We are very excited to announce our newest northern light adventure: Abisko Autumn Aurora Adventure photography trip.
For the first time ever, you will have the chance to join us in Abisko National Park during the warmest time of the aurora season.
This once in a lifetime trip will allow you to experience the northern lights in the relative warmth of Autumn and will provide you with an opportunity to photograph the auroras reflecting in the beautiful rivers, lakes and streams of the Arctic.
How many times have we heard this said about Northern Scandinavia?
There is a perception that 24 hours of darkness falls north of the Arctic Circle for the entire winter. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Even in deepest December, when the sun doesn’t appear above the horizon for several weeks, there is what the locals call “blue time” or “kaamos”, an eerie yet magical grey/blue light that is neither night nor day.
Take somewhere like Muonio in Finnish Lapland. Muonio is a small village situated in North East Finnish Lapland and, according to people who know far more about these things than we do, the sun will disappear below the horizon on 10 December 2013 and reappear on 02 January 2014 (for 32 minutes).
It’s that time of year again, when the Northern Lights have begun to make an appearance across the Arctic sky. If these spectacular displays are anything to go by it looks like we are in for a real treat this Aurora season.
These images were taken only two nights ago (21st August) in Harriniva by Northern Lights guide and photographer Antti Pietikäinen. This certainly makes us very excited as our first autumn Northern Lights holiday departures are only weeks away!
Go in search of the Aurora Borealis! To see our selection of autumn Northern Lights holidays click here - but be quick as we have limited spaces left!
I love my job because it takes me to my favourite part of the world, Northern Scandinavia on a regular basis.
I’ve been to Norway, Finland, Sweden and Iceland on numerous occasions and at many different times of year.
I love the autumn colours and the mind-fuddling 24 hour daylight midnight sun of the summer months. I love the heart of winter when the days are short and the grey/blue light of the Polar nights predominates. I love early January when the sun reappears above the horizon and bathes the snowy white landscapes in a pink glow.
Most of all however, I love early spring and whilst I travel to Scandinavia on business at any time of year, I always holiday there in middle to late March.
Where is the Best Place to see the Northern Lights? – The simple answer is there is no best place!
It’s the question we are asked more than any other “where is the best place to see the Northern Lights?”
Many destinations promote themselves as being the very best place on the planet for viewing the Aurora whilst others (perhaps wisely) choose to remain closely guarded secrets. We thought we would delve a little further and see if we could come up with a definitive answer by asking three of Northern Scandinavia’s top Aurora Hunters.
Over the years, these guys have spent thousands upon thousands of hours under dark Arctic skies tracking down the Northern Lights to the delight of their delighted clients.
They live in The Aurora Zone, they work in The Aurora Zone and they have an intimate and almost uncanny understanding of this most remarkable of Mother Nature’s spectacular wonders.
Our guide Trygvor picked us up at the hotel and before leaving we poured over the latest meteorological charts downloaded from the local Weather Centre’s website just 30 minutes earlier.
“It’s not a great night for the Aurora” was our guide’s very frank and somewhat disappointing summation “but, if we head south away from the clouds then we will find the Northern Lights”.
With renewed vigour, we jumped into the warmth of Trygvor’s car and headed out of town. As we drove south away from the Arctic Ocean we were told to keep our eyes peeled, not on the Arctic firmament but the roadside.
The travel industry gives out a lot of awards, but the British Travel Awards (BTAs) is one annual ceremony which really stands out and is generally recognised as being pretty much the travel industry's Oscars. So, imagine our immense delight when The Aurora Zone scooped the Best Small Holiday Company (adult only) a couple of weeks ago.
The BTAs are the only travel industry accolades voted for exclusively by the travelling public. There is so much competition for these awards and to be recognised by our happy clients who obviously voted for us in droves is a fantastic and very satisfying experience.
We established The Aurora Zone in 2011 when we realised that NASA was predicting great things from the Northern Lights and that interest in this most remarkable of Mother Nature's many wonders had never been stronger.
Solar Maximum – You Have Not Missed Out!
The sun's magnetic field changes polarity approximately every 11 years. It happens at the peak of each solar cycle as the sun's inner magnetic dynamo reorganises itself. On 06 December 2013, NASA predicted that the sun’s polarity would flip sometime in December which would herald the peak of the current Solar Cycle 24. This peak in the sun’s activity is known as the ‘Solar Maximum’.
Solar Maximum is the period during which the Northern Lights tend to be at their strongest and most frequent.
At the time of writing (30 Dec 13) and despite reports to the contrary in certain parts of the media, NASA has not yet announced that we have reached Solar Maximum.
A recent trip to the Nordland Archipelago once again raised the thorny issue of the impact a full moon has on the Northern Lights.
To be honest, the whole discussion has left our Norwegian friends somewhat bemused and howling at a full moon for somewhat less traditional reasons.
As always, I’d made sure that I arrived in good time for dinner and as we sat down, I mentioned to my hosts that both the auroral and weather forecasts boded well for some Northern Lights spotting later that evening.
“But there is a full moon, you can’t possibly see the Northern Lights when there is a full moon!!” came the response dripping frustration and sarcasm in equal measure.
There is a myth perpetuated on the internet that you cannot see the Aurora Borealis when there is a full moon, it is nonsense and it’s driving the locals mad. Look at the night sky, it is vast. Look at the moon in the night sky, it is tiny.
The essence of it is that a full moon will only diminish your viewing pleasure if it is directly behind a low intensity Aurora which is often not much more than a somewhat underwhelming smudge of green light.
Every time we talk to our partners in the Aurora Zone they are increasingly exasperated by this fiction, so much so that it became a running joke during my recent trip to Norway. As we stood outside the restaurant later that evening gazing at the Aurora Borealis shimmering across the Norwegian firmament, one of my hosts turned to me and whispered, “Of course, you can’t see those lights you are looking at, there’s a full moon!!”. So, if only to save our Norwegian partners from further exasperation, please don’t believe everything you read about the Northern Lights and a full moon.
Articles by month
Receive ideas and offers
Subscribe to our email newsletter to receive weekly inspiring travel ideas and offers.