When can you see the Northern Lights in Norway?

As we briefly explained in our mini-guide to Norway, this beautiful country has a lot to offer the adventurous traveler. Perhaps no attraction, however, is more spectacular than the wondrous aurora borealis – or as they’re more commonly known, the northern lights!

It should be noted that as the lights are a natural occurrence, there is no absolute guarantee to see the lights at any time of year, but visiting during certain given periods will increase your viewing chances greatly.

The peak northern lights season in Norway generally runs between September and late March, and within these months the dark period between December and January is the prime time to see the incredible spectacle. Possibly the optimal viewing time would be during the polar night, which occurs between late November to late January in the arctic circle. During this time, it is actually possible to see the lights at any time throughout a given day, although they appear mostly during night hours. It does get extremely cold at this time of year though – so be sure to pack suitable clothing!

Photo by Johny Goerend

Conversely, June and July are best avoided. Though the lights are actually an ongoing marvel, they generally aren’t visible during the day – and during the summer, the sun never sets, making a sighting extremely unlikely.

If the freezing temperatures of winter are too much for you – fear not! The autumn months of September and October also offer the chance to catch the lights, and with the potential of a beautiful added bonus. At this time of year, the weather is still warm enough to prevent the lakes from freezing over and if you are lucky enough to see the lights, the reflection in the bodies of water strewn across northern Norway can provide absolutely stunning views.