Norway is one of the best and some of the best places in the world for an exciting new adventure sport watching the Northern Lights.
If you are barely aware or want to know more about this natural phenomenon, then you are in the right article. Here’s everything you need to know about the indescribable spectacle of the Northern Lights in Norway.
What are the Northern Lights in Norway?
Northern lights (aurora borealis) are one of two extant forms of polar lights, beautiful luminous phenomena that occur in the sky near the planet’s poles.
The northern lights near the North Pole are called Borealis, and those near the South Pole are called Australis.
This meteorological phenomenon occurs when 80 km from Earth particles of radiation emitted by the Sun hit the upper part of the atmosphere.
The collision of the radiation particles and gases that make up the atmosphere causes a dance of light that can be seen from the Earth’s surface in good weather.
Although predominantly green, the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, can have shades of red, blue, pink, orange, and purple.
Due to its location, Norway is among the select countries with the amazing spectacle of the northern lights, especially in or near the Arctic Circle.
When do the Northern Lights occur in Norway?
The Arctic region enters winter in the Northern Hemisphere in the so-called “polar night”, a long period of total darkness or partial shade. Therefore, winter is the best season to see the Northern Lights in Norway.
September to April is also a great opportunity to see the Northern Lights, as the nights are much longer than the days.
Where to see the Northern Lights in Norway?
Tromso, Trondheim and Svalbard are three popular places to see the Northern Lights in Norway.
Northern lights in Tromso
Tromso is the largest city in northern Norway and one of the most visited to see the Northern Lights. It is at 69°N, latitude in the midpoint of the ideal range for observing the weather phenomenon.
Northern lights can be seen from the city, the experience will be better in its more isolated areas, such as the Lyngsalpene mountain range.
Northern lights in Svalbard
Svalbard is a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean with latitudes between 74 and 81° North. Its largest city of over 2,100 people is Longyearbyen, located at 78° North.
This part of Norway is a land of fjords, glaciers, polar bears, mountains and wildlife, with nightfall almost all the time between November and mid-February, perfect darkness to see the northern lights.
In Longyearbyen, you can enjoy exciting dog sledging adventures, snowmobiling, fishing, and other ice entertainment.
Adventfjorden is a bay in Longyearbyen, where an old mining camp is located.
Northern lights in Trondheim
Trondheim is the third Norwegian city in population, with 185,000 residents. Although it is at 63.5° North, slightly below the ideal range, it remains at a suitable latitude to enjoy the northern lights when solar activity is intense.
When are the best dates to see the Northern Lights in Norway?
To see the Northern Lights in Norway you must travel between September and April, preferably in winter. The chances of seeing the sight will increase between mid-December to March.
The recommended viewing window for Northern Lights experts is between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. There is a Northern Lights Alert at Hotel so you sleep peacefully and wake up when they appear.
If you head straight to the northern cities that are close to the best spots, you’ll find other fun things to see and do outside the lights.
When are the best dates to see the Northern Lights in Tromso, Norway?
The peak season for viewing the Northern Lights in Tromso is November to February, although the recommended period is September to April.
September and March are good months to visit Tromso and other parts of the country, as solar activity is most intense during the Equinox.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the spring equinox occurs on March 20 or 21, and the autumnal equinox on September 22 or 23.
If you visit Tromso in winter to enjoy the northern lights and city views, you will have the best conditions to practise winter sports such as dog sledging, snowmobiling and ice fishing. An overview of life on tour, arctic winters and other activities.
Northern lights forecast in Norway
Technological advances, telecommunications and more accurate weather forecasts provide better information about the probability of the Northern Lights.
When are the Northern Lights in Norway?
In Norway and other countries in the Northern Lights Corridor of the Northern Hemisphere, probabilistic forecasts are issued on a numerical scale.
A lower number on the scale means a lower probability of an event, and a higher number means a higher likelihood. However, low-probability forecasts are almost always accurate, while high-confidence predictions often fail, especially in the case of sudden changes in weather forecasts.
Despite their weaknesses, these forecasts are the best source of information because they are based on data from space agencies and national and international climate monitoring institutions.
The Service Aurora portal produces forecasts for the European Northern Light Corridor, a service that evaluates information from space agencies and climate control offices in each country.
SolarHam info is also very popular with Northern Lights hunters in Norway.
Other resources include the Norwegian Meteorological Institute’s Climate Report, which compiles data on cloud cover and other parameters. Norway Lights works with light activity data and meteorological variables.
Probability of Northern Lights in Norway
The best guarantee of seeing the Northern Lights in Norway is in the right place during the annual Northern Lights viewing period.
The more time you spend in the long-night areas of the Norwegian Northern Lights Corridor, the better your chances.
Hopefully, you will see the weather phenomenon in a short trip of 3 or 4 days. You may need a lot longer to do this if you’re unlucky.
Northern Lights sighting tours in Norway
Many Northern Lights tours depart from Tromso and other cities in the Northern Lights belt.
Marianne’s Aurora Tours organizes a bus tour from Tromse that can be completed in 12 hours. Includes training to take the best photos.
Travel to Norway offers airfare to see the Northern Lights by air.
A famous 12-day cruise leaves Bergen for Kirkenes, with stops in Tromso and other ports of call, organized by Hurtigruten. Guarantees a 100% view of the Northern Lights.
Northern Lights Hotels in Norway
The following are some of the best hotels on the Northern Light Corridor in northern Norway.
Hotels in Tromso
Radisson Blu Hotel: Operates in a modern building with panoramic views of the Arctic. Breakfast is included in the rate and offers three options for other meals. Wi-Fi is free.
Scandic Ishavshotel: Elegant and modern building overlooking the port of Tromso. Its rooms and suites are luxurious, and a breakfast buffet is included in the rate.
SmartHotel Tromso: A modern budget hotel, 2 km from the Arctic Cathedral, with free Wi-Fi and bike access. Its rooms are spacious and comfortable.
Hotels in Longyearbyen, Svalbard
Gjestehuset102 – Longyearbyen is an excellent place for sightseeing. Breakfast and Wi-Fi are complimentary.
Mary-Ann’s Polarrig: Longyearbyen mining camp was a cabin on a hill overlooking the city. It also has beautiful apartments and a spa.
SvalbardLodge – Budget hotel in an excellent location for exploring Longyearbyen.
Hotels in Trondheim
Scandic Nidelven – Riverfront Hotel’s stylish rooms are a 5-minute walk from Trondheim Central Station. Buffet breakfast and complimentary gym are included.
Clarion Hotel Trondheim: Modern hotel with a harbour view and well-lit rooms. It has a restaurant on its roof with great views.
Radisson Blu Royal Garden Hotel: Contemporary accommodation on the banks of the Nidelva River, a 7-minute walk from Trondheim Central Station and 10 minutes from Nidaros Cathedral. It has an indoor pool.
Photos of Northern Lights in Norway
We hope that soon you will be able to visit this beautiful Nordic country to see the Northern Lights in Norway.