NORTHERN LIGHTS – THE MAGIC LIGHTS

WHAT IS THE BEST PLACE TO SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS?

That is the most important question for anyone who wants to see the Northern Lights. It has a very difficult and special answer. You can see the lights from many countries, but, not always. You can go to one country sure that you will see it, spend two weeks there and see nothing! So, let’s try to give you our information.

We did a lot of research to find out in which cities around the world we would have the greatest possibility of seeing the lights. We got to know that we have to go above the Arctic Circle and the closer we get to the North Pole the more chances we will have of seeing them. It includes part of Greenland, Iceland, northern Scandinavia and Russia, northern Alaska and Canada.

Then, we decided to go to northern NORWAY and SWEDEN, and it was FABULOUS! From the eight opportunities we had of seeing the Aurora Borealis, we succeeded in seven times! THE SIGHT OF THE NORTHERN LIGHTS DANCING ACROSS THE SKIES IN HUES OF GREEN, PINK AND PURPLE WILL STAY WITH US FOREVER.

WHAT ARE THE BEST MONTHS TO SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS?

The best period for viewing the Aurora Borealis is autumn and spring. October, February and March are the best months for aurora observations. Besides, as there are some hours of sun during those months, we can easily have others activities, such as dogsledding, snowmobiling, etc. From November to January, the sun never rises above the horizon. If you want  more information, contact us.

WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS?

There are things that are crucial in order to have a chance at seeing the northern lights:

– AURORA ACTIVITY – It does not occur every evening and there are never any guarantees that the Northern Lights will appear. There needs to be storm activity on the sun’s surface. Also, it is important to stay outside under the winter sky between 6 pm and 1 am, which is, statistically, the most active period of the day.

– DARKNESS – New moon is essential and to stay very far from cities and roads also.

– CLEAR SKIES – The sky must have no clouds and lots of stars! MARVELOUS!

NORTHERN LIGHTS

The AURORA BOREALIS, known as the Northern Lights, is one of the finest sights in nature. It is caused by electrically charged particles emitted by the sun and interacting with the earth’s magnetic field. Some particles (chiefly electrons) are accelerated towards the earth and guided towards two zones, one near the North Pole, the other near the South Pole. Near the South Pole they are called Southern Lights or Aurora Australis. Colliding with the upper atmosphere at very great speeds, the particles cause the air to glow in many colors although pale green and pink are the most common, it is also possible to see shades of red, yellow, green, blue, and violet. The different colors depend on temperature and density of the local atmosphere.

The lights appear in many forms from patches or scattered clouds of light to streamers, arcs, rippling curtains or shooting rays that light up the sky with an eerie glow. Aurora Borealis is named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and Boreas, the ancient Greek personification of the north wind. THIS IS AN UNBELIEVABLE EXPERIENCE!

LET’S SEE THE MAGIC LIGHTS…

NORTHERN LIGHTS IN NORWAY

NORWAY MAP – http://www.mappery.com/map-of/Norway-World-Heritage-Sites-Map

TROMSØ

We traveled at the end of February in a new moon period. The first city we visited was TROMSØ. For us, this is one of the best places to see the Northern Lights. It has very easy access, has lots of hotels and restaurants, many things to see and to do inside and outside the town. The temperature, during the day, was between 5°C and -9°C.

Tromsø is the capital of the Tromsø’s province and also a natural center for North Norway. Tromsø was the center of seal hunting in North Norway, and the town was established as the “GATEWAY TO THE ARCTIC” in the late 1800s. It contains one of Norway’s most impressive mountain ranges, the LYNGS ALPS, which attract winter skiers and summer hikers. In Tromsø three different cultures meet: the NORWEGIAN, SAMI and KVEN cultures. Approximately 10% of the population is of Sami heredity. Troms is an island county. Over half of the population of the county lives on islands.

TROMSØ MAP – http://www.mappery.com/map-of/Tromso-Tourist-Map

DAY 1 – We flew from Oslo to Tromsø by SAS. We took a taxi outside of the airport terminal. It was not expensive, since the airport is not far from the city center. Taxis are metered. We stayed at a good hotel on a waterside location that offers views of the harbor and city. If you want  more information, contact us.

