Although more common than an alien sighting and less dangerous than tornado chasing, the Northern Lights can be elusive. This is part of the thrill of traveling to a destination where they can be seen. If you are thinking of taking a vacation that includes searching the skies for the Northern Lights, there are a lot of factors to consider so you have the best time possible.
You want to pack your suitcases for somewhere the Northern Lights are frequently seen and where
you will be entertained if don’t see them. While the lights are spectacular, we can never guarantee they will appear, so plans should include other activities that make the trip worthwhile if Mother Nature doesn’t bless you this time.
So here are some places that offer a good chance of seeing the lights, but are also wonderful to explore in any case.
The city of Churchill, in Manitoba, Canada, is known not only for the Northern Lights but for the polar bears that migrate thru the area.
Canada and the United States
Bursts of color can be seen at night in Yukon Territory in Canada from August to mid-April. Churchill in Manitoba province is another excellent place to see the lights and polar bears in the natural habitat. For nature lovers, there is also the possibility of seeing animals like Beluga whales, birds, seals and the surroundings are beautiful.
In the United States of America, Cherry Springs State Park is the ideal place to immerse yourself
in nature with the chance of seeing the gorgeous Northern Lights. The Milky Way Galaxy and many stars can also be seen from the area classified at an International Dark Sky Park. You might pack outfits for hiking, ATV riding, swimming, boating, fishing and camping.
In Alaska, for your best bet of seeing the lights head to Fairbanks or destinations above the Arctic circle. You might experience the Aurora Borealis during any season, but the best time is November to February, when there are fewer daylight hours and darker nights. Arctic excursions can include fishing, hiking, paddling, nature watching and more.
The Nordic region covers Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland. All of these places are amazing to visit.
Norway is one of our top picks because from mid-November to the end of February, the country experiences polar night, meaning it is dark 24 hours of the day. So technically, you might see the lights during the daytime. This increases your chances of seeing the lights, especially in Svalbard, a group of islands between Norway and Santa’s place (aka the
North Pole.) You can keep busy with adventurous experiences like snowcat safaris, snowmobile tours, or stay cozy in luxury accommodation complete with spa treatments and fine dining.
In Finland, the lights are seen an impressive 200 nights per year on average. You can hunker down in a luxury igloo after taking a sleigh ride powered by reindeer or huskies. Horseback riding, hiking, photography, boat trips and Finnish saunas are wonderful outdoors and cultural activities you can enjoy in Finland.
Iceland is a glorious place for a vacation with a wild and rugged landscape, rich culture and plenty of history to enjoy. From volcanos to waterfalls to lakes to mountains, you will have the adventure of a lifetime and a good chance of seeing the Northern Lights.
Enjoy dog sledding, ice fishing, snowmobiling, sleigh rides and more when visiting the Lapland area of Finland for the Northern Lights.
Wherever you go, the lights might dance across the sky in an amazing array of colors. We have our fingers crossed you will see them. Sometimes one of nature’s best shows is only minutes long, other times it goes on for hours.
Weather patterns, including the Northern Lights, are unpredictable. We recommend you go for the destination, not the Northern Lights. Of course, we can maximize your chances of seeing them by booking your trip at the right time of year, but we also want to ensure your visit is still memorable if you aren’t lucky enough to see the lights.
Many hotels and resorts are geared towards guests looking for the Northern Lights. You might
find a room with a skylight or be offered a wake-up call at any hour the lights appear. You can also book many tours on arrival at Northern Light destinations that include exciting nighttime activities as you wait for the sight you’ve been hoping for.
Planning epic schedules for our clients is a passion that has been burning since we launched our travel business so many years ago. Contact us soon to discuss your options. We are ready to light up your life!