Experience the Aurora Borealis
Witnessing this magnificent light show with various colours dancing and twirling before your eyes, is nothing short of amazing, each display is totally unique and definitely a life-changing event.
Let us first start to explain what causes the Aurora Borealis - When charged particles from the sun strike atoms in Earth's atmosphere, they cause electrons in the atoms to move to a higher-energy state. When the electrons drop back to a lower energy state, they release a photon: light. This process creates the beautiful aurora, also known as the Northern Lights. Truly a dazzling natural phenomenon that can be displayed in a variety of locations across the globe. The name Aurora Borealis comes from the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and Boreas is the Greek name for the north wind.
Norway has no shortage of prime vantage points. First and foremost is Svalbard, a string of Arcticislands midway between continental Norway and the North Pole. Because the archipelago experiences polar night, or perpetual darkness, between mid-November and February, it offers double the opportunity to see the lights and is the only inhabited place in the world where you can experience the phenomenon during the day. Finland has around 50 nights per year of perpetual darkness and a vast array of extraordinary ways to watch this natural display, one of them being one of the most isolated lodges in Finland where the sky and your surroundings become a 360º theatre.
With minimal light pollution and near-perfect visibility in some places, Greenlandprovides exceptional odds for viewing milky-green lights. A three or four night stay during the aurora season (September to the beginning of April) offers the best odds of spotting the lights. Or if you are in for more adventure, let us take you to Kangerlussuaq- this former U.S. military base near the airport counts northern lights sightings 300 nights per year, and it hosts aurora excursions that include a tour to witness the phenomenon and an overnight stay on the Greenland Ice Sheet (an experience typically reserved solely for research and expedition purposes).
Combine the Northern lights with a unique adventure through the land of fire and ice, Iceland. From November through mid-March, where it will be short on sunlight, but days are still packed with adventures, like whale watching in the fjords, astro-touring the celestial events and fat biking groomed trails through breath-taking valleys. Around this period, it provides front row seats to the view the ghostly Northern Lights. Polar bears and the beluga whales have planted the Manitoba town of Churchill on the map – it is the easiest place to access that guarantees sightings. Also, an exceptional spot as it experiences aurora activity more than 300 nights per year.
Observing the Northern Lights is truly the cherry on top to an otherwise amazing adventure. Voyages & Journeys provide specialised Aurora Borealis adventures among the most exciting destinations, but we should all bear in mind that it is are a natural phenomenon and thus elusive and unpredictable.