Best places for Northern lights holidays in Russia

What is the Northern lights holidays?

The aurora is the glow of the upper sparse layers of the atmosphere, caused by the interaction of atoms and molecules with charged particles of high energies, invading the terrestrial atmosphere from outer space. Human language and very simplistic means that the Sun throws millions of tons of particles into space, in 2-5 days they reach the upper layers of the Earth's atmosphere, where nitrogen and oxygen are so happy to meet that they are already shining with excitement. So what is the Nothern lights holidays?

Luminescence occurs in the region of the magnetic poles of the Earth. Fortunately, magnetic poles do not coincide with geographic poles, so we can observe radiance at latitudes of about 67-70 °, and sometimes much closer to the equator, up to Moscow

There are two poles at the Earth, so there are two polar auroras - north and south. To see the Southern Lights is problematic - simply because there are not so many inhabited places on the right latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere. But in the Northern Hemisphere there is a mass of corners, from where the polar lights are visible, especially many of them in Russia.


Where can I see the northern lights?

First, the bad news: finding the northern lights is difficult - too many circumstances should turn out well. So be mentally ready to go to the north empty. The good news: if you follow simple advice, you can significantly improve your chances and make your northern lights holidays unforgettable.


When can i see the northern lights?

Season of auroras is the period from autumn to spring equinox, that is, from September to March. This does not mean that the sky lights up only in these months, the radiance may well happen in August. But the probability is still higher in winter - approximately from November to February. At the same time in high latitudes at this time, the night lasts for 18-20 hours, and even the weak radiance will be seen more clearly. Professionals claim that the best time for northern lights is from about 10 pm to 3 am.


How to increase your chances of seeing the northern lights?

1.Watch out for the sun

The main condition for the aurora is the ejection of particles into the sun. After such an emission, you will have from two to five days to reach the required latitudes. So you need to plan your northern lights holidays at least for couple of days. Of course, the more powerful the release, the more likely that the radiance will be at all. Over the cosmic weather observes a lot of observatories around the world, their forecasts you can find on the Internet.

Each site monitors the index of magnetic activity (K-index). Its values range from 1 to 9, where the unit is all quiet, the ninth - the electronics is out of order. We noticed that the K-index reached the value of 4-5 and higher - pack things and go north.

2. Stay away from cities

The electric lights of cities create light pollution, so near them the night sky is less contrasting, and the polar lights are much worse or not visible at all. The larger the city, the more light noise and the farther away from it you need to drive off. From a small village will be enough and 5-10 km, from the metropolis - not less than 50-70 km. The company provides northern lights holidays by taking people from the city and bring them outside the city.

3. Wait for clear weather

Polar lights shine at an altitude of more than 100 km. The clouds are always lower, that is between you and the radiance and will close the review. In winter, there is more chance of a clear sky in frosty days and in cold weather.

4. Climb out to the north

The closer you get to the Arctic Circle (or even go further north), the more chances to see the radiance. Although, it depends on the value of the K-index: if it rolls up to 8-9 points, you can just look out the window, even if you live in Sochi.


What to bring with you on northern lights holidays?

  • The car (own or rented) The car will very much help in hunting for the northern lights, and not so much because it is so quick to escape from the zone of light pollution of the city and choose a convenient viewing platform. The main advantage of the machine is that it can be heated in it.
  • Thermos with tea. In the cold alcohol warms up on short "distances", but on long ones it hurts. Therefore, alcohol is best reserved for return to heat.
  • Warm shoes.
  • Tripod It is necessary, if you want to achieve high-quality photos.
  • Replacement batteries. In the cold, batteries are discharged very quickly.
  • A good camera. And in advance, practice shooting at long exposures

Interested? provides an unique opportunity to visit this amazing place. You can visit Teriberka during our Nothern lights tour

Where is the best place to see northern lights in Russia?


In Russia, at first glance, almost unlimited opportunities to observe the northern lights. Still, the polar circle crosses half the country, and a grandiose heavenly show is seen both in Karelia and in Chukotka. But in winter many places are problematic to reach, and the temperature here and there can drop to -45 C °. In addition, the flight to remote corners of Russia can be fabulously expensive. Therefore, it is best to go from Moscow and St. Petersburg to hunt for the northern lights in the Arkhangelsk or Murmansk region. This is more convenient and cheaper, and the weather in winter in these parts is not as sharp as, say, in Taimyr. So you can start planing your northern lights holidays from this places.


Northern lights location - Northern lights holidays

1. Murmansk

In the Murmansk region, pay attention to Teriberka, Vidyaevo, Polar, Pechenegu or any other small town with little light pollution. The main thing is to make sure that you can drive by car in winter.

Aurora in Teribrka Russia

2. Hibiny mountains

The Khibiny Mountains are located at the south of Murmansk, and there are more chances of a clear sky, and light pollution in these parts can be completely forgotten. Infrastructure, unfortunately, is not well developed here, and many hotels either close for the winter or are very difficult to access.

Aurora in Hibiny

3. Vorkuta

In the Republic of Komi, the aurora is not uncommon, sometimes it can be seen even in Syktyvkar in August. But in order to increase the chances, it is better to go further north to Vorkuta. Be very careful if you first drive in winter in the north. At dusk, the winter road merges with the boundless snow-covered roadside, and you can easily get off the road, bogged down in the snow to the very roof.

Aurora in Vorkuta

4. Khatanga

The village of Khatanga - the choice for those who are looking for and the northern lights, and adventure. This is - the heart of Taimyr, the average annual temperature is - -13 C °. But this is one of the northernmost settlements of Russia, and the breadth of it is much more profitable (in terms of auroras) and Murmansk, and even Iceland. Khatanga is flying KrasAvia from Krasnoyarsk.

Aurora in Khatanga

5. Spitsbergen

In the archipelago Spitsbergen during the polar night, the Aurora can be observed even in the daytime. It's best to go after the radiance in February, but sometimes you can catch it in early March. And here you can see polar bears, picturesque fjords and glaciers.

Aurora in Spitsbergen

6. Putorana Plateau in Siberia

The best color variations are visible on the Putorana Plateau. It is difficult to forget the sight of snow-white peaks of mountains reflecting bright flashes. However, here and without the northern lights is fantastically beautiful - not in vain is the place called the edge of ten thousand lakes and thousands of waterfalls.

Aurora at Putorana Plateau


Interested? provides an unique opportunity to visit this amazing place. You can visit Teriberka during our Nothern lights tour

Yet to see the northern lights is a great success. Sometimes, it appears every day, and sometimes it is not for two weeks. Therefore, the risk that you will go to the north for nothing, is great. To rest was not spoiled, combine observation with other activities.