Northern Lights Finland - Tutorial

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If you are here, you already know what are the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis, so we skip this part and go directly to the basic information which can help you to plan Lapland holidays with best chances to see the Northern Lights in Finland.

Best place to see the Northern Lights in Finland

Best Places to see Northern lights


  • Lapland above the Polar Circle
  • Open space with wide overview (field, hill, lake-river side)
  • No or limited artificial lights near
  • Finland: Yllas, Levi, Saariselka, Luosto-Pyha, Rovaniemi.


The best place in Finland to see the Northern Lights is Lapland/Northern Finland above the Arctic Circle.

There are no exact place with best chances to see it, because it depends only on weather and cloudiness. No need to move around Lapland, looking for different locations.

The only thing important regarding the place is open space, and no artificial lights.

If you can find a place in dark and wide panorama – this is the best place to have a great view of Aurora.

Finnish Lapland is good Aurora destination because the area is underpopulated, cities and villages are small and it is very easy to find places without illumination just few steps from your accommodation.

Nevertheless there are some places with infrastructure specially designed for best Northern Lights views:

  • Yllas ski resort. Street illumination here is switched off during the Northern Lights (after 22.00), so limited light pollution and good sky view.
  • Luosto ski resort. Hotel Aurora there with large windows and “Aurora Alarm” that beeps whenever the Northern Lights appear.
  • Saariselka. There are few Glass igloos resorts like Northern Light village, Kakslauttanen, Aurora village Ivalo, Muotka igloos. This type of accommodation is specially designed for Northern Lights experience and staff at some of them, like Northern Light village, are experts in Northern lights and photographing it.
  • Levi ski-resort. There are some accommodation options, like Panorama hotel, log cabins, or Igloo resort, top of the fell with amazing open 360 view.
  • Rovaniemi. Probably the most popular place in Finnish Lapland to visit, but not the best to see the Northern Lights because of the light pollution of big city. Nevertheless even in the city center there are few spots where it is possible to see the Lights and make good pictures (see map below) and many professional companies who make Aurora guided tours.

Best time to see the Northern Lights in Finland

Best Month for Northern lights


  • Best Time of the Year: September, March
  • Best Time of the Day: 22.00 - 2.00


It is quite difficult to predict the Northern Lights activity more then 2-24 hours beforehand. But there are some guidance to raise your chances to see it.

1. The Best Time of the Year The best months to see Aurora in Finland are September-October, February-March.

Statistic proofs it: springtime (March) and autumn (September) contain the most "geomagnetically disturbed days" which means Aurora activity.

Nevertheless each dark month has its own character worth taking into consideration while planning a Northern Light trip to Lapland.

Sept - Oct

  • Ruska season in Lapland (autumn colours).
  • Dark nights (Note: nights are darker without snow!!!)
  • No extreme cold. Lakes are free from ice. Possibilities for great pichtures with Lights reflection on the water.
  • Northern lights activities like: evening camp-sites, hiking in the wilderness, etc.

Nov - Dec - Jan

  • First snow covers the Lapland in November. Snow shoeing Northern light tours might be already possible. Note: as snow comes from clouds, so ... sky view will be blocked by clouds.
  • December has longest possible nights during a year, so longer time with darkness and chances to see the Aurora.
  • It might be extremely cold during Christmas-New Year time. Expensive time in terms of accommodation prices. Snow cover Lapland usually in Nov-Dec, so it will reduce chances to see Aurora because of the clouds and snowfalls.
  • January can be very, very cold. Nevertheless, it is sometimes said that the Northern Lights are more likely to appear on colder nights.

Feb - March

  • Weather becomes not so serve, most of the winter snow has fallen already (in average less clouds), nights still dark and long, days are more bright and many winter activities available.
  • Note: this time of the year is skiing holidays in Finland and majority of locals travel from Southern Finland to North. So be ready to book accommodation and activities in advance.

What about rest of the year?
It is time for 24h of daylight, MidNight sun. No chances to see the Northern Lights at all!

