Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Best Time to See the Northern Lights in Lapland

The Northern Lights, also known by their official name of the Aurora Borealis, appear at their best in Lapland; however, they are real prima donnas, only turning up when they feel like it, which just adds to their ethereal mystery.  In fact, many Laps will tell you that they only put on a display for people they like.

With a tourist attraction as fickle as this you need to choose the very best time of the year to travel to Lapland to increase your chances of witnessing this natural phenomenon. So when is the best time to see the Northern Lights?

Obviously you need a night sky, preferably moonless, so the shorter days of the winter equinox are the ones to consider.  Days between the autumn and spring (September 21st to March 21st) can also be rewarding; bear in mind, however, that Lapland only has a short window of darkness between 6:00 pm and 1:00 am.

The weather conditions play an important part in the experience. September, October and November in Lapland can be wet, which is not only unpleasant but may not offer the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights.  December tends to be dry and, providing you wrap up warmly, you stand a good chance of seeing the lights and experiencing a truly lovely polar night.

The days in December and January are at their shortest, so sightseeing in Lapland is limited, but as you have come to see a night time tourist attraction conventional sightseeing is turned upside-down.

February and March are also good ‘display’ months, and you will be able to see more of the snowy landscape and charming towns such as Lofoten and Tromsø.

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