The chances that a trip to Scandinavia is still on your bucket list are pretty good. Although the Dutch do not as a rule vacation en masse to countries cooler than the Netherlands, the northernmost countries of our planet do possess elements that you really must have seen with your own eyes. The Northern Lights is one of them, perhaps the most important. Now the fact remains that we cannot influence the weather: it is what it is. What you can do, however, is optimize your chances of spotting the Northern Lights. For this, you can move to the northernmost tip of the Netherlands and sit in your garden every evening: there will come a time when you can catch a glimpse of this beautiful spectacle of nature even in the Netherlands. The chances of you sitting with your garden chair in more than an inch and a half of snow at that time, by the way, are not great. Is the experience not quite complete after all. Too bad. Not surprisingly, this advice did not make my top three. But then how do you arrange a date with Aurora Borealis?
3 tips for the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights in Sweden this winter
1. Determine the most suitable period for your Northern Lights vacation in Sweden.
The period when you can witness this beautiful natural phenomenon is quite long, from September to April. The chances vary quite a bit during this period, but are greatest from November through February. This is due to the many hours of darkness per day in those months. After all, the Northern Lights are best seen in the dark. Don’t have to consider school vacations? Then avoid the Christmas vacations, which will make your winter wonder vacation just a little more affordable. In your vacation planning, keep in mind that the months when the Northern Lights are most often seen are the coldest months of the year. Depending on your location, it can easily get 20 to 35 degrees below zero (needless to say, the further north you go, the colder it gets). So make sure you are prepared for this.
Depending on what your further vacation plans are, you are now going to determine the length of your vacation. Want to ski or cross-country ski? Do you like ice fishing or want to take beautiful snowshoe hikes? Or would you rather try the adventure touches like a sled dog tour or a snowmobile tour? WinterWonderZweden is pre-eminently a place to do things you’ve always wanted to do, but of course you don’t come there to rush (because you can do that at home too!). So my advice is to go for a vacation of at least a full week, but preferably 10 days. In doing so, there is plenty of time for all the adventures you want to have, you can enjoy all the restful beauty the country has to offer in peace and quiet, and above all, there are enough evenings and nights to optimize your chances of seeing the Northern Lights. It remains a matter of luck (or bad luck, that is), but it should be clear to anyone that you have a better chance with eight nights than with four.
2. Choose the right vacation location in Sweden for the ultimate experience.
First, it is important to get your vacation goal in focus. If seeing the Northern Lights with your own eyes is the main goal of your vacation, everything else must give way for it and you want to set up all the factors as favorable as possible to achieve this goal, then my advice is very simple: get as close to the North Pole as possible. Look up where the Arctic Circle runs and vacation north of it. Keep in mind that it can be extremely cold there during that period. If you have other vacation plans, think carefully about how to combine them with the challenging climate. From my own experience, I can tell you that a husky ride at -28 degrees is quite chilly (but lovely and doable for adults with the right gear), but small children are only moderately enthusiastic (that’s an understatement) about such a ride on a sled pulled by dogs at that temperature. There are also companies that strongly advise against or even cancel activities with children in such low temperatures. Rightly so, by the way.
If you have an extensive vacation schedule (with children) and a list of adventures you want to experience, consider choosing a location that is more southerly in northern Sweden. You don’t have to stay in Lapland to see meters of snow or have a good chance of seeing the open-air theater called the Northern Lights. We can help you make a low-key adventure vacation a reality at our Hovra Vandrarhem in northern Sweden. That way you can still enjoy all that adventure with íne more comfort, to crawl into bed late at night with perhaps the Aurora Borealis fresh on your mind. An experience never to be forgotten.
3. Keep an eye on Northern Lights forecasts.
Install an app or consult a website. It’s like a weather report. As an expectation. Sometimes a it for a particular location gives a percentage for the chance of the Northern Lights. Sometimes it is displayed in a time lapse, more like Buienradar. Wherever and whenever you decide to go on vacation to northern Sweden, it is always nice to consult more than one app or website when you are hunting for the Northern Lights. Also a good idea: talk to residents of the area. Often they can make a reasonable estimate of the odds. Unfortunately, expectations cannot be estimated far in advance. As a result, this third piece of advice is especially useful when you are about to go on vacation or are already there. It would be a shame to see the Northern Lights and miss it, right?
As I mentioned earlier, seeing the Northern Lights remains a matter of luck. Yet you yourself would like to do everything possible to make that once in a lifetime experience a reality. Optimize your chances with these tips!