The Northern Lights remains one of the world’s most popular item on any travel ‘bucket list’ and so it is no wonder that people go to great lengths to research, prep and pour over all the information available on what would be the best time and place to see the Aurora.
There are many factors that affect the possibility of seeing the Aurora. Firstly, you need it to be dark and with as little light pollution as possible so getting to a dark, remote location at the right time of year is a must.
The next factor to consider is whether you are within the Auroral oval or not. The Auroral oval sits on the top of the globe and is where your chances of spotting the Aurora are at their highest – hence why we always suggest that you get right up north into the Arctic Circle as possible. It’s not that you wouldn’t see the Aurora outside of this; but the solar activity has to be higher and higher the further south you are which isn’t always very reliable.
The last thing; and possibly the most important of all; is the fact that you need clear skies. You can have the highest KP index and solar activity with THE most fantastic Aurora you would ever see going on above your heads… but if it’s hidden with a big expanse of cloud cover you won’t see a thing no matter how big and beautiful it is.
Enter: Abisko. Not only does Abisko in Swedish Lapland sit high in the Arctic Circle and is extremely remote with little to no light pollution there is a phenomenon here which makes it one of the best places in the world to guarantee a clear sky. Not a guarantee of the Aurora itself we hasten to add – but the chance of a clear sky is second to none.
Without getting too heavy with the science; the ‘Blue Hole’ is as a result of a wind pattern that blows in from the west provided by the jet stream from the Arctic Ocean that is so reliable and stable that it creates what is known as a ‘microclimate’. This, coupled with the mountain peaks that surround Abisko National Park on all sides, means that the windstream effectively ‘tears a hole’ in the cloud cover directly above Abisko and provides a window of approximately 10-20 square kilometers of clear skies no matter the weather surrounding it.
With all the above in mind, Abisko is considered one of the best places on earth to travel to witness the Northern Lights. It’s position, location and microclimate all combine to give the greatest chance of spotting the Aurora during the winter season.
If you are interested in arranging a trip to Abisko see below for a couple of our example itineraries; however remember we are entirely tailor-made and so please speak to one of our Adventure Artists today to see how we can make your holiday dream a reality!