What is the best time to see the Northern Lights in Norway?

Everything you need to know about the magical Aurora Borealis

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Hattvika Lodge - Julius Michelle

Can you see the Northern Lights in Norway?


If spotting the aurora borealis has been on your bucket list for years, Norway is one of the best spots to see this spectacular celestial display. Even better, now is the perfect moment to book a trip – NASA is predicting a bumper few years of solar activity, which means the Northern Lights will be more intense and more frequent than ever, reaching a climax in 2025. At Up Norway, our insider expertise and specialist knowledge mean we know exactly where and when to go for your best chance of spotting one of nature’s greatest wonders.

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Northern Lights at Hattvika Lodge

What exactly are the Northern Lights?


Named by Galileo after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek god of the north wind, Boreas, the otherworldly spectacle of shimmering, multi-hued lights dancing across the night sky has inspired wonder and awe for centuries. The science behind the phenomenon is just as captivating. Those beautiful patterns of lights are actually the result of energised particles from the sun colliding with the Earth’s atmosphere at speeds of up to 45 million mph. Our planet’s magnetic field redirects the particles towards the poles. During this process they interact with our atmosphere and deposit energy, causing the glowing phenomenon we see lighting up the night sky.

Legends of the Northern Lights

Beyond the physics, the other important element is the people who have lived and danced under the Northern Lights for centuries, passing on the enchanting mythology of the elusive aurora to their children and the travellers they encounter. Viking legends tell tales of warriors trekking to their final resting place in Valhalla alongside the Valkyries, the colourful lights shining in the Nordic sky as they reflect off the armour of the fallen heroes. Norway’s indigenous people, the Sami, call the Northern Lights guovssahas, meaning ‘the light you can hear’, describing the faint hum and crackling song the lights sing as they enter the polar atmosphere.

What is the best time of year to see Northern Lights in Norway?

November through February is peak season for Northern Lights viewing as the nights are longest at this time, but a visit anytime between September and March gives you a good chance of spotting them. The sun has an 11-year solar cycle during which its activity waxes and wanes. The current cycle began in 2019 and solar activity is steadily building, with a peak predicted to occur by 2025. As we approach this peak, displays of the aurora borealis will become more frequent and more spectacular, with increasing sunspots causing flare-ups on the sun’s surface, which in turn shoot magnetic energy and create dazzling displays down on Earth. Therefore, now is one of the best times to book a trip to Norway if the Northern Lights are on your bucket list.

What is the best place in Norway to see the Northern Lights?


Northern Norway is one of the top places in the world to spot the Northern Lights, and as locals and travel curators we know just where the best spots are. With its coastline, islands, fjords, glaciers, mountains and plains, the Arctic Circle Region requires insider knowledge to ensure a seamless trip. Therefore, we have curated journeys to immerse our travellers in the arctic region and deliver utterly unforgettable polar light experiences.

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Northern lights in Lofoten

Our curated Northern Lights journeys

Magical Northern Lights up at 70 Degrees North


This magical five-day trip combines thrilling winter adventures with cosy relaxation. The journey encourages connection with the arctic region through excursions such as dogsledding, ice-fishing, snowmobiling, sledging and unique dining experiences. Guests have the opportunity to stay in three varied accommodations including an ice hotel and an igloo-
style dome with transparent roof panels for viewing the Northern Lights from your bed. See the full Magical Northern Lights up at 70 Degrees North journey.

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Northern lights at Bonfire Night

The Lofoten Islands and Manshausen Sea Cabins: Nature & Culture in Harmony

The combination of Steigen and the Lofoten Islands makes for the perfect adventure if you’re seeking authentic immersion in Norwegian culture, tradition, nature, architecture, art, and design. On this seven-day journey, travellers will hunt the Northern Lights with a local professional photographer who knows the best places to witness them. Other activity options include hiking, arctic surfing, handicrafts, kayaking and more. See the full Lofoten Islands and Manshausen Sea Cabins: Nature & Culture in Harmony journey.

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Northern Lights from the Manshausen Sea Cabin

A Frozen Fairytale: Explore Northern Norway in Anna & Elsa’s Footsteps


This seven-day Frozen-inspired journey is filled with reindeer, snowmen, winter activities and characters worth melting for. Guests will experience activities such as skiing, ice sculptures, dog sledding, reindeer experiences and a snowshoe excursion where an expert Northern Lights hunter will share science and folklore on the magical celestial dances. Unique accommodations include a mountain hideaway and a husky lodge, built and run on sustainable principles. See the full seven-day Frozen-inspired journey.

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Northern Light at Bjørnfjell Mountain Lodge

Meet two of our favourite hosts for Northern Lights experiences

Man rowing at Hattvika Lodge

Kristian

Lofoten Islands

- "Situated in the middle of Lofoten, we make the perfect base for the Northern Lights to find you. We also have professional guides that will take you on your own private Northern Lights safari and Northern Lights photographers that can teach Up Norway guests how to take the most magical photographs of the Aurora".

women in norwegian knit sweater

Synnøve

Alta

-"Our cabins are situated outside of Alta surrounded by the most beautiful and peaceful nature. With changing weather you will get crisp winter snow coming down one minute and a view of the clear starry with the dancing Aurora Borealis above you the next".

The Northern Lights are waiting. Come on Up!

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Northern Lights at Fleinvær

The Northern Lights are waiting. Come on Up!

As local experts and travel curators, we would love to tailor your perfect holiday escape. Just answer five simple questions so we'll know where to start.