The Aurora Sky Station: the Northern Lights of Abisko National Park

If you’re like us, you share a love of traveling in the northern realms—and you probably have a strong desire to experience the most famous of polar phenomena, the Northern Lights. There are truly few better places to do so than in Abisko National Park in Sweden at the famous Aurora Sky Station.

Like whales, polar bears, and many other nature-based sightings, there are no guarantees that you’ll see the Northern Lights. By going to Abisko National Park during the late fall and winter months, however, you maximize your chance of seeing the Aurora Borealis during one of the peak seasons of the year!

Travel to the Aurora Sky Station

Open from late October to late March, the Aurora Sky Station is highly recommended as a place to visit as much for its natural beauty as for its Northern Lights display. Many consider this remote part of northern Sweden one of the most beautiful places in the world to see the display—it’s so remote, there are no urban lighting concerns.

Did you know: Stockholm is about as far north as Anchorage, Alaska, and Abisko is a 15-hour drive north from Stockholm. You’re 150 miles north of the Arctic Circle when you visit the Aurora Sky Station!

Visiting Abisko National Park

Once you get to Abisko National Park, a chair lift ride to the Aurora Sky Station makes access easy for all. At the Sky Station there is a cozy café, a souvenir shop, and of course a watchtower for gazing at the Northern Lights and looking out over the surrounding countryside.

Abisko National Park also offers guided tours and warm Aurora-watcher overalls—included—so you don’t have to worry about your body getting cold. If you’re the kind of traveler who likes to experience different local foods with your travels, we can even arrange to have a gourmet 4-course meal prepared by Swedish chefs for you at the Sky Station!

Skiing and dog sledding in the park

Abisko National Park is also a favorite area for back-country Nordic skiing and—if your itinerary permits—snow shoeing, Telemark skiing, dog sledding or catching supper (ice fishing!). You can also have a truly local experience by eating reindeer and drinking coffee around a camp fire with the indigenous local people, the Sámi, who have lived in this area for thousands of years. Both the reindeer and the coffee are excellent!

In the winter sunlight barely pokes above the horizon and the nights are long—but they’re not necessarily dark. Starlight and the Aurora Borealis light up the sky in a manner you simply can’t experience anywhere else.

The best site to view the Northern Lights

A small disclaimer: as we’ve mentioned, this is one of the best places on earth to see the Northern Lights—but it falls within the Arctic Circle, and weather conditions can change from comfortable to fierce on short notice. If this happens, the station may be closed for safety reasons.

In general, the Northern Lights are visible about 50-60% of the time, which makes it better than most other sites. In Alaska, some travelers report only seeing the Aurora Borealis on 3 nights out of their trip, or about 10% of the time, so 50%+ is pretty amazing.

Convinced you’d like to experience a Northern Lights tour in Abisko (or the nearby Arctic regions of Finnish Lapland and northern Norway)? Let us help you arrange a custom itinerary that allows you to enjoy the beauty of winter in Scandinavia. Contact us today!

*Image by Peter Rosén/Lights Over Lapland