Northern Lights

Russia

The northern lights appear every winter over Lake Lovozero , lost somewhere in the Kola Peninsula beyond the Arctic Circle. The Russian Saami who live on its shores tell fortunes, drawing on the Arctic sky as if it were a cup of coffee. The entire polar north of Russia watches this unusual natural phenomenon – even hunters rush to conquer the vast expanses of Yakutia, Chukotka and the Krasnoyarsk Territory, in order to glimpse the northern lights.
 
Severodvinsk: This nuclear shipbuilding centre claims the status of a Russian science city. Severodvinsk attracts travellers with some of the brightest northern lights in all of western Russia. Located near Arkhangelsk, it provides more opportunities to study this natural phenomenon than the region capital: you do not even have to leave the city to see the bright green-and-red glow in the middle of the winter sky.
 
Murmansk: Dancing lights of the Aurora In the north of the Kola Peninsula the northern lights can be seen up to 200 times a year. The main part of the peninsula is located beyond the Arctic Circle, so, in summer, the sun does not set beyond the horizon for about 6 weeks, and polar nights reign in the winter. At Lapland Reserve, local people find the northern lights in the midst of 600-year old trees, Saami pagan monuments and sacred lakes. The best time to observe the phenomenon is from February to March (the best possibilities) or September to October, when the fiery glow in the sky can last anywhere between several hours and several days. The most common colour radiance here is pale green, red and, sometimes, purple.
 
Naryan-Mar: "Never whistle, if you see the northern lights! It will immediately disappear,” as they say in Naryan-Mar, the capital of the Nenets Autonomous District in the north of Russia. Here, there is a monument to the first Russian city that was built in the Arctic – Pustozersk , founded in 1499. In the 16th century, Pustozersk became a major Russian outpost in the north and in Siberia, and it often served as a place of exile and imprisonment. A prominent figure revered as a holy martyr by adherents of the Old Belief, Archpriest Habakkuk, was burned at the stake here. When more convenient routes to Siberia through the Ural Mountains were opened in the 18th century, the outpost lost its value, and, in the 20th century, completely disappeared - the Pustozersk church frame was transported and is now located on the outskirts of Naryan-Mar. The structure has only the outlines of the old temple and is used for everyday purposes now. The best time to visit the region to see the northern lights and to listen to the legends of the vanished city is in the early fall.
 
Salekhard: This is the only city in the world that is located on the Arctic Circle. Northern lights are everywhere – people give the name Ployarnoe siyanie (Polar lights) to all kinds of supermarkets, cinemas, local media and travel agencies. Moreover, if you venture farther into the northern tundra, you’ll be able to see the bright green glow in the sky that the local people call Nger Harp – “the light of the dead”: the Nenets believe that on cold nights the souls of their ancestors go hunting through the tundra.
 
Dixon village: Is located in the north of Krasnoyarsk Territory; one part of it lies on the mainland and the other - on an island of the same name, which is separated from the continent by a one-mile strait. This is the northernmost port of Russia; there is also an airport on the island. The North Pole is only two hours away by plane- in August the temperature here rises no higher than 43 degrees Fahrenheit. There are also no more than 30 sunny days a year here, but the 632 residents of the island get to enjoy the astonishing white lights of the aurora borealis in late summer.