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Best places to see the northern lights

Oct. 16, 2012, 5:54 p.m.
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Scandinavia

Scandinavia is arguably the best place in the world to see the aurora borealis. During the colder months of the year, many tourists head to this section of the world to appreciate the colorful lights show. Serious aurora-seekers have been known to drive across borders (from Norway to Finland, for example) to find cloudless conditions.

Areas near the Arctic Circle in northern Norway, Finland (pictured) and Sweden offer the best odds of seeing the northern lights at their most spectacular. As it gets brutally cold here in the middle of winter, most tourists come earlier in the fall, when it first gets dark enough at night to see the lights. As in Iceland, northern lights tours are popular in Scandinavia, with numerous options available for those who are willing to spend a few days in the icy landscapes.