When Can I See the Northern Lights?

Northern lights, or Aurora Borealis are visible from the end of August until mid-April. Statistically, the northern lights appear most likely around midnight, but it is good to keep an eye on the sky between 8 pm and 2 am. If the sky is cloudy, the Northern Lights cannot be seen. Also light pollution affects the visibility, therefore look for a place with less lights from traffic and housing.

There are several applications for your phone, which give you an Aurora forecast.

In Kilpisjärvi, statistically, you have the best chance to see the Northern Lights in Finland. According to the National Weather Service: the chance of seeing the lights is three nights out of four. In Santa’s Chalets Rakka, you can wait for the Aurora Borealis to appear in your fully-equipped apartment: from your yard you have a full, unobstructed view of the arctic sky!

Luosto wilderness resort is designed for excellent aurora holidays! The location above the Arctic Circle itself is great for viewing the northern lights, but also the holiday village is designed so that the light pollution from the streetlights, ski tracks and housing is decreased to a minimum. Santa’s Hotel and Glass Igloos Aurora and Santa’s Log Villa Borealis, both named after this northern phenomenon, is the best accommodation option in Luosto. Our hotel and glass igloos have an Aurora alarm, so you don’t have to worry about missing the northern lights, while enjoying the comfort of your bed, your own sauna in the hotel room or delicious dinner in Restaurant Aurora.

Inari-Saariselkä area is one of the best places in the world for Northern Lights sightings! Inari is situated approximately 250 km above the Arctic Circle, right underneath the Aurora Borealis oval. This oval is a circle in the northern hemisphere where the northern lights cluster. This is why the lights can be seen on most nights, from September to April – as long as the sky is dark and clear. The Aurora Trail, starting from the backyard of Santa’s Hotel Tunturi, is designed for evening walks to spot the northern lights. Our hotel provides accommodation for all Aurora Hunters: from standard hotel rooms and fully-equipped apartments to superior rooms and suites with own sauna in each room.

What is ”ruska”?

In the autumn when the night temperatures drop to zero Celsius or below, the leaves in the forests and the ground start turning yellow, red or orange. In Finnish, this is called ”ruska”. The brightness, duration and time of ruska changes from year to year, but most likely you will experience the best time during the first two weeks of September in the Northernmost part of Lapland and mid-September to end of September in the other parts of Lapland and North Finland.

Traveling to Lapland in September, October or November, what is it like?

September is a popular month to travel to Lapland because of ruska season (see question What is Ruska). From end of August – beginning of September, you can also see the Northern Lights! The Aurora Borealis season continues until mid-April.

In October and November most leaves have fallen off the trees and this is when you can experience a magical silence and stillness of the surrounding nature! The forests and fell landscapes turn into all shades of browns and grays in contrast with the crispy air and distinctively blue sky. On a cloudy day, you can experience the bizarre feeling of standing in a real-life black and white photograph! Especially in the mornings when a white glittering frost covers the ground and trees: we urge you to go out into the nature to fill your lungs with the cool fresh air! 

In mid-November, we already begin waiting for the permanent snow! Kilpisjärvi is usually the first area to get permanent snow and in Saariselkä, Rovaniemi and Luosto the first ski tracks open.

In September, October and November you can enjoy many guided outdoor excursions by our valued partner safari companies and in the evenings, take part in Aurora Borealis programmes.

What is the Midnight Sun?

Imagine: 24 hours of sunlight! The nights are not dark at all for many months! Already in springtime, in North Finland from March onward, the daylight time starts to get longer. In May the nights are already light, even though the sun dips below the horizon for a little while. In June and July the sun does not set at all: in Kilpisjärvi the midnight sun period is from May 22nd to July 27th, in Saariselkä the period ends only a week earlier, on July 20th and still in Rovaniemi the period is from June 6th to July 7th.  Gradually, the nights begin to get darker in August.

Turn your holiday upside down! Experience the nature activities and sites in the middle of the night, sleep during the day. This is the best way to truly get the most out of the nightless nights of Lapland.

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