Each year the galaxy ignites in an astounding light show. Vivid colors electrify the sky and delight anyone lucky enough to be looking up. Between October and March, the Arctic Circle becomes a charming place to glimpse one of nature’s most dazzling scenes. Whether it’s Canada, Iceland, or Scandinavia, high altitudes mark the perfect spot for travellers aching for enchantment.
The best places to see the northern lights are far away from city lights
Head north! Aurora-hunters travel as far as they can above the Arctic Circle. Think Norway, Sweden, Alaska and Canada – snowy landscapes and majestic pine forests. City lights can spoil the show, but local companies often arrange special excursions into the wilderness.
The winter season offers the best chances of seeing the northern lights
Your best chance is during the dark nights of winter. Crossing your fingers for clear skies is one strategy, but it’s best to book when the nights are the longest to give yourself maximum viewing time.
Whether you buy or rent, warm clothes are a necessity
Yep, you guessed it – it’s going to be cold! Clear skies and 24-hour nights mean sub-zero living. When staying warm and cozy is your number one priority, these simple tips can make all the difference.
Layers! Stock up on long johns and thermal undershirts then throw a few layers of knitwear and fleece on top. The savvy Arctic traveler always prepares for the elements. Pick up an insulated coat, then grab the warmest gloves and socks you can find. If the investment seems a bit steep, you can also find sporting goods stores that rent out skiwear.
Take advantage of all the activities the Arctic has to offer while chasing the northern lights
Explore the wilderness
Looking for a winter wonderland? Searching for Santa’s village or spectacular skiing? Luckily, the Arctic has plenty of other activities to keep you warm while chasing the northern lights. Whether you’re a heli-skier or hitting the slopes for the first time, the pristine mountain snow awaits. For a wilder ride, hop on a snowmobile, or try dog sledding for a more authentic vibe. Head to the coast for whale-spotting day trips, or find a lake for some ice fishing with a local guide. If you’re in the area, pay a visit to Santa and his reindeer, then look up your nearest ice hotel and bar for a “chill” night out.
Capture your northern lights exprience with a good quality DSLR
Capture the Moment
Once you’ve seen something this unbelievable, you’ll need proof for your friends back home. You don’t have to be the best photographer to get that million-dollar shot. Take a good camera. Your smartphone might be your go-to for selfies, but try to get your hands on a DSLR camera or one with manual timer settings. In order to capture the Aurora you should take long exposure shots. These can turn out blurry if you don’t keep your camera still, so pack a tripod.
Just like us, batteries lose their energy when the temperature dips into the minuses. Make sure you have some spares with you just in case.