Things to consider

  • Best chances for sightings are during winter, between September and April.
  • The Aurora belt covers Iceland, Greenland, Canada, Norway and Svalbard, but our best sightings have always been in Churchill and Greenland.
  • The Northern Lights are spectacular, breathtaking, and famously unpredictable. Make the most of your time in the Arctic by ensuring your days are action-packed too.

Seeing the Northern Lights

The best time to see the Northern Lights

Winter is the best time to see the Northern Lights. It's not the temperature which makes a difference, but the appearance of the sky; it's only during the winter months that the skies are dark enough to make out the ethereal flickering. Best chances are between September and April.

Consider the rates of precipitation in your destination too, as a rainier month means more likelihood of cloud cover. In reality though, the changeable weather means snow, sleet, hail and rain can appear with seemingly very little notice, at any point during the season. Give yourself the best chance of a sighting by ensuring you spend at least 3 nights in your destination.

See the Northern Lights

Best places to see the Northern Lights

Most frequent sightings are found around the 'Aurora Belt', a line similar to the Arctic Circle. Contrary to popular belief, the lights are therefore strongest and most regular around the edge of the Arctic, rather than getting brighter the further north you go.

The belt passes over areas in Canada, Greenland, Svalbard, Iceland and Norway, so there's a lot of choice on where to see them. Picking your destination should be the most important factor in your trip, and will depend heavily on what you want to get out of the Arctic. Whether your secondary focus is history, culture, dog-sledding, wildlife or icebergs, ask our specialists to find the right trip for you.

See the Northern Lights

Jon says

Northern Lights Tours

Our favourite places to see the Northern Lights

More about the Northern Lights destinations

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