Frequently Asked Questions

Using our firsthand experience of our Northern Lights holidays and our many years in the travel industry we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help our guests with some of things we know are important to you. In the sections below we cover some general travel questions as well as specifics relating to some of unique destinations. For more information on the science behind the Northern Lights, the best place to see the Northern Lights and our unique Aurora hunting formula please visit our 'About the Aurora' section of the website.

We invest a great deal in sending our staff to our Northern Lights destinations and so if your question is not answered below then please do not hesitate to contact one of our travel experts. We all love discussing our Northern Lights holidays and experiences with our guests and so if we don't cover your question below please call us and we'll get the answer for you as quickly as possible.

 

How do I book an Aurora Zone holiday?

Booking our trips is a very straightforward process!

On each holiday page you will see a 'Book Now' button which will lead you through the completion of our booking form. Once this is submitted our sales team will contact you to confirm all of the details and arrange for secure payment of your deposit.

Alternatively, simply give us a call on 01670 785 012 and our travel experts will be available to take you through the booking process over the phone. They can also discuss your chosen holiday with you if you wish as we have firsthand experience of all of our destinations.

To secure your booking we will require a deposit which will be confirmed to you when you receive your quotation from us. This can be paid over the phone with a debit or credit card (2% charge for credit card and 2.5% for American Express).

We will then confirm all the details via email for you to check and confirm and set up an online account which you can log on to and download your documents. The full balance for your trip will be due nine weeks before your departure date and you will be provided with details of all of the payment options available.

Do Aurora Zone holidays include travel insurance?

Travel insurance is not included in your holiday package. As it is a vital part of any booking, everyone who books with us must have travel insurance which includes cover for all activities featured as part of your trip.

If you would like to obtain cover for your trip please feel free to contact specialist insurance brokers, Campbell Irvine for a quote using one of the following steps.

1) Click here to apply for travel insurance.
2) Tel: 0844 826 2722
3) Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you do choose to take out a policy with Campbell Irvine, then any activity when booked through The Aurora Zone is automatically insured (see below for exclusions) subject to the appropriate premium having been paid to Campbell Irvine. Snowmobiling, downhill skiing or snowboarding are excluded from the standard cover and, should you wish to participate in these activities, you will be required to extend cover to include Section G Winter Sports which is subject to an additional charge. All other winter activities (dog sledding, cross-country skiing etc) which are included in our holiday itineraries are automatically covered without the need to pay the Winter Sports additional charge. Please note if you are taking part in a tour visiting a mine or cave then repatriation in the event of a medical emergency is from the entrance to the cave/mine only. If you are planning to arrange any additional activities booked independently, please check with Campbell Irvine to confirm cover.

The Activity Travel Company Ltd trading as The Aurora Zone is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Campbell Irvine Ltd who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Will I need to buy specialist equipment?

The simple answer is no. On the vast majority of our Northern Lights holidays you will be provided with thermal overalls, gloves, boots and socks. On the few holidays where this equipment is not provided from start to finish you will always be fully kitted out during the activities. If cold weather clothing is provided it will be clearly mentioned in the 'what's included' section of the holiday page.

In our trip dossiers (these are available on all holiday pages and will be provided for you prior to travel), we will recommend a few items which will enhance the clothing provided in your destination so we would recommend reading this in full to maximise the enjoyment of your trip.

In our opinion there are a few simple rules which will keep you comfortably warm despite the minus temperatures. In terms of clothing we recommend thin, woollen layers rather than cotton. Always keep your head, hands and feet well insulated too as these are the areas where most heat is lost.

Should you have any questions about clothing before you travel please feel free to give us a call or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will give you advice based on our personal experiences in the cold weather!

Will I need to make a local payment?

No you won't. The prices we list on our website will be the price you pay for the services and experiences listed in the 'what's included' section on the individual trip pages (excludes any flight supplements or credit card charges).

Are flights included in Aurora Zone holidays?

The details of the inclusive flights can be found under the 'What's included?' section of any of our holidays. In the remote regions we offer, transport options can be extremely limited so in most cases it is necessary for us to secure these flights in advance.

If flight prices increase above the allocated cost included in the holiday package then you may be asked to pay an additional supplement. Should this be the case then it will be stated clearly to you at the time of booking.

Should you wish to book the package as 'land only' (i.e. no flights included) or request alternative departure airports, then please contact our travel experts to discuss the options available to you. We will always try to accommodate such requests, but some dates and trips may be more restricted than others. Please ensure that you do not make any of your own flight or transportation arrangements until specifically told to do so by a member of our team, as some restrictions may apply.

What happens if I miss my flight or flight connection?

Should you miss your initial flight you must go to the information desk for the relevant airline and inform them of this. They will aim to book you onto the next available flight, but there may be a charge for this over which unfortunately we have no control. When you have confirmed your onward travel arrangements please contact the local representatives at your destination or our UK office (details will be given in your final travel letter) and we will arrange new transfers if necessary. Please note that there may be an additional charge for this.

Depending on the reason for missing the flights you may be able to reclaim the additional costs from your insurance providers.

Due to the remote location of many of our Aurora Zone experiences, the next available flight may not be until the following day so please allow yourself plenty of time to get to the airport to avoid missing your flight. Most airlines recommend arriving at the airport no later than three hours before your flight departs. If you are flying in from overseas to depart from the UK we would strongly advise against trying to make same day connections and we cannot be held responsible for any non-connecting transport arrangements which are affected by any travel delays.

