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The Gap Year Blog

The Best Locations For Seeing The Northern Lights

16 Nov 2016 14:15 PM
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Svalbard, Norway

You can guess from the name that it is the very northern regions where the Northern Lights are stronger and frequent. Norway is considered the best place to see them, specifically Svalbard which is the Norwegian archipelago between Norway and the North Pole. In fact, you can’t get any more north than this! Svalbard’s location means there is complete darkness twenty-four hours a day from November to February, favourable conditions for stronger light activity. This winter period is a perfect time to visit and gives travellers no excuse not to miss them! The Kjell Hendriksen Northern Light Observatory near the town of Longyearbyen is definitely the greatest photo spot as it is on top of a mountain, away from any light sources.

Flickr | Nick | nordlys6

Kakslauttanen, Finland

Imagine staying in your own warm and cosy glass igloo, where you can lie down and admire the magical aurora gaze without being in the cold. Yes it’s hard to imagine but it exists! The Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort is basically the Finnish Lapland… if not paradise. It really is the perfect opportunity for observing the Northern Lights, without having to be cold! The resort is open from the end of August to the end of April and is a great concept for those who love a bit of luxury as the same time! Any ideas for the Christmas holidays next year? I know I do!

 

 

Flickr | Stròlic Furlàn - Davide Gabino

Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

When you thought it doesn’t get much better than glass igloos, it does. Jukkasjärvi is the home to Sweden’s very first ice hotel which is located in the midst of the Northern Lights zone. What’s even better is that you don’t have to be a hotel guest to admire the aurora lights; you can simply wonder though the resort and take in the surroundings for almost no cost! Sweden is unique when it comes to the Northern Lights experience; thanks to the Gulf Stream, it is slightly warmer than the other locations such as Norway and Finland, a reason why it is often preferred and more affordable.

 

Flickr | Jordan Wiseman

 

 

 

 

Yukon, Northern Canada

A great thing about the Northern Lights is that they are not restricted to northern Europe. They are strongly visible across the pond in Northern Canada too! Yukon, northwest Canada, is considered the best place in North America to see the swirling colours. You can experience the Northern Lights in so many different ways here, either from an outdoor hot tub, curling up in a cosy cabin or out in the wilderness with a warm campfire. The decision is yours! What’s more, if you are feeling really adventurous, you can chase the Northern Lights as a passenger on a dog sled. That is truly a once in a lifetime experience!

By Robinsoncrusoe (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Scotland, United Kingdom

You’ll be surprised that Scotland is on this list. Believe it or not, northern Scotland lies on the same latitude as the Scandinavian countries, so the Northern Lights are no doubt visible. In fact, it is extremely rare that the lights can be seen in some southern areas of Scotland. It’s great that this fascinating phenomenon is so close to home and the perfect excuse for a weekend break to the Isle of Skye or North Berwick. But be sure to visit during the winter months where the aurora is the strongest!

pixabay | mcbeaner

 

So there you have it, the top destinations to see the Northern Lights! So now you know where the best places to see them are, your bucket list is going to get longer!

By Sophia-Harri Nicholaou - Online Journalism Intern