northern lights norway

This was my first time seeing the Northern Lights. I had spent a week in Norway, in winter, and luck had been against us. But today the aurora came out dancing in the sky for us. seeing the northern lights is a special moment for anyone, no matter how often you may see them.

Norway Northern Lights

Incredible! Throughout this whole trip to Norway and through the mountains and fjords we have seen and done so many things and each has been an amazing experience. Even here right now up in the far North, within the Arctic Circle at Alta there was one thing we could not arrange or book… to see the Northern lights. Well, all things came together for us perfectly, we were having a tour round the Igloo Hotel and having dinner when suddenly …. there they were!

Up above us and before us the green glow formed and Wow! Yes! we had our light show! Words can’t describe being there watching them live, and pictures only tell half the story. I was speechless and have now physically seen them a first time and experienced one of my lifelong dreams. Here are some of the pics we managed to take……

Norway Northern Lights

Where is best to see the Northern Lights?

To see them yourself you need to be in the right place, at the right time of year and also have some luck with the weather and conditions. The nearer you are to the North Pole the better chance you have of seeing them. Hence most pictures you see of the aurora are from places like Canada, Alaska, Sweden, Iceland, Finland and here were I was in Norway. I was in the Arctic circle within Norway so had an even better chance.

Norway Northern Lights

Weather and Unpredictable

There are many factors that determine whether you will see the lights. I solar flare a couple of days before helps them to reach further south, But if there are clouds in the sky then naturally you won’t see very much.

Norway Northern Lights

The best weather is a dark, clear night, preferably when there is a new moon not a full one. Some people say that a clear and very cold day that leads into night can increase the chances too.

Norway Northern Lights

The best time of year is winter time. In the arctic circle the days are short and the dark nights longer. The sun moves away a lot more too so you can see them better and more clearly. On very rare occasions you may get to see them in very northern places during August! But I would not book myself on a holiday at that time for the purpose of experiencing them.

Norway Northern Lights

Norway Northern Lights

Watching In Awe

As it was my first time there was a battle going on. Being mesmerised and seeing them with my own eyes against the travel photographer in me wanting to capture the memories. I was lucky enough to do both.

The lights may show for only a minute or they may linger for a long time through the night, you never know.

Norway Northern Lights

What a perfect place too. Deep in the Norwegian Forest, at an Ice Igloo, seeing nature’s finest light show.

Norway Northern Lights

Since this day I have seen the northern Lights many more times, I consider myself very fortunate. I have seen from planes whilst flying over Russia. In Canada I saw them randomly whilst travelling across the prairie. I have even seen them from near my house when living in Cumbria.

Once seen, never forgotten.

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24 Comments

  1. Blaise F Egan says:

    I saw the aurorae in Iceland a couple of years ago. They take you on a bus and drive you 50 km outside Reykjavik. If you don’t see the aurora you get a free trip the next night and the next, and the next, until you do see it. The first night was -10 °C and when I was adjusting the tripod there was a ‘crack’ sound and the plastic nut holding up the central column broke. There was nothing visible and we went home disappointed. We debated whether to go out the next night as it would be followed a couple of hours later by an early morning flight home. We did go out and it was spectacular. Much less cold and I got great pics, even if I did have to kneel down to get at the camera on the tripod. It was so spectacular that it was visible all the way to Reykjavik and from the city. Do put it on your bucket list.

  2. Nuala Pinson says:

    Breathtaking and awe inspiring photographs. Thank you Paul

  3. TwistedSifter says:

    Congratulations on achieving one of your lifelong dreams Paul. I've only experienced the Northern Lights once but it was magical.
    Norway is officially on my bucket list of places to visit. Thanks for sharing your adventures!

  4. Dena Rowlands says:

    Congratulations Paul! I'm quite envious but very very pleased for you! The Northern Lights are on my list of "must sees" too!

  5. Jackie Bigford says:

    What a truly spectacular moment for you Paul ~ I can only imagine the sheer beauty that you were able to witness.
    Jackie

  6. One of my ambitions is to see the Northern Lights – fantastic, very jealous and pleased for you in equal measure ; )

  7. Vinterjenta says:

    Hi, I love your pictures. Make sure to visit the Atlantic Road next time you visit Norway :))

  8. Wow!!! Beautiful. I've always wanted to see the Auroras. They don't come this far south, I need to go north. You are lucky Paul, but you work for your luck.. I need to follow your lead. 😉

  9. Terri Nakamura says:

    WOW, Paul. Just phenomenal. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Tif Persoons says:

    Wow, wow and wow.

  11. Vicky Picks says:

    You are one lucky b**!!** If there's one thing I'd love to see before I die it's the Northern Lights.

  12. Thank you for these wonderful photos. We're booked to go next Feb and am so hoping that we get to see them – it's something I've dreamt of since I was a child x

  13. Elaine (elm8) says:

    love the photos! I've always wanted to see the Northern Lights. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  14. Northern Lights are definitely on my list of things to experience. So awesome that you were able to catch them!!

  15. Paul – you lucky, lucky man – these photos are lovely – I was born up in the North East of Scotland and saw them a few times when I was a kid but only faint not like that……looks like you're having a great time as well…….:oD

  16. Keris Stainton says:

    Drat. That was supposed to say "one day"!

  17. Rosalind Adam says:

    Those pictures are amazing. Thanks for sharing. I would so love to see the Northern Lights for real… maybe one day.

  18. Pam Stucky says:

    Spectacular! I don't have a bucket list (well, I do, but a different kind of bucket list) – but if I had a travel list, "see the Northern Lights" would definitely be on it. I definitely want to bear witness to that one day. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Keris Stainton says:

    What beautiful photographs! I would love to see the Northern Lights on day

  20. Zane Treigute says:

    Great! Nice finish of the wonderful trip.
    Thank you for sharing 🙂

  21. Amy Howell says:

    Paul: this is so cool!! Thank u for sharing such beauty in nature!

  22. Wow!! ((:- Amazing experiences in life ! WOW !! Luck !!((:-

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