I think it’s time that I finally make a plan to see the Northern Lights, I’m just not sure the best way to go about it. My indecision often gets the best of me, and causes me to just put off ideas like this. Fortunately OMAAT readers collectively know just about everything, so I’d love some feedback on this.
I’ve never seen the Northern Lights
I’ve traveled millions of miles and have visited many countries, but I’ve never seen the Northern Lights in my 15+ years of heavy travel. I haven’t even seen the Northern Lights on a northerly transatlantic flight in winter. I did almost see them in Whitehorse, but couldn’t quite get it together.
Now, in fairness, I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised I haven’t seen them. I have a tendency to travel to warmer climates and am solar powered, which probably partly explains why I haven’t had much luck with this. Still, I’m absolutely fascinated by the Northern Lights, and I think I need to come up with a plan to see them in early 2022.
The challenge with planning a Northern Lights trip
There are obviously lots of places you can travel to that give you the opportunity to potentially see the Northern Lights. But there are also some challenges with that:
- The best time to predict when you’ll see the Northern Lights is last minute, but the issue is that most of the best viewing spots are pretty remote, especially for someone in Florida
- No matter how well you plan your trip, there’s no guarantee that you’ll see the Northern Lights, so it can be tough to decide how long of a trip to plan — the longer you stay the better your odds, but at the same time if you don’t see the Northern Lights you’ll probably be pretty bummed
- I suppose the best hybrid approach would be to travel to a city that’s far north that you’ve been wanting to visit anyway, and hope that conditions are good and that you can get out of the city; but at the same time that also doesn’t give you the best odds for seeing the Northern Lights
What’s the best place to see the Northern Lights?
I’m hoping to plan a Northern Lights trip for March 2022, give or take. It seems March is one of the best times to see the Northern Lights, and it also has the benefit of being a bit less cold and dark in many far north places than January, for example. It also works better with my current schedule.
I know there are plenty of places you can go to see the Northern Lights, from Alaska, to Arctic Canada, to Iceland, to the Faroe Islands, to Finland, to Norway. I’d love to hear some more specific recommendations from OMAAT readers about where to go, though:
- If you’ve done a Northern Lights trip, where did you go, how long did you go far, and how often did you see the Northern Lights?
- What’s the best place for seeing the Northern Lights that has other things to offer as well, ranging from outdoor activities, to a really cool hotel?
A few initial thoughts:
- I’ve been wanting to return to Iceland, so perhaps this is a good opportunity to do so; I imagine I’d want to go somewhere far north in Iceland to maximize odds of seeing the Northern Lights, though, so does anyone have a place there they recommend? Or is it realistic to see the Northern Lights in places not too far from Reykjavik?
- I’ve been wanting to travel to the Canadian Arctic (the airline situation up there is fascinating), though is there anywhere up there that’s best for seeing the Northern Lights?
- I’m totally open to Finland and Norway, and know there are even several hotels there catering specifically to Northern Lights, many with rooms that have glass domes
- While the whole concept of ice hotels does fascinate me, I struggle with the cold, so go easy on me please with those kinds of recommendations 😉
So yeah, long story short I’m very receptive to ideas here. If you’ve taken a trip to see the Northern Lights, I’d love to learn — would you do it again, or what would you do differently?
I know many people are fascinated by the Northern Lights, yet somehow in all of my travels I’ve never been able to see them. I think it’s time to change that, so I’d love some tips. I think I should have time in March to plan a trip like this (if that’s not too late in the season), I just need to figure out what gives me the best odds, and what destination offers the best experience otherwise in terms of activities, accommodation, etc.
Have you ever planned a trip to see the Northern Lights, and if so, what was your experience like?