Bright Lights on Your Bucket List?

Many people would like to see the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights before they die. I am one of those people too. I learned a little about the auroras and I will share the information with you, so you may check this one off your list too.

The Northern Lights are collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere. (Thank you National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website.) Variations in color are due to the type of gas particles that are colliding. Did I lose you?? Just think “pretty colors” and read on. The northern lights are called the Aurora Borealis and the southern lights, in the southern hemisphere, are called Aurora Australis. Just a tidbit of information that you can throw out at your next dinner conversation and look really smart.

The best places to see the auroras are: Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Northern Russia. My informal poll (of one) believes that the cold weather of Siberia would make it miserable no matter how great the lights are. Pick a different country- and I’m not really sure why I included it on the list anyway.

The Northern coast of Norway is the center of the northern lights and is the most likely location to see the lights. The winter is the best time to see the lights due to the longer periods of darkness but the viewing season is generally November to March.

The lights are cyclic and peak every 11 years. The last peak was 2013. That means in 2024 you’ve got the best shot at seeing the lights. I think this might be enough time to plan for a trip.

Like I said in the beginning, I have not seen the Northern lights but I’ve done a little research to find some hotels that are unique and sure to make a lasting memory. These are hotels that offer great Northern lights viewing with a unique twist on hotel ambience.


Here are my top choices:

Hotel Kakslauttanen in Finland. It has glass igloos where you can see the lights from your bed. Just plain cool.


Sweden’s Ice Hotel, Jukkasjärvi Ice Hotel. The wonderous ice sculptured rooms and lobby are an awesome side venture to seeing the lights. You kill two birds with one stone.









Hotel Arctic in Greenland. In addition to regular rooms, there are 5 aluminum igloos built right on the coast of the Ilulissat Icefjord, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.






The SnowHotel in Kirkenes, Finland is another ice hotel. Here they offer husky led tours into the wilderness to get a better view of the Northern Lights. (Sometimes you don’t even know what is on your bucket list until you read about it!)

Here are a few more to check out:

  • Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel-Norway
  • Ion Hotel-Iceland
  • Snow Village-Finland

Now that you have some information on the Northern Lights, pull out your winter clothes and jump into life. It is not going to wait for you.

7 thoughts on “Bright Lights on Your Bucket List?

  1. Maya, here I go again. Went to the NW territory 20 years ago caribou hunting and fishing for lake trout, flew an otter lake plane to a tent camp a few hundred miles north of Yellow Knife. In August, so lots of clouds, but one night as we came out of our nightly poker game with the guides about midnight and looked up…. the Northern Lights were in full swing. They seemed to be so close that I could touch them. One of my favorite movies was Close Encounters of the Third Kind (I think that is right), and the light show reminded me of an alien spaceship coming to earth. You can certainly understand why those lights were worshipped by the eskimos. They are truly mind shifting. Certainly worth being on your bucket list.


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