An aurora is a real miracle of our world. When the Vikings first saw the polar lights, they considered it as the beam of the swords of the Valkyries, who took the dead heroes to Valhalla. The Sami people call the glow the light, informing the living ones about the world of the dead. There are still various myths. Those who have seen the glow claim that they also heard the voice as if it whispers.
In this post, you will find answers to all your questions such as "which "magic places" to visit to see the aurora?" or "what is an aurora?" and some recommendations will also be provided.
There is a saying that the miracles are all around, and it is a true statement. Firstly, let’s remove some misconceptions. The Northern Lights do not appear only in the far north, and when there is a sharp frost, snow. Shortly, the aurora is the natural light occurring as a result of interaction between the magnetospheric plasma and charged particles in the solar wind. It ALWAYS happens. However, this interaction is sometimes very strong or weak; therefore, it is hard to notice the lights with a human eye.
Those who want to look at the dance of the lights wish to accurate forecasts. Though it is impossible to define the exact time, there is a high chance to see the unusual occurrence traditionally between 21 September and 21 March. Currently, there are many various applications, programs determining solar activity. We can approximately define where and when we can catch this beautiful view via this application. However, it is worth to say that this hunting is not that easy.
Though it is hard to see the world’s “light festival,” if you set it as a goal, you will succeed. To achieve your goal as soon as possible, here is the list of countries where the aurora can be seen.
The city which won the name of the capital of the Northern Lights in Norway is Tromso. Tromso people are known for their winter love. Though the weather is cold here for two months, and nights and days are dark, the sincerity of people warms hearts. It is the best option to watch the dance of green lights. The mountains in Tromso serve as a beautiful decoration for the background of the aurora. The music festival “Nordlysfestivalen” is held in Tromso every year when the Northern lights appear in the sky. The best time to see the aurora is from October to March.
You will be welcomed with fairy-tale landscapes, romantic views of winter in Ivalo. Here you can see the northern lights every four-night, which is an excellent reason to choose this place. In Ivalo, Lapland, you can enjoy the real winter tale with your family, away from the noise of cars and the city. Small boutique hotels offer national cuisine that will warm you up.
If you want to watch the aurora without feeling cold, then you shall head up to Iceland. The climate is milder, and the temperature rarely falls below zero. Low rainfall increases the likelihood of seeing northern lights in the sky of Akureyri. The nature of Iceland is another story to write, so if you even do not see the aurora, you will not regret your trip to Iceland. The waterfalls, geyser, and glaciers are the great advantage of the country over other areas where the polar lights are observed.
The small village of Sweden, Abisko, is located at 200km away from the northern polar circle; therefore, you can watch the brightest northern lights here. Aurora Sky Station proudly calls itself “the best place in the world to see the northern light,” and this is reasonable. Regardless of the weather condition, the sky is always clear, and the nights with the moon are unforgettable.
The hunters, who have chosen Alaska, will return as the winners. Fairbanks, located in the north latitude, is one of the few places where the green light is often encountered. By joining a specially organized tour, you can go to more interesting, unusual places to experience the northern lights. It is possible to watch the shining green lights from August to May.
We decided when and where to go. Now let’s talk about must-pack items.
You need to rent a car. It will not only help with determining the best place to see the polar lights but also to warm up. Moreover, do not forget to take extra fuel.
Take the vacuum flask full of hot tea, winter shoes, and warm clothing. You have to be in the cold for a long time, so all these items will be irreplaceable.
You will need a good quality camera, stand, power bank, and batteries. Of course, you will not take the video of the spectacular dance of the northern lights with your mobile phone. Either buy the camera in advance or ask your friends. Besides, practice the photo shooting. You will be disappointed if you do not be able to take the best photos.
Batteries “die” quickly in the cold. Take the power banks to charge your phone, photo cameras, and cameras when required.
You are now ready to hunt the polar lights!
Every year, the number of people who want to see the green lights increases. However, not everyone is so lucky to experience this magnificent view. If you are not fortunate, do not complain. After all, the northern lights are not the last miracle in the world. The world itself is a land of wonders.