Seeing the northern lights ripple across the sky is a magical experience and creates memories that will live with you for the rest of your life. We recommend bringing an insulated coat and boots, warm woollen layers, a scarf, a hat, gloves and if you intend to do things like dog sledding maybe a balaclava, glove liners and cheeky hand warmer packs. denisekeelanphotography bedourie Here's How To See the Northern Lights (Video), How to See the Northern Lights in Iceland, 17 Hotels Where You Can See the Northern Lights Without Leaving Your Bed, 12 Best Places to See the Northern Lights Around the World, The Best Places to Go Stargazing Around the World, How to See the Northern Lights on a Trip to Finland, Best Places to See the Northern Lights in January 2020, The End of March Is the Best Time to See the Northern and Southern Lights Here's Where to Catch Them, The Northern Lights Could Be Extra Bright During the Spring Equinox This Week, These Gorgeous Glass Cubes Are Opening in Alaska Just in Time for Northern Lights Viewing Season, Manhattanhenge, a Supermoon, and Meteor Showers Are All Coming in July Here's When to See Them, Why This Winter Is the Best Time to See the Northern Lights, 3 Things About the North Pole You Probably Didn't Know, Saunas, Northern Lights, and Plenty of Winter Adventure in Finnish Lapland, This Meteor Shower Hasn't Been Seen Since 1861 and It's Happening This Week. However, despite not being able to predict them, what we do know is that the Northern Lights are best seen between 65 N and 75 N. Although the capital, Oslo, sits at just 60 N, northern Norway's latitude puts it in the ideal position to experience the Northern Lights. Between mainland Norway and the North Pole, this island realm of fjords, glaciers, mountains, and polar bears is, at 78 N, as far as you would want to go to see the Northern Lights. The Arctic is brimming with some of the biggest marine animals in the world, and seeing the sharp black fin of an orca surfacing above the iron-grey waves off Troms andSvalbardis a memory you will never forget. Asnowmobile safariis exhilarating; you can race across the wilderness at speed. The Lyngsalpene mountain range is where many local Northern Lights chases take place. You will not need to bring heavy-duty gear. not freeze-your-nose-off temperatures) thanks to the Gulf Stream, but as youll be heading to the Arctic Circle in the colder months, expect the average temperatures to hover around -5 to 6C (23-43F). Displays of the Northern Lights do tend to intensify around the equinox months of September and March because the magnetic fields of the Earth and the Sun's solar wind are more likely to be in sync. The Northern lights are always happening, it's just that you don't see them during the day. TRAVEL + LEISURE is a registered trademark of Travel + Leisure Co., registered in the United States and other countries. This small city is effortlessly charming, and makes for pretty viewing in the daytime too. A great resource unique to this part of Scandinavia is Yr from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, which will help greatly with finding a cloud-free corridor in this part of the world. Troms is also well set up for aurora borealis hunters, running northern lights safaris to spots free of light pollution. If you want to get to know contemporary Arctic culture, whilst gaining an insight into its past, Troms is the place to be. This remote archipelago is one of the most incredible spots for viewing the northern lights outside of Troms. Copyright 2022 Travel + Leisure Co. All Rights Reserved. A writer for over two decades, he is the author of the acclaimed book "A Stargazing Program For Beginners" and often delivers lectures when hosting eclipse-chasing expeditions. November through March is the absolute peak season for Northern Lights viewing because the nights are longest, but a visit anytime between September and March should give you a good chance to see them, with March offering the best chance of clear skies. Situated halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole, a visit here is one to remember. As with Reykjavk in Iceland, there are many Northern Lights trips available from Troms. If youre only going to be hanging out in Oslo during your trip, your chances will be drastically reduced. With all the powder fresh snow decorating the landscape, itd be mad not to take advantage of all the winter sports on offer. For that sight, head to theLofoten Islands. It makes sense to set your alarm to get up every hour or so after dusk to look out of your window. As an Arctic city, you can live out all your winter fantasies here, such as racing through the snow-strewn landscape on a snowmobile, or on a dog sled or reindeer sleigh. This process is more intense during solar maximum, the period when the sun is at its most active, but that won't occur again until about 2024. But have no fear, as guides in Svalbard carry rifles to sound warning shots in case of close encounters. However, you will need to pack for the winter. That means getting yourself close to the 'Northern Lights Belt', which at65 to 72 degrees north in latitude, lurks just inside the Arctic Circle. Youll also want time to experience some unique excursions in the snow. Make time for the gorgeous town of lesund with its pastel-coloured Art Deco buildings that are a photographers dream. Winter, is the short answer, in the months between September and March. Stay in Longyearbyen, the world's northernmost town, and take organized dogsledding, snowmobile, or snowcat adventures into the wilderness. Although intense solar storms are currently less common, they still do occur frequently, and the Northern Lights are a constant sight in the skies above the Arctic Circle. Kirkenes is a tiny town right near the Russian border, and is right in the heart of northern lights territory. Related: Where to Find the Darkest Skies in the U.S. for Serious Stargazing. Along with being the capital of the Arctic, Troms is also considered the Paris of the North, and this is primarily because it is the cultural hub of the region.

