7th August 2017
The Northern Lights are one of the most thrilling and unique experiences you can have, and watching the multi-coloured lights illuminate the arctic sky is something many travellers would love to experience. But which are the best countries to see the Northern Lights? While there are many fantatstic places around the world to view this gorgeous natural phenomenon, many consider Northern Europe as the ultimate destination for witnessing the Aurora Borealis. Let's take a look at the best countries to see the Northern Lights in Northern Europe.
Norway is the perfect winter destination and due to its position on the edge of the Aurora zone it therefore offers some of the most beautiful views of the Northern Lights in the world. In 2016 our founder, Jonny Bealby, started off his New Year in a town called Alta and is a moment he will never forget, describing his travel experience as ‘one of the most amazing things I have ever done and worth every penny; a real bucket list experience, well and truly ticked off’. Alta, located on the north coast is known for its spectacular views of the lights and our Northern Lights and Igloo Hotel trip takes you to this beautiful town. Here you will visit a husky farm and then guide your own sled through the wilderness, see the picturesque landscapes with a walk along the Alta River, stay in an Igloo hotel while you admire their ice gallery and enjoy the hot tubs, and of course watch the luminous lights in the evenings. You will also stay at Stengelson Lodge, run by one of Norway's finest chefs, Johnny Trasti, and his champion dog sledder wife Trinie - so the food here is gourmet and the sledding is top notch to say the least!
Finland is also a great location from which to see the Northern Lights. Finnish Lapland, the northernmost region, offers remarkable views of the Arctic landscape and our Aurora Dome and Wilderness Activities trip is perfect for those who want to experience some of the most remote landscapes in Europe. This exhilarating trip includes a 2-day husky safari through the snow-covered slopes, the chance to cross-country ski and explore the nearby Finnish forests, and stay in a secluded wilderness cabin located next to the frozen Muonio River. You will also experience a night in the igloo-like Aurora Domes which can deliver incredible views of the Northern Lights and are well equipped with blankets and log burners.
Sweden, and in particular Abisko, located high up on the slopes of Mount Nuolja, is another great place to witness the Northern Lights. Our Ultimate Northern Lights Adventure trip in Sweden takes you north into Swedish Lapland for a few days to explore the panoramic landscape, camp out under the lights and stay at the world famous Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi located just 200km north of the Arctic Circle. You will also get the chance to experience husky-sleds, snowmobile rides and go ice-fishing, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Luleå and travel to Abisko national Park to get the best view of the lights.
No list of the best countries to see the northern lights would be complete without mentioning this beautiful and unique island nation. Iceland has a long season where the northern lights can be seen, starting in August and spanning all the way until April. As with all destinations for viewing the Aurora Borealis, the longer you have to spend in the area, the high the chance you have to witness the beautiful phenomenon. Even though Iceland and the other destinations on this list are great spots to view them, there's always an asepct of unpredictability with when you can see them best.
As far as the best places to see the northern lights in Iceland, there are a variety of fantastic locations. While there are some decent spots in the Reykjavik area to watch them, it's always best to steer clear of any and all light pollution. Some popular spots are Thingvellir, Vik, Eldborgahraun, Látrabjarg, and Djúpavík. If you find yourself in Iceland for the northern lights it's best to ask locals during that year where is a good spot as well as pay attention to the moon calendar.
Wild Frontiers does not currently offer tours to Iceland.