The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, is famous worldwide as a spectacular natural phenomenon. Thousands of people every year attempt a glimpse of this greenish-yellow, faint blue or even deep red dramatic show of color in the sky. But the big question that is often asked is, “where is the best place to see the Aurora Borealis?” With this natural sight making most people’s list of things to do in your lifetime, it’s only practical to take a look at the five best Northern Lights viewing holidays.
Northern Lights Viewing Holidays: Alaska
One of the best places to view the aurora is in Alaska, where the locals even believe that it has some kind of magical powers. The best months to see it here are in March and September when there are frequent displays, mild weather and clear skies. The peak viewing time is between 11pm and 3am Alaskan time, but you can start looking out a couple of hours after sunset. Also note that you are most likely going to see the aurora if the sky is clear and dark enough to see stars, and it’s always advisable that you get away from the city’s strong lights, book some place in the countryside and hope for clear skies.
Northern Lights Viewing Holidays: Norway
This Scandinavian destination extends more to the north; hence the locals are able to see the Northern lights on a regular basis. The best place to catch a good view of this blanket of lights is Tromso town, which holds an annual festival in honor of the aurora’s “goddess of dawn.” You can visit this place any time in January if you want to get a fantastic glimpse of the aurora. The town is located far in the north, and thus it gets 24 hour of darkness during the winter months.
Northern Lights Viewing Holidays: Canada
Canada is yet another amazing destination to see the aurora. A snowmobile ride to Ontario, located on the northern side of Lake Superior, offers a breathtaking display of the northern lights. This is among the coldest routes that can be taken to see the lights, so make sure that you pack your warmest gear. You can consult one of the several professional local tour operators who will help you plan your trip and will give you a list of all the dos and don’ts. For instance, it is not advisable to attempt a snowmobile ride yourself if you’ve never lived in an area of similar climate.
Northern Lights Viewing Holidays: Greenland
Greenland is quite a reliable place to catch a glimpse of the northern lights, but not during the summer, when it experiences midnight sun due to its high latitude. You can see this great phenomenon on any dark, clear night from September to early April. In South Greenland, the aurora can be seen as early as around mid-August.
Northern Lights Viewing Holidays: Finland
The town of Saariselka in Finland is a well known aurora borealis hotspot. The town is well within the “northern lights zone,” and has low pollution levels. Finnish Lapland also has a number of activities you can enjoy apart from the enthralling aurora, such as snowshoeing, reindeer sledging and snowmobiling. The lights are visible anytime between November and March, so plan your trip around this time.
Photo Credit: zhengxu