12 great places to see the Northern Lights

12 great places to see the Northern Lights

In Norway, children were once forbidden to talk to the northern lights or even wave them with a white handkerchief. According to legend, this caused bad luck and would encourage the northern lights to bring children into their homes.

Today, of course, children are no longer afraid of the Northern Lights. But the northern lights, also known as the aurora borealis, have not lost their magic and mystery.

The Northern Lights are the curtains of green, purple and red that appear on the Northern Globe. In the south they are called the southern lights. However, since Australia is so far north, the southern lights are rarely seen. The aurora borealis and aurora australis together are called the northern lights. In Europe, the chances of seeing the Northern Lights are quite high – with a little luck you can see them from late August to late April in different countries.

Northern Lights: This is how they are made

On the one hand, happiness depends on proper solar activity – that’s when colored particles appear in the air. Because polar light is formed by explosions on the Sun. When electrically charged particles form solar storms as a result of explosions and are released from the manganese field, they disrupt the Earth’s magnetic field. They are turned up and down – towards the North Pole and South Pole. In Earth’s atmosphere, they combine with oxygen and nitrogen atoms, producing colored light – at altitudes of up to 140 km.

For the light to be visible to us, the sky must be clear; In the case of the influence of clouds or light from the cities of the region, the illumination may be on, but not visible. So you definitely need to be patient on your Northern Lights trip. If all factors apply and eruptions and solar storms are particularly strong, you might even see the lights in Germany!

However, in some places, the so-called Northern Lights Oval, the chances are particularly good. Travel Reporter will introduce you to them in several countries:

Norway | Sweden | Finland | Faroe Islands and Greenland | Iceland | Scotland | Canada

1. Lofoten Archipelago in Norway

The chances of seeing the Northern Lights in the northern part of Norway are generally not bad. The first northern lights appear from mid to late August – and remain part of the starry night sky until April. Troms is often mentioned as the starting point for a Northern Lights tour, but it is usually very bright in the city itself. If you want to see the aurora borealis in Troms, you should go to the offshore islands.

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The Lofoten Islands, on the other hand, offer ideal conditions – here you can see lights almost everywhere, if they are there. The archipelago is only sparsely populated, so light pollution is not very high.

2. Senja Island in Norway

Senja Island, south of Troms, is no longer an insider tip among Norway fans, but it often lags behind Lofoten and Westerlen when it comes to holiday options. The island is also known as “Norway in miniature” – because everything that makes up Norway can be found here: mountains and fjords, beautiful beaches and solitude, waterfalls and northern lights.

Aurora Observatory advertises the best, but not free, view of the northern lights. It is absolutely not necessary to go there – because when they dance in the sky the lights are visible almost everywhere due to the sparse population.

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3. Vester-Lane Archipelago in Norway

Norway was the third country in the world to launch rockets into space – some of them were launched from Andoya Island in Westerlen in 1962 to scientifically explore the northern lights. Until that time, no one knew how the green veil was made and why it could be seen especially well in some areas.

You can find out more at the Aurora Spaceship on Andoya. There, the school’s classes and visitors are taught a scientific background in the northern lights. And if you run the Northern Lights Research Center, you usually don’t: the Northern Lights are likely to be very good in Westerlen, a little north of the Lofoten Islands. It is best to climb mountains or hills, but there is also good visibility on the coasts of the Andes or Niksund, for example.

4. Kiruna in Sweden

When you hear the Northern Lights and Swedes, you usually hear the name of a city: Kiruna. Kiruna isn’t just a city, but a municipality – it’s the most likely way to see the Northern Lights, especially outside the city. Still: Kiruna in Swedish Lapland is one of the northern lights viewing places best reached by plane.