Best Places to Visit to See Northern Lights
Best Places to See Northern Lights In 2017
Also known as Aurora Borealis, Northern Lights is spectacular light show display in sky and can be seen in high latitude regions. These lights are produced when magnetosphere is disturbed by solar wind, and electrically charged particles from sun collide with gaseous particles on the Earth’s atmosphere. These lights are visible in southern and northern hemisphere and their color may vary from green, white, purple and pink. According to scientific studies, southern and northern Auroras occur at same time as mirror images. These lights are visible in dark and cloudless skies between months of September to April, usually between 5 PM and 2 AM. No month guarantees better sightings other than December to February, which offers longest hours of darkness. To enjoy this live magic show, below given are best places to visit:
- Reykjavik, Iceland
With combination of colorful buildings, eye-popping design, creative people and wild nightlife, Reykjavik is most accessible and best place to visit in Iceland to see Northern Lights. This place attracts backpackers from around the world not only with these lights but also with volcanoes, blue ice and geysers. The best season to see northern lights in Iceland is from September to April as these are the months with full dark nights. Visitors are recommended to stay minimum of seven nights in the country because these lights tend to be very active for two to three nights and then low for four to five nights. Once in a while, these lights are so strong that city lights don’t matter.
- Jukkasjärvi, Sweden
Northern Lights in Jukkasjärvi appear in the beginning of September to around end of March. The best chance of getting glimpse of these heavenly lights is on cold winter nights when sky is dark and clear with no moonlight. Make sure that you are away from city lights, which can affect these natural phenomena. On cloudless nights, these lights can be visible from locations in Swedish Lapland and occurs between 6:00 and 14:00 and strongest show happens between 22:00 and 23:00. The other famous places to see these phenomena are Abisko National Park, Torne Valley, Porjus, Laponia, Jokkmokk, Luleå, Gällivare and Arvidsjaur.
- Northern Canada
One of the most remote regions on the Earth, Northern Canada has vast landscape, plenty of nature and wildlife to observe. With its northern provinces extended into Arctic Circle, Canada offers fantastic locations to see these lights. Combined with picturesque snow-covered scenery and various thrilling winter activities, it is holiday destination which is hard to beat. Some of best places to visit in Canada to see these lights are Whitehorse, La Ronge, Mucho Lake Provincial Park, Fort McMurray, Iqaluit, Yellowknife and more.
- Kakslauttanen, Finland
In Finnish Lapland, northern lights are visible on 200 nights a year or every other clear night. The traditional ways to spot these lights here are cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and sled dog touring. The nights are dark enough to spot Northern lights from late August to April. In Kakslauttanen, you don’t have to get out of bed to catch northern lights. Surrounded by towering pines, there are log cabins set in pine forests and brilliant white snow of Finnish Lapland. Here opportunities of viewing lights can be combined with various exhilarating activities such as reindeer safari or explore the nearby Urho National Park.
- Scotland, United Kingdom
Scotland is fantastic place to see Northern Lights with pink, green and white hues. Winter and autumn seasons are best time of year to experience these lights, reason being long periods of darkness in these seasons. It has only few places to find dark sky, few to name – Shetland, Cairngorms, Orkney, Caithness, Galloway Forest Park, Perthshire, Rannoch Moor, Angus, Calton Hill and more.
Cross the Irish Sea, one will find plenty of opportunities to get glimpse of Northern Lights in Ireland. The most northerly point in Ireland to spot these lights is Republic where lights reached to Country Cork. With unspoilt natural beauty, it offers beautiful backdrop to see shimmering northern lights.
- Svalbard, Norway
A land of dramatic glaciers and snow-drowned peaks, forbidding icebergs and vast icelands, Svalbard is best place to visit in Norway which is at higher latitude with better chances to see Aurora. The northern light season here is between November and February, but majority of backpackers come to experience different phenomenon i.e., Polar Night. From November to January, this area is without daylight, and there are more chances to see these lights. If you visit other than these months, you can see walrus, reindeer, polar bears and more.