If you are an avid traveler, you will understand why so many people are obsessed with seeing the Northern Lights at least once in their lifetime. This awe inspiring light show happens when solar particles cross into the earth’s atmosphere, where they release burning colored gas that can be seen as waves of light in the sky. Now, the only problem is where to find them.
Stewart Island, New Zealand
Some people really like to feel like they are at the edge of the world when they experience the Northern Lights. You can do that in Stewart Island, NZ, with only 400 inhabitants in sight.
Northern Highlands, Scotland
Even in unlikely places you can get a chance to see the display. If you are on a highland tour make sure you make a stop in the most northern part of the country as well. It’s worth the journey.
Oulanka National Park, Finland
This outstanding national park is located in the northern tip of Finland, a place not so easy to get to. But with its beautiful rural landscapes, it might just be worth the trip.
This is known as a hot spot for seeing the Aurora Borealis. There is a 70KM long lake that creates a ‘hole’ in the night sky, allowing visitors to be almost guaranteed of a glimpse.
If you are keen to stay in the US, you just need to hop on a plane to Alaska. Get away from the city and you are likely to catch a glimpse of the lights in the sky.
Yes, it is as exotic as it sounds. But this Greenland is one of the best places to really feel you are living the Northern Lights. Due to its remoteness, it’s mainly visited by the experience travelers only.
Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Canada
You don’t always need to head to northern Europe for the lights, another good option is in Canada. This cute town has lively original inhabitants that will keep you company in dark nights.
Svalbard is such a great place to watch the display it was even used in the popular novel “Northern Lights”. Well if there is a novel written about it, it must be spectacular.
To experience the Northern Lights in style you have to make the journey to the heart of Russia; Siberia doesn’t get its cold name for nothing. Make sure you take extra warm clothes.
Faroe Islands, Denmark
This small group of 18 islands is located between Scotland and Denmark, well known for Viking tales and seals. You can get here by ferry or even by helicopter, though the scenery is just breathtaking, even if you don’t see the lights.
This village is the home to the first ice hotel, making it even more worth the effort to come here. If it’s out of your budget there are many other places to stay that offer great night trips into the Swedish wilderness.
Ok, so you might have to venture out of the capital city of Iceland to see the Northern Lights but making it your base is a good idea. There are many tours you can take from the city and return to a nice hot spring.
Pennsylvania Cherry Springs State Park, USA
You might even be able to see the Lights from the comfort of your own country! Well that is if you’re based in the US. Apparently there were four sightings in the park in 2014.
You might just want to come here because the name sounds like something out of a fairytale, or you might be coming here for the snow. Either way you are going to have an experience of a lifetime.
If you’re not scared of the name, you might want to head over to Yellowknife next time you’re visiting Canada for the winter. Many regard this small mining town as a goldmine for seeing the lights. Pun intended.
In the country’s most southern town, you will find a rare gem of a place to watch the Northern Lights. However, it is extremely rural and isolated so be sure to bring a book and a thermos.
We can’t have a list without mentioning Norway more than once. In the middle of winter this town experiences the Lights for days on end. You can even jump on a boat to get to darker spots in the area.