On the first night we went to see the lights, we took a van in front of the Tourist Information Office (Kirkegata 2), at 7:00 pm. The group was small, with only 8 tourists, so we could have the total attention of the driver/guide. They called this tour “HUNT THE NORTHERN LIGHTS”, and we really did it. After driving for almost an hour talking with other drivers about the lights, he discovered a perfect place to park and stay. Before getting off the van, he gave to us warm suits and over boots. So, we were able to stay in the open air, with minus 35 º Celsius, taking pictures and having such an incredible time seeing the imposing Aurora Borealis. He also borrowed tripods, helped us to adjust our cameras on them and taught us how to use them in such different situation.

We had never seen such a sky, with so many stars that we could feel the GRANDIOSITY OF THE UNIVERSE! As the sky was completely clear, as there were no lights nearby, it was possible to have this image.. The sky full of stars with the lights dancing around was one of the most FANTASTIC EXPERIENCES WE HAVE EVER HAD!

We stayed there for around three and half hours. During this time, we had a hot soup, hot chocolate, cake and water. Later the driver left all the tourists in their hotels. The next day, we received the professional photos, which the guide took during the tour, in our personal email, for free. The whole tour took around 7 hours and it was AMAZING!!! We can say that this company is very professional and reliable. If you want  more information, contact us.

BE AWARE: BRING YOUR PASSPORT, because sometimes the tour has to run into Finland to catch the best weather.

BE AWARE: Be prepared for limited toilet possibilities, they make a gas station stop during the drive.

DAY 2 – The next day, at 9:45am, a guide picked us up; in front of our hotel, to take a tour to KVALØYA which is located 25 minutes from Tromsø. On the way, we had the opportunity to see the mountains that surround this city. It was snowing very hard, and as we are not used to it, WE LOVED IT! When we arrived there, we put on some special clothes over our own before going outside. We went to visit the hundreds of huskies they have there. We walked around the place and went to sit in the sled for our one hour DOGSLEDDING experience, riding by the BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPE. After that, we went to the Sami tent (lavvo), to have a Sami meal (bidos) with coffee and cake, sitting around the fire.

When we returned to the hotel, we rested a while to be prepared for another night seeing the Aurora Borealis.

That evening, we went to the Tourist Information Office (Kirkegata 2), at 6:30 pm. The van that picked us up was for 8 passengers. We did this tour with a different company. This tour was called “NORTHERN LIGHTS CHASES”.

The guide/driver was not as good as the first one. He drove around without finding a good place to see the lights. He finally parked the van in one place and gave us a warm jacket and shoe warmers. But since this place was not far from a village and it was possible to see its lights shining on the sky, the sight of the Northern Lights were not so clean. It can be seeing in the photos above. Then, he changed the place…

The new place was better than the first, but near the road, so there were vehicles passing by with their headlights on, which was unpleasant because, sometimes, it was not dark enough to have a good view of the sky. But, anyway, we saw the Aurora Borealis Lights twice this night and we understood the importance of the circumstances to get a good view of it. IT WAS VERY NICE!

During this time, we had a hot soup, hot drinks, cake and water. The guide also borrowed tripods to help us to take photos. The tourists were driven back to their hotels. He also sent – for free – the professional photos that he took during the tour. The whole tour took around 8 hours. If you want  more information, contact us.

DAY 3 – The next morning, at 10, a guide/driver picked us up in front of our hotel, to take the tour “FJORD EXCURSION DAYTIME BY CAR”. She took us sightseeing, in a van with 8 passengers, to see the surroundings of Tromsø. The fjord landscapes in this region are breathtaking. The combination of mountain and sea is second to none. We could see the wild nature, local culture and the charming small towns. We stopped many times; we did some short walks and took lots of photos! For lunch, she prepared sandwiches and a hot drink. We enjoyed very much the scenery. The day after, she sent to us all pictures she took on the trip, free of charge. The whole tour took around five and half hours. This tour was FABULOUS, one of the best we did in Norway! If you want  more information, contact us.

WALKING TOUR – TROMSØ

This afternoon we did a walking tour starting at Samuel Arnesens Gate, from where we had a view of the bridge that goes to the other side of the city where the ARCTIC CATHEDRAL is. From there, we walked to TROMSO CATHEDRAL (Kirkegata Street / Sjogata 2), built in 1861. This cathedral is notable since it is the only Norwegian cathedral made of wood. It is built in Gothic Revival style, with the church tower and main entrance on the west front. The interior is dominated by the altarpiece, which is a copy of Adolph Tidemands works Resurrection.

