It’s a natural phenomenon your eyes will struggle to believe; the night sky dancing like nature’s own kaleidoscope. To witness firsthand the Northern Lights is to have experienced one of the greatest shows on Earth - and there are hundreds of great places to see it from. Here are five of our favourites.
1. Reykjavik, Iceland
The crisp fresh air of Iceland is a vacation tonic like few others. The outstanding natural beauty of the country encompasses hot springs, geysers, glaciers, mountains and volcanoes. It’s a geological wonderland that takes your breath away in exchange for life-long memories and spectacular sights. Alongside, of course, the Northern Lights, visible from a short bus ride from the city. And when you’re not exploring Mother Nature, Reykjavik has plenty to keep you occupied (and warm) in the form of cosy cafes, striking restaurants and vibrant bars. All housed within the city’s uniquely stark architecture.
2. The Svalbard Islands, Norway
You want Arctic? Norway’s got it. The Svalbard Islands are a frozen Nordic wilderness for the serious Northern Lights enthusiast. A cluster of islands halfway between Norway and the North Pole, their snow-blanketed terrain of glaciers and tundra provide a fascinating chilly charm.
The Aurora is best viewed from November to February, when daylight is at a minimum. Lights aside, your holiday can involve dog sledding, snowmobiles, glacial ice caving and spotting the local wildlife, including arctic foxes and polar bears! Thankfully amidst all this unforgiving sub-zero landscape, the hotels in the region offer modern comfort and minimalist chic.
3. Ripan, nr Kiruna, Sweden
Be seduced by the Scandinavian allure of Swedish hospitality by viewing the famous night sky display from the luxury of a hot pool. Deep in Swedish Lapland, you can bathe to your body’s content as your eyes take in the astonishing sights around you. For one of the most indulgent excursions to the Aurora Zone, you’ll not find much better.
And should you tire of pampering yourself, there’s plenty more besides. Nearby is the world’s biggest underground mine to explore. How about reindeer rides to get you in the festive spirit? Or simply try Kiruna’s plethora of eateries and bars serving up Swedish delicacies night and day. Oh and if you’ve brought your thermals, why not check-in at the ice hotel?
4. Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
The beautiful leafy glades of the Canadian forest provide a serene backdrop for the intoxicating sight of the ethereal night colours. You can enjoy the view from gold rush-era cabins or simply in the great open air.
Outside of borealis spotting, tourist magnet Canada is stacked with activities for the keen traveller. Whitehorse has plenty to do in the daytime - Takhini Hot Springs is worth a dip, whilst winter sports are big on the menu. Love animals? Yukon Wildlife Preserve is home to more moose than your camera will know what to do with.
5. Orkney Islands, Scotland
The rugged Celtic archipelago lies at the same latitude as Norway, giving the Scottish isles a fair chance of hosting the famous lightshow. The natural magnificence and purity of the coastal landscape inspires many a walking holiday. If you’ve a good pair of all-weather boots and are up for the rugged terrain, the Islands make for a perfect stomping trip.
There are thousands of years of history to be explored in the area’s many museums and prehistoric excavation sites. It would be a shame to miss out on the local catch of the day too, with plenty of charming cafés full of local produce and character.
Don’t go without us!
If you’re going, you’d better believe we want to come with you. Bag great value travel insurance at www.world-first.co.uk. Don’t forget your camera and best of luck Aurora hunting!