10 Best Spots on Earth to Watch the Auroras

Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
The rustic accommodations in Kangerlussuaq might make Greenland all the more charming for some Northern Lights tourists. Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

Greenland is not for the meek. Covered extensively in glacial ice, this arctic island is for explorers [source: FDN].

Like the other four northern destinations, the town of Kangerlussuaq is beneath the auroral oval; and like Tromsø and Murmansk, it's north of the Arctic Circle. What makes Kangerlussuaq an exceptional viewing location is its annual 300 days (and nights) of clear skies [source: WOGAC], give or take, and its stunning lack of light pollution. The chances of seeing at least one spectacular Northern Lights display during a stay here are pretty high.

The area is quite undeveloped. Getting around means traveling by dog sleds and snowmobiles, and lodging is limited -- a hotel, a couple of cabins, rented rooms in village homes [source: Mother Nature Network]. For some, this may exclude Kangerlussuaq from the borealis tour; for others, it will make it the first stop.

The Northern Lights, while rare by a global perspective, are positively common compared to their southern counterparts. To have a decent shot at seeing the aurora australis, one must go to greater extremes ...