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Northern Lights in Tromsø
A man is ski touring under the northern lights in Northern Norway
Northern Lights in Tromsø.
Photo: Ismaele Tortella / Visit Norway
Ski touring under the northern lights.
Photo: Lars Mathisen / Visit Tromsø
Nature’s own light show

Northern lights in Norway

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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 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?

A person snowshoeing under the northern lights in Tromsø, Northern Norway
Snowshoeing in Tromsø.
Photo: Kari Schibevaag / Visit Tromso

So, what are the northern lights? 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 has blocked half of Europe’s view to the Universe. If you leave the city lights behind, you can often see much of the Milky Way 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 

NorwayLights

Install the NorwayLights app – and get access to a 3 day northern light forecast that helps you find the best time and place to see the northern lights. 

iPhone: NorwayLights for iOS 
Android: NorwayLights for Android 
Windows: NorwayLights for Windows

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More about the northern lights

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Watch these cool activities 

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See our selection of companies that work hard to make you happy all through your trip.

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