Northern Lights in Norway | Watch Aurora Borealis in Norway
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Norway Northern Lights Tours
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Northern Lights Norway

Experiencing the incredible light show of nature, the Norway Northern Lights, across the breathtaking Arctic sky is a dream of many travelers. From a quiet and dark sky to a flickering pale light transforming to a vibrant and intense activity, showcasing the power of nature in a majestic display of colours - that’s what the Northern lights in Norway are all about.

Also known as Aurora Borealis, the awe-inspiring Northern Lights appear in various forms - a whirlpool of colours, a gigantic fissure, and even like colourful light rays going into space. Since the lights are the most vivid below the auroral ovals, northern Norway is regarded to be one of the best spots for sighting the Northern Lights. Tourists can head to northern Norway and board a cruise, sailing beneath the Auroral Zone, to get the maximum chances of sighting a clear view of the Northern Lights.

The best time to see northern lights in Norway is between late September and late May. Though the influences of the Northern Lights are evident in folklore, science has its own course when it comes to the auroras. According to the scientists across the globe, the birth of the Northern Lights is the result of the collision between charged solar particles and the molecules in the Earth’s atmosphere.
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Essential Information About Northern Lights in Norway

01

What are the Northern Lights?

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Northern lights in Norway is that phenomenon, which is caused when minute particles from the Sun collide with the atoms present in the atmosphere of the Earth. The sun naturally expels these particles at all times and the earth’s atmosphere safeguards us against them.

Once the solar particles strike the atmosphere, hydrogen and oxygen atoms tend to light up, radiating an array of colours including red, white, purple, and green. The auroras are primarily composed of these colours.

The Norway Northern Lights are a very prominent and common feature of the country’s night sky and also have strong influences in its folk heritage and culture.
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02

Best Time of Year to See the Northern Lights in Norway

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It is a matter of fact that the further you travel towards the north to view the northern lights, the larger will be the period of the year when you can expect to spot them. That said, here is a season-wise description that can help you judge the best time to see northern lights in Norway.

- Autumn (September - November): After the autumnal equinox in September, almost every night offers maximum chances of witnessing the aurora, making Autumn the best time to see northern lights in Norway.

- Winter (December - March): With northern Norway experiencing longer nights in the winters, this is another best time to see northern lights in Norway.

- Spring (April - May): Spring experiences short nights and longer days, compelling you to stay up until midnight to spot the northern lights. By May, there isn’t sufficient darkness to spot the aurora.

- Summer (June - August): During summer, many regions of Norway witness the “midnight sun”, with no “actual” sunset happening. This makes it impossible to spot the aurora in the summers.
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03

Conditions to Witness Northern Lights

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Here are the three conditions that need to be in place for a clear spotting of the Northern Lights:

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The sky has to be dark with no sun.
- The sky should be clear with no clouds.
- The aurora activity has to be high. If the strength of the aurora is weak, it may be overpowered by the moonlight.
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04

How to reach Norway?

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The best way to travel to Norway is by flight. Many European flights fly frequently to the main airport of Norway, the Oslo International Airport. You can take a flight from any major city of India, including Delhi and Mumbai and fly to Denmark or Sweden and then take a connecting flight to Norway. On the contrary, you can also try to take one of the few direct flights operating from Mumbair to Oslo, including KLM, Swiss Air, and Ethiopian.
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05

What causes Northern Lights?

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Northern lights in Norway are actually caused by minute electrically charged particles entering the upper atmosphere of the earth from space at an extremely high speed.

Better known as the “solar wind”, these electrically charged particles originate from the sun and are constantly being pushed out of the huge star in all directions at a speed of 300 to 500 kilometers per second. As the Earth revolves around the sun, it intercepts some of the solar particles.

While 98 percent of the solar particles get deflected by the magnetic field of the Earth, a few of them get funelled downwards and travel towards the magnetic South and North poles. Upon colliding with the molecules and atoms of the upper atmosphere, these charged solar particles become excited. As a result, auroral emissions are created around the South and North magnetic poles of the earth.
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06

How can I Photograph the Northern Lights?

