Ali Mclean

Rare Red Auroras

Written by Ali Mclean
Tuesday, 03 November 2020

Rare Red Aurora in Finnish Lapland

“Fires over which a tribe of dwarfs, half the length of a canoe paddle and so strong they caught whales with their hands, boiled blubber.”

“Rare, red Auroras”. It sounds like something Michael Palin’s Pontius Pilate might have struggled with in Monty Python’s Life of Brian. However, for our ancestors, red Auroras were nothing to laugh at, for they were almost universally perceived as portents of doom.


Mark McFaul

RESIZED IMG 1202 14 Credit Filippo Dias

After several months of waiting, the 24-hour daylight of the ‘Midnight Sun’ has said goodbye for another year. Last week the news that Aurora hunters everywhere had been waiting for finally arrived – the 2020/21 Northern Lights season has begun!


Sue Mcdonald

Norway webinar

Written by Sue Mcdonald
Monday, 24 August 2020

Norway and the Northern Lights webinar registration

Date: September 10th, 2020 at 7:30 pm (GMT)

The world of travel is slowly opening up and Norway is looking forward to welcoming our guests when the time is right; we are delighted to be hosting this Norway and Tromsø webinar in eager anticipation of that moment. Whether you are looking to book a break this winter or to reserve a place for 2021, this webinar will provide an insight into what is on offer so you can book your perfect trip.

With our panel of experts from the travel and tourism industry in Tromsø, we will cover what you can expect when you arrive in Norway, how they are dealing with Covid-19 and the measures they have in place to ensure the safety of our guests. The Artisan Travel Company is a fully bonded, licensed tour operator and with the opportunity to ask our expert team any additional questions during a Q&A session, you will be able to book your trip with confidence and peace of mind.

Focussing on The Aurora Zone, a part of The Artisan Travel Company, this webinar will explore four fantastic trips that highlight the beauty of ‘The Capital of the Arctic’, Tromsø and the fantastic activities that take place in the surrounding wilderness.

On our 3-night Tromsø, Northern Lights City Break, for example, you will spend time in Tromsø’s cultural centre and also head out of the city into the heart of the Aurora Zone, for two dedicated Aurora hunts. With the option to personalise your trip by adding additional activities, such as dog sledding or snowmobiling, this short break combines the best of city life along with some natural wonders.

Our guest speakers include a hotel manager and two local activity providers. Along with our own Northern Lights guide and photographer, who will also share his expertise in how to hunt for the Northern Lights and how to catch them on film. He will also talk about the science behind this natural phenomenon.

With 10% off all bookings, using a code that will be provided during the webinar, guests can start planning their Norway break, safe in the knowledge that every aspect of their trip is taken care of.

The itinerary

19:30 - Start

19:30 - 19:35 - Introduction to The Artisan Travel Company: Ali McLean, Director and founder of The Artisan Travel Company

19:35 - 19:45 - Highlights of Tromsø: Mats Fredriksen, Lost in Norway

19:45 - 19:50 - Guest speaker: Ida Romsøe, Hotel Manager, The Clarion Hotel The Edge

19:50 - 19:55 - Guest speaker: Øystein Prytz, Head of Digital Marketing, Tromsø Villmarksenter

19:55 - 20:00 - Guest speaker: Alice Heijbel, Key Account Manager, Pukka Travel

20:00 - 20:15 - An introduction to the Northern Lights: Matt Robinson, The Aurora Zone and Northern Lights guide and photographer

20:15 - 20:30 - Q&A session

20:30 - Finish

The team

Alistair McLean - Director and founder of The Artisan Travel Company

As part of The Artisan Travel Company, Ali created The Aurora Zone, the original and only dedicated Northern Lights tour operator. Ali is extremely proud of the tours we offer in Tromsø and that so many of our clients have witnessed the Aurora during their trips there with us. 

Mats Fredriksen - CEO, Lost in Norway

Your host for the evening, Mats, is our local supplier in Norway. Having worked with Mats for many years, he is very well-placed to talk about the region, working with The Aurora Zone and the experiences we offer in Norway.

Matt Robinson - The Aurora Zone and Northern Lights guide, photographer and astronomer

Currently living in Senja, Norway, Matt has travelled extensively with The Artisan Travel Company and is always happy to share his knowledge and science behind the Northern Lights with our guests. Matt is also a keen astronomer and photographer and will share some of his fantastic images with us during the webinar.

Welcoming our guest speakers

Ida Romsøe - Hotel Manager, Clarion Hotel The Edge

Situated right in the centre of Tromsø, just by the water, from where you can enjoy great views of the city's stunning architecture, the Clarion Hotel The Edge was built with an environmental classification A and aspires to be as eco-friendly as possible. A passionate hotel manager, Ida is responsible for all hotel operations, leisure FIT and groups. She has worked in Nordic Choice Hotels since she was 16 years old and been at Clarion Hotel The Edge for almost 2 years. Ida will provide an insight into the measures the hotel is taking during Covid-19 and how they are making guests feel safe and comfortable.

Øystein Prytz - Head of Digital Marketing, Tromsø Villmarkssenter

Tromsø Villmarkssenter enjoys an idyllic wilderness location around 20km from the city centre on the island of Kvaløya. Established over 30 years ago they are one of the most experienced and passionate dog sledding companies we have the pleasure of working with. Originally set up by Tove Sørensen the day to day running of the centre has now passed to her son and his wonderful team.  Given the wonderful location of the Villmarkssenter It has an awesome record of Northern Lights viewing and we have had many happy clients enjoy displays here during their holidays.  Over several years Øystein has worked in almost all parts of this family-run company and there is nothing he doesn’t know about their fantastic products and strong family heritage.

Alice Heijbel - Key Account Manager, Pukka Travel

Our guest speaker from Pukka Travel, Alice, will talk us through the many activity options available to our clients on the trips we offer, from a Polar Fjord cruise or Northern Lights sailing to hunting the Northern Lights by minibus.


The time

Thursday, 10 September 2020 at 7:30 pm BST

This event will take place on Zoom and is free to access: CLICK HERE TO REGISTER YOUR PLACE and receive the joining details.


Jade McKay

Northern Lights in the snowy forest

If I could be anywhere right now, I would be in beautiful Finland.

