How to see the Northern Lights this winter
Imagine walking into the depths of the Nordic countryside, surrounded by twinkling white snow, crunching frostily underfoot. Look up, and in the depths of the silky midnight sky you see the Aurora Borealis shining brightly above. Sounds like a dream, right?
Well, you can turn this fantasy into a reality by visiting some of the greatest resorts in Norway, Sweden and Finland for an unforgettable Northern Lights experience. Here are the best ways to go about it.
Narvik, Norway (and trips to Sweden)
Witness the greatest natural landscapes and phenomena Norway and Sweden have to offer on the Polar Express Adventure. Stay for three or four nights in a luxury hotel in the fascinating harbour town of Narvik, set amongst the spectacularly beautiful fjords and mountains of Northern Norway. From there you’ll venture into the countryside every day for a chance to see the Northern Lights.
Experience the magical Polar Express train journey through windswept mountains to the remote, Swedish village of Abisko, known for its clear skies and frequency of Northern Lights activity. Take part in husky sledding and other winter activities and choose to stay the night for even more opportunities for Northern Lights gazing. Magnificent views and unforgettable experiences await on this adventurous holiday.
Explore the Arctic wonderland of Northern Norway with the Arctic Fjord Adventure in Harstad, known as the culinary capital of the region. A dedicated evening excursion will give you the opportunity to spot the Northern Lights in the depths of the Nordic wilderness. If you are fortunate you might see the lights from Harstad centre where they take on an even more magical appearance reflected in the water of the fjord.
As well as the Northern Lights, you’ll be treated to a sea safari in search of sea eagles, seals and whales. On land discover the fascinating history of the area and learn about Sami culture at a traditional Sami campfire – another amazing opportunity to spot the Northern Lights, this time while sipping on an ‘Aurora Cocktail’. All of this is coupled with opportunities to sample authentic cuisine, giving you a fantastic insight into rural Norwegian heritage in just three or four days.
Children might dream of Lapland for a chance to glimpse Santa Claus, but we’ll let you adults in to a little secret – the completely unspoiled views of the Northern Lights that Lapland offers are even more enchanting than a trip to Santa’s grotto.
Levi is perhaps best enjoyed as a romantic retreat for two. The cosy thermal glass igloos are your chance to sleep under the beautiful night skies of Lapland. Imagine witnessing the Aurora from the comfort of your own bed!
Take the opportunity to explore the Lapland wilderness on a night-time snowmobile ride in search of the Northern Lights. As well as the mesmerising light displays, you’ll also have the chance to enjoy thrilling winter safaris pulled by reindeer or huskies, making for a winter holiday you’ll treasure forever.
For two once-in-a-lifetime experiences rolled into one trip, a three or four night Wildlife Adventure trip in Versterålen is the perfect getaway. A remote archipelago in northern Norway, Versterålen is also known as the ‘Kingdom of the Whales’. An experienced guide will lead you on two night-time trips into the surrounding countryside where you will have a fantastic opportunity to experience the Northern Lights in one of the darkest wildernesses in Europe.
During the day set sail from Åndenes in pursuit of the many varied species of whale that migrate to this area to feast on the local herring. Unleash your inner adventurer and take the opportunity to explore the surrounding mountainous countryside or sample the local cuisine and learn about the area’s fishing history at a more relaxed pace.
Looking for a luxurious setting in which to enjoy the Northern Lights? The magical villages of Äkäslompolo and Ylläsjärvi, near the high fell of Ylläs, are a perfect location for a relaxing winter retreat. Set in the heart of an unspoilt national park, this is one of the most beautiful winter wonderlands Finland has to offer.
A stay at the famous Lainio Snow Hotel can be added to your holiday for an opportunity to witness the Northern Lights from a unique and truly special setting. Spend the night on a bed made of ice amongst the frosty, snow-packed walls. Make use of the on-site spas for the chance to truly unwind and feel totally refreshed.
Make sure you take the opportunity to hunt for the Northern Lights from an open top, horse drawn sleigh ride along snowy tracks and under starry skies. A thrilling way to see this stunning park in all of its beauty.
Saariselka and Muotka Wilderness Lodge, Finland
For a truly wild experience head to the pristine winter paradise of Urho-Kekkonen National Park in the far north of Finland. This remote wonderland is untouched by light-pollution making it an incredible environment for opportunities to witness the Northern Lights.
Choose to spend your entire stay at the secluded and lovingly run Muotka Wilderness Lodge or combine it with 4 nights in the friendly village of Saariselkä, known for its close links to Sami culture. With opportunities to stay overnight in a glass-roofed Aurora Cabin and guided night-time trips into the rugged Lapland landscapes there may be no better chance to witness the Northern Lights in such a beautiful wilderness.
The Northern lights are a true wonder of nature. Don’t hesitate and take the opportunity to experience one of these Nordic holidays and witness this amazing natural spectacle. The memories will last a life-time.