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The Northern Lights: Chasing Aurora Borealis in Scandinavia

Northern Lights

Hej, Aurora hunters! Are you ready to embark on a celestial journey to witness one of nature’s most spellbinding displays? Pack your warmest gear and join us as we venture into the heart of Scandinavia, chasing the elusive and awe-inspiring Northern Lights. From the remote wilderness of Norway to the icy expanses of Sweden and Finland, we will guide you through the best viewing spots, ideal times, and pro tips for capturing the perfect photo of the Aurora Borealis. Get ready to be dazzled! 

Norway: A Front-Row Seat to the Northern Lights 

With its dramatic fjords and Arctic wilderness, Norway offers some of the best Northern Lights experiences. Tromsø, known as the ‘Gateway to the Arctic,’ is a prime spot. The Lyngen Alps nearby provide a stunning backdrop for the lights. Visit between late September and March when the nights are long and the skies are dark. Don’t miss a visit to the Svalbard Islands, where the Polar Night from November to January gives you a unique chance to see the Aurora during the daytime! 

Sweden: Aurora Watching in Lapland 

Sweden’s Lapland is a winter wonderland and a fantastic location for Northern Lights viewing. Abisko National Park is renowned for its clear skies, making it an ideal spot. The Aurora Sky Station here offers an unmatched viewing experience. For the ultimate adventure, consider staying in the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi, where even your dreams will be tinged with the glow of the Aurora. 

Finland: Lights Over the Land of a Thousand Lakes 

Finland offers a magical Northern Lights experience with its unique landscapes. In Finnish Lapland, locations like Rovaniemi and Luosto are great for Aurora sightings, especially from September to March. For a truly immersive experience, stay in a glass igloo in Kakslauttanen or Levi, where you can gaze at the dancing lights from the comfort of your bed. 

Capturing the Aurora: Photography Tips 

Capturing the Northern Lights is a dream for many photographers. Use a tripod to stabilize your camera in long exposures. A wide-angle lens is ideal for capturing the vastness of the sky. Play with exposure times (usually between 15-30 seconds), and remember to keep ISO settings as low as possible to avoid grainy images. And most importantly, be patient – the Aurora is elusive but worth the wait. 

Sustainable Aurora Tourism 

As you chase this natural wonder, remember to tread lightly. Choose eco-friendly accommodations, respect the natural environment, and consider using local guides who can provide expertise and insights into the local culture and history. 

Sustainable Aurora Tourism: Embracing the Northern Lights Responsibly 

As we seek the ethereal beauty of the Northern Lights, it’s crucial to embrace sustainable practices that ensure we leave minimal footprints in these pristine landscapes. Here are locations and lodging suggestions in Scandinavia that align with eco-friendly principles, offering a responsible yet unforgettable Aurora-chasing experience. 

Norway: Eco-Friendly Arctic Adventures 

  • Tromsø: Consider staying at the Malangen Resort, known for its sustainable approach to tourism. Located in a remote fjord, this resort offers a perfect blend of luxury and nature, with opportunities to view the Northern Lights in a responsible setting. They also organize eco-friendly activities like dog sledding and snowshoe hiking.
  • Base yourself at the Svalbard Hotel, which practices sustainability through energy-efficient building design and local food sourci It’s an ideal spot for experiencing the Polar Night and the unique daytime Northern Lights.

Sweden: Lapland’s Green Retreats 

  • Abisko: The STF Abisko Mountain Station is an excellent choice for eco-conscious travelers. They emphasize sustainability through energy conservation, waste reduction, and promoting local culture. Plus, it’s located near the Aurora Sky Station, offering some of the clearest views of the Northern Lights.
  • Jukkasjärvi: The Ice Hotel, while a unique and luxurious experience, also operates with a commitment to the environment. Built afresh from ice and snow each winter, it melts back into the river in spring, leaving no trace. Their use of renewable energy and local materials makes it a sustainable choic

Finland: Responsible Aurora Viewing in Lapland 

  • Rovaniemi: Arctic TreeHouse Hotel uniquely blends luxury, comfort, and sustainability. Their suites are designed for minimal environmental impact, offering panoramic views of the Northern Lights watching right from your bed.
  • Kakslauttanen: The Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort’s famous glass igloos are an incredible way to experience the Aurora and are also built with sustainability in mind. The resort emphasizes local sourcing, energy efficiency, and preserving the pristine nature of Finnish Lapl

Practical Tips for Sustainable Aurora Tourism 

  1. Choose Low-Impact Activities: Opt for activities like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or guided nature walks, which have minimal environmental impact.
  2. Support Local Communities: Engage with local guides and businesses, and consider purchasing local handicrafts and products as souvenirs.
  3. Be Environmentally Conscious: Follow guidelines for responsible travel in natural areas. This includes staying on marked paths, respecting wildlife, and adhering to Leave No Trace princi
  4. Educate Yourself: Learn about the local culture and the environment. Understanding the places and communities you visit enriches your experience and fosters a deeper appreciation of the destination.

By choosing these eco-friendly accommodations and practicing sustainable tourism, you’re not just chasing the Northern Lights but also contributing to preserving these magnificent natural environments for future generations to enjoy. 

Chasing the Northern Lights in Scandinavia is not just a trip; it’s a pilgrimage to witness one of the most mesmerizing phenomena on Earth. It’s a journey that fills the soul with awe and the heart with an unspoken connection to the cosmos. So, bundle up, set your camera, and let the skies of Scandinavia tell you their ancient, starry story. 


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Jonathan Ogden

Jonathan Ogden

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