I fondly recall my first time visiting the stunning Finnish Lapland where we stayed at Apukka Resort, just a short journey from Rovaniemi Airport.


Sue Mcdonald

If I could be anywhere right now, it would be Finland; over 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle at the Holiday Village Valle Hotel, looking out over the frozen Teno River towards Norway on the opposite bank.

The people of Finland refer to the north of Finland as Finnish Lapland; in the north of Finnish Lapland lies Utsjoki, the northernmost municipality of Finland which borders Norway. Just outside the main village, this cosy base offers a wonderful escape, one which I was lucky enough to experience in December 2018.

Credit Minna Saastamoinen Explore Utsjoki


Dawn Kitson

Iceland Pro Travel 3 re sized

If I could be anywhere right now it would be Iceland. It has become a bit of a running joke in our office how much I love Iceland – I regularly give presentations on it. I encourage anyone that merely mentions the place that they must visit. Even the wall next to my desk is adorned with maps and posters of the island. I am unashamedly head-over-heels in love with the place and have been ever since my first work trip, back in 2013.


Joanna Robertson

Our top short breaks for autumn 2020

Written by Joanna Robertson
Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Torassieppi aerial 8 credit Antti re sized

If you are seeking a peaceful holiday to unwind, don't just go off-the-beaten-track, travel out of season to uncover one of the best-kept secrets of Northern Lights hunting; autumn! Autumn is one of the best times of year to see the Northern Lights, however, it is often overlooked in favour of the snowy winter months.


Ali Mclean

In the current situation, while our bucket lists are on hold, we find ourselves with more time than ever to dream about our future travel destinations.

Here at The Aurora Zone, our team has been incredibly lucky over the years to spend a large portion of their time travelling North, researching locations and making friends with the locals, to find the very best places for our Northern Lights Holidays. We have had some amazing adventures along the way, and our memory buckets are overflowing with stories that bring us a sense of joy at these difficult times.

So, while we have plenty of time to reflect,  we thought we would bring you some of our favourite memories, and 'where we would be if we could be anywhere in the world right now'.

First up…

Founder and Managing Director  - Ali McLean

Credit Antti Pietikainen  (10) resized


Kirsty Wood

The Science Of The Solar Cycle

Written by Kirsty Wood
Tuesday, 31 March 2020

To understand how the Solar Cycle works and to maximise your chances of seeing the Northern Lights during all parts of the Solar Cycle, our guide below explains everything you need to know to ensure you can make the most of your hunt for the Aurora.

What is The Solar Cycle

The Solar Cycle is the 11-year cycle in which the solar activity of the Sun falls and rises in intensity. While the Sun appears from a distant 93,000,000 miles as a constant ball of fire, the variation in activity on its surface is measured by the number of Sunspots, or regions of reduced surface temperature.

Essentially, the number of Sunspots rises and falls naturally over the course of this 11-year period, with the length of the cycle varying from as little as 8  to as much as 14 years.  

Although the length of the cycle can vary in length, since records began in 1755 the sunspot cycle has always followed the same pattern of increasing to “Solar Maximum” (the point at which the number of Sunspots peak) and decreasing to “Solar Minimum” (the point at which the number of Sunspots is at its lowest). 

Figure 1. Credit: NASA/SDO

Additional Info


Kirsty Wood

Glass Igloos in Finland

Written by Kirsty Wood
Monday, 23 March 2020

A view like no other

The remote Finnish landscape, one of the last remaining wilderness regions in Europe, is an enchanting sight to behold. Luckily with a stay in a Glass Igloo, you never have to take your eyes off this spectacular scenery as the half-glass roof provides a wonderful vantage point, right above your bed. What’s more, as Finland witnesses the Northern Lights on roughly 200 evenings of the year, what better way to search the skies long into the night than from your cosy Glass Igloo?

As one of the most sought-after accommodation options, many of our holidays offer a stay in a Glass Igloo in Finland. You could opt to start your Northern Lights holiday in style with your first night in these impressive structures or you could top off an end to a brilliant trip by spending your last night searching for the Aurora from the comfort of your cabin. We even have options should you wish to spend the duration of your trip in a Glass Igloo.

Though we highly recommend taking part in as many dedicated Northern Lights activities as you can, a Glass Igloo gives you the wonderful opportunity to continue your search for the magical display as late as you would like! Scroll to learn more about these memorable accommodation options. 

Additional Info


Niall McMahon

NLV2

The much-loved Northern Lights Village in Saariselkä, in the North East region of Finnish Lapland, opened a new resort for the first time for the winter 2019/2020 season. I was fortunate enough to be amongst the first ever guests to stay here. Located in Levi, a ski town south west of Saariselkä, the hotel is only a 25-minute transfer from Kittilä airport. Despite the short transfer time, Levi is a remote location far away from light pollution - perfect for Northern Lights viewing.


Mark McFaul

Kenny Gray Nellim AuroraZoneMoments 5

Although many people consider February to be one of the worst months of the year, here at The Aurora Zone we tend to disagree! The UK might be cold, wet and a little bit miserable but February in the Arctic Circle is a different matter! Whether it's the chance to try your hand at mushing, explore stunning snow-covered wildernesses or go in search of the Northern Lights, there is plenty to keep you entertained!


Kirsty Wood

Brandon Lodge Credit Graeme Richardson 1 Copy

SAS have announced new direct flights to Luleå, Sweden from the UK, which means that our winter trips to Luleå are now even easier to reach.

The Aurora Zone have been operating Northern Lights trips and winter holidays to Luleå for many years, but with new direct flights which will be available from December 2020, visitors can now fly directly to Luleå from London Stanstead. Working in conjunction with SAS and Visit Sweden, the new route makes this pristine corner of Swedish Lapland much more accessible, and is considered greener, too!


Kirsty Wood

Swedish Lapland; directly this way

As the original Northern Lights Holiday specialists, we have been researching and visiting prime Aurora destinations for many, many years. Based on our experience, we know that in order to witness Mother Nature’s greatest display, it’s best to get off-the-beaten-track and into darker skies.

Travelling to these remote regions has not always been easy. However, alongside our local partners who are passionate about showing you their home, we are continuously working to offer better routes to these stunning wilderness areas. What’s more, with responsible travel at the forefront of our minds, it is our priority to find greener alternatives wherever possible. 

