Best Places to View The Northern Lights

Sights Syahirah Mokhtazar 24-Sep-2019

We all have items we’d like to check off our travel bucket list. For many, it’s to witness the magical aurora borealis, sometimes referred to as the polar lights.

There are many places we can witness the natural light display, it can be predominantly seen in the high-latitude regions around Arctic and Antarctic, and in the northern countries such as Iceland, Sweden and more, hence the name Northern lights. If you are down under in Australia or New Zealand, you can try to catch the Southern lights also known as aurora australis.

To truly experience the very best of aurora borealis, the sky has to be really dark. That said, it takes proper planning to experience this amazing phenomenon. Travel sites like Agoda suggests travel period such as late August to early April.

If you plan on chasing after the beautiful lights in the northern region, here are the best places to catch the Northern lights, as suggested by Agoda.

ICELAND

Iceland is situated close to the Arctic Circle in the North Atlantic, making it one of the best destinations to see the aurora borealis. While you can possibly catch the dancing lights in the capital Reykjavik, you might get better chances out of the city. Drive out to one of Iceland’s most famous glacier lagoons, Jökulsárlón, where the lights may seem to just be the tip of the iceberg.

Where to stay:

If you’re looking for a place to stay, less than fifteen minutes’ drive away from the lagoon, Hali Country Hotel is a great choice for small groups of friends with their two-room apartment options.

SCANDINAVIA

Throughout Scandinavia there are places to experience the majesty of the Northern Lights in places like Tromsø, Norway.

Tromsø is a popular choice for travelers chasing the aurora not only because of the excellent flight connections, but because it’s in the middle of the aurora oval where these elusive lights can frequently be spotted.

Where to stay:

For a hassle-free stay, Radisson Blu Hotel Tromso makes the ideal point of departure for your excursions in Tromsø. It is within walking distance to the city’s famous attractions including the Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum, Tromsø Cathedral and Krane Art Gallery.

 

Finland

Finland is not just home to Santa Claus. During the season, the Northern Lights can be seen almost every other night in the Finnish Lapland. With the right conditions, you might be able to view the lights from anywhere in Finland.

Where to stay:

As the lights can appear and vanish unexpectedly, you might need to stay outdoors for a while to catch sight of them. Lie in the warmth of Santa’s Hotel Aurora & Igloos in the heart of Luosto Village, and watch the lights from the glass igloos instead. The hotel even has a Northern Lights alerting system, so you won’t miss the once in a lifetime experience.

 

Sweden: Swedish Lapland

While in Sweden, you can start with Stockholm as a base, before traveling north into Swedish Lapland to catch the Northern Lights at the Abisko National Park. Located far from city lights, the dark skies make the green rays appear more vivid.

Where to stay:

If you are lucky you can see the Aurora Borealis directly from your room at the Mattarahkka Northern Light Lodge. Before the sky gets dark, have a fika or coffee break the way the Swedes do!

 

NORTH AMERICA

Alaska, USA

Fairbanks is arguably the best place to view the aurora sky in America as it is well-placed under the aurora oval. There are many other things to do in Fairbanks besides waiting for the celestial display; chill out at the Aurora Ice Museum and enjoy a cocktail at the icebar, or get warm and soak in the beauty of Alaska at the famous Chena Hot Springs.

Where to stay:

Boasting spacious rooms and suites, the Fairbanks Moose Manor B&B offers Alaskan hospitality and homemade breakfast, just a few minutes from town. With little light pollution in the area, you have a good chance of capturing the beauty of the Northern Lights from the comfort of your accommodation.

Canada

You can see the aurora from different parts of Canada, especially in the northernmost regions. 400 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle, the aurora borealis is a common sight in Yellowknife. You can also camp at the Aurora Village, where you get heated outdoor viewing seats that swivel 360 degrees for complete unobstructed view.

Where to stay:

Cozy up at the modern-looking Aurora Deluxe Guest House. Make friends with fellow guests at the shared kitchen and dining area, while waiting for the light show.

 Source and photos: Agoda