This month, nights are turning longer and darker, making it the perfect time to seek out the Northern Lights. Especially in the winter months, popular viewing locations can become bottlenecked with tourists, and light pollution from well-populated areas makes the chances of seeing the Aurora Borealis slim. As a local, here are the places I’d recommend seeking out the Northern Lights in Northern Sweden slightly off the beaten path.
Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve or Sarek National Park
Lapland is often recommended as a tourist destination; however, given its scale covering almost a quarter of the country, it offers a vast range of hiking experiences. I’d recommend the Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve or Sarek National Park for solitude and jaw-dropping views.
Most hikes in these regions range from moderate to difficult, so I’d recommend these trails to hikers with experience who are up for a multi-day adventure. Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve and Sarek National Park have pristine visibility, increasing your chances of seeing the Northern Lights.
Suppose you feel tired already just thinking about a multi-day hiking excursion. In that case, I recommend hiking in the Kiruna region, which offers more low-stakes options, such as portions of the E1 trail between Abiskojaure and Unna Allaka’s Fjällstuga, a relaxed hike through birch forests. While in the region, I’d recommend a visit to the famous Icehotel, where you might even catch the Northern Lights from the comfort of your ice room.
Kiruna was first settled in the 1800s. Now, Kiruna is being relocated approximately two miles to the east because of the risk posed by expanding mining operations. Read more about it by clicking the image below.
Abisko National Park
The Abisko-Nikkaluokta Trail already has a reputation for being a popular trail in Sweden to find the Northern Lights. It’s one of the most Northern points in Sweden, and it boasts clear skies with minimal light pollution, significantly increasing chances of seeing the Aurora Borealis. Even though this trial is considered challenging, there are mountain cabins to rent along the way if you need a respite, as well as restaurants and shops lining portions of the trail.
Learn more about Abisko National Park by clicking the image below.
During the winter, I recommend taking a detour from the Abisko-Nikkaluokta Trail to the nearby Torneträsk Lake because the Aurora can reflect on the frozen lake, making it a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Last but not least, I recommend the Arctic Circle Trail in the Jokkmokk region of Sweden. Aside from being a great place for seeing the Northern Lights, the trail also offers incredible views and miles of seemingly untouched nature.
If you do decide to go on a hiking adventure at night, please remember to equip yourself with proper gear, including extra batteries for light sources and operate a buddy system when hiking at night.
Seeking Out the Northern Lights in Northern Sweden Slightly Off the Beaten Path, written for Daily Scandinavian by Annelie Pompe. Annelie is an experienced Swedish hiker and brand ambassador for Merrell Hiking Club, a women-centric community which aims to empower, inform and inspire female hikers.
Feature image (on top): © Aurora Nights Holidays