5 Reasons Why You Need to See the Magical Northern Lights in Your Lifetime
The Northern Lights are one of the most awe-inspiring natural phenomena in the world. Documented throughout time in movies, books and art, they symbolise the magical mysticism of the far Northern Hemisphere.
We’ve put together the best times to visit, where you should visit, and what else there is to see in the areas lucky enough to be blessed with this stunning natural feature. And we’ve listed just 5 of the many reasons you should make the time to go see the Northern Lights in your lifetime.
When should you go to see the Northern Lights?
Part of the elusiveness of the Northern Lights comes from the fact that it is impossible to predict if they will appear or not any closer than two hours before the event. Therefore, no matter when or where you go, there’s never any guarantee that you’re definitely going to see them. However, there are certain times of the year and certain places where your chances are much higher of catching a glimpse!
The Earth’s Sun goes through an activity cycle every 11 years that sees it pass through stages of Solar Maximum (highest solar activity) and Solar Minimum (lowest solar activity). The last Solar Maximum occurred in January of 2014, and the Aurora Borealis is known to remain active for several years either side of this stage.
January to March are the most popular months for hunting for the Northern Lights, as they bring long, dark nights and beautiful snowfall that looks amazing with the coloured reflection. And in order to see the Northern Lights, the sky must be dark. Due to some areas of the Northern Hemisphere not seeing the sun for more than three to four hours a day at certain times of year, this means you could be seeing the Northern Lights at 4 p.m., 11 p.m., or even 9 a.m.!
Where should you go to see the Northern Lights?
Again, as a natural phenomenon, the Aurora Borealis is very unpredictable and alluringly mystical, meaning there is no ‘absolute best place’ to see it. However, the Aurora Band is most frequently visible in Northern Scandinavia between 66°N and 69°N (called the ‘Aurora Zone’). The band stretches across Sweden and Finland – and both of these beautiful countries are visited on our Northern Lights, Ice Hotels and Huskies Tour.
Why you should visit the Northern Lights
1.They’re the basis of Inuit legend and superstition
There are many myths and beliefs that are based on the cultural importance of the Northern Lights, including one being that the Northern Lights are the dead dancing up a storm in the beautiful night sky.
Seeing the Northern Lights could give you more insight and understanding into ancient tradition. The Albatross Tours Northern Lights, Ice Hotels and Huskies Tour visits the cultural centre of the traditional Finnish Sami people, to learn about their way of living and their relationship with the Northern Lights.
2. Experience some of the most amazing weather in the world
The weather in the Arctic is much like the Aurora Borealis – completely unpredictable, but also jaw-droppingly beautiful. One moment you could have crystal clear blue winter skies, and the next there’s a flurry of snow falling dramatically onto the landscape.
The weather here is like no other place in the world, and is almost as much a part of the experience as seeing the Northern Lights themselves. So remember to take a warm coat along!
3. Experience a husky or reindeer tour while you’re there
Further diving into the authentic culture of the area you’re in, there’s no better way to travel around Northern Lights territory than in a sled being pulled by either husky or reindeer. This is the traditional way of travel for the Sami people in Finland (and other peoples’ through Scandinavia), and it’s pretty unrivalled when it comes to the fun factor!
You’ll make furry best friends with your team of sled dogs or reindeer, and being at one with them while you experience this natural phenomenon is an experience you will never forget.
4. Try your hand at Northern Lights photography
Although some people prefer to simply stare up at the sky and let the beautiful colours of the Northern Lights wash over them, if you’re a photography enthusiast or want to capture more lasting memories, why not try your hand at photographing the show? However, it can be pretty tricky to capture the Northern Lights to their best effect on camera, so you may need to do some research before testing your photography skills and unleashing your creativity.
Or, if there is a more skilled photographer on your tour, take the time to ask them if they would mind sharing their photos with you once the tour is over. It’s a great way to keep in touch with the new friends you’ve made!
5. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience
We believe that seeing the Northern Lights is one of the most magical experiences you can have on our planet. People travel from all over the world aiming to get a glimpse, and have reported that their stunning beauty (like coloured ribbons dancing across the sky) is a sight you never forget – and that it really puts life into perspective.
If you’re interested in chasing after a magical Aurora Borealis experience, why not explore our Northern Lights, Ice Hotels and Huskies Tour? It’s an amazing way to see all the Arctic has to offer in one authentic, extraordinary holiday.