That’s why we’re proud to have worked alongside both SAS and Visit Sweden to champion a new CO2-reducing direct flight from London Stansted to Luleå in Swedish Lapland - a renowned Northern Lights destination and a simply stunning corner of the world. 

That means that this winter season, it will actually be possible to reduce your carbon footprint on your Northern Lights hunting holiday.

Scroll to learn more about this wonderful new route. 

SweLap wide arctic ENG 300px

Additional Info


Amy Hope

Featured

With so many trips in colder climates, we get lots of questions about what clothing is provided in our winter destinations. During a recent trip to Inari, Finland our Product Manager Amy decided to take some pictures of the clothing we provide to help explain. As the clothing is often not what many people will have worn before, we explain why each item is an important piece of kit for heading out into winter weather.


Kirsty Wood

This is Arctic

Written by Kirsty Wood
Thursday, 30 January 2020

Next autumn, you have to go north

In many destinations, autumn can often pass by in a blur, somewhere between a desperate cling to summer and dreading the incoming dark and cold nights of winter. In the Arctic, however, it is a season worth celebrating. Autumn here is a landscape bathed in colour, the natural world transforming before your eyes and quite frankly, one of the best places in the world to really experience the spectacular season of change.

Autumn in the Arctic is nature like you’ve never seen it before. It is more than the trees shaking off their summer coats - it is a landscape full of life, gracefully preparing for the oncoming winter. The summer bloom turns into deep and vibrant autumnal shades and just above the breathtaking landscape, you’ll find the Auroras making their sensational return to the skies.

So, take a deep breath of some of the cleanest air in the world, listen to only the sounds of nature and come with us to explore the colourful ground of Arctic Europe in autumn...

Additional Info


Kirsty Wood

blog

Our client feedback is exceptionally important to us and nothing makes us happier than hearing about our guest's bucket list moments on their Northern Lights holiday. That's why we were thrilled to hear from Mark and Jacquetta who recently returned from Wilderness Hotel Inari on our Aurora Hunting Adventure trip and by the sounds of it, experienced a holiday of a lifetime...


Mark McFaul

Chloe Shipsides Muotka 19 AuroraZoneMoments

Although December didn’t provide the white Christmas that many of us in the UK were perhaps hoping for, we are pleased to say that Lapland didn’t not disappoint on that front. In fact, the snow-covered landscapes of Finnish and Swedish Lapland helped make December another brilliant month for our #AuroraZoneMoments competition!


Kirsty Wood

20 New Northern Lights Trips for 2020

Written by Kirsty Wood
Monday, 30 December 2019

Matt R

Here at The Aurora Zone we think a new decade deserves to be welcomed in with style. That’s why throughout 2019 we worked hard to carefully craft brand new Northern Lights holidays and add new elements to some of our favourite trips. These exciting additions are here to help you tick not just the Aurora from your bucket list, but also some unbelievable Arctic experiences.

So, here are 20 new Northern Lights trips for you to choose from in 2020:


Mark McFaul

Nick Nicholas Brown 3 Inari AuroraZoneMoments

Although November was a cold and wet month for most of us in the UK, we are pleased to say that it was another great month for our #AuroraZoneMoments competition!


Mark McFaul

Arctic Bath

Written by Mark McFaul
Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Sweden’s reputation for innovative design just keeps growing, and the newest addition to its list of spectacular accommodation doesn’t disappoint.

Arctic Bath is a wellness hotel with an innovative touch. Built to float on the stunning Lule River during the summer and freeze in place throughout the winter, the hotel offers the ultimate peaceful retreat year-round.

Connected by floating walkways, the circular Arctic Bath features three saunas, a spa treatment room, a hot bath, outdoor and indoor showers and two dressing rooms.

As per Nordic tradition, there is also a cold-water bath for guests to take an icy plunge and add to their wellbeing experience.

Guests can choose to stay in one of the six floating cabins or land-based cabins.

On land, you can make use of the huge glass windows to search the skies for the Auroras and in the floating cabins, you can enjoy a brilliant view from your wooden deck outside.

Learn more on our accommodation page here or scroll to find out more about this innovative design.

Additional Info


Caitlin Varley

Saariselka 22.01.19 Credit Ben Murgatroyd 1 RESIZED

The Aurora Borealis - or Northern Lights as they are more commonly known - regularly tops wish lists and much has been written on the topic of Mother Nature’s greatest spectacle. As the UK’s only dedicated Northern Lights hunting holiday company, we spend a lot of time fully researching all things Auroral and not everything we read is always completely accurate. On that basis, here are a few things that we have learned in over a decade of Aurora hunting:


Kirsty Wood

1st

With the darker nights and crisper temperatures rolling in, we can feel that Christmas is on its way. You may have begun present shopping already or even started hanging the decorations up, but here at The Aurora Zone, we think the best way to get in the festive mood is to travel to a snowy wonderland where Arctic activities and Northern Lights experiences await.


Mark McFaul

Another successful autumn!

Written by Mark McFaul
Wednesday, 13 November 2019

17.09.19 Aurora Camp on the Border 13 of 22 RESIZED Credit Tijn Van Blokland

If you have kept track of any of our previous blogs, you will probably be aware that here at The Aurora Zone we love autumn! Despite your reservations, there is a very good reason for the fact we regularly try to convince anyone that will listen that autumn is an excellent time to visit the Arctic Circle – namely the Northern Lights viewing potential!


Mark McFaul

#AuroraZoneMoments - October's winner revealed!

Written by Mark McFaul
Wednesday, 06 November 2019

Tracey Roy Cooper 7 Wilderness Hotel Inari Autumn Lights over Lake Inari AuroraZoneMoments

October might have brought darker nights and plenty of rain to the UK but it also brought us some brilliant entries for the second month of our #AuroraZoneMoments competition!


Mark McFaul

Muotka Credit Matt Robinson 3

Here at The Aurora Zone it is fair to say that we love Christmas! In fact, as the snow has started to fall in Finnish Lapland over the past few days, many of us in the office have begun our countdowns in preparation of the big day.

However, despite being a great time to celebrate with friends and family, it always seems to be over far too quickly, leaving many of us trying to fight off the dreaded post-Christmas blues as we amble back into work after enjoying food, drink and plenty of festivities!


Kirsty Wood

Betwixmas Northern Lights Holidays

Written by Kirsty Wood
Tuesday, 22 October 2019

What is Betwixmas?

