A large part of Swedish Lapland lies in the aurora belt and will allow sightings of the Northern Lights when the KP index is at an average of 3. The region extends from the Bay of Bothnia on the Eastern side of the Lapland through the fells and then up into the mountainous border with Norway on the western side.
Sweden arguably has Europe’s premier location for witnessing the Northern Lights and that is in the region of Abisko which sits near the border with Norway. This remote and very picturesque location is positioned in a low precipitation zone which means it gets less snowfall meaning less cloudy nights, and has many more clear nights than places even 10 kilometres away.
The locals refer to the ‘Hole above Abisko’ as on a frequent basis there can be a full aurora visible in Abisko and cloud cover not far away which blocks them out. Abisko has developed into an Aurora hotspot and is the location for not only the famed Aurora Sky Station but also a number of leading aurora photographer’s base their trips in Abisko.
In an average season, the Northern Lights are visible around 4 nights out of 5. Kiruna, home to the regional airport that serves both Abisko and the famous ICEHOTEL is also an excellent location for seeing the Northern Lights. Finally, the emerging destination for seeing the Auroras is the Lulea Archipelago in Eastern Swedish Lapland. Although a little further south there are still excellent chances of seeing the Northern Lights in a completely different environment.
Although a coastal region, it has more stable weather than the Atlantic coast as the sea freezes in winter. The frozen sea then cools the air above, and as there is no moisture in it this results in clear nights with less cloud cover. Being on the frozen sea at night with the auroras shining over a clear horizon is a special experience.
Inland from Lulea is a pristine environment of forests, lakes and river valleys. Harads, home to the Tree Hotel and the region around Sorbyn provide some special places from which to see the Northern Lights framed against ancient Boreal forests.
Central Sweden is a little less accessible but for the determined traveller the area around Laponia National Park provides some of the most expansive and isolated scenery in the whole of Scandinavia and the open expanse can play host to spectacular aurora displays that resonate in the memory as they feel so private and personal.