Iceland, Norway and Canada Offer the Best Northern Lights

Joe McClain - Mar 29, 2010
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The northern lights, aurora borealis, are an incredibly amazing display of nature, which can only really be appreciated in person. Photos do not do them justice. There are several countries in which it is possible to see the northern lights, and the 'best' of these is often argued. Clarity, brightness and awe-inspiring value of the lights are dependant almost completely on the time of year, weather and several other environmental factors. This can be another hurdle in deciding where to go. Here, we will clear up some of the confusion on where to go and present three of the best possible holidays for you so see the lights.


In January, the arctic town of Tromso in northern Norway is easily one of the best places for a northern lights holiday. Situated over 300 km inside the Arctic Circle, the aurora borealis are viewable between 6 pm and 1 am every second day at the very least. For most of the month, Tromso lies in complete darkness as the sun never breaks the horizon. The biggest attraction of seeing the auroras in Tromso in January is the northern lights festival, held in honor of the lights, and to celebrate the first dawn of the year. It is also host to a variety of international music and boasts an awesome party atmosphere. This alone makes Tromso an excellent choice for you to see the northern lights. Even if the festival and party life isn't your scene, Tromso still stands at the forefront of aurora holiday destinations.


On almost the opposite side of the world, Canada provides another amazing place to see the northern lights. A one hour each way snowmobile ride north of Lake Superior, Ontario, offers yet another awesome display of the lights. Similar to Tromso, this is one of the coldest options for your trip, so be sure to pack your thickest and warmest gear! It is definitely not recommended to attempt the snowmobile ride yourself, especially if you have never lived in the area or experienced similar climates. Fortunately this doesn't affect your trip, as you can easily seek professional guidance. There are several tour operators in the area that do just that. Be sure to look around for the best deals.


The city of Reykjavik in Iceland is our final contender for the best place to see the northern lights. From the city itself, displays are not as spectacular due to the amount of street lighting affecting the view. Not to worry, further out of the city you can see the lights perfectly. Once again there are several operators in the area offering their professional guidance and expertise. The best part is that you are still close to all the city action. Iceland is situated in one of the most active areas of the Aurora Ovals – where the northern lights are formed. As long as there is clear sky, the lights are almost always visible.

While we believe these are among the best places in the world to see the northern lights, there are quite a few other options. These include Sweden, Finland, Lapland, and Alaska. If you can't seem to arrive at a conclusion, there's no reason not to see them twice, or more, considering most places have an abundance of other activities including dog sledding, skiing and much more. What better time to start organizing your northern lights holiday.

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