The Northern Lights are a phenomenon that is more prominent in countries that lie close to the Arctic Circle and lie in the zone known as Auroral Oval. Sweden is on one of those countries that depict these colorful ribbons in its sky. In Sweden, the Northern Lights usually appear in the winter months, but they can be spotted earlier also.
For those brave hearts that are willing to stand the cold winter nights, here are some of the best places to view this natural light show in Sweden.
Abisko National Park
A couple of kilometers north of Kiruna, this is a prime location to view the Northern Lights. A patch of sky over the Tornetrask Lake, popularly known as the Blue Hole, gives Abisko National Park its own unique climate and also a perfect atmosphere to catch the lights. Along with the guided tours, backcountry camping and trekking in the park, travelers can also take their chairs up to the Aurora Sky Station and view these lights which can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.
How to get there? Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) have daily flights between Kiruna and Stockholm Arlanda. Check the bus transfer from there to Abisko. In case you opt for a train, then STF Abisko Mountain Station has its own railway station, "Abisko Turiststation". STF Abisko Mountain Station is located 100 km west of Kiruna and is easily accessible by car from the European route E10.
Jukkasjarvi and the Torne Valley
The village of Jukkasjarvi is not only proud of its hotel made from ice, built every year from Torne River's fresh ice, but also because it is one of the best regions to catch a glimpse of Northern Lights. This ICEHOTEL is known to organize guided tours which take its guests to Esrange Space Center that is 30 minutes from Kiruna. Here you can dine at your camp in the wild while enjoying the red, purple, green and blue lights shining above you. The Torne Valley region comprising of Lake Poustijarvi, and the neighboring villages of Nikkaluokta and Vittangi, are also an ideal place to view the auroras.
Several private companies run dogsledding and snowmobile trips in the night that can take you in the wild for a perfect view of these Northern Lights.
How to get there? SAS and Norwegian offer flights between Stockholm and Kiruna. Jukkasjarvi is about 17 kilometers from Kiruna, about 15 kilometers from Kiruna Airport. If you are traveling by car, drive towards or from Lulea on E10 and take a turn when you get to the sign that says ICEHOTEL/Jukkasjarvi.
Porjus and Laponia
Porjus is a tiny village with a population of just 400 people. Located at some 60 kilometers from the Arctic Circle, this village lies in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Laponia. Porjus is close to many national parks like; Padeljant, Muddus, and Stora Sjofallet. Plenty of clear days, minimal pollution and zero degrees Celsius temperature, make Porjus the most beloved spot to view Northern Lights.
How to get there? Flight from Kiruna to Porjus takes approximately 11 minutes and the services are offered by SAS Airlines. However, it is accessible by road. From Kiruna, it is a 2 hour and 30-minute drive to Porjus.
If the weather conditions are right, then these lights can be viewed from any location within subarctic and arctic Sweden. Larger towns like Lulea, Jokkmokk and Gallivare host various winter activities and Northern Lights are among them. In Lulea, people can head out into the surrounding Brando forests, far from the city light and noise to enjoy a night under nature's light.
There are also provisions for people to drive a snowmobile to the mountaintop of Dundret in Gallivare for a private light show to watch these lights shimmer across the dark winter sky.
How to get there? There are 3 weekly flights from Kiruna to Lulea that take approximately 23 minutes. The train takes 3 hours and 42 minutes and if you take the road then it will take at least 5 hours. SAS has daily flights from Kiruna to Gallivare. The airport of Gallivare is known by Lapland airport and is on a 10 minutes car drive from the city center.
Enjoy the Northern Lights
Our world's extraordinary beauty really takes us by surprise, just like these Northern Lights in Sweden does to their audience. But remember - if you ever get the chance to see the Northern Lights in person, don't whistle while seeing them. According to ancient Swedish mythology, it brings you bad luck!
Our planet Earth is really one of its kinds in the entire solar system. Not just because it supports life, but also because of the jaw-dropping beauty that it contains. Our world is full of scenic beauty and shows a lot of variation. One such vivid and astonishing display of beauty is displayed in the Northern Lights. Scientifically known as the Aurora Borealis, this magnificent art of nature is caused by the collision of charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere.