When the season comes many of us wonder where to see northern lights. Norway for its location is one of the best destinations to observe. In addition to having a high probability of success Norway offers a unique landscape and lots of winter activities to do while that long-awaited moment arrives.
From Bodo, through Narvik and the Lofoten or Vesteralen archipelagos, to Tromo or the distant Kirkeness are unique scenarios where you can see northern lights in Norway. Cross your fingers, close your eyes and be impressed by this unique phenomenon.
Where to see Northern Lights
The Arctic Porlar Circle
In order to see northern lights, you have to surpass theArctic Circle. The Arctic Circle is still one of the five terrestrial parallels that exist but with certain peculiarities, such as the possibility of seeing northern lights or seeing the call midnight Sun. For both phenomena Norway is an ideal destination, but beware, everything that exceeds this parallel is equivalent to low temperatures.
Once in the Arctic Circle the farther north and the better the better. Then there are places like Lofoten or Vesteralen where your microclimate It is very conducive to this phenomenon and what is better, temperatures are higher and therefore easier to bear. Take note for those who come from very warm places, this is your place.
Main places in Norway
In Norway there are two areas that stand out to see northern lights. One of them is the area of the archipelagos of Lofoten and Vesteralen and the other is much further north in the town ofTromso.
- Lofoten and Vesteralen archipelagos
- Cities like Andoya or Harstad
- Bodo (next to the Sjunkhatten National Park)
- Narvik and Harstad
- Alta and Lakselv
Any of these places are perfect where to see northern lights. Now you just have to choose the destination.
When is the best time?
March and October are the months with greater intensity of northern lights, but it is possible to see them with ease from september to april.
On the Northern Lights website you can see the state and the best months to see northern lights in Norway.
Northern Lights in Lofoten
What should you know about the northern lights?
The KP Index
It is a measure that indicates the prediction of geomagnetic activity produced by the solar wind. The values are between 0 and 9 and it is easy to see it in numerous Android or IOS apps. The higher, the better intensity. Do not forget it, it will be your reference to find a northern lights.
If you are lucky enough to live one solar storm you can even live colors beyond green, such as red or violet. These storms are not common, but it is possible to see them in Norway or farther corners such as Scotland or the United States.
Time is very important
The full moon. The less light or light pollution the better. This does not mean that they cannot be seen next to a city or with a full moon, as we saw the Northern Lights in Narvik, but if there is no light around, better
The Cloudy skies. The clouds are not good companions of the northern lights. With cloudy skies the possibility of enjoying a northern lights is minimized (better go to a bar to have a good snack) ...
Northern Lights in Narvik
Northern Lights in Narvik
The YR website is the one that best predicts the weather in Norway. Also has an app
Tips for photographing auroras
You don't need to invest in a good camera. You have to know that you don't need a high-end camera to be able to photograph a northern lights. With a camera that supports M (manual) mode and manual focus is more than enough. Here are our tips:
- Wide angle lens. If you have it, better, since you will capture all the possible landscape
- Manual focus. Avoid autofocus or autofocus and use the manual towards infinite mode, but don't take it to the end. If you see that it is not focused correctly, keep trying until it is focused. There is also the possibility of focusing in other ways such as:
- With the Live view, which has a zoom mode that allows focusing on long distances
- Focus a distant point in automatic and then go to manual mode. This way when you go to shoot you will not try to focus again
- Camera in manual mode. Yes, if you want photography to gain quality. The recommended values are, depending on the lens and camera, are:
- F4 (less even better)
- ISO 800
- 10 seconds of opening
- Tripod. Without it, it will be very difficult to photograph Northern Lights. Of course, if there is a very high KP Index even with a mobile is possible, but you have to be very, very lucky
* The values used are with a Sony A7II with an objective 16-35 Carl Zeiss F4
Northern Lights in Norway
Northern Lights in Narvik
Apps to locate auroras
There are several applications that you always have to carry on your mobile. These applications will allow you to locate the northern lights and predict the best time to photograph them.
- dawn. It is based on your position, probability, time and indicates the KP index (intensity). A part has a very useful map to see where the auroras are
- Aurora forecast. Recommended by Vesteralen Spaceship. It has a dashboard with maps and indicators of solar activity
- Norway Lights. Is the official app of the tourist office. It gives you a series of recommendations with a simple TRY or GO. If there is GO go running, there are auroras. If it's TRY, it's not 100% but try it. By experience with TRY we saw two auroras days
- Northern Eye Aurora. Very complete, although with advertising. It tells you the KP index of your position and the percentage of probability
Northern Lights Apps
If you have the idea of seeing northern lights that do not discourage the success rate or the possibility of not seeing them. We saw them the first day we set foot in Norway. On the third day we saw them again and when we returned to Madrid all next week the auroras were at an intensity 6 all week. Is it a matter of luck ?, maybe, but months like March you have to have bad luck or be a bad guy :).
Before leaving for Norway
- Search and compare flights to Norway at the best price
- Tours in Norway (fantastic!)
- Norway's Planet planet guide
- Car rental in Norway with up to 15% discount
- Hotels in Norway through Booking (recommended)
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