Then, we took Strandgata, passed by many shops and a Shopping Center. We walked through Strandvegen to go to POLARIA (Hjalmar Johansens gate 12). It is a museum housed in a very particular building that represents ice floes that have been pressed up on land by the rough seas of the Arctic. It was opened in 1998 and it was designed to be an educational experience, mainly for children. It has an Arctic aquarium, displays that mainly focus on the northerly islands of Svalbard, a panoramic cinema, and a gift and souvenir shop. We crossed the road to visit the MS POLSTJERNA (Hjalmar Johansens gate 10) that is a seal hunting vessel museum. This boat was built in 1949 and it is the best preserved vessel that has taken part in seal hunting. We returned via STORGATA, which is Tromsø’s main pedestrian street. There we visited stores that sell local handicrafts such as knitted garments, woven rugs, stair carpet runners and other products that are home made using the old techniques and patterns based on Norwegian Saami or coastal traditions. We spent two and half hours and we walked one kilometer. If you want  more information, contact us.

DAY 4 – The next day, at 8:45a.m., a guide picked us up in front of our hotel, to take the tour SNOWMOBILE SAFARILYNGSFJORD ADVENTURE. That is really an adventure!! We started the trip by minibus and it took 1:15 hour to get to CAMP TAMOK, which is located in the TAMOK VALLEY, Lyngsfjord. We started our adventure wearing a thermal insulated outfit, boots, gloves, headwear and helmet. Then, we ride a snowmobile and we were taught how to drive it. We were also instructed about safety rules.

The trail had a distance of 15 km each way, 30 km in total. The starting point was at 250 m above sea level, and we were brought up to 875 m. We drove in pairs, one driver and one passenger on each snowmobile, with opportunity to switch places during the trip. The top point of the trail was a frozen lake, where we were allowed to speed up. It was GREAT! Speeding with the snowmobile on the frozen lake, at the top of the mountain, gave to us a WONDERFUL FEELING OF FREEDOM!

At the end of the trip, we went to a LAVVU TENT, sat around the fireplace to get warm and have lunch. When we finished we returned to our hotel. This tour took around 7 hours and was a STUNNING EXPERIENCE! If you want  more information, contact us.

BE AWARE: Bring a valid motor vehicle driver’s license.

WALKING TOUR IN TROMSØ

DAY 5 – The next morning, we did another walking tour. We started walking along STORGATA again. It was a very pleasant walk. Then, we walked along Søndre Tollbodgate to visit the SKANSEN AREA (Søndre Tollbodgt, 8). This area has some old buildings and is located on the opposite side of the Polar Museum. During the Arctic Festival, it is used for the music festival and has free concerts and would have more than 5000 visitors. From there, we visited the POLAR MUSEUM (Søndre Tollbodgt, 11). This museum, located in a former Customs House on the quayside dating from 1830, tells the exciting story of risky Arctic trapping and courageous polar expeditions. The first floor illustrates early polar research, especially the ventures of Nansen and Amundsen. Downstairs there is a well-mounted exhibit about the hunting and trapping of Arctic creatures in Svalbard. We spent three hours and we walked one kilometer. If you want  more information, contact us.

We had lunch at HILDR GASTRO BAR (Skippergata 11). It is located near the Polar Museum, in an old wooden house. It is more a restaurant than a bar. We had a special hamburger and it was delicious!

We did not cross the bridge to visit CATHEDRAL ARCTICA (Hans Nilsens vei 41). We saw it from the van and from the window of our hotel room. The Cathedral is a daring piece of architecture built in 1965 in the Tromsdalen valley, inspired by Arctic nature.

In the late afternoon, we boarded the MS NORDNORGE, which is a HURTIGRUTEN ship, to stay for two nights. The ship is very good and comfortable. We stayed In an OUTSIDE CABIN OUTSIDE – 2 beds. If you want  more information, contact us.

That night, we stopped at the ports of Skjervøy and Øksfjord. At night we saw the NORTHERN LIGHTS but, contrary to what they told us, it was not possible to have a good view of this, because of the lights of the ship that are always lit. Besides, as the ship was moving, it was shaking a lot and it was almost impossible to take a good photo…

In fact, as we mentioned before, besides the AURORA ACTIVITY, we must have DARKNESS and CLEAR SKIES to have a perfect view of the NORTHERN LIGHTS.

DAY 6 – The next day, the ship stopped at the ports of Hammerfest and Havøysund.

