The Northern Lights, otherwise known as the Aurora Borealis, have captured the hearts of holidaymakers for decades. But, there’s only a limited window each year to maximise your chances of seeing them.

The long nights of winter create more opportunity to catch the Aurora Borealis in action. November to March is the peak season, but as this exquisite natural show is the result of solar particles and clear skies, it’s never guaranteed. So, if you’re planning a holiday to see the Northern Lights, it’s worth allowing a long weekend at the least and ideally a week to improve your chances.

Choosing the right destination is also key. They’ve been spotted from the Faroe Islands to Finland, the latter of which is renowned for the frequency of displays. That’s why today, I’m going to reveal five of the best ways to experience the Northern Lights in Finland.

From snow-shoes

Book an excursion with a professional guide before trekking out into a sub-zero wilderness after dark. It will be worth every penny to crunch through the snow in a silent winter wonderland with the chance to see the Northern Lights dance overhead. Look out for trips that include a campfire dinner. These are the perfect opportunity to warm up and sample authentic, local cuisine.

By snowmobile

Whether you’re a fan of adrenaline or simply want to cover a lot of ground, snowmobile safaris are a great, if expensive, way to get out and explore the frozen landscape. Many hotels will offer excursions themselves or with recommended guides. Check the weather before booking and aim for a clear night.

From the water

Picture the scene. You’ve rented a log cabin, enjoyed a magical winter day and are taking an evening dip in your steaming outdoor hot tub, surrounded by snow. If you’re lucky, you’ll experience the Northern Lights in seriously cosy, romantic style. Even better, if the hot tub is included in your accommodation price, this experience won’t cost a thing!

Under glass

If you don’t fancy throwing on snow suits and braving the weather, all is not lost if you plan your accommodation carefully. Look for hotels that offer a purpose-built night sky observatory or glass igloos.

The Eagle View Suite at hotel Iso-Syote will blow you away with its huge glazed windows, tree trunk centre and luxe cabin-style charm. But the top award for wow-factor has to go to the incredible Kakslauttanen Glass Igloos, where the dazzling colours could quite literally be dancing above you. Starting from around €448 per night, the glass igloos aren’t cheap, but the experience could be priceless.

Check if your accommodation provides an aurora alarm, alerting you to nighttime displays you might otherwise sleep through. Spending a little extra on the accommodation and researching the hotel’s extra services could make all the difference.

By sled

Experience an exhilarating and fast-paced night-time sled ride pulled by a pack of huskies. Locals have used this mode of travel for centuries. While it’s not cheap, this experience to see the Northern Lights in Finland is not to be missed. You can mush your own dogs and take the lead or have a guide take care of the driving.

Whether you’re hunting for cheap flights and affordable excursions or struggling to piece together a string of activities and hotels, I can help. Put my years of trip planning expertise to work for a stress-free holiday you’ll enjoy from start to finish.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Seeing the Northern Lights has been an old dream of mine, but no luck so far. I’ve tried both in Alaska and in Patagonia, but it didn’t happen. I should probably go to Finland to see them. The most spectacular view seems to be from the water. I had no idea they have hotels with specially built windows for seeing the Aurora Borealis. I’d love staying in one.

  2. The pictures are so pretty. I am already so excited as in two weeks’ time, I am heading to Iceland. I can totally get some tips from here as even in Iceland, I believe it would be fun to catch the Northern Lights while snowmobiling, and there are so more. I also found out you can kayak near the Kirkjufell mountain and spot the Northern Lights, but in any case, you have to be so lucky.

  3. I’d love to see the Northern Lights by all of these methods!! I especially like the snowmobile idea. I had gone to Iceland and did a bus tour, where there was 50 other people and we would get out at each stop to take pictures. These sound like a much better experience 🙂

  4. Seeing the Northern Lights have been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember but I can’t bear the cold AT ALL, so I think a glass igloo would be perfect for me out of all these options! Alternatively I think I could cast aside my fear of getting my feet cold for a sled ride, as that sounds like such a fun adventure.

  5. I never really thought about how to see the northern lights before but this has made me start thinking! Renting a cabin on a lake with a hot tub sounds ideal and romantic! A cruise in the area also sounds like a good idea. While I love the glass igloo suggestion, I’m afraid it is out of my budget at this time.

  6. Gosh, when you get into details of where to see the Northern Lights, you realize how many options are there. No doubt that the glass roof one is the most comfortable but I am all for the water . To see that reflection would be a double bonanza.

  7. I am yet to experience this natural wonder of Northern lights. Have never heard about snowmobiles and wasn’t aware that we could rent sledges to catch a glimpse. I thought it happens only in fairy tales..haha. What a memorable experience would that be…and also of experience a snowy night with the dancing lights above a glass igloo. Thanks a bunch for all these useful suggestions!

  8. Omg! This is really beautiful. It has been my personal dream to see the northern lights personally and not just through pictures. Would keep this in mind and consider staying here if given a chance to visit.

  9. I’ve been thinking about the northern lights for many many years but haven’t had a chance to visit them yet. A friend had gone last year and talked about how different regions provide a totally different kind of viewing and was probably referring to what you’ve covered. Would love to see it in the water with the reflection!

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