Best destinations to see the Northern Lights
The Northern Lights are a beautiful and natural display of amazing and awesome colour. They are one of many gifts given to us by Mother Nature to admire and be in awe of. Although miraculous in its appearance, there is a scientific explanation behind the formation of the lights.
What causes the Northern Lights?
The Northern Lights are the result of the collision of particles between the respective atmospheres of the Earth with our Sun. The particles of Earth are gaseous, whilst that of the Sun are charged and when they meet, it causes the sky to light up with many fascinating colours, which include yellow, green, red, blue and purple. The colour shown is dependent on the types of particles that collide.
The Northern Lights are a phenomenon that capture the attention of all ages. Many visit destinations, where appearance of the lights are common, just to sit under the night sky and watch the show.
When is the best time to see the Northern Lights?
Scientists and researchers say that the culmination of the Northern Lights is every 11 years. However, generally, you will see an excellent show on any given night when the skies are clear.
Now the most important question…where do I go to see the lights!? Here are some ideal destinations…
Generally speaking, the higher one travels up the Artic (the most northern part of the Earth), the greater the chance of getting an amazing view of the lights. We begin with Norway, specifically Svalbard. Between the months of November and February, there is absolutely no daylight activity here (another Earthly phenomenon!). Naturally, your chances of seeing the lights dramatically increase. Therefore it is definitely one of the best destinations to visit and see the lights.
Norway’s Scandinavian neighbour, Finland also offers some great opportunities to see the lights. In Finland, you may reside in their traditional log cabins that offer a very comfortable and cosy atmosphere to enjoy the dazzling Aurora show. Alternatively, head off to Hotel Aurora, where you are specifically given an “Aurora Alarm” that will make a sound every time the Northern Lights appear, ensuring you never miss an opportunity!
An area around Abisko, Sweden is scientifically proven to be the perfect place to watch the Northern Lights. Another option is to stay at an ice hotel in a village known as Jukkasjarvi. The downside is that these destinations are in the remote parts of Sweden. You’ll have to fly to mainland Sweden before getting a train there or driving yourself.
Iceland is another great destination for a viewing of the Northern Lights. Reykjavik, a town in Iceland is arguably the cheapest and perhaps the most accessible place to watch the lights. You are not required to be at a specific area or region, you can see them from anywhere! An added bonus of visiting Iceland is the geothermal spa, a naturally hot spa that remains so all year round.
If you’re from the UK, you only need to go as far as Scotland to be within reach of the Northern Lights. February is the best time to go and visit Caithness, located in the most northern regions of Scotland. If you’re familiar with British weather, you’ll know that cloudy conditions are the order of the day most times throughout the year, which serves to be the only disadvantage for viewing the lights.
Indeed, our very own Canada is the one of the ideal regions to visit for some Aurora action. Fortunately, the most northern region of Canada crosses over into the Arctic Circle. Fort McMurray and the town of Whitehorse are the preferred locations.
There is no shortage of places to go and view the spectacular celestial show, why not make your Christmas extra special, this year!