HI, our family is traveling to Lofoten from the US in January. We are in search of seeing the Northern Lights and would like to know if it is possible to rent a car and drive around Lofoten in January. Also any suggestions as to what to do and what not to miss in the island. Where to stay? and how many days should we allow considering there won't be too much light.
I cannot help you a lot about rental cars, BUT when you want to see the Northen Lights you might Need to know some Basics about them:
you need to have a perfect combination of various situations ALL at the SAME time:
1) the sky has to be without clouds
2) the sky needs to be dark, so you are able to see the reflections
3) you need certain activities of the sun, that are sometimes stronger and sometimes weaker
The way that I understood this is that these activities of the sun will happen all year long, but in summertime you cannot see them because of the bright sky.
The best time for watching the Northern Lights are :
October + February & March
the best frequency is between 6 pm and 1 am.
avoid the times of the Fullmoon, it will not be dark enough then !
I would think that for the Northern lights, it would be better to inland, where the weather is drier. Where are you flying into?
It's possible to rent a car in any town of a certain size in Norway. The best thing is to go to a car-rental companie webpage and do a little search. You are sertain to find some of the big international names like AVIS, Hertz or EurCar.
One thing though. If you're not used to driving on ice; You might want to take a course in driving on slippery surfaces. All norwegians do to get their license, and it's not a joke.
As for the northern ligths: Yes it's best having inland climate. So a drive inland would be a good idea. The thing to look for is clear weather with as little light (except aurora borealis) as possible:
Usually the farther north you are the better.
Go for a day with no moon (new moon)
Look at the weather service for a place without clouds (can be the most difficult thing)
Stay away from the cities or roads with lights on it.
Preferably not too much snow (this is almost impossible)
Be patient, and hope for good luck.
If you can visit when the solar activity is at the max.
Thanks for all the help. We will be visiting Tromso December 28 - Jan 1 and then thinking of the Lofoton for a few days before flying to Oslo to fly back Jan 9th. We have a few days built in but don't know what else we should do while we are in the area. We are flexible if there are any must see suggestions as well.
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