There are a lot of countries where one can see the Northern Lights. But out of the many countries, the Netherlands is an unconventional choice. It may not appear as much as it does in the other countries, but yes, it shows up in the Netherlands once in a while.
The Northern Lights is on top of almost everyone’s bucket lists. And it’s understandable.
All those green-ish dancing lights in the cold dark sky are just a sight to behold.
But when it comes to the Northern Lights, there are a few more options. These many places are more popularly known to exhibit this beautiful show of nature.
The Netherlands, unfortunately, is not on the list. The country is not a popular destination when seeing this phenomenon.
But unknown to all, you can see the Northern Lights in the Netherlands. There are a few parts of the country where you can witness the beauty of the Northern Lights.
It may be an unconventional choice, but it is fun and as beautiful as the others.
If there is one thing to expect, it is that the Northern Lights will not show up above your fields of tulips.
This phenomenon is something you would see in areas with the least amount of light pollution.
Here are a few places to consider.
Nationaal Park Lauwersmeer
This could perhaps top the list when it comes to the best dark sky spots in the country.
The area is right on the border of Germany and the Netherlands. Because of its geographical location, it is an ideal spot for watching out for the Borealis.
The Nationaal Park Lauwersmeer is one of the northernmost parts of Holland.
During the day, you can spot different types of birds to fit your fancy. During the night, this is one of the darkest skies the country can ever have.
The reason for such is the lack of developments in the area. As such, light pollution is actually unknown in these parts. This makes the area convenient for watching out for the Northern Lights.
When you are in the area and want a better view, you can work your way to another spot. This area’s northern views give you all of the Wadden Sea.
From this point, you have a glimpse of the Nationaal Park Schiermonnikoog. And this is another great spot for Borealis-watching.
This is just hard to reach, though.
Nationaal Park Schiermonnikoog
This part of the Netherlands is off the coast of northern Holland.
Just like the first option we provided, there is not much development in this area. This makes it a perfect destination to watch the Northern Lights.
The downside, however, is that you have to take a boat to get here.
Either you have your own boat, or you can charter one.
Dunes of Texel National Park
Off on the western parts of Holland is a tiny island called Texel.
From the mainland, you can reach Texel through a ferry. The ferry sails from the small town of Den Helder.
This island is remote. It is underdeveloped and is not acquainted with light pollution, thus a perfect spot.
In the whole of the Netherlands, this is the southernmost that you can get.
Compared to the other two options, this may not be as recommended. But on dark nights with clear skies, one would be lucky enough to see the Borealis dancing the night away here.
When is the best time of the year to see the Northern Lights?
There is no set season for the Northern Lights to appear. It is always there, no matter the month of the year. It is a phenomenon that regularly happens all year round.
With the Northern Lights being on our bucket lists, we don’t have anything in mind but to see it.
And we don’t want to waste a trip to the north only to find out the Borealis is not showing up.
But is there really a Northern Lights season?
Here, we find out more.
The Best Season
There is actually no official season for the Northern Lights to appear.
Every day of the year, this phenomenon regularly happens. Some days, however, the skies may not be as clear. This can be the main reason why you would not be able to see much on some nights.
The Northern Lights happen because of charged particles. These particles are from the sun that hits atoms in our planet’s atmosphere.
Such can release photons. This is a process that happens all the time.
But when the temperatures stay around 64 to 70 degrees, the phenomenon happens.
Temperatures like these, however, are common from September to March. This makes these months the most ideal for catching the Northern Lights.
As we all know, there are constant explosions in the sun. Such explosions release charged particles.
And because of the solar winds that hit our planet, we will most likely see the lights at lower latitudes.
The Best Times of the Year
Understand that this type of phenomenon happens all year round.
Despite that, there will always be times of the year more ideal to see the Northern Lights.
Talk to somebody who lives in an area where the aurora borealis is common. They would tell you that the best months are August and May.
But there seems to be a different time other than these two months. And this time would be during the equinoxes.
This is the time when the reaction of the particles and the solar winds work together.
The last equinox was on March 20, 2020. This was the time when the position of Earth in its axis is side-on to the solar winds.
When in this position, there are a lot of interactions with the charged particles. The more interactions there are, the more activity happens.
Other factors that you have to consider are the moon and the sky.
Check out the phases of the moon. It is never advisable to attempt seeing the Northern Lights on a full moon.
Try to go one week before the New Moon. You can also go three days after the New Moon.
This ensures there is minimal light around.
Also, make sure there are clear skies.
The Time of the Night
Getting a front-row seat of the Northern Lights takes a lot of dedication.
They can appear at any time of the night.
If you ask a local, chances are you would be told of a specific time during the night. But take note that it can appear at any time.
The Northern Lights can appear at 11 PM. Or it can appear at 5 AM. Or it can at any time.
And science has no explanation for this.
It just so happens that the sun shines brightly during the day. In fact, the Northern Lights also appear during the day. All that light makes it impossible to witness the Borealis.
So, if we were you, be ready at all times.
Wake up every hour during the night. This should allow you to check for anything in the skies.
The Solar Minimum
You should know that the sun goes through a cycle. This cycle takes 11 years to finish.
During this cycle, the sun reaches its most active and fiercest state. And that is what we call the solar maximum. The last time this happened was in 2014.
On the other hand, the sun reaches its opposite state. This state is the calmest that the sun can get. This is also the time when we see the fewest explosions on the sun’s surface.
This is the solar minimum.
The next solar maximum is in 2024.
The Year 2024 and the Northern Lights
Do you have to wait for 2024 to see the Northern Lights, then?
The answer is no.
There will always be big geomagnetic storms. And they can cause the Northern Lights to be more intense as well.
These storms do not happen regularly. But we cannot tell you when. There is no set schedule for these geomagnetic storms.
Leave it to luck.
As long as the skies are clear, you will most likely see the Northern Lights. Some may be intense. Others may not be as fierce.
Where is the best place on Earth to see the Northern Lights?
Some places on Earth are better seats when watching the Northern Lights. The most popular of these are areas in Norway, Sweden, and Iceland. Some parts of Canada and Alaska are also great options.
This does not mean you cannot see the Northern Lights in Germany or the Netherlands.
Of course, you can. And we gave you the best spots in the Netherlands earlier.
But out of the many countries, which of them give you the best seats?
Here they are.
This is the city people refer to as the best when it comes to seeing the Northern Lights.
You can access Tromso easily from the United Kingdom. There are direct flights from London. If you are from the US, you would have to go through Oslo’sOslo’s capital first.
Tromso is a popular destination that attracts a horde of tourists every year.
The city provides you with amazing aurora experiences anytime from September until April.
With about 18,000 locals, this area of Sweden may not be that much of a tourist destination.
But the reason to visit is its amazing aurora borealis views.
Anytime from October until March, you could bask yourself in its beauty.
In this region, most of the areas lack light pollution.
There are also winter activities to keep you going during the day.
There’s outdoor camping, husky dog sledding, and even ice fishing.
The capital city of Iceland is one of the major favorites among travelers.
It has geothermal pools everywhere. It also has volcano tours as well as a rich culture.
And aside from these, there is the aurora borealis to think about. You may entertain yourself with all these things Iceland has to offer. But we will never forgive you if you forget to see the Northern Lights.
Reykjavik is similar to Tromso in many ways.
The best months to see the Northern Lights are from September until April.
If you want a better view, head on to Hofdabrekka. This is near Vik, an area in the south of the country.
There are direct flights from the capital to these areas.
And the plane tickets are cheaper, too!
Remote and beautiful are just two of the words that can aptly describe this place.
In fact, Yukon is so remote no other place can make you feel as detached from the world like this.
Plus, put into the equation the Northern Lights. You now have a perfect Canadian destination.
The Northern Lights start to show off as early as August. This should run through the whole winter season and will go on until spring.
Imagine a wilderness of snow.
This is Rovaniemi.
Located in the northern parts of the Arctic Circle, this place is rife with activities during the day. You can go husky dog sledding or go ice fishing. You can also go on a snowmobile safari and enjoy the wonderful evenings.
And what better way to end your day than to experience the Northern Lights?
The lights show up pretty good from the months of September until April.
And what’s best about this place is Santa. He is from this part of the world!
The place should be perfect for your kids.
Ilulissat is Greenland’sGreenland’s third-largest city.
It has about 5,000 inhabitants in total. And with this number of locals in an area, it pretty much sums up how sparse the place is.
The city is on the western coast of Greenland.
It is accessible from whichever part of the island you are on.
What makes this an ideal place for the Northern Lights is because the city sits at the heart of the aurora belt.
Visit between the months of September until April.
You have a horde of activities during the day. And by night, bask in all the splendor of the Aurora Borealis.