Northern Lights Lofoten

by Kelly

Seeing the Northern Lights on Lofoten was spectacular! It was such a highlight of our time in Norway, we highly recommend a trip to Lofoten. This is where we stayed to see them and all our tips on how you can too.

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We spent the night in two of the most perfect accommodations on Lofoten, they made the experience of seeing the northern lights so much more wonderful. This is where we stayed to see the northern lights.

Elassien Robuer

We enjoyed our evening in the the cutest fisherman’s cottage at Elsassian Rorbuer. It was just perfect, renovated and updated but still retaining the rustic historic feel you hope for. After dinner we settled in to watch a snow storm across the water. We were almost ready to turn in for the night when we decided to check on the lights.

Heading outside we were met with the most wonderful display of the northern lights, it seemed to go on for hours! The aurora danced above us, twisting and turning and moving positions across the sky! It was mesmerising and magical.

Eliassen Rorbuer is the perfect place to experience the northern lights with the water and mountains in view.

Hattvika Lodge

Hattvika Lodge is the most beautiful choice of accommodation on Lofoten. We stayed in their charming, hillside chalet that overlooks the cottages and harbour below. Tucked away in this perfect little haven you can either watch the lights from your window seat or head to the dock to watch them outside. It was incredible, this was our first real experience and it was everything we hoped for! We even saw them just outside the door to our cottage! What more can you ask for?

Tours for the northern lights in Lofoten Islands:

The best tours for the northern lights in Lofoten are from Svolvær: Lofoten Northern Lights Hunt by Van with Snacks or Searching for the Northern Lights.

Is there an easier way?

These tours are really highly recommended and well organised. Check out: 7 day Magic Lapland Adventure, Northern Lights Exploration – 8 days, Aurora Borealis & Glass Igloo, Land of the Northern Lights – 5 days, Northern Norway Explorer.

When to see the northern lights in Norway?

The northern lights usually show up between September and April. They can start out quiet and grow in intensity as well, building up over time. We visited Tromso in March 2023 as we researched and found that March 22nd 2023 was meant to be the best day ( if conditions were right) to see them.

The solar cycle is reaching its peak and over the next 2 years there is expected increased solar activity. A Solar maximum is a regular period of greatest Sun activity during the 11-year solar cycle. This means that the 2023/2024 northern lights season should be quite active.

How to see the northern lights?

You are looking for a night when the weather is the perfect combination of still, dark and cloudless. In winter months you have a higher chance of this and are more likely to see them. Look up at the sky and see if you can find what looks like clouds or a trail of smoke. This is likely to be the aurora. They quite often don’t have any colour…until you photograph them and then you’ll see the colours light up! It is incredible, the camera can see what our eyes can’t and picks up the colour. Sometimes the aurora will be so strong that you will get colours but often it will look more grey.

What to use to take photos of the northern lights?

You can take a DSLR camera, the settings are usually around: aperture f/2.8 or the widest possible in your lens, ISO 3200-8000, and a shutter speed between 1-12 seconds. This will depend on the northern lights activity however and you will need to adjust on the fly. You will also need to set the focus to infinity.

Can you take northern lights pictures on your phone?

Alternatively if a DSLR is not your preference then take your phone! Yes your regular phone can get some great images. We used our Samsung Ultra 23 and 24 models and they got some great pictures!

Make sure to download the aurora app!

The best tip I can give is to download an aurora app on your phone! We were sceptical about it but heard from so many Norwegians that they were actually good so tried it out and were obsessed with it! Basically you set your location and the app gives you the predicted chance of seeing the Northern Lights. If the screen is red you are basically 99% sure of the aurora. I have put screen shots below of what you will see, this is the one we used and it was really good! On the first screen you will get an idea of the KP index, this tells you how good your chances are to see the Northern Lights in your location. Then click through to the map and move it to where you are. The green below means there is a chance of aurora, when it turns orange it is a higher chance and red is almost 100% you will see it! There is also a live webcam section that shows what the skies are like in certain locations which can be useful.

Where Next:

Northern Lights Lofoten

Best country to see northern lights

Things to do in Tromso, Norway

Tromsø Northern Lights Tour

Norway Road Trip

10 Best Instagram photo spots in Norway

Northern Lights in Norway Tour – Best Arctic Review

Lofoten Islands of Norway

Horse riding is a must do activity in the Lofoten Islands

Things to do in Ballstad, Lofoten

Lofoten Islands hotel, Eliassen Rorbuer

Travelling in Norway Tips

Lofoten Islands accommodation, the hidden gem that is Hattvika Lodge.

What to do in Reine, Lofoten

Gluten free in Norway

Glass Igloos, Finland – review of Artic Snow Hotel Lapland Finland

Ice Hotel Finland- our review of Artic Snow Hotel Lapland Finland

What it’s like staying at Arctic Snow Hotel Lapland, Finland

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