Best activities to see the Northern Lights

The Northern Lights, also known as the aurora borealis, are one of Earth's most incredible natural phenomena. The best places to see the Northern lights are located in the polar regions; in Noway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Canada, and Alaska. Although aurora hunting is the common way to witness these colorful displays, it’s not the only way to enjoy them.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of travellers decide to visit the north to marvel at the aurora borealis phenomenon; they are the fortunate ones who get to see this breathtaking display of green and pink lights. After choosing a location and planning a date, some travellers decide that they will book a typical aurora-chasing activity to enjoy the auroras. However, there are many different ways to enjoy this colorful display. In this article, you will learn about the best activities to see the northern lights.

Horse Sleigh Ride under the Northern Lights From Alta

horse sleigh ride northern lights Alta
Flatmoen Natur

Located in northern Norway, Alta is part of the county of Finnmark and here you will find one of the most magical activities to see the northern lights. While you enjoy this Northern Lights fairy tale sleigh ride you will marvel at the natural landscapes, dramatic fjords, mountains, and the incredible auroras.

After riding along the Alta River and through the forest, you will enjoy a delicious homemade dinner and warm up by a fire. If the magnificent auroras arise while you're unwinding and spending time with friends and family, the guide will let you know so you can enjoy them. And you will realize why being in the right place at the right time is the best feeling in the world.

Ice Floating under the Northern Lights in Finnish Lapland near Rovaniemi

Ice floating northern lights in Finnish Lapland
Nordic Unique Travels

Located in the northernmost region of Finland, close to the Arctic Circle, is capital city of Lapland; Rovaniemi. In this Finnish city, there are activities such as dog sledding, reindeer safaris, and the traditional tour of the Santa Claus Village. However, there are also more unusual activities such as ice floating under the Northern Lights.

For this activity, you will float on a lake in the magical Taiga Artic Forest, a place perfect for observing the northern lights as it is located deep in the wilderness, in beautifully quiet surroundings.

An insulated head-to-toe suit will be provided by the guide, who will then break the ice, allowing you to submerge yourself in the water and drift serenely while taking in the stunning starry sky and aurora borealis. After enjoying this unusual experience, you will warm up in the shelter with hot blueberry juice and snacks that will be waiting for you.

Snowmobile and Northern Lights Excursion with Dinner in Kiruna

Snowmobile and Northern Lights Excursion Kiruna
Kiruna Guidetur AB

If you are looking for a little more speed or adrenaline during your stay in Sweden this activity to watch the northern lights is perfect for you. Situated in the Swedish Lapland region, Kiruna is one of the northernmost towns in Sweden and is perfect for observing the aurora borealis.

After a safety briefing, you will follow the guide through the wilderness of Swedish Lapland on a snowmobile. You will observe the magical white forests and enjoy the silence and perhaps some wild animals. As all of this is happening, the sky begins to darken, signaling the start of the most amazing natural phenomena on Earth: the northern lights. While you’re observing the lights on the snowmobile, the guides will tell you stories and myths about auroras, and at the end, you will try some local delicacies in a charming cabin.

Dog Sledding with Northern Lights Experience in Gratangen near Narvik

Dog Sledding with Northern Lights Experience Narvik
Husky Isogaisa

One of the most popular winter activities in the polar regions is dog sledding. But in Narvik, you can enjoy this activity with the amazing bonus of seeing the northern lights. If you travel near Narvik, more precisely to Gratangen, a small town of breathtaking landscapes, full of mountains, fjords and forests.

If you choose the Dog Sledding activity with Northern Lights, you will meet the musher in this charming town, who will introduce you to the huskies who will transport you through this magical location. After the safety briefing, 4-6 enthusiastic dogs will take you through Gratangen's scenic landscapes. Then, after observing the fjord, mountains, and woods, you will join everyone for a Sami experience in a traditional Sami Lavu. Here you will enjoy a traditional Sami meal, and after a ceremony, you will witness the beautiful northern lights.

Reindeer Sledding Excursion under the Northern Lights in Tromsø

Reindeer Sledding Excursion under the Northern Lights Tromsø
Norwegian travel

Tromsø is one of the most popular destinations to live winter experiences and one of the best places in the world to witness the northern lights. It is located in Northern Norway and is the most developed urban area in this part of this Scandinavian country.

Thanks to this activity you will immerse yourself in a Sami experience. You will start by spending a day with the Sami people in Camp Tamok. Here you will receive a warm overall and a safety briefing. After meeting these magnificent winter animals and while you learn more about this culture you will start your reindeer sledding tour. You will observe the natural landscapes while exchanging stories with the local guide and suddenly you will notice the auroras dancing above your head. To finish this amazing experience you will sit around a fire in a typical tent to enjoy a Norwegian meal.

Northern Lights Minivan Photography Tour from Levi

Northern Lights Photography Tour Levi
Beyond Arctic

If you are passionate about photography, don't miss the opportunity to take part in one of the most inspiring and challenging experiences for photographers: to capture the aurora borealis.

In Levi, located in Finnish Lapland, there are a lot of outdoor activities that you can try, and of course, you will be able to take a tour to take pictures of the northern lights. This tour starts by meeting the experienced photographer and guide, who will brief you on the different aspects to take into account during the tour; weather conditions, aurora forecasts, and destinations.

When you arrive in the tranquility of nature, you will set up everything to start the photography training. Your guide will share with you tips and tricks on night-time photography to take the perfect photos that will not only make you remember the experience but also improve your photography skills.

Today, there's a vast range of Northern Lights activities apart from the classic Northern Light excursion. You can choose from calmer excursions to more adventurous activities. You can observe the most beautiful dancing lights in the world while connecting with nature or improving your photographic skills.

To learn more about the best locations in Scandinavia to witness this amazing phenomenon, check out our Top 8 Places to Spot the Northern Lights in Scandinavia. To choose your perfect experience check out all our winter activities by visiting our winter experiences page.