When the ship stopped at HONNINGSVÅG we disembarked. Honningsvåg is a fishing village and the most northerly village in Europe. Set on the southern side of the ISLAND OF MAGEROY, it is the capital of NORDKAPP (North Cape). The village has some 3,500 inhabitants. The town was under German occupation during World War II, and was partly destroyed by fire during their retreat. As a result, many of the houses are built in an identical style – part of a post-war reconstruction project.

As we had three and a half hours in this harbor, we walked around to review this city where we had already been in the summer season. Then we went to lunch in a restaurant that we liked a lot and that serves some delicious whale dishes. We can say that this restaurant serves the best whale we have ever tasted. If you want  more information, contact us.

We had lunch at CORNER CAFE (Fiskeriveien 2). The building and decor of the 1960s could be better, but the food is very good and affordable. No matter which entree you choose, finish your meal with a slice of apple pie and ice cream. We had as a starter VESTFJORD HAM OF WHALE, a dried whale with cranberry and sour cream and as the main dish CORNER’S SPECIALITIES, a whale steak with vegetables, mushroom sauce, cranberries and potato slices. DELICIOUS!

At night we saw the NORTHERN LIGHTS and again it was not good for the same reasons as the previous day.

After Honningsvåg, the ship stopped in many places, like Kjøllefjord, Mehamn, Berlevåg,  Båtsfjord,  Vardø and Vadsø.

DAY 7 – The next day, the ship stopped at the port of KIRKENES, where we disembarked, at 9:00am. 

KIRKENES

This small mining town is located close to the Russian border. It is known as the capital of the Barents Region and the gateway to the east. It is situated between two time zones; Helsinki and Moscow. In Kirkenes, which lies in the municipality of Sør-Varanger, people speak Norwegian, Sami, Finnish and Russian. It has approximately 3,300 inhabitants.

When we arrived, there was a guide who showed us the bus that took us to the hotel.

KIRKENES MAP http://www.mappery.com/map-of/Kirkenes-City-Map

We stayed at KIRKENES SNOWHOTEL (Sandnesdalen 14, Bjørnevatn). It is located 6 km from Kirkenes, 8.4 km from Kirkenes Hurtigruten Ferry Terminal and 6 km from Kirkenes Airport, Høybuktmoen. On the hotel’s compound it is possible to visit and feed their resident reindeer, to meet their more than 180 huskies and watch them run, visit the souvenir shop that is dedicated to native crafts or enjoy a cup of tea or coffee around the open fire in their lavvu restaurant. At this hotel it is possible to have several types of activities: trip with a husky dog team, snowmobile ride, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, ice-fishing and the King Crab Safari. THIS HOTEL IS A MUST!

We stayed in the GAMME-CABIN that is MARVELOUS!! The cabins are inspired by the traditional hunting and fishing hut, “gamme”, that can be found in the wilderness in the Sami areas of the Arctic. The huts are developed along with architects from Switzerland and are equipped as a small jewel; air conditioning, underfloor heating, natural tiles, an exclusive bathroom with a separate aurora wall. The large panoramic window and lounge chairs covered in sheepskins, will ensure you will be very comfortable while looking for northern-lights, from the warmth of your cabin. If you want  more information, contact us.

They also have the SNOWHOTEL in their compound. It is of impressive architecture, built only of snow and ice. All rooms are decorated with snow paintings designed by local and international artists. They provide warm and thick sleeping bags that keep the guests well and make the overnight experience an interesting one. This location also features an ice bar, a restaurant and a sauna.

We had lunch at GABBA RESTAURANT. The tables are set around an open fire, built as a traditional Sami “lavvu”.

In the afternoon, at 01:30p.m., we went on a two-hour snowmobile ride. We were transferred from the hotel to an Old Norwegian farmhouse where we dressed warm protective clothing and took lessons on how to handle your snowmobile. There were 2 people for each snowmobile.

BE AWARE: Bring a valid motor vehicle driver’s license in order to drive the snowmobile.

This evening, at 9:00p.m., we went on the tour “HUNTING THE LIGHTS OF THE NORTH”. The guide/driver took us in a minibus to try to find the lights. He could choose to go towards the Russian border or in the opposite direction to the Finnish border. We believe he made the wrong choice, since this was the only time we didn’t succeed in seeing the Northern Lights. On the other hand, the sky was not clear. Anyway, it was a good experience driving down the roads trying to find the lights… The whole tour took around 3 hours. If you want  more information, contact us.

