The World’s Best Destinations to View the Northern Lights



Slide 1 of 15: Witnessing the northern lights or the aurora borealis as the natural light show is known to many is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. That's because you can't spot this mesmerizing phenomenon from just anywhere and without a relatively clear sky, all of your travel and efforts could be for naught. For the best chance to experience the northern lights in all their glory this winter, head to one of these places. 
Slide 2 of 15: Located above the Arctic Circle, Tromso is a destination beloved for its history and culture but also for being an ideal viewing point for the northern lights. From mid-September to mid-April, visitors will have an excellent shot to witness an aurora. Just be sure to bundle up.
Slide 3 of 15: There isn't a bad spot in Iceland when it comes to seeking out the northern lights. If the conditions are right, you can even experience them from downtown Reykjavik. Farther to the north, Akureyri is another charming destination that will give visitors a chance to catch a glimpse of the winter's polar lights. 
Slide 4 of 15: One of the few places that Americans can see the northern lights without needing a passport, Fairbanks is situated within the auroral oval, meaning travelers can experience the northern lights anywhere from late-August to late-April.

Slide 5 of 15: Although clear night skies aren't the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the U.K., Scotland is among the few places in Europe where you can see the northern lights. Head away from the light pollution to places like Cairngorms National Park and the Scottish Highlands or farther north to Orkney and the Shetland Islands to increase the likelihood of catching a memorable show.
Slide 6 of 15: Finnish Lapland is a premier destination for viewing the northern lights as the aurora borealis is visible approximately 200 nights per year. Better yet, there's no shortage of unique places to watch the lights from, including cozy treehouse hotels and glass igloos.
Slide 7 of 15: Like Lapland, Finland, Swedish Lapland is loaded with exceptional spots to view the northern lights, including the Aurora Sky Station in Abisko and the one-of-a-kind ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjarvi near Kiruna. 
Slide 8 of 15: The capital city of Canada's Northwest Territories, Yellowknife considers itself the "best place in the world to view the aurora borealis" and it's hard to argue as the destination's unrivaled combination of high latitude and long, clear winter nights make it a no-brainer for aurora chasers looking to increase their odds of experiencing a show from November to April.
Slide 9 of 15: Canada's Yukon Territory boasts ideal conditions for northern lights viewing, most importantly providing visitors with the dark clear winter skies necessary to witness the natural wonder. Enhance your experience by watching while you soak in a relaxing natural spring at the Takhini Hot Pools in Whitehorse. 

Slide 10 of 15: One of the world's most coveted destinations among wildlife enthusiasts, Churchill is equally as appealing to northern lights chasers whether they're viewing from the Churchill Northern Studies Centre or the comfort of an Aurora Dome.
Slide 11 of 15: Head to Michigan's Upper Peninsula this winter. Here, far from the city lights and closer to the auroral oval, you'll have an excellent chance to watch the northern lights dance over Lake Superior. Headlands International Dark Sky Park in Mackinaw City is a popular spot for visitors hoping to catch a glimpse of the hard-to-predict phenomenon.
Slide 12 of 15: Northern Pennsylvania's Cherry Springs State Park is one of the few places you can spot the northern lights in the contiguous U.S. The remote destination, which is located about four hours northeast of Pittsburgh, is beloved by stargazers for its dark skies providing phenomenal views of the polar lights, Milky Way, planets and much more.
Slide 13 of 15: The northern lights can be seen from every part of Greenland. Kangerlussuaq is an unbeatable setting for viewing the aurora borealis but cities like Nuuk and Tasiilaq are also superb options for travelers seeking to do more than just hunt down the colorful night sky.
Slide 14 of 15: Located on the Kola Peninsula north of the Arctic Circle, the port city of Murmansk is a popular destination for skiing, snowboarding, culture and experiencing the northern lights when the conditions are right from September through March. The nearby village of Teriberka is another excellent locale for viewing the aurora borealis.
 

Slide 15 of 15: The northern lights are known as "virmalised" in Estonian and visitors to the Northern European nation will have a decent chance of experiencing it for themselves. One of the better places to catch a dazzling light show is Lahemaa National Park just east of the capital city of Tallinn.

Where to Go for a Front-Row Seat of Aurora Borealis

Witnessing the northern lights or the aurora borealis as the natural light show is known to many is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. That’s because you can’t spot this mesmerizing phenomenon from just anywhere and without a relatively clear sky, all of your travel and efforts could be for naught. For the best chance to experience the northern lights in all their glory this winter, head to one of these places. 

Tromso, Norway

Located above the Arctic Circle, Tromso is a destination beloved for its history and culture but also for being an ideal viewing point for the northern lights. From mid-September to mid-April, visitors will have an excellent shot to witness an aurora. Just be sure to bundle up.

Iceland

There isn’t a bad spot in Iceland when it comes to seeking out the northern lights. If the conditions are right, you can even experience them from downtown Reykjavik. Farther to the north, Akureyri is another charming destination that will give visitors a chance to catch a glimpse of the winter’s polar lights. 

Fairbanks, Alaska

One of the few places that Americans can see the northern lights without needing a passport, Fairbanks is situated within the auroral oval, meaning travelers can experience the northern lights anywhere from late-August to late-April.

Scotland

Although clear night skies aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the U.K., Scotland is among the few places in Europe where you can see the northern lights. Head away from the light pollution to places like Cairngorms National Park and the Scottish Highlands or farther north to Orkney and the Shetland Islands to increase the likelihood of catching a memorable show.

Finnish Lapland

Finnish Lapland is a premier destination for viewing the northern lights as the aurora borealis is visible approximately 200 nights per year. Better yet, there’s no shortage of unique places to watch the lights from, including cozy treehouse hotels and glass igloos.

Swedish Lapland

Like Lapland, Finland, Swedish Lapland is loaded with exceptional spots to view the northern lights, including the Aurora Sky Station in Abisko and the one-of-a-kind ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjarvi near Kiruna. 

Yellowknife, Canada

The capital city of Canada’s Northwest Territories, Yellowknife considers itself the “best place in the world to view the aurora borealis” and it’s hard to argue as the destination’s unrivaled combination of high latitude and long, clear winter nights make it a no-brainer for aurora chasers looking to increase their odds of experiencing a show from November to April.

Yukon Territory, Canada

Canada’s Yukon Territory boasts ideal conditions for northern lights viewing, most importantly providing visitors with the dark clear winter skies necessary to witness the natural wonder. Enhance your experience by watching while you soak in a relaxing natural spring at the Takhini Hot Pools in Whitehorse. 

Churchill, Canada

One of the world’s most coveted destinations among wildlife enthusiasts, Churchill is equally as appealing to northern lights chasers whether they’re viewing from the Churchill Northern Studies Centre or the comfort of an Aurora Dome.

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Head to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula this winter. Here, far from the city lights and closer to the auroral oval, you’ll have an excellent chance to watch the northern lights dance over Lake Superior. Headlands International Dark Sky Park in Mackinaw City is a popular spot for visitors hoping to catch a glimpse of the hard-to-predict phenomenon.

Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania

Northern Pennsylvania’s Cherry Springs State Park is one of the few places you can spot the northern lights in the contiguous U.S. The remote destination, which is located about four hours northeast of Pittsburgh, is beloved by stargazers for its dark skies providing phenomenal views of the polar lights, Milky Way, planets and much more.

Greenland

The northern lights can be seen from every part of Greenland. Kangerlussuaq is an unbeatable setting for viewing the aurora borealis but cities like Nuuk and Tasiilaq are also superb options for travelers seeking to do more than just hunt down the colorful night sky.

Murmansk, Russia

Located on the Kola Peninsula north of the Arctic Circle, the port city of Murmansk is a popular destination for skiing, snowboarding, culture and experiencing the northern lights when the conditions are right from September through March. The nearby village of Teriberka is another excellent locale for viewing the aurora borealis.
 

Estonia

The northern lights are known as “virmalised” in Estonian and visitors to the Northern European nation will have a decent chance of experiencing it for themselves. One of the better places to catch a dazzling light show is Lahemaa National Park just east of the capital city of Tallinn.

Source: Read Full Article