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Where You Can See the Northern Lights Year-Round if You Missed Them



If you’re dreaming of witnessing the magical Northern Lights while staying environmentally conscious and sustainable, European destinations reachable by rail provide the perfect opportunity. Despite the recent sightings in unusual places throughout Europe, the spectacle is expected to continue into 2024. The key to spotting the Northern Lights lies in understanding why they are so visible and the best time to witness this mesmerizing display. With a growing awareness of the environmental impact of air travel, many individuals are turning to greener alternatives for their travel experiences, making train travel to see the Northern Lights a popular choice.

Europe’s Holy Grail for Northern Lights enthusiasts is Norway, where the dancing waves of the Aurora borealis are most prominent due to its proximity to the poles. The best time to witness this natural phenomenon is from early September to mid-March when the nights are longer and darker, providing optimal viewing conditions. Beginning in Oslo, travelers can embark on a scenic train journey through picturesque landscapes to Trondheim and then Bodø, known as the “trail of trolls.” These destinations offer both cultural experiences and the opportunity to hunt for the elusive Northern Lights, providing a unique and environmentally friendly travel experience.

For those seeking the ultimate in eco-friendly transport for their Northern Lights adventure, Sweden offers a perfect solution. The Aurora Sky Station in Abisko is renowned as one of the best spots in the world to witness the Northern Lights, boasting a 100% success rate for guests staying three nights or more. With a direct train connection from Stockholm to Kiruna, followed by a short ride to Abisko, travelers can easily access this prime Northern Lights viewing location. Additionally, Swedish Lapland provides an enchanting experience of traveling by electric train to Luleå, followed by a dog sleigh journey from JokkMokk, ideal for immersing oneself in the serene natural beauty of the Arctic region.

In the UK, Scotland offers multiple opportunities to witness the Northern Lights in all its glory. Galloway Forest Park, designated as one of the UK’s Dark Sky Parks, provides a stunning backdrop for observing the celestial show. Accessible via a sleeper train from London to Glasgow, this majestic park offers a tranquil setting for stargazing and catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights during the winter months. Further south, Northumberland presents the chance to view the lights at the Kielder Observatory, nestled under some of the darkest skies in the world. A train journey from London King’s Cross to Newcastle followed by additional transport options leads travelers to this remarkable observatory, offering a unique perspective on the infinite beauty of the Northern Lights.

Overall, Northern Lights enthusiasts looking for a sustainable and eco-friendly travel experience can turn to the European destinations reachable by rail for a memorable adventure. From the stunning landscapes of Norway and Sweden to the enchanting dark sky parks of the UK, there are plenty of opportunities to witness the Aurora borealis in all its splendor. By opting for train travel and eco-friendly transport options, travelers can not only reduce their carbon footprint but also immerse themselves in the natural beauty of these Northern Lights destinations. Plan your next Northern Lights journey by rail and experience the magic of this captivating natural spectacle in a sustainable and responsible way.

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