When the excitement of Christmas has come to an end and you are waiting for the buzz of New Year’s Eve, there is often little to do during those strange in-between days

Rather than pick on leftover food or rush around the busy shops, make the most of your time between Christmas and New Year (or ‘Betwixmas’ as we like to call it) and travel to the Aurora Zone for an unforgettable Northern Lights holiday.

All of our holidays take place within the Aurora Zone, to give you the best chance of ticking the Northern Lights off your bucket list. However, through our extensive travels to these fantastic locations, we know that they offer so much more. That's why we craft itineraries that feature a range of unforgettable Arctic activities to ensure your Betwixmas holiday is unforgettable.

What's more, we offer different paces to suit all tastes. From a relaxing winter wilderness retreat to a tailor-made approach where you're completely in charge of creating your dream holiday!

Scroll to learn more about our Betwixmas breaks.

Additional Info


Mark McFaul

Stephen Watkins 3 Saariselka AuroraZoneMoments

Here at The Aurora Zone, we absolutely love seeing our clients’ images from their Northern Lights adventures with us. Whether they are searching for the Aurora on the back of a snowmobile, trying their hand at mushing on a dog sledding safari or simply taking in the stunning Arctic scenery, we couldn’t be happier than when we see our clients ticking off some incredible experiences from their bucket lists!


Kirsty Wood

#AuroraZoneMoments Explained

Written by Kirsty Wood
Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Markku Inkila

If you’re travelling with us this Northern Lights season, we want to make sure you know all about our #AuroraZoneMoments competition so you don’t miss out on the chance to win a £50 John Lewis voucher! 


Kirsty Wood

Northern Lights in autumn generic Credit Markus Kiili and Visit Finland

Lapland’s winter wonderland reputation is so ingrained in our minds that it can be easy to forget that this location goes through all four wonderful seasons!
One in particular that excites us here at the Aurora Zone is autumn. That’s because this time of year marks the spectacular return of the Northern Lights – but that’s not all this season has to offer.


Kirsty Wood

Quick guide to the Northern Lights

Written by Kirsty Wood
Tuesday, 02 July 2019

Witness the Northern Lights with our handy guide

The Aurora Borealis is arguably Mother Nature’s greatest spectacle. Nothing can describe standing in a remote pristine wilderness, far from light pollution and looking up at the starry sky as the spellbinding colours start to take shape. It really is no wonder this remarkable sight features so highly on many people’s bucket lists.

As the only holiday company solely dedicated to helping you witness the Northern Lights, we have plenty of experience in all things Aurora. That’s why we’ve put together this quick guide to help you choose the perfect Northern Lights holiday and tick this phenomenal experience off your bucket list.

If you have never been out into the dark night searching for the Aurora, there can be a lot of mystery surrounding this natural occurrence. Our Aurora Travel Experts have tried and tested almost all of the variables - from when and where to visit, to how you might travel into the Arctic night.

Scroll to see our top tips!

Additional Info


Caitlin Varley

During my first trip to Finland, I was thrilled to find out that my itinerary included snowmobiling in Harriniva. Now, I’m an experienced, confident driver but when I found out my first time on a snowmobile was going to be at night, I have to admit I was a little apprehensive. After watching the introduction video, which was very informative and had a touch a humour to help settle the nerves, we headed out to be shown the controls and get ready to set off. 


Kirsty Wood

Recently, NASA made their entire media library accessible to the public and since then, we’ve been excitedly scrolling through some spectacular images from space. Now, the Northern Lights are mesmerising to see from land but there’s something about a space station’s unique vantage point that really shows off just how magical this display is.


Kirsty Wood

Feature image

 

Packing for a winter holiday is a completely different experience to a holiday in the sun. When you start adding jumpers, thermals, coats, hats and gloves to your suitcase it can start to fill up very quickly!


Andy Marshall

Good things come to those who wait

Written by Andy Marshall
Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Andy blog2edited

I’ve been lucky enough to travel quite extensively over the last three years working with the Aurora Zone and have enjoyed some truly memorable experiences. What I have had less luck with, however, is the Northern Lights. Whilst my colleagues kept coming back from trips with tales of majestic Auroras, I seem to have hit periods of cloud and stories of ‘you should have been here last night it was incredible’.


Mark McFaul

07.03.19 Ben 17 of 24 RESIZED Credit Ben Murgatroyd

As we have mentioned in many a previous blog, March is a brilliant time to go in search of the Northern Lights. This is not just our personal opinion either! Studies by NASA solar physicist David Hathaway show that March is one of the most geomagnetically active months of the year (see graph below), and the reason for this is springtime. Or to be more accurate the spring equinox.


Kirsty Wood

TAZ blog

We’ve had another brilliant month of entries for our #AuroraZoneMoments competition and we want to share some of the fabulous photographs with you.

Remember, if you’re travelling with us between now and 30th March 2019, share your photos using the hashtag #AuroraZoneMoments and you could be in with a chance of winning a case of wine.


Ali Mclean

Muotka Credit Matt Robinson 9

We’ve touted March as a great time to hunt for the Northern Lights until we are blue in the face. This is because there is very good scientific reasoning to support our assertion that March is the best of the winter months for witnessing the Aurora Borealis.


Kirsty Wood

Levi Resort

Written by Kirsty Wood
Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Levi Resort

From the innovative creators of the Northern Lights Village in Saariselkä, comes the fantastic Levi Resort.

Located 16km from Levi centre and featuring 40 Aurora Cabins, the village has been designed to give you a truly memorable stay during your winter holiday to Finnish Lapland and the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights.

These glass-roofed cabins will give you clear views of the night sky right from the comfort of your bed. What better way to search for the Northern Lights than while you’re wrapped up warm in your duvet looking up at the sky in an Aurora Cabin?

Levi sits in the far north of Finland, high above the Arctic Circle putting it well within the Aurora Zone. This means that it has great Northern Lights viewing potential and with their glass roofs, these Aurora Cabins certainly make the most of it.

Learn more about the resort below or click here to view our holidays to Levi.

Additional Info


Kirsty Wood

Aurora 360 Cabin

Written by Kirsty Wood
Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Dedicated Aurora accommodation

We’re thrilled to introduce the innovative design in Aurora accommodation from the Apukka Resort in Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland; the Aurora 360 Cabin.

