Abisko National Park in Swedish Lapland offers perhaps some of the best conditions in the world for Northern Lights. The surrounding mountains keep the skies almost clear and the light pollution is next to nothing. No wonder Lonely Planet dubbed Abisko the world’s most illuminating experience of 2015.

On and in the vicinity of the Earth’s both poles, there’s a good chance that you might witness a green, blue or red light in the shape of drapes, curves or rays dancing across the sky. It is particles from the sun colliding with the outer parts of the Earth’s atmosphere whereby the kinetic energy is transformed into visible light.

If you stay in Abisko for three days, you have an 88 percent chance of seeing the lights – as long as the sky is clear. And it usually is.

In the northern hemisphere, we call it the Northern lights or Aurora Borealis. Turn off artificial lights and gaze up into the sky – no, space, and you can witness the sun’s greetings reaching us on Earth.

Aurora Sky Station is a popular hang-out for Northern lights photographers.

Night visit to Aurora Sky Station

Situated on Mt. Njullá, 900 meters above sea level, is Aurora Sky Station, in a spot with very few distracting sources of light or sound. Following the United Nations proclamation of making 2015 the International Year of Light, Lonely Planet listed the world’s ten best places to experience light and chose Aurora Sky Station as the best place to experience Northern Lights.

A visit to the sky station during late evening or night starts with a 20-minute chairlift ride up the mountain, cosied up with warming blankets. Your eyes gradually get used to the darkness and more stars than you’ve ever seen start to unveil.

The view is pretty spectacular even during daytime, as well as summer - during the midnight sun.

Abisko National Park is about 100 km northwest of Kiruna. There are daily flights to Kiruna where you can continue by train or bus. Also, look up transfer options provided by your accommodation. The chairlift up to Aurora Sky Station departs from Abisko Mountain Station and takes about 20 minutes. In summer, you can experience the Midnight sun with equally breathtaking views.

We caught up with Ingrid Österlin from Gothenburg who visited Aurora Sky Station earlier in 2014.

– I had a magical birthday on Aurora Sky Station. The chairlift slowly ascending under the moonlit sky, it was a perfect night for Northern lights. Upon the mountain we got to experience a magical show taking over the polar night sky, it was like visiting the well where nature’s all raw powers descend from. We were guided and pampered by the professional staff that also served us a delicious dinner of local delicacies.

There is a large terrace connected to Aurora Sky Station, as well as a lookout tower where you can fully take in the view. Inside is a Northern Lights exhibition where you can learn more about the phenomenon – just imagine yourself following the sun-charged particles enter the Earth’s atmosphere, get to know how they get caught by magnetic fields who push them towards the Earth’s poles. Just hop on one of the daily tours to learn more about how the interplay of the Universe makes it come about.

The exklusive dinner experience is highly recommended.

Have a seat and enjoy the view – and the food

It is possible (and highly recommended) to make a table reservation at Aurora Sky Station, they serve a delicious four-course meal inspired by the taste of Swedish Lapland. Here is also a quaint little café where you can get a cup of genuine ‘kokkaffe’ or boiled coffee, as well as buying souvenirs.

Abisko is situated in the centre of the Aurora oval and is considered to be the best place in the world for experiencing the Northern lights. With the clean air, the usually clear sky and no light pollution, the conditions are simply perfect. You can catch more or less active Northern lights in these parts almost every night from October until the end the March.

If you stay in Abisko for three days, you have an 88 percent chance of seeing the lights – as long as the sky is clear. And it usually is.

Images are courtesy of Lights over Lapland that offers Aurora photography experiences in Abisko and Aurora Sky Station.

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