I've had a sudden hankering to see the Northern Lights. I really should be doing some work but instead have spent the morning researching them! So here's the beginning of many questions:-
Does anyone have a recommendation of the best places to stay to see the lights? (I've researched the Arctic Circle so I don't mean which country etc, I mean a good town/city and a good hostel) Obviously this is, as usual, on as small a budget as possible! Oh, and I'm talking a short trip, no more than a week really.
Looking forward to any help,
P.S, I know Alaska is also a Northern Lights location, but I'm thinking its probably going to be a bit expensive to go all that way (from the UK)
Tromso in northern Norway could be a decent one. Also Rovaniemi in northern Finland, to name a few bigger places.
I don't know though, if a bigger city is just as good to see the northern lights as for example the countryside of northern Scandinavia. At least there are more hostel choices and some things to do during the long and cold and dark nights...
If you want it cheap regarding flights you might want to try Iceland, there are cheap flights from London to Reykjavik with Icelandair. I think tickets to northern Scandinavia are more expensive and involves a stopover probably in Oslo or other cities.
I was researching Greenland a couple of days ago and it seems like an ideal place to see them.
Of course, it does require travelling to Greenland in the darker months of winter Utrecht's suggestion to find a relatively sizable town where you can see them is probably better really. Greenland might be a bit dull otherwise. Unless you like playing ice golf of course (no kidding, they have tournaments with red balls to make sure you can see them).
Ice golf sounds awesome!! A friend of mine went to Norway years ago, she didn't manage to see them while she was there but she went dog sledding which sounds really cool! So thats ice golf and dog sledding on the list too!
I'm not really fussed about it being a big city or not, although I suppose it would need to be reachable by public transport. My only quarm with a big city is would the street lights not damage the view of the lights (assuming I would be fortunate enough to see them) in the same way that if you live in a city you cant really see the stars?
Obviously this is all hyperthetical anyway, but I guess if I could do it I'd be thinking of going late March, early April.
The best time to visit the northern lights are from half October until the end of March. So I would not go much later. I guess late Februay, early March is a good time when the days are getting a bit longer so you can actually enjoy some daylight as well.
The best time of the day for seeing the lights is between 6 and 12 at night (10 PM is the best time!) and from Tromso there are regular daily trips, starting late afternoon. I've read that if you stay 3-5 days you are pretty much sure you will see it. These trips go to the countryside and out at the sea(!) with the Hurtigruten (min cruise of about 6 hours), so cities are not your best bet.
These trips cost about €60-65 (about 45 GBP). Also there are loads of other trips, like dogsledding.
Actually, Tromso is better than more northerly places like Svalbard or the Northcape, because it is on the ring of northernlight from the magnetic north pole in Greenland.
Also, once every 11 years the solar activity is much higher and the next year will be 2011.
Check this Norwegian website for more info
[ Edit: Edited on Dec 14, 2007, at 2:25 AM by Utrecht ]
Thanks I'll have a look at that
Plus Norwegian Air fly to Tromso for about £100 return including tax.
Hey, I'd love to see the Northern Light too! :D
I've been doing many research, seeking the best place for me to hunt the light.
So far, i found TROMSO which is the best place on earth to see the light, but also the most expensive!!
Then Lapland, Lapland is cheaper, but..........i don't know where exactly can i stay for a week , and i'm sort of lost....
There is direct flight from London Stanted to Tromso twice a week (Norweigan Air). It would be convenience for u!
Here are the information i've been collected from last year.
There is a rumour or true?? which says that there is a Aurora Hunter in Norway, name KS, "He is relentless and if theres any chance of seeing the lights, he will make sure it happens."