The Northern Lights are one of the most beautiful and most anticipated "atmospheric optical phenomena" of the year. Here's where to admire it in Norway, when to go and what are the tips, tricks and tips to follow.
- Trip to Norway to admire the Northern Lights: when to go and general information
- Trip to Norway to discover the Northern Lights: what to pack
- Northern lights in Norway: travel story
- Northern lights Norway: pictures and photos
Trip to Norway to admire the Northern Lights: when to go and general information
In 2019 we decided to organize a trip to Norway to "go hunting" for one of the Events most anticipated in the world, thenorthern Lights, and we relied on a specialized tour operator even if everything could be organized independently.
We have proposed a 5-day itinerary or from 25 to 30 January 2019 and, honestly, these travel they are not cheap at all; all inclusive we spent over 2.000 euros per person.
THENorthern Lights in Norway it can be admired from the end of September to the end of March and January is one of the peak periods.
Trip to Norway to discover the Northern Lights: what to pack
It is useless to deny that in this period, in Norway, it's freezing cold, on the other hand we are at the same latitude as the north ofAlaska. It is true that it is a dry cold and therefore bearable, but if you leave some part of the body uncovered you will feel real physical pain. However, nothing "extreme", a bit like our mountains in winter.
The 5 places in the world to see the Northern Lights and the best photos
To tell the truth, you don't need waterproof clothes and shoes, the snow and ice are dry so moon boots and ice boots are superfluous; I wore boots with fur inside and I never got cold.
I wore thick socks, thermal jersey and tights, microfleece, heavier fleece (better if a little windproof); slightly padded trousers also windproof, thick down jacket (700gr) scarf, better those fleece collars; the hat that also protects the ears is essential to add to the hood of the duvet: to be worn all together.
The country is rather informal, you don't really need to be the usual "Spanish hotties".
Just to give some more information, the sun in this period rises around 10 and sets at 14, but the phase of light, that is the time in which you see each other, is quite long: from the morning around 8 until 15, then the night is not very black because the snow reflects the light of the very bright stars.
Northern lights in Norway: travel story
Our travel itinerary was as follows: Milan Malpensa, Oslo, Alta, Honningsvaag, North Cape, navigation with the postal Hurtigruten, Kirkenes, Oslo, Milan Malpensa, return.
January 25: Milan - Oslo - Alta
Departure from Malpensa (our flight package included parking right in front of terminal 1, very convenient) 12.55 pm arrival in Oslo where you have to collect your luggage and check-in again, then at 17.35 pm flight to Alta and arrive at 19.30.
At that time there are no buses and we took a taxi I don't remember exactly how much we spent but it seemed to me around 80-100 NOK. We slept in theHotel Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel which was truly unbridled luxury.
If there is a next time we will definitely choose more basic accommodation.
Dinner at the hotel NOK 600 with salmon so fresh it is mouth-watering.
America Coast to Coast
January 26: Alta - Igloo Hotel - snowmobile
The excursion has been booked by our agency through the Norwegian agency Via Alta Tours (tel. +47 78 44 95 55), to be contacted directly for those who want to personalize the trip; everyone here is extremely nice.
They picked us up and we went about twenty kilometers inside where there is another one Igloo Hotel; in short, where the excursion with snowmobiles starts.
They gave us an “enhanced” thermal suit, boots, helmet and balaclava.
Whoever drives the snowmobile has heated grips, the windshield, the front engine that heats up and the other stays behind and freezes the rear; I recommend taking turns driving.
We followed the guide, in this case it was just us, but usually small convoys are formed, in a path of about 11 km up to the “plateau” that is the wind-swept esplanade with a truly arctic panorama.
Driving the snowmobile even for those who are completely fast, is quite easy, taking into account that there is a track instead of the rear wheel.
Upon returning toIgloo Hotela delicious salmon soup is included in the hot part.
Cost of the excursion from the Italian agency 153 euros per person for a single snowmobile. It is definitely worth it. Then we had booked the night at the Igloo Hotel. The most expensive thing of the whole trip: 286 euros each.
January 27: Alta - Honningsvaag
Breakfast atIgloo Hotel then transfer at 10.00 to Alta città where, frankly, there is not much to do as the town center is quite dull.
We await the departure of the FFR bus (14.30 pm), if we knew it would have been better to stay at the Igloo Hotel until 14 pm which is surrounded by nature; in any case the bus station is very close to the center and we go there on foot. Comfortable bus.
Transfer duration 4 hours. At 17 pm we see from the bus ahigh northern lights; truly beautiful and spectacular (obviously impossible to stop and photograph).
We arrive at 18.30 and they leave us in front of theHotel Scandic Bryggen.
The hotel is very nice, reminiscent of an old noble Nordic style and is right by the sea.
Honningsvaag it is a village of fishermen, quiet and clean; we found a "Corner" restaurant open, you can eat quite well - 460 NOK for two.
January 28: Honningsvaag - North Cape - Hurtiguten ship
Da Honningsvaag several buses leave for the North Cape, but for us the excursion was part of the "ship" package, the tour operator is Hurtigruten ASA Narvik, so we are incorporated by the passengers of the ship on an extraordinary exit.
Bus departure at 11.45 am like the regular ones.
The guide is a Sami woman who tells the story of North Cape and of the Sami people for the duration of the trip, he even sang a song to us, a bit surreal.
I arrive around 13 pm, there is a very strong wind and a freezing cold so we preferred to stay outside rather than visit the commercial part. We leave at 14.00 and we embark on the ship.
29th gennaio: Kirkenes - King Crabs - Sleddog - Festival Barents
We disembark at 10.00 and Anton comes to pick us up, a very kind guide who takes us to the Jarfjord, About 25 km from the city in a dock with a beautiful wooden building on the fjord passing close to the Russian border.
The border is a cumbersome cultural presence in this area, so much so that the Festival dei Barents Days, an intercultural party between Russia, Norway e Finland with shows, meetings, concerts etc ...
But let's go back to the crabs: we are provided with equipment suitable for cold and buoyancy and we get on the Zodiac led by Lars and Anton who is already wearing the wetsuit.
We approach the frozen edge of the fjord and Anton dives.
A little disturbing, however, it re-emerges after about twenty minutes with four monsters.
In the meantime, we chatted with Lars and learned that the winter has been getting milder and milder for six years now (by their standards, of course…) and that the ice is getting thinner.
Summers, on the other hand, are colder and rainier, in short, they are a little worried about climate change.
We return to the base and while we see an interesting movie about the king crab, our four monsters are cooking for us.
They're yummy, pretty much like lobsters and fresher than that.
It is now dark, it is 15.00 pm and they accompany us to the Snowhotel Kirkenes & Gamme Northern Lights Cabins where we booked a sled dog excursion.
As it should be, they let us visit thehotels which is more "cool" than that of Alta.
The sled experience is truly amazing and cannot be told.
January 30: Kirkenes – Oslo – Milan
If you wanted, you could have stayed an evening at Oslo and leave the next day, but that was fine for us.
Summing up, during these extraordinary 5 days a Norway we were lucky enough to admire 3, two around 17pm and one on the ship around 21pm, they last about an hour and are not as bright as they can be seen in the photos.
They are species of diaphanous ectoplasms that move by fluctuating following "celestial mechanics"; in a nutshell it looks like a passage of spirits from one world to another.
Northern lights Norway: pictures and photos