If you want to experience something truly unforgettable with your special person, witnessing the northern lights together should definitely be on your bucket list.
The best time to see this natural phenomenon is from December to March, when the nights are longer, and the skies are clearer. However, you may be able to catch a glimpse of the northern lights as early as August. To increase your chances of seeing the aurora borealis, visit one of the best places in the world, such as Alaska, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, or Finland.
To increase your chances of seeing the northern lights, plan your trip during a new moon and find a place with clear, dark skies free of clouds. Here are five of the best places to see the incredible Northern Lights …
Old Post Office guesthouse is in this delightful small fishing town on the north coast of the Snaefellsnes peninsula in north-west Iceland. Book early and get a north-facing room to ensure maximum viewing potential. Then all you have to do is pray for a cloudless night and some aurora action.
2. Tromso (Norway)
For those seeking the ultimate Northern Lights experience, Tromso, Norway is a must-visit destination. Located at almost 70o North, well above the Arctic Circle, Tromso offers a prime location for viewing the aurora borealis. Despite its remote location, Tromso is well-equipped for visitors with a range of accommodation options, from modern hotels to cosy fishermen’s cabins. The city also boasts a decent airport with daily flights from Oslo and nearby cities, making it easily accessible for those with limited time. The best time to see the Northern Lights in Tromso is from October through February, although sightings may be possible as early as September or as late as March or April. Plus, Tromso’s relatively mild winter weather makes it the perfect place to witness this natural wonder.
3. Kiruna (Sweden)
Located in the northernmost part of Sweden, the town of Jukkasjärvi is famous for its Ice Hotel and as a prime location for viewing the Northern Lights. The Ice Hotel (pictured above) is a unique art project that is rebuilt every year using the ice from the nearby Torne River. As the river freezes, the ice is transformed into stunning architecture and design, creating the world’s first and largest hotel made entirely of snow and ice. Visitors can also enjoy an observation deck at the Ice Hotel, providing an ideal spot to witness the breathtaking beauty of the aurora borealis.
4. Luosto (Finland)
Luosto is a low-key ski resort in Arctic Finland and a personal favourite of mine. Reserve a sleeping compartment in the overnight train from Helsinki to Rovaniemi for added romance, then catch the bus from the station along the ice road. Some hotels have log cabins with roaring log fire and in-cabin saunas, which are about as romantic as it gets!
Related article: Finding Romance in Finland
5. Fairbanks, Alaska
If you’re looking to see the Northern Lights in Alaska, Fairbanks is your best bet. Located further north than Anchorage, it’s in the prime zone for Northern Lights activity. While it’s a larger city, you’ll still need to get away from the city lights to get the best view. Luckily, there are plenty of tours available to take you to the best spots. Fairbanks is situated 318km south of the Arctic Circle, at 65 degrees north latitude, which means minimal light pollution and a good chance of clear nights. Plus, it’s directly under the “Auroral Oval”, a ring-shaped area that hovers over the magnetic poles of the earth.