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Northern Lights

The best aurora holidays you'll find!

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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 and we're excited to share them with you.

Our collection of dedicated northern lights holidays across the auroral oval takes you away from the artificial light to maximise your chance of seeing the aurora. 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.

Start planning your aurora holiday for winter 2015/16 now.

Northern Lights

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Northern Lights


Choosing the right destination

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With Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Greenland, Canada and Alaska all offering excellent locations to see the northern lights, we recommend that as well as time and budget you choose the destination to suit your interests based on the experiences available. Read below to find out what each destination has to offer. And if you need any further advice simple get in touch with our expert travel specialists.
  • Iceland

  • Sweden

  • Norway

  • Finland

  • Canada

  • Alaska

  • Greenland



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, it's easily explored both independently and on small groups tours that get you away from the bright lights of Reykjavik to prime countryside locations.

  • See geysers, waterfalls and other natural wonders
  • Bathe in the Blue Lagoon or your own hot tub
  • See whales and dolphins off the rugged coastline
  • Experience superjeeps, snowmobiling and more
  • Witness a volcanic eruption site

Northern lights holidays in Iceland


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


From the stunning mountainous scenery of the Lofoten Islands to the quirky cultural city of Tromso, the fjord indented coastline 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


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
  • Cosy up in a traditional log cabin
  • 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


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 the 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


The snow-covered landscape of Alaska provides a spectacular backdrop for a winter adventure as well as the opportunity to see the northern lights. Spend time in a resort, where evening excursions are often included to maximise your chance of seeing the aurora, or head 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
  • Enjoy hot pools at Chena Hot Springs Resort
  • Travel on the legendary Alaska Railroad
  • Search for moose and caribou in the far north

Northern lights holidays in Alaska


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

Northern Lights Holidays

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Why choose Discover the World for your northern lights holiday?

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 itineraries on our website or let us tailor make one to suit your individual requirements.

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  • 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
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. The last cycle produced a 'double peak solar maximum' with the expected peak in 2013 extending into 2015.


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 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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