The Northern Lights are like magic in the sky
Travelers from all around the world come to Ylläs to admire the magical Northern Lights. The Northern Lights are always different, which makes them even more captivating. The faint green streak stretching across the sky may remain in one place for an hour, but then it begins to move. It breaks apart and forms several smaller and larger streaks. The movement starts to intensify. At its best, the Northern Lights experience culminates in a rapidly pulsating dance directly above your head. This highlight doesn’t last long, and soon the colorful flames disappear into the darkness of the night.
In Ylläs, you can see the Northern Lights on two out of three nights
Ylläs is located on the southern edge of the aurora oval that surrounds the North Pole. This means that the chances of seeing the Northern Lights here are very good. Statistically, you can see them here on two out of three nights, and the season lasts from early autumn to late spring, basically as long as the nights are dark.
When it’s dark outside, the only obstacle between you and the spectacular dance performance is the clouds. On a completely cloudy evening, it might not be worth even trying, but if you see even one star in the sky, witnessing the Northern Lights is possible. In that case, the best approach is to dress warmly and head outside to wait. You should aim your gaze towards the northern sky, as that’s where the Northern Lights usually dance.
Nothern lights tours & safaris
What causes the Northern lights?
The activity that creates Northern Lights begins on the sun and the different colors are caused by collisions between different gases and electrons entering the earth’s atmosphere. The most common color is green, but they can also appear pink, dark red, blue, purple and even yellow. This is the scientific explanation for the formation of the Northern Lights, but the mythological stories are much more entertaining. In Finnish lore, the aurora is caused by a fox running so fast across the snow that its tail sparks flames up into the sky. The Sámi people believed that the lights were created by a whale’s water spew.
Best places to see Northern Lights in Ylläs
In Ylläs, you don’t necessarily have to venture far for the Northern Lights hunt; you can watch them right from your own yard. Streetlights are turned off from October to March at 10 PM to make viewing easier.
However, for the best photos, it’s advisable to head to an open location with a good view to the north. For example, Äkäslompolo Lake or Ylläsjärvi Lake are good spots. Alternatively, you can hike up to the fell. For instance, Fell Kuertunturi is an excellent and relatively easy destination where you can capture not only the Northern Lights but also beautiful and mystical trees covered in snow.
The biggest mistake is just to go and take a peek at the sky – the starting time of the show can vary by hours! Statistically, the most likely time to see the Northern Lights is around midnight and the preceding couple of hours. Aurora forecast is also unrealiable, do not trust it but instead go outside.
On guided tours, you can get technical tips for photographing in the dark.
In addition to winter, the best time to spot the Northern lights is in the spring
If you want to optimize your chances of seeing the Northern Lights, it’s advisable to travel to Ylläs in early spring (May, April) as well. In autumn (starts in late October), the weather is generally cloudier than in the spring. By late April, the nights begin to be so bright that the chances of seeing the Northern Lights diminish.