Northern Lights?
Aurora Borealis or the Northern lights are a spectacular night light show in the northern hemisphere visible between December & March. The experience of witnessing various hues of blue, green, purple, pink, and violet formed due to this celestial phenomenon is extremely magical and surreal. The visibility of these lights mainly depends on the weather conditions, like clear skies, without any clouds and precipitation and the place should have little to no light pollution. The views of these spectacular sweeps of colors in the sky get better as you go farther north. If you are looking for the best time and places to see Northern Lights in 2021 or 2022 then check out these 11 destinations mentioned below:-
1. Fairbanks, Alaska
One of the best places in the world to view the northern lights in Fairbanks, which is located directly under the Auroral Oval. This ring-shaped area around the North Pole is the best to see aurora activity. The spectacular phenomenon of the northern lights is best visible from September to March between 10 pm to 2 am. You can book the most famous Moose Walk Cabin, a waterfront rental home in Fairbanks which provides you the best view of amazing auroras in Alaska. No wonder it is one of the best places to see Northern Lights in Alaska. This deluxe resort offers the best sky-watching in the night, and exciting hiking, snowmobile, and four-wheeler trails. The University of Alaska forecasts the visibility of beautiful lights, so visit their website before planning your trip to Alaska.
2. Tromso, Norway
If you are searching for the best places to see Northern Lights in Norway then come to Tromso. Like Fairbanks, this Norwegian city is also within the auroral ring, providing tourists and local people a beautiful view of northern lights irrespective of the sun’s cycles from September to early April. Tromso is a contemporary and modern city, it has plenty of things to see and do when you are not gazing up the sky. It also has excellent flight connectivity which makes it easier to access from the rest of the world making it popular among tourists who want to enjoy excellent aurora views. Other attractions include snow-sledding, visit beautiful Arctic Cathedral, enjoy at the Northern lights festival, go on a Northern Lights Safari or an exhilarating Husky trekking tour in the Arctic wilderness.
3. Lapland, Finland
Lapland is also known as Santa’s home is located in the Arctic circle in Northern Europe. The breathtaking northern lights are visible here approximately 200 times a year. If you are an aurora catcher then definitely visit northern Lapland because auroras are seen here every other clear night from September to March. If you want to admire the night skies in complete silence and without light pollution then do visit Kilpisjarvi a village in the municipality of Lapland. For a picturesque experience watch the impressive light show from the glass igloo at Santa’s Hotel Aurora in Luosto. This resort is set among the beautiful hilly landscape of Pyha-Luosto National Park.
4. Yellowknife, Canada
Besides being the capital of north-west territories of Canada, Yellowknife is also known as the auroral capital of North America. It is one of the best places to see Northern Lights in Canada. With its position in the middle of the Auroral Oval, the city hosts one of the world’s most spectacular light shows through the whole of January till March. The city also offers its tourists with aurora hunting tours; these four hours of guided tours will take you on a mission to see the world’s most famous natural phenomena. In the day time, you can go for a hiking tour at Cameron Falls and reconnects yourself with nature and wildlife at its best. You can also take some close pictures of wood bison or go on a snowshoeing ice cave tour.
5. Siberia, Russia
If you can handle temperatures below freezing points then an amazing display of northern lights are waiting for you in Siberia. Winters here have low levels of light pollution and have long nights perfect for viewing northern lights. Luckily the auroral belt where the solar belt collides with earth’s magnetic field passes over Siberia causing an excellent, picturesque view of lights. Lights can be seen here in different colors of hue and in various patterns giving happiness to your eyes, and leaving you awe-struck by its gloriousness.
6. Reykjavik, Iceland
The country’s capital city is the most favorable choice of tourists because of its brimming geothermal pools, volcano tours, quality cultures, and a magnificent view of the northern lights. The best time to view the aurora is between September to April. The display of northern lights here is astonishingly recurrent. Reykjavik has many parks, so go to any of them adjust your eyes to the darkest place possible and you will satisfy your eyes by seeing a beautiful bliss of lights in the dark sky. You can also go camping in Iceland and sleep beneath the canopy of stars that will increase the chances of seeing the lights. All these reasons make it one of the top places to see Northern Lights in Iceland.
7. Abisko, Sweden
A lot of people dream to see northern lights, but going towards the North Pole and witnessing one can be quite expensive. Without a doubt, Abisko is one of the best places to see northern lights in Sweden. This place is a small village in Sweden having clear night skies thanks to its microclimate and is cheaper than visiting places under auroral oval or Europe. If you stay here for just 4 days only then it’s guaranteed you will see northern lights in patterns of swirls, curtains, arcs, or coronas. The best view can be seen between late August and late March from 9 pm to 2 am.
8. Orkney, Scotland
Located on the remote the northern coast of Scotland, this group of captivating islands is the best place to see Aurora Borealis in the country. ‘Merry Dancers’ as called by the local people can be witnessed best in the fall and winter seasons. The ideal conditions for viewing northern lights are clear, dark skies, with less or no light pollution in addition to light atmospheric activity. Don’t forget to take your camera along with you to capture the beautiful swirls of light in the sky. If you are planning to chase aurora in the city then connect to Orkney Aurora Group on Facebook for more updates on potential display.
9. Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
Greenland may not the most accessible place in the world to see northern lights, but if you are a true aurora chaser then this place offers the most beautiful and magnificent view of the aurora. The most ideal spot to see the light show in Greenland is Kangerlussuaq, a tiny town located on the fjord right along the Arctic Circle. The town has 300 nights of clear skies from October till April that makes it an ideal spot for witnessing the natural show of lights. You will be surely thrilled after viewing the curtains and silent ribbons of light as they twist and turn against the backdrop of twinkling stars.
10. County Donegal, Ireland
If you are on a trip to Ireland and wish to see the picturesque show of northern lights so the best months to witness them are September and March. If the sky is dark and there are appropriate solar conditions then the chances of seeing the aurora are the maximum. Some websites help you know the best time and place to see the spectacular natural light show. In Ireland, County Donegal is the top destination for it. To see the aurora in County Donegal a few top areas will give a magnificent view like; Dooey Beach, Dunree Head, Fanad Head, Glencolmcille, Inishowen Peninsula, and Malin Head.
11. The Upper Peninsula, Michigan
The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is home to one of the top northern lights viewing locales in the U.S. during spring and the fall season. The late summer evenings will entertain the visitors with meteor showers, along with the visible Milky Way across the sky. Aurora trackers can stay at the Mission Point Resort located on the Mackinac Island, on special requests the resort’s staff will notify the guests of potential sightings of northern lights. The Headlands International Dark Sky Park located in Mackinaw city is also a perfect spot to gaze at the aurora.
What’s Next Waiting for you?
Apart from the list mentioned above, there are several best places to see the Northern Lights in the USA that attract tourists from different corners of the world. The list of best places in the world to see the Northern Lights is really huge and you can pick the best spot amongst all. When it comes to the best places to see Northern Lights in December there are only few choices.
If you are a photographer, who is into landscape or travel photography, then witnessing these kaleidoscopic northern lights is a must. To increase the chance of seeing this heavenly spectacle you should plan your trip at the time of the new moon. It is very important to be attentive throughout the night as the lights may appear and disappear in a snap. Many of these best viewing places mentioned above have their websites with aurora trackers, specially-tailored tours, and other unique experiences. We strongly believe that one should travel because life is short and the world is wide, so don’t let anything limit your boundaries. After you have witnessed the star of the show; the spectacular northern lights, travel towards the southern hemisphere to experience the heavenly bliss created by the southern lights.
About Author: Ayushi Malhotra