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Northern Lights - What else to see

Old Jul 12th, 2014, 09:41 PM
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Northern Lights - What else to see

We are planning to travel from Asia, most likely in Feb, to see the Lights. In deciding between Iceland, Norway and Sweden, am wondering what can give most options to see at that time of the year? Given the long travel time and likely jet lag issues, we are thinking of 2/3 days for lights and 3/4 for sightseeing.
Obviously the top priority is to maximize the probability and quality of viewing the Lights, but would also like to combine with sightseeing and activities - open minded as to activities, although maybe nothing as vigorous as mountaineering !
Much appreciate views from the knowledgeable folks here.
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Old Jul 13th, 2014, 05:54 AM
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It really depends on where you end up. Iceland has enormous amounts of geothermal evergy so going to a spa is a must, then there is horse riding and visiting of small towns.

Norway, I'd aim to be as far north as possible, is relatively empty of people but you may find stave churches, you will find cross country skiing, dog sledging, down hill skiing, etc with the odd musuem of some arcane Norwegen interest.

Sweden, again go north, will be similar to Norway but not have stave churches and will have ice fishing.

Norway is pretty expensive to visit.

Think also of Finland. Similar but with a weird language

Norway, Sweden and Finland all have a native people in the far north called the suomi who herd reindeer and you will find "father christmas" in every country along with a bunch of Japanese trying to procreate under the northern lights.
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Old Jul 13th, 2014, 02:47 PM
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Northern Lights - What else to see
Posted by: Shujbhar on Jul 13, 14 at 1:41am


Northern Lights are associated with sun spots. It would be better to consult with an astrophysicist than with the travel folks on Fodor's.
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Old Jul 21st, 2014, 12:21 PM
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You need sunspot activity - frequent, but not so frequent for really good displays. In addition you need clear skies, not so frequent in Iceland, but in Northern Norway there are tour operators that drive you around to an area with clear skies to maximise the chances.
Try http://www.visittromso.no/en/
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Old Jul 24th, 2014, 12:07 PM
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For a true winter experience, I would combine Tromsø and Svalbard, which is part of the North Pole, being within the 80 degrees north. You can fly from Tromsø directly and worth spending 2 nights. For the Aurora Boeralis phenomenon, it happens alot, and then you don't see it for days. It depends on the magnetic fields etc in the atmosphere and conditions outside our control here on this earth. We also say in Norway that you should never call for it. It happens when it happens. But when it reveals itself, its a magic moment every time. Norway is expensive, but if you plan well ahead, bargains are up for grabs - especially in February. Sweden and Finland are also good options. Hope you manage to see it!
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Old Aug 15th, 2014, 11:45 PM
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Thanks so much folks. Was away in India for couple weeks, so just catching up!
Point there about cloudy skies in Iceland ... It does have activities though, although not sure how feasible in February !
Any preference between Tromso, Abisko and Lake Inari area in Finland ?
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Old Aug 16th, 2014, 12:47 AM
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Tromsø is a city with good transport connections, shopping, restaurants etc. and other activities - see earlier link. Forget Svalbard in February - no daylight, very cold and too far north for reliable northern lights sightings. You could also consider a short trip on the costal express - http://www.hurtigruten.co.uk/?country=UK
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Old Aug 16th, 2014, 05:39 AM
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Lake Inari, I had to look it up may be ok. Kittila, Levi, Yllas are all hoiday areas with good transport links, I'd use them
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