TRAVEL ALERT! Important information about the Coronavirus situation in Norway
Dynamic Variation:

There was not an exact match for the language you toggled to. You have been redirected to the nearest matching page within this section.

Choose Language
Toggling to another language will take you to the matching page or nearest matching page within that selection.
Search & Book Sponsored Links
  • Hotels

    Scandic Hotels – in all major cities from north to south

    Nordic Choice Hotels – a different hotel company

    Thon Hotels – with fantastic breakfast

    Radisson Blu Hotels – discover your favourite destinations

    Citybox – modern and affordable hotels in a central location

  • Getting Here & Around

    Widerøe – the largest regional airline in Scandinavia

    AutoEurope – always a smooth car rental experience

    Vy express – travel with bus throughout Norway

    DFDS – Europe’s leading ferry operator 2012-2020

    Rent-A-Wreck – the smart car rental alternative

    Arctic Campers – Norway’s camper van rental

    NOR-WAY Bussekspress – travel green with express busses

    Vy – it should be easy to travel green

    Cabin Campers – your cottage on four wheels

    SJ NORD – the adventure starts on the train

  • Tours & Round trips

    Hurtigruten – "The World’s Most Beautiful Sea Voyage"

    Authentic Scandinavia – exciting Norway tours

    Up Norway – tailored journeys

    Norrøna Hvitserk – expeditions and adventure holidays

    Fjord Tours – experience Norway in a nutshell® with one ticket

    50 Degrees North – unforgettable tailor-made and small group tours to Norway

    Discover Norway – skiing, biking and hiking tours in Norway

    Norwegian Holidays – low-price package holidays with Norwegian. Flight, hotel and rental car

    Secret Atlas – Svalbard and Northern Norway. Small Ship with 12 guests.

    Stromma – sightseeing, excursions and experiences with bus, boat and train.

    Book Nordics – tours and activities, safaris, daytrips, expeditions, cabins and adventure stays

  • Cottages & Holiday Houses

    DanCenter – your specialist in holiday homes in Norway

    Norgesbooking – book your perfect cabin stay in Norway

  • Alpine mountain resorts

    Beitostølen – adventure and delight all year

  • Offers

or search all of Norway

Facts and fiction about the northern lights

What are the northern lights really about?
Many are fascinated by the aurora borealis, but few know the science and myths related to the natural light show in the sky.
Northern lights over Grøtfjord in Kvaløya, Northern Norway
Northern lights over Grøtfjord, Kvaløya.
Photo: Gaute Bruvik /
Dynamic Variation:

But the phenomenon can also be explained in a tangible way: We have the sun to thank for everything, also the auroras, and during large solar explosions and flares, huge quantities of particles are thrown out from the sun and into deep space.

The maths of the northern lights

Here’s where it gets really interesting: When the particles meet the Earth’s magnetic shield, they are led towards an oval around the magnetic North Pole where they interact with the upper parts of the atmosphere, the layers of ozone, oxygen, and other stuff that protect the earth. The energy which is then released is sent to us as northern lights.

Dynamic Variation:

But never take the northern lights for granted. It’s as much a natural phenomenon as the weather. Its appearance and intensity are controlled by the sun’s activity and its location depends on the earth’s magnetic field.

The northern light appears in a belt, or an oval, which is situated above the Earth in a regular position in relation to the sun. The lights will usually be visible over mainland Northern Norway during the night and over Svalbard during the daytime. When solar activity increases, the northern lights can also be seen further south in Norway.

Explaining the northern lights

Interested in learning more about aurora’s origin? This video will explain the fascinating details of the northern lights.

Aurora borealis is far from a new phenomenon. The spectacle of the northern lights is described by early storytellers and has given rise to many legends. Symbols linked to the northern lights are for instance found on the Sami shamanistic drum. The phenomenon has several different names in Sami, amongst them “Guovssahas” which means “the light which can be heard”. It’s poetry in motion.

Dynamic Variation:

When and where? There’s no exact answer, but …

It is often said that the northern parts of Norway are the best places in the world to see the northern lights, as this part of the country lies just below the auroral oval. Well, if we’re honest that is only a partial truth, as ­the lights can be just as visible from destinations outside of Norway.

But our bold claim is that Northern Norway definitely is amongst the most comfortable and interesting places to see the lights, as hundreds of thousands of people live in this huge geographical area, offering a variety of hotels and activities to keep you busy.

Dynamic Variation:

It’s important to remember that aurora can be a bit of a diva, and she will only start the show when she feels the time is right. Patience is a virtue, also when chasing the northern lights. But to maximize your chances of a sighting, know that the lights are at their most frequent in late autumn and winter/early spring (from September to late March), during the hours from 6 pm to 1 am.

However, Aurora borealis has its climax when the weather is cold and dry, usually from December. Some will tell you that the driest weather and the clearest sky is found inland, but that isn’t always true.

With strong eastern wind, the coast can be clearer than inland areas. Avoid the full moon, though, as it will make the experience considerably paler.

A cool northern lights visualization

Dynamic Variation:

Lights, camera … action!

When the light show brightens up the sky, the moment is definitely worth freezing. The 27-year-old photographer Christian Hoiberg has loads of experience with eternalising aurora’s fleeting beauty in images.

Take advantage of top offers

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

Get inspired

Your Recently Viewed Pages

Back to top