The majority of the flight arrangements for our destinations involve connecting flights due to the remote locations. In exceptional circumstances a delay on one flight may impact your second flight. Should this occur please make your way to the nearest information desk for the relevant airline and inform them of this as soon as possible as it is the airline's responsibility to book you onto the next available flight, which on occasion may be the next day. Please inform us of your new arrangements and we will do everything we can to ensure minimal impact on your holiday and will also assist you with any insurance claims upon your return.

How fit do I have to be to take part in an Aurora Zone holiday?

The answer to this question depends on which trip you are considering as, on the vast majority of our holidays, it is not necessary to have had any special training or to have high fitness levels. Each trip is given a 'pace' rating (relaxed, balanced, active or set your own) so you can be clear about which holiday would be the most suitable for you and our travel experts will be happy to answer any further questions you may have about your fitness level.

There are a few things that are important to bear in mind when it comes to fitness on our Aurora Zone experiences. The first is that you will be spending a fair amount of time in low temperatures which can cause you to be more tired than usual. The second thing to consider is that most of our holidays have been designed with beginners in mind and the people that go on our trips have usually never travelled to such locations before or had experience of activities such as husky safaris or snowmobiling - the guides will not throw you in at the deep end!

If you are unsure about the physical demands of a particular holiday please get in touch and our team will help accordingly.

If you or any member of your party is pregnant or has any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday or has any special requirements as a result of any medical condition or disability (including any which affect the booking process), please tell us before you confirm your booking so that we can assist you in considering the suitability of the arrangements and/or making the booking. If necessary you will need to ensure that you have contacted a doctor and discussed the itinerary before booking and you will also need to ensure you are covered by travel insurance, which is a pre-requisite for booking one of our holidays. It is also vital you keep us informed of any medical condition (including pregnancy) or disability which arises following your booking and prior to departure.

Is there a minimum or maximum age?

You can find the minimum age for participation in any of our holidays in the 'key facts' section of the holiday page. Whilst we will never provide a holiday to anyone under the age stated, it is possible that on occasion there may be younger participants travelling with the local suppliers in a destination who may be participating in one or more of your activities. If you have any questions about any of our destinations our travel experts will be more than happy to discuss them with you.

There is no maximum age for our holidays. We have arranged holidays for people in their nineties and who wish to fulfil their dream of seeing the Northern Lights. We want to make our holidays as accessible as possible and so if you have any questions, concerns or would like any recommendations then please discuss them with our travel experts.

All we ask is that iff you or any member of your party is pregnant or has any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday or has any special requirements as a result of any medical condition or disability (including any which affect the booking process), please tell us before you confirm your booking so that we can assist you in considering the suitability of the arrangements and/or making the booking. Please also ensure we are informed if any of the above should develop following your booking and prior to departure.

If necessary you will need to ensure that you have contacted a doctor and discussed the itinerary before booking and you will also need to ensure you are covered by travel insurance, which is a pre-requisite for booking one of our holidays. We of course will do all we can to make sure that you and your party have the best possible holiday experience.

Can I bring my children with me?

Our holidays are not designed for young children however our sister company, Activities Abroad, offers a range of family friendly Northern Lights holidays.

We do offer a select number of holidays where those 14 years old and above can participate as well as some where the age limit is 16 years old. Outside of these holidays the minimum age for participation is 18 years old. You can clearly see the minimum age on each of the holiday pages.

Can you cater for special dietary requirements?

We frequently get requests to cater for a range of dietary requirements such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, lactose free, etc, as well as dietary needs based on religion, food intolerances and allergies. Should you have any special dietary requirements please let us know at the time of booking and we will advise our guides and accommodation providers so that they can endeavour to cater to you accordingly.

You should be aware however, that due to the remote locations of our Aurora Zone experiences the options can be limited for those with dietary needs so we would ask you to provide us with as much information and guidance in advance as you can so our local suppliers can do their best to prepare for your visit.

The most common dietary requirement we get asked to cater for is vegetarianism. For buffets and set menus there will likely always be a vegetarian option however please be aware that fresh fruit and vegetables can be quite hard to come by in the depths of winter in some of our destinations.

If your flights are arranged by us then we will aim also to ensure that the airline is informed of any dietary requirements. From our experience though, airlines cannot guarantee that they can cater to dietary requirements so we would recommend taking your own food just in case.

Are there single supplements?

Yes, there are single supplements on our trips which we detail in the pricing section on our individual trip pages. We of course do what we can to keep these to an absolute minimum but unfortunately the vast majority of our accommodation providers do charge a premium for single occupancy rooms.

In addition, there are on occasion additional single supplements for activities such as snowmobiling which we will state on our website.

Please contact our travel experts if you would be interested in travelling on a 'prepared to share' basis, where you would share accommodation with another single traveller. This can be arranged in some destinations and any single supplement that may have been applied at the time of booking would be refunded to you.

Do I have to travel in a group?

Our Aurora Zone experiences are generally based on small groups to enable you to enjoy your experience with the company of like-minded travellers. We strive to keep group sizes small and detail what group size to expect on the 'what's included' section on the individual trip pages. Some trips will require a minimum