Aurora borealis – A sky spectacle
Happy new year! What better time to get some deep knowledge of nature's very own fireworks: the nordic lights.
Witnessing the northern lights is an experience you may find on many people's wish list. The fantastic colour bursts of green, blue and purple taking over a star-studded winter night sky is a sight few of us would want to miss. The northern lights – also referred to as the polar lights or its Latin name, aurora borealis, is a naturally occurring light phenomenon that can be seen in high altitude regions at night-time. The light phenomenon itself is a display of electrically charged particles that have collided and resulted in ionisation which in turn displays light in different colours and forms. The result is a breathtaking canvas in the high-altitude regions of the world which has thousands of people travelling up north for the chance to catch a glimpse.
In Scandinavia, the colourful sky phenomenon can be seen in the nordic regions of the countries. Activities such as walking tours, secluded lodges and even sky lifts designed to offer the best views of the enchanting green lights across the sky can be found in several nordic spots. This year, why not celebrate the new year with nature's very own firework? We have listed four unique northern lights outdoor activities and places in Sweden, Finland and Norway for the adventure-seeking aurora borealis aficionado looking to make this new year celebration very special.
Aurora Sky Station – Abisko National Park (Sweden)
The Abisko National Park has been called the world’s most illuminating experience and is also considered as one of the most optimal places to get a great view of the northern lights. Close to the Abisko tourist station is the Aurora Sky Station, a place you reach with a 20-minute chairlift ride and in warming clothes and shoes provided by the sky station staff. The sky station has a watchtower where thousands of people flock every year to view the epic dancing lights.
Lofoten island beaches (Norway)
Love the beach? While the beaches of the Lofoten islands might not provide the traditional holiday elements they do give a dazzling view of the northern lights in the midwinter season. Surrounded by the impressive Norwegian mountains, the archipelago of Lofoten offers not only wide and clear skies but also boat and kayak excursions around the islands.
Máttaráhkká – Northern Lights Lodge (Sweden)
Located on the outskirts of Kiruna in the northernmost area of Sweden is the small family-driven lodge Máttaráhkká with crackling fireplaces and a spectacular view of the snow-covered Kiruna mountains. The lodge is located away from any light pollution and offers outdoor activities designed to catch the nordic lights such as snowmobile excursions and night-time barbeques under the bare skies.
Aurora Borealis adventure – Lapland Safaris (Finland)
Combine your love of trekking with a history tour and an active search of the northern lights by foot in Rovaniemi, a Finnish town located on the arctic circle and the official hometown of Santa Claus! Lapland Safaris offers excursions by foot for polar light hunters of all ages, with a picnic and guided tour of the surrounding area and its history.