Where is the Best Place to See the Northern Lights?

Early astronomers, and many others going back as far as 700 A.D., observed the phenomena later called Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. However, they weren’t lights at all, but the result of charged particles released from the sun. These particles give off different colors; oxygen produces green; nitrogen creates blue or red.

The Northern Lights are impressive in photos but imagine seeing them for yourself! If that’s your dream, it’s time to start planning a trip to the arctic north of Iceland and Scandinavia.


When to visit: August-April

Iceland is mostly remote landscape, so getting away from light pollution is easy. Still, the Northern Lights can be tricky to predict, so the best way to increase your chances of a sighting is with a local guide. There are many independent options to see the Northern Lights and experience outdoor adventures, however, if you’re a serious Northern Lights chaser, we recommend our Aurora Exploration tour. This guided tour features sightseeing throughout south and west Iceland, plus an educational component of six evenings with lectures, presentations, film, and guided Northern Lights searches. There will certainly be some memories made on this tour!


When to visit: September-April

Northern Norway, especially the area around Tromsø, is an excellent destination to see the Northern Lights. Also known as the “Arctic Capital,” Tromsø is one of the northernmost cities in the world, making it an ideal place to view the Aurora Borealis. It is also a great base for your winter trip to Norway, with a variety of outdoor adventures available including dog sledding, snowshoeing, wildlife safaris, reindeer sledding, and skiing. Play during the day, and hunt for the Northern Lights at night!


When to visit: September-April

Sweden is another awesome place to see the Northern Lights. It’s also home to the famous ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi, above the Arctic Circle. Each winter, it is built with 30,000 tons of snow and ice – it even has the ICEBAR. In addition to many outdoor activities, such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and dogs ledding, you can experience a Northern Lights snowmobile tour. On a clear night in the peaceful north, there’s a good chance you’ll see the spectacular lights dancing in the sky.


When to visit: August-April

The Finnish Tourist Board estimates the Northern Lights appear nearly every other clear night between September and March in Northern Finland. Here, special accommodations of glass igloos allow you to relax in the warmth of your bed and gaze into the heavens for the elusive lights. Conventional ways of chasing the Northern Lights are also possible, such as snowshoeing and dog sledding, in addition to learning about the indigenous Sami people, or visiting the Santa Claus village. You’ll also be ahead of the game with Northern Lights viewing – the Finnish Meteorological Institute will send you free email alerts whenever magnetic conditions in the sky over Finland make Northern Lights likely!

Chase the Northern Lights with Borton Overseas

Need help planning your trip to see the Northern Lights? Choosing Borton Overseas means choosing a tour operator with more than 100 years in the travel industry. It also means choosing to work with Destination Specialists who are passionate about what they do, and have intimate knowledge of Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Finland.

Let us customize your perfect Northern Lights trip to the arctic north! Call us at 800-843-0602 or contact us to start the booking process today!

Northern Lights Tromsø Gaute Bruvik Visitnorway.com Nordlys Ved Tromvik Kvaloya 022013 99 0024 1500
Photo: Gaute Bruvik/VisitNorway.com