On top of many a travellers bucket list, the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, enchant all those who get to glance at their glimmering trails across the sky. But, is it just for those in big warm jackets and snow boots?
If you are able to see the aurora in summer depends on what you mean by summer. There’s no point in going to Scandinavia in June and July if you want to see the Northen Lights. However, the summer itself in Scandinavia is shorter than the normal ‘european’ one, so if you are going in mid August then you have a chance of seeing it.
This year the first aurora display in Rovaniemi showed up on 18th of August. We were there two days later and we didn’t see it.
How to not miss the aurora
Generally to not miss it you can stay awake for the whole night or pay more and stay in a hotel.
Some hotels in touristy places give you the option of calling your room and waking you up when the aurora shows up. Remember to check it before booking.
You can also use apps which will tell you how much chance you have – given the weather condition in your location and a complicated array of other factors. The downside is that the forecast is only up to an hour in advance. You might be able to find websites or applications that give longer term forecasts, but after an hour accuracy drops off rather dramatically.
Aurora and the midnight sun during one trip?
That’s what we planned. We spent 3 weeks in Scandinavia and every day heading north we were able to see the end of the midnight sun. When we were on our way back from Nordkapp the first aurora showed up in Rovaniemi. That day we were in Tromso, yet that doesn’t change the fact that if you’re planning to spend 3 weeks or more in Scandinavia then you have a chance to see it. You just have to be lucky!
There is absolutely no guarantee that you will see the aurora no matter where you go or what time of year. There are only percentages. Therefore it is recommended that you visit somewhere for the location rather than simply for the lights. You don’t want to be disappointed!
Have you been lucky enough to see the Aurora? What would be your tips on how to make sure that you see these spectacular lights? Let us know in the comment section below!