Viewing those bluish-greenish lights dance on the dark sky creates lifetime memories. You can get lucky and enjoy it by just being in the right place at the right time. You can also hunt for them and go seek them out. The easiest way to do that is to join one of the many northern lights tours.
To see the Aurora Borealis, as the Northern Lights, is also called, is a bucket list experience for many. I still remember the few times I’ve enjoyed the Northern Lights. Growing up in southern Sweden, I had the privilege to go skiing up north, and with that, a few times, the Aurora Borealis showed up. I remember just gazing up in the sky and thinking, wow that’s beautiful. It’s been around 20 years ago since I first experienced the Northern Lights, but it has stuck with me.
Another memorable occasion is when I was visiting Reykjavik, Iceland. My now-husband and I walked up to the Hillgrimskirkje, it was evening, and the sky was dark, and there it was Aurora Borealis with its beautiful lights. The setting was perfect. We later had Mexican food, let’s just say, stick with the local food. The fish soup, for example, in Reykjavik harbor, is the best one I’ve ever had. It was delicious.
Where to Go to See the Aurora Borealis
For you to have the best chance of seeing the lights, going to the right place, at the right time, is crucial. Let’s start with where to go for the best chances of seeing the Northern Lights. Not limited to, but places around the Arctic circle are usually the best places to enjoy the lights.
The lights often show up in;
Looking at the Nordic countries, some of the popular places to go looking for the Aurora Borealis are;
• Finland – Rovaniemi, Kemi
• Sweden – Kiruna, Riksgransen
• Norway – Tromso, Kirkenes
• Iceland – Reykjavik, Akureyri
When to See the Northern Lights
Now, you know a few great places to go search for the lights, but when should you go? In general, for Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland it’s a good time to go from mid-September to early April. With the right conditions, this is the time you will have the best chance to view the Aurora Borealis.
Since the conditions have to be perfect for the Northern Lights, make sure you include a lot of other fun activities as well on your trip. Your main goal might be to see the Northern Lights but plan a vacation that would be amazing even if you don’t see them. It’s a natural phenomenon, and although the guides are great, and know how to predict them and where to look, at the end of the day, it’s up to mother nature.
A trip to the Nordic countries can include so many unique experiences, a husky ride, reindeer safari, snowmobiling, ice fishing, snowshoeing, and more the list goes on. When you plan your vacation, include a good variety of hunting for the northern lights with fun day activates as well.
Iceland Northern Lights Tours
Traveling to Iceland, discovering nature along with the Northern Lights, you are in for a treat. Ice caves, glacier lagoons, black sandy beaches, hot springs, waterfalls – Iceland is unique. It creates a story-like setting hunting for the northern lights in some of these environments.
When joining a tour to hunt for the lights, you can join a group tour, a small group tour, or do a private one. You can also choose based on specific interests, like a Super Jeep tour, a boat tour, a snowmobile tour, or a husky ride tour. The tours last from a couple of hours up to full-day excursions. Here are a few Northern Lights tours from Reykjavik, depending on what type of experience you are looking for.
Northern Light Tours from Reykjavik – Small Group Tours
With the small group tours, you can expect a maximum of 6 – 15 people depending on the excursion. The small groups make for a more personalized experience, and you will have plenty of opportunities to talk to the guide and ask questions.
Northern Light Tours from Reykjavik – Full Day Tours
If you are up for a full-day tour, exploring some of the Reykjavik surroundings in combination with hunting for the northern lights when the dark arrives, there are plenty of options. You can discover the south part of Iceland with the black sandy beaches, waterfalls, and more. Maybe you want to do the classic Golden Circle tour. Or glacier hiking might be your thing during the day. In the evening, you look out for the lights. Here are some options.
Northern Light Tours from Reykjavik – Cruise and Boat Tours
Getting out on the water away from civilization is a great way to hunt for the lights. The quietness, the breeze, and hopefully the dancing light on the dark sky. Here are some boat and cruise options from Reykjavik.