2. The Best Time of the Day Obligatory condition - Dark time for sure.

To be more accurate, more often Aurora appears from around 22.00 to 2.00 at the night.

Be patient. Sometime even if Northern Light forecast is promising, it is needed to go out and look at the sky dozens of times during a night. Be ready if Aurora appear when you least expect it.


As you might be already aware that no one can guarantee the Northern lights and predict it. There's a lot of luck involved. But there are some things you can do to increase chances.

1. Choose right time.
As was said earlier, it should be September-March time of the year, and dark time of the day from 22pm to 3am.
2. Get some leeway
The more time you have for Lapland vacations, the better chances to see Lights.
3. Use Aurora innovations
Get notified! Download weather apps, Aurora alerts and Northern Light forecast.

As a recommendation if you are staying in Rovaniemi - Pyha-Luosto - Levi area of Finnish Lapland: There is a real-time information about the geomagnetic disturbances=Northern Lights, provided by Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory Magnetogram. Great help - Real Time sky web-cameras online. If Northern Lights are there, it can be seen immediately on the camera! Just go outside and enjoy the view.

Northern Lights alerts Finland

On the charts you can see disturbances in Earth's magnetic field. If the values of the curve starting to grow up or down more than 100-300 points, it is a good sign for time to go out and find a place with open panorama to observe the night sky.

Northern Lights alerts Finland


For those who are really interested in the Northern Lights phenomena, there is Hankasalmi Northern Lights Observatory in Central Finland (half way from Helsinki to Lapland, 300 km north from Helsinki). It has been a center of worldwide Northern Lights research for over 40 years.

Northern Lights Tour Hankasalmi Observatory

Scientists will tell you everything about the Northern Lights, how they are born, if they make any sound and many other things. Hankasalmi Observatory is located in the middle of a dark countryside far away from light pollution. It is the first place in the whole world starting to record the possible sounds of the Northern Lights.

Observatory guests will be introduced to All Sky Camera and visit Aurora Borealis Exhibition. If the sky is clear, you may watch the stars with the telescope assisted by your guide. To complete your experience, it is possible to stay overnight in a glass roofed cabin 15 minutes drive from Observatory - Revontuli Resort.

Observatory visits are possible year-round. However, plan a tour in dark evening times (from mid August till mid April) to get the most out of the experience. Price in 2019 is from 49€/person (groups 6-12 persons).

Revontuli All Sky Aurora Igloo

Revontuli All Sky Aurora Igloo

15km from Hankasalmen Observatory is all-sky Aurora cabins by the lake. The area is one of the darkest places in Central Finland to spot Northern Lights. The heated glass guarantees a clear sky view also in winter.

See more: Revontuli All Sky Aurora Igloo


# Glass Igloos

Arctic Fox Glass Igloos
1 /9

One of the latest Aurora innovation in Finnish Lapland is Glass Igloo hotels or rooms with panorama sky view. It is comfortable warm little cabin with glass roof, perfectly located with the best possible view, where you can stay overnight and see the Lights from your bed or with glass of wine, not been afraid to freeze your hands outside.

We would say it is not an accommodation option for your Lapland holidays, but as 1 night stay experience it works great to add some luxury to your vacation and unique experience to sleep under the stars.

Some of the glass igloos are very simple and basic like Lake Inari Mobile Cabins, or Olokolo mobile sleeping nest. Other are luxury lodge like SnowmanWorld Glass Resort. And a lot of options in between, but all of them can offer something special. Like Northern Light Village in Saariselka. This place has own husky-reindeer farm. They can organize in-house activities as well as they are experts in Northern light hunting and know al the secrets.

See All Glass Igloo List
# Northern Lights guided programs

Northern Lights flights

There are a lot of helpers in Lapland, making it easier to catch the Aurora and make best possible DIY pictures of it.

Almost every location, ski resort, holiday villages has variety of organized tours combining some activity with Aurora hunting.

It is possible to choose from evening hiking in the wilderness, snowmobile safaris, reindeer-husky rides, Northern lights camp-fires with professional photographers, and many other adventures depending on you preferences, budget, group size and members age.

