14 November 2018
Whether you call them the Northern Lights or the Aurora Borealis, you cannot deny that they are one of nature’s most incredible offerings. This natural phenomenon in the skies is based on solar activity, and anyone lucky enough to spot them may see anything from a green glow to a yellow and red band of colour waving in the sky. It’s time to start planning the trip of a lifetime to experience mother nature’s light show for yourself - here are our top places to stay to catch a glimpse.
Stay in an enchanting glass pod amidst snow-topped pine trees as you watch the incredible Aurora Borealis dance across the Finnish night sky. A night in one of these igloos is truly an unforgettable experience as you snuggle down in your sleeping bag and enjoy the show.
“I have to be honest and tell you that the sight of the swirling, misty green lights in the sky made my eyes fill with tears for it has to be one of the most beautiful, crazy and surreal things I’ve ever seen, all from the comfort of my bed. I’d read so much about the science behind the Aurora Borealis and I could scarcely believe something so mathematical and factual could produce a display of such magnitude and raw beauty.”
Jo, Travel Counsellor
Several cruise lines offer magical voyages across the Norwegian coast where you can catch a glimpse of this spectacular light show. Hurtigruten’s 12-day round-trip voyage from Bergen allows you to experience the stunning scenery and takes you into the depths of the arctic circle for the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights. There’s also plenty of land and sea-based excursions to take part in too and the onboard expedition team are there to educate you on your journey through hundreds of fjords and thousands of mountains. Plus, if you don’t see the lights on your first voyage Hurtigruten will give you a second 6-day voyage completely free of charge.
P&O also offer 12-night cruises around the Norwegian fjords in search of Mother Nature’s finest light show. Visit the lively town of Tromsø and spend a night in Alta, known as ‘the town of the Northern Lights’ where you’re most likely to get a viewing. You’ll be able to take part in plenty of Nordic fun too, including dog-sledging and mobile safaris onboard P&O’s Aurora.
Known as the adventure hotel, ION is perfectly-positioned in the Icelandic wilderness an hour from Reykjavik. Set against a backdrop of magnificent mountains and lava fields, the award-winning Northern Lights bar within the hotel is ideal for seeing the lights in action, with panoramic windows and comfy settees where you can relax, grab a coffee and wait. The hotel also provides a wake-up call service for the lights, so you’re guaranteed not to miss them.
Spend a unique night in the northernmost hotel in the world at this incredible purpose-built igloo hotel crafted from snow and ice. Choose from several tours provided by the hotel to see the lights – our favourite is the Northern Lights & Igloo Hotel excursion, where you’ll check in and experience the hotel before sitting down to a three-course gourmet dinner at the gorgeous restaurant situated on the shores of the Alta River. You’ll then head out in the minibus in search of the lights, and more often than not you won’t have to travel very far before you start to see the show. The guides will teach you about the area’s history and culture and you can experience the mystifying winter darkness. The guides are experts in setting up cameras too, to ensure you get the best possible shots. Once you return to the hotel, your room will be ready for you to crawl into bed.
Stay in these fascinating concept rooms designed by some of Sweden’s top architects – these sophisticated tree houses are suspended in the trees or built on platforms to elevate you into the idyllic surrounds of the aurora zone. A visit to Treehotel means you avoid the light pollution of other densely populated Northern Light destinations, and there are several holiday packages available to choose from. If you choose the Nothern Lights Tour of Swedish Lapland you’ll enjoy three days of activities including husky safari, an Aurora snowshoe hunt and a wilderness dinner before spending a night in the Treehotel. The day after you experience the incredible light show from your Tree Hotel suites, you’ll take a scenic train ride north to the Aurora playground of Abisko for an unforgettable three nights of Northern Lights adventures before the finale of a night in the world-famous ICEHOTEL®.
Take a hop across the pond to beautiful Canada to experience the Northern Lights on the other side of the world. The remote wilderness lodge Blachford Lake is fly-in only and offers ideal Aurora Borealis viewing conditions. The location is exactly 62 degrees north and you can enjoy an exclusive front row seat of the light show from the windows or choose one of the viewing decks or the hot tub with a million-dollar view for a northern light experience like no other. Due to the absence of artificial light, you’re guaranteed a showing like no other.
Do you want to experience the magical Aurora Borealis for yourself? Get in touch with you Travel Counsellor to book your ticket for the greatest light show in the world.