Experiencing the Northern Lights in Swedish Lapland

The northern lights—we’ve all seen pictures of this hazy, mystical blanket of lights that hovers over the arctic skies, but a picture can only say so much. For those seeking adventure and the pinnacle of spectacular outdoor experiences, there is nothing better than seeing the northern lights in person.

The Wonders of Swedish Lapland

An arctic province in northern Sweden, Lapland is an incredibly unique location that is ideal for those who yearn to feel a more intimate link with nature. Home to the Sami people, Swedish Lapland is both culturally diverse and incredibly remote. If you’ve been searching for a place to truly feel in-tune with nature, you’ll be happy to know that the philosophies of the indigenous Sami people continue to live on today. Swedish Lapland locals value their connection with the nature around them as they embrace minute weather changes (so much so that they have adapted to a calendar with eight seasons rather than four) and harmonize with Sweden’s northern wilderness.

What are the Northern Lights?

Also known as “aurora borealis,” which means “dawn of the north,” the northern lights are a phenomenon of shimmering hues of pink and green which occur over the earth’s magnetic North Pole. (And yes, aurora borealis has a twin over the South Pole—aurora australis.) These lights are caused by the meeting of the earth’s and the sun’s atmospheres, where gaseous particles collide with charged ones and are influenced by the magnetic forces of the earth’s poles.

When to Visit

The best time to visit Swedish Lapland for the most stunning views of the northern lights is during the winter months. Yes, it gets very cold! For some adventurers, the crisp chill of the wilderness is a draw in and of itself; for others, mental preparation and the right gear make it more bearable and possible to adapt.

Aurora Safari

The lack of light pollution in Swedish Lapland makes it an ideal location to observe aurora borealis, and the Aurora Safari Camp is undoubtedly the most authentic way to experience both the lights themselves and the cherished culture of Swedish Lapland. This “glamping” experience founded by Fredrik Broman, a photographer with expertise in photographing the northern lights, can be booked on a private basis.

The available “rooms” are actually spacious Lavvu tents, traditional and Nordic-designed. Beds and sleeping bags are provided in addition to chairs and incredibly effective wood burners to get you through the chill of a winter night. Washrooms are a short trek from the tents, and an additional tent serves as a lounge for eating and socializing.

Experiencing the Outdoors

For the more adventurous, numerous outdoor activities are in store during the day if you’re willing to brave the cold temperatures (and we would highly recommend it). Snowshoes, kicksleds, and mountain bikes designed for the snow are all available for exploration within the forest and along the river. Take your time to absorb your surroundings and enjoy the scenery, because it’s positively magnificent.

For a true “safari” experience, don’t be afraid to ask for further adventurous arrangements! More extended snowshoe tours along the mountain, as well as dog sledding and snowmobiling tours, can be arranged upon request and depending on your interests.

Photographing Your Stay

The northern lights are a perfect example of the linkage between photography and outdoorsmanship, and what better way to learn than with expert Fredrik Broman? For an added twist to your winter treks, register for one of his low light photography workshops to enjoy hiking the frozen rapids while honing your craft. Your efforts will pay off with some killer photographs to brag about when you return home!

Experiencing the northern lights at the Aurora Safari Camp in Swedish Lapland is an experience ideal for those with an adventurous spirit—expert outdoorsmanship skills are a plus, but certainly not required to enjoy this incredible opportunity to become one with nature and the winter sky.