Call free on:
0800 988 3369
Mon - Fri: 9:00 - 17:30
Sat, Sun and Bank Holidays: Closed
5 Ways To Maximise Your Chance Of Seeing The Northern Lights
29th March 2018

The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon that may well feature on your bucket list. Even though we now understand why they occur (instead of believing they are a message from the gods or an omen of war, like humans did in the past), it doesn’t make them any less alluring.

The chance to watch this enchanting spectrum of light dance across the sky could be a driving force behind your decision to travel, but how do you maximise your chances of seeing them? We’ve put together a few tips that will certainly help. And if you would like to put them into action, our team are waiting to plan your tailor-made break. Just call us on 0800 988 3369 or click here to submit an online enquiry.

Travel Inside The Arctic Circle


Whilst it is possible that the Northern Lights can be seen as far south as Scotland and parts of the US, this is rare and they are much more likely to make an appearance further north. The further into the Arctic Circle you go, the better chance you have – although somewhere like Iceland, which is situated just below this imaginary geographical line, is still a great option. This means that places like Tromso in Norway, Abisko in Sweden and Kakslauttanen in Finland are all popular spots for aurora chasers.

Travel In March Or September

Northern Lights

One of the main ingredients you need for a perfect Northern Lights recipe is dark skies. In the northern hemisphere, this rules out April to August because the destinations within the Arctic Circle go through a period of constant sunlight known as the Midnight Sun during this time. September to March is, therefore, the best period in which to travel, with the beginning of the timeframe being the best choice if you want to avoid bitterly cold temperatures. The reason why we recommend March and September as the two ideal months is that this is when Earth’s two equinoxes occur and solar activity is at its peak.

Stay For At least Three Nights

Northern Lights

The unpredictable nature of the Aurora Borealis means that you can never truly tell when the solar winds will put on their show. Therefore, to give you the best chance of seeing them during your trip, it is a good idea to stay for no less than three nights. Obviously the longer you choose to spend there the more chance you will have, but anything less than this will seriously limit the window you have available.

Book An Organised Tour

Northern Lights Tour

In some places, the Northern Lights can be seen quite comfortably from your hotel window, but you are much more likely to get the full impact if you venture into the wilderness on an organised tour. Firstly, reducing the amount of artificial light around you (light from street lamps, cars and buildings) gives you a better chance of seeing the aurora in all its glory. Secondly, an organised tour will be run by experts that have done this many time before. They know where to go, which conditions make for a good show and will ultimately enhance your experience.

Pray For A Clear Sky

Northern Lights

The last ingredient needed is a clear night’s sky. Heavy cloud that blankets the heavens will all but eliminate your chance of enjoying the Northern Lights, whilst some sparse clouds may reduce the effect or combine with the colours to create something unique. The need for a clear sky is another reason why we recommend staying for at least three nights. The weather may be difficult to predict, especially if you like to plan your holidays months in advance, but if you can wait until the last minute to check the forecast, it will only help your chances.

Which Travel Type Is Right For You?
When the time comes to travel again, you may be overcome with choices as to where you want to go and how you want to explore that destination. So we’ve created a mini-guide to help you find your ideal holiday type and when’s the best time to book.
Find out more...
5 Foods To Try In Lisbon
Whether you’re choosing to travel in the near future or next year because of the current travel situation, you may still want to look for inspiration or enjoy a spot of light reading. So, below are five different foods from the capital of Portugal, Lisbon, which you can make at home or enjoy during next year’s summer holiday.
Find out more...


Contact usTravel agent centreRequest a brochure
0800 988 3369

© Fred. Olsen Travel.
Registered in England and Wales No. 02287241. Olympus House, 2 Olympus Close, Ipswich, IP1 5LN

Bonded by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) and by the Civil Aviation Authority's Air Travel Organisers Licensing (ATOL) scheme, you can look forward to your next adventure with the peace of mind that your money is financially protected in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Reasons to book with us... Financial protection afforded by our ABTA and ATOL industry bonding, giving you complete peace of mind.
Dedicated team of experienced travel advisors waiting to tailor your holiday to your personal requirements.
We can arrange all of your car hire, airport lounges and much more to make your holiday as easy as possible.