Photo By: @nordicsoul iceland
Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, is a magical glowing lights in rage of purple and green shades that appear in the sky. In both hemispheres, the lights are caused by electrons colliding with Earth’s atmosphere. The negatively charged particles are drawn to Earth’s two magnetic poles; when they collide with the oxygen and nitrogen of the atmosphere, their energy is transferred to those particles. Those particles then release the extra energy as light is in the process of returning to its normal state. From Earth, this process it’s manifested with the appearance of the Aurora Borealis.
The best time to take in these distinctive dancing lights is on any dark clear night during winter, fall and also early spring. While weather plays a key role on the visibility, the location is key as well. The farther north you go, the higher the chances for getting a better view. There are many lovely location to experience this exceptional attraction, and listed below are some of them.
1. Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
Image courtesy of TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals
The city of Fairbanks is found in the well-known auroral oval, a circular region around the North Pole. Visit here from August to May when the lights are most often visible. If you’re a night owl, that’s even better because the lights become more intense between the hours of 10:00 pm and 2:00 am.
Photo By: @kyrenian
Tromso is in the northern part of the country above the Arctic Circle, which also offers magical views of Northern Llights. The best time to visit Tromso is between October and mid-March. If you touchdown in January, you can even attend the yearly Northern Lights Festival, when both the locals and visitors participate in special outdoor events, live music, and other enjoyable activities.
You can rent the renovated oceanfront barn named Fjosen, The apartment has large windows from the ceiling down that will let you enjoy the view from inside.
The best time to enjoy the colorful lights in here is from August through April. You need to check the local forecast before heading out so you’ll have a sure chance to see them. You can go to Selfoss, near Reykjavik, and see them from one of the villas available at Marta House.
If you travel in winter, there’s another famous place you can visit. Located in Akureyri, the Viking Cottage, it’s a cozy one-bedroom rental that overlooks the bay. During the summer season, you can enjoy a very lovely view of the midnight sun here.
If you travel to Reykjavik, check in at Brekka Cottage. Situated on a hillside, “brekka” means slope, this rental features three bedrooms. From here you can take in scenic views of the surrounding mountains, the Atlantic Ocean, and the lights as well. During the day you can even sign up for a popular Iceland Winter Adventure.
They offer hikes on the ice-blue glaciers, go snowshoeing across the lava fields, and see bubbling hot springs and frozen waterfalls. They also offer trips to see the magnificent, multi-colored northern lights.
In contrast to the northern lights seen in the places above, in Scotland the colors are known to appear brighter.
You need to visit Scotland’s Shetland Islands in January. They’re the closest British Isles to the North Pole. If you’re longing for lights of blue, green, orange, pink, and purple, wintertime is best. Rent Muckle Roe Chapel, situated on the attractive isle of Muckle Roet it’s the perfect place that provides panoramic views of both the ocean and the aurora borealis.
Image courtesy of Travel Alberta
Travelers confirm that you are able to see the lights from nearly anywhere in Alberta, but the best places are the famous Jasper and Wood Buffalo National Parks, also known as two of the world’s largest Dark Sky preserves.
Watch the skies over the Yukon Territory from August 1st to April 15th. Visit Watson Lake’s Northern Lights Centre, in Watson Lake to hear about the legends of the lights and learn about their origins.
Finland offers a 200 night show of the lights during the year. Here you can go to sleep under the aurora lights inside a glass igloo at the Kakslauttanen Resort, located north of the Arctic Circle. There are many options including wood and glass igloos, lakeside domes, seaside glass villas, and sky cabins complete with glass roofs and windows. You can even stay in a traditional log house that has its own private sauna. There are a lot of opportunities to choose, that will make your trip memorable.
7. Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, USA
Image courtesy of Only In Your State
If you live in the US, you will not need a passport to see the aurora borealis. You can simply visit Cherry Springs State Park. This is an official Gold Level International Dark Sky Park. The park staff have a strict policy regarding flashlights and vehicle headlights and they employ special lights fixtures that do not inhiit your visibility.