You’ll be nice and cosy inside the wonderful two-tiered cabin. It comes equipped with electric fireplace and a panoramic glass roof right above your bed for 360o views of the Arctic sky.

Sleeping under a starry sky is enticing enough but with the prospect of seeing the Northern Lights dance above you as you lay in bed, this experience becomes unmissable.

This exclusive accommodation is only available at the Apukka Resort and is a wonderful addition to your Northern Lights holiday. Whether you are looking for a relaxing retreat in the wilderness or you want to take on some adventurous Arctic activities, we offer many different trips to Apukka.

Click here to view all Apukka Resort holidays or scroll down to learn more about the fantastic Aurora 360 Cabin.

Additional Info


Kirsty Wood

A Pietikäinen

Many people associate the Northern Lights with the cold depths of winter, and though we have seen some excellent displays come out of our Aurora Zone destinations this season, we’re also extremely excited to see what March will bring.


Andy Marshall

Credit Antti Pietikainen 77

Our #AuroraZoneMoments competition is still going strong and we’ve had another month of fantastic entries.


Jono Archer

Here at the Aurora Zone, we love seeing our clients’ images from their Northern Lights holidays with us. Whether they’re enjoying dog sledding, snowmobiling or standing proudly under the Aurora, we couldn’t be more pleased than when we see our customers fulfilling their bucket list dreams.

Feature image


Kirsty Wood

Top 5 things to do in Iceland

Written by Kirsty Wood
Monday, 14 January 2019

feature image

Iceland may be known as the land of fire and ice but to us, we will always think of it as the country of natural wonders. From the numerous waterfalls bursting out of the volcanic landscape to the Northern Lights dancing proudly above, Iceland is Mother Nature really showing off.


Mark McFaul

Some travel advice for Brexit

Written by Mark McFaul
Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Torassieppi Antti Pietikainen

As a UK-based travel company, we know that Brexit is an issue of concern for all travellers.

That is why we have decided to answer some of the common questions to help explain what Brexit might mean for your travel plans after 29 March 2019 when Great Britain is set to leave the EU.


Mark McFaul

Our top 10 Aurora breaks for March 2019

Written by Mark McFaul
Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Saariselka 4 Credit Adriana Estallo Giral

A question we are asked almost every day here at The Aurora Zone is “when is the best time to see the Northern Lights?”. Now, when dealing with a natural phenomenon such as the Aurora Borealis, it is pretty hard to answer this question with any degree of certainty as its appearance can rarely be predicted accurately much more than a few hours in advance.

However, we have successfully chased the Northern Lights for quite a while now and it fair to say that March has become a particular favourite amongst our Aurora Experts for a number of reasons.


Andy Marshall

ICEHOTEL® 2018 is open for the winter!

Written by Andy Marshall
Monday, 17 December 2018

When the first plans for the ICEHOTEL® 2018 were revealed in August, we couldn’t wait to see the finished suites. Now, the wait is over and the ICEHOTEL® is officially open!

medium icehotel norhern lights asaf kliger22222 2

This is the 29th annual rendition of the hotel which saw 34 artists from 13 countries help to create the structure made completely of snow and ice. Nature is the inspiration behind many of the suites this year and we’re excited to show you the photos from the grand reveal.  


Mark McFaul

Muotka Credit Matt Robinson 2 12

If you have been keeping up to date with our blogs then you will remember that we recently mentioned why we love Coronal Holes so much (you can find out more here).

The key thing to note about Coronal Holes is that they are one of the causes of solar winds which, in turn, cause the Northern Lights to appear in our skies. Although less violent than Coronal Mass Ejections (the other source of solar wind), they are more stable. So much so, that they often reappear 27 days after their first appearance on the surface of the sun.


Kirsty Wood

Markku Inkila Jan 13 68

Whether you are running low on annual leave or you’re simply just pushed for time, we know that not everyone can take a week-long break during the winter. However, trips to see the Northern Lights don’t have to be an extended holiday. In fact, Northern Lights weekend breaks are some of our most-loved trips.


Mark McFaul

Good news from space!

Written by Mark McFaul
Friday, 16 November 2018

Nellim Credit Matt Robinson 1

If you read our blogs regularly then you will remember that we recently discussed why we really love Coronal Holes (if not you can catch up here). Not only do Coronal Holes produce high-speed streams of Solar Wind which often manifest themselves as the Northern Lights but they also help in predicting Auroral activity too.


Mark McFaul

 MG 5610 1

If you are like us, then you will probably know the feeling of watching as the excitement builds and builds towards the 25th December before it crashes down again on the 26th- that is of course until the 31st December!

Now, we love a New Year’s party as much as the next person and some of the fireworks displays on offer can be wonderful. However, if you really want to celebrate in style and enjoy a light show like no other then there really is only one thing to do – book yourself a New Year Northern Lights escape!


Amy Hope

Santa Reindeer 2 Credit Visit Rovaniemi Rovaniemi Tourism Marketing Ltd

Those that have heard of Rovaniemi may recognise it because of its reputation as the official hometown of Father Christmas. Though this is a big incentive to visit Rovaniemi during your winter holiday, there are many other reasons to come to this wonderful city.


Ali Mclean

Let's Go Round Again

Written by Ali Mclean
Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Harriniva 7 10 Credit Antti Pietikainen

Quite some time ago, we wrote an article debunking fears that the Northern Lights are set to disappear as the Sun approaches a period of reduced activity known as Solar Minimum. The article highlighted that yes, solar activity is likely to reduce but, happily, the incidences of Coronal Holes is expected to increase.


Mark McFaul

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It may still only be October but the first snow has already started to fall in Lapland and winter is well on its way! Here at The Aurora Zone, this news fills us with excitement as in our opinion there is something quite special about chasing after the Northern Lights in spectacular snow-covered landscapes.

However, something that has to be even more special than hunting the Aurora in the snowy Arctic wilderness is the opportunity to celebrate Christmas in your very own winter wonderland on your very own festive Northern Lights adventure!


Mark McFaul

Apukka Northern Lights 1 Credit Apukka Resort

Tucked away from the city lights but only a short drive from Rovaniemi airport sits our newest Aurora Zone destination, the Apukka Aurora Borealis Resort.


