Our Northern Lights Blog
In just a few weeks, the 24 hours of daylight from the Midnight Sun will begin to dissipate and the northern skies will grow darker as autumn approaches.
The Midnight Sun is something to behold but it doesn’t half frustrate Aurora hunters in the Nordic countries because constant daylight renders the Northern Lights invisible. The lights are there, the displays are happening but unfortunately, they are invisible to the human eye.
All changes in mid to late-August as the days grow shorter and the nights become darker. There’s always excitement in Aurora hunting circles as to where the first displays of the new season will appear and, who will capture the phenomenon.
Whoever does see them first will have to be up pretty late at night because in late August there remains a large amount of residual light even after sunset. It is only in September when true darkness prevails and the Aurora presents itself in its full glory.
Here at The Aurora Zone, we send more people to Finland than any other destination. Unsurprisingly, we were absolutely delighted when the announcement came last week that the country is reopening its borders to fully vaccinated travellers.
We immediately booked five seats on Finnair flights to Ivalo and will be heading north in search of the Northern Lights in mid-September. We can’t wait. After so long without travelling abroad it will feel like freedom and, unlike many other destinations, we will head to Finland with absolutely no Covid worries.
Is it safe to travel to Finland?
Naturally, a lot of people are understandably reticent about travelling in the post-Covid era. However, with a bit of investigation, it transpires that you are far, far more likely to contract the dreaded lurgy at home than you are in the wilds of Northern Finland.
Even better, if you really do want to come home at the end of your holiday, there will be no need to quarantine when you do. Finland is on the UK’s Amber List and the chances of it moving to red are minuscule.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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'.
Founder and Managing Director - Ali McLean
We know Easter weekend will be a little different for us all this year and although our original plans will have changed, there’s no reason why we can’t indulge in learning about Easter traditions from across the world. In this blog, we look at how Finland celebrates the occasion with its own unique culture and traditions.
You may even find a new tradition to try in your own home this Easter!