DAY 8 – The next day, we spent the morning going around the hotel. We visited the SNOWHOTEL and we learned about how to stay  and sleep there. We weren’t so brave to do that! We visited the huskies and the reindeers. We had a hot chocolate nearby the open fire, at the GABBA RESTAURANT. 

In the early afternoon, at 01:00p.m., we went on the “KING CRAB EXCURSION”. We were taken by the minibus to a place to put on warm clothes, wool socks, boots, balaclavas, mittens, helmet and listen to the safety instructions. After that, we went by snowmobile sledge out on the fjord ice. The snowmobile was driven by the fisherman and the guests were in the sledge behind the snowmobile.

In this place, we saw and we helped them to catch the giant King crab and prepare it for cooking. Then, we went by snowmobile sledge to a rustic restaurant by the fjord. There, they showed to us how to cook the crab and we ate it in the Norwegian way. After lunch we returned to the hotel. The whole tour took around 4 hours. IT WAS AN UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE! If you want  more information, contact us.

We had dinner at HØYLOFTET RESTAURANT from where we had a fantastic view of Langfjorden. But, before dinner, we had a drink at VIP LOUNGE NIKEL comfortably seated in sheep skin-clad chairs.  IT WAS A GREAT ENDING!

DAY 9 – The next day, we flew to KIRUNA, with a connection in Oslo, by SAS. We stayed this night in Kiruna.

DAY 10 – In the following day, we took a taxi to the train station to get the SJ Other – Arctic Circle Train to ABISKO.

NORTHERN LIGHTS IN SWEDEN

SWEDEN MAP – https://www.thinglink.com/scene/495997217719451650

ABISKO

Abisko is situated in ABISKO NATIONAL PARK, 200 kilometers above the Arctic Circle, between KIRUNA and NARVIK. It is said that Abisko is the best place in Europe to see Northern Lights because it has conditions that line up and make the Northern Lights appear on average 159 nights (of the approximately 212 nights that are dark enough for Auroras to be seen) each year, according to scientists. Protected by the peaks of the mountains surrounding the Park and coupled with the fact that Abisko receives the least amount of precipitation than anywhere else in Sweden, it statistically has the most nights of clear skies of anywhere else in Europe. Besides, the huge Tornetrask Lake, which is more than 70 kilometers long just north of the station, creates an unusual weather phenomenon that keeps the skies above the station clear even when fog or clouds blanket most of northern Sweden. If you want  more information, contact us.

BE AWARE – There are no buses or taxis available in Abisko. The nearest taxi company is in Kiruna that is over an hour away. The only public transport is the train line, which stops right outside Abisko Turiststation. 

We arrived at Abisko Turiststation – Abisko Tourist Station – and walked about 5 minutes to the ABISKO TURISTSTATION STF HOTEL, where we stayed in the main building, in a double room with shower, toilet and view of LAKE TORNETRÄSK.

The RESTAURANT KUNGSLEDEN is located in the main building and offers panoramic views of Lake Torneträsk and the surrounding mountains. It offers a home cooked lunch and three-course dinner. Coffee with tasty buns and cakes served all day.

BE AWARE – Sign the cancellation insurance to have the cancellation coverage for the Abisko Turiststation tours.

BE AWARE – For safety reasons, Aurora Sky Station may be closed at short notice because of extreme weather conditions: strong winds, extremely cold temperatures, blizzards, etc.

BE AWARE – If you do not have a TRIPOD, rent one! It is impossible to take a good photo without it and they do not rent or lend tripods at Aurora Sky Station.

This afternoon, at 5:00 p.m., we walked to the cable car that leads to the AURORA SKY STATION.

When we got there, we dressed the warm overalls they lent. Then, we took the cable car to go to the top of the NUOLJA MOUNTAIN, which is 900 meters high. On the cable car, we were inside a polar night floating over the treetops. As it was cloudy, we crossed a cloud on the way and we couldn’t see or hear anything! The journey takes about 25 minutes. And how cold it was! IT WAS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE!

We went there for an EXCLUSIVE DINNER and to see the Northern Lights. The program started at 6:00 p.m. and finished at 1:00a.m.. When we arrived at Aurora Sky Station, we were greeted by a hostess who took us to our table. The place has a coffee shop and a small souvenir shop. Outside there is a terrace and a lookout tower where you can stand and see the Northern Lights. The dinner consisted of four dishes and was inspired by Nordic cuisine. After dinner, they talked about the northern lights and took us to see the place. Then, we went out to see the Aurora Borealis. It was not good, since they left some lights on. Also, we did not have a TRIPOD, so the photo is not perfect, as you can see above.