Jono Archer

Rovaniemi Credit Arctic Circle Wilderness Lodge

One of the many perks of working in the product and operations team is that we get to travel to lots of wonderful locations across the globe. We scout out destinations, accommodation and activity providers, in order to piece together new and exciting holidays for you to enjoy.


Ali Mclean

All Aboard the Aurora Train!

Written by Ali Mclean
Friday, 28 September 2018

Aurora hunting has become a fine art and there are now many, many different ways of chasing down Mother Nature’s mesmerising light show. From snowmobile safaris to dog sledding and snowshoeing, the secret is to find a vantage point as far removed from any light pollution as possible.

Aurora Hunt Snowtrain Credit Apukka Resort

All of these activities are fabulously fun and entertaining but, in the heart of an Arctic winter, they can get pretty chilly even when you are wearing the thermal clothing we provide on our trips.


Ali Mclean

Autumn is delivering (again!)

Written by Ali Mclean
Thursday, 13 September 2018

Inari 26 Credit Markku Inkila

We are blue in the face from telling anybody who will listen that autumn is an excellent time to search for the Aurora Borealis. Scientific research and findings from various esteemed Solar Physicists repeatedly point to increased geomagnetic activity (and hence, Auroral displays) in the weeks around the autumn and spring equinoxes.

The big question therefore, is; has this new aurora hunting season started well?


Mark McFaul

Inari 9 Credit Markku Inkila

You might not be surprised that here at The Aurora Zone, we’re passionate about all things Northern Lights. We want to give our clients the best chance of seeing the Aurora Borealis which is why we’ve dedicated our time to researching the science behind the phenomenon.


Mark McFaul

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Here at The Aurora Zone, there is nothing we want more than for our clients to have the best possible chance of witnessing the Northern Lights. One of the ways we try to optimise your chances is by learning all we can about the underlying science which causes Auroral displays (you can find out more about this on our website under ‘The Science of the Northern Lights’). 


Ali Mclean

Credit Timo Halonen autumn NL

Timo Halonen and his wife Anne run Hotel Korpikartano an idyllic hotel in the breath-taking location of Menesjärvi in Finnish Lapland. Timo has a passion for photography and loves being out with his camera. We caught up with him after another fantastic Northern Lights season to talk about his love for photography and the magical Northern Lights.


Dawn Kitson

During a recent trip to northern Finland, we spent time in the Inari and Utsjoki regions, two areas that are both steeped in Sámi culture and history.

For those of you that don’t know, the Sámi are the indigenous people of the Lapland region. They were semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers who made their home in this unique part of northern Scandinavia approximately 4000 years ago, making them one of the oldest cultures in Europe.

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Mark McFaul

Markku Inkila Nellim

The Northern Lights season may be at a close as summer draws nearer, but fear not the Auroras will not be gone forever. In fact, here at The Aurora Zone, we think that the beginning of the Northern Lights season in autumn is a pretty special time of year and arguably one of the best times to go on an Aurora hunting adventure.


Ali Mclean

Aurora in autumn 1

Another Aurora hunting season is drawing to a close in Northern Scandinavia. The Northern Lights will still be visible well into April but, during the 24-hour daylight of summer’s Midnight Sun, all an Aurora hunter can do is catch up on lost sleep and long for the darker nights of autumn.


Ali Mclean

March 2018 has been one of the best months for Auroral activity in many a long year, so we did some digging. The upshot of our research is that if you want to see the Northern Lights then some of your best chances are almost certainly around the vernal and autumnal equinoxes.

Markku Inkila Nellim Oct 14 resize


Matt Robinson

The search for the Northern Lights is quite often described as a ‘hunt’, suggesting the magical lights are akin an elusive, endangered wild animal you’re hoping to catch a quick glimpse off in its natural habitat before it spots you and runs for safety. In my opinion, this isn’t far from the truth.

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Ali Mclean

Reindeer Family and Me

Written by Ali Mclean
Thursday, 21 December 2017

Here at The Aurora Zone, we’re extremely fond of the Finnish people and especially the Sámi community, who are the indigenous people of Northern Scandinavia. So, imagine our excitement when we heard that BBC Two are doing a one-off boxing day show all about the lifestyle of the Sámi people and their reindeer herding heritage.

Credit Ville Heimonen


Ali Mclean

Follow in the footsteps of Blue Planet II

Written by Ali Mclean
Friday, 24 November 2017

Blue Planet II has been an amazing show, and if you're anything like us you’ll have sat in your favourite chair and watched it in wonder.

Here are three holidays to get you in the mood for some Blue Planet-style discovering, and of course, if you don’t spot some incredible marine life, you might just be in luck and see the Northern Lights instead!

Northern Lights at Otervika Kvaloya 05.02.2015 Copyright Gaute Bruvik Visitnorway.com credit Innovation Norway 2


Matt Robinson

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Let’s face it, everyone wants a beautiful image of the Northern Lights. This post will detail everything you need to know to capture yours.


Ali Mclean

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Our expert Aurora guide and CEO of the new Northern Lights Village in Saariselkä, Markku Inkilä is a self-proclaimed Aurora nut. He lives and breathes the Northern Lights and is rarely happier than when he is capturing them on camera. His photos have been published in the Sunday Times, the Telegraph, and on hundreds of websites around the world.


Ali Mclean

I caught up with our Marketing Assistant Laura who had the most amazing first Northern Lights experience in Iceland. Here is what she had to say:

Please credit ThorirNK from Vik Iceland 1 2

'"After suffering serious wanderlust from seeing so many breathtaking photos of Iceland I knew I had to head out there and explore it for myself. So, in December 2016 I flew over for a week of Arctic adventure. I experienced waterfalls, geysers, volcanoes, boiling mud pools, stunning scenery - you name it - but one night stands out for me - the night I ticked two experiences off my travel bucket list.


Jenni Miekle

Get the First Glance at Brand New Nangu!

Written by Jenni Miekle
Friday, 22 September 2017

We have big news here at The Aurora Zone and we couldn’t wait a moment longer to share it with you. Our good friends Mari and Jouko, two of our longest-standing suppliers, have announced the launch of their brand new wilderness boutique Hotel Nangu, located on the tranquil shores of Lake Inari.

