Travel News

Best places to see the Northern Lights 2024

Simon Calder’s Travel

One of the world’s most famous natural sights, the Northern Lights attract people to areas around the Arctic in hopes of seeing the rare display.

Caused by the redirection of particles from the sun that hit the Earth’s atmosphere, the stunning atmospheric phenomenon is seen as the Holy Grail of skywatching and mostly occurs in areas around Norway, Finland, Sweden and Greenland.

The lights can be seen in other parts of the world; the UK has even had sightings in Scotland, Merseyside and Wales this winter during a period of heightened geomagnetic activity.

Unfortunately, such sightings are rare and most people wanting to see the aurora borealis (the scientific name for the phenomenon, coined by Galileo Galilei) will have to travel further north.

To help you in your quest to see the spectacular light show, we’ve put together a list of the best places for seeing the Northern Lights and when to go to maximise your chances.

Read more on travel inspiration:

Tromso, Norway

There’s a high probability of seeing the lights in Tromso

(Getty Images)

Tromso sits at the centre of the Northern Lights’ oval, meaning that the lights can be visible even when activity is low. According to the tourism website, Tromso is “one of the places in the world with the highest probability of seeing the lights”, and there is “always a good chance of seeing” them between September and April.

Temperatures are moderated by the Norwegian Sea and westerly winds, meaning that they are much milder than usual for the latitude, with averages of between 2C and -1C during peak viewing times (compared to Svalbard, where the average January high is -13C).

When to visit Tromso

Your best chance of seeing the lights in Tromso is between September and April, when the skies are dark enough for them to be visible.

Svalbard, Norway

The lights shine over Svalbard

(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

This Norwegian archipelago is home to more polar bears than people and experiences harsh winters, with the sun not properly rising over the horizon between mid-November and mid-January.

While the islands do not experience total darkness (and therefore you aren’t guaranteed to see the lights), the main island, Spitsbergen, hosts several different types of expedition to give you the best chance of catching the phenomenon. If you’re lucky, you may even see some polar wildlife such as…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at The Independent Travel…