The Best Ways to See the Northern Lights
Aurora borealis, the name of the ethereal lights of the Northern hemisphere, means ‘dawn of the north’, so-called for Aurora, the Roman goddess of the dawn. They have inspired myths and legends amongst hundreds of cultural groups, their mystical beauty spawning fairy-tales and folklore throughout recorded history.
Occurring only in the Arctic Circle during the winter months, the lights are a magical experience that everyone deserves to experience at least once in their lifetime. Whether you gasp in wonder as you’re pulled along in a reindeer sled, or stare- in open-mouthed astonishment from a hot tub on the deck of a cruise ship, the one thing which is certain is that you will never forget that first enchanting glimpse. Here are some of the best ways to experience the Northern Lights.
- Attend a midnight concert in the Arctic Cathedral
The dramatic, almost celestial effect of the Aurora Borealis is made for haunting music to stir your soul. Raise your eyes to the dancing Northern lights above, before stepping inside and letting the musicians’ melodies carry you on a melodious journey through the country’s history and culture. The majestic, soaring form of the Arctic Cathedral is a perfect setting for the mix of whimsical Norwegian Folk songs, haunting classics and sacred selections played there.
- Take a Sami sled ride
Watch the snow fall in heavy flakes as you climb aboard a sled piled high with reindeer skins, and allow yourself be transported back in time to the ancient days when these indigenous people used reindeers to travel the length of Lapland. Watch the silhouettes of other reindeers digging in the frozen ground for lichen before raising your eyes to the sky to watch the Aurora Borealis flaming above you. Afterwards, warm up around the fire in the lavvu, a traditional Sami house, and enjoy a warm drink and a slice of cake as you listen to some Sami folklore.
- Take a champagne cruise along the coast
A winter cruise with Hurtigruten along the Norwegian coastline is a perfect get-away for anyone who loves luxury. Lie back in a hot tub, a glass of champagne in hand, as the Northern Lights sparkle above you, lighting up the deck. The snow-covered landscape provides a perfect backdrop for their fire, highlighting the dramatic beauty of the vivid colours lighting up the sky.
- Go dog sledding in the hills of Tromsø
Enjoy a full night of dog sledding, venturing from base camp out into a fairy-tale arctic wilderness. Sit tucked away beneath a pile of furs or take your turn driving the sledge as the Northern Lights illuminate the night. Enjoy stunning views of the mountains and the wild arctic scenery, before relaxing in front of a cosy campfire.
The Northern Lights are guaranteed to be an unforgettable sight. However you choose to see them, your first glimpse will be etched into your mind forever.