5 Tips To Hunt Northern Lights In Finland

The autumn is here and the hunt for Northern lights has begun. We have already seen a few good ones in Finland, so we thought it could be cool to share with you a few tips to maximize your opportunity to capture these exciting moments.

1. Travel during the right period

First thing that you need is darkness. It may sound obvious, but we get this question really often. As Finland has a long period of midnight sun, we recommend the period from mid-September until the end of March for the northern lights. During the last years, September, October and March have been very good months for auroras.

Photo: Markus Killi

Photo: Asko Kuittinen

2. Choose the right location

The norther you go, the better. The aurora borealis activity is gazing all around the North Pole to reach the latitude of the Arctic Circle. When the solar activity is strong, it is sometimes possible to see them in the Southern Finland too, even in Helsinki area. Nevertheless, Lapland still offers some of the best locations in the world.
The best option would be to rent a cottage on a lake shore to have a wide and open view on the sky, far away from any urban light pollution. And for this we’ve got you covered! There are a plenty of great locations to propose. The regions of Miekojärvi, Inarijärvi and Ylläsjärvi in Finnish Lapland, to name some, are some good options to consider.

3. Great smartphones apps to get northern lights alerts

You will find a great variety of apps, which help you to plan your northern lights hunting. The Aurora Forecast is among the best we have used. It is available for both Android and IOs smartphones. Aurora Forecast is free and can be downloaded on Google Play Store or on the iTunes Store. You can also check the Photographer Ephemeris App to plan better your northern lights photography.

4. Spend time outdoors

There is no secret here. The more time you spend outdoors in the evenings and at night, more chances you have to see the northern lights. In case you are not familiar with the place and want to have some a company, you can also go for a special northern lights safari. These safaris are organized in all ski destinations in Lapland. The weather plays an important role though. Cloudy or snowy weather does not help your chances to witness this stunning phenomenon.

Photo: Markus Killi

Photo: Markus Killi

5. Stay warm

In Finland, the nights in autumn and especially in winter are often (really) cold so make sure you put the proper clothing on when heading out to hunt for the northern lights. A good layering of thermal clothing and windproof jacket will ensure you to stay warm. And don’t forget to bring a snack and warm drinks with you.

Good luck!

Find a good location to stay in Lapland: Levi, Saariselkä, Kemijärvi, Sodankylä, Utsjoki, Enontekiö.

Written by Bruce Deschamps
French Travel Blogger & Wilderness Guide in love with the great outdoors. The Finnish Lapland is my favorite playground!