“Aurora had but newly chased the night,
And purple o’er the sky with blushing light.” -John Dryden.
Northern lights are one of the seven wonders of nature and probably on every traveler’s bucket list. Also known by the name of “Aurora Borealis.” Needless to say, getting an opportunity to witness the vibrant hues of numerous colors dancing in the night sky is indeed once in a lifetime. To enjoy this surreal view, you need to visit the places that have clear skies and little to no pollution. Which is obviously very challenging.
But you need not worry! We’ve got your back!
In this article, we have listed down the top 6 places all over the world where you can see chromatic northern lights. So, let’s get going!
Fairbanks is located directly under the auroral oval. That’s why it is one of the best places to watch the northern lights. During the aurora season, which usually lasts from August to April, you have the opportunity to watch lights on an average of four out of five “clear” nights.
But that’s not all! There are several other things that you can do in Fairbanks. For instance, you can take a ride on the riverboat discovery. Or, try panning for gold. If you visit during the holiday season, you can also visit Santa Claus House, located in the city of the north pole. Not to mention, you can also take a dog sledding tour and enjoy the World Ice Art Championships.
The second location where you can see the aurora is Tromso city in northern Norway. It is located above the arctic circle and is excellent for visiting from September to Mid- April. This part of the country generally stays dark from the early afternoon until later morning. And by dark, we mean EXTREMELY DARK, which makes it perfect for the aurora.
And when you are not busy mesmerized by the vibrant hue, you can indulge in the Northern lights festival, performing art events, and multi-day music. As the city is very modern, you will also get to enjoy the beautiful city lights. In addition to this, you can also visit the stunning arctic cathedral.
Did you know that you can see aurora for approximately 200 nights a year in Lapland? It is because Lapland is located in the arctic region of Northern Europe. And, if you take your Lapland vacation between September and March, you’ll surely get awestruck by the chromatic lights.
However, one thing you must note here is that aurora appears and disappears suddenly. So, if you don’t want to miss out on the hues, you need to be very quick.
Apart from this, if you love Santa Claus, you need to visit the official “Home of Santa Claus” in Rovaniemi, Lapland. It will surely be a thrilling experience for you. Plus, you can also try a private husky safari and the opportunity to stay in a log cabin with a sauna.
If you wish to visit an island and see the aurora, Orkney is waiting for you. The best seasons to enjoy Orkney are fall and winter. During the cold night, the sky is more clear, making it perfect for enjoying the northern lights or, to say, “Mirrie Dancers” (in the native language of Scotland).
To make the best of this golden opportunity, you should go on the top of Wideford Hills or on the beach at Dingieshowe. The view from these two locations is simply breathtaking. Nonetheless, make sure to dress properly, as the wind on top of hills and near the beach will be more chilly. Obviously, you don’t want to get sick on your vacation. Right?
Besides that, you can also visit the UNESCO world heritage site and heart of neolithic Orkney. There you can find monuments that are more than 5,000 years old. If you like to learn about Scotland’s history, you can stay in the historic district of Kirkwall (capital of Orkney Island.)
Yellowknife is also known as the Aurora capital of North America. It is positioned in the middle of the auroral oval. Thus, if you plan to visit this place between January and March, you’ll surely witness one of the best light shows that’ll leave you stunned.
In addition to aurora, you can also walk around the Great Slave Lake, go ice fishing and snowmobiling. During the end of winter, the city also organizes the Long John Jamboree on Yellowknife Bay. This event generally includes dog sled races, ice carving, and sugar shacks. You can also try aurora-themed tour activities like snowshoeing and husky rides there.
Iceland is indeed one of the best locations to visit in your lifetime. And if you get to enjoy aurora borealis there, then you have no excuse left but to pack your bags and book tickets. However, if you are going only for the aurora, the time between September to April will be great for you.
The area of Reykjavik is densely wooded, so you’ll get an awe-spiring view of the nighttime show. But, don’t worry, even if the place is densely wooded, there are still proper paths and walkways for you to reach your destination.
At the end of the forest is Perlan, where you can find the one and only planetarium of the country. Besides that, you can go to a museum, where you can learn about Iceland’s geography and nature. Also, don’t miss out on the opportunity of hiking to Keilir volcano, Snæfellsjökull glacier, and the mountain of Reykjavik, Esja. On top of the hill, you’ll enjoy a fantastic view of the whole city, especially during the sunrise.
To Sum It All Up…
These are the six best places to enjoy the hue of vibrant colors and get captivated by them. However, before you plan your vacation, you must learn about the rules and regulations of the country. Also, to capture this phenomenon of beauty, it is recommended to carry a digital camera along. As it is very challenging to capture the northern lights in your phone camera.