One of the most spectacular sights in the world, the northern lights rank highly on most bucket lists and are a must-see when on a Norway yacht charter.
Also known as the aurora borealis, the northern lights are created when charged particles from the sun become trapped in the Earth’s magnetic field. The result is an otherworldly display of lights, ranging in colour from purple to green, magically dancing across the Arctic night sky.
Experiencing this natural phenomenon is possible in many countries north of the Arctic Circle, including Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Greenland and Canada, but with its deep fjords, dramatic mountain ranges and multiple islands, Norway is arguably one of the top places to get a glimpse, especially while on a Northern Europe yacht charter.
The Northern Lights are most likely to be seen in the north of Norway, around the Arctic Circle. Northern Lights hotspots in Norway include Tromso, Alta, Narvik and Lyngeford. Svalbard and the Lofoten Islands are also prime spots for viewing the aurora borealis.
The aurora belt hits northern Norway above the Lofoten Islands and follows the coast all the way up to the North Cape and beyond.
One place in this area is often as good as the other. So whether cruising the magnificent Lygenfjord, the wildly beautiful island chains of Lofoten and Vesteralen or the untouched wilderness of Svalbard, travellers will see the lights, just from a different angle.
As a natural phenomenon, the mystical aurora borealis aren’t always guaranteed to appear, but there are some conditions that make a sighting more likely. For one, the right time of year is crucial and runs from late-September to late-March, which is when northern Norway is dark from early afternoon until late morning. Plus, the lights have their climax when the weather is cold and dry.