 NANGU BLOG group photograph

We love it when our suppliers come to visit us regardless of the occasion. So when, while we were dining and enjoying an evening with Mari and Sinnika from Nellim and they described in detail this stunning new hotel in one of our favourite destinations, I am sure you can imagine our elation. Not only this, but it will be opening its doors ready for the coming season!


Andy Marshall

Five Reasons We Love Autumn Aurora Hunting

Written by Andy Marshall
Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Autumn is coming and we just can’t wait to see a new season of the Northern Lights!

Autumn Northern Lights A Pietikainen 2014 2

Why are we so excited about autumnal Northern Lights? Here are five good reasons!


Jenni Miekle

5 most Instagram-able places in the Arctic

Written by Jenni Miekle
Friday, 18 August 2017

Ah, how we love travel on Instagram! We look, get wanderlust and then next thing you know it’s added to your travel bucket list. With the Northern Lights and Arctic landscapes, however, it’s another ball game completely. 

Here's my five most Instagram-able Arctic destinations:


Alex Charlton

Our First Northern Lights: Part 1

Written by Alex Charlton
Friday, 23 June 2017

Your first experience with the Northern Lights is something truly unforgettable. Where you were, who you were with, and how you felt at that exact moment stays with you for a lifetime.

 Credit Antti Pietikainen 452 2

Here’s our Aurora Zone Experts first experiences of seeing the glorious Northern Lights.


Jenni Miekle

After arriving in the beautiful city of Honningsvåg, the northernmost city of Norway, I was in my element. Although chances of seeing the Aurora were slim, I was happy enough to admire the stunning view from my window of the harbour scattered with lights reflecting from the water and lined with fishing boats and nets ready for tomorrow’s work.

Jenni blog

The drive to this enchanting (extremely small) city, along the Norwegian coastline, made for some spectacular views, with the sunset creating a pink tinge in the sky above the mountains, causing me to come to the conclusion that my trip wasn’t going to get much better than this.


Ali Mclean

If I had a pound for every time I have been asked this question I would be rich beyond the dreams of avarice. If I had an exact answer, I would be rich beyond the dreams of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffet combined.

Muonio credit Antti 162

The problem with the Aurora is that it is a natural phenomenon and regardless of whether it is September, December or March, its appearance can rarely be predicted much more than a few hours in advance.


Ali Mclean

The secret is knowing where to look

Written by Ali Mclean
Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Have you noticed that there has been far less mentioned in the media recently about Auroral displays over the UK and yet pictures of the Northern Lights taken further north continue to flood onto social media sites?

Muonio credit Antti 222222

This is exactly what we said would happen in our blog back in November and given that we are dealing with something as unpredictable as Mother Nature, we are prepared to give ourselves a hearty pat on the back.


Ali Mclean

The Northern Lights are coming to London!

Written by Ali Mclean
Monday, 27 February 2017

The light pollution created by more than 8 million people would render even the most vibrant of Auroral displays above the UK’s capital pretty much redundant but, for six weeks only, the Northern Lights will be visible in SW3.

Aurora Reflected Ice and W


Dan Fleming

Meet Dan - our Nellim representative!

Written by Dan Fleming
Monday, 13 February 2017

Our representative Dan has been busy looking after our Aurora Zone guests staying in Nellim this winter. We caught up with him to find out a little bit more about his time there:

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'My role at Nellim is to ensure our guests have the best experiences possible! From organising the pre-arrival details, the day-to-day chatting with guests, to waving goodbye at the end of the holiday, it's my job to help things run smoothly.


Jono Archer

The Treehotel has expanded their unique portfolio of impressive contemporary accommodation to bring you the brand new, magical ‘7th Room’, created with Northern Lights lovers in mind!

 blog treehotel

If you haven’t heard of the Treehotel, where have you been!? Located in pine forests by the Lule River in Swedish Lapland it is one of the most architecturally impressive collection of rooms. Set up by Kent Lindvall and his wife Britta in 2010, the portfolio of rooms consists of The Cabin, The UFO, The Mirrorcube, The Blue Cone, The Bird’s Nest and The Dragonfly, each with their own unique character.


Ali Mclean

Finland is not just for Christmas!

Written by Ali Mclean
Friday, 30 December 2016

Have you noticed how popular Finland has become recently?

 Avoid Light Pollution Antti Pietikainen 2

Every time I open a magazine or the travel section of a national newspaper it seems that everybody is tipping Finland as THE hot destination for 2017.


Ali Mclean

If you have read our more recent blogs you’ll know that the sun is currently in the declining stage of Solar Cycle 24. As a result, it is Coronal Holes rather than Coronal Mass Ejections, that are more likely to cause Auroral displays over the course of the next few years.

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Amy Walkington-Gray

3 Great Ways to See the Northern Lights

Written by Amy Walkington-Gray
Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Hunting the Northern Lights in Lapland will always be a truly incredible experience, but why not do it in style?

 Antti Dec 15 4 of 2

Here are three great ways to make your Northern Lights holiday even more of a once in a lifetime experience:


Ali Mclean

Let’s Go Round Again!

Written by Ali Mclean
Tuesday, 22 November 2016

The Sun is currently in the declining stage of Solar Cycle 24 and this has prompted some speculation that Auroral displays will become less commonplace. Fortunately, this is not the case because the Aurora stems from two sources: Coronal Mass Ejections and Coronal Holes.

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During the declining stage of the Solar Cycle it is the less violent but more stable Coronal Holes that are the more likely to cause the Northern Lights to dance in our night skies and the beauty of these holes on the SUN’s surface is that they can come round time and again.


Ali Mclean

Ladies and gentlemen, tonight’s contest is to decide the celestial heavyweight championship of the year.

NL with Full Moon

In the blue corner; The Northern Lights!!

In the red corner; The biggest moon for 70 years!!!!


Graham Hughes

Sweden’s famous Treehotel has commissioned a new room to add to its vast contemporary and individual boutique accommodation - this time, to increase your chances of seeing the Northern Lights!

Rendering by Treehotel Philippe 2


Ali Mclean

Warning! Contains scenes of nudity

1.Warmer Temperatures

Temperatures in March tend to be milder than in the very heart of winter. Okay, it’s still not exactly tropical and only the hardiest of souls would brave the elements like our hero below. However, Aurora hunting requires patience and the chances are that you will be warmer waiting in March than in say December or January.