Northern Light Tours from Reykjavik – Specific Interest Tours
Secret lagoons, ice caves, photography, multi-day tours, and more, there are many options to combine the hunt with a fun activity. Here are some options.
Northern Light Accommodation in Reykjavik – Our #1 Pick
Although not in the city center of Reykjavik this glamping experience about 6 miles from the center is worth spending the night at. A fun, unique experience with large windows perfect for viewing the sky.
Best Northern Lights Tours in Norway
Just like Iceland, Norway is a beautiful place to explore the Aurora Borealis. Places like Tromso and Kirkenes offers many different kinds of tours, from evening tours to day tours. If you want to explore the wilderness more in-depth, you can enjoy overnight-tours lasting a couple of days.
Boat and cruise tours, unique experiences, and multiple-day tours in Tromso Norway are popular options.
Tromso Northern Lights Tours
For the best and most personal experience, join a small group, or book a private tour. There are a few good ones to choose between;
Unique Northern Lights Tours in Tromso
To combine the hunt for Northern Lights with other unique experiences allows for an exciting evening. There are many unique experiences to choose between. Maybe you want to go search for the light in a Tesla. A more traditional experience would be to listen to old folklores, learn more about the reindeer culture, and enjoy a traditional camp dinner. Another fun alternative is to enjoy a husky ride under the dark night.
Tromso Northern Lights Cruises
How about taking an evening cruise, sailing the waters, and at the same time enjoy the cold breeze and hopefully the beautiful lights. Get on a catamaran, on a boat with a jacuzzi, or as a dinner cruise, in Tromso. Which one would you prefer?
Northern lights tours – Multiple Days with Nordic Experiences
When the evening comes, go for a Northern Lights hunt snowshoeing. Enjoy the silence, and hopefully the dancing lights on the dark sky. Spend the night in an ice dome. When you wake up, enjoy a husky ride. This adventure is as close to nature as you can get.
Unless you want to be even more adventures and go for a longer husky ride and set camp in the wild. On this two-day adventure, you do not only search for the lights but also Norwegian wildlife. Is this the ultimate wildlife experience from Tromso?
Finland Northern Lights Tours
Rovaniemi Adventures Northern Lights Tours
Rovaniemi, Finland, offers many unique tours, combining the Northern Light hunt with adventures. How about a snowmobile tour, or 4-wheeler tour? Or maybe you want to enjoy the lights from the air? Here are a few of that stick out;
Relaxing Northern Lights Tours in Rovaniemi
You can’t go to Finland without exploring the Sauna culture, combining the Aurora Borealis and the sauna experience, now that’s an authentic Finnish experience. Other relaxing ways would be having a picnic or enjoying a hot bath in the jacuzzi under the lights.
Northern Light Accommodation in Rovaniemi – Our #1 Pick
With big windows facing the woods, enjoying the evening from your room at the Arctic TreeHouse hotel is a treat. Relax, take in the surroundings and enjoy!
Sweden Northern Lights Tours
Many of the Swedish locations look at the whole experience, including unique accommodation along with fun winter activities. How about staying at the Jukkasjarvi Ice Hotel or the Treehotel in Harads, where the Aurora Borealis becomes part of the experience.
You can book northern lights activities directly with the hotels.
Here are a couple more multi-day tours in the Swedish Lapland;
Two Final Suggestions
Realistic expectations – We have talked about some interesting, unique tours in this article. It is worth mentioning again when it comes to natural phenomena like the Aurora Borealis, mother nature decides. Combining the light hunt with other adventures allows you to have a great time, even though they might not show.
It will be cold – The geographic area close to the Arctic circle can get cold in the winter. Make sure you dress appropriately to stay warm and cozy, for the best experience. Layer up your clothes, stay dry and wear comfortable, warm shoes.
Exploring the Northern lights is a dream for many I hope that these Northern Lights Tours in Iceland, Norway, Finland, and accommodation in Sweden will help you make that dream a reality.
Have you seen the Aurora Borealis? Is it on your bucket list? Feel free to share in the comment section below,
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