PHOTO: The Northern Lights (Photo via Flickr/Kaia Willenbockel)
The Northern Lights are chiefly visible around the equinoxes, which means February to March and September to October are typically the best times to view them. As winter winds down, which destinations should you trek to so you can see this natural phenomenon?
The capital city of Reykjavik continues to be a popular location for travelers to see the Northern Lights. You’ll have to escape the fun of downtown to catch them at their brightest. Or, you could also journey a little bit north to Borgarnes or even further north to Akureyri.
Just north of the Arctic Circle, Tromso is a usual hot spot to view the Aurora Borealis in Norway. For an even more unique experience, head to the Svalbard Islands, which is one of the world’s northernmost populated areas.
Choose a glass or snow igloo at Igloo Village Kakslauttanen in Saariselka, Finland, and don't forget to book a reindeer sled ride to get the true Nordic experience. Another city in Finland with a different place to stay is Kittilä, where travelers can book a night’s stay in the Snow Village.
Stay at the ice hotel in the Sweden village of Jukkasjärvi for an unforgettable experience. While those experiences can be pricey, if your budget is smaller, there are still plenty of options for places to stay and still view the Northern Lights.
If you happen to find yourself in Scotland during the winter—first, I hope you brought your coat. Second, you might be hearing the Northern Lights referred to as “The Merry Dancers.” You can thank the British for that one, but as a side note, that should totally catch on in more countries, though, right?
For those who live in America, Alaska is a cheaper route to see these natural wonders.
In Fairbanks, the northern lights are best seen between 10 pm to 3 am. So, you’ll need to be a night owl for at least one night during your stay. Or, just have your hotel give you an extremely early wake-up call time if you’re an early bird.
Either way, it will be worth it.
Another place that might be easier for Americans to get to (as flight prices can get pricey when flying overseas), Canada has multiple locations to witness the aurora borealis. Stay in the provinces of British Columbia, Northern Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Northwest Territories and Yukon.