Northern Lights Holidays: 5 Amazing Destinations to see Nature’s Greatest Show
There is no better way to spend one’s holidays than gaze up at shimmering Northern Lights dance away in the night sky. Seeing these lights is a once in a lifetime experience.
Northern lights or aurora are a natural phenomena which occur when electrically charged particles from the sun interact with the magnetic field of the earth to give the dancing riot of colours in the sky.
These lights however do not happen in all places of the world, they happen in only some places in the Northern hemisphere.
If you want to see the otherworldly Northern Lights, then read on because in this article, we are going to tell you 5 most amazing destinations to see nature’s greatest show, the Northern Lights-
1. Yellowknife, Canada-
Canada is generally considered to be a perfect country to see the aurora as it has a northern latitude, low degree of light pollution and the aurora oval sweeps over a large portion of the country.
Yellowknife is the capital of the Northwest Territories in Canada and is located on the shores of the Great Slave Lake.
It is one of the best places to see the Northern Lights because it is in the aurora oval, has little rainfall and has a fairly flat surface.
it boasts its own dedicated Aurora Village which is a place for northern lights tourism.
The Aurora Village has a multilingual team of guides who can give you tours in any of many major languages including French, Japanese, Mandarin and Korean so that you can enjoy the aurora at your comfort.
There are several activities to do in aurora village during the daytime and it offers many others tours too. Because of the extreme cold in the winter, the Aurora Village includes winter clothing rentals which it delivers to your hotel.
There are also several other tour operators who can take you to the best places in and about Yellowknife to see the aurora.
If you are planning on seeing the sights alone, then consider going away from city lights to Frame lake or driving and reaching Dettah.
You can also set up tent on the nearby island on Mason Lake so that you’ll be quite a distance from the city and free of light pollution.
To be safe, do not park on roads and wear high visibility clothing.
When to visit?
Visiting between Mid-August to late April and especially during January to March will give you the best results if you want to see the aurora.
2. Moray Coast, Scotland- There are quite a few places in Scotland from where you can see the Aurora such as deserted islands in Outer Hebrides.
However you can also see them in relative comfort from the Scottish mainland.
The Moray Coast extends from Inverness, the capital of the Scotland Highland and the best place to see the aurora here is the tiny and charming town of Nairn which overlooks the Moray Firth.
Nairn has a dry and sunny microclimate giving it the perfect aurora glimpsing conditions during the night.
At day time, you can do sightseeing along the rugged coast and catch a glimpse of Firth’s renowned dolphins or eat a traditional lunch in Inverness and shop at the stalls in the Victorian Market.
Where to stay? You can book a room in the Invernairne hotel which is on the banks of the Firth and is perfect for keeping a watch on the sky.
A private path will take you from the hotel and it’s huge gardens to the beach.
You can reach Nairn by a 15 minute drive from Inverness which itself is a short flight away from London.
3. Abisko, Sweden- Sweden is the least populous country in Northern Europe and is also the best place in Europe to see the Northern Lights.
There are several things to do in Sweden such as visiting the well-known ice hotel in Jukkasjärvi village in Kiruna which has artist designed rooms and ice bar.
Those who hunger to see the aurora however should head up to Abisko further north.
Abisko is located in the midst of the Skanderna mountain range which is a blessing for Aurora hunters.
The tall mountains keep clouds away from the skies making them clear and there is no light pollution at all so that even weak auroras can be easily seen.
Abisko also has an Aurora Sky Station set in the mountains for seeing the majestic views which you can reach via open chair lift.
Where to stay?
The Abisko Mountain Lodge is warm and inviting and offers several tours catering to different people such as an authentic snowshoe walk in the wilderness, snowmobile rides which are guided and also a warm minibus ride to coastal viewing areas.
You can take a train here from Stockholm or a flight to Kiruna along with a bus trip.
4. Reykjavik, Iceland- Iceland is a land of fire and ice where volcanoes, geysers and huge glaciers coexist in mesmerizing beauty.
It is also one of the prime locations for viewing the aurora.
Reykjavik is very popular and also one of the most accessible and affordable locations for seeing the Northern Lights.
There are also several natural wonders in and around Reykjavik such as the Blue Lagoon.
To see the aurora, you’ll need to leave the city and there are innumerable guided tours which start from the city that help you do just so.
You can choose your tour from many options such as a boat cruise or a super jeep journey.
The Grotta lighthouse is a nice viewing spot.
You’ll also be able to take in the sights of the aurora from outdoor hot tubs, Buubble lodges and hot springs. What more can one ask for.
5. Tromsø, Norway- Tromsø is the biggest urban area in Northern Norway and is 217 miles from the Arctic Circle. However because of the Gulf Stream, it has very moderate temperatures near the coastline.
You can catch many beautiful sights here such as majestic fjords, the Lyngen Alps and amazing scenery but the most beautiful sight to be cherished is most definitely the aurora which can be found in full bloom here.
The village of Ersfjordbotn is just 12 miles from Tromsø and offers spectacular views.
There are also many cozy cafes and restaurants in Tromsø to keep you occupied if you haven’t seen the aurora yet.
You can better your chances by going on a light hunting tour on a dog sled or snowmobile. Autumn visitors might see the once in a lifetime sight of the auroras and their reflection in the still waters.
The Northern Lights festival is held from January to February.
You can take a flight to Tromsø via Oslo.
These were our five best destinations for seeing the aurora.
We hope you enjoyed reading the article and we wish you a good day.
Yogi and Suchna believe in taking the road less travelled and stumbling upon some hidden gems along the way! For over a decade, they’ve mapped their way across various continents, sniffed out unusual routes, discovered new flavours’ and stayed at quirky hostels. TheVillaEscape is their expression of soul travel. To check Northern Lights Trip you can catch up with them at TheVillaEscape.