The best places to see the Northern Lights in Europe
If there’s one reason why northern Europe should be on everyone’s bucket list, it’s the chance to see the northern lights. This mesmerising blanket of twirling colours can be more easily seen the further north you are and the further away you are from the cities. There’s numerous holiday packages, tours, hotels and also Scandinavian cruises that specialise in helping holidaymakers witness this natural wonder for themselves. Here’s some of the best places to spot them.
1. Svalbard, Norway
This archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole is one of the most northern inhabited islands on the planet. As such, it is one of the best places to witness the northern lights. With the sky almost permanently switched to night-time during the winter months, the chances of the colourful Aurora Borealis shining above are high.
2. Swedish Lapland
Already a popular festive holiday destination with families looking to meet Santa Claus, Swedish Lapland is also a great destination for chasing the northern lights. The Aurora Sky Station in Abisko National Park is one of the best spots if you’re in Lapland for this illuminating performance.
3. Lofoten Islands
What sets the experience of the northern lights in Lofoten apart from the other destinations on this list, is their majestic reflection in the water. Photographers especially rate this location highly because the rugged peaks provide limitless compositional opportunities for dramatic travel photographs. The Lofoten Islands features on Hurtigruten's Classic Round Voyage, where the cruise line is so confident you’ll spot the northern lights that, if you don’t, they will give you another 6 or 7 day Classic Voyage free of charge.
4. Reykjavik, Iceland
While Reykjavik itself has one too many cosmopolitan lights for a clear enough sky, a city break to Reykjavik does provide a gateway to many of the spectacular viewing spots in Iceland. An hour’s drive away from the city and you’ll be viewing the spectacular colours in no time.
5. Tromso, Norway
This northern Norwegian city is where metropolitan lights and the Northern Lights fuse together. Enough of a city that there are plenty of places to keep warm, but also small enough that travellers don’t need to drive for two hours to see the celestial ballet that is the Northern Lights. Saga Cruises sell an itinerary named Northern Lights Adventure which passes through Tromso during its February voyage.
Edited by Morag@BarrheadTravel