Lonely Planet Writer

These incredible images will inspire you to chase the Northern Lights

Every year, the Northern Lights – or Aurora Borealis – draws spellbound travellers from all around the world, eager to capture a glimpse of this magical visual show. Locations where the natural phenomenon (caused by collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter our atmosphere) can sometimes be seen include Norway, Iceland, Canada, Scotland and – as photographer Jasim Sarker discovered – Lapland. “I’ve been living in Rovaniemi for the last six years”, he tells Lonely Planet. “I came here from Bangladesh to study in the University of Lapland.”

“The beauty of nature is just so amazing”, says Jasim. Image by Jasim Sarker

For Jasim, this region is truly captivating. “The beauty of nature is just so amazing. I felt it when I came here for the first time; it was during the dark, cold winter season here in Rovaniemi. The magical nights start in late August, and last until April. I’m so lucky to live in a place where I can see the Northern Lights from my balcony. To experience them is just a blessing.”

Jasim is awestruck by the beauty of Aurora Borealis. Image by Jasim Sarker

Though Jasim has captured these magnificent Aurora shots, it can be difficult to know in advance when the Lights will be visible. “No-one can predict a specific date to see them”, he explains. “I’ve spent many nights without seeing any Aurora.” The wait is clearly worth it though. “The incredible thing is that the nights here aren’t ordinary, they’re breath-taking. When you see the Lights with your own eyes, the feelings are hard to explain. Every time I see them, it’s a different show, a different story.”

The skies of Rovaniemi bursting with colour.
Image by Jasim Sarker

For those heading to Lapland, Jasim has these recommendations. “Rovaniemi city has lots of spots to watch the night show of Aurora, which are all within a few kilometres. The Sky Centre of Ounasvaara, and the Arktikum area are among the top places to spot the Lady Aurora. Both sides of the River Kemijoki, and the Santa Claus village area are also good places. Wilderness huts surrounding the city, and Arctic Circle camping areas are another choice, if you love to experience nature and wilderness at the same time.”