Petr Pavlicek

Seven Ways to Catch the Northern Lights in Lyngenfjord

There are many ways to experience the beauty of the Northern Lights. If you go to beautiful Lyngenfjord, you can maximise your chances and have fun at the same time.

The Northern Lights are elusive, so the best strategy is to be out under the night sky every night. You never know when Aurora will put on a show. But don’t forget, this is your winter holiday – it should be fun, interesting, and diverse. Check out our list of inspiring ideas to make the most of your time in Lyngenfjord. Situated between Tromsø, Alta, and Finland, this region enjoys stable winter weather and clear skies, making it an ideal place to experience the mysterious and captivating Northern Lights.

Snowmobile Safaris Take You Far into the Wild

We bet you can’t go snowmobiling at home! However, around Lyngenfjord, you can participate in organized excursions into nature. If you do it at night, you are under the open sky for the duration of the tour and will, of course, not miss anything that might appear in the night sky. Lyngenfjord has challenging geography, and driving here is more about going uphill and downhill, into valleys, through dense forests, and onto viewpoints than just speeding. All the tours, however, are suitable for beginners, and an experienced car or scooter driver will find it easy and fun. If you have no driver’s license, you can sit on the back. To limit the impact on wildlife, the tours follow marked trails.

Dog Sledding is nature’s Formula 1

A running husky is a happy husky! When you arrive in the dog yard, you are met with loud joy and anticipation. However, as the sleigh leaves the dog yard and glides into the dark forest, there is absolute silence. Time to work! Dog sledding takes you deep into the forest along narrow trails, perfect for northern lights watching. When the green rays appear, you throw an anchor into the snow and enjoy! You can learn the technique in 30 seconds; it’s all about counterbalancing with your behind and using the brake. Make sure to cuddle a lot; after all, the huskies show endless and unconditional love!

Snowshoeing is Easy and Keeps You Warm

Is your skiing technique not suited for Lyngenfjord’s steep and challenging terrain? Fear not, snowshoes require nothing more than the ability to walk. There are organized tours, both in the day and at night. Northern Lights watchers, of course, choose the nighttime ones. You wander through the silent forest at a humane and manageable speed, keeping the impact on fragile nature very low. By moving, you stay warm, and when the Northern Lights appear, it’s you and the green rays. Nothing more. In Lyngenfjord, there are both organized tours and snowshoe rental.

Sit around the Fire and Wait for the Lights – The Sami way

As long as humans have existed, they have sat around the campfire. A Sami experience means you sit on reindeer pelts, get to sample Sami specialties, hear about the Sami culture, and listen to the joik, the Sami chant. A Sami lavvu, or tent, is, of course, found out in the wilderness, far away from electric lights, and is a great place to wait for the Northern Lights to appear. When they appear, you see them the same way as the Sami saw the “guovssahas” – Sami for the Northern Lights.

See the Aurora the Relaxed Way – in Sauna and Jacuzzi

An age-old way to see the Northern Lights is going to the sauna. Lyngenfjord has a strong Finnish/Kven heritage, with saunas as an integral part of life. Less traditional, but all the more relaxing, are the various hot tubs and jacuzzis around. Many guesthouses and holiday homes have them, and they can be rented. This is, of course, a very sociable affair for groups of friends and families, and cold drinks are, of course, part of the experience. A dip in the snow or the nearest lake or river can be part of it, but this is in no way compulsory.

Hire Skis and Head into the Wild

There is a multitude of Northern Lights tours on offer. But sometimes you want to do it on your own. One way to get far into the forest is to hire cross-country skis. Then you can follow marked trails around the settlements in Lyngenfjord. If you’re unused to cross-country skiing, pick a “gentle” trail, with few downhills. But there are also more demanding trips, notably to the Dalberget hut with a full view of the Lyngen Alps. There are also If you’ve never tried skiing, hire snowshoes instead. They require no technique at all, but a headlamp is a good idea.

Chase the Lights on Your Own

Visitors with the disposal of a car can chase the Northern Lights on their own. When the weather is clear all over Lyngenfjord, one can simply drive to the most beautiful place and wait. A popular place is Spåkenes with a full view of the Lyngen Alps; others would prefer Nord-Lenangen with the vista to the remote island of Nord-Fugløy. The twin peaks of Mount Otertinden are another favorite. If a low from the northwest, or even worse, from the southwest, has clogged the night sky, one should head to the innermost valleys, notably Skibotndalen, Signaldalen, or the end of the road in Reisadalen. Cold winds from the southeast, however, make the conditions more favorable on the coast, notably in Skjervøy or Lenangen. Use the weather apps and study the map well.

How to see the Northern Lights in Lyngenfjord

That is a well-proven idea. However; staying in the Lyngenfjord area saves you a lot of transportation time, especially late at night and in the dark. The nightsky in dry inland areas of Lyngenfjord are often clear, so you have very good chances to spot the light. Staying a few nights in Lyngenfjord can thus be a good idea, especially if you combine it with Tromsø.

That is in fact a very good idea; Tromsø has a great Arctic urban vibe, whereas Lyngenfjord has a very favourable conditions for Northern Lights watching, along with some unique activities.

If you only have one or two nights at your disposal, a traditional northern lights hunt taking you to wherever the skies are clear, will be your best bet. However, it is very strenous to go on a Northern Lights hunt by bus/mini bus, so if you are in the north for a week or so, the options mentioned here are more fun and varied.

Lyngenfjord, despite being an area with few inhabitants, has a wide selection of accommodation. Check our article on this for some tips, and browse through Visit Lyngenfjord’s overview for the full selection.

There are buses from Tromsø to Lyngenfjord, taking 1-4 hours, depending where you’re going. To the coastal areas around Skjervøy, there are also catamarans, and you can use the legendary Hurtigruten. For an overview of public transport, consult Troms Fylkestrafikk, the county transport company. Many people also drive with a rental car, although this should only be done if you are used to driving on snow and ice.