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Aurora in October

New Delhi
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Aurora in October

I was researching Aurora, and it seems, that during March and October, chance of Aurora is higher. I understand it will depend upon sun activity though.

However, while researching places, I found out that Norway and Sweden, esp close to the western coast is pretty cloudy in october with 90% of night cloudy. No clear sky is no aurora.

Most sites suggest as you go 100-150kms inland, chance of clear skies get better.

What do you advise. We are targetting first week of october

Here are my questions

1. In the wilderness, away from coast, which places can be for stay. WE just want a small clean room with attached bathroom for around less than 100$/day

2. Will we get fall colors

3. We will be driving, what desitnation do you recommend within 2 days of driving (I think 500kms/day is doable) from the capital city?

Alternatively, we can take an overnight train and rent a car from the destination which will work out more expensive, so most probably it will be drive

4. IS it safe to take your car to remote location at night for photography?

5. If we start our driving from the capital on Monday morning, and then have to be back on monday night the next week, we will get 5 days to explore lapland, what place do you recommend as base from where we can undertake short day trips

The focus is nature, forests, lakes and if possible glaciers.

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Norway
Norway
Europe
Sweden
Sweden
Europe
Oulu, Finland
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for Helsinki, Oulu, Lapland
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1. Re: Aurora in October

For autumn colours you should come to Lapland around mid September, hence October will be too late for them. October is not a particularly bright month with clear skies in Finland, either, unless a strong (meaning also cold weather) high pressure is prevailing over Lapland.

For the best chances for the Aurora you'd have to drive well past Rovaniemi, meaning one way over 1000 km of driving from the capital city (Helsinki). You'd be better of flying or taking a train (with a connecting bus) e.g. to Rovaniemi, Levi or Ylläs or flying to Ivalo and base your trip(s) around those places.

There's absolutely no real danger involved in stopping and taking photographs. The occasional passing reindeer will not be interested in your car ;) .

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Lapland
Lapland
Finland
Finland
Finland
Europe
Rovaniemi
Rovaniemi
Lapland, Finland
Helsinki
Helsinki
Uusimaa, Finland
Levi
Levi
Lapland, Finland
Ivalo
Ivalo
Lapland, Finland
New Delhi
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2. Re: Aurora in October

Thanks for the reply

I was earlier thinking of flying, however, for two people, this means an additional 700$ expense.

Renting a car is cheaper at helsinki as compared to Ivalo, so another 100$ saved there.

We are on a budget.

Do not mind driving 1000kms. Is it possible doing 8 hours each day?

We have driven in adverse mountain conditions 12-15 hours a day in the Himalayas, so if the roads are nice and scenery lovely, would not mind a long drive.

Our trip will most probably be last week of september.

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Ivalo
Ivalo
Lapland, Finland
Rovaniemi, Finland
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3. Re: Aurora in October

Have driven Rovaniemi - Helsinki in one day a few times. No problem, but can't say I've ever enjoyed it... :) I don't like driving.

But Helsinki-Ivalo return flight in October for two persons 700$? It surely shouldn't be much more than 450$ or about 350 euros. Have you tried searching the flights directly at www.finnair.com ?

One option would be to take a Norwegian flight to Rovaniemi and rent a car here. With Norwegian return flight Rovaniemi-Helsinki with luggage about 240 euros for two persons or about 320$. See: www.norwegian.com . In October Norwegian doesn't have many flights to Ivalo or Kittilä.

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Rovaniemi
Rovaniemi
Lapland, Finland
Helsinki
Helsinki
Uusimaa, Finland
Ivalo
Ivalo
Lapland, Finland
Oulu, Finland
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4. Re: Aurora in October

Have you factored in the cost of fuel and sleeping on the way into your budget? You won't save much (if any) by driving from Helsinki to Lapland and what you gain in saving, you'll loose in time you could spend for searching/watching the northern lights. Fuel (95 octane) costs currently 1.60-1.70€/litre, 98 octane about 5 - 10 cents more and diesel about 10 cents less per litre. Hotel accommodation on a weekday can cost 90 - 150€/room, on weekends 60 - 80€/room. Furthermore, there's not much scenery to be seen for most of the way, just forest.

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Helsinki
Helsinki
Uusimaa, Finland
Lapland
Lapland
Finland
Sovicille, Italy
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5. Re: Aurora in October

Yes, driving up to Lapland is quite a crazy endeavour. Moreover, driving can be treacherous in that season. The easiest is to fly and rent in Lapland, or if you really want to take your car from Helsinki transport it by passenger train (VR runs a daily passenger car service to Kolari).

October has been very good for auroras last year. But you never know what happens this year.

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Lapland
Lapland
Finland
Helsinki
Helsinki
Uusimaa, Finland
New Delhi
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6. Re: Aurora in October

Just forest?? :)

We love forest. The more I see pictures of finland (esp the eastern side through lakeland), the more I am convinced that this cannot be just an aurora trip. Finland is lovely!

But I am worried about rain. Does it rain a lot in october?

Edited: 26 July 2013, 12:46
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Finland
Finland
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Rovaniemi, Finland
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7. Re: Aurora in October

Like a monsoon rain not. October isn't particularcly a rainy month, but drizzling, windy and chilly.

But occasionally weather can be nice too. Not hot, or even warm, but crispy, clear and cool.

8. Re: Aurora in October

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