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.
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.
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!
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.
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.