Five Best Places to See the Northern Lights
The Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights are famous worldwide as a spectacular natural phenomenon on earth. Thousands of people always try to get a glimpse of these greenish-yellow to faint blue or even deep red dramatic show of color in the sky. The big question that is often asked nonetheless is, “where is the best place to see the Aurora Borealis?” With this natural sight making most people’s list of things to do in your lifetime, it’s only practical to take a look at the best five Northern Lights viewing holidays.
The Northern Lights is unpredictable, and you can never tell when or where it will appear. One of the best places to view the aurora is in Alaska, where the locals even believe that it has some kind of magical powers. The best months to see it here are in March and September when there are frequent displays, mild weather and clear skies. The peak viewing time is between 11pm and 3am Alaskan time, but you can start looking out a couple of hours after sunset. Also note that you are most likely going to see the aurora if the sky is clear and dark enough to see stars, and it’s always advisable that you get away from the city’s strong lights, book some place in the countryside and hope for clear skies.
This Scandinavian destination extends more to the north; hence the locals are able to see the Northern lights on a regular basis. The best place to catch a good view of this blanket of lights is Tromso town which holds an annual festival in honor of the aurora’s “goddess of dawn.” You can visit this place any time in January if you want to get a fantastic glimpse of the aurora. This is because the town is located far in the north, and thus it gets 24 hour of darkness during the winter months.
Canada is yet another amazing destination to see the aurora. A snowmobile ride to Ontario, located on the northern side of Lake Superior offers a breathtaking display of the Northern lights. This is among the coldest routes for your trip just like the Tromso one, so make sure that you pack your warmest gear. You can consult one of the several professional local tour operators who will help you plan your trip and will give you a list of all the dos and don’ts. For instance it is not advisable to attempt a snowmobile ride yourself if you’ve never lived in an area of similar climate.
Greenland is quite a reliable place to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, but not during the summer when it experiences midnight sun due to its high latitude. You can see this great phenomenon on any dark, clear night from September to early April. In South Greenland, the aurora can be sighted as early as around mid-August.
The town of Saariselka is a well-known Aurora Borealis hotspot. The town is well within the “northern lights zone” besides having low pollution levels. It therefore experiences the lights in its skies quite more often. Finnish Lapland equally has a number of activities you can enjoy apart from the enthralling aurora, such as snowshoeing, reindeer sledging and snowmobiling. The lights are visible anytime between November and March, so you can plan your trip around this time.
You should also learn how to distinguish a weak aurora from moonlights or faint glow of the city lights as you could be watching the incorrect thing without knowing. Intense auroras resemble curtains hung in the sky and are being blown by soft wind, and you can observe all these in any of the aforementioned locations.