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Best Places to See the Northern Lights

by Sage McHugh

Oct 9, 2014

Fairbanks, Alaska © Karrapavan | Dreamstime


The peak season for Northern Lights viewing — late November through March — is fast approaching. Here are some of the best places to see the mystical auroras around the world:


Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

Located on the west coast of Greenland, Kangerlussuaq  is known for its spectacular displays of the Aurora Borealis. With stable weather patterns and 300 days of clear skies per year, it’s a prime spot for aurora seekers. However, with limited accommodations, glacial terrain and snowmobiles as the primary means of transportation, this trip is for the adventurer rather than the leisurely traveler.


Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Iceland © Stanislav Moroz | Dreamstime

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Iceland © Stanislav Moroz | Dreamstime

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Iceland


Theoretically, the Northern Lights can be seen from anywhere in the country. CNN Travel dubbed Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon best viewing spot in Iceland because the lights are reflected in the lagoon, making the experience all the more picturesque.


Tromsø, Norway

The Aurora Borealis is visible from all over Norway. However, locations above the Arctic Circle reveal the aurora in its full intensity. Tromsø  is known for superb light shows. Since the region is shrouded in darkness for nine months out of the year, the aurora can sometimes be seen in the afternoon too.


Fairbanks, Alaska

Fairbanks, Alaska is often named one of the best places to see the Northern Lights in the United States. The farther you go into the wilderness of the Denali and Yukon territories, the brighter the aurora appears.


Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada

Yellowknife, the capital of Canda’s Northwest Territories, is an incredibly popular viewing spot for good reason. Its prime location within the auroral zone, combined with stable weather conditions and generally clear skies, ensures a high probability of seeing the Northern Lights at their brightest.


Abisko, Sweden

Like Greenland, the Swedish Lapland is rough and remote terrain, but a perfect spot for true outdoor enthusiasts. Abisko is legendary for its “blue hole,” a part of the sky that remains perpetually clear, ensuring a high probability of auroral shows.



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