Hello guys! How is your hunt for Northern Lights going?
Recently I made a trip to one of my favorite destinations in Finnish Lapland – Levi Ski Resort.
It offers a great choice of activities for everyone: husky and reindeer rides, snowmobile safaris, spa, delicious Lappish food, a lot of cross-country skiing paths and, of course, the amazing alpine ski slopes! It is also just a beautiful place where I always feel at home.
Levi is situated 150 km above the line of the Arctic Circle, meaning that it is also a great place for Aurora hunting! My last trip to Levi took place just 3 months ago and it generated a lot of wonderful images!
I like to go out to see Northern Lights by myself and I can give you a couple of advices about Levi, if you want to do the same.
However, if you are not sure how to see Northern Lights in Levi, you can always go Aurora Hunting with a professional company who’s guides will take you out in the wilderness either on car, snowmobiles, snowshoes, huskies or any other means that you agree on
It is the beginning of December 2015, meaning that the sun is peeking above the hills for just one short hour!
That is, if you head up to the top of Levi hill, for example, using the Gondola lift. You don’t have to be skiing or wear skis to go up (but we did ski a lot!). You can buy a return ticket that will take you up to see the scenery in the building on the first photo of the story.
The day is short and it gets pretty dark after 3PM, meaning potentially there’s more time to witness the Aurora!
During the first two nights there is no success. The sky is filled with clouds and the Aurora activity is low.
On the third night, which by coincidence is Finland’s Independence day, I head up to the mountain. The lifts are already closed, but you can reach the top of the mountain by car and go to the Tuikku restaurant. During the day time you can have lunch or coffee there. See the white roof in the middle of the snow? 😀 There is a big parking place to put cars to. Here is the exact location. The road to the top goes by the Panorama hotel, you cannot miss it!
Knowing that Auroras usually appear in the Northern direction, I walk North from the parking place (basically crossing the above image from left to right). There is lots of snow already, but still manageable to walk. There is a connecting route there which goes all the way from the top of the mountain to Levi center. It is almost flat so you can easily walk around there, no skis needed. This is how it looks at daytime, but at night time you will surely need a headlamp to browse around. Btw, if you live in the Levi center and don’t own a car, you might choose to go here by taxi and then follow this route back to the Levi Center, because it is easier to go down than to go up
Mother nature took care of the fireworks for Finland’s Independence Day, December the 6th. The Snow Giants are sleeping under the glow of Auroras. Still, the lights are not very strong and I want more!
Next night there is an Aurora Storm in the offing. This time I head north from Levi in the direction of Muonio, a little village in the North. It doesn’t take much time to leave the city lights and see the night sky in full glory. I notice the lights playing above the horizon, however my camera reveals that the whole sky stars filling with green. Sweet!
By the way, there are plenty of little parking pockets on Finnish roads. You can park your car safely there and enjoy the Auroras in the middle of nowhere.
I head to the forest and start looking for some nice landscapes. It does not take me long to find one.
Looks nice, however, I feel that I am in the wrong place. First of all, there is so much snow what that is hard to move without snowshoes or skies. Also, my heart misses the Snow Giants i saw the night before, so I return to Levi and climb the mountain again.
As soon as I set up my gear, the sky literally explodes! That’s what I call being at the right place at the right time!
I have rarely seen such strong Auroras, but they also have something special. Most of the times the Auroras a green, but this time a bright pink line is hovering below the green curtain – a very rare color to see!
I have recorded this amazing moment on real time video. Take a look!
The best part of the show lasts about 15 minutes – my skin is covered with goose bumps all that time! Later it becomes a bit quieter, but still remaining beautiful. Snow Giants, however, continue to stand in silence and continue their sleep.
Best of luck with hunting Auroras and visit this wonderful place, Levi in Lapland, if you have a chance!