Experience the magic of the Aurora Borealis in Rovaniemi.
Witness The Northern Lights in Rovaniemi from August Until April
Also known as Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights are visible on around 150 nights a year in Finnish Lapland. In Rovaniemi, the spellbinding astral show can be witnessed in and around the city from late August until early April.
How Can I See the Northern Lights in Rovaniemi?
Catching the magical phenomenon requires clear and dark skies and a viewing spot not affected by light pollution, like street lights and neon signs. In Rovaniemi, you don’t have to walk far from the city centre to find a good spot, and really strong Auroras can be seen even with interference from artificial light.
Please note: there are no sure-fire ways of predicting when the Auroras will appear, only approximate predictions.
Where Can I See The Northern Lights in Rovaniemi?
There are quite a few good places for viewing the Auroras near the city centre. The Arctic Garden behind the Arktikum museum is a popular spot a 10-minute walk away, and the top of Ounasvaara fell is another good choice a 45-minute walk away. Any location with no light pollution and an unrestricted view of the northern sky works – the darker, the better.
When Is A Good Time to See the Auroras? Get Notified!
The Northern Lights commonly appear between 10 PM and 2 AM, but can at times be seen as soon as 7 PM. A show might last from only a couple of minutes to several hours.
To skip waiting outside in the cold for the Auroras to appear, we’ve got the perfect solution for you in the form of an instant notification service that works in the Rovaniemi area: Aurora Alert Realtime lets you know as soon as the Auroras are visible.
Take A Guided Tour for In-Depth Information
For a more thorough Aurora experience, we warmly recommend joining one of the numerous Northern Lights tours in Rovaniemi. Aurora hunts are available on snowmobiles, husky sleds, snowshoes, and in reindeer sleighs, just to name a few ways to experience the dancing arcs in the sky.
Expert guides maximize your chances of seeing the Auroras by taking you to special viewing spots while explaining the science and myths behind the phenomenon.
Aurora Legend: "Fox Fire"
According to Sámi folklore, the Auroras are caused by a fox running over the fells of Lapland, whipping up snow with its tail and sending sparks up the northern sky. The sparks form a colourful arc of fire that lights up the dark landscape. The Finnish name for the Northern Lights, “revontulet”, meaning “fox fire”, derives from this myth.
In scientific terms, the Northern Lights are caused by electrically charged particles from the sun colliding with each other upon entering the earth’s atmosphere, which results in emissions of various colours of light. Green is by far the most common, but red, pink, violet, yellow and even blue can be seen at times.
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WARNING! THIN ICE! Walking on the frozen river in the town centre of Rovaniemi is life-threatening. The City of Rovaniemi and the Lapland Rescue Department warn people about thin ice on the river, especially in the town centre of Rovaniemi.
People have been observed standing on the frozen Kemijoki River at the city centre area, although the ice cover is very thin, so walking on the frozen river can easily be fatal.
“If you see someone on the frozen river, they must be immediately instructed to head for land”, states Riku Mäenpää, Safety Instructor at the Lapland Rescue Department.
The ice may also be very weak in places outside the town centre, as there have been no prolonged periods of below-freezing temperatures.
The City began setting up fences which have warning signs about thin ice written in many different languages. Fencing will also be installed close to the Konttinen Summer Theatre to prevent people from sledging down onto the thin ice of the river.
The safari companies will start building a snow barrier from Hotel Pohjanhovi upstream past the Lumberjack Candle Bridge. The purpose of the snow barrier is to prevent people from riding snowmobiles too close to the shore.
Stay safe while visiting Rovaniemi!