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Baie-James - Eeyou Istchee-Baie-James © TQ/Tourisme Baie-James/Hooké

Admire the bewitching phenomenon of the Northern Lights

Watching the aurora borealis, commonly called Northern Lights, is a rare and unforgettable experience, especially since this impressive light show can only be seen from a handful of places on the planet. Not only is Québec one of those places, but it is renowned for offering some of the most breathtaking Northern Lights in the world! 

Memorable experience

These remarkable visual effects are due to the collision between the solar particles and the atoms that make up the upper layer of the atmosphere. The closer you get to the magnetic pole, which acts as a powerful magnet, the more likely you are to see them. This is why the regions of Northern Québec such as  Eeyou Istchee Baie-James and Nunavik are particularly favourable for observing this atmospheric phenomenon. 

Once night descends, the skies of these high latitude regions are set on fire, transforming into a voluptuous ballet of colourful veils. Tints of green, but also blue, red or yellow often emerge depending on the nature of the molecules. Unpredictable in their frequency and duration — which can go from a few seconds to almost an hour — the Northern Lights are only visible under certain conditions. The sky must be free of clouds or light pollution. It is also best to avoid the full moon, whose brightness reduces the phenomenon. The months of September, October, February and March are the most favourable for observing the Northern Lights.

Nunavik © TQ/Hooké/Stuart Davis
Nunavik © TQ/J. Bair

When you visit Québec’s Far North, be sure to watch for Mother Nature’s mesmerizing show. You will experience something unforgettable and understand why the aurora borealis have fueled the beliefs and legends of Inuit shamans, Eskimos and Algonquins! 

Baie-James © TQ/ H.Wittenborn