Sue Mcdonald

Sue Mcdonald

Reindeer

Written by Sue Mcdonald
Wednesday, 18 March 2015

A symbol of Lapland

Reindeer are wholly synonymous with Lapland and are very much a part of the history, culture and tradition of the region. Excavations here have revealed hunting pits and stone carvings which highlight that reindeer have been herded here since the Stone Age.

Herding and reindeer husbandry are primarily roles occupied by the Sámi people, the indigenous people of Lapland, with the animals raised for their meat, hide and antlers.

The practice of herding has been updated to fit with a more modern Lapland but herding would not be possible without the maintenance of traditional knowledge and skills that are passed from generation to generation.

During your visit to Lapland, experiencing a day with a reindeer herder and their animals is a brilliant way to gain an insight into life here. During some of the activities, you will also be able to try your hand at some of the reindeer herding practices including feeding the animals and lassoing.

Scroll to learn more about the reindeers of Lapland.

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Sue Mcdonald

Photographing the Northern Lights

Written by Sue Mcdonald
Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Capturing the Lights

We know that as well as seeing the Northern Lights in all their dazzling glory, a goal for most of our clients is also to capture their remarkable beauty on camera. Over the years we have seen such truly beautiful Aurora photography that it is easy to see why. Whilst a picture or video can never quite be the same as a live show, an image which shows the spectacular colours or a time-lapse video that shows the shimmering, dancing and swirling movement of the lights is something to be treasured forever.

As the local guides and suppliers in Lapland become aware of this desire to view the Northern Lights on film, more of our trips are moving towards helping our guests achieve this aim.

We offer a popular photography evening on our Abisko trips, organised by renowned photographer Chad Blakley and operated by one of his expert guides. This is the perfect excursion for those who may have the enthusiasm to capture the Aurora but may not have the correct equipment, as you will be issued with a camera and tripod. All you need is an SD card so you can take your photos home with you!

With our trips to Menesjärvi and Nellim, the guides are growing ever more experienced in photography and will be happy to offer advice and guidance on how to get the ideal photo should the conditions be in your favour.

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Sue Mcdonald

Luosto Arctic View Rooms

Written by Sue Mcdonald
Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Sleep under the Northern Lights in Luosto

A wonderful feature of our hugely popular trips to Luosto is the chance to stay in one of the luxurious Arctic View Rooms.

Ten of these wonderful concept rooms have been created, within easy walking distance of the hotel, to offer guests an alternative nights' accommodation with stunning panoramic views of the night sky.

Each room is self-contained, offering large windows and a partially glass-roof to ensure you can keep an eye on the sky at all times. Whilst we can't guarantee the Northern Lights, we can give you the best possible chance of witnessing them as you stay tucked up in bed. 

These rooms are part of a growing trend across Lapland in providing a warm and comfortable setting from which guests can enjoy the night sky at their leisure.

At Luosto though, they really have given great attention to the detail and comfort in these rooms and we are thrilled to be able to offer these to our guests as an add-on to some of our most popular trips.

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Sue Mcdonald

Log cabins and winter cottages

Written by Sue Mcdonald
Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The cosiest places to stay

Thoughts of a winter in Lapland conjure up images of pristine snow-topped scenery – frosted trees, frozen lakes and perfect white fells.

Many people also picture a cosy and welcoming log cabin against this idyllic backdrop. On a selection of Aurora Zone trips, this image can often become reality and we have several trips which feature cabins or winter cottages as an accommodation option.

Having a log cabin as your base and hideaway brings a sense of adventure, escapism and romance and we will often happily recommend them to our guests who are travelling for an anniversary or a honeymoon for example.

These cottages and cabins also work well for families and small groups who want their own home from home whilst on holiday together. 

Scroll to learn more about this wonderful accommodation choice.

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Sue Mcdonald

Husky Safari

Written by Sue Mcdonald
Wednesday, 18 March 2015

An exceptional experience

Dog sledding is one of the most sought after experiences we offer at The Aurora Zone and has almost universal appeal.

There is something about travelling in this time-honoured fashion that really puts you in touch with nature and allows you to experience the landscape from a unique perspective.

We offer all kind of husky sledding experiences during Aurora Zone trips, from full day adventures to a short taster session. We have safaris that allow you to enjoy the scenery by day and also those that take you out in the darkness in search of the Northern Lights.

You will be accompanied by expert mushers who know the trails and their dogs extremely well. They will give you full instructions on how to handle your sled and loyal team of dogs before you set off into the wilderness. Though this is not your typical form of transport, you will soon see that stepping into the role of a musher is an exceptional way to explore the Arctic landscape.

For those who prefer to ride as a passenger, we also offer many experiences where our expert mushers stay in the driver's seat and you can simply sit back and watch the breathtaking winter scenes unfold around you.

Scroll to learn more about this brilliant activity.

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Sue Mcdonald

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing

Written by Sue Mcdonald
Wednesday, 18 March 2015

A Nordic tradition 

Snowshoes and cross-country skis may not seem as exciting as husky safaris and snowmobiling but these simple activities not only have a long history in remote regions but are often a surprise hit with many of our clients and we warn you, they can be addictive. 