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You can capture good pictures of the Northern Lights by following the pro tips mentioned below:

- Set the camera focus to infinity
- Set the aperture of the camera as wide as possible
- Be sure about the exposure time. If the aurora moves really quick, try 5 to 10 seconds exposure and if it moves slowly, a 12 to 20 seconds exposure should be fine. If the aurora is vague, you can try a 20 to 25 seconds exposure.
- Adjust the ISO setting of the camera depending upon the brightness of the auroras.
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07

Unknown Facts about Northern Lights

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- The Norway Northern lights are always there, even during the day. But they can be best spotted during the night, when the darkness makes the aurora clearly visible.
- The very first reference to the aurora was made as early as in the 500s.
- According to popular folklore, the Northern Lights are caused by the activity of powerful spirits. People in the 16th century, in Europe, have also regarded the red aurora to be scary omens.
- Many people have claimed to have heard crackling and whooshing sounds when they have witnessed an aurora in the dark sky.
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Places to stay for Northern Lights in Norway

08

Tromso Ice Domes Hotel

The ultimate winter adventure bucket list is definitely incomplete without a few days spent at Tromso Ice Domes Hotel. Surrounded by the fjords and mountains of the Tamok Valley, the unique Ice dome hotel is hand-sculpted each year during the winter months. Built completely out of ice, the hotel has 7 large spacious suites in addition to a bar, movie theatre, and even an ice sculpture exhibit.

The double beds in the suites are made of ice and covered with thick fur bedding for warmth and comfort in case you are worried about freezing as you spend the night here. This is also one of the best locations to see the Northern lights at their full glory.

Location:
Storgata 83 B, 9008 Tromsø, Norway

Opening Month:
December to March
09

Aurora Camp Tromso

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Aurora Camping is an overnight adventure trip to see the Northern Lights in its full uninterrupted glory. The tour begins in the city of Tromso, from where it’s a short drive to the camping site. Dog sledding is one of the most common additional activities to try out while night camping for watching the Northern lights. Post a scrumptious dinner of Norwegian delicacies one can wait around the campfire to enjoy the beautiful Northern Lights at their glorious best.

After a few hrs of stargazing and enjoying the Northern lights, one can retire for the night into the tents. The Warm Luvvu Tents are equipped with reindeer skin blankets and beddings for ultimate comfort and luxurious sleep that’s an experience unlike any other.

Location: Tromso, Norway

Opening Month: November to March
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10

Eliassen Rorbuer

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One of the most picturesque fishing resorts of Norway, Eliassen Rorbuer is also one of the top places to explore while planning a trip to Norway. The cottages of the fisherman village of Loften were once used for the annual cod fishing festival. Currently renovated into small subunits in form of cottages of various sizes, they are rented out to tourists and fishing enthusiasts.

With a stunning backdrop of Alpine snow and the stunning Norwegian Sea in the front,  each cottage in this resort is an ultimate paradise to stay at. From enjoying Deep sea rafting, cold water snorkeling, kayaking to even stargazing the Northern Lights or Hiking and skiing, there are tonnes of activities to do while staying at Eliassen Rorbuer.

Location:
8390 Hamnøy, Norway

Opening Month:
November to April
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11

Reinefjorden Sjøhus

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Within minutes of the iconic Reinefjorden Fjord, the beautiful 3-star luxury star hotel looks straight out of a movie set. Despite its rich history as a fishing village once upon  a time, the hotel is a pure luxury and beauty. Very small yet provided with every luxurious comfort, it can accommodate 12 people at a time if staying overnight is what you plan.

The primetime location by the E10 highway makes it a perfect spot to explore various hike-worthy trailers all around the hotel. Ryten, Tindstinden, Munkeb, and Kvalvika are a few most common yet breathtaking trails beginning from this tiny yet stunning hotel.

Location: Skagen, 8390 Reine, Norway

Opening Month: Open all year round
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12

Aurora Borealis Observatory

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Notably one of the best places to view the Aurora Borealis or the famous Northern Light is definitely Aurora Borealis Observatory. Open exclusively for seasonal booking, the observatory offers guests a chance to enjoy an uninterrupted view of the Northern Lights amidst a serene and quiet environment, devoid of any extra light source or noise.

In addition to waiting at the huge open pavilion to enjoy the sight of the Northern Lights, guests can also take a dip in the outdoor hot tub or explore the nearby hiking trails that also lead to some of the most amazing viewpoints. The attached restaurant and bar allows guests a chance to replenish their hunger and energy with some delicious Norwegian food and drinks.

Location: Tors Vei 14, 9303 Silsand, Norway

Opening Month: December to April
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13

Skrolsvik Kystferie

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Situated in the tiny picturesque town of Skrolsvik, south Senja, the hotel is a pure bliss worth enjoying a few days of stay at. From staying at the cottages to even the heated Lavvu, guests are certainly in for a great scenic view in addition to experiencing some awesome adventures unlike any other.

In addition to offering guests a beautiful sight of the iconic Northern Lights, guests can also try numerous other fun and adventure laden activities like hiking, bird watching, sea angling, a historical exploration of Steinaver, midnight sun safari, ice fishing, snowshoeing, night camping, etc.

