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The Best Places to See Northern Lights
Here is a guide to the top places in the world to see the northern lights.
To see the northern lights you have to head north, but many people find it hard to decide where exactly they should book their northern lights holiday. Well, after reading this guide you´ll have a fair idea on where to place your bets.
And with this season set to be the best in over 50 years (according to NASA scientists), now really is the time to make that northern lights holiday dream a reality.
Northern Lights in Lapland
The countries where the area called Lapland is situated (Norway, Finland and Sweden) offer the top northern lights destinations in the world.
Northern lights tourism is well developed in many places and there are both package holidays and Arctic activities on offer which add to the draw of these countries.
Remember though, that you will have to head north, even in these countries, to be able to see the northern lights. A trip to Stockholm, Oslo or Helsinki is unlikely to be successful for northern lights hunters not only because of light pollution, but also because these cities are all too far south.
Best is to head into the Arctic Circle – where the winter nights are long, and the Aurora displays bright in the skies.
The easiest way to get to these destinations are by booking a package holiday – browse Lapland northern lights holidays.
Northern Lights in Norway
Norway is also the only place where northern lights cruises can be found. The Hurtigruten packages are great value and offer amazing scenery and fantastic chances of seeing the northern lights. Find northern lights cruises.
Tromso Northern Lights Holidays
Tromso is a city of about 60,000 people, situated well within the Arctic circle, and thus perfect for northern lights holidays.
Here you will be able to enjoy a lively nightlife, abundance of restaurants and bars, great culture such as the northern lights festival and concerts, as well as activities and excellent conditions for northern lights hunting.
Read more about northern lights in Tromso.
With good transport connections to the rest of Europe, Tromso is fast becoming the main port of call for northern lights holidaymakers.
Alta Northern Lights Holidays
The very north of Norway is another destination becoming popular with northern lights holidaymakers.
This unique area, where you can experience things not found anywhere else in the world is a truly magical area, even without the northern lights. Alta is easily reached from mainland Europe, and boasts easy access to the North Cape.
Here you can stay in a hotel made entirely of snow and ice, go husky dog sledding across flat snowy landscapes, visit indigenous Sami people and their reindeer, and perhaps try your hand at king crab fishing.
Northern Lights in Sweden
Sweden is another popular destination, with even remoter areas where northern lights can be seen. You won´t get the sea, or the liveliness of Tromso, but the inland Lapland of Sweden is still known as one of the top places for seeing northern lights.
The Arctic Sweden is also where the famous ICEHOTEL is situated – a popular draw for many, although there are Finnish and Norwegian versions of this too, this is the original one.
Many Swedish northern lights holiday packages include a night or two in the ICEHOTEL – an experience which is never to be forgotten.
In northern Sweden, because it is so remote, there is little light pollution, so seeing the northern lights is very good here.
Sweden has also developed a range of northern lights spa holidays, to set them apart from the rest.
There are regular flights from Stockholm to Kiruna, but most packages include flights and transfers, making it easier than booking everything yourself. Find Swedish northern lights holidays.
Remember that both Sweden and Finland tend to be colder than Northern Norway – despite being further South. This is because the Norwegian coastline benefits from the Gulf Stream. So if chill is an issue – Norway might be a better option.
Northern Lights in Finland
Another good option for northern lights hunting is the country in the East – Finland.
As with the other Scandinavian countries, you will have to head far north, into the remote Finnish Lapland to be able to spot the northern lights.
Most tour operators include flights and transfers in the package deals, making it easier than finding connecting flights etc. to these very remote parts of the world.
Finland´s most well known northern town is Rovaniemi, the town also known for allegedly being where Santa holds fort (what happened to him living on the North Pole?).
This makes Finland a great destination for families, as you can combine a northern lights holiday with visiting Santa´s village. This is included in many package deals.
Browse Finland northern lights holidays.
Northern Lights in Iceland
After the financial crisis Iceland has become an affordable destination for northern lights holidays, although it is still far from cheap – the currency drop has made it more accessible, and somewhat cheaper than its Scandinavian counterparts.
Although northern lights holidays aren´t as famous here as in Norway, it is still an excellent place – mainly due to being very remote. Outside of the capital Reykjavik there is very little else, so light pollution is very low.
Reykjavik is also a fun and lively city, known for its nightlife, so a northern lights break here is easily combined with a city break. And because Iceland has so many regular flights to and from Europe every day, it is an easy place to reach for northern lights short breaks in Iceland.
Northern Lights in Canada
Although northern lights can be seen in northern parts of Canada and Alaska, the tourism here isn´t as geared up on it as in Northern Europe.
It is also a very long way to go, with expensive flights, often to areas so remote you get the feeling you´re starring in a horror movie.
If the distance is not a problem, Ontario is a good place to start, with several providers offering snowmobile safaris and northern lights tours.
Check the northern lights forecast.
Find the best time to see the northern lights.
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