To experience the starry, limitless sky, and the unbelievable colours that move across the Arctic sky, few places on earth offer more ways to witness the northern lights than Norway.
Between late September and late March, Northern Norway is dark from early afternoon until late morning, and the northern lights frequently soar across the sky. Our bold claim is that this part of Norway, with its multiple islands, deep fjords and steep mountains, is among the worlds most beautiful and interesting places to see the northern lights.
As hundreds of thousands of people live in this huge geographical area, the region of Northern Norway has everything from cities with a lively night scene and great museums to small fishing villages and vast, tranquil spaces without light pollution.
This means that in addition to hunting for the northern lights, you can go winter fishing, hiking, skiing, and dog sledding, experience the Sami culture, or join a whale or wildlife safari. Afterwards, you can relax in top-notch hotels and eat incredible local food. Or maybe you’ve joined a northern lights safari and get to eat your meal in a traditional lavvo?
On a very basic level, the phenomenon is quite simple to explain. It is created from a collision between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the atmosphere of the earth.
The lights, which are also called aurora borealis, show up at night when the sky is dark. It’s like a celestial ballet of light dancing across the night sky, with a colour palette of green, blue, and sometimes even pink and violet.
But even though you can’t take the lights for granted – it is, after all, a natural phenomenon, just like the weather – you are still guaranteed to experience magical light in Northern Norway all through the polar night. On clear days, you can see beautiful sunset colours in the south while the sky to the north is a deep midnight blue. In “the blue hour” at twilight, the snowy landscape is bathed in a glassy, deep blue colour. And even if the Auroras don´t dance, experiencing the starry, limitless sky can make you reconnect with the universe...
Light pollution obscures the night sky in more than half of Europe. If you leave the lights of the city behind, you can see much more of our universe with the naked eye.
The aurora borealis can be seen when the sky is clear and dark, and the optimal conditions are usually when the weather is cold and dry. Then, you just have to cross your fingers for a sun storm, sending out some magical particles in your direction...
If you will have to wait a bit for The Green Diva to show up, don´t worry. There are plenty of other unforgettable things to do in Northern Norway
1. The light show appears when charged particles from the sun are dragged into the atmosphere by the earth’s magnetic field and collide with nitrogen and oxygen atoms. This collision releases flashes of coloured lights – which we see as the northern lights.
2. The colour of the light depends on the type of atoms involved in the collision.
3. Aurora borealis isn’t the only light show the universe offers. The southern hemisphere has its own version called aurora australis – the southern lights.
Curious to know more? Read up on the facts and fiction about the northern lights.
See our selection of offers from companies that work hard to make you happy all through your trip.
Go on a 4-day break to Longyearbyen in Svalbard during winter and spring, including dog sledding and a snowmobile safari to Tempelfjorden. | Authentic Scandinavia
4-day tour including a cruise with Hurtigruten. Choose from a wide selection of winter activities, including dog sledding and northern lights excursions. | Authentic Scandinavia
Walk among 300 reindeer and join us on a sleigh ride under the northern lights. Three-course dinner in a candlelit Sami Gamme tent is included. Pick-up & drop-off in central Tromsø. | Book Nordics
6-day tour, including a return cruise from Tromsø to Kirkenes with Hurtigruten. Visit the North Cape and try winter activities including dog sledding and snowmobiling. | Authentic Scandinavia
3-day Norway winter break including an overnight stay at the Kirkenes Snow Hotel. Go on a dog sledding excursion, sample giant king crab, and more. | Authentic Scandinavia
Stay in a modern version of a traditional fisherman's cabin, experience exclusive hiking and fishing adventures led by a professional instructor, and hunt the northern lights with a local photographer. | Up Norway
Join us for an evening at Camp Tamok, located a 75-minute scenic drive from Tromsø. Maximize your chances of seeing the northern lights at this remote wilderness camp featuring all the modern facilities. | Book Nordics
Stay in a truly unique space boasting breathtaking vistas from panoramic windows. Discover spectacular natural landscapes and phenomenon during winter days and colourful polar nights. | Up Norway
Join us for an evening of exploring the Lofoten islands after dark! See the northern lights from lookout points known only to locals, and take amazing photos in this location overflowing with natural beauty. | Book Nordics
Spend a night in a glass dome under the northern lights. Wake up inside the remote pine forest of Alta overlooking majestic snow-covered mountains. Private bathroom and sauna facilities available. | Book Nordics
Experience the magic of the Norwegian Arctic on this 6-day tour. Keep an eye out for aurora from your very own fisherman's cabin in the coastal village of Sommarøy, about an hour from the city. 2-nights in Tromsø, private transfers, dog sledding and northern lights safaris are included. | 50 Degrees North
Join us on a quite electric ship for the northern lights cruise of a lifetime. See the aurora at sea, far away from the light pollution on land, and enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by award-winning Mathallen restaurant. | Book Nordics
Capture the amazing northern lights against the dramatic vistas of the Lofoten Islands with your camera! Join our photo tour and explore Lofoten at night. | Book Nordics
Join us for an amazing overnight reindeer sledding adventure. Spend a night in a Sami tent and see the northern lights from a secluded camp deep in the wilderness. | Book Nordics
6-day winter adventure tour including an overnight stay at Kirkenes Snow Hotel, a cruise with Hurtigruten to Tromsø, and a wide selection of optional winter activities. | Authentic Scandinavia
Ready for an authentic experience in the Lofoten Archipelago - a secret gem in Northern Norway? This 4-day tour includes a RIB boat sea eagle safari, evening aurora hunt, and a stay in your very own fisherman's cabin by the sea. | 50 Degrees North
3-day winter break to Alta in Northern Norway, including an overnight stay at the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel and a reindeer sledding experience. Additional winter activities can be added. | Authentic Scandinavia
Spend a night in a private crystal lavvu under the northern lights. Tromsø pick-up and return, dinner, breakfast, aurora borealis photo workshop, and whale watching tour included. | Book Nordics
Experience an authentic Sami reindeer safari at a remote wilderness camp, located a 75-minute scenic drive from Tromsø. Reindeer sledding, lasso throwing, Sami storytelling and reindeer feeding included. | Book Nordics
Fill your days with adventures including a northern lights safari, dog sledding excursion, and a snowshoeing/ice fishing experience that showcases the full wonder of Norwegian nature. | Up Norway
4-day winter break to Tromsø in Northern Norway - including dog sledding and a northern lights hunt by minibus. Additional winter activities can be added. | Authentic Scandinavia
Snowy adventures with magical animals and people await. Experience Norwegian-style luxury, authentic Sami culture, and epic winter activities that will turn your fairytale dreams into reality. | Up Norway
Let us take you on an adventure across our country from east to west, and north to south. Experience Norwegian-style luxury and the warmth of the northern people on this epic winter journey. | Up Norway
Join us on a magical 4-day adventure on the water to explore wild nature, magic mountains, and beautiful fjords. Experience the northern lights at sea, far away from the light pollution on land. | Book Nordics
From Tromsø, ride a snowmobile along the scenic Lyngenfjord and Lyngen Alps and spend a night in a private crystal lavvu under the northern lights. Dinner, breakfast, and aurora borealis photo workshop included. | Book Nordics
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