When can I see the Northern Lights?
In Rovaniemi, the Northern Lights season begins around the end of August and continues until the beginning of April. The Northern Lights are usually seen between ten o’clock in the evening and the morning – sometimes as early as seven in the evening – and the show can last from a couple of minutes to several hours. You also need a clear sky to be able to see them.
Where can I watch the Northern Lights in Rovaniemi on my own?
There are several good places to observe the Northern Lights right next to the center of Rovaniemi and they are within walking distance. The Arctic Garden Museum and Science Center behind Arktikum is a popular place just a 10-minute walk from downtown. Another great place is the Ounasvaara. Any place out of the reach of light pollution with an unobstructed view of the northern sky is fit for purpose – the darker the better.
Can I go to the lean-tos of hiking trails to see the Northern Lights?
If you are an independent traveller, you can use the private lean-tos and public hiking areas to watch the Northern Lights. These include, for example, the Arctic Circle hiking area and Ounasvaara.
Often the forests are owned by someone, so it is not allowed to go to just any forest, near settlements or the shores owned by locals, as it is violating on private property. Therefore, it is responsible and respectful to use the public hiking areas.
How can I find the Northern Lights?
There is an excellent service available for the Rovaniemi area, which notifies you as soon as the Northern Lights are noticeable: Aurora Alert Realtime
Sometimes you shouldn’t wait for the Northern Lights to appear, but go after them and explore where you can see them – instead of waiting and hoping for the best. It is easiest to hunt the Northern Lights under the guidance of a responsible and competent guide, so we recommend booking a Northern Lights tour.
What are the options for Northern Lights tours?
Some think that the best place to see the Northern Lights in Rovaniemi is from a glass igloo, but you can also discover the beauty of the Aurora Borealis by hunting or exploring them with a car, by a snowmobile, by a reindeer or a horse. There are tours for private small groups and for open bigger groups, some for family friendly elements, others for more longer determined hunting trips. You can also book photography tours and learn to capture the beauty of the Auroras with camera. Choose the tour that suits you!
Can I light a campfire on the ice when I’m watching the Northern Lights?
The atmosphere by the campfire is pleasant, but it is forbidden to light a campfire directly on the ice of the river or lake. The remaining, charred wood is dificult to clean. In the springtime all the remainings of hundreds of campfires on our lakes look terrible and is considered as an environmental crime, and public lean-to sites should be used as campfire sites. The rule applies to individual visitors and guided groups and tour operators. The City of Rovaniemi and Visit Rovaniemi has also instructed safari companies on how to light campfires in the right way and how to act responsible. There should not be any garbage or any remains of campfire left on the lake ice, snow or in the nature.
Read our tips and articles about Northern Light:
Good luck and hope you get to experience the spectacular phenomena!