Location: Skrolsvik Veien 1829, 9392 Stonglandseidet, Norway

Opening Month: All year
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Places to See Northern Lights in Norway

14

Tromsø

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Known for being among the best places on the entire planet to see Northern Lights in its utmost best, Tromso is a beautiful city located just north of the Arctic Circle in Norway. Be it the Northern lights of Winter or the Midnight Sun of the summer, this idyllic island town is a pleasure to visit all year round.

Spread over a little under a thousand miles  of Northern Norway, Tromso offers guests a chance to see a hidden side of Norway many do not know of. From visiting the iconic Arctic Cathedral or enjoying reindeer sledding to touring the Norwegian Fjords or even deep-sea fishing and ice fishing, travelers can explore some very unique and different adventures.
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15

Lyngenfjord

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Noted as one of the most self-sustainable cities of the world, Lyngenfjord is surrounded by well-preserved lush and vibrant natural beauty. Hiking trails, aside, the valleys and glaciers around the town each have their own unique beauty that cannot be left unexplored for sure. The annual music festival Riddu Riddu aside, this town is home to one of the best Whisky distilleries in the country.

Notably, Lyngenfjord is the driest place in Norway, which makes it the perfect location with a sparkling clear sky for chasing the Aurora Borealis. Offering one of the best viewing spots for Northern Lights, Lyngenfjord is also the most perfect place to photograph and capture this rare phenomenon in its best glory.
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16

Bodø

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Surrounded by the Borvasstindan mountain range, Bodo is the largest city in Norway located along the coast of the Norwegian Sea.  Bodo is also the southernmost city where Northern lights can be viewed from. Atop Mount Ronvik, 3 km from the city center, Northern Lights is at its glorious best and a definite sight to behold.

The strongest whirlpool in the world, Saltstraumen is also situated here. Another interesting aspect about Bodo is that its Murals and street arts are very unique and showcase the life and culture of Norway.
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17

Lofoten Islands

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Known especially for its indisputable scenic beauty, Lofoten Island is a true Nordik paradise. The Viking Museum showcasing its famous historical gene pool aside, Lofoten Island is perfect for adventures like Kayaking, Arctic Surfing, Hiking, Ice Fishing.

The ultimate destination choice for Midnight Sun and the Northern Lights, the chances of getting to see both of these stunning phenomena is best here due to its strategic geographical location under the Auroral Oval.  Lofoten Island is often called a Photographer’s ultimate paradise because of the stunning backdrop it provides.
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18

Vesterålen Islands

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A Norland County archipelago, Vesterålen Islands is less crowded and more peaceful.The quiet and light pollution free island, adds as a positive aspect for viewing the Northern Lights, which are very clearly visible from everywhere on the island. One of the best viewing spots to see this unnaturally beautiful phenomenon, Vesteralen also has a few more interesting things to do.

Krakberget Village on the island is a beautiful sight to cherish in autumn and spring when the entire valley is filled with colorful wildflowers. Additionally, the island has three trekking trails that are perfect for travelers who love to explore hidden trails and winding mountain routes and whale watch.
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19

Alta

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Home to one of the first Northern Light Observatories of the world, Alta offers one of the best and clear views of the aurora due to its close proximity to the Arctic Circle. Interestingly the blue hued Northern Lights visible during the early months of November and December can only be seen from Alta.

Alta is one of the other locations where Ice hotels are built each year during Winters for the Northern Lights hunters. Sami Culture, reindeer, and husky pulled sled give this city a very medieval era feel which is a surprising element.
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20

Svalbard

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Lying between the North pole and the mainland of Norway, Svalbard is the only place where Northern Lights are visible during day time also. The minimal artificial light exposure along with the dry Artic weather keeps the sky clear for the perfect sighting of the Northern Lights during any time of the day.

The permafrost of Svalbard and the year round low temperature make it the perfect home to Polar Bears, whose population is more than double of the humans living in this city. In addition to Aurora hunting, you can also enjoy fishing and exploring the fjords & glaciers while touring Svalbard.
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Other Things to do in Norway

21

Explore Mount Floyen

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If you are craving to explore the most stunning vistas of Norway, hike to the magnificent Mount Floyen, which is perched overlooking the beautiful Bergen city, at an altitude of around 399 meters above sea level.

