The name Aurora (also known as Northern lights) comes from the Roman goddess of dawn. It happens once there is a collision between charged electrons from atmospheric wind and atmospheric elements in the North Pole. They have a period of high and low activity. These make a total 11-year cycle.
It is tough to accurately predict when the Aurora will occur but I can give advice on the places where you can get the best places where you can see the Lights and also what you can alternatively do when the show does not occur.
Here are some suggestions for you to consider…
- Svalbard, Norway
Svalbard is conveniently high. Its high altitude gives you a bigger chance of seeing the Lights. The Northern Lights here are experienced majorly between the months of November and February. However, most of the visitors that do come to this place are attracted by the Polar Night phenomenon. Svalbard experiences all night times between mid-November and towards end of January. These no daylight situation lets you see even the lightest Aurora. The visitors that come at a time when the daylight is back can see reindeer, walrus, and polar bears- according to Frozen Planet.
How to get there: take a flight from UK to Oslo and then go to Longyearbyen. We suggest this place because it has got a number of hotel options. In last year’s guide, we talked of Tromso that you may also find to be accessible.
Best flight booking time from UK to Norway- it is advisable that you book your flight seven weeks to departure.
- Kakslauttanen, Finland
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort is located in Finnish Lapland. From here you can enjoy the view of the Lights while still relaxing in your traditional log cabin that has sauna and open fire. If it turns out that the lights do not appear, you have other fun things to engage yourself in. you may for instance decide to participate in snowy activities like rein deer safari or go ahead visit the Urho National Park.
How to get there: You cannot get a direct flight from the UK to Ivalo. You can however gat a flight from London, Manchester and Edinburgh which will stop in Helsinki. The flight charge in the months of November to January is around EUR 200 – EUR 300. Then from Helsinki, you can fly directly to the North.
- Jukkasjarvi, Sweden
The Jukkasjarvi village in Kiruna region of Sweden houses the first ice hotel. On your way to see the Northern Lights, you will get an opportunity to tour the Esrange Space Center. In case the Aurora is not visible, you will still get to admire the starry skies of Sweden. At the same time, you can see the Lights while doing fun activities in winter like snowmobiling.
How to get there: This northern part of Sweden is quite remote. First of all you will fly to Stockholm and then get to Kiruna by using one of the following means: taking a train, driving, or flying.
Best flight booking time from UK to Norway- book your flight 19 weeks to departure date.
Stay tuned as I take you through part 2 tomorrow.