Amy Walkington-Gray

Our First Northern Lights Experience

Written by Amy Walkington-Gray
Friday, 07 October 2016

There are various theories flying around online suggesting that the Aurora Borealis is going to disappear as the current cycle (Solar Cycle 24) enters its declining stage to 'Solar Minimum'

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Such theories are frustrating because, as our Managing Director Ali McLean will tell you, the inspiration for The Aurora Zone was born on two consecutive nights in 2008 when we were at the lowest point of Solar Cycle 23.


Ali Mclean

It has been said that as we reach the 'Solar Minimum' stage of Solar Cycle 24, the Northern Lights will disappear from view.

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For us to reassure you as to why this won’t happen we have to take a look at the science behind the magnificent Aurora Borealis.


Ali Mclean

Every September we seem to write the same thing……..

”What a great start to the Aurora hunting season!”……..

and this year has proved to be no exception.

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Amy Hope

Have you been watching Professor Brian Cox’s brilliant ‘Forces of Nature’ series featured on BBC One? This week’s stunning final episode focused on the science behind the colours of our planet.

2aaBrian travelled around the globe experiencing phenomena such as the gentle beauty of a moon bow in Iceland, to the transformation of the sun-drenched Serengeti.

Finally, he landed in Northern Norway to uncover our favourite of all nature’s marvels – the spectacular Northern Lights.


Graham Hughes

If hunting the elusive Northern Lights (and being subjected to the X Factor every year) have taught me anything it is that the journey itself is equally as important as reaching the destination.

Travelling to the Arctic not only takes you into Aurora territory, but it takes you into vast tracts of pristine wilderness where stunning views become almost commonplace.

In the Arctic there is nothing bleak about the winter environment. Wildlife abounds, and you will certainly develop respect for your surroundings and individuals who have made it their home over the centuries and even in modern times have an admirable relationship with the nature around them.


Ben Murg

If you were lucky enough to enjoy one of our Northern Lights holidays to Muotka or Nellim this winter you will be familiar with our representative Ben. We caught up with Ben and here’s what he had to say.

How many times did you see the Northern Lights this winter?

Too many times to count. Every show is different which is what makes it so unique and special. For me, the times when I enjoy them the most is when I can see the different colours and the incredible movement. When it's like that it can't fail to send shivers down your spine.

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Credit: Marrku Inkila


Katrina Seator

This winter Katrina Seator has been working as our representative in Finland, looking after our Aurora Zone clients who were staying in Harriniva and Torassieppi. As this season draws to a close we asked Katrina to tell us about some of her favourite experiences of the season and for any top tips for our future travellers.

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Amy Hope

Dog Sledding and the Northern Lights in Greenland

As Product and Operations Manager here at the Aurora Zone, I have been a regular visitor to the more northerly and remote corners of Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Norway for many years. At first, the thought of travelling to places that lie north of the Arctic Circle was somewhat daunting but with growing experience it is something with which I have grown very comfortable and I occasionally found myself digging around for evermore remote places to visit.


Ali Mclean

Three Alternatives to the IceHotel

Written by Ali Mclean
Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Three Alternatives to the IceHotel

“a heady mix of sublime beauty and exquisite disappointment.”

If you watched Alexander Armstrong’s Land of the Midnight Sun on ITV this week you’ll have doubtless been awestruck by the sheer beauty of the IceHotel in Sweden’s Jukkasjärvi. Armstrong was rightly smitten with the IceHotel’s breathtaking interior areas and marvelled at the skilled craftsmanship of the ice and snow artisans who gather every October to create this annual monument to ice and snow architecture.

What the program didn’t reveal was that the affable presenter expresses far more mixed sentiments in the book “Land of the Midnight Sun” which accompanies the series. Yes he agrees, the IceHotel is astonishing but, he wasn’t as enthusiastic about what he perceived as an over-commercialisation of the project. Having expected “the pinnacle of refined luxury” he instead encounters “a huge complex that feels like something between a shopping centre and one of those “Christmas Wonderlands” that pop up in the Home Counties in the run up to Christmas each year”


Ali Mclean

Scary Northern Lights Myths and Legends

Written by Ali Mclean
Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Our forefathers believed that the Northern Lights were anything from spirits of the departed to vanquished warriors to the gods themselves.

Some saw the lights as a portent of good, guests travelling to a celestial wedding for example but, in the main, the lights were generally associated with something more malevolent.

We’ve been looking through our vast library of images to illustrate just why our ancestors held the Aurora in such reverence. Here are a few examples.

A Very Angry God?

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That is one very, very frightening face reflected in the mirror-like waters of the Paatsjoki River in Northern Finland.


Ali Mclean

Reflections of autumn

Written by Ali Mclean
Friday, 04 September 2015

Given the nature of my work I regularly travel to the destinations featured here at The Aurora Zone and, as a result, I get to know the countries very well and also its inhabitants. I most frequently visit Northern Scandinavia and whenever I meet a Finn, a Swede or a Norwegian for the first time I always ask the same question:

“Where is your cabin?”

Almost without exception, Scandinavians own a cabin, a cabin with no running water, no electricity but a cabin which almost invariably enjoys an enviable lakeside position. These cabins are where the good people of Finland, Sweden and Norway escape to immerse themselves in nature, to relax and to just generally have a pretty laid back time.
A few years ago, one of our Finnish suppliers invited me to come over and spend a few days at his remote lakeside cabin. He could get some time away from work in late-October and simply wanted to enjoy some downtime before the busy winter months.

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Dawn Kitson

As with most of our guests, my first impression of Lapland in the winter is one of awe that so much snow can possibly exist in one place.

I was never fortunate to go skiing or anything like that when I was younger, so for me this was the first time I had seen what real winter can look like.

Nellim Winter 2014 Credit Markku Inkila 46

It is obvious when you travel to somewhere like Nellim in Finnish Lapland that the snow in the UK is really rather pitiful and quite literally pales into comparison to the thick deep white snow of Lapland. It covers everything – roads, paths, rooftops, trees, frozen lakes, giving the whole place a magical, pristine and beautiful feel.


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The Aurora Zone was born from a desire to share Mother Nature’s greatest wonder with our clients. We’ve explored the destinations, researched the science, and fallen in love with the Scandinavian way of life. It’s our mission to pass this knowledge on to you, providing you with the very best chance of experiencing the magic for yourself on your Northern Lights holiday.

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