If you are in no mood to hike, you can also board the funicular railway and reach the top of this mountain within 8 minutes. Once you are at the summit, you can soak in the mesmerizing views of the Bergen city and its breathtaking fjords.
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22

Visit Oslo Cathedral

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Pay a visit to the iconic Oslo Cathedral, which dates back to the 11th century and exhibits the awe-inspiring baroque style of architectural design. While you are at the cathedral, try to figure out the hint of German architecture and admire the awe-inspiring ceiling murals crafted by Hugo Lous Mohr.

Also remember to check out the stunning stained windows all over the church which were added much later only to enhance its old-world beauty further.
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23

Take a Ferry

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One of the most unique ways to explore Norway is by taking a water trip on the famous Hurtigruten ferry that will offer the tourists the chance to visit some of the offbeat places of the country.

Tourists can take a ferry in Bergen and a trip to Kirkenes, exploring the best kept secrets of Norway over a period of 12 days. You can hop off and on at several picturesque ports and visit the local attractions.
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24

Explore the Geirangerfjord Region

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Take an exploration tour to Geirangerfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a part of the gigantic Fjord Norway Network. While you are in Geirangerfjord, check out the various attractions of the region that stretch over many miles. Visit Alesund in the northern end of Geirangerfjord, which is famous for its breathtaking icy scenery.

You can also go explore Sunnyland Fjord, which is known to shelter some of the most stunning vistas in the Norwegian countryside. Perched at an elevation of around 4,905 feet above sea level, Dalsnibba also makes for one of the most majestic peaks that you need to hike to.
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25

Marvel at The Arctic Cathedral

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Pay a visit to the majestic Arctic Cathedral, which dates back to 1965. Built by the brilliant Norwegian architect Jan Inge Hovig, this mesmerizing shrine showcases a dramatic architecture.

Marvel at the entire structure of the cathedral, which looks like huge ice blocks with an iconic glass facade and shining mosaics. If you are visiting the place during winters, the beautifully lit up Arctic Cathedral will surely offer a real treat to the eyes.
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People Also Ask About Norway

  1. Where in Norway can I see the Northern Lights?

    Some of the best places for enjoying a good sighting of the Northern lights in Norway, include Tromsø, Lyngenfjord, Bodø, Lofoten Islands, Vesterålen Islands, Alta, and Svalbard.
  2. Can you see the Northern Lights in Oslo?

    Getting to see a clear view of the Northern lights in Norway’s capital city, Oslo can be a bit difficult for the reason that this place is situated at a lower latitude of 59 degrees. Furthermore, since Oslo is a huge city, it experiences a higher amount of light pollution, which is again an unfavorable condition for viewing the aurora.
  3. Are the Northern Lights visible in Norway?

    Yes, Norway is one of the best places in the world for sighting a clear view of the Northern Lights. Lying close to the Arctic Circle and having clear skies, this country attracts many aurora hunters every year.
  4. Is Norway or Iceland better for Northern Lights?

    Norway is a better place for viewing the Northern Lights in comparison to Iceland. This is due to the reason that since Iceland is located below the Arctic Circle, it requires the aurora to be very strong to be visible. Furthermore, the weather of Iceland tends to change really quickly, making it quite challenging for you to find clear skies for viewing the northern lights.
  5. Do the Northern Lights happen every night?

    Yes, the Northern lights in Norway take place every night. However, not all nights come with clear and cloudless skies and not all auroras are strong for people to view them. The best time to view them is between late September and late May.
  6. What colour are the Northern Lights?

    The Northern lights in Norway usually manifest four primary colours, including red, white, purple, and green.
  7. When do the Northern Lights occur?

    The Northern lights in Norway are present day and night as the electrically charged solar particles constantly keep hitting the atoms in the atmosphere of the Earth, which results in the continuous emission of photons. You can view from clearly in the months between September to May.
  8. Does it have to be cold to see the Northern Lights in Norway?

    No, the visibility of Norway Northern Lights does not depend upon the temperature of the place and it does not necessarily need to be cold to spot the auroras. As a matter of fact, since one of the conditions of viewing the auroras requires a cloudless sky, it is always dark and cold while sighting the Northern Lights.
  9. How long does Northern Lights last?

    In general, a clear sighting of the Northern lights in Norway may last until 15 to 30 minutes. However, at rare times, the display may be extended until an hour or even longer.
  10. Do Northern Lights make noise?

    In the opinion of the scientists, the earth’s upper atmosphere, where the solar particles strike the oxygen and hydrogen molecule and the light is emitted, is so thin that it cannot carry the sound waves. Moreover, the distance between the aurora and the surface of the earth is so much that it would take five minutes for a sound wave to reach the people on the ground. However, there is evidence of people hearing certain noises while watching the aurora in the dark sky.

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