Why choose the ABO as your next destination: The aurora borealis observatory has just received the 2019 certificate of excellence from Trip advisor and has been rated among the best aurora resorts in the world. Here’s what makes our establishment so unique!
World-class aurora watching location
If you have the northern lights on your photography bucket list, wait no more! Senja is THE destination to fulfill this dream. Because of its geomagnetic location in the world right in the middle of the auroral oval where the aurora sparks up, it takes nothing for it to light up the entire sky. Now Northern Norway is known for its unforgiving winters, oceanic storms and untamed equinoxes. Nonetheless there is a place where the weather is consistently better than others: South-East Senja. The observatory is located right there! This area has a microclimate giving them better weather in the winter and in turn aurora experiences. The sky tends to clear up just in time for the big show to be seen by our customers. In 2018 we had a staggering 100% viewing success rate for stays over 4 days, which was of a still very satisfactory 94% in 2019. In fact the observatory was the place in the world where the most corona displays (bright overhead aurora) were recorded last year!
Why choose the ABO – Senja, a photographer’s paradise
Senja island is Norway’s second largest island located South of Tromsø within the Arctic circle. Lots of photographers are drawn to Lofoten island or Tromsø but they are missing out on Arctic Norway’s best kept secret. Senja island is called Norway in miniature because it harbors all the different landscapes of Norway, giving the best possible variety of choices when it comes to photography. You can roam the more residential eastern coast in your quest to capture typical fishing houses in a flatter and more rural area while still having a stunning mountain backdrop. You can also spend some more time in the middle of the island in search of more snowy hills filled up with birch trees and humid plateaus. Although it is an island Senja has tons of beautiful lakes to get landscape reflections especially in the Fall with all the golden leaves and the snow-capped mountains in the far background.
When you come to the ‘outer’ side of Senja you are greeted by some of Norway’s most spectacular fjords. Razor sharp mountains plunging into the sea that’s offering the most varied palette of lights and colors throughout the year! When browsing through these imposing formations you will be rather surprised to find white-sanded beaches with turquoise waters in the middle of the mountains and the snow! Senja simply has it all, and much more like washed-granit shores, stunning waterfalls, hundreds of small islands and inlets…
No light pollution
As an astrophotographer my main concern when taking pictures is light pollution. I was also very doubtful before discovering Senja island because if you look on any Light Pollution map, Northern Norway has a bit of light pollution. However speaking from experience with light polluted areas and how a light polluted picture looks like, I can tell you that the quality of the skies over Senja is actually excellent. To be able to pick up the red H-alpha color of the nebulae in the sky in a single picture you need quite pristine skies. And Senja has them!
Self-portrait at Tungenesset on Western Senja under the milky way and the aurora at the same time. Single shot.
The observatory is built 15 minutes from a small town called Finnsnes. There is a bit of light pollution emanating from it but the observatory is far enough away from it. Besides there are few isolated towns and villages but the major cities like Tromsø are at a safe distance. So when you book your next stay at the aurora observatory with us be prepared for an all-round night sky show, especially if you are ordinarily living in the city! The best time to see the brightest part of the milky way on Senja is September/October.
Why choose the ABO – You are on location, no need to go chasing!
At the observatory, you are already on location. It may not sound like a big deal, but that’s often what makes the difference between you seeing the aurora and you missing the aurora. Most operators offer guided tours, which are long, exhausting and freezing. Sometimes you need to drive up to 8 hours to find clear skies while freezing to death. Most of the time the aurora happens while driving and most drivers can’t and won’t stop. Being on location makes all the difference. You will be alerted via message notification when the aurora starts and all you have to do is put on your boots and winter coats and voila! Most auroral shows develop very quickly, but none of our guests ever missed a display! Besides, our resorts is already located in the mountains with a stunning 360° view, so it’s also perfect for photography!
Easy to access and dynamic resort
Our resort is very easy to access. By plane, you can either land in the closest airport Bardufoss and then take a connecting bus to the island, or land in Tromsø and get a connecting boat. Our guides will come and pick you up at the Senja bus and boat terminal and drive you to the resort. They will also arrange the trips to the grocery stores, restaurants and some of the activities. We offer a wide range of arctic activities both on and off location. To name a few popular activities, dog-sledging, ice fishing, touring the island, photography workshops, snowshoeing. On location, you also have access to our restaurant and amenities including many cutting-edge heated waiting areas and Jacuzzis.
Relax in one of Lapland’s most stunning environment
Our establishment is located right in the mountains. It’s 360° view has water, hills, high mountains and boreal forest in it. From the houses and apartments, you get a prime view to wake up to. Under all sorts of weather, the vista is one of Lapland’s best. Often you can catch the red sunrise and sunset reflect their stunning colors on the snow-capped peaks around. Our resort is focused on relaxing in an environment that’s within nature! If you are looking for peace and quiet while being able to roam around in a friendly arctic environment, the observatory is for you! We even have our own reindeers that you can feed!
Why choose the ABO – Friendly staff and customer satisfaction
Our staff is very open, friendly and accommodating. If you have special requests like a birthday surprise or special event, we will make all the arrangements with you provided you give us enough notice. Since we always have many customers, we try our best to please everyone and fulfill all wishes. In 2019, we had a stunning 97% customer satisfaction rate! We do make sure that you get the best arctic aurora experience you can possibly imagine!
David blowing up his candles under the aurora