Witnessing the Aurora Borealis is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many. Those who have seen them, get hooked and can never get enough of the blazing colours dancing in the sky. Below we have gathered 5 tips how to become a Northern Lights Hunter yourself!

1. Travel to North 

Northern lights a.ka. Auroras are caused by electronically charged particles originating from the sun. Multi-coloured displays form when different atmospheric gases are agitated by this solar wind. Northern Lights can be seen in the northern or southern hemisphere, in an irregularly shaped oval centred over each magnetic pole. The lights are known as 'Aurora borealis' in the north and 'Aurora australis' in the south. Southern auroras are not often seen as they are concentrated in a ring around Antarctica and the southern Indian Ocean.

One way to measure the possibility to see the Northern lights is a kp index which is a scale from 0 to 9. Using this number you can see what level of solar activity is typically needed to view Northern Lights from where you are located. 

For example, when the nights are dark (from late August to mid-April), Northern lights can be seen almost every clear night in Northern parts of Lapland (kp1-kp2). In Southern parts of Lapland (kp2-kp3), lights shine every other clear night and in Southern Finland (kp4-kp5) they a visible only about 10-20 nights a year. 

Timetravels destinations Levi, Saariselkä, Vasatokka (Inari) with one day visits to Tromso and Bygones are located exactly on the strongest Northern light area. 

2. Travel during wintertime 

Winter is generally the best season to view lights. The long periods of darkness during the polar nights (from November until March) and the frequency of clear nights provide many good opportunities to watch the auroral displays. During summer Auroras are not visible because of the light nights and midnight sun. During winter you can also enjoy a lot of fun winter activities, those will add value to your travel experience! 

3. Stay outside, find hilltops and dark places  

The lights might unexpectedly appear and just as suddenly vanish any time from just after sunset to just before dawn. For best visibility, get away from light buildings to hilltops or lake shores. (For this reason it is prefered to chose small ski resorts, villages and communities as travel destinations.) One good idea is to participate in Northern light hunting activities by snowshoes or snowmobiles. Local guides will take you safely to the middle of the wilderness during the night and you can enjoy the silence and nice campfire while waiting the lights to appear! 

4. The longer you stay, the more chances you have  

Unfortunately solar activity cannot be 100% guaranteed every night. In addition, even the strongest aurora can be totally blocked by cloudy weather. Your chances to see the Northern lights will get better the longer you stay in Lapland. If you will arrive only for a few nights, the risk of not seeing the lights will get higher. Also, the cost of extra night is usually not that much compared with the other travel cost by train, bus or plane. According to our statistics, on our four nights tours  about 70 % of all the participants see the Northern lights. 

5. Sign-up for Northern lights alerts  

On the Finnish Meteorological Institute’s informative Auroras Now! website, you can sign up for free e-mail alerts sent whenever magnetic conditions in the skies over Finland make auroral displays likely. Another recommend service to monitor the geomagnetic activity is aurora forecast page, which is run by volunteer aurora chasers. Both services use real time data from some of the worlds top space weather institutions. You can also check dedicated Northern light applications for mobile devices. 



Aurora Borealis is an unique natural phenomenon, which can be seen in an oval centred over the Northern hemisphere. Our Lapland destinations Levi, Saariselkä, Vasatokka (Inari) are located exactly under the strongest Northern light area.

One easy way to forecast the visibility of the Northern lights is a kp index, which is a scale of geomagnetic activity. In the Northernmost part of Lapland, between kp index 1 and 2, lights can be seen almost every clear night. In Southern parts of Lapland (kp2-kp3), lights shine less often, about every third clear night. In Southern Finland (kp4-kp5) they are visible only about 10-20 nights a year.  

The lights might appear and just as suddenly vanish any time from just after sunset to just before dawn. You can enhance your chances by participating in night activities by snowshoes or snowmobiles. Local guides will take you safely to the middle of the wilderness where can enjoy the silence of Arctic nature at campfire while waiting the lights to appear!

Unfortunately solar activity cannot be guaranteed every night and even the strongest aurora can be totally blocked by cloudy weather. For this reason we have found optimal tour duration to be at least four nights in the destinations. According to our statistics, about 70 % of our Lapland tour participants see the Northern lights! In order to see realtime Northern lights forecast, please visite the website of Aurora-Service! 


Northern lights map

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Timetravels - Aikamatkat