4 Best Places to See Northern Lights in Scandinavia

Where the hell are the best places to see the northern lights? Can you see the northern lights anywhere in Scandinavia? Fed up with typical travel experts? We present you here few of the best places to observe the northern lights with complete peace of mind. Although it is not always possible to do it, one of the great dreams of travelers is to be able to witness the Aurora Borealis in Scandinavian countries like Norway.

The weather in Norway is usually milder than in other parts of the world where you can admire the northern lights, whether you are in Lofoten, Tromsø, North Cape or surroundings, in the mountainous plateau of the Sami in Finnmark, or in Svalbard.

The Aurora Borealis only happens above the magnetic poles of the planet. In the northern hemisphere they are called Aurora Borealis, and in the southern hemisphere, they are called Aurora Australis. The spectacular colors are formed when the particles of the sun that are electrically charged enters the atmosphere of the Earth. The display is often referred to as dancing lights. Some people say the lights of Scandinavia swirl and seem to wave at you.

The colors of the Northern Lights vary. The most common are pale yellow, green, and blue. You may also see shades of pink. The most unusual color is red. The colors are determined by the types of gases in the air when the particles collide with the atmosphere. Regardless, you will see an incredible and otherworldly display.

In Finland, visit the Lake areas, or take a ferry from Turku to Stockholm, through a fabulous archipelago. In wintertime visit ski resorts, preferably in Lapland. Swedens capital Stockholm is probably the most illustrious city in the North, rivaled only by Copenhagen in Denmark. Both countries have great beach resorts.

Norway might be the most expensive Nordic country, but it features incredible scenic routes and spectacular mountains and fjords, not to be missed by any traveler. And last but not least, you can also head towards Nordkapp via Norway, Sweden or Finland and take in the sceneries on your way to the Northernmost point of the European Continent!

Best Places to See Northern Lights in Scandinavia

Here are some of the best place to see the northern lights in Scandinavia.

1. Östersund

This is absolute Norrland - the empire of forests, reindeer, northern lights, darkness, silence, and weirdness. It’s the real Sweden, with extraordinarily warm people, and incredibly slow clocks everywhere.

Finally, for a more manageable hiking in northern Sweden that should only take a few days to complete, the Jamtland Triangle is a popular option. The entire walk is 47 km and runs through various mountain stations with plenty of cabins, saunas, and good places to eat along the way. It is an option that combines adventure with a bit of recreation.

There is a ski tunnel inside a mountain in Jämtland. It is in fact the world’s longest ski tunnel. It’s inside a hollowed out mountain that used to be used as a fuel storage during the Cold War era. I went there for the opening, and it’s really a surreal experience to go there on a warm, sunny summer’s day, only to find yourself in minus four degrees, surrounded by snow and skiers.

There is something James Bond-ish about it, in fact.

In Pilgrimstad, there is a brewery there, and a marina, and a holy spring, hence the name. But that’s it. Not even a convenience store. If you are stuck there, all you can do is sit by the lake, watch the boats, pray a bit, and think about all that beer in the brewery.

2. Finnmark, Norway

Finnmark is one of the best places in Scandinavia to see the Aurora. The main advantage of coming to Finnmark to observe the Northern Lights is that this area is much less publicized than other Northern Lights destinations with which it rivals. There are also a lot fewer people who live here and a lot of unaltered nature and observation points full of peace. The center of Karasjok is so small that you only have to get away from the main street for clear views of the northern lights.

Regardless of the distance, remember to take warm clothes. In winter it can get very cold in this mountainous plateau in the interior. The coldest day was registered in February, at -38 degrees. The colder, the better. When temperatures are low, the chances of having a clear sky are greater. Despite being cold and small, Karasjok has three hotels and camping areas with modern cabins perfect for winter. The main Norwegian road, the E6, also passes through this town.

Within an hour's drive from the city of Lakselv you will find a signposted lookout that is also a fantastic place to observe the northern lights. On the same E6 main road, but in the other direction, towards Finland, you will find other lookouts just as good. Of course, when in January the sun announces the beginning of the end of the polar night, this event is considered of great importance.

3. Lofoten, Norway

Few things can be compared to the feeling of kayaking while watching the northern lights on you and also under you, in the water, a light effect that in Norwegian is called morild. Morild is an effect in which the sea becomes milky, a phosphorescent phenomenon caused by bioluminescent plankton. At the end of the night tour, you can decide whether to return home or simply spend the night outdoors, in hammocks with sleeping bags in total isolation.

4. Andøya, Norway

Seeing waves of light above you while you're surfing in the sea is a really special and also rare experience. The biggest challenge is, in addition to the darkness of the season, the fact that the only light that you glimpse when you are trying to maintain balance on the board is often that which comes from the northern lights.

The useful rules of the Norwegian mountain code about wearing clothes suitable for unforeseen weather conditions, or doing everything possible to stay safe can also be applied to the sea. The largest breakwater in northern Europe, which is located in the port of the city. Of course, there are many more ways to see the northern lights.

Photographing the Northern Lights Know your gear: Capturing the northern lights means working efficiently under dark skies. In order to make the most of each opportunity, train yourself to adjust gear and camera settings in the dark quickly - even if it means practicing in a dark room or beneath a starry sky.

Use your histogram: One of the most common pitfalls is photographers get home with underexposed images because the LCD can look much brighter than it actually is in total darkness. Learn to rely on your histogram for proper exposure for any kind of astrophotography.

Be flexible and patient: The aurora is a fickle phenomenon that constantly appears and disappears if it even shows up at all! If you miss the shot because the lights disappear or dance out of frame, don’t be discouraged. Consider it as time invested into becoming a versatile and adaptable photographer.

Scandinavia Travel Tips

Because this part of the world is unique, most people travel here and secure what they need upon arrival. The trip can take a while, so savvy travelers look for ways to transport their luggage. Having your bags sent to your destination is easy and safe.
  • Book your accommodations before you go. Look for hotels, lodges, hotels, and rentals that are centrally located so you can have daytime adventures and return to your base in the evening. This is far less costly. Use the 2-mile rule. If the attraction is less than 2-miles from the room, walk.
  • Determine your food budget before you go. Eating out is a major expense. Even grabbing fast food can break your budget at their inflated prices. Prepare your meals yourself. Make a trip to the grocery store and buy foods you can prepare in your room.
  • Book your travel well in advance. In places like Norway, you can get economy fares on trains if you buy them a couple of months in advance. The planning time is well worth the savings.
  • Carry enough money with you. Who knows, there may be bank holidays in Scandinavia at the time you arrive.
  • Do not get trapped in tourist attractions. There are many natural wonders that are free. Take the time to plan your adventures. Use the internet and guidebooks for recommendations.

Obviously, this is trip of a lifetime. It can be costly. However, with planning and research, you can have a wonderful time without breaking the bank. The holiday season is just around the corner. The time for planning this trip is now.
Kalyan Panja