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Northern Lights

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Ylläs Twilight Time

In Ylläs the street lights are turned off every night, from the beginning of October to the middle of February, at 22:00 and left off until 06:00 to help facilitate the viewing of the Northern Lights, which are best seen in the darkness of Lapland. Turning off the lights is also a significant ecological importance, to reduce the carbon footprint of the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park. Even when the street lights are on it is easy to find a place where the lights do not interfere with viewing. The Ylläs Yöpuu yard lighting is LED-type to make it easier to see Northern Lights and minimise any interference.

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Easy and safe

Waiting for and viewing the Northern Lights is safe and easy at Ylläksen Yöpuu.  Right in the centre of the village, close to all amenities with fantastic views over the lake, you won’t miss the Northern Lights, whether you are watching from the kids sledging hill or even from the comfort of your own cabin.

Yöpuu Aurora Alarm!

Ylläs Yöpuu has a special “alarm” for Northern Lights.  When the hosts see the northern lights, they immediately send a text message to the guest mobile phone  in the cottages. Similarly, when one of the guests is first to see the Northern Lights, they will send a message to the host, who then alerts all the other guests.  There is almost always someone looking out, and this group approach gives everyone the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights.

Aurora Cottages

Koivikkomaja, Pihlaja and Pajula cottages have windows facing to the North.  In these, you can view the Northern Lights directly from your living room. In cottagesPäätalo and Männikkömaja you can see the Northern Lights from the bedrooms or even directly from bed if you are lucky!  Kuusikkomaja residents can also use thebeach hut and make an open fire on Äkäslompolo lake beach, where there are no distracting lights.  Here you can cook hot food and make fresh coffee to accompany your own Northern Lights Safari.

Sauna and Ice Swimming

Of course, we are in Finland, so we can’t forget the Sauna and ice swimming. What could be nicer or more exclusive than walking the short path between the Sauna and the swimming hole in the ice against the backdrop of the glow of the “fires of heaven”?

Northern Lights Studio

Even if you are not lucky enough to be living in Ylläs Yöpuu, you are still welcome to rent the Sauna as a Northern Lights Studio.   You can use the Sauna then relax in the lounge to wait for the Northern Lights.  When it is really cold, this is also the perfect place to relax and view your photographs and to recharge camera batteries.

When is the best time?

The Northern Lights normally start to become visible around the beginning of September, with comfortable night temperatures typically well above freezing and the calm, unfrozen lake reflecting the show.  The time of the autumnal equinox (around 23rd September) often sees particularly active Northern lights.  This is when day and night are of equal length, so while night time can be used for viewing the Northern Lights, there is lots of daytime for hiking and for finding the best locations for photography. From October to the end of November, the temperature can vary from a few degrees above freezing, right down to -30 degrees C, although the most common temperatures are a few degrees below freezing. Daytime decreases rapidly, and there will be some light snow. The Northern Lights can then be seen much earlier in the evening.  Remember that even during mild weather you can see the Northern Lights, as long as the sky is clear! In late November the sun finally sets, not to appear over Lapland again until the 19th of January!  During this time “there are two nights back to back with a twilight between” as the locals say.

During this “Kaamos” period, the Northern Lights can sometimes be seen in the afternoon. For example, on Christmas Eve 2014, Ylläs had a spectacular display of dancing Northern Lights with many colours starting at 16.00, at the same time as the village was lit up by candles to celebrate Christmas.  The Aurorae lasted almost until early on Christmas morning, making an unforgettable sight.

In Ylläs, the probability of seeing the Northern Lights is about 60%, compared to say Helsinki, where it is only around 5%.

There is no special trick to see the Auroroa Borealis.  All you need is clear weather and good luck.  So, whenever you are on the move in Lapland during the hours of darkness, keep an eye on the sky.  The Northern Lights are faster than you think!


Sometimes the northern lights are quick and only last a few minutes. So act fast when you get an alarm!  Sometimes, the sky will come alive for an hour or more or disappear and start again in a few hours, or be active for the whole rest of the night; no one knows! It is the wild and unpredictable nature of these celestial phenomena that makes them so interesting and so mysterious.  We enjoy what we receive; we have no right of appeal.