When and Where to See the Aurora Borealis

Northern lights in Norway
Northern lights in Norway. Image by John Huang from Pixabay

September to mid-April are the best months to see the Northern Lights, but knowing when and where to go will greatly increase your chances of seeing the lights in all their glory. Dark clear skies will give you the best views, so read on for tips on how to find these optimum conditions.

Solar Cycle

The Northern Lights are part of an 11-year solar cycle, so your chances of seeing them depend on where we are in the cycle. Unfortunately for the next 5 to 6 years, the lights can be seen less frequently, so a bit of pre-planning is even more important.

Tromso in the Heart of the Aurora Zone

Based in the Norwegian Arctic, Tromso is widely thought of as the best place to see the Northern Lights. The city is a lively location, filled with more pubs and bars than anywhere else in Norway, due to its popularity as a tourist destination. Take a longer vacation to enjoy the surroundings and increase your chances of a dark clear night.

Icehotel in Jukkasjarvi

If you are looking for a quieter destination, the Swedish Arctic is a perfect choice. Scantily populated, it’s filled with an adventure into the unknown. The Icehotel, made of ice and snow, is both a hotel and an art exhibition. It scores 5 out of 5 by visitors and is a great base to go in search of the Northern Lights.

Reykjavik, Iceland

The capital of Iceland is a popular destination for people seeking the Northern Lights. There is so much else going on, like geothermal pools, whale watching and volcano tours that some tourists forget about the Northern Lights. It is worth taking a trip further South to get better views of the Light show.

Yukon, Canada

If you can’t get to Europe on your vacation, it is definitely worth taking a trip to Canada to experience the Northern Lights. The winter months are still the best times to go because of the dark clear sights. Situated in the northwest of Canada, the area is dominated by high plateaus and rugged mountains. It’s the perfect place to experience the full glory of the Northern Lights in a unique natural environment.