I’ve been fortunate to explore so many corners of Europe that have left me breathless because of their astonishing beauty – vast wilderness and Arctic tundra, rolling mountain ranges, crystal clear lakes and streams, and other phenomenal natural spots that constantly remind us just how gorgeous the continent and its landscapes are. But catching the Northern Lights in Sweden, especially in Abisko, remains a top wonder-eliciting moment for me. It was at an elevation of 900 meters above sea level in the darkness of winter that I had one of the most surreal experiences of my life surrounded by astonishing beauty.
Standing close to the summit of Mount Nuolja, my camera was sitting on a tripod and was pointing towards clear indigo skies with twinkling stars and dancing ribbons of green light. The tiny village of Abisko spread out before me and I was witnessing Aurora Borealis swirling and folding across the skies over Abisko National Park, Lapporten, and Lake Torneträsk. Abisko National Park itself was established in 1909, covers a massive area of 7,700 hectares with a valley full of alpine birch trees and a canyon through which the Abiskojåkka River flows.
I was finally photographing the Northern Lights in Sweden in the most vibrant display of nature’s illumination I’d ever seen.
Seeing the Northern Lights remains high on many travellers’ bucket lists. These unpredictable natural phenomena also known as Aurora Borealis occur when solar explosions cause particles from the sun to collide with gases in the Earth’s atmosphere to create vibrant red, green, and sometimes fuchsia pink lights. NASA actively monitors solar explosions and the strongest auroras usually appear 24-48 hours after an explosion.
While these natural phenomena are extremely unpredictable, one of the very best places in the entire world to catch them (often without fail) is within Abisko National Park, especially from the Aurora Sky Station.
What makes Abisko particularly special is because the region has been scientifically proven to be the most ideal spot in Sweden due to its unique micro-climate. In Abisko National Park, Lake Torneträsk, which is 70 kilometres long, helps create the “blue hole of Abisko”—a patch of sky that remains clear regardless of the surrounding weather patterns.
Which in turn means your chances of successfully catching the Northern Lights in Sweden while in Abisko, especially during the coldest months of January and February, are pretty high.
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This collaboration is part of the tourism communication campaign “Europe. Wonder is all around” funded by the European Commission. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.