We took the cable car to go back around 01:00am. There are no lights on the way back to the hotel. So, we used our HEADLIGHT HEAD TORCH to light the way. We arrived at the hotel at 2:00a.m.. Since we are not used in this kind of weather, IT WAS AN ADVENTURE FOR US! AMAZING! If you want  more information, contact us.

DAY 11 – The next day, we walked around the area. IT WAS A GREAT WALK! We started by walking around the hotel and passing by a Sami tent. Then we walked to the shore of LAKE TORNETRÄSK. We returned and followed a trail to see the frozen waterfall in the caves. VERY BEAUTIFUL! We came back through a different way, passed by the train station and walked to the opposite side. Then we went back to the hotel. We spent about 2:30 hours walking and enjoying the landscape.

This evening, at 7:30p.m., we walked to the cable car that leads to the AURORA SKY STATION. We did the same we had done the day before, without having dinner there. We believe it would have been much better if we had gone somewhere else,  like the frozen surface of Lake Torneträsk or the Abisko River Delta, to see the Northern Lights…

DAY 12 – The following day, we took a train to KIRUNA.

KIRUNA

Kiruna is the northernmost city in Sweden. It is located about 145 km north of the Arctic Circle, making it possible to experience the midnight sun and polar night there. Kiruna houses the largest underground mine (iron ore) in the world and is also known for the Satellite/Space projects, the Sámi culture, the long winters, the church and town hall. The Kiruna Municipality includes several small villages and settlements scattered around a rather large wilderness area approximately the size of Slovenia. It has about 24000 inhabitants.

From the train station we took a taxi to the hotel where we stayed in a very comfortable cabin. The hotel has a good restaurant where we had all meals, because the hotel was located out of city center. If you want  more information, contact us.

Since prehistoric times, the SAMI PEOPLE of Arctic Europe have lived and worked in an area that stretches over the regions now known as Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Russian Kola Peninsula. They have inhabited those places for at least 5,000 years. Since the Sami are the earliest ethnic group in the area, they have been recognized by the United Nations as an indigenous people, giving them the right to preserve and develop their crafts, language, education, reindeer husbandry, traditions and identity. There is no census for the Sami, but the population is estimated at between 80,000 and 100,000 people, spread over the four countries. The Sami were originally nomads, living in tents during the summer and more sturdy peat huts during the colder seasons. Today, the Sami live in modern housing and only use tents as very temporary accommodations during reindeer migrations if they don’t already own cottages in the mountains and forests.

This evening, at 7:00 p.m., a guide/driver went to our hotel to join us with a small group of 8 to see the Northern Lights. At the hotel, she loaned warm overalls to the group. She also taught us how to use the camera and the tripod she lent us. We used our own MEMORY SD CARD. They called this tour “AURORA BOREALIS THROUGH YOUR CAMERA”. This company belongs to a Sami family and focuses on photo tours of nature and culture.

After driving for over half an hour, she parked the van on a road and we walked a very narrow trail for about 20 minutes, to get to a large frozen lake to stay. She helped us start taking pictures and … WONDERFUL! IT WAS THE BEST EXPERIENCE TO SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS WE HAD! We were almost in the middle of the lake and the lights seemed to start from everywhere, dancing above us so intensely that we did not know where to look at.

It was almost minus 35 º Celsius and we didn’t even notice it! Two hours later, we sat inside a Sami tent to have hot chocolate and tea before leaving. She dropped us at the hotel. She sent – for free – the photos that she took during the tour. The whole tour took around 4 hours. If you want  more information, contact us.

DAY 13 – The next day, we flew to STOCKHOLM.

