This breathtaking natural phenomenon, also known as the aurora borealis, occurs when solar particles collide with atmospheric gasses at the poles. This collision results in an amazing light show where neon hues of green, blue and pink dance across the sky. This light fantastic can be seen from any remote location near the north pole. These places are often beautiful winter landscapes and if you get the chance to be there, you can not only see the majesty of the northern lights, but you can hear them ping and crackle. Here are some of the best places where you can see the northern lights.
Kirkjufell Mountain, Iceland
The northern lights can be seen in most places in Iceland, but in order to see them more clearly its best to travel to Kirkjufell in the north. Here the uniquely shaped Kirkjufell mountain and its many waterfalls provide the perfects backdrop for the northern lights. In the winter the mountain and the surrounding valley are covered in snow, but in spring the green of the landscape almost matches that of the neon northern lights.
About 5 hours’ drive from Kirkjufell is Akureyri which also offers great views and a dramatic landscape, but unlike Kirkjufell, Akureyri is famous for its natural hot springs and visitors can enjoy the warm embrace of the waters while looking up at the night sky. As Akureyri is Iceland’s second most populated town, it has lots of great accommodation and spas.
Deep in the arctic circle and in the heart of Swedish Lapland lies the sleepy national park of Abisko, here amongst the reindeer and at the foot of the nearby mountains you can witness the northern lights. While your nights here may be consumed by stargazing, it’s also a great place for sledding and skiing during the day
In Saariselkä, you can see the northern lights in the night sky for up to eight months of the year. The area also offers rather unique accommodation, with visitors having their pick between log cabins or their very own igloos! During the Christmas season, visitors can also get the chance to go sledding and visit Santa’s house.
Fairbanks, Alaska, United States
Fairbanks Alaska has many hotels and lodges that offer packages to view the northern lights. Unlike other more remote locations where the northern lights can be seen, Fairbanks is also much more accessible for tourists. In addition to the northern lights, in the summer season, visitors can also see the midnight sun where the sun does not set for much of the summer months.