The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, is a magnificent natural phenomenon that lights up the night sky with a stunning and eye-catching display. This natural wonder attracts spectators from all over the world and it’s easy to see why northern lights sighting features high on many people’s bucket lists.
For centuries the Aurora has baffled, bewildered, terrified and delighted mankind. Appearing around the northern polar region in a spectrum of illuminate colours from green to yellow, red and even purple. The lights are best seen around midnight and can appear as a static glow or a pulsating dynamic dance amongst the stars. Certain countries are blessed with frequent visits from the Aurora due to their geographical location with some better than others for optimal sightings. Select ski resorts can also enjoy spectacular displays when the timing is right, and a combined ski holiday with a once in a lifetime northern lights sighting is a trip to be treasured for a lifetime.
Did you know?
- The Aurora Australis are the southern counterpart for the Northern Lights and can be spotted from Tasmania, Antarctica, Argentina and more.
- The Aurora are named after the ancient Roman goddess of Dawn who goes by the same name.
- Native American legends tell how they were able to summon ghosts and spirits by whistling at the lights.
Try something different for your next ski holiday and venture to one of the top 5 resorts below who have reported good Aurora activity in the past.
1. Levi (Lapland), Finland
Lapland is one of the best places on earth to view the Northern Lights. The spectacular Aurora Borealis are visible approximately 200 nights a year in Finnish Lapland. The best chance to see the lights are going out of the town on a snowshoeing tour, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling or dog-sledging in order to view the darkest sky. Our 3 main ski resorts in Lapland are Levi, Ylläs and Saariselka. The possibilities on a Lapland ski holiday are endless. The 3 featured resorts have a wide selection of activities and excursions to experience during your holiday. Discover more about unique overnight stays and viewing the Northern Lights on a ski holiday here.
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Northern lights over Levi, Lapland
2. Banff (Alberta), Canada
The Banff - Lake Louise region in Alberta gets multiple viewings of the Northern lights each season. The optimal time is September through until mid-May. Northern Alberta has some of the darkest skies in the area and the best place to spot this natural wonder. Popular hotels in Banff include Ptarmigan Inn, Banff Inn Hotel and Brewster's Mountain Lodge.
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3. Húsavík, Iceland
When the Northern Lights hit its 10-year peak in winter 2013/14 there was a spectacular show in the sky in Húsavík during the entire season. To increase your chances of viewing the Northern Lights there are various dedicated tours to take in Húsavík.
4. Fairbanks, Alaska
Fairbanks is located within the Auroral Oval region around the North Pole making it one of the best places to catch the Northern Lights. The most common yellow-green glow appears between late August and April and the best time of day for viewings is late evening or the early hours of the morning.
Northern lights over a frozen lake in Fairbanks, Alaska
5. Ruka, Finland
The best time to see the Northern Lights in Finland is during the winter months up until mid-April. It is extremely difficult to predict the Northern Lights which is why seeing them is believed to bring good luck. The best place to spot them in Ruka is Juhannuskallio, Valtavaara ja Konttainen. Enthusiasts can snowshoe to the Riisitunturi National Park and stay the night in a hut at the top of the hill. Stay in Ruka at the Ruka Village Ski-Inn Hotel & Apartments.
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