 

NORTHERN LIGHTS ITINERARY

DAY 1 – Flew from Oslo to Tromsø / Evening – Hunt the Northern Lights

DAY 2 – Travel by bus from Tromsø to Kvaløya – dogsledding / Evening – Northern Lights Chases

DAY 3 – Tromsø – Fjord Excursion Daytime by Car

DAY 4 – Travel from Tromsø to Tamok Valley, Lyngsfjord – snowmobile safari

DAY 5 – Tromsø / Afternoon – Two-night cruise to Kirkines

DAY 6 – Honningsvåg

DAY 7 – Kirkenes / Evening – Hunting the Lights of the North

DAY 8 – Kirkenes – King Crab Excursion

DAY 9 – Flew to Kiruna

DAY 10 – Train to Abisko / Afternoon – Aurora Sky Station with dinner

DAY 11 – Abisko / Afternoon – Aurora Sky Station

DAY 12 – Train to Kiruna / Evening – Aurora Borealis through your Camera

DAY 13 – Flew to Stockholm

 

NORTHERN LIGHTS – TRAVEL TIPS

HOW TO GET DRESSED TO SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS

CLOTHING LAYERS MATERIAL AND DETAILS – The winter temperatures can vary anywhere between 0 and -40 C. But the cold is not biting because the air is dry. MAKE SURE YOU WEAR A WARM BASE LAYER. First of all you need good long thermal underwear, then another layer of something warm like wool or fleece. On top you will need some good garment, which should preferably be water and wind proof. The most important thing to remember is that YOU SHOULD BE TOTALLY COVERED FROM HEAD TO THE TOE.

HOW TO GET DRESSED – Start with thermal underwear and warm socks. If it’s really cold as –20 or below, wear an additional fleece layer on top of your thermals. Another pair of socks, preferably woolly or thermal, will keep your feet warm. Wear pants with thermal lining. Don’t underestimate the importance of a neck warmer or a scarf. Slip into your winter boots and do them up well. Throw on your winter jacket, put on a warm hat and thermal gloves. Don’t forget to tuck your gloves into your sleeves and zip your jacket ALL the way up. STANDARD SKI CLOTHING WITHOUT INSULATED FILLING WILL NOT BE SUFFICIENT. You should have an insulated Parka jacket or down jacket with large hood which goes over your hat. Boots should have high ankle and be able to cope with conditions down to at least -40 degrees C. They should be waterproof but also have room inside.

INNER LAYER – The inner layer keeps the skin dry and warm. It transfers moisture from the skin to the outer layers. Good materials are POLYESTER (PES), POLYPROPYLENE (PP), WOOL (WO) and SILK (SE) and two-layer materials. The skin feels dry when you wear materials that transfer moisture such as polyester or polypropylene, and when the outer layer is wool.

MID LAYER – The mid layer adjusts the thermal insulation of clothing depending on the weather or activities. You should have 1-3 mid layers. In low temperatures the best suited are airy materials such as FLEECE, WOOL and SYNTHETIC FUR.

OUTERMOST LAYER – The outermost layer protects against cold, wind and moisture. Choose warm and wind-resistant clothing. Warm lining materials are down feather, COTTON WOOL and SYNTHETIC FUR. The outer layer must be a wind-stopper with or without thermal function. A good quality of Gore-Tex is a perfect choice. You should tighten cuffs and hems when it is windy. Overalls provide more thermal protection than two-piece suits.

HEAD PROTECTION – The head should be protected against cold, wind and moisture. Make sure to protect the ears and face because they get cold most easily. You can adjust your clothing by using a scarf, hood, face guard, earmuffs or a headband.

HAND PROTECTION – Hand protection consists of different layers. Wear thin gloves underneath and thicker ones on top, so that you never need to have bare hands. Mittens give more protection than gloves. Remember to take an extra pair of gloves with you so that you can change them if they get wet.

FEET PROTECTION – Feet protection is most effective when you wear two pairs of socks. Wear socks made of synthetic materials underneath, and woolen socks that have good thermal insulation on top.

WINTER FOOTWEAR – Use non slippery thermal shoes. Remember that you are not going to move so much and may stand or sit still for hours. Winter shoes should be one size larger than summer shoes. They should have a thick outsole to protect against heat transfer from the feet to the ground and a high leg to protect the ankles. INSULATION can be increased by using insoles made of felt or other insulating material.

GRIP OF FOOTWEAR OUTSOLE – The outsole pattern should be deep, 5–8 mm. An outsole made of soft and porous material does not harden in cold weather and is not slippery. In cold weather the material that provides the best grip is thermoplastic rubber. You can also wear spikes in your outsoles. This is especially recommended when moving on slippery surfaces and ice.

BE AWARECOTTON IS NOT a suitable material in cold weather because of its cooling effect when it is wet.

BE AWARE – If you don’t want to suffer and be cold, DO NOT WEAR JEANS!

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