Northern Lights

In our 30 years' experience of arranging holidays to see the northern lights we've discovered the best places to view this incredible phenomenon and we're excited to share them with you.

Our collection of northern lights holidays across the auroral oval takes you away from the artificial light of city locations to maximise your chance of seeing the aurora. With Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Greenland, Canada and Alaska all offering excellent options for a winter break, we recommend that you choose the destination to suit your interests based on the experiences available in each. So whether you're looking to experience volcanoes and aurora, see the lights dancing above the Icehotel or prefer to relax in a hot tub whilst on nothern lights watch, we offer all this and more.

 

Why choose us for your northern lights holiday?

Our flexible itineraries have been carefully researched and fine-tuned over 30 years to include the places we know our clients 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 itineraries on our website or let us tailor make one to suit your individual requirements.

Est. 1984

Choosing the Right Aurora Destination

Iceland

Iceland

This stunning volcanic island captivates visitors at any time of year, but the winter months have a special charm with the added bonus of the northern lights. Possibly the most convenient and affordable aurora destination to visit from the UK, Iceland is easily explored both independently and on a small group tours. We recommend staying away from the bright lights of Reykjavik in one of our countryside locations.

  • Explore geysers, waterfalls and volcanic landscapes
  • Go whale watching and in search of other wildlife
  • Bathe in the Blue Lagoon or your own private hot tub
  • Experience the thrill of superjeeps and snowmobiles!
Northern lights holidays in Iceland
Sweden

Sweden

Swedish Lapland offers some truly special opportunities for viewing the northern lights. We recommend combining Abisko Mountain Station with a stay at the Icehotel to optimise your chances of seeing the aurora. With a wide range of exciting activities on offer, you'll experience stunning snow-covered landscapes and the spectacular polar light of the Lapland region.

  • Visit the world-famous Abisko Sky Station
  • Combine with the spectacular ICEHOTEL
  • Try snowmobiling, Sami experiences, a traditiona sauna ritual and more!
  • Mush a team of huskies on a wilderness adventure
Northern lights holidays in Sweden
Norway

Norway

From the dramatic scenery of the Lofoten Islands to the cultural city of Tromso, explore the fjord indented coastline of Norway all the way up to the North Cape. Northern Norway is a land of wide open spaces and little light pollution offering superb opportunities for seekers of the northern lights.

  • Board the Hurtigruten for a northern lights cruise
  • Explore the picturesque Lofoten Islands
  • Discover the vast open skies of the North Cape
  • Experience the polar night in Spitsbergen
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 opportunities for viewing the northern lights can be combined with a range of exhilarating activities.

  • Stay in a glass igloo or aurora bubble 
  • Cosy up in a traditional log cabin
  • Relax in your private sauna
  • Enjoy wildlife encounters at Ranua
  • Go snowmobiling, join a reindeer safari and much more
Northern lights holidays in Finland
Canada

Canada

With its northern provinces extending deep into the Arctic Circle, Canada offers some fantastic locations to see the northern lights in some of the world’s great wildernesses. Combined with a host of thrilling winter activities and picturesque snow-covered scenery, Canada is a northern lights holiday destination that’s hard to beat. We recommend the fascinating town of Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory and Fort McMurray in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta - both can be combined with a longer tailor made holiday in Canada.

  • Visit Fort McMurray's night-sky viewing centre
  • Discover the Yukon's spectacular wilderness
  • Explore the iconic Rocky Mountains
  • Encounter wildlife such as caribou and moose
Northern lights holidays in Canada
Alaska

Alaska

The Wilderness State of Alaska offers the perfect location for a winter adventure as well as the opportunity to see the northern lights. A destination offering a range of winter activities, we recommend heading into the Arctic Circle on the famed Dalton Highway to a remote camp right beneath the auroral oval.