Seeing them here is relatively rare, however, and they only occur during particularly strong solar activity. It would be silly to dedicate a whole article to seeing the northern lights without doing a little sum up of what exactly this natural phenomenon is. For the more adventurous, Svalbard's long Polar Night in January and February with just the occasional hint of blue twilight gives an almost 24/7 opportunity to view the Northern Lights. Visit Norway offers a short flight from Troms in a small plane to view the Northern Lights from above the clouds. See the incredible birdlife, stark landscape and, of course, the aurora borealis. If youre in Svalbard, you may even spot the remarkable polar bear! Since there are full moons on March 21, 2019 and on Sept. 14, 2019, the final weeks of both March and September 2019 would be ideal times to go on a Northern Lights hunt in Norway. We'd love to give you the same amazing travel experiences as you read about in our blog! Greg Perkins is from Edinburgh but he adopted Iceland as his second country when Scotland (typically) managed not to qualify for football's Euro 2016.

Bldshfi 20 We recommend that you spend at least 3-4 days to see the northern lights, though the more time the better. Its hard not to immediately think of the Vikings when travelling to Scandinavia, but being as Norway was once home to Ragnar Lothbrok, a little Viking history is inevitable. However, orcas arent the only exciting sea dwelling mammal hanging out here. When you visit this site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Here's what our travel consultants recommend: Weve mentioned it before, but dog sledding is amazing, and after a rollicking trip through the snow, many trips will incorporate a diversion to a lavvu (a Sami tent) a traditional tent used by the native Sami people of northern Scandinavia, where you can warm up with a hot drink and some local fare. Jamie Carter is an experienced science, technology, and travel journalist and the editor of To visit the destinations and attractions mentioned in this post - and to discover a few new highlights along the way - check out these recommended Nordic Visitor tours. For most excursions, like a snowmobile safari, you will be provided with gear. Check out these great aurora tours in Norway to make that happen. Sitting at 69 N right in the center of the aurora zone, the city of Troms is a popular place for Europeans to take a weekend break in winter just hoping for a glimpse of the Northern Lights. But I'm a big believer in creating your own luck. You don't even need to do them by night to catch the Northern Lights; Svalbard's long Polar Night leaves it in darkness almost 24/7 from November through mid-February.

