Getting to see the Northern Lights is one of the most amazing natural occurrences I have ever seen and if it isn’t on your bucket list I definitely suggest that you add it.
A common misconception is that you need to travel quite far in order to observe the aurora borealis but in actual fact, it is quite an easy trip and lucky enough there are a number of places you can see it.
Finland is one of the best places on Earth to spot the Northern Lights – they appear on more than 200 nights a year in Finnish Lapland. Finland also offers a number of glass igloos and beautiful rooms that you can view the lights from.
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You can’t get much further north than Svalbard. Svalbard is about 1200km away from the geometric north pole and at the higher latitude, you have a better chance of seeing the Aurora. The best thing about Svalbard is not only do you get to see the lights but you also get to experience the Polar Night. This is between mid-November and the end of January where you can experience 24 hours of pure darkness.
Tromso is one of the best places to see the lights in Norway. Perfectly positioned on the coast line in the middle of Norway, Tromso falls into the middle of the Aurora oval. The surrounding steep mountains and beautiful fjords are so close to the city centre that you can admire them from the main street.
Reykjavik is still the most affordable and accessible place to see the Northern Lights, but it’s getting more popular. What I would recommend though is getting out of the city to avoid the artificial light to better enjoy the Aurora.
Scotland, United Kingdom
Northern Scotland actually lies at the same latitude as Stavanger in Norway and Nunivak Island in Alaska which means that you’re in with a good chance of spotting the Aurora on a trip to Scotland.
The ‘Aurora Oval’ covers the majority of the country, including the provinces of Yukon, Northern Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and British Columbia. So there are a number of great places to enjoy the lights.