Northern Lights holidays

Myth, magic and science, the cosmic phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis combines them all. The number one bucket list item inspires thousands of travellers to visit Scandinavia, Iceland, Greenland and Canada each year. Our team of Aurora experts are on hand to direct you to the holiday of your dreams and to give you the best chance possible to witness the magical flickers of colour in the Arctic skies.


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View the Northern Lights against the stunning backdrop of snowcapped winter forests or jagged peaks. 

THE MYTH

The Northern Lights have adorned the Nordic skies since the beginning of time. Naturally, the Arctic communities, fascinated by its beauty, spun stories around the mystic lights. Below we picked our favourite tales about the Northern Lights.

Northern Light myths in Scandinavia

Finland-the unlucky Arctic fox

In Finland, it is believed that a curious Arctic Fox came too close to the fire setting itself alight. In shock and anguish, the fox began to dash off in a desperate attempt to extinguish the burning tail. Ever since a trail of light has been haunting the restless fox. One day, so the legend predicts, someone will rescue the fox and the light will then disappear from the skies. 

Sami people-the souls of the ancient

With the exception of the fishing trips, Sami people generally avoid going out when the Northern Lights emerge. It is believed that ancestral souls might suck the poor soul into the skies, when the spirits felt mocked or disrespected. Even a whistle at the Northern Lights could dismay the deceased ancestors.  

Norway-the call of the salmon

In coastal Norway, the salmon has been inspiring the legends around the Northern Lights. The Norwegian Sami people believe the dancing, curtain-shaped lights imitate the swimming movements of the salmon. According to custom, the Aurora can predict the salmon’s movement patterns. Hoping for good fortune on their fishing trips, the Sami turned to the sea for a great catch during Northern Lights activity. 

Canada's Inuit people-way markers for warriors

The Canadian Inuit community view the Northern Lights in a similarly sombre manner. To protect themselves against evil spirits, some of the Inuits in North America carry knives during Aurora activity. Similar to the Sami, they believe that demons from the past are searching for vulnerable souls. The lights they see are spilled from the lanterns they carry. Other communities assign a more positive meaning to the lights. They believe that warriors who lost their lives in battle use the lights as way markers to the afterlife. 

THE SCIENCE

The science behind the Northern Lights is as intriguing as the myths. The lights as we see them from earth are charged cosmic particles reacting with the earth’s atmosphere. The altitude at which they enter the earth’s atmosphere determines the colour of the lights as we see them.

The journey of light

The journey of the particles causing the Northern Lights begins 93 million miles from earth. On the surface of the sun, violent solar storms and eruptions bluster across the fireball on a daily basis. These eruptions spit micro particles from the heart of the sun into the atmosphere. The particles are then picked up by solar storms, travelling towards earth at a speed of up to 1 million km/h. They arrive in the earth’s vicinity 40 hours after leaving the sun. Most of the particles are deflected by the atmosphere and disappear into the void. 

A few particles however enter the atmosphere through the magnetic pull of the North and South Poles. Once the cosmic particles enter the atmosphere a reaction between the particle and the earth’s atmosphere ensues. 20-200 miles above the surface nitrogen and oxygen react with the particles. Depending on whether the particles react with oxygen or nitrogen will determine the resulting colour of the lights as we see them from earth.

The Northern Lights- a spectrum of colours

The common green light is the result of an oxygen reaction at up to 150 miles above the surface. Less common are the red rays resulting from a reaction over more than 150 miles above earth. Even rarer are purple and blue streaks of light indicative of a nitrogen reaction at 60 miles (blue) or above 60 miles of the earth (purple). 

How to best see the Northern Lights

While the reactions between these particles and earth’s atmosphere take place throughout the year, certain conditions have to be met for them to be visible to the human eye. Only in areas free from light pollution, the lights can be seen. Even a small village or town could hamper the unadulterated views needed. Of course seasonality plays a role, too. From September to March the chances to see the Northern Lights are generally quite high. During this time the darkness above the Arctic Circle lasts long enough to see the lights. 

 

THE MAGIC

To see the green and violet streaks emerge on the starry night sky holds a deep fascination to travellers from all over the world. It is a spellbinding moment when chemistry and magic don’t seem that far apart.

Often the moment the Northern Lights emerge is of a sudden, magical magnitude.

To make this once in a lifetime event as memorable as possible, we offer a wide range of trips to view the Northern Lights. We’ll listen to your brief and put together a holiday to match. Our holidays can be tailored to your requirements and budget. Here we provide some inspiration depending on your focus from the quirky and romantic, to the adventurous and remote.

Romantic Northern Lights holidays

Being tucked away in the heart of Arctic wilderness is the epitome of a romantic getaway for many. The further you and your loved one travel away from civilisation the better. The desire to escape perfectly fits with the necessity to be far away from any light pollution to see the Northern Lights.

Together you can marvel the starry skies from a cosy log cabin with a crackling fire. Combining cosiness and Northern Lights comes in many shapes and sizes. To boost the hygge factor, we recommend having a hot chocolate to hand and snuggle up under a woollen blanket under the the roof of a glass igloo or sleep in a mobile cabin on top of a frozen lake. 

  • Luxury cabins
  • Ideal for honeymooners
  • Seclusion guaranteed

Northern Light

4 nights

The cosy adult-only lodge in the heart Finnish Lapland is ideal for romantic couples who like to experience the peaceful silence of the High North. 



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Kakslauttanen

3 nights

With only a glass igloo separating you from the Arctic skies, this accommodation combines luxurious cosiness with amazing views with great chances to see Northern Lights. 



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Treehotel and ICE Hotel

5 nights

The Treehotel and ICE Hotel combine the best of both worlds when it comes to quirky, irresistibly romantic places to stay in Sweden.



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Adventurous Northern Lights Holidays

Ambitious Northern Lights hunters might like to boost their chances of seeing the Northern Lights by joining one of the many activities we offer. The tours are hand-picked by our expert team and are guided by Northern Lights specialists. By closely monitoring the Aurora forecast, the guides will travel with you to the hotspots with the highest levels of Aurora activity. 

You can either join a minibus tour, snowshoe walk, dog sledding or snowmobiling adventure. Each tour varies in its level of adventure. As a general rule of thumb: the more adventurous the tour, the less focus there will be on the Northern Lights. If photography is a priority, please take a look at our photography tours.  

  • Activities suited to all levels of skill
  • Enquire about possibilities to add activities to your itinerary
  • Guides are hand-picked

Snowmobiling Northern Lights Chase

3 nights

Only 300km south of the North Pole, Spitsbergen certainly is nothing short of an adventurous place to see the Northern Lights. In fact, it is one of the few places where the lights can be seen during the day. 



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Aurora Ranch holiday

3 nights

Enter the rugged terrain of the Yukon to be greeted by the warm hospitality of your Canadian hosts. On this ranch-style holiday, you can join a number of winter activities before dipping into the hot water in the outdoor hot tub.



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Horseback riding under the Northern Lights

3 nights

Adventure-loving Aurora Chasers can enjoy the magnificent landscapes of Iceland on a two day horseback riding adventure. The trip taking you into Iceland’s wilderness offers great chances to see the Northern Lights in an area completely free of any light pollution. 



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