No two shows are the same, every viewer will write a different review and different stars will be seen during each spectacle. The natural light display of the Northern Lights is something that most of us have on our bucket lists and checking it off the list is probably not as hard as you might think. Good forethought and planning are essential but the Northern Lights could be one of the most dazzling performances of 2017. While the unique spectacle is something that millions of people each year head north to catch sight of, many of us don’t know a lot about them. Known as Aurora Borealis the name was coined by Galileo Galilei and comes from Aurora, the goddess of Dawn, and Boreas, the god of the North wind. They are caused by solar activity interacting with the Earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere.
Actually catching this spectacular light display depends on many variables such as sun activity, weather and location. As a general rule of thumb the further north you go, the better the display. The Aurora Borealis can be seen in many northern parts of the world but Europeans are spoilt for choice with several amazing destinations on their doorstep. Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden are all excellent locations for seeing this fantastic show. As well as the Northern Lights, these places offer a plethora of other unique amusements. Whether it’s geysers and fjords in Iceland, amazing forests and wild food in Finland or absorbing hygge culture and scandi design in Norway and Sweden.
Once you’re there, it is best to avoid cities and towns to see the Northern Lights as the light from the towns can make it hard to see, so try to find a location that has minimal light pollution. There are remote places that aren’t too far from more urban locations, so you don’t have to rough it out in the complete wilderness. Another thing that is essential to consider is weather. Clouds are the bane of aurora-gazers, there’s not much you can do about that but generally there tends to be more cloud formation in coastal areas, so pick an inland location. Auroras tend to be more spectacular during periods of high solar activity so check websites such as aurora-service.eu, gi.alaska.edu/auroraforecast and spaceweatherlive.com. Magnetic midnight is when the magnetic pole is aligned between the viewer and the sun, this is usually an hour before midnight and this is the ultimate time to see the Northern Lights. It is no secret that this will be a cold holiday so wrap up warm, lots of layers are a must and sturdy footwear and big coats are important too. There will be lots of Instagram worthy shots so don’t forget your camera, and as well as the Aurora Borealis remember to enjoy the incredible landscapes, romantic climate, and magical icy atmosphere.
The Northern Lights are forecast to be at their most wondrous over the next two winters so there is no time like the present! Baltic Travel Company offers Northern Lights holidays to all of the recommended destinations from October to April. These trips are in high demand with travellers from around the world so early booking is encouraged. As well as a Northern Lights Itinerary the Baltic Travel Company also offer a Northern Lights Cruise which is an amazing way to see the natural display as is their Northern Lights tour on the Polar Express. This northern adventure is perfect for couples, families and solo travellers it is hard for anyone not to be utterly impressed by this extraordinary dancing light show. If you are planning a trip to visit one of these true bucket list destinations to see the Northern Lights, go to www.baltictravelcompany.com for tailored Holiday bookings. Go alone, with a partner or friend, and be sure to bring a camera!