Culture & Travel12 January 2024
The Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis or simply Aurora, put on a mesmerizing light show in the night sky. These natural wonders happen when electromagnetic energy from the sun collides with the Earth's atmosphere, creating a captivating display of various colors. This spectacular sight is at its best from late fall to early spring, between November and March, and can be observed from land, boats, or airplanes. Whether you're an experienced traveler or venturing out for the first time, witnessing the Northern Lights in person will leave you in awe of the wonders of nature, providing a once-in-a-lifetime experience. While we've all seen the Northern Lights in photographs, if you want to witness them live, check out our list of the top 10 places to experience this light show.
A vast and majestic state renowned for its natural beauty and landscapes, Alaska is also one of the prime destinations for viewing the Northern Lights. The absence of light pollution and the expansive wilderness create perfect conditions to marvel at this spectacle of color. The best places to witness the Northern Lights in Alaska include the Yukon Territory, Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Denali. To enhance your chances of seeing this incredible sight, we recommend booking a tour with "Northern Lights hunters" who know the best locations and times to see them.
Denmark's Faroe Islands are another exceptional place to witness the Northern Lights. Situated in the middle of the turbulent North Atlantic, these windswept volcanic islands provide an impressive backdrop for the fireworks in the sky. Although Denmark might not be the first place that comes to mind for Northern Lights viewing, it is, in fact, one of the best places to witness this spectacular light show. Standing beneath the Northern Lights in the Faroe Islands, where there's no light pollution like in Alaska, you'll find yourself in a different world.
Another popular destination for experiencing the Northern Lights is Ireland. County Donegal in Northern Ireland and Antrim in the northeast are two well-known spots to catch a glimpse of this natural spectacle. On a clear, cloudless night, the Northern Lights can also be seen from the spectacular Fanad Lighthouse at Malin Head, on the edge of the Fanad Head Peninsula, the highest point in Europe. The breathtaking Cliffs of Moher in County Clare are also a popular spot to see the Northern Lights illuminating the magnificent cliffs during the winter months.
Greenland is another fantastic place to observe the Northern Lights, with Kulusuk and Ammassalik being particularly good spots. The best viewing season is from late October to early March when the nights are longer, and the skies are clearer. Beyond the Northern Lights, Greenland also offers spectacular landscapes, a rich culture, and fascinating history.
Iceland is renowned for its active volcanoes. The country is also the perfect spot to catch the incredible Aurora. The lights can be seen all over Iceland, but one of the best spots is Þingvellir National Park, just outside Reykjavík. Iceland is also a fantastic destination for nature enthusiasts with plenty of outdoor adventure opportunities.
Finland is another ideal destination if you want to witness the spectacular Northern Lights. One of the most popular places to visit is Luosto, where a warning sound is heard when the Lights begin. The nearby town of Sodanklya is home to the Northern Lights Research Center, which sends messages to hotels in the area when the Lights are visible. In Lapland, Finland, nestled between Norway and Sweden, you can even take horse-drawn sleigh rides to admire the Northern Lights.
The Kola Peninsula, located near the city of Murmansk in Northern Russia, is the perfect place to witness the spectacular Northern Lights. With its dark skies and cold climate, Northern Russia offers numerous opportunities to admire this natural wonder. The unique location and ideal viewing conditions make Northern Russia a popular destination for Aurora observers worldwide.
Abisko in Swedish Lapland is the scientifically proven best place to witness the Aurora. Abisko National Park is home to the famous Abisko Blue Hole, a 43-meter-long lake that provides a stunning backdrop for nighttime events. The park's microclimate, with extended periods of darkness, allows for incredible views of the Northern Lights.
The area in Canada between Lake Superior in Ontario and the tundra in Northern Canada is considered the best place to see the Northern Lights. If you want to witness this natural wonder in all its glory, the place to go is the Town of Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory. The journey to reach this incredible location can be lengthy and luxurious, but it's worth booking a tour to hunt for the Northern Lights.
Norway offers some of the most breathtaking views of this light show, especially in the areas between the Arctic Circle and the Northern Lights region. The picturesque port city of Tromsø, located in the northernmost latitudes of the world, is a popular spot to observe the Northern Lights. Alta, also known for its natural landscapes, also offers these light spectacles. Svalbard, an Arctic archipelago located between the Norwegian mainland and the North Pole, and Finnmark, a county in northern Norway, are other highly recommended places to watch the Northern Lights.