Aurora is an unpredictable lady, and you never know when she will decide to turn up. This diva keeps you waiting, so whenever you go hunting for the northern lights above the Arctic Circle, make sure you set aside the whole evening. Northern lights worshippers do everything from cross-country skiing to building snowmen in order to keep warm and entertained while outside.
However, organised tours are a good alternative.
Experience the aurora at sea
Witness the northern lights as they fill the inky night sky from the comfort of one of Hurtigruten's ships.
Driving your own snowmobile is a feeling of freedom in itself, and when you do it under the northern lights, you will definitely have an experience to talk about. Several operators offer such tours in Northern Norway and Svalbard. One recommended alternative is a guided snowmobile tour from Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel. There is a similar option in Kirkenes.
Northern lights lectures
Polarlightcenter in Laukvik on Austvågøya in the Lofoten Islands offers presentations, information, courses and exhibitions. The centre is run by enthusiastic northern lights researchers Rob and Therese, who will give you informational and magic experiences.
In Finnmark you can book dog sledding under the northern lights in the Pasvik Valley, on the Russian border and Northern light tour in Karasjok, the sami capital. Similar offers exist in the Svalbard Islands, well north of the Arctic Circle. Experience dog sledding in this film.
More activities under the northern lights.
An absolutely fabulous trip to see the northern lights
Joanna Lumley, the actress from the BBC series Absolutely Fabulous, had dreamt of seeing the northern lights since she was a child. And finally she got to live out her dream. In a splendid BBC film, she travels across Norway in search of the aurora borealis. For Joanna, as for many others who get to experience the elusive lights, it was an altogether emotional experience. See a clip from the film here.
Chasing the northern lights
If the northern lights do not come to you, you can go to the northern lights. Set off by car into the polar night on the lookout for clear skies.
Joanna Lumley's northern lights guide, Kjetil Skogli, offers rides from Tromsø. You can also go in search of the mystical lights starting from Alta with the company GLØD
If you want to learn how to catch the northern lights on your camera, join an organised outing with Creative Vacations. There is also the Northern Lights Bus in Tromsø.
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