where is the best place to go and see the northern lights

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Kiruna, in Swedish Lapland, known for its super clear skies, is one of the country's most popular Northern Lights viewing spots. Guests staying the hotel’s rooms can request to receive a phone call or door knock when the aurora is spotted in the sky. Hotel Rangá, in southern Iceland, offers a bevy of cold-weather activities, from whale-watching and dog sledding to glacier tours and freshwater fishing, but its trademark is the northern lights. Located 900 meters above sea level, the station experiences little light or noise pollution—optimal conditions for viewing the light show. The mountains and fjords that surround the city are so close to its center that they can be admired from the main street. Everything You Need to Know About the Elusive Southern Lights, From Mauna Kea to Death Valley, These Are the Best Places for Stargazing, Camping Fans Need to Know About These Amazing Solar Lanterns.

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If you prefer to let someone else do the planning, consider a tour operator with dedicated northern lights experiences. At Finland’s Kakslauttanen Resort, you don’t even need to get out of bed to catch the northern lights.

Accommodation options for enjoying the natural display in Finland abound, from seaside glass villas and domes set right on a lakeside to a northern lights ranch complete with sky cabins hosting glass windows and roofs. Courtesy of Sherman Hogue/Explore Fairbanks, Courtesy of Hotel and Igloo Village Kakslauttanen, Courtesy of Wolfgang Bublitz/Northern Lights Resort & SPA, Courtesy of Potter County Visitors Association. Iceland. The tour company Tromso Safari has numerous Northern Lights excursions, including one that features reindeer sledding with a Sami guide (the Sami are the indigenous people of the north), as well as a cruise, where you'll sail out into the sea for maximum light-free viewing. Fairbanks lies directly beneath a band of aurora activity, meaning from August to the end of April, the town regularly experiences a celestial display of green, yellow, and purple. Abisko is known to experience active northern lights almost every evening from October through the end of March.

Tromsø is Northern Norway’s largest city and is situated in the middle of the auroral oval, the area noted for having the highest probability of seeing the lights. Tick this bucket-list attraction off your list! …

If this is the year you vow to see nature’s light show for yourself, set your sights on these destinations. Need proof? Because the archipelago experiences polar night, or perpetual darkness, between mid-November and February, it offers visitors double the opportunity to see the lights and is the only inhabited place in the world where you can experience the phenomenon during the day. Travel + Leisure is a registered trademark of Meredith Corporation Travel + Leisure Group All Rights Reserved, registered in the United States and other countries. In Churchill, Canada, you can watch the lights dance over a family of polar bears from the comfort of your mobile sleeper car. And follow your night out in the cold with a day of pampering (dry-brush massage, aromatherapy session) at the Northern Lights Resort and Spa in Whitehorse. Hosted by Kellee Edwards. Yellowknife, in Canada's Northwest Territories, is home to Aurora Village, which is ground zero for Northern Lights viewing (it's a 10-mile drive from town).

And the next night, hunt for the aurora on a reindeer-drawn sleigh ride through the surrounding wilderness. Start listening to T+L's brand new podcast, Let's Go Together!

Guests can choose from cold room suites (with temperatures that range from 23 degrees Fahrenheit to about 17 degrees Fahrenheit) and warm rooms, with the Ice Room even hosting a bed made of ice. A three- or four-night stay during the aurora season (September to the beginning of April) practically guarantees a sighting. There’s even a chance to see them in the continental U.S. at Pennsylvania’s Cherry Springs State Park, which is noted for its dark skies. These elusive "dancing lights" can appear not only in the familiar greenish hue, but also in swirls of blue, purple, red, and orange (or a combination of several colors), and they can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. If roughing it is more your style, plan a trip to Kangerlussuaq.

It's not possible to predict exactly when the Northern Lights will appear, but the most frequent occurrences take place from mid-August to mid-April.

Located in the countryside, the hotel experiences minimal light pollution, making for optimal viewing conditions during the season (August through the first days of May). You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, Work-From-Home-Friendly Hotels to Visit ASAP, Surreal Places You Wouldn’t Think Are in the US, 15 Road Trip Essentials You Won’t Want to Forget, Keep Your Devices Dry With a Waterproof Phone Case, We Found the Most Beautiful Places in the World, The Travel Pillow That Also Works for Meditation, These Are the Most Beautiful Cities in the World, These Are the Most Beautiful Islands in the World, These 15 Beach Towns Offer Simple Summer Fun, Jill is the former travel editor at BestProducts.com, showing her expertise on everything from the. If you buy something from the links on this page, we may earn a commission. Fairbanks, home to the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska, which issues forecasts of aurora viewing conditions, is thought to be the best viewing spot in the U.S. Learn about the science—and folklore—surrounding the colors at the Northern Lights Centre in Watson Lake.

Read on to learn about the best places to see the Northern Lights, so you can tick this off your must-see list! Travel + Leisure may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.

Copyright 2020 Meredith Corporation. First and foremost is Svalbard, a string of Arctic islands, midway between continental Norway and the North Pole. The phenomenon is most frequently seen between 11:30 p.m. and 3:30 a.m., but the early-to-bed crowd need not worry. The northern lights make an appearance over Finland about 200 nights per year.

Most operators combine exciting arctic excursions with opportunities for watching for the northern lights in prime locations.

Check the park’s website for special events like astronomy programs and public viewing nights. But it’s also a terrific spot for viewing the northern lights, as it experiences aurora activity more than 300 nights per year.

While you can rent a car to see them on your own, the dark and often icy roads can make it dangerous, so many opt for a bus tour, where you can leave the driving to someone else.

You don’t necessarily need a plane ticket to glimpse the lights. But the best bet is to head for the northernmost parts of the Highlands or the Shetland Islands. Tromso is tops when it comes to aurora borealis viewing in Norway.

The best places in the world are usually closer to the Arctic Circle, including Alaska, Canada, Iceland, Greenland, Norway, Sweden and Finland. And even if you miss the aurora borealis, you’re all but guaranteed an exceptional view of the stars.

In Scotland, the lights go by a decidedly more British name: the Mirrie Dancers.

From the U.S. to Scandinavia, these are the 12 best places to see the northern lights. Book a room at Sumburgh Head, a restored Shetland lighthouse overlooking a puffin nesting area on the Atlantic, or venture to the Isle of Lewis to see the display above an ancient man-made wonder: the Callanish Standing Stones, a circular formation of rocks thought to have been erected 5,000 years ago.

After dinner in the dining hall, you'll have access to your own teepee, where you can start your aurora borealis watch, or stake out a more secluded spot (snowshoeing and other activities are available). Towns across Scandinavia, Alaska, and Canada market the lights as the main attraction, offering experiences for adventurers and luxury travelers alike. Every year, artisans meticulously create the Icehotel structure anew, using ice harvested from the Torne River here in Lapland, north of the Arctic Circle. Enter Chena Hot Springs Resort, with its warm, mineral-rich healing waters. Plus, you'll have a tour guide who can offer more insight on this stunning light show. These include fjord tours, whale-watching, and aurora-spotting tour or snowmobile adventures filled with hours of scenery.

Swaddle Yourself in These Cozy Weighted Blankets, 13 Dermaplaning Tools That Elevate Skin Treatments, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Polar bears have planted the Manitoba town of Churchill on the tourist map—it’s the easiest place to access that guarantees sightings.

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