There is no other natural phenomenon as striking as the Aurora Borealis or northern lights in our beautiful world. The dance of these lights on a clear sky is caused by the crash of magnetosphere charged particles and solar wind with the thermosphere (atmosphere’s high altitude). All science apart, the northern lights are something that is sure to take your breath away.
Check out some of the best places in the world to experience the northern lights during the evenings and some exciting activities/places to explore during the day.
Where to see the northern lights in 2020?
1. Reykjavik – Iceland
Located at close proximity to the Arctic Circle, Iceland is one of the best places on earth to witness this incredible phenomenon. The country gives you the opportunity for adventures like snowmobiling or super-jeep safaris while chasing the northern lights.
During the day, head out to explore the Golden Circle, and the island’s beautiful waterfalls. Soak up yourself in the warm Blue Lagoon or have the cold waters from the Hvita River splash your face as you go white water rafting. Some must-see’s are the Jokulsarlon lagoon Vatnajökull glacier.
Best time to visit : November to February
2. Svalbard – Norway
Scientifically speaking, the best place in Europe for northern lights is Svalbard, which is a string of Arctic Islands in the Barents Sea (midway between Norway and the North Pole). The reason is as these island are located so hideously in the north, it registers aurora activity with the slightest whiff of geomagnetic activity.
During the day, activities include hiking, kayaking, exploring glacier caves and snowmobile/dog-sled safaris are predominantly done by most of the tourists. The Forlandet National Park is recognized for its fill of northern Stone Seals and common guillemot (Auk). While you are at it, a Norway road trip, perhaps?
Best time to visit : November to January
3. Alberta – Canada
Home to the world’s two largest dark sky preserves, you can countless constellations and the backbone of the Milky Way at the Jasper National Park and Wood Buffalo National Park. This apparition in the sky is soon joined by others to become a pulsating chorus of multicoloured light, waving, melting away, regrouping.
The day time is best explored by hiking and trekking along the Banff National Park and the Canadian Rockies. Don’t miss out on taking a kayak on hire and rowing down the pristine emerald blue waters of the Moraine Lake.
Best time to visit : September to April
4. Lapland – Finland
Positioned in Inari, Lapland – Ivalo is a beautiful village from where travelers can admire the northern lights. Enjoy the spectacular scenery by hiring an Aurora Hunter if you want to find the perfect spot to view the lights.
Or better. . . how does dozing off under the lights sound? Rent an Igloo at the Kakslauttanen Village at the Saariselka fell area near Inari and marvel the lights through the thermal glass roofs of these igloos, as you are lying in the comfort of your bed. Here’s your perfect Finland itinerary.
Best time to visit: September to March
5. Cherry Springs State Park – USA
Isolated from large cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, this park is specifically known for its darkest skies. Classified as a Gold Level International Dark Sky Park, the lights occurring during the summer paints the skies with a brilliant shades of pink, purple and red.
The park has 30 camping sites which can accommodate tents or an RV. The snowmobile trail is available for cross-country skiing, backpacking, hiking and mostly attracts nature lovers and wild campers. When the northern lights are not visible, you may have a good chance of viewing the milky way.
Best time to visit : April to December
Did any of the above places get you excited enough to plan your next holiday? Get in touch with Pickyourtrail and before you know it, you will be planning your vacation!
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