The best places to see the Northern Lights in Bodø and Salten

Photo: Zdeno Dvorak

Here are our tips for places to watch the northern lights, join a guided tour or spend the night on an excursion for yourself while the magical light is directly above you.

Many people travel to Bodø in the winter to catch a glimpse of the northern lights. No wonder as the region offers rich and varied nature. Whether you want to watch the lights from a mountain, or want a romantic evening on the beach, you can get both her in Bodø & Salten.

1. Mount Rønvik in Bodø

Drive up to the plateau and park in the large car park below Keiservarden (Bodø’s most visited mountain). From the car park and the plateau, you have a view of both the city on one side, and north towards the sea on the other side.

On a clear and dark evening, you have a great chance of seeing the northern lights from here, and you neither need to walk far or stay outside for long. If you want to keep warm, you can even sit and scout from the car. If you are up for a mountain hike, take the trip up on Keiservarden for an extra good view.

The plateau at Mount Rønvik is a good spot for northern light photos // Photo: Sindre Nedrevåg

2. The north side of Bodø

You most often see the Northern lights when you look to the north, and if you drive along the north side of Bodø there are plenty of good stopping points.

You find beaches, hiking spots and viewpoints with a view to the north along the entire north side of the city. From all these places you can watch the northern lights dance over the iconic Landegode mountains.

Northern lights over Landegode // Photo: Kent Even Grundstad

Some tips for stops along the north side of the city:

Mjelle Mjelle is a lovely beach just outside of Bodø. This place deserves a visit whether you are going to see the northern lights or want a nice place to visit during the day. If you are lucky enough to see the northern lights when you are here, we can promise that it will be a magical time.

It takes around 30 minutes to drive here, and the drive is an experience itself.

Løpsstranden Løp is a 15-minute drive from the center of Bodø. Here you can see the northern lights from the beach. The walk is short, and you can get a magical picture of the northern lights reflecting in the water surface.

Geitvågen Geitvågen is one of the most popular bathing spots in Bodø in summer, but also a fantastic place to catch the northern lights in winter. Northern light photographers recommend this place, since you get a stronger effect on the northern lights via the sea and avoid all lights from the city. 

The popular bathing area is 10 km from the city center, and it takes 10 minutes to drive there.

3. The Arctic Hideaway

The architectural accommodation is located on the island of Fleinvær, in the middle of the sea outside of Bodø. Here you are far away from the city lights and have a view of the northern lights straight from the bedroom.

Photo: Martin Losvik
Northern lights over The Arctic Hideaway // Photo: Martin Losvik

4. Sandhornøy

Sandhornøy is the largest island in Gildeskål municipality, and is known for its white, long and clean beach – Langsanden. Here you have good conditions for seeing the northern lights. On Sandhornøy, you can also spend the night in a dome at Følvika Northern Retreat – where you can watch the Northern lights from your bed all night. 

It takes approximately 1,5 hours to drive to Sandhornøy from the center of Bodø. There is a bridge to the island, so you do not have to think about any ferry times.

Northern lights dancing over the domes in Følvika // Photo: Robert Selfors
Northerns lights seen from Langsanden in Gildeskål // Photo: Petter Formo

5. Engeløya towards the Lofoten Wall (Batterie Dietl)

Several aurora photographers recommend the north side of Engeløya because of the low light pollution. If you drive to Batteriet Dietl, you have a view of the Lofoten wall. On this side of Engeløya, you can see the northern lights very well. 

Engeløya can be found in Steigen, which is around three hours from Bodø by car.

Engeløya in Steigen is a popular place to go watch the northern lights //
Photo: Kamilla Lund 

6. The Arctic Circle at Saltfjellet

The Arctic Circle on Saltfjellet is a fantastic place to see the northern lights from. To get there, you drive to Saltdal municipality. The drive from Bodø is about 130 km long and takes around two hours.

Northern lights over the polar circle // Photo: Tommy Pettersen

Explore the northern lights

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