Local guides can share their knowledge about the Lights, give brief scientific overview, tell myths and legends, advice photo hints and tips, show best locations with perfect view and organize some local treats during the tour. If your Lapland holidays limited in time, guided tour makes sense and is worth it.

# Northern Lights photography tutorial

Northern Lights FAQ

Can you see the Northern Lights from Finland?

Yes! Northern Finland is one of the few places on planet Earth where you can see the Northern Lights. Just follow a few simple rules:
1) Plan a trip between September and mid April.
2) Come to the North, above the Arctic Circle. In Finland it is the area north of cities Oulu, Pudasjarvi, Kuusomo. 3) Check weather forecast. It should be moonless night (or at least not a full moon), clear sky and a bit of Solar activity during the previous couple of days.

What is the cheapest way to see the Northern lights?

Come to Finnish Lapland in September – earlier October.
Choose one National park in Lapland, for example, Pyha-Luosto National park.
Take your сamping equipment and tent and follow one of the nature trails, which is equipped with sleeping huts, fireplace stations with wc and firewood. Make your campsite and wait for the Northern lights for free!

Heavy clouds are blocking the sky view. What to do?

No problem!
There are 2 options if you are eager for it. Both of them are quite expensive and time-consuming.

1. Check most possible Northern Lights forecast. Check current weather map and drive somewhere with clear sky or some breaks in the clouds. Be ready to drive quite a lot, of course reasonable distance to manage it during a night.

2. If no cloud breaks, try Northern lights from the flight.

Where can I see the Northern Lights in Rovaniemi?

There are limited possibility to see the Northern Lights from the city center. But you can find some good spots not far from the city.

1-2. Kemijoki river embankment, both sides. Near bridge.
3. The Arctic Garden behind the Arktikum museum (10 min walking from Rovaniemi center).
4. The top of Ounasvaara fell (40-45 min by foot from city center). There is Sky Hotel observation tower or just open places in the wilderness.

The Northern Lights in Helsinki

The Northern Lights can be also seen in Helsinki. Find out the best time and places where to see the Aurora in Helsinki here.

Follow us on Facebook to be updated about Lapland!

Tips to plan Lapland trip:
Glass igloo finland
Glass Igloo
Lapland Prices
Lapland Prices
Rovaniemi - Santa Home town
Santa Home Town


Aurora hunting by minibus 3 h / daily

Take a warm and comfortable trip after Northern Lights by minibus. The guide knows where to drive and if there is luck, we will enjoy the unbelievable heaven show over the sky.

• daily
• departure: 8:30 PM
• duration: approx. 3 h
• minimum: 4 adults

• 75 € / person
• 37,50 € child 4-12 yrs.

Price includes
• transport by minibus
• guiding in Finnish and English
• traffic insurance
• ATT. pick up from the clients cabin/apartment/hotel is not included in the price - client should come 15 min before the start of the program to the Luontoloma Pro Safaris safari office in address: Lutontie 3 (back yard of Santa´s Hotel Tunturi main building)

Date: From 1 October 2019 every day
Address: back yard of Santa´s Hotel Tunturi main building,

Camera Borealis

Spend a weekend with nature photographs and movies. Camera Borealis -nature photograph event has been in Inari village every year since 1996.

Contact: Nature Centre Siida, Kirsi Ukkonen
+358 400 479 986
+358 (0)206 39 7740

Date: 16 November 2019
Address: Nature Centre Siida,

Aurora Hunt by open fire / Monday

This tour takes us to north of Saariselkä, leaving the street lights behind us. Our minibus stops on top of the Kaunispää fell, a popular place for aurora hunting. We will continue to our remoted aurora camp where we make a fire in the tepee, make some hot berry juice and enjoy in the glow of fire a late night snack while we wait the northern lights to appear above the horizon.

