Top 10 Holidays to see the Northern Lights
Witnessing the Northern Lights is on many people’s ‘wish list’, and rightly so – the aurora borealis is one of Nature’s most awe-inspiring spectacles.
It’s an elusive phenomenon – making its appearance all the more magical – but here are our top ten holidays for the best chance to see the Northern Lights...
A Short Break in Sollia, Norway
It’s hard to imagine anywhere more otherworldly than our guesthouse in Sollia, located tantalisingly close to the Russian border, way above the Arctic Circle in Northern Norway. The family-run Sollia Gjestegård
is run with great enthusiasm and pride and the highlight comes when you are taken through dense forests and past frozen lakes to their aurora borealis camp tucked away in the borderland. Whether you see the Lights or not (you have every chance of doing so), this will be an experience never to be forgotten.
A Journey around North Cape, Norway
Embark upon a journey past North Cape
, Europe’s most northerly point, for a truly amazing experience. Beginning in the island city of Tromsø, you enjoy a memorable journey on the Hurtigruten steamer as it plies Arctic waterways alongside a jagged and deeply fissured coastline in the direction of the Russian border. Throughout the whole holiday, there is a strong chance of catching the Northern Lights – perhaps even from the decks of the Hurtigruten as it sails on through the night. So, stay vigilant – and look up…
A Short Break in Tromsø, Norway
Way above the Arctic Circle, the island city of Tromsø
– ‘gateway to the Arctic’ – affords some of the best opportunities to see the Northern Lights anywhere in mainland Europe. You stay on the historic waterfront, which offers easy access to the city’s Arctic Cathedral, Polar Museum and the Northern Lights Exhibition Centre. To hopefully see the real thing, you venture beyond the city with an experienced guide on a night-time excursion to a point where the prevailing conditions for the aurora are most promising.
A Journey Beyond the Arctic Circle, Norway
An unforgettable maritime adventure takes you north from Bergen onboard the renowned Hurtigruten coastal steamer along Norway’s fjord-indented coastline. After three nights, you cross the Arctic Circle
to later arrive at your destination, the Lofoten Islands, an astonishing archipelago that is all the more dramatic under its blanket of snow. On tranquil Vestvågøy Island, you stay in cosy rorbu
, former fishermen’s cottages, an idyllic location to sit back and unwind, enjoy walks along nearby beaches, or venture out at night scanning the skies for the Northern Lights...
A Short Break in Reykjavík, Iceland
Surrounded by some of Europe’s most dramatic scenery, Reykjavík
is a wonderful city, and the family-owned Hotel Odinsvé makes the perfect base for a few exciting days away. Iceland is a great place to seek out the Northern Lights, and we include a hugely memorable excursion so that you can do just that. This entails a full-day tour along part of Iceland’s spectacular southern coast to the infamous Eyjafjallajökull volcano, near which lies the Sólheimajökull glacier, which – in turn – extends down from the fourth largest glacier in Iceland. Awe inspiring.
A Week at the Ylläshumina Hotel in Ylläs, Finland
Above the Arctic Circle, the magical winter landscapes of Lapland, across which herds of reindeer freely roam, are bathed in a surreal and beautiful twilight. Consisting of two villages surrounded by seven fells, snow-sure Ylläs is not only a paradise for skiers, but also a perfect base from which to seek out the Northern Lights. After a day on the trails, you can take a dip in the relaxing open-air hot tub at the Ylläshumina Hotel
– a wonderfully romantic and atmospheric way to unwind, and a great way to search the night sky for this spectacular natural phenomenon.
A short break on Senja, Norway
Comprising pine forests, precipitous cliffs and jagged mountain peaks, the richly diverse island of Senja
on the northern Norwegian coast is a veritable ‘Norway in miniature’. Staying in beautiful accommodation with large picture windows overlooking the harbour of Hamn i Senja, by day you can explore on snowshoes, try ocean body rafting or join a boat safari in search of white-tailed sea eagles, dolphins and whales. Come nightfall, seek out the Northern Lights either out in the open air or from a cosy restored lighthouse.
A journey between Arctic islands, Norway
The islands of Austvågøya, Senja and Tromsøya
reveal different aspects of Arctic Norway. Austvågøya is dominated by the highest mountain in the Lofoten archipelago, small but varied Senja encapsulates the essence of Norway, while Tromsøya is the setting of Tromsø, a captivating city on the same latitude as Alaska and Siberia. You travel between them on the iconic Hurtigruten coastal steamer, and while on dry land there are opportunities for snowshoeing, whale-watching and sightseeing, making for a thrilling holiday. A sighting of the Northern Lights would be the icing on the cake…
Lapland Activity Week in Ylläs, Finland
In Northern Finland, winter is a truly unique experience – so make the most of your time by opting for our activity week at the Ylläshumina Hotel
. Snow-based activities include dog-sledding through the snow-clad forest; snowmobiling; snowshoeing; and an introduction to cross-country skiing. In your free time, you can try your hand at ice-fishing or borrow one of the hotel’s kick-sleds. Be sure to reserve some energy for the evenings, though, so that you can keep an eye out for the Northern Lights.
An epic journey from Bergen towards the Norway-Russia border
If you can’t decide between Beyond the Arctic Circle, Norway’s Arctic Islands and Around North Cape, opt for an epic fortnight-long journey featuring some of the greatest sections of the Hurtigruten coastal steamer route. There’s a great sense of journey as you travel from Bergen, through the Lofoten Islands, past North Cape and towards the Russian border. Being on holiday for this long, you increase your chances of spotting the Northern Lights while you’re away, but even if they don’t appear, this is a very memorable holiday indeed.
If our Top 10 Holidays to see the Northern Lights has inspired you to book a winter holiday, please contact
our friendly reservations team.