Solar Maximise Your Chance at Seeing the Aurora Borealis!
Sian Pages – Travel Planner
As our sun approaches the pinnacle of its approximately 11-year Solar cycle, scientists anticipate, that the Solar Maximum in 2024-25 is poised to deliver the most frequent and awe-inspiring Northern Lights displays witnessed in over a decade.
It’s why I have my own ‘Northern Lights Expedition’ booked for this year.
Where Are the Best Locations to See Them?
The northern regions of Norway are delicately cradled within the Arctic Circle, and the extended winter nights create ideal conditions for observing the mesmerising auroras.
Tromsø stands out as a favoured hub for avid Northern Lights enthusiasts, with the possibility of catching glimpses of the lights even from the town itself.
For those seriously committed to their quest, few places rival Svalbard in providing optimal conditions for spotting the lights. As the world’s northernmost year-round settlement, Svalbard remains in continuous darkness from November to February, offering unparalleled opportunities for aurora sightings.
Stay in Svart Hotel – opening in 2024, this will be world’s first energy-positive hotel. This beautiful, circular hotel, which stands in the shallows of a fjord, will be off-grid and zero waste – and its Arctic Circle location makes it a good bet for seeing the Northern Lights during your stay.
Escape to the untamed, rural landscapes of Greenland, where light pollution is minimal, enhancing your chances of encountering the Northern Lights.
During the winter months, Greenland offers a promising backdrop for aurora spotting. Choose Nuuk, the capital, for a glimpse of the lights, or consider Kangerlussuaq and Sisimiut as ideal bases for your adventure.
However, if you’re up for the challenge and eager to embrace the biting cold, a trip to the stunning Ilulissat in northern Greenland is a must.
Stay at the oldest lodge in World of Greenland’s special collection of lodges. Here, at Glacier Lodge Eqi, you can enjoy a unique chance to witness a calving glacier up close.
It’s an experience that can help you forget about everyday life, disconnect, and be fully present in the moment.
Reykjavik attracts avid aurora enthusiasts, with many choosing to establish their base in the city before venturing into the nighttime darkness on guided tours or in rental cars.
The captivating lights are visible even within the city, particularly in the Oskjuhlid forest.
However, increasing your chances of witnessing the auroras is more likely when you venture away from the city lights. Regions such as the Westfjords and North Iceland offer extended hours of darkness and statistically lower occurrences of cloud cover.
Stay in Hotel Ranga – experience the tranquility of Rural Hotel Ranga in southern Iceland, where you can relish the Aurora in absolute darkness free from light pollution. Enjoy riverside hot tubs, and if you desire, request a unique wake-up call to be alerted every time the Northern Lights grace the sky.
Explore the enchanting realm of Swedish Lapland, a perfect playground for seeking the aurora, offering a plethora of wholesome outdoor activities to keep you engaged during the wait.
To maximise your chances of witnessing the Northern Lights, make your way to the Aurora Sky Station in Abisko National Park. Kiruna, the northernmost city in the country, serves as an ideal base, along with the nearby village of Jukkasjärvi, known for the iconic Ice Hotel.
Stay in the Icehotel – in your quest to witness the Northern Lights in Sweden, you’ll find numerous captivating accommodations, but none as iconic as The Ice Hotel.
This renowned establishment, meticulously crafted from snow and ice each winter, offers a distinctive overnight experience and stands out as an exceptional location for observing the aurora.
Finnish Lapland showcases the mesmerising Northern Lights for an impressive 200 nights annually.
To witness this celestial spectacle, plan your visit to this northern region during winter, when the 24-hour summer daylight transitions into nearly constant night.
Popular destinations for aurora-spotting getaways include the remote Utsjoki in the far north, Kilpisjärvi in the west, and the skiing town of Levi. In the central Lapland resort of Luosto, the enchanting tradition of ringing bells accompanies the appearance of the aurora.
Stay in the Arctic Treehouse – if the idea of braving the chilly night outdoors in hopes of catching a glimpse of the aurora sends shivers down your spine, consider an alternative. The Arctic Treehouse hotel offers suites equipped with floor-to-ceiling windows positioned at the foot of the bed, allowing you to appreciate the view and witness the Northern Lights comfortably from beneath a cozy duvet.
Get in touch
If you’d like to discuss future travel plans you have in mind, get in contact with our in-house travel consultant, Sian Pages, on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sian will be more than happy to spend time talking you through your options; remembering her service is delivered at no cost to clients and professional connections of Longhurst.