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Where To See The Northern Lights In Norway - Best Aurora Locations

Updated on September 18, 2012

Today we are going to be taking a look at the best places in Norway to see the Northern Lights. Along with the best places we will also tell you where in Norway you can actually see the Aurora Borealis from as some places are far better than others and in some places you stand little chance of seeing the Northern Lights. If you are planning a trip to Norway in search of the Aurora then this page should be just what you need.

The Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis as they are also known are one of the earth’s greatest natural wonders. Seeing these light displays is something many people dream of and people spend lots of time, money and effort in order to view them. There are lots of places all around the world where you can see the Aurora, but one of the best places is Norway. The fact is though that Norway is a very big country stretching hundreds and hundreds of miles from north to south, hence some places very rarely see the Northern Lights while some place get regular displays. So where exactly can you see the Aurora from in Norway?

Norway - A Vast Country

The Best Place In Norway - Tromso

If you were to type into a search engine ‘best places in the world for Northern Lights’, you will get various pages offering you advice on where to see displays from. One name that features on most lists is the city of Tromso. This sits on the east coast of Norway and lies within the Arctic Circle. Due to it’s location near the ocean though the weather is far less hostile than most places with a similar latitude. Average winter temperatures tend to hover around the -5 degrees c mark which is very mild compared to other areas with a similar latitude where the temperature often falls to -30.

The other great thing about Tromso is that this is a large bustling city with excellent travel links. Of all the places in the world that are good for the Aurora, Tromso is probably the easiest to get to. The large international airport offers flights from most major countries and flights don’t tend to be that expensive. The city has a vast range of hotels and other accommodation to chose from and there really is something to suit everyone.

The location of the city sits right under the natural arc of the Northern Lights. Even when the activity level up above is quite low, displays can be seen in this area. For best viewing you do need to head out of the city away from the light pollution. There are various companies that offer trips to take you out of the city into remote locations that are ideal for viewing. You can also book accommodation a few miles out of the city and some of these spots are beautifully located on the fjords.

As an all round destination Tromso is without a doubt the best place in Norway for viewing the Northern Lights. However, this place may not be to everyone’s taste. If you want something a little more wild and adventurous, where else can you go for the Northern Lights in Norway?

Aurora Over The Lofoten Islands

Some Other Northern Lights Locations

Lofoten Islands - The Lofoten Islands are located on the east coast of Norway around one hundred miles south-east of Tromso. This area is also located in the Artic Circle but yet again is has reasonably mild winters. The natural beauty in this area is simply staggering. There are many little fishing villages that offer a warm welcome and nice accommodation. The life here is very relaxed and the scenery tranquil. Activities in the area include fishing, sea rafting and there are even two excellent ski resorts. Along with all that this is a wonderful area for Aurora spotting, due to it’s location this place gets many nights of good viewing every year.

Kautokeino - The area of Kautokeino is located high in the Arctic Circle and inland by a few hundred miles. The area is populated by the Sami people who have a rich and interesting culture. The climate here is far more severe so temperatures fall much lower than the areas we have already mentioned. If you wrap up warm though you can enjoy things such as reindeer safari, husky dog sledding, snow moiling and ice fishing. This is an area that is ideal for adventure and it sees more displays of the Northern Lights than most other areas of Norway. This is mainly due to the fact that there tends to be more clear skies in this inland area than in other places nearer the coast.

The Northern Cape - If you want some real adventure head for the Northern Cape. This is the most northerly point in mainland Europe and the next place north is the pole! From here you can see some stunning Aurora displays and the wilderness is simply mind blowing. Getting here is not easy however and although an amazing place you need to be a brave soul to venture this far north in the winter months.

Northern Lights From Oslo

The Aurora Heads South

The places we have mentioned above are without a doubt the best places for seeing the Northern Lights in Norway. Even when the activity levels above are fairly low you can still see something in these locations. When the KP index (aurora activity level) starts to increase though, you can see the lights from a lot further south. So where are some good spots and how bright does the Aurora need to be?

Helgeland - Located just below the Artic Circle Helgeland is an area of outstanding beauty. Situated on the coast this area has some incredible mountain ranges and beautiful lakes. The area is famous for it’s wildlife and there are various rare species of bird in the area. Seeing the Northern Lights here is not that hard, the KP index only needs to reach level 3 which is classed as moderate for you to get a good view of the displays overhead.

Trondheim - Head around two hundred miles south and you come to Trondheim. This is the third largest city in Norway making it a good destination if you like plenty of things to do. Here the temperature is a little milder than further north although it still often dips below freezing in the winter months and there is often snow on the ground for weeks at a time. For the Aurora to be visible here you need a KP level of around 4 which means the Aurora needs to be fairly active. This tends to happen a few times a month although sometimes more often. If the level of activity is less you will still see something glowing on the northern horizon.

Oslo - Despite the fact that the capital city of Norway lies a long way south it is sometimes possible to see the Northern Lights from Oslo. For this to be happen you really need a very high level of activity reaching around the 6 or even 7 KP mark. This is an event that usually happens a few times a year although sometimes in busy years it can happen more often. If the level reaches this high then displays overhead in the northern sky are visible from Oslo. When the activity level is lower you can sometimes see a faint glow on the northern horizon from the city of Oslo.

As you can see there are some wonderful locations all over Norway when it comes to viewing the Northern Lights. It should come as no great surprise that the best locations are situated in the north of the country, but on occasion you can see the Aurora Borealis from a long way further south. The great thing about Norway is that there is so much to see and do even if you are not lucky enough to spot the Aurora. This is a magical country with plenty to offer anyone who does go in search of the magical Northern Lights.


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      Madeleine Salin 5 years ago from Finland

      Interesting and a very informative hub about where to see the norhtern lights. I live in Finland and we can see it here sometimes, too. Voted up and shared!