Norway is a Scandinavian country encompassing mountains, glaciers and deep coastal fjords. Oslo, the capital, is a city of green spaces and museums. Preserved 9th-century Viking ships are displayed at Oslo’s Viking Ship Museum. Bergen, with colorful wooden houses, is the starting point for cruises to the dramatic Sognefjord. Norway is also known for fishing, hiking and skiing.
What is Aurora Borealis?
Aurora is a natural electrical phenomenon characterized by the appearance of streamers of reddish or greenish light in the sky, especially near the northern or southern magnetic pole. The effect is caused by the interaction of charged particles from the sun with atoms in the upper atmosphere. In northern and southern regions it is respectively called aurora borealis or Northern Lights and aurora australis or Southern Lights.
Check out these 11 best places to see the Aurora Borealis.
Svalbard is an island realm with ice-covered fjords, glaciers, soaring mountains, and rare wildlife that includes polar bears. A prime location for aurora hunts and other northern lights experiences.
From early spring until autumn the midnight sun makes for an eternal day, but during the polar night from November to February, there is no daylight in Longyearbyen. This attracts people from all over the world to experience the northern lights dancing across the sky.
During the polar night, the aurora borealis may even appear at lunchtime. In October and February, you can enjoy the blue Arctic light during the day and the northern lights at night.
Top things to do in Svalbard
- Choose from a selection of northern light excursions.
- Go dog sledging and snowmobiling.
- Try glacial ice caving and snowshoeing.
- Go aurora hunting in the Arctic wilderness.
Raw beauty, extreme seasons, and the Arctic light and aurora borealis dancing across the polar sky. North Cape is the winter wonderland on the northernmost point of mainland Europe.
Standing on the North Cape – a large mountain plateau that ends in a 307-metre high cliff that plunges into the sea – is a breathtaking experience. Here you can marvel at the views of the Barents Sea and maybe even see the northern lights.
In addition to a visit to the North Cape, there are several activities and tours to explore in the area. Explore the white treeless winter landscapes on a snowmobile, go ice fishing, drive an ATV, or try snowshoeing, whilst always on the lookout for the aurora borealis.
An undisturbed experience.
Travellers come to Varanger to explore the rare combination of taiga, tundra, and Arctic coastline, but this peninsula has also proven itself as a perfect destination for observing the northern lights from September to April.
Varanger is situated in the epicentre of the so-called northern lights oval, which makes northern lights spotting perfect on clear days. There is no need to drive for two or three hours for the best location when it’s available right outside your doorstep. And the electric lights from the small cities in the area won’t spoil the experience.
Combine northern lights with other activities. Northern lights can be combined with Arctic activities that are special for the region. Varanger is listed by “Top Birding Sites of the World” as one of the world’s top 100 areas for bird watching, and local tour operators take you around to spot rare species almost all winter, and in summer as well
A city located directly under the northern lights oval. Here you can experience winter adventures on powdery snow and the open sea. Maybe even the whales will show up if you are lucky.
Surrounded by arctic tundra and mountains, found directly under the northern lights oval, Alta enjoys a stable inland climate with plenty of clear skies that allow aurora to appear most nights. In fact, the first modern studies of the northern lights started here.
Winter activities and aurora hunting.
Light, powdery snow is virtually guaranteed all winter, and the conditions for dog sledding, skiing, snowmobiling and riding a fatbike (off-road bike with oversized tires) are excellent. Short trips, as well as longer treks, are available an perfect for experiencing the snowy landscape and the crisp colours of the arctic daylight or to look for the northern lights at night.
Discover the bustling city of Tromsø and its Arctic history, rich culture, modern cuisine and unspoilt surroundings. Here you’re sure to find plenty of winter activities that suits you, whether you are an adventure seeker, a nature lover, or a romantic couple.
The city is situated in the middle of the auroral oval, the area with the highest probability of seeing the northern lights.
Combine your northern lights excursion with a wide range of exciting daytime activities such as dog sledding, whale watching, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling, or try for a selfie with the reindeer and huskys in the surrounding nature.
The backbone of the Lyngenfjord region is the beautiful 82-kilometre long Lyngenfjord, which is surrounded by blue glaciers, deep ravines, and the peaks of the Lyngsalpene mountain range, some of which rise up to 1,833 metres.
Lyngsalpene is famous for ski touring, and here you can ski all the way from the summit to sea. Behind the mountains, you will find the Skibotndalen valley, a likely place to spot the northern lights due to its’ particularly dry climate
Visit the archipelago of Vesterålen and explore the several winter activities on offer. Situated just north of the Lofoten Islands, this peaceful region has a strong fishing culture, lots of interesting art to explore, and a front-row seat to the northern lights (aurora borealis)
There are few other places in the world where you can ski down a snow-clad mountain one day and go on a whale safari the next. But as Vesterålen with its rugged peaks is located at the edge of the continental shelf, the nutrient-rich waters are the primary feeding ground for humpback whales, sperm whales, and killer whales.
Where the mountains meet the fjord, Narvik is an ideal winter holiday destination and a gateway to Arctic experiences. The exceptionally clear sky over this region gives perfect conditions for observing the northern lights.
Get a real Arctic experience in Narvik, where the skies are especially clear – great conditions for observing the northern lights (aurora borealis). The city of Narvik is surrounded by mountains, some of which elevates to more than 1,700 metres and appear straight out of the fjord. Try downhill skiing with majestic views in the Narvikfjellet mountain, or enjoy the area’s cross-country terrain.
The wild nature of the Lofoten Islands is just as beautiful in winter as the rest of the year, especially when the northern lights come out at night. Every outing in the region is framed by rugged mountain tops that rise straight from the sea.
Lofoten is situated just beneath the auroral oval, a belt of light that encircles the geomagnetic poles and provides some of the best chances of seeing the northern lights.
With its dramatic surroundings and ever-changing light, Bodø and Salten are sought-after holiday destinations for photographers and nature lovers alike.
Bodø and Salten have good light conditions all year round, even during the darkest months. The polar night, which many assume is a time of darkness, is in reality just endless variations of light. The winter months surprisingly reveals beautiful glimpses of the sun – from deep blue to glowing variants of red, orange, yellow, magenta and indigo.
The northern lights are at its most intense in the far north of the northern hemisphere. Beautiful, magical and mythical, floating like silk veils waving across the sky. It can be seen on dark, clear evenings from September to April.
Cross the Arctic Circle and get access to Helgeland’s thousands of islands and fairytale-like mountain formations at the coast, and pristine snowsure wilderness further inland. Combine this with northern lights and powdery peaks, and you are in for a magical winter experience.
Many consider Helgeland one of the best places in Norway for sea kayaking, also in the winter. The thousands of islands, reefs, and bays are not only pleasing to the eye, they also create sheltered waters in winter. If you want more speed, join a guided RIB tour and hunt for the magical light further out at sea.
all info and images are credited to Norway Government, Norway Tourism. Visit Norway, Norway people, people visited Norway, Twitter account holder and Pinterest.