The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, is a natural phenomenon that occurs in the night sky close to the North Pole. When charged particles from the sun collide with atoms and molecules in the Earth’s atmosphere, lights appear with hues ranging from green and yellow to pink and purple. There is solar activity all year round but darkness is required to see the lights. In parts of Norway, such as Tromso, the nights are too short by the end of April and then the sun doesn’t set in summer.
Conditions don’t need to be perfect for the lightshow to come about. Clear skies, or gaps in the clouds, with little light pollution are the main ingredients for a successful aurora mission. Destinations such as Iceland, Greenland, Sweden, Finland, Canada and Alaska are all great spots to get a glimpse of the Northern Lights. However, Norway is considered to be the best of the lot. This Scandinavian country, particularly in the north, boasts dramatic landscapes with dark skies and little to no artificial light.
Astronomy-lovers and intrepid travelers alike will find Norway to be a dream place to tick aurora viewing off their bucket-list. Some of the top spots in the country include Alta, the Lofoten Islands, Tromso and Senja. While each of these areas is unique, Tromso and Senja take the cake in terms of raw Arctic adventures. If you are planning on chasing the lights in the future and want to have a good chance of catching their sight, then you should look into the Northern Lights tours offered by Wandering Owl.
They specialize in Northern Lights tours from both Tromso and Senja, with over 20,000 guests having trusted them for their trips since 2014. The team at Wandering Owl consists of professional photographers and trained nature guides, who have the necessary knowledge and skills to take you on a Northern Lights expedition of a lifetime. Each of the all-inclusive night tours include quality equipment to keep the guests comfortable (thermal suits and boots), tripods, a campfire experience, photographs and delicious homemade meals – ensuring that you leave the journey feeling satisfied!
Best Northern Lights Tours in Norway
Aurora Hunt Tromso With Citizen Science
The Aurora Hunt Tromso with Citizen Science is lauded as both fun and ethical, as part of the tour includes collecting data for a citizen science project. By following validated scientific methods with Wandering Owl, you are able to collect salient data that helps to protect the tundra’s fragile environment. Anyone with an eco-conscious mindset will find this tour based out of Tromso to be rewarding. And then seeing the Northern Lights dance in the sky at a point or two during the tour is the cherry on top!
This small group trip with a maximum of 15 guests leaves Tromso at 18:00 pm, into the depths of the Arctic wilderness, once a suitable location has been found. You will be dressing in thermal suits and boots to stay warm. The first priority is eating a homemade meal around a campfire to give you energy later in the night. Afterwards, the group embarks on a magical aurora hunt. You will get hands-on photography lessons, have photos taken of you and enjoy a hot chocolate at the campfire.
Like the Senja tour below, you leave with a collection of spectacular photos. Being able to look back on this once in a lifetime experience through quality images makes such a difference. If you are traveling with friends, family or colleagues of between eight to 15 people – you will be pleased to know that Wandering Owl runs the same tour but in a larger group setting. This option is slightly cheaper per person than the small group version. You can learn more about that tour by clicking the link here.
Aurora Hunt Senja
The Aurora Hunt Senja takes place near Stonglandseidet on the island of Senja. It begins at 18:00 pm and can last anywhere between five to eight hours, depending on the conditions and waiting times. The guides with Wandering Owl lead the small group of up to eight people to a remote location, which will be decided on once the environmental conditions such as cloud coverage, precipitation, wind strength and direction have been considered. It’s important to stay flexible when choosing a viewing spot as the weather can play a major role in the determination.
When an ideal site has been selected, the group gets kitted out in thermal suits and boots. The first activity involves making a cozy campfire and sitting down for a meal. Then it’s time to set off on a thrilling aurora hunt in the wilderness – during which you will get photography lessons, have photos taken of you and finish with a hot chocolate back at the campfire. This is the type of adventure that can be booked for multiple nights – providing better odds of seeing the lights in their most dazzling form!
At the end, you are offered web-size resolution photos for free. These can be used on social media, printed for a photo album or framed for decorations. While seeing the Northern Lights isn’t guaranteed, your prospects will still be high with Wandering Owl. They constantly monitor the forecast and even have the ability to spot the auroras on cloudy nights (as long as there are gaps in the clouds, it’s dark and solar activity is present). You can also book a private version of the same tour here.
Special Night (Add On Package)
The Special Night can be added onto any of the tours mentioned above as a bonus extra. It gives you the opportunity to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or even propose under the Aurora Borealis. Imagine getting down on one knee to pop the question with a blanket of green lights above you. It doesn’t get more romantic than that! The guides at Wandering Owl will be able to capture the occasion for you as well – allowing you to share the good news by sending photos to your friends and family back home.
Not only will you receive a handful of gorgeous photos, but you will also get to munch on a home-baked brownie and sip on a glass of alcohol-free sparkling wine to commemorate the special night. If you have an elaborate marriage proposal in mind, the guides at Wandering Owl can help you prepare the surprise beforehand. Just make sure you let them know the details. While they can offer you some privacy, you must still be within sight of the guide/driver as they have a duty of care for every participant.
What Customers Say About Wandering Owl
With over 2,000 5-star reviews on Tripadvisor, it’s safe to say that Wandering Owl offers the best tours in Norway for the Northern Lights. Customers appreciate the detail that goes into each tour and the company’s commitment to minimal impact tourism. With a mission to connect travelers with the wilderness and impart lessons to help protect the environment for future generations, Wandering Owl is all class. Don’t just take our word for it, read the reviews below to see what sets them apart:
“Our guide was very personable and knowledgeable, making the tour a nice experience for both me and my son. She made a lot of effort to ensure we were enjoying the tour, was informative (including sharing facts whilst we did some stargazing) and tried everything possible to make sure we had the best chance of seeing the aurora in changeable conditions. In the end, we saw the lights and got an excellent display captured in memorable photos to round off a fantastic tour. I highly recommend it!” – Charles.
“I booked the small group tour as I thought it would increase my chances of seeing the Northern Lights. Not only was I correct but it was such a complete experience that I can’t imagine doing anything else. The guide and driver just couldn’t do enough for us! They skillfully located the lights, took professional photos and provided a ton of info. After, we hiked a bit to have a bonfire. The soup was delicious. Later they served hot chocolate and cookies. It was a wonderful evening and a big success!” – Bishburg.