  • Go snowshoeing, ice skating, dog sledding and more
  • Travel on the legendary Alaska Railroad
  • Search for moose and caribou in the far north
  • Enjoy naturally heated hot pools at Chena Hot Springs Resort
Northern lights holidays in Alaska
Greenland

Greenland

Though less accessible during the true winter months than our other aurora destinations, Greenland offers some exciting options during the shoulder seasons. Combine a search for the aurora borealis on an adventure cruise along Greenland's east coast and into Scoresby Sund, departing in September or enjoy a thrilling husky adventure in East Greenland during March and April

Northern lights holidays in Greenland

When is the Best Time to See the Northern Lights?

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.

Where Can I See The Northern Lights?

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 and Norway, or travel further afield to Canada and Alaska. Our premium 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.

Solar Maximum
During a 'solar max' sunspot activity is heightened offering more chances to see the northern lights. Sunspots are dark, cool areas of the sun's surface which erupt causing the sun to fire out its solar flares or charged particles - the catalysts for the northern lights. Sunspot activity reaches a peak - or solar maximum - typically every 11 years in accordance with the solar cycle and during this time northern lights sightings are expected to be particularly intense and more frequent. 

New Year at Brandon Lodge

from £1,813pp
Inc. flights
5 nights | Dec 2016
  • Short breaks

Sweden

Aurora Nights Fly Drive

from £557
Inc. flights
3 nights | Oct - Mar
  • Fly-drive
  • Short breaks

Iceland

Northern Lights, Abisko and Icehotel

from £1,270
Inc. flights
3 & 4 nights | Dec - Mar
  • Short breaks

Sweden

Iso-Syote - Log Cabin Hideaway

from £628
Inc. flights
3, 4, 7 nights | Nov - Apr
  • Short breaks

Finland

Whales and Northern Lights with Mark Carwardine

from £1,745
Inc. flights
4 nights | Jan 2016
  • Escorted

Norway

Tromsø, Abisko and the Icehotel

from £1,475
Inc. flights
7 nights | Dec - Mar
  • Independent touring

Norway

Northern Lights Special

from £786
Inc. flights
3 nights | Oct - Mar
  • Escorted
  • Short breaks

Iceland

Winter Adventure at Muotka Lodge

from £1,121
Inc. flights
3, 4, 7 nights | Dec - Mar
  • Short breaks

Finland

Alta Winter Adventure

from £940
Inc. flights
4 nights | Dec - Apr
  • Short breaks

Norway

Orcas and Aurora

from £1,121
Inc. flights
4 nights | Feb - Mar
  • Escorted

Iceland

Icehotel, Abisko and Lofoten

from £1,486
Inc. flights
7 nights | Feb - Apr
  • Independent touring

Sweden

Nellim Wilderness Adventure

from £1,139
Inc. flights
3, 4, 7 nights | Dec - Mar
  • Short breaks

Finland

In Pursuit of the Aurora

from £1,462
Inc. flights
7 nights | Oct - Apr
  • Independent touring

Norway

Lofoten and the Northern Lights

from £889
Inc. flights
6 nights | Nov - Apr
  • Fly-drive

Norway

Northern Lights at Glymur

from £517
Inc. flights
3 nights | Oct - Apr
  • Fly-drive
  • Short breaks

Iceland

Volcanoes and Northern Lights

from £1,246
Inc. flights
4 nights | Oct - Mar
  • Escorted
  • Short breaks

Iceland

Northern Lights and Hot Springs

from £496
Exc. flights
3 nights | Nov - Mar
  • Independent touring

Alaska

Tromso & Lyngen Alps

from £1,286
Inc. flights
5 nights | Nov - Feb
  • Independent touring

Norway

Lulea Winter Adventure

from £1,380
Inc. flights
4 nights | Jan - Apr
  • Short breaks

Sweden

Rovaniemi Short Break

from £520
Inc. flights
3 nights | Dec - Mar
  • Independent touring

Finland

What Causes the Northern Lights?

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.

Speak to a specialist: