My Northern Lights Weekend Break With Friends

northern lights weekend break
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The Fabulous Northern Lights Weekend Break

After living in Norway just shy of 5 years, I went to see the magnificent magical beauty of the north pole lights commonly known as the northern lights or the aurora borealis. I had never actually seen these north pole lights myself since I live in the southern part of Norway in the capital city of Oslo. So I decided last month to go on an amazing northern lights weekend break with a few of my friends.

It was the end of November and the days were getting shorter and darker,  the perfect ingredients that are needed to see the aurora borealis.

Northern Lights Weekend Break

 




What are the northern lights and what causes the northern lights?

To be honest, I didn't know what caused the northern lights, I just knew that when it happens it is in the northern hemisphere.

I always thought that it was one of nature's little mysteries, but with a little research it turns out that there is a very simple explanation (simply cool). The explanation involves understanding the science behind the charged particles from the sun that is interacting with earth's atmosphere  (it is best explained on this link by Northern Lights Center.)

northern lights weekend break

In short, there is a collision between oxygen particles in the earth's atmosphere and the particles from the sun. The color of the aurora depends on how high up in the atmosphere these particles collide.

Green auroras (the most common) are produced around 60 miles in the atmosphere, whereas reddish purple auroras come from particles colliding up to 200 miles in the atmosphere.

northern lights weekend break

The lower the colliding particles are in the atmosphere the greener the color is, this is due to oxygen which will have a green tone at lower altitudes and red tones at higher altitudes. Whereas very high altitudes are more purple, which in part is due to nitrogen particles and not so much oxygen.  

  • 60 miles - green ( common )
  • Up to 200 miles - red ( rare )
  • Greater than 200 miles - purple ( very rare )

These are the cool things you try to learn when you are going on a northern lights weekend break. 🙂

northern lights weekend break

So when and where is the best place to view northern lights in Norway?

I have learned that the northern lights are most visible during the darkest months, from late September to early March. However, it is important to note that there is no 100% guarantee that they will be visible during your visit.  In fact, this year the northern lights in Norway started showing as early as August.  Since they are not 100% predictable a rule of thumb is the darker the better!  

 

northern lights weekend break

There are many factors to consider when chasing for the northern lights. One important fact is clear skies since they are almost impossible to see with overcast.  Therefore, it is advisable to see the northern lights during the dark winter months when the sky is clear.

We got so lucky during our northern lights weekend break in Tromsø because the weather was amazingly cooperative.




My northern lights experience

While walking from our Tromso Camping cabin around 9:30 in the evening, the night was pitch black, and yet the sky was so amazingly clear. It was as if we could count all the stars in the heavens, but at the same time so incredibly dark that we needed flashlights to see the road.

As we were walking, we started looking at an out of placed cloud hanging in the night sky.  This odd clouds color suddenly became darker and in a few seconds a light green color bounced off it and lite up the sky. It was as if the colors were moving and dancing across the heavens.northern lights weekend break

All of us were stunned and couldn't  believe we were seeing the Northern lights on our very first night in the middle of the wilderness.

Tip:

When photographing northern lights, one must bring a good camera with a tripod where you can manually set up the ISO and aperture into the right settings. We couldn’t take good pictures with our phones. With iPhones, it was just pitch-black, while the Samsung picked up some northern lights colors.




Luxury vs. Budget Deal: Northern Lights Trip

After taking some bad pictures of the northern lights colors with our phones, we decided to choose from the northern lights package deals that include a private car, a tour guide and where photographing northern lights is included.

northern lights weekend break

It is one of the photos taken using the phone. As you can see, it doesn't give justice to the northern lights behind us. 😉

We realized that during our northern lights weekend break, we didn’t want to leave disappointed with our northern lights pictures.

One great thing about traveling to Tromso in groups is that we can take advantage of the group tour activities. In our cabin in Tromso Camping, the small group tour cost 1,270NOK each person, that was what we decided to go.

However, I found a good deal about booking a luxury northern lights hunting for 5999NOK.  Since there were 5 of us, it’ll only cost us 1200 NOK each person. It was a one in a lifetime experience so why not make the most of it.

Tromso Camping

Isn't it fabulous?! 😉

northern lights weekend break

northern lights weekend break

Our northern lights weekend break had been amazing! Everyone had their northern lights pictures taken and enjoyed the company of our official guide, Ahmed of Al-Hosani. He was an expert in taking us to the best places to see the magnificent north pole lights dancing. Coffee, tea, sandwiches, and chocolates were served during the entire northern lights trip. Well, what more could we asked for?! For beautiful nature and northern lights pictures, follow his Instagram account: elr7al.




I wrote a review on where to stay in Tromso, read more about here My Review for Tromsø Camping

Thank you for reading this article, please share it if you like or PIN me here!

northern lights weekend break

 

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  • Tina Horton

    Wow! Stunning! I would love to experience this – seems like something up my alley. I really like looking up at stars and seeing them twinkle. 🙂

    Looks like you had an awesome time on your trip! <3

    • Crizzy Kiss

      Yeah Tina, no words could express how beautiful feeling it was. 😉

  • Words cannot even express how beautiful the Northern Lights are, it leaves me in awe. Its almost like a painting.

    • Crizzy Kiss

      It really was. A one of a kind experience! 😉

  • Sabrina Barbante

    Great shots! This must have been a great emotions… I would have felt so moved by this natural sky show! Thank you for the detailed post!

    • Crizzy Kiss

      Thanks Sabrina! To experience it was like in heaven! 😉

  • This sounds (and looks) amazing! Thank you for sharing!

  • Cătălina-Iuliana Nini

    I saw the Northern Lights once in my life, last year when I visited Iceland and it was one of the best experiences in my life ♥ Your pictures turn out so good

    • Crizzy Kiss

      Thanks😍! Yeah, credits to our tour guide/photographer. 😉 I still have to see Iceland too someday.

  • Christel Hansen

    Would love to see the Northern Lights one day, what a magnificent sight it must have been!

  • Punita Malhotra

    Amazing pictures and what an outstanding experience it would have been. Even if its the right time of the year, you may or may not get to see the Northern Lights, i believe. So you’re really lucky!

  • You were so lucky to manage to see the Northern Lights! The only thing that puts me off going to see them is that I can’t be sure that they will show and I might spend a fortune on a weekend trip and end up not seeing them. I did however see the midnight sun in Lofoten Islands, which was so special.

    • Crizzy Kiss

      That is so true Joanna! We were lucky indeed to see the northern lights for 2 nights of our 3 nights stay in Tromsø. I know some friends who went there but only see a little bit of it or none at all. 😉 Great to hear that you had been to Lofoten Islands, I’m sure it was special there. 😉

  • What a fabulous thing to do with your friends! You’ll have those amazing memories together forever!

  • Whoah, I’ve always dreamt of being able to experience this! The photos look amazing! Lucky you. 🙂

  • Nilabh Ranjan

    waw, thats such a beautiful way to see the northern lights. Your pictures are too good. Thanks for this lovely and unique post

    • Crizzy Kiss

      Thank you! 😍It’s my pleasure to share this amazing experience! 😉

  • Jess Weller

    Wow, this is great cant wait to go myself !

  • Jordan

    WOW – Such a unique thing to do! Its a long way to go but I guess Im going to have to make my way there now! Thanks for sharing!

    • Crizzy Kiss

      You certainly should Jordan! Thanks for dropping by! 😉

  • Would love to see the northern lights. My people are from Norway and so it is at the top of my list. Thanks for sharing your photos!

    • Crizzy Kiss

      Thanks Karla! You should go to Norway then soon! 😉

  • Venkat Ganesh Gudipaty

    Great pictures. I believe northern lights are on every travellers to-do list. And there is nothing I can say about it that hasn’t already been said!

    • Crizzy Kiss

      Thanks! You’ll be able to experience this too one day! 😉

  • Wow… what an incredible weekend. I’d love to see the Nothern Lights one day. Great post, thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Aw the northern lights – this is such a fascination phenomenon that I have only experienced once. Love the pictures they are amazing!

    • Crizzy Kiss

      Great that you had experienced it too, where did you see it?

  • That natural light show beats any man made fireworks. What a cool experience to share with the special people in your life.

    • Crizzy Kiss

      Absolutely Keith! But this made me think how would the sky looks like if there are fireworks and northern lights at the same time. 😉

  • Omg how stunning! This is one of the things on my bucket list and would love to see the northern lights some day soon. Thanks for sharing your amazing experience!

    • Crizzy Kiss

      Thanks! I hope you get to see it some day too! 😉

  • Viviane Feeney

    Wow, this was so beautiful I almost cried! Looks like you had a fabulous time in Tromso, a city that seems nothing short of magical. You seemed to have a wonderful tour guide who made sure you were fed to your belly & heart’s brim with coffee, chocolate & sandwiches!
    vivifeeney.blogspot.com

    • Crizzy Kiss

      Thanks for dropping by Viviane! It really was a magical experience and I definitely recommend our tour guide too whenever you get Tromsø. 😉