Do you want to see the Northern Lights? If so, you’re in luck. The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis to those of us living in the United States, are one of nature’s most spectacular displays. They are a natural phenomenon and can be seen in a band around the north magnetic pole. The band is known as the auroral zone. The Northern Lights are caused by collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun interacting with the atoms of the Earth’s upper atmosphere.
Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that you’ll see the Northern Lights as they are notoriously unpredictable. They can be visible for days or weeks at a time – or they might not appear at all. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the best locations worldwide where you have the best chance to view them for yourself.
Fairbanks, Alaska, is one of the premier places in the world to view the Northern Lights. The best time to see them is from September to April, with the peak months being December and January during the winter as there are only four hours of daylight. During this time, the nights are the longest, which gives you a greater chance of witnessing this display, and the weather is usually cold and clear, making it the perfect viewing place. To increase your chances of seeing the Northern Lights, head out into the countryside away from the city lights. It is best to be in a dark, open area.
There are various guided tours that offer accommodations in a hotel, lodge, or cabin. You can also add Fairbanks as a pre or post-cruise option and spend a couple of days in this part of Alaska exploring nature. If you prefer to have a one-of-a-kind experience, I suggest staying in your own luxury igloo. Can you imagine seeing the Northern Lights dance across the sky from this viewpoint?
You can also travel to Iceland if you want to see the Northern Lights as this country offers some of the best vantage points in the world for watching this natural light show. Like Alaska, the best times to see the Northern Lights are when the nights are long and dark; however, even during the summer months, you can sometimes catch a glimpse of them if you’re lucky.
A popular tourist destination is Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital city. You can sometimes view the Northern Lights if you head to one of Reykjavik’s locations such as Perlan or Hallgrimskirkja. However, your best bet is to venture out into the countryside or a remote location such as Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland’s largest national park which is also home to Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull. It’s a great place to see the Northern Lights, with plenty of dark skies and wide open spaces to enjoy them in.
You can also check out Iceland’s Highlands which are a vast and wild place, perfect for seeing the Northern Lights. However, definitely go to one of the best viewing spots in Iceland which is Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is one of Iceland’s most popular tourist destinations, and you can stay at one of the many campsites that are located in the area. Don’t forget to take your camera, and bring a tripod to assist with keeping your camera steady.
Canada and Norway
Although most commonly visible in Alaska and Iceland, the Northern Lights can also be viewed in spots of Canada and Norway.
If you are heading to Canada, check out Dawson City in the Yukon for a chance to see the Northern Lights dancing about the Midnight Dome. Dawson City is situated on the banks of the Yukon River in the heart of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. There are several ways to view the Northern Lights in Dawson City. One option is to head out on a guided tour. These tours typically take place in a heated vehicle, which allows you to enjoy the show while staying warm. Another option is to rent a pair of snowshoes and explore one of Dawson City’s many trails. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights while hiking. Or, try taking in the Northern Lights in Alberta, Canada, from the comfort of your car at Jasper National Park. Located in the Canadian Rockies, the best time to see them in this location is typically between midnight and 2am. Alberta’s Jasper National Park is a true winter wonderland with a vast and wild landscape, home to an array of wildlife and a night sky that sparkles with the Northern Lights.
In Norway, you can go to the Lofoten Islands, located in the Arctic Circle, which offer a stunning setting, and a dream for those who love unspoiled nature. With towering peaks, pristine valleys, and crystal-clear waters, the Lofoten Islands offer visitors a glimpse of true wilderness, including an opportunity to view the Northern Lights. Another Norwegian town to visit is Kirkenes, known for its snow hotels and a great place to see the Northern Lights. It is a small town located just north of the Arctic Circle, and a great place to go dog sledding, snowmobiling, and ice fishing. There are many tour companies that offer day trips from Kirkenes too, which typically include stops at a reindeer farm and lunch at a local restaurant.
Capture the Aurora Borealis
Tips Before You Go…
As you set off on your Northern Lights adventure, remember these traveling tips: 1) Pack and dress warmly since the lights are best seen being outside; 2) Check the weather forecast to make sure there is little to no cloud cover the night you plan to go out; 3) Give your eyes time to adjust to the darkness, at least 15 minutes, before you start looking for the Northern Lights; and, 4) Be patient-the lights can be elusive so it may take some time before you see them. But when you do, it will be an unforgettable experience.
Let’s Plan My Trip!
If you’ve ever wanted to witness the aurora borealis, or northern lights, in person, there’s no time like the present! Planning a trip to see the northern lights may seem daunting, there’s no need to worry— your advisor can help you plan the perfect excursion. From picking the best time of year to travel to selecting the right tour company, we’ll ensure you have a stress-free and unforgettable experience. So what are you waiting for? Call your advisor today at 813-591-5971 and start planning your aurora borealis adventure!