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The best places to see the Northern Lights

Date: 08.11.2018

Have you always wanted to see the Northern Lights? It is high time to live out your dream! This winter is the last in the decade when it is possible to watch the spectacular nature’s show. No, Auroras will not disappear for forever, but they will become less vivid and will be seen in the sky more rarely.

The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis occurs when excited solar particles collide with atmospheric gases. This produces a neon light show. Now the Sun is entering a low-activity phase that will last for 11 years! 

Many people think that for seeing the Northern Lights it is necessary to go to Norway, Iceland, Greenland, or Alaska. Though, there are much more affordable destinations for that. 

Read about the best places in Russia where you can see the Northern lights:

1. The Kola peninsula
The most accessible and comfortable (temperature-wise) place on the list. Here, the Northern Lights can be seen from the end of August until April. You will have more chances to catch it in winter as there are 42 days of polar night on the peninsula. So, the period of darkness is quite long and there will be more time to observe Aurora Borealis.

The best option here is to go farther from urban lights. In the Khibiny Mountains area, the sky glows with thousands dancing lights during long dark nights. You can explore the area with snowmobiles. Mountain peaks, snow-covered tundra, frozen lakes and waterfalls will fill the journey with beauty.

Another variant of the trip — a weekend tour to the Kola peninsula. Fascinating snowmobile routes, trip to one of the peaks of the Lovozero tundra, reindeer sleigh rides, tasting national Sami cuisine — hunting for the Northern Lights will be even more exciting.

2. Nenets autonomous okrug
Aurora Borealis shine bright in the Arctic, lights are varicolored and shimmering. The sky looks like a lavender-green star-encrusted veil. This phenomenon has affected significantly the culture of local people. During a journey in this region, you will meet with reindeer herders, who will tell you the stories about their customs. Also, they will treat you with national cuisine and invite you to stay in their raw-hide tent for a night.

3. Sakha republic

Oymyakon village is one of the coldest places in the world. You will need to cross the whole country to find yourself in -40 degrees Celsius. However, the trip is totally worth it — beside colorful and shimmering Northern Lights you will see an underground Ice Gallery, ride reindeer- and dog-pulled sleighs and take part in exciting national ceremonies.

4. Svalbard

If you still want to see the famous Northern Lights of Norway, you can do it in Russia as well. During the polar night in Svalbard, auroras can be observed even in the daytime. The best option is to go there in February. Sometimes, however, you can catch it in early March. Besides, you can see polar bears, spectacular fjords, and glaciers. 

Just as any natural phenomenon, the Northern Lights are not scheduled. There are several tips on how to “catch” it:

  • plan your trip to the North from late September until late March. Chances to have a successful hunt for Aurora Borealis are higher in this period
  • escape the city lights. Light pollution affects visibility of stars and aurora. Seek out dark skies
  • check the weather forecast. The Lights are best seen when the sky is cloudless
  • check the information on the solar flares. Solar activity forecasts will help

Still, witnessing Aurora Borealis is a matter of great luck. It can last for minutes or even days at a time, but sometimes it does not appear for a couple of weeks. If you don’t want your northern trip to become a waste of time, plan some other activities during the journey. Snowmobiling, meeting the indigenous people of the Kola peninsula, tasting the northern cuisine, visiting a reindeer farm and riding a husky-pulled sleigh — these are some ideas how to make you travel full.


Want to take such trip but not sure how to plan it well? Contact us, and we will organise the best and the most exciting adventure for you — you will only have to pack your luggage. Call +7 (495) 125-28-08 or email us at hello@russiadiscovery.ru