Published by Johnny Ward on July 10, 2012
Bucket list time folks! After going to Finland and failing to catch the lights, I’m booked to go to Iceland in December for attempt number 2, now I’m researching every last eventuality in the hope that I can finally see my dream sky!
Seeing the northern lights, or the Aurora Borealis, in Norway can vary in months, local weather forecasts and time of the year, but the best time to see it is when the nights are dark because it provides a perfect backdrop for the lights to be visible.
The best month of the years to see them are September, October, February and March when the weather is not too cold so you won’t freeze yourself while waiting for it to show and when you want to see it in the months of November, December and January, those months offer the darkest nights but also a death-inducing freezing weather temperature. Cloudy skies offer low chances of seeing perfect visibility for the lights. Also, avoiding the full moon is a must because it offers too much light in the night sky. It is best to venture out when the air is crisp and clear. Checking lunar calendars and local weather forecasts might help you to know when the best time is to head out for the northern lights.
In Norway, a chance of seeing the perfection of the lights is heading to the most northern part of the country which has the same latitude as Alaska, Greenland, and Siberia. Finnmark is the most northern county, where you can see the Sami aborigines of Norway and its capital is Karasjok. It’s a great spot to start searching.
Where to stay to see the best of the Northern Lights…
Engholm Husky Design Lodge which is located 6km outside of Karasjok. This place is a traditional Norwegian retreat. It has lovely homemade furnishings with an open fire for guests to gather around. It houses 40-50 trained hunting dogs that are used for sled tours for guests and has wood heated saunas and outdoor hot tubs.
Bodø hostel is located in Mount Røvnik. Just walking distance from the train station. It also has a great view of the city and has a fair price as breakfast is included.
Northcape Guesthouse, has rooms at reasonable prices. This guesthouse is 30km from the Northcape peninsula, where you can enjoy front row seat for the best northern lights. Surrounding the guesthouse is an opportunity to fish and haunt.
As Scandinavia is well known to be expensive to travel, it is best to stay at a Norwegian hostel to save up the travel budget for the northern lights.
Northern Lights watching in Norway is a once in a lifetime, so I know Scando is bloody expensive, but how do you put a price on this?! You can’t, and I’m gonna chase it until I see it. Happy travels!