Our Northern Lights Blog

Ali Mclean

When is the best time to see the Northern Lights? An Expert’s View.

Written by Ali Mclean
Thursday, 02 September 2021

When fully qualified and dauntingly clever people such as Jyrki Manninen, Deputy Director of the Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory in Finnish Lapland comment on the prospects for the new Aurora season, our ears prick up and we listen.

Harriniva autumn auroras web 1

An article in the Finnish press on 31 August 2021 asked Manninen for his expert opinion on one of, if not the most, asked questions regarding the Aurora Borealis. 

When is the best time to see the Northern Lights?


Ali Mclean

Autumn in Finnish Lapland

Written by Ali Mclean
Tuesday, 31 August 2021

Autumnal Colour during Daylight Hours

It is jokingly said that autumn in Finnish Lapland starts at 9 am on the 9th day of the 9th month and lasts for exactly three weeks. Clearly, this isn’t an exact science and with the climate seemingly changing on an almost daily basis, those dates should not be taken as fact.

What is certain is that if you time your trip to Lapland well then you can expect all the wonderful colours we associate with autumn during the day and dancing celestial lights once darkness falls.

Much of Finnish Lapland is covered by forests and fells and in autumn the landscapes are bathed in burnished shades of orange, gold, brown, ochre and myriad others. Indeed, the colours closely match those of the traditional dress worn by the indigenous Sami people.

Sami   Credit Matt Robinson   Autumn auroras 2019 3 credit Antti Pietikainen


Ali Mclean

The First Auroras of the New Season

Written by Ali Mclean
Tuesday, 24 August 2021

It’s amazing the lengths that people will go to in order to see the Aurora Borealis.

Every year, we set our partners up in the Aurora Zone the challenge of sending us images of the first Auroral displays of the new season. This year, our long-term partner Markku Inkila was well and truly up for the challenge, and he wasn’t going to allow anybody to steal his thunder.

Markku, took himself and his camera into the wilderness surrounding his home in northeast Finland and spent the next 6 (yes SIX!!) hours scouring the northern skies for signs of wraith-like green lights.

Initially, his dedication yielded no reward, and he was worried that the imminent arrival of morning’s daylight would obscure the lights if they did occur. However, as is often the case with the Northern Lights, patience was rewarded. Not long before dawn, he noticed wispy green lights appearing in the sky.

Aug 2021


Ali Mclean

Gearing up for a Great Aurora Hunting Season

Written by Ali Mclean
Friday, 06 August 2021

In just a few weeks, the 24 hours of daylight from the Midnight Sun will begin to dissipate and the northern skies will grow darker as autumn approaches.

The Midnight Sun is something to behold but it doesn’t half frustrate Aurora hunters in the Nordic countries because constant daylight renders the Northern Lights invisible. The lights are there, the displays are happening but unfortunately, they are invisible to the human eye.

All changes in mid to late-August as the days grow shorter and the nights become darker. There’s always excitement in Aurora hunting circles as to where the first displays of the new season will appear and, who will capture the phenomenon.

Whoever does see them first will have to be up pretty late at night because in late August there remains a large amount of residual light even after sunset. It is only in September when true darkness prevails and the Aurora presents itself in its full glory.

anttipietikainen


Ali Mclean

Is there anywhere safer from Covid-19 than Finnish Lapland?

Written by Ali Mclean
Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Here at The Aurora Zone, we send more people to Finland than any other destination. Unsurprisingly, we were absolutely delighted when the announcement came last week that the country is reopening its borders to fully vaccinated travellers.

We immediately booked five seats on Finnair flights to Ivalo and will be heading north in search of the Northern Lights in mid-September. We can’t wait. After so long without travelling abroad it will feel like freedom and, unlike many other destinations, we will head to Finland with absolutely no Covid worries.

Torassieppi   Credit Antti Pietikäinen (2) re sized

 

Is it safe to travel to Finland?

Naturally, a lot of people are understandably reticent about travelling in the post-Covid era. However, with a bit of investigation, it transpires that you are far, far more likely to contract the dreaded lurgy at home than you are in the wilds of Northern Finland.

Even better, if you really do want to come home at the end of your holiday, there will be no need to quarantine when you do. Finland is on the UK’s Amber List and the chances of it moving to red are minuscule.


Ali Mclean

Rare Red Auroras

Written by Ali Mclean
Tuesday, 03 November 2020

Rare Red Aurora in Finnish Lapland

“Fires over which a tribe of dwarfs, half the length of a canoe paddle and so strong they caught whales with their hands, boiled blubber.”

“Rare, red Auroras”. It sounds like something Michael Palin’s Pontius Pilate might have struggled with in Monty Python’s Life of Brian. However, for our ancestors, red Auroras were nothing to laugh at, for they were almost universally perceived as portents of doom.


Joanna Robertson

The hunt is on - The new Northern Lights season has begun!

Written by Joanna Robertson
Monday, 24 August 2020

RESIZED IMG 1202 14 Credit Filippo Dias

After several months of waiting, the 24-hour daylight of the ‘Midnight Sun’ has said goodbye for another year. Last week the news that Aurora hunters everywhere had been waiting for finally arrived – the 2020/21 Northern Lights season has begun!


Jade McKay

'If I could be anywhere right now' - Arctic adventures in Apukka

Written by Jade McKay
Thursday, 23 July 2020

Northern Lights in the snowy forest

If I could be anywhere right now, I would be in beautiful Finland.

I fondly recall my first time visiting the stunning Finnish Lapland where we stayed at Apukka Resort, just a short journey from Rovaniemi Airport.


Joanna Robertson

Our top short breaks for autumn 2020

Written by Joanna Robertson
Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Torassieppi aerial 8 credit Antti re sized

If you are seeking a peaceful holiday to unwind, don't just go off-the-beaten-track, travel out of season to uncover one of the best-kept secrets of Northern Lights hunting; autumn! Autumn is one of the best times of year to see the Northern Lights, however, it is often overlooked in favour of the snowy winter months.


Joanna Robertson

'If I could be anywhere right now' - Utsjoki, Finland's northern wonder

Written by Joanna Robertson
Wednesday, 17 June 2020

If I could be anywhere right now, it would be Finland; over 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle at the Holiday Village Valle Hotel, looking out over the frozen Teno River towards Norway on the opposite bank.

The people of Finland refer to the north of Finland as Finnish Lapland; in the north of Finnish Lapland lies Utsjoki, the northernmost municipality of Finland which borders Norway. Just outside the main village, this cosy base offers a wonderful escape, one which I was lucky enough to experience in December 2018.

Credit Minna Saastamoinen Explore Utsjoki


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