Arctic Road Trips

The best time to see the Aurora

Did you ever ask yourself...

When is the best time to see the Aurora?

– A month by month guide to choose your best time to see the Aurora and travel in Lapland

Better weather and a slightly increased aurora activity due to the equinox effect makes the month September, October, February, March and early April usually the best time to see the Northern Lights in Lapland. 

If you join one of our Aurora Road Trips all month are good for Northern Lights. Why? Because we have such a big radius where we can travel to find clear skies and to go north – where Northern Lights can be nice also with smaller activity. Also, climate chance has an impact and weather conditions are changing. That’s why even December (considered one of the worst month) has been quite decent some years.

When is the Aurora season in Lapland?

The aurora season in Lapland lasts from mid August and last until mid April. More specifically in Rovaniemi the first aurora can be visible already on the 8-10 August and they can be visible until 25 April. The more north you go the shorter the season will last.

Can the Northern Lights be seen in Summer?

One of the most common question we get is: “Can we see aurora in the summer?” – The answer is no because we have 24 hours of sun in Lapland so that means that northern lights are there, but not visible!

When is the best time to see the Aurora? 

Better weather and a slightly increased aurora activity due to the equinox effect makes the month September, October, February, March and early April usually the best time to see the Northern Lights in Lapland. 

A month by month travel guide for the best time to see Auroras, landscapes, weather and more!

Read further more detailed for each month choose your best time to see the Aurora!


Northern Lights August, Arctic Road Trips Lapland

The first aurora can be seen about 8-10 of August on the Rovaniemi latitudes, but still it is not a good time to come yet. Why? 

Night in beginning/ mid august are still really bright, so even with stronger auroras you won’t get to see much more than a faint line on the sky. If you want to come in August best time is after the 25th when the nights can start to get darker. Usually August is a really good month for the weather.

Also temperature can be between 10 and 20 degrees which makes it nice to be outside. 🙂 



September Aurora Lapland, Arctic Road Trips, Lorenzo Mirandola

September is one of the best months for Auroras but why?

  1. The Russell-McPherron effect (equinox Effect) is one of the reasons which means that usually we get stronger and more intense aurora displays.
  2. The weather is usually good (not too many cloudy nights) and warm which makes it pleasant to be outside ( lowest temperature is about 0 C)
  3. Lakes are not frozen which means we can often get those beautiful aurora reflections.
  4. No snow that means less light pollution and more available place to go with the cars, many nice spots road are closed in the winter.
  5. Long days and beautiful autumn colours all over Lapland that makes it also beautiful to explore during the day


Aurora Reflection Lapland Arctic Road Trips

Together with September October is an amazing aurora hunting month! (Sometimes even better)
The equinox effect brings still amazing show during the whole month and usually we don’t have snow until beginning of November which means that the scenery is really similar to September with not frozen lakes and some left autumn colours 🙂 In the North there can be the first snow on some hills.

Some of the best shows in the last years have been in October and the temperature can vary from +10 to -15 C which means that you need to start to wear winter clothes and you can get overalls and boots from us as well. 🙂


November Northern Lights, Lapland Lorenzo Mirandola

In November days in Lapland are getting shorter and we get the first snow that can possibly stay. Overall November is sometimes a quite grey month in Rovaniemi – bot often not in other parts of Lapland. The cloud coverage is typically high in November around Rovaniemi which requires long drives and effort to see the Northern Lights. For the Aurora Road Trip November is still a good month because we have a much bigger radius and can even go deep into Norway to find clear skies.

In November we have done some of our longest tours to escape the clouds. We went even in Norway, 1000 km, in a single night.

Aurora display are usually a little less intense if you stay more south (but that does not mean that we cannot get amazing nights. We get those also in November).😊 

Temperature from -5 to -25 degrees C.


Aurora borealis, Lapland, Finland, Arctic Road Trips

In December usually real winter kicks in: snowfall increases and days are getting short. Often December has been a quite cloudy month, so usually we have to do really long tours (up to 800 km a night). But same as in November it can sometimes happen that the clouds coverage is so spread that there is no chance for auroras starting from Rovaniemi for a one night tour only.

But usually December is colder which makes it a bit better in terms of weather for aurora hunting. 

December is also the busiest month in Lapland which means that if you want to join the Aurora Expedition with us, it is best to book in advance.

Also days are short (4 h of daylight in Rovaniemi) which gives little time to see around (that is also a reason why we don’t do many Aurora Road Trips in December)

Temperature in December between-10 and -35C


Aurora winter lapland, Rovaniemi, Arctic Road Trips

January is one of the coldest months and for that is usually more clear compared to November and December but still we often have to do long tours to get of the clouds of Rovaniemi but that has never been a problem. 🙂

We have had many days with successful tours in the last years and the nice thing of January is that we often have those full of snow trees all over Lapland which makes it really nice for photos and landscapes. 

January is really cold month and temperatures can drop to -35 (I have seen -42 C)
Days are also getting longer and from mid January you can get the stunning combination of snow and sun.


February Aurora Arctic Road Trips, Northern Lights, Lapland

We really like February for aurora hunting, coldest month in Lapland but usually a really good one:)

February usually has good weather and makes it easier for us to find clear skies and auroras are usually better because getting closer to the equinox compared to November-January. 😍

The trees are often completely covered with snow!

Days are getting longer and we usually run a lot of aurora road trips from the beginning to the end of the month:)

Also one night aurora hunting tours are really good in February.
If you want to see the real winter and aurora it is the best month for you!!


March Northern Lights, Lapland, Lorenzo Mirandola

One of my favourite and best time for Aurora is March! March has both long days but still dark enough nights to be able to catch the northern lights!

The weather is usually good in March, probably together with September they have the best weather in Lapland and usually it is really good time for auroras because of the equinox effect!

March has some of the best aurora shows usually and the temperature are a bit better (we can still get to -30 C some nights) but usually about -10 -25 C.

There is usually still a lot of snow on the ground but not much on the trees (except in few national parks).

Days are quite long which makes it an amazing month to explore Lapland and have plenty of time also for northern lights.


April Northern Lights, when is the best time, Arctic Road Trips

The beginning of the month usually we can get many nights of clear skies and auroras. The beginning of April (first 10 days) are usually really really good for northern lights.

April is still close enough to the equinox and it has usually good shows.

Temperature are usually quite nice – 5 to -10 C and the snow during the days usually starts to melt.

Nights are getting really short that I way I don’t recommend to come after the 10 of April because nights are getting also brighter and so it is harder after to catch a good show when you have only 2 h of dark 🙂

The aurora season can last until 23 of April but to see something then you would need a really strong aurora.

For us we don’t do tours after the 10 of April for the same reason we don’t start before 25 of August (nights are too bright and too short).