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Northern Lights


Creating Inspirational Tailor Made Holidays

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In our 30 years' experience of arranging holidays to see the northern lights we've discovered the best places to view this incredible phenomenon.

Our collection of dedicated itineraries across the auroral oval takes you away from the artificial light to maximise your chance of seeing the aurora and includes self-drives, escorted tours, coastal cruising and independent touring. And with this winter continuing to coincide with the 'solar max', we're predicating another incredible northern lights season!

Northern Lights

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Choosing the right destination

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With Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Canada all offering excellent locations to see the northern lights, the key to choosing the right destination is to pick the holiday based on the experiences available, be that magnificent landscapes, adventurous activities, wildlife or simple relaxation. Below we've highlighted some of the best features of each destination to help you pick the one that suits you best.
  • Sweden

  • Iceland

  • Norway

  • Finland

  • Canada

  • Greenland

Sweden

Sweden

Swedish Lapland offers some of the best opportunities for viewing the northern lights especially at world-renowned Abisko Sky Station, which can be combined with a stay at the Icehotel. With plenty of time for optional activities through the spectacular snow-covered landscapes, enjoy the special winter light of Lapland with evenings spent in anticipation of the aurora borealis.

  • Cloud-free skies over Abisko National Park
  • Combine with the spectacular ICEHOTEL
  • Try snowmobiling, ice-driving and much more
  • Mush a team of huskies on a wilderness adventure

Northern lights holidays in Sweden
Iceland

Iceland

Travelling to Iceland between the months of September and mid-April offers the possibility of witnessing the northern lights and we offer several specialist itineraries created for those with a keen interest in doing so. Also known as the aurora borealis, to be lucky enough to see the winter skies alight with curious green and yellow streaks dancing overhead, is unforgettable.

  • Bathe in the Blue Lagoon
  • Volcanoes, waterfalls, glaciers and other wonders
  • Encounter pods of orca from Grundarfjordur
  • Experience superjeeps, horse riding and more

Northern lights holidays in Iceland
Norway

Norway

From the stunning mountainous scenery of the Lofoten Islands to the quirky cultural city of Tromso, the fjord indented oastline of Finnmark to the North Cape itself, the north of Norway is a land of wide open spaces and little light pollution offering superb opportunities for seekers of the northern lights.

  • Enjoy a Hurtigruten Coastal cruise
  • Discover the picturesque Lofoten Islands
  • Visit Tromso, the 'Paris of the North'
  • Witness the vast open skies of the North Cape

Northern lights holidays in Norway
Finland

Finland

Log cabins set amidst the brilliant white snow and pine forests of Finnish Lapland provide the truly splendid backdrop for watching the aurora borealis. Head high above the Arctic Circle into the pristine wilds of Lapland where good opportunities for viewing the northern lights can be combined with a range of exhilarating activities offering the perfect winter escape.

  • Stay in an Aurora Hide
  • Enjoy wildlife encounters at Ranua
  • Go skiing, join a reindeer safari and more
  • Relax in a wilderness retreat with private sauna

Northern lights holidays in Finland
Canada

Canada

With Canada extending into the Arctic Circle, some of the more northerly provinces lie well within the aurora belt. The fascinating town of Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory provides one such setting alongside Fort McMurray in Rocky Mountains of Alberta. Including a host of winter activities, our aurora holidays can form part of a tailor made holiday in Canada.

  • Visit Fort McMurray's night-sky viewing centre
  • Discover the Yukon's spectacular wilderness
  • Explore the iconic Rockies
  • Encounter wildlife such as caribou and moose

Northern lights holidays in Canada
Greenland

Greenland

Though less accessible during the winter months than our other aurora destinations, you may also like to consider Greenland. Here you can combine a search for the aurora borealis on an adventure cruise along Greenland's east coast and into Scoresby Sund, departing in September in the early part of the aurora season.

Northern lights holidays in Greenland

Northern Lights Holidays

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Why choose Discover the World for your holiday to see the Northern Lights?

Our flexible itineraries have been carefully researched and fine-tuned over 30 years to include the places we know visitors will enjoy. Today we send more people to Iceland than any other tour operator and are proud of our knowledge and expertise. Choose from one of the many holidays on our website or let us tailor make one to suit your individual requirements.

Talking from experience
Northern Lights Meet the team

  • Discover the World
  • Northern lights in Iceland
  • See the aurora at Abisko National Park

When is the best time to see them?

The northern lights are visible under dark skies between the months of September to April, preferably under a clear, cloudless sky. Usually seen between 5pm and 2am, it is important to be away from artificial light. No month guarantees better sightings than another but December to February offer the longest hours of darkness, while the months of autumn and spring are likely to offer more stable weather conditions and often see more aurora activity.

Solar Maximum
Solar activity has been heightened of late as research from NASA indicated - the current double peak 'solar maximum' in late 2013 being followed by another in 2015. During a 'solar max' sunspot activity is heightened offering more chances to see the northern lights.

WHEN CAN I SEE THE AURORA?

Anywhere within an area known as the auroral oval that sits above the Arctic and sub-Arctic. The most easily accessible of these destinations are Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Canada. Our top locations include the Aurora Sky Station at Abisko in Swedish Lapland, Hotel Ranga in Iceland's southern countryside and just outside Tromso in northern Norway.


Choosing the right destination

The aurora borealis, or northern lights, appears when solar wind particles collide with air molecules in the earth’s atmosphere, transferring their energy into light. Displays can vary in intensity – from a glowing curtain of greenish yellow lights, dancing in the distance to a spectacular, multi-coloured fusion stretching across the sky – but whatever one you’re lucky enough to have, will no doubt make you want to see more.

As this is nature's light show, it must be remembered that sightings of the northern lights can never be guaranteed, even when the conditions seem just right - a clear cloudless night away from any sources of artificial light. Sightings not only vary in intensity but in duration too, from just minutes to sometimes hours.

Northern Lights Highlights



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