What’s at the top of your ‘bucket list’? For many people, it’s seeing the Northern Lights in person – and for good reason.
The aurora borealis is one of the most awe-inspiring and unique experiences that a person can have: a celestial light show that fills the sky with blue-green light. The fact that the Northern Lights are so elusive just adds to their mystique, and makes them such a sought-after experience. Even though the phenomenon is somewhat rare, there are places in the world that offer the best chances of finding the aurora borealis – and we’ve collected them for you below.
One of the reasons that Reykjavik is such a popular tourist destination is in fact the Northern Lights. There are many guided tours available in and around Reykjavik which can’t guarantee that you’ll see them, but will offer a very good percentage chance. These tours will likely take you far from city lights, and usually on a night when the moon isn’t shining too brightly to maximise the possibility of catching a glimpse. As you can imagine, the best time to go to a place like Iceland in order to see the lights is the winter months when the days are short – but this also means the weather can be chilly, so be warned! Even if you don’t see the lights, Iceland is a beautiful country in itself and well worth a visit.
The Lofoten Islands, Norway
Another prime location for viewing the Northern Lights (especially in either March or October) is the Lofoten Islands in Norway. Located inside the Arctic Circle itself, these islands offer a very picturesque travel experience and have a very Nordic atmosphere that’s steeped in culture and history. On top of this, the location of the islands makes them ideal for spotting the aurora borealis. There are boat trips you can take to see them, or you can simply sit out and watch the skies – either way, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.
Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
As the capital of Yukon, Whitehorse is a surprisingly bustling place for such a remote location. Known for traditional pastimes such as dogsledding and fishing, the area is also a hotspot for catching a look at the Northern Lights. You’ll find comfy lodges as well as the option to camp in the Whitehorse area, along with many different providers of Northern Lights tours who will have the local knowledge necessary to give you the best chance of finding the magical aurora. Even though Whitehorse is located in northern Canada, it enjoys surprisingly mild weather (well, comparatively) due its location in a valley.
We’ve showcased three of the very best spots you can find in the world to see the Northern Lights here, but there are plenty more. If you’re interested in other locations, you could try Sweden, Greenland, Finland or Alaska. But whatever you do, if you are embarking on the search for the aurora borealis – don’t forget your scarf and gloves!
Written by Simon Morris
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