In Russia, the northern lights are closer than you think. It’s actually only a 30-min flight from Saint Petersburg or 2 hours from Moscow to reach these ethereal manifestations. Northern Russia has the ideal conditions and location to see them: sparsely populated areas with hardly any artificial lights, so it is the perfect destination for a northern lights trip. But where can you see the northern lights in Russia?
Murmansk is a port city on the Arctic Ocean that is home to the world’s largest fleet of icebreakers. From the summit of one of the hills surrounding this fjord on the Barents Sea, you can watch the ships parting towards the frozen waters. Murmansk has an airport and a train station, making it the easiest and the best place place to see northern lights.
The best way to see the lights is to leave Murmansk and continue your adventure to the heart of the Kola Peninsula in the Khibiny Mountains. On the ice of Lovozero and Seydyavr lakes, your snowmobile itinerary will cross valleys, mountains and tundra forests through some of the wildest and most impenetrable areas of the peninsula. In the evening, a Russian banya will be waiting for you in the guesthouse, followed by dinner in a tchum of reindeer hides, an unforgettable experience which you can get only in our country.
Arctic winds bluster through these white deserts that have no infrastructure, playgrounds for reindeer herders of the Nenets tribe. This people of the Great North live on the tundra, following their herd while they search for life-sustaining food: lichen. During the polar nights when the sun doesn’t rise, the Nenets mount their tchums viewing light of the aurora. Visit a reindeer herder camp and spend the night in an authentic tchum on one of our northern lights tours.
We recommend experiencing the Northern Lights in two of Russia’s regions: Murmansk on the Kola Peninsula (2h by plane from Moscow) and the Autonomous Nenets District (2h40 by plane from Moscow).
The best time to see this natural light show is between January and March when the nights are frosty and clear.
Depending on your destination, you will be offered different excursions. On the Kola Peninsula, you can ride snowmobiles and go dog-sledding (3 days). Further east in Naryan-Mar, spend time with an indigenous tribe of reindeer herders. You can also go for a ride on a reindeer-drawn sled. Living conditions are spartan and you will stay in a tchum (3 days).