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When to see the Northern Lights

Jakten_NordlysetAlso nicknamed the “tricky lady”, knowing as much as possible about the northern lights beforehand increases your chances of spotting it.

Read our top ten tips for seeing the northern lights.

Find and book your perfect northern lights package.

Struggling to find the perfect northern lights holiday? Just fill in the customised booking form from Nordic Visitor and they will help you with your booking!

Best time of year

Heading to Northern Norway in June hoping to see northern lights will be a bad idea – the midnight sun is up all night, and it doesn’t even get dark!

 

Whilst the midnight sun can be just as magical, if you’re after the northern lights you are best to go in the darker months between October and March.

 

If you are lucky you can see northern lights as early as August and September, but it is quite rare.

The Nocturnal Period

Much of Northern Norway will have a nocturnal period, meaning that the sun does not rise above the horizon at all in 24 hours.

In Tromso the sun is not seen in town between the 22nd of November and the 20th of January. The return of the sun is celebrated on the 21st of January with special ‘sun-buns’ and hot chocolate.

 

Even if the sun does not come up, you still get some light for a couple of hours in the daytime. And although it might sound really depressing, it is actually quite a cozy time of year. People seem to go out more (possibly drink more), socialise and make more of an effort to keep cheerful in these months.

Best time of day

Although much of the day seems like night in the wintertime far north, you cannot see northern lights in the daytime.

 

As the earth spins, Tromso comes into the northern lights zone from about 6pm and stays there until 2am. You’re most likely to see it between 10pm and midnight, when there is the most activity.

 

There are some local differences, but keep these times as a general idea.

Best conditions

There is no point in tiring your neck searching the skies for northern lights if it is overcast.

 

To see the aurora it has to be clear, or at least partially clear. But the weather changes quickly up north, and there can be large local differences because of the many mountains, so don’t give up all hope just because the forecast is against you.

 

Many people say there are more northern lights when it is cold. This is probably just because it generally colder when the sky is clear – as clouds give some ‘insulation’. But a cold weather forecast is often a good indicator.

 

Keep in mind, that even if everything is perfect, the skies are clear and the stars a shining bright on a cold winter’s night – the Aurora is not called the "tricky lady"for nothing. Even with all the boxes ticked, you’re still not guaranteed to see the lights – but then again – If it was that simple, it wouldn’t be that special!

 

Check the daily northern lights forecast.

Struggling to find the perfect northern lights holiday? Just fill in the customised booking form from Nordic Visitor and they will help you with your booking!

 

 

 

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