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  • Writer's pictureVicky Lopez

Aurora Borealis

Updated: Jun 17

Do you love to travel? Are you looking for new and astonishing places to explore? If so, then you need to add aurora borealis to your list! It's NOT a destination; it is a phenomenon! The untainted Arctic North presents this natural phenomenon, and it's a must-see for any traveler. If you're retired or have time on your hands, now is the perfect time to see the aurora.

What is the Aurora Borealis?

The aurora borealis, also commonly known as the northern lights, is an atmospheric phenomenon that offers beautiful dancing waves of light.

In more technical terms, this occurs when there are disturbances in the magnetosphere that the solar winds cause. When the solar wind causes significant disruptions, it alters the trajectory of charged particles. These particles precipitate into the upper atmosphere (it is much more scientific than this, but I will keep it simple), causing waves of beautiful, colorful dancing waves of light.

The Northern Lights can typically be seen in the aurora zone (between 65º and 72º). Although they are active all year, you will not see them from April through August. If you've ever ventured to the far north, you'll know that they experience nearly 24 hours of daylight during those months. Thus the lights cannot be seen.

Where can I see it?

Where can I see the northern lights?

If you're near the Arctic, you can likely see the northern lights any time of year. But for those who live further south, we have to be a little more strategic on where and when we can catch a glimpse.

Here is where you can go to catch the best of the best:

Reykjavik, Iceland Reykjavik, Iceland, is a unique and wonderful city to visit. It's located in the North Atlantic Ocean and offers natural beauty, culture, and history. Reykjavik offers something for everyone. Iceland's capital city should be at the top of your list, whether you're a traveler looking for an international experience, a retiree seeking a new adventure late in life, or simply looking for someplace new to explore.

The best time to visit Reykjavik is October through March. I offer tours that set you up to see the Northern Lights, so plan during those months (I know it's cold, but worth it).

Yukon, Canada Yukon (or The Yukon) is the smallest of the three territories in Canada and the furthest west. Since you can see the lights from the aurora zone, which is from 65º to 72º - you get a fantastic show from Yukon, as it sits at 64º N and 135º W.

Although there's never a guarantee that the lights will show up each night or how long they stay, Yukon, Canada, is a wise choice.

Swedish Lapland The Scandinavia area, often referred to as "Lapland," is the northern part of Finland and incorporates the north part of Sweden, Norway, and Russia. Swedish Lapland sits at about (for round numbers) 67º N 26.5E, so for sure within the aurora zone.

Pair your northern lights visit with dog sledding, snowmobiling, or staying at an Ice Hotel, and you'll experience something like nothing you can ever imagine. (Gives me goosebumps just thinking about it - wait, maybe those are because it's cold).

Tromso, Norway Tromso is a small fishing port established in the 13th century. One of the most popular things to do in Tromso is learning about and seeing the northern lights.

For over 30 years, Tromso has been host to the Nordiysfestivalen (Northern Lights Festival) during the end of January and into February, described as an "Arctic music festival that presents quality music and dance. It is brave, magical, and full of energy. It is inclusive, meaningful, and where a broad audience can find entertainment they could never experience elsewhere in the region."

If you want to witness the Northern Lights for yourself, let me help. I help travelers experience some of the most beautiful places on earth, and I can create an unforgettable experience for you. With my help, you'll be able to see one of nature's greatest spectacles with your own eyes. Contact me today to get started!

Bon Voyage,

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