Skip to main content

The northern lights: Why this should be your next destination vacation

The northern lights will be incredible in 2025

Finnish log cabin with northern lights above

Picture this: You’re standing below a huge blanket of stars, bundled up in a jacket, hat, and gloves. Snow crunches under your boots, and your breath puffs in misty clouds. Suddenly, the night sky comes alive with a dazzling dance of vibrant colors — lush greens, pinks, reds, blues, and even purples. This rainbow of color in the dead of night isn’t the artistry of man-made fireworks, but of the aurora borealis. 

Now more than ever, your chances of experiencing this phenomenon first hand are skyrocketing. If you’ve ever dreamed about seeing the northern lights, now’s the time. Don’t miss this opportunity!

Great northern lights
Olivier de Vaulx/The Manual

Now’s your chance to see the northern lights

The solar cycle is an 11-year period during which the sun goes through a cycle of high and low levels of solar activity. Your chances to see the northern lights increase dramatically during high points of solar activity, which peaks at the solar maximum.

During the solar maximum, the sun feels extra lively and unleashes bursts of energy called solar flares and coronal mass ejections. These cosmic fireworks release a bunch of charged particles into space, and they’re headed our way! 

As these energetic particles make their way toward earth; they encounter our trusty magnetic field, and sparks fly. Well, figuratively speaking, of course! Scientists from NASA are saying that by 2025, we’ll be reaching the solar maximum, the peak of this incredible solar cycle.

Arctic Explorer train
Krissanapong Wongsawarng/Shutterstock

Where you can see the northern lights

You won’t want to miss this opportunity, because pictures don’t do it justice. To see the aurora borealis most clearly, it’s best to go to a region near the earth’s magnetic poles. Some of the best places to go include: 

  1. Alaska, U.S.: Fairbanks, Anchorage, and the remote areas of the state offer excellent viewing opportunities due to their proximity to the Arctic Circle.
  2. Canada: Locations such as Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut, which are far north, away from light pollution, and have clear skies, are they are known for their spectacular displays of the northern lights.
  3. Iceland: With its dark winter nights and favorable location just below the Arctic Circle, Iceland is a popular destination for experiencing the northern lights.
  4. Norway: Tromsø, located in Northern Norway, is renowned for its northern lights sightings. The Lofoten Islands and the northernmost regions of the country also offer great viewing conditions.
  5. Sweden: Abisko National Park in Swedish Lapland is known for its clear skies and frequent northern lights displays, making it a popular destination for aurora chasers. You can even book a hot-air balloon over Lapland from here!
  6. Finland: The Finnish Lapland region, including places like Rovaniemi and Ivalo, provides excellent opportunities to witness the northern lights amid the pristine Arctic wilderness. 
  7. Russia: The remote regions of Murmansk, Siberia, and the Kola Peninsula offer chances to witness the aurora borealis.
  8. Greenland: Due to its location near the Arctic Circle, Greenland provides opportunities to witness the northern lights in its vast, untouched landscapes.

It’s important to note that the northern lights are a natural phenomenon and can be unpredictable. They are most commonly seen during the winter months when nights are longer, darker, and have clearer skies. To maximize your chances of observing the northern lights, it’s recommended to plan your trip during periods of low light pollution, choose locations near the magnetic poles, and monitor the northern lights forecast for geomagnetic activity.

Editors' Recommendations

Sarah Joseph
Sarah is a lover of all things outdoors. With a bright sense of adventure and a heart for the mountains, she is always…
The ultimate guide to choosing the perfect one-person tent for your next outing
This is what you need to know to pick the right one-person tent
Person camping on a river using a one person tent

So you've made up your mind and you're ready to commit to the one-person tent lifestyle. Good for you. These bad boys are faster, lighter, and more efficient than anything else on the market. And while fast and light are always nice, take it from us: You don't want to get caught up simply chasing the lowest weight and smallest packed size possible. Don't get us wrong, both are important aspects of a one-person backpacking tent, but they aren't the end-all-be-all factor in the segment.

Any solo backpacking tent worth buying is both small and compact. Why else would you buy one? With that being said, unless you've got strict goals for total pack weight and/or volume, neither one should be your primary concern when choosing a one-person tent. So, what makes a one-man backpacking tent a winner? Simple: Livability.

Read more
When is the best time to visit Italy? This is when you should go
Want to visit Italy? This is when you should go
Evening light over Venice canal

Venice, Italy Federico Beccari via Unsplash

On a visit to Italy, there’s almost too much to see and do. If you’re a car enthusiast, a guided trip through the Ferrari museums in Maranello or Modena offers a singular experience. For a mix of historic charm and coastal refreshment, the Amalfi Coast delivers in spades. Then there’s the cuisine, from pizza Napoletana in Naples to sweet Tiramisu in Venice. 

Read more
Camper van vs Class B RV: How to choose which to buy for your outdoor adventures
Class B RV vs Camper Van - who ya got?
Man building a campfire in front of a Winnebago Ekko Springer camper van.

If you would love to go on road trips and experience the best national parks, there is no better way to do it and still feel comfortable like you’re at home than camping in an RV. Let’s be honest: You will enjoy sleeping on a cozy bed in an RV with an air conditioner more than in a moist and chilly tent. It’s also easier to prepare your meals in an RV because of the refrigerator, and you don’t have to worry about packing and unpacking your camping bags every night or morning. 

However, the big RVs can be a headache if you're driving through low-hanging bridges or tight spaces. They’re also more expensive to fuel and maintain compared to smaller-size vehicles. Alternatively, you could choose a Class B RV or a camper van if prefer an RV that strikes a balance between rural camping and big-city adventure. But the question is — what’s the difference between a Class B RV and a camper van? And which one should you buy?
A Class B motorhome is built with all the camping amenities

Read more