Both sports have developed over centuries to allow easier and faster transport across the thick layer of snow that winter brings to these remote regions.

When snowshoes are strapped on they provide you with a larger surface area on which to walk across deep layers of snow, allowing your weight to be distributed more evenly and thus stopping you from sinking.

Cross-country skis work on more compacted and thinner layers of snow and involve the use of flat, long skis and poles to propel you across the snow. 

We offer many different opportunities to get you out on both snowshoes and cross-country skis. From following your expert local guide into the surrounding wilderness to learn all about the flora and fauna in the Arctic to taking off into the dark night for a peaceful way to search for the Northern Lights, there are plenty of different ways to experience both activities.

Many of our hotels also offer hire of the equipment so that you can do some independent exploration of the snowy landscape. Scroll down to learn more about snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

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Sue Mcdonald

Aurora Sleighs

Written by Sue Mcdonald
Wednesday, 18 March 2015

A unique way to hunt the Aurora

One of our most popular and sought after destinations Nellim, in North East Finland, offers its guests a unique way to hunt out the Northern Lights using an Aurora Sleigh.

These sleighs combine the potential for an Aurora viewing with a private and memorable experience.

Pulled by the guide's snowmobile, the sleighs offer panoramic views through their Perspex windows and roof and are also fully heated, allowing you to enjoy the snow topped vista around you and the pitch black sky above you.

What's more, with easy access to the expansive frozen Lake Inari, you will have plenty of untouched wilderness to choose from for your Aurora hunt.

Scroll to learn more about this exceptional Northern Lights opportunity.

 

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Sue Mcdonald

Aurora Bubble

Written by Sue Mcdonald
Wednesday, 18 March 2015

A room with a view

The Aurora Bubbles are the creation of Jouko and Mari Lappalainen who run two of our popular destinations, Nellim Wilderness Hotel and Muotka Wilderness Lodge.

Essentially they consist of wooden bases topped with a magnificent perspex dome, through which, you can enjoy an incredible view of the arctic sky and, of course, any potential Auroras that may appear above you.

The bubbles are located in areas free from light pollution and so any view of the Aurora is unhindered. If the Lights do shine above you then it is possible to witness them from the comfort of the beds.

Though we cannot guarantee a sighting of the Northern Lights, we can promise an unforgettable night in a unique room and one of the cosiest ways to keep an eye on the night sky for a potential display!

We recommend either starting your holiday in style by spending your first night in an Aurora Bubble or finishing your trip in spectacular fashion with your final night spent sleeping under the stars. 

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Sue Mcdonald

Aurora Alerts

Written by Sue Mcdonald
Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Guiding you to the Northern Lights

When it comes to hunting for the Aurora, in our experience we have seen that you need to combine a little bit of science, local knowledge, some luck and a lot of commitment!

We do everything we can to improve your chances on our Aurora Zone trips; putting you in a remote location, taking you away from artificial light and ensuring that there are knowledgeable and experienced guides on hand to maximise your chances.

Aurora hunting does require some dedication though – you need to keep a close watch on the sky and stay up late (Auroras are at their most active from 10 pm onwards) and also be aware that the situation can change quickly.

Some nights it can look like the thick cloud that is covering the sky is not going to budge, but there may just be a break in the cloud through which the Northern Lights can appear.

That's where an Aurora Alert comes in. These handy aids can help put your mind at ease and save you from spending the whole night outside so as to not miss the spectacular show. Scroll to learn more about Aurora Alerts.

 

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Sue Mcdonald

New Year Holidays

Written by Sue Mcdonald
Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Start the year in style

It’s often said how New Year’s Eve can be somewhat of an anti-climax. The stress of planning how to celebrate often outweighs the actual experience, which is why our New Year’s Eve Aurora Zone holidays are always popular.

With a Northern Lights holiday, you are not only guaranteed unforgettable experiences ready and waiting in our handpicked destinations but you also have our Aurora Travel Experts there to handle every detail for you. That means all you have to worry about is enjoying every moment of your holiday of a lifetime!

Swap the crowded and expensive parties for the frozen north. With its breathtaking scenery, new experiences to enjoy and the chance to witness the Northern Lights, you will really kick off the New Year in style.

What's more, there is no better way to start your New Years' resolutions than in locations that offer so many bucket list experiences. Scroll to learn more about how you could celebrate the New Year in style.

 

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Get an expert opinion

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.

  • Specialist

    Aurora knowledge and experience

    Unique holidays, in the very best destinations

    Expert guides – exceptional local knowledge

    Advice and guidance every step of the way

  • Comprehensive

    We include more in our holidays than any other Aurora operator

    Price Comparison guarantee

    No ‘from’ prices, everything you see is included in the price

    No hidden extras

  • Independent

    Proudly Independent

    The original and still the only dedicated UK Northern Lights tour operator

    Personal, hands-on service

    Fair and sustainable work ethos

  • Trusted

    100% ATOL and ABTA protection

    Providing peace of mind

    Award-winning

    Responsible relationships

    Over 16 years’ experience