Aurora Borealis has fascinated mankind for years and it has also been the source to many legends and myths. For example, in Finland, local cultures said that the Northern lights were caused by a fox sweeping its tail through snow and spraying snow particle into the sky. Of course, from a scientific point of view, these wonderful curtains of colored lights are actually the collision between gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere with charged particles released from the sun’s atmosphere. Regardless, this beautiful phenomenon remains one of nature’s great wonders and it offers a breath-taking-once-in-a-life-time-show. For those of you who would really like to witness the Northern lights, here is a list of the best places on Earth to do so.
Denali National Park in Southeast Alaska is one of those places. The lights are often spotted from August through April, especially around the fall and spring equinoxes. The majesty of Mt. McKinley and the surrounding pristine wilderness will make the show even more impressive.
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories in Canada, just like Denali Park, offers a unique Aurora Borealis show from August through April. According to many experts, Yellowknife is the best place in the world to see the Northern lights and witnessing the aurora during its peak.
Ammassalik in Southeast Greenland displays the beautiful lights from September through April, and as one of Earth’s last frontiers, Greenland’s vast ice fields are the ultimate escape for people seeking peace and solitude. Ammassalik’s pollution-free-clear sky is one of the premier places in the world to witness the Northern lights.
Nellim, Finland is another place where Aurora Borealis can be seen and due to the close proximity to the poles, the country offers some of the finest viewing opportunities in Europe. In Luosto and other northern villages, visitors often receive an “Aurora alarm” which rings when the Northern lights appear.
Akureyri, Iceland opens its Aurora “scene” from late September until March and due to its fiery volcanos, gushing geysers and the spectacular crater lakes, makes of this country a paradise for the most adventurous travelers. For the ultimate adventure experience, catch a midnight dog sled ride into the wilderness and let yourself hypnotized by the brilliant colors dancing across the sky.
Lofoten Islands, Norway are a great spot for those who would like to see the Northern lights during winter, but can’t stand low temperatures. Because of its location in the vicinity of the Gulf Stream, temperatures rarely reach below freezing, so visitors can witness the aurora during its peak, in December and January.