The Northern Lights have to be one of the top things to see on people’s bucket lists. The phenomenon is only visible in the most northern locations, although sometimes you can see it a little further south than usual. It’s a beautiful sight to watch, but it can also be difficult to guarantee a sighting. Of course, going to one of the countries where they’re most often seen and going at the right time of year will greatly improve your chances. These are my top places to see the Northern Lights for a wonderful wintry vacation.
There are possibly more popular locations than Sweden for seeing the Northern Lights. But part of the country is within the Arctic Circle, and there’s one special place to stay. You might have heard of the Icehotel, which is in a village called Jukkasjärvi. It’s one of the best places to see the aurora borealis. In fact, you’ll feel like you’re right in the middle of them. You can even go on a safari by snowmobile, or learn how to take photos of the lights.
Norway is another amazing Scandinavian country that’s fantastic for seeing the Northern Lights. It might not be cheap to visit, but the cost is worth it for an unforgettable experience. The island of Svalbard is about as northerly as you can get and it’s not only a great place to see the Lights, but it also has plenty of polar bears. Visit between November and January, and you’ll get to experience the permanent twilight of winter.
Iceland is currently an incredibly popular place to visit to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. It’s a bit more accessible the North America, compared to other European countries, and it offers some other fascinating natural phenomena too. Even though it’s a small country, you can still find luxurious accommodation in Iceland. You can stay in the capital of Reykjavik, but there are other places to explore too. For example, there’s the northern city of Akureyri.
Finland is an unusual vacation choice for many people. It wouldn’t be their first thought, even when planning a tour of Europe. However, Finnish Lapland is one of the best places to see the Aurora. Plus, it’s where Santa comes from. You can stay at the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, close to Urho National Park. And if you want to visit Santa, he lives about two hours away, on the Russian border.
For anyone who lives in North America, Canada is perhaps a more affordable option to see the Northern Lights. But you need to go north – you can’t expect to simply cross the US-Canada border. There’s no need to go too far though, as you can see the Lights in a great deal of Canada. You can even use a special tool from Canadian Geographic to hunt down the best spots to see them.
The Northern Lights are a sight that shouldn’t be missed. If they’re not already on your travel bucket list, they should be.