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Northern lights

Myths and legends speak for themselves: the northern lights are not for the faint of heart.

Northern Lights over the Sermitsiaq mountain close to Nuuk. Photo: Mads Pihl, Visit Greenland

Northern Lights over the Sermitsiaq mountain close to Nuuk. Photo: Mads Pihl, Visit Greenland

Lights on the world’s biggest stage


Arsarnerit means ball games, and the sagas recount how the northern lights appear in the night sky when the souls of the dead play ball with walrus skulls. The phenomenon, however, does have a scientific explanation, which you tend to forget when studying the magnificent scene from the best seat in the house. Cascades of light illuminate the night sky in shades of green, and it’s a spectacle with the greatest possible X-factor.

The scientific explanation is that the sun’s electrically-charged particles hit molecules and atoms in the Earth’s atmosphere at an altitude of around 100 kilometres. This results in a spectacular show of light, which can best be described as flickering curtains of yellow, green and sometimes red.


Dark evenings


The characteristic and mystical sight can be seen on dark, clear evenings and nights throughout Greenland. You may think that you have to travel a long way north to experience this spectacular phenomenon, but this is actually not the case. In Sisimiut and Kangerlussuaq climatic conditions mean that there’s rarely any cloud cover. WOGAC offers excursions during the winter months to places where the northern lights provide a particularly celestial experience.

Local providers of Northern light tour in Kangerlussuaq:

When can you see the northern lights?

You can see the northern lights all year round in several places in the world.
Though not possible in Greenland during summer, because of the midnight sun, it is best to see the northern lights between September and the beginning of April. In Greenland you will often see the northern lights at midnight, you can have the best experience seeing the northern lights from a dark and clear night sky.

WOGAC offers excursions during the winter months, to places where you can have an out-of-this-world experience of the northern light.

Where can you see the Northern Light – Kangerlussuaq

Kangerlussuaq is one the best places where you can experience the northern light in Greenland. Kangerlussuaq is the traffic hub of Greenland, and you can make a stop in Kangerlussuaq to see the northern light before traveling further inland. If you are interested in staying in Kangerlussuaq for a couple of days, there are other exciting activities other than the Northern Light. You can go dogsledding, or take a hike on the ice cap.

Book a flight to Kangerlussuaq


Local providers in Kangerlussuaq for northern light tours:

 

Where can you see the Northern Light – Nuuk

The best of both worlds you can have is by seeing the northern light in Nuuk, here you can drive a few kilometers from the city center and see an amazing nature/light phenomenon: The Northern Light. Nuuk is a modern city, that has a lot of exciting experiences to offer. If you are not into small towns and hiking but still want to experience seeing the northern light in Greenland, then you can fly to Nuuk through Kangerlussuaq, and experience the northern light from September to April.

Book a flight to Nuuk

DID YOU KNOW?

  • The sagas also tell us that the northern lights come closer if you whistle. But be careful, the northern lights will take the whistler with them. If you act like a dog, however, this may push the light back. 
  • After a trip to see the northern lights, a cup of Greenlandic coffee tastes particularly good. Recipe for one cup of Greenlandic coffee:
    2 cl whisky, 2 cl Kahlua, 2 cl Grand Marnier, 1 dl hot coffee. Top off with whipped cream. Ignite the Grand Marnier as it is poured over the top, and you’ll have the image of the flickering northern lights.