Hunting Down those Elusive Northern Lights in Lapland


That first glimpse of those magical Northern Lights is said to be an almost spiritual experience which can leave even the most seasoned world-traveller speechless. Hunting this spellbinding lightshow has become an obsession for many people and you can increase your chances of viewing if you’re heading to the northernmost regions of Finland, Norway and Sweden.


The Northern Lights or aurora borealis is only one of the many exciting vacation experiences to be had in this magical snow-covered destination. Along with meeting the one and only Santa Claus, let’s take a look at the excitement holidays to Lapland have to offer.

Seeking out the lights

If hunting down those spectral lights is one of the main reasons for visiting then you can increase your chances by taking a trip to Lapland between September and March. In Southern Finland the lights are said to appear only around 10 to 20 nights a year. However, if you head north you can greatly increase your chance with illuminations appearing every other clear night. There is of course no guarantee and this is all part of the fun of wrapping up well and heading into that snow-covered wilderness when the lights can suddenly appear and then vanish just as quickly.

Take an official tour

There are guided tours across the country and this is one of the best ways to visit the right spots to increase your chance of seeing the lights. One of the bonuses of a tour is that you can explore one or more of Lapland’s many national parks such as the incredibly scenic Lemmenjoki National Park in the northern region. This park borders the equally impressive Norwegian Øvre Anárjohka park and both offer lush forests, glacial rivers and wilderness trails. The parks offer one of the best spots to view the lights due to the lack of any other illumination except for that immense canvas of night sky.

The ultimate winter destination

Lapland has always been a popular destination and especially so during the winter months when snowfall is assured across these northern territories. You might not get to see the Northern Lights but you will definitely get snow and this means skiing and snowboarding at the many first-class ski resorts. You can take your pick from resorts such as Ruka and Iso-Syote as well as Levi and Yllas. Seasonal sports such as cross-country skiing, ice skating, snow-boarding and tobogganing are way of life in Lapland and are a major tourist attraction during the winter.

Lapland is famous as the home of Santa but the Northern Lights are just as magical although certainly more elusive. But even if you miss out on the light show there are plenty of other winter based attractions to be enjoyed in this fascinating country.

Image by Timo_w2s used under the Creative Commons license.

This post has been provided by Santa’s Lapland – early Merry Christmas everyone!

8 Comments on “Hunting Down those Elusive Northern Lights in Lapland”

  1. Lady Light Travel 29/11/2014 at 7:36 pm #

    The Aurora Borealis are spectacular and surreal, definitely worth seeking out. I remember many nights in August and September lying out on the lawn watching them (we were due south of the magnetic north pole). The 11 year solar cycle peaked in 2013, so people should try to view this year or next of they want good activity. Then it will probably go quiet(er) for a while.
    BTW, while we associate “Santa” with the north pole, the real St. Nicholas was from what is now Turkey.

  2. wisemonkeysabroad 29/11/2014 at 10:32 pm #

    Thank you for the info 🙂 We would really really really like to see these one day!

  3. Vlad 30/11/2014 at 5:49 am #

    I am hoping to see the Northern Lights in 2016, it’s been a dream of mine for so long! Thanks for the info! 🙂

  4. I’m hoping we’ll be seeing the Northern Lights in Sweden in March. We just booked our flights today!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: