January 11, 2014

Hunting for the Aurora Borealis in Finland

The Aurora Borealis is one of the spectacular sights anyone can ever behold. Also known as the Northern Lights, it features a breathtaking display of blue, green and red lights in the flooding northern hemisphere. The Aurora Borealis has inspired, mesmerised, awed and dazzled locals, travellers and scientists in Finland for centuries.

According to Finnish legend, the Northern Lights are caused then the tail of the arctic fox flicks through a snowdrift. In ancient times, the Vikings called them the spirit of the ancestors floating through the heavens. Scientists attribute them to the effect of the North Pole’s magnetic fields on electron-rich solar winds emitted by the sun. When the solar winds are drawn in by the North Pole, they collide with atmospheric gases, causing the spectacular displays.

Whatever the explanation, there is no doubt that the northern lights are one of Finland’s premier attractions. And hunting for the Aurora Borealis in Finland is one of the most exciting adventures.

The main word is “hunting” because there is seeing the aurora is not guaranteed. Cloud cover and light pollution are just some of the common interferences. However, the hunting just adds to the thrill. And with adequate planning, timing and a bit of luck, you will definitely savour the glory of the dazzling northern lights.

The Inari region of the Finnish Lapland is one of the best places to view the Auroras. On average, the lights are visible about 200 days a year, with the peak coming in March and October. There are a number of tour and travel companies with services dedicated to giving travellers an unforgettable Aurora experience. TheAuroraZone.com has loads more on the ins and outs of travelling there.

The main services are accommodations specifically designed for Aurora viewing. Remember in Finland, temperatures can average -30C. The viewing accomodations are designed to enable viewers enjoy the auroras from the comforts of a warm, cozy room. For instance, the Hotel Kakslauttanen in Saariselkä contains 20 glass igloos specifically designed for viewing auroras. Each igloo contains a temperature control mechanism and a remote-controlled adjustable bed. The bed is designed to enable guests to watch the auroras without craning their necks. Most hotels offer similar aurora viewing facilities.

Those who desire a touch of adventure with their aurora viewing can go aurora hunting in the wilderness. Kamisak’s multi-day husky expeditions take travellers aurora hunting in the Finnish Lapland wilderness. The travellers enjoy picturesque aurora views in remote locations far away from any light interference. They also get the thrill of feeding their teams of dogs, sleeping in log cabins and enjoying other wintry adventures.

For those who want the adventure for aurora hunting without sleeping outside, there are nightly excursions. These are mostly three-hour aurora tours on snowmobiles. The tours follow well beaten tracks, and take visitors to the best aurora viewing spots in the countryside. These tours can include exciting drives through scenic forests, coupled with one or two stops for a warm drink. The tours are especially perfect for those who have travelled with their kids.

A sight as spectacular as the aurora borealis calls for some fantastic photographs. However, taking the perfect photo is not easy feat. But this is not a problem. Andy Keen, an award winning aurora photographer organises aurora hunting expeditions aimed at capturing perfect shots. These 3 to 4 day excursions take travellers to the best photography spots. He gives travellers expert tips on how to take stunning photographs. These tours are perfect for both professional and amateur photographers.

In a nutshell, viewing the breathtaking aurora borealis is an experience you definitely cherish for the rest of your life. In Finland, you will get more than just a view: you will experience the excitement, thrill and ecstasy of hunting for, and catching one of nature’s most spectacular phenomena. Happy Hunting!

Head to the Finland Tourist website if you’re thinking of hopping on a flight that way.

CC hkaspenberg