Best places to see the Northern Lights
When the Aurora Borealis are at their greatest they can be seen in dozens of countries that fall anywhere close to the Arctic Circle and that even includes the far north of Scotland. Of course, some places are better viewing spots than others and here are five of the best places to witness the light show.
Due to its location just below the Arctic Circle, scientists predict Iceland to be one of the best locations in the world for viewing the lights, as the sky above is set to play host to the highest number of active aurora forms in the coming years. In the winter of 2014, the lights entered the most lively phase of their 11-year cycle and it is expected that the next three years will also offer good opportunity for seeing breathtaking light shows.
The northernmost region in Finland is known for its vast wilderness and an excellent spot to see the Northern Lights with minimal light pollution at an optimal latitude within the Arctic Circle. Here you can journey on ski mobiles into the unspoiled snowy landscapes or enjoy the displays in the warmth of purpose-built igloos with glass-domed roofs.
Arctic Norway is commonly nicknamed 'the kingdom of light' for its frequent light shows. North of Helgeland, including the Svalbard Islands, you'll be rewarded with dramatic coastline, mountain formations and stunning fjords. Sitting under the Northern Lights Belt, the northern region of Norway is one of the most reliable places to spot the lights.
In the far northwest corner of the country, Swedish Lapland is a remote region of Arctic plains and glacial mountains, perfect for outdoor adventurers. It's also home to the very first ice hotel, the Jukkasjäroi Ice Hotel - everything from the beds to the bar is made of ice and snow, and this unique experience perfectly compliments a Northern Lights expedition.
The Aurora Oval covers a large portion of Canada including the provinces Nova Scotia and British Columbia, to name but a few. Again, the further north you head the better your chances of catching the Northern Lights but if you're looking to combine your visit to Canada with its famed skiing opportunities, head away from the cities and increase your chances.