+354 578 20 80 TheNorth Capeis as far as mainland Norway goes, and here theres nothing between you and the Arctic except Svalbard. Better still, some hotels have an aurora wake-up service so you can sleep without worrying that you're missing out. Travel + Leisure magazine may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. This is peak Northern Lights viewing territory, and there are plenty of tours organized for visitors hoping for a glimpse. View Map. Iceland There are also city attractions to explore, like the Troms University Museum, the striking Arctic Church and the Polaria, an Arctic aquarium. The bigger concern is finding clear skies, which are never guaranteed in this part of the world. This will allow you to really explore the inlets, fjords and islands of the north, and if the weather becomes unpredictable, enough time to score a clear night. However, at almost 78 N, it's actually above the Arctic Circle where the Northern Lights are most common, so if you do see aurora, they will most likely be in the southern sky. Keep your eyes peeled for moose, Arctic fox, white-tailed eagles and reindeer. When is the best time to see the Northern Lights? When is the best time to see the Northern Lights? * 20+ years of experience as a journalist and writer. Among his top travel experiences are sailing along Geirangerfjord with classically trained singers providing the soundtrack, seeing the northern lights twice in one Reykjavk weekend, and enjoying 9:00am honey mojitos at a tobacco farm in Viales, Cuba.

If youre cruising up the coast of Norway, this provides you with a perfect opportunity to duck in and out of the little fishing villages and towns that cluster along the fjords. Anyone planning a Northern Lights hunt in Norway needs to know their geography. If you're on the ground, take warm clothing and an extra layer although you can usually warm-up in the bus. You can give yourself the best chance possible by choosing a calendar month and a geographical area that will stack the odds in your favour. This tranquil archipelago is famous for its sheer mountains and quaint fishing villages, and its a popular port for coastal cruises. Although you can sometimes see them from the town, for the best view it's better to get away from the city's significant light pollution. Forecasting the Northern Lights means predicting solar activity, which is virtually impossible with our current technology. Blogs, Northern Lights, Scandinavia, Norway, Svalbard, See our handy tipson camera settings, how to stay warm and more. Travel + Leisure is published by Meredith Corporation under license from Travel + Leisure Co. During the summer months, there is almost constant daylight, and up north there is the famous Midnight Sun to contend with, so even if the aurora borealis has come out to play, you wont see it. Home of polar bears, it doesnt get more icy or ethereal than Svalbard. Enjoy excursions to nearby colourful fishing villages and our favourite spas and saunas designed to banish the chill of the winter air. Marianne's Heaven on Earth Aurora Tours organizes a 12-hour Northern Lights photography trip from Troms, tuition included. Where to stay in Tromso Best hotels in Troms, Norway, Best Noise Reduction Software for Photographers in 2022, Best Star Trackers for Astrophotography in 2022, 10 Most Famous Buildings in New York to Visit. There are a few prime spots for spotting the northern lights in Norway, and they are: Troms is known as the capital of the Arctic, and just so happens to be one of the best places in the world to view the northern lights. The northern lights, also called aurora borealis, are electrically charged particles from the sun colliding with the earths atmosphere, thats why super amped solar activity is preferable when planning a time of year to travel. While the Arctic Circle's midnight sun makes it impossible to see them during the summer, the long dark nights of winter are perfect for Northern Lights viewing. The Northern Lights are electrically charged particles from the sun that smash into Earth's magnetic field.

They're funneled down to the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres, creating a horseshoe-shape of excited green (and occasionally brown and red) particles that swivel and shape-shift over the Arctic Circle. This belt, also known as the 'aurora zone', covers several Scandinavian and Nordic destinations, including Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Greenland and Norway. So it's to northern Norway you should head, and Troms is firmly in the middle of the aurora zone. However, dont be surprised if you see flashes of red, blue and even violet. You can find out more and change our default settings with Cookies Settings. The aurora borealis is one of the worlds most extraordinary sights and a major bucket list contender, so if youre thinking of seeing thenorthern lightsthis year, what are you waiting for? If youd rather a pastime that is not quite so energy heavy, go ice fishing, a sport best done with a hot drink in hand! If you think the northern lights look beautiful up in the sky, imagine seeing the flickering lights reflected in the sea. It reaches Kirkenes via 34 ports of call (including Troms), and it even has a 100-percent Northern Lights guarantee. Of course, to achieve this, you need to be lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. Nobody can guarantee a sighting of auroras, so it's best to play it smart and have some day trips organised as well. So if youre headed on a trip to the celebrated fjords, mountains and snowscapes of Norway, with a desire to see the legendary aurora borealis, weve listed the best times of year and the best places to see the northern lights. Otherwise, there are leisurely cruises from here around the spectacular fjords that line the rugged coast of northern Norway. As such a major hub for the northern region of Norway, it is likely youll be passing through Troms at some point. Typically, an ideal amount of time within the Arctic Circle is around 8-10 days. It is also home to the famed Snow Hotel of Norway, which is made entirely out of snow and ice, and rebuilt every winter. Go to Trondheim, a Viking trading post established as early as the 10th century, and considered the Capital of the Vikings. 110 Reykjavk You can also spot humpback, minke and pilot whales, as well as walruses, seals, and, of course, dolphins. However, that doesn't mean you should postpone your Northern Lights hunt. The phenomenon occurs near the magnetic poles, so along with the aurora borealis, there is also the southern aurora australis (though you have to be in the much-harder-to-reach Antarctica in order to see it properly!). You'll find lots to do on a winter trip to Norway, particularly if you choose a package tour that puts equal focus on daytime activities as well as nighttime ones. Just watch out for polar bears. Go cross-country skiing through the alpine forests, or try your hand at snowshoeing, and feel like an Arctic explorer. Norway's peak season for the Northern Lights is between September and March, though that's to do more with the long, dark nights at this time of year rather than an increase in solar activity. There are no guarantees, but stronger displays are therefore more likely around the spring equinox on March 20, 2019 and around the autumn equinox on Sept. 23, 2019.

Where to Find the Darkest Skies in the U.S. for Serious Stargazing, 15 Reasons to Visit the World's Happiest Country, Norway, Yr from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute. SolarHam gives a reliable three-day geomagnetic forecast used by aurora hunters, while the Aurora Forecast app shows you the position of the auroral oval around the Arctic Circle, and also indicates the probability of seeing them where you are. The capital of this long and thin country's capital, Oslo, is too far south of the Arctic Circle to see the aurora borealis. Also useful is Norway Lights, which gives a prediction using data on both Northern Lights activity and cloud cover. Although its latitude of 60 N puts it south of the Arctic Circle, there's a special reason to travel to Bergen to see the Northern Lights; this is where Norwegian Coastal Ferries' 12-day Hurtigruten Classic Round Voyage departs from. Just make sure you're on the lookout throughout the night to maximize your chances. Related: 15 Reasons to Visit the World's Happiest Country, Norway. Cookies collect information about your preferences and your device and are used to make the site work as you expect it to, to understand how you interact with the site, and to show advertisements that are targeted to your interests. However, Longyearbyen is rather light-polluted, so you need to get away from the town and into polar bear-territory it's best to take a tour. Adventure | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, Northern Lights in Norway The best times and places, Composition is the most important skill to develop, A star tracker is probably the best tool to improv, We are almost at the end of the Northern Lights se, We have just created a complete guide to photograp, A series of long exposure landscape images capture, The best time to photograph the Milky Way arch in, We are just about to start the first Capture the A, Where to Get a Quick COVID Test to Travel, Best time to see the Northern Lights in Norway, Best places to see the Northern Lights in Norway, guide to the best things to do in the Lofoten Islands, The Best Northern Lights Hotels in Norway, How to photograph Northern Lights Best settings and tips, Seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland Best time and places. He loves nerding out over writing, SEO, board games and sci-fi. The Aurora can occur in any number of colours, though the most common is the pale ethereal greens and pinks. We've updated our Privacy Policy, which will go in to effect on September 1, 2022. Jamie writes about exploring the night sky, solar and lunar eclipses, moon-gazing, astro-travel, astronomy, and space exploration. Without further ado. The weather in Norway is actually milder than youd expect (i.e. Offers may be subject to change without notice. Complete darkness and zero light pollution are essential for seeing the northern lights in their full glory, so stick to the smaller towns for a good chance at a sighting. A fraction below the Arctic Circle at a latitude of 63 N, Trondheim in central Norway marks the southern limit of the Northern Lights zone.