Tip: The Northern lights are visible only on clear nights (no clouds), best seen away from artificial lights. Hence Aurora enthusiasts use the term ‘chasing’ so often, as they’re always out and about in the hunt for clear and dark night skies.
What is the best type of tour/itinerary to see the Northern Lights?
First things first- if any Northern Lights tour operator or travel agent offers you guaranteed Northern Lights viewing- walk out as fast you can. No one on this planet can guarantee and predict the Aurora location, activity, intensity or visibility.
There are many options to choose from (guided tours, self-discovery etc), but keep in mind the following:
1) You get what you pay for: Northern Lights trip is not cheap. The countries mentioned above are not central points on air routes and the tickets may be expensive. You may have to travel further north after reaching the capitals of these countries. You’ll be deep in the Arctic Circle and there’s a price tag that comes with the untouched beauty of these remote locations.
2) Keep at least 3 nights dedicated to chasing Northern Lights: Any plan/ itinerary you make, be sure to keep at least 3 nights (if not more) dedicated to chasing the Aurora and as far North as you can. This will help you maximize your chances of not only seeing the Aurora stationery but possibly catching the Lights putting on a grand performance.
3) Beat the cold: Winter this far up north can get pretty cold; sometimes less than -25 degrees Celsius; ensure you carry appropriate extreme cold protection gear. You don’t want your Aurora experience to be interrupted by constantly running back inside to get warm. Take extra care to keep your feet (toes) and fingers warm as the toes can get especially painful if not properly protected.