A guide to Northern Lights Activities in Lapland
What to expect from a Northern Lights tour in Lapland
Lapland Northern Lights activities are one of the main focuses for many visiting the region. With a chance to see and experience the Northern Lights across the Lapland region, there are a wide range of activities which focus on experiencing the Northern Lights in a range of ways – whichever you choose, the experience of seeing the lights moving in the sky is magical.
Depending on your preference, Northern Lights activities can come combined with an Aurora hunt where you chase to the best possible place to experience the lights, a guided walk to some of the best spots to experience the lights; an aurora photography experience to lean how to capture the Northern Lights on you camera; dogsledding under the Northern Lights … an Aurora dinner – the list is endless.
Although all of these activities will be well worth experiencing and some can increase your chances, it is important to say that none can guarantee your seeing the Northern Lights. However, for the persistent, and given favourable weather, you are in the best possible place to experience the Northern Lights and the odds are in your favour!
About the Northern Lights (or Aurora Borealis)
Although there is much still being studied about the Northern Lights, it is agreed that they are cased by solar winds emanating from the sun. It is these charged particles that react with gasses in our atmosphere, the result of which we see as light. Although the most common colour of the Northern Lights is green, it is possible, depending on the gas that the solar energy is reacting with and the altitude of that reaction, for the northern lights to also be seen with reds, pinks and even blue tones.
Unsurprisingly, throughout time cultures living in the northern hemisphere passed on myths and legends around the Northern Lights. This includes everything from dragons in China, to spirits of the departed in Sweden to the reflection of herring in Norway. Only recently has modern science explained the Aurora, many still remember the stories and traditions passed down from generation to generation.
Although there is some science behind predicting the Northern Lights (which is not clear and straight forward as you would hope), you always have a chance to experience the lights given clear dark skies and a willing ness to continue to check the night sky.
Northern Lights hunting tips
Although there are no guarantees, there are a few things that can help your Aurora hunting.
Firstly, organised Northern lights tours with a quality guide will increase your chances as they will know the best places to get away from light pollution. They will also be able to give you more detail about what you are seeing.
Secondly, get kitted up properly. There is nothing worse than having to leave the best Northern Lights display because you are cold. Many of the Northern Lights activities in Lapland come with additional clothing for just that reason.
Take a head torch with a red light setting. This will allow your eyes to remain accustomed to the darkness making you more sensitive to seeing the Northern Lights as they develop.
Check the forecast. This is equally as important with the weather as it is the Aurora forecast. Weather wise, clear skies are good, Aurora forecast wise, take some time to learn the science, or check at your hotel who may well have a visual representation predicting where the it may appear.
Finally, and this one is the most important. Keep your eyes skyward and be persistent. Even on cloudy days sudden breaks in the cloud can reveal spectacular displays of the Northern Lights. When it comes to experiencing the Northern Lights, fortune favours the last person standing!