• Mondays
• departure: at 8:00 PM
• duration: 3 hours
• minimum: 4 adults
• 120 € / person
• 60 € / child 5-12 years
• child 0-4 years free of charge
Price includes:
• thermal clothing
• guiding in English
• aurora hunting
• warm cottage with hot drinks
• sausages and marshmallows by open fire

Attention: pick up from the clients cabin/apartment/hotel is not included in the price - client should come15 min before the start of the program to the Top Safaris safari office in address: Saariseläntie 7 (same building as Hotel Holiday Club Saariselkä)

Date: 2 December 2019
Address: Hotel Holiday Club Saariselkä,

Aurora ice fishing 3 h / Monday, Friday

We get dressed with warm overalls and shoes. Everyone is also wearing a helmet. The snowmobile guide will give all the safety instructions before we start. After a short snowmobile driving we get out of the village lights and we continue to a lake where we start ice fishing. Total driving distance is approx. 30 km's (15 km's / direction). We try our luck in ice fishing under the millions of stars and maybe amazing Auroras dancing above us.

• Mondays, Friday
• departure: at 8 PM
• duration: approx. 3 h
• minimum: 2 adults
• 120 € / person, when 2 people share one snowmobile
• 165 € / single driving
• 90 € / adult sittin in a sleigh
• 60 € / child 4 - 12 yrs / sitting in a sleigh
Price includes:

• services of professional guides
• warm clothing (overall, shoes, cloves, balaclava and helmet)
• ice fishing equipment
• hot drink
• snowmobile with insurance - own liability 1000 € in case of accident or damage
• petrol and oil of the snowmobile
• safari will take place depending on weather conditions
• ATT. pick up from the clients cabin/apartment/hotel is not included in the price - client should come to the safari office. Luontolomat Pro Safaris in address Lutontie 3

Date: 2 December 2019
Address: Luontolomat Pro Safaris,

Chasing Northern Lights on snowshoes / Monday

Description: On Saariselkä Training snowshoe tours You will get the chance to explore the untouched snow banks of Urho Kekkonen National Park. We'll hike outside the maintained trails which means that we will very unlikely meet other people. We start the tour after sun set and head towards the top of fell Iisakkipää. If we are lucky we will see the northern lights dancing on the sky. Even if we aren't that lucky, walking in dark forest is a unique experience.

• Mondays (December - February)
• starting time: 8PM from starting place of the xc-skiing tracks (Lutontie 3)
• duration: 2 hours
• max 10 participants
• participants should have suitable outdoor clothes

• 70€/person
Price includes
• services from local guide
• snowshoes
• warm berry drink and small snacks during a break

Date: 2 December 2019
Address: Luontolomat Pro Safaris,

Northern Light safari by snowmobile / tuesday, thursday

Would you like to experience the exotic light show on the sky, Aurora Borealis? Our Northern Light Tour takes you far away from the lights in the village on a sleigh ride to the fells. If the weather is fine, prognosis for weather and aurora are promising we’ll meet at the safari club and head with our guide over the fells. We can’t guarantee that you’ll see aurora but also only the sleigh ride behind the snowmobile under the bright stars of Lappish sky is an unforgettable experience. And we don’t start if the forecast is not good enough.

• Tuesdays and Thursdays
• departure: at 8 PM
• duration: 2-2,5 hours
• minimum: 2 adults

Price: • 125 € / person (2 people/snowmobile)
• 160 € / person (1 person/snowmobile) (you should choose this one if you don´t have a pair for sharing the snowmobile)
• 80 € / person (sitting in the sleigh)
• 62,50 € / child 10-12 yrs. (sitting in the sleigh)

Attention: evening safari is not recommended for children (child should be at least 10 years old) and if accompanied, there must be an adult sitting in sleigh, too
Price includes:
• driving by snowmobile
• gasoline
• thermal clothing as described
• guidance in English and Finnish
• hot drink
• third party motor insurance: The driver of the snowmobile has to be at least 16 years of age with a valid driving licence (own liability max 900 € in accident)

Attention: pick up from the clients cabin/apartment/hotel is not included in the price - client should come 20 min before the start of the program to the Top Safaris safari office in address: Saariseläntie 7 (same building as Hotel Holiday Club Saariselkä)

Date: 3 December 2019
Address: Hotel Holiday Club Saariselkä,
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