Happy Thursday Hidden Gem Travel community! With only a bit over a week until Christmas and just over two until the New Year’s festivities, life is extra busy and hopefully festive for you. I’ll be spending time with family from near and far this year and also gearing up for the busy season that we in the travel industry call “wave season” which lasts from January – March each year. If you’re hoping to take a trip in 2022, reach out to me sooner rather than later. The easiest and quickest way to start the process is to schedule a call at www.hiddengemtravelconsulting.com/contact
Speaking of the new year, on January 2nd the long winter in the northeast will be upon us which is always a time to think about our goals for the new year to come. One travel bucket list check for many people is seeing the Northern Lights. Is this jaw-dropping natural wonder on your must-see list one day?
My partners at Nordic Luxury specialize in explorations of Iceland, Greenland, Faroe Islands, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Sweden – and optimizing your Northern Lights experience. Seeing the Northern Lights on your trip can be unpredictable so trusting your bucket list experience to a highly knowledgeable company is key. Your guide will monitor conditions and make sure you’re ready when the lights are at their most beautiful.
Read on for the scoop on how and where you can see the majestic Northern Lights!
Where can you see the Northern Lights?
The Northern Lights are found in the “aurora zone” in the Northern Hemisphere. The area is located about 2,000-3,000km from the magnetic pole, at a latitude of 66 to 69 degrees north, or around and above the Arctic circle.
The closer you are to this region, the better your odds of catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights. The 66th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 66 degrees north of the Earth’s equatorial plane, about 61 km south of the Arctic Circle. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, Europe, Asia, and North America. The northern part of Scandinavia is partly located on the 66th parallel north or above. The parallel stretches through the northernmost part of Iceland, and through Greenland, Norway, Sweden. and Finland.
Even though this far north offers more potential for spotting the northern lights, they can also be seen in southern locations in these same countries throughout the winter months.
What factors affect visibility?
Two main factors affect the visibility of the Northern Lights – weather and light pollution.
Weather: The winter months are the most unpredictable when it comes to weather, and the weather plays a huge part in your chances to spot the lights. The ideal weather conditions for Northern Lights viewing are dark and cloudless skies, conditions that can’t be taken for granted during the Scandinavian winters. Therefore, it’s important to remember that seeing the northern lights can never be guaranteed.
Light Pollution: Seeing the Northern Lights often means escaping city lights and other light pollution. Heading out to nature, far from civilization, gives the best chances of seeing the lights.
When’s the best time to see the Northern Lights?
The Northern lights season is generally considered to be from September to the end of March which are the darkest months of the year.
Due to frequent snowfall and heavy skies in winter, chances to see the Northern lights tend to be slightly less during the very darkest months of December and January. The best time to see the lights are the months of September, October, November, February, and March.
The best time of day to see the Northern Lights is usually around an hour before midnight when the observer is aligned with both the sun and the North Pole. However, the lights tend to be visible between 9 pm and 2 am.
During the new moon, there is also a better chance of seeing the lights as the sky is darker.
Inspired? If learning about how and where you can see the majestic Northern Lights and you’re thinking about this bucket list trip in 2022 or 2023, here’s the link to schedule a chat with me www.hiddengemtravelconsulting.com/contact
Wishing you and your family continued good health,