Each year, the Northern Lights also known as the Aurora Borealis, has many seeking the chance to catch even a glimpse of these beautiful dancing waves of light.
Did you know the Northern Lights are caused by electrically charged particles originating from the sun entering the Earth’s atmosphere at a high speed?
This means that back on Earth we’re treated with a stunning light display.
Although you can witness the Northern Lights between late August and mid-April, November to February offer the darkest and somewhat best conditions to view the atmospheric phenomenon.
Here are our top tips for the five most beautiful places to take part in the Holy Grail of skywatching.
Tromsø offers some of the best sites to view the Northern Lights.
From rooftop bars to the Fjellheisen cable car to reach a stunning mountain viewpoint of the city, there is a range of areas to view the Aurora.
If you don’t get seasick, you can watch the display on a night boat cruise!
A cruise offers a unique opportunity to view the display by sea, and dependent on your cruise of choice, you might even be able to enjoy the views from the comfort of a jacuzzi and sauna.
Whilst here you can also go skiing, whale watching or visit the Ice Domes.
Thingvellir National Park, Iceland
Iceland remains one of the most popular countries for Northern Light visits.
The Thingvelli National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to Öxaráfoss a waterfall that can freeze over during winter, and Iceland’s largest natural lake which is part of Iceland’s Golden Circle route making it a scenic viewing spot.
Approximately 45 minutes from Reykjavík, the short distance to the National Park means you can explore the capital and even go on volcano tours.
If you’re lucky, you might even see the Northern Lights in the city!
Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland
Referred to as Revontulet in Finnish, translating to Foxfire in English, Sámi folklore suggests the Northern Lights are caused by a fox running over Lapland’s fells and hitting snow into the sky causing sparks.
Rovaniemi has many ways to view the Northern Lights.
The Arctic Garden in front of the Arktikum Science Centre and Museum which is by a beach, and the top of Ounasvaara fell offers a beautiful backdrop for the display.
You can also enjoy other activities in Rovaniemi including ice fishing and a snowmobile safari.
Vikings believed the Northern Lights were the Valkyries taking soldiers who had died in combat to Odin, their god.
At Abisko National Park you can view the lights surrounded by mountains making it the perfect destination.
According to scientists, we are entering a peak of our solar cycle meaning the coming winters will be an ideal time to visit Sweden.
Each year until 2025 the Northern Lights will grow making the Aurora even more incredible!
Did you know, it’s not just across Europe you can see the Northern Lights? But you can too in Canada.
Located in Canada’s Northwest Territory, Yukon is a great viewing place during the first few weeks of winter. You can enjoy the Aurora from a tepee where you can be at one with nature.
Or you can opt for the Takhini Hot Springs where you can watch the Northern Lights in natural mineral water.
While the ideal time to sight the Northern lights is between 10pm and 3am, apps such as My Aurora Forecast can give a helping hand on when to view the lights.
If you are planning your own trip to view the Northern Lights, make sure you book with an ATOL licenced travel company. We recommend you pay with a credit card and take out travel insurance to give you that extra piece of mind.
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