The Northern Lights are one of nature’s greatest shows that you can view. Pictures and videos of this light show can be beautiful and impressive, but there is nothing like seeing the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) for yourself. The Northern Lights are best viewed at latitudes between 65 and 72 degrees. Solar particles collide with atmospheric gases and these six sites are among the best Northern Lights destinations.
The key to viewing the Northern Lights in Alaska is to move far away from the metropolitan area of Fairbanks and closer to Denali and the Yukon territory. This is where you will get the best view of the lights and get the brightest exposure. When viewing the Aurora Borealis in Alaska, you should realize that the further north you go in the summer, the more difficult it is view the lights. Staying below 55 degrees latitude will allow you to view the Northern Lights throughout the summer.
You can get some of the most memorable and picturesque views of the Northern Lights by crossing the border and heading north to Canada. Heading toward Lake Superior in Ontario and Canada’s tundra will give you prime viewing locations. Fodor’s travel guide recommends the town of Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory to see the lights as they dance across the sky. You can usually see the lights from any spot north of the U.S. border, but the further you go into the wilderness, the more you will see.
You are not limited to North America to get the most awe-inspiring views of the Northern Lights. You will want to head to Norway’s northern-most cities to get the best views of the shimmering green lights. Fodor’s recommends the town of Tromso because there is plenty of activity to keep you busy during the day as you wait for the light show at night. One of the best ways to view the Aurora Borealis in Norway is to take a night cruise along the fjords and wait for the lights to appear.
Head to the Swedish Laplands for some of the most unique views of the Northern Lights. Fodor’s explains that the area around Abisko is “scientifically proven” to be a superb viewing spot because of the Tornetrask Lake that creates the Blue Hole of the Abisko. When you look at the Northern Lights from this location, the sky above the lake always remains clear and it makes them look spectacular.
If you ever get to Iceland, you will most likely head to the capital city of Reykjavik. By traveling north of that city, you will come to one of the best viewing sites. The Pingvellir National Park is a wide-open plane area and it allows you to view the lights move across the sky as if they were racing.
The cloudy and foggy nights of Scotland make viewing the Northern Lights a bit of a crap shoot, but the bright lights are on display during clear nights in the winter months. You will see purplish lights surrounded by a bright green frame on the best nights in Scotland. Some of the best viewing locations in Scotland include Aberdeen, the Northern Highlands and the Isle of Skye.