“When is the best time to see the Northern Lights, and how many days should I stay to increase my chances of spotting this natural phenomenon?”
For us who are born, raised, and have lived our whole life in the Lofoten Islands, we know where we live. No year, month, week or day is the same. We’ve seen the recommendations by bloggers and influencers where some say October is the best month to catch a glimpse of the Aurora, others mean it is March. Understandably, the recommendations do vary as there isn’t really a definite answer
The truth is, in our arctic climate, weather conditions together with the activity of the sun, will always be the crucial factors as the latter, especially, can be challenging. At the same time, the rough weather is an experience in itself and with that, combined with our spectacular mountain- and fjord scenery, it makes Lofoten a unique Northern Lights destination. Read more about this here.
Which season is the best; autumn or winter?
Each season has its charm, perks and challenges. We recommend thinking more about in which surroundings you’d like to experience the Northern Lights, and how long you’d like to stay to increase your chances.
Statistically speaking, from September up until Christmas, the Lofoten Islands rarely has any settled snow that lasts. Autumn offers amazing colours, and Lofoten’s majestic mountains are often snow-capped due to its altitude and temperatures at this level. During this time, the accessibility is also better. You can easily reach spectacular photo motives in areas which can be challenging both by transport and by foot during winter. Read more about Autumn in Lofoten here.
Even during autumn, the weather conditions are again a crucial factor. Some years we have one storm after another, and we can never say for certain when or how many, but the storms themselves can be quite the experience. Some years offer dry and beautiful months with clear skies, like right now. This autumn has until now offered us mainly clear weather and given us many great Northern Lights shows already from the beginning of September.
Mid-November to mid-April is the best time to come if you wish to experience the Northern Lights with a Winter Wonderland scenery. The snow might not have settled, neither in November, December or January yet, but statistically the winter has arrived. Some years there might be a lot of snow, other years it can be less. Same as in autumn, the weather conditions may be challenging and in one day, it can be everything from a blizzard to a calm and a starry sky. February, March and April are the most stable snowy months for those who love winter. These months are often called ‘the light winter time’ as the sun is back and offer longer days. During these months you can also experience the traditional Lofotfiske. Read more about winter in the Lofoten Islands here.
Between Christmas and New Years, the Lofoten Islands offer a great and festive atmosphere. If you’d like to experience the Northern Lights during this time, you’re warmly welcomed. Everything is in place for good Northern Lights experiences as long as the weather conditions are on your side. Read more about Christmas and New Years here.
How many days should I book?
Again, there isn't a concrete answer to this, but if you are first travelling to experience this phenomenon, the suggestion is a minimum of 3-4 days. This will increase your chances, but will not offer any guarantees. We recommend booking your Northern Lights excursion the same day you arrive, as long as you feel up for it after your travels. If lucky you’ll see the Northern Lights already on your first night, either together with one of our guides or just outside your Rorbu cabin. The Northern Lights can be experienced differently each evening, so if you’ve not had enough, please join our excellent guides for another trip.
The Lofoten Islands are one of the world's most beautiful archipelagos. There are endless to see and do, and you’re guaranteed a range of experiences to fill your days. The experience alone staying in a Rorbu cabin located in a lively fishing village, will give you a complete sense of relaxation. In our renowned restaurant, enjoy a delicious meal in historical surroundings. Our floating Sauna is a must and it is open every day. If you’re feeling brave, also take a refreshing dip in the sea.
We hope you are wiser after reading this, and instead of focusing on when the chances are highest, focus on what time of the year would suit you best, as the chance is always there depending on the weather.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us We will always do our best to assist you.