When and where to see the amazing Northern Lights phenomena

Northern Lights is the phenomena of the Polar Nights, which occur in the polar regions. It’s the when the Sun does not appear under the horizon for more than 24 hours. Just above the Arctic circle (66 ° 33 “) this phenomenon occurs twice a year.

Polar Night

The polar night is usually not as dark as a regular night, because the sun is not too low below the horizon and the rays reach higher layers of the atmosphere where they are reflected and return to the Earth. The result is the twilight. Astrologers dived it into three parts: civil polar night, nautical and astronomical.

People living in the Arctic circle have to function normally without the Sun for some days or even months, which is not really easy. Many people fall into depressions or drowning the sorrow in alcohol.

Only animals such as polar bears (especially females) from time to time go into a deep sleep. It can last from a few weeks to seven months. This dormant helps them to go through the tough cold time.

Northern Lights when Polar Night

During the polar night, the Moon becomes the main source of light. Usually it takes 30 days from new moon to new moon. While it the Moon constantly replaces the Sun. And during the polar night full moon remains above the horizon, causing light to be reflected and scattered from its white surface.

Polar night and the polar day occur at the same time in different parts of the world. When the polar day begins at the South pole, the polar night begins at the North pole.

Where to go to search the polar night and the polar day?


Troms is the capital of the Troms region and the largest city in Northern Norway. It is located 350 km away from the Arctic circle. But despite this geographical location, due to the strong influence of the warm Gulf stream, the climate is not harsh. Therefore, Troms is perhaps the best option to spend the polar night or day, especially for beginner tourists. Polar night in Troms lasts from November 27 to January 19, and polar day – from may 19 to July 27.


Finns name polar night as Kaamos. At the weekend Finns come together and organize a kind of parties with the colleagues, classmates, friends. They call it Pikkujoulu, associated with the Christmas Eve.


Murmansk is located in the North of the Russia country. It is relatively close to the Arctic circle. During the polar night there are really beautiful views. Numerous festivals are held during this time.

How to spend this unusual time?

Because the sky is mostly cloudless on polar nights, people spend a lot of time watching the stars and the moon. The lucky ones manage to admire the Northern Lights – one of the most beautiful sights in the world creating by nature.

Sports activities are very popular. The authorities of the polar regions organize games and tournaments on a sled, there are round-the-clock ski slopes, skating rinks, gyms and swimming pools, illuminated almost 24 hours a day.

On the last Sunday of January in the Far North is a great celebration – Greeting the Sun.

Aurora Borealis

Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights are also called night rainbows. This phenomenon can be seen during the polar night. At this time in the sky you can see bright green rays hanging in the sky and shimmering, colored haze with a small pink rim. Each flash of  the Northern Lights is unique and fabulous. It is difficult to describe such beauty in words, it is really what you need to see with your own eyes.

pink rim in Northern Lights

What are the best places to see the Northern lights?

The Northern Lights are found mainly in the Arctic circle. The Aurora Borealis observed mainly by residents of Scandinavia, Northern Russia, Alaska and Canada. You are more likely to see the light when the sky is clear and there is no full moon, because external light weakens the light effect.

The best months to observe it are October, February and March, from 18:00 to 13:00, when it is dark. Sometimes during the week there are several “fantastic shows”, but sometimes the Northern Lights do not appear at all. It also happens that there is heavy snow and watching the Aurora Borealis is impossible.


Iceland is an ideal place to watch the Northern Lights. It can be seen even in the Reykjavik area. The island is called the land of ice and fire. Black beaches, geysers, waterfalls, glaciers and untouched nature.

Northern Lights in Norway

Ålesund, Norway

Ålesund is a port city located on several islands. It is known for its modern-art architecture. Numerous festivals are held here. Near Ålesund is the bird island of Runde.

Troms, Norway

Troms is located in Northern Norway, 350 km away. from the Arctic circle. The biggest attraction is Fjellheisen. There, from the top you can enjoy the beautiful views of the city and the surrounding area. In Troms there is also the Mack brewery and the oldest cinema, which was opened in 1915.


camping and warming up while watching the Northern Lights

Going on a trip to see the Northern Lights, we can never be sure whether we will see it.

In order not to freeze while waiting the Northern Lights, enthusiastic travelers organize entertainment pastime. However, before the trip it is better to think about other ways to warm up.

If the Norther light does not appear, you can “search” for it. During the polar night you can around the surrounding area. However, this chasing for the Aurora sometimes resembles the game of cat-and-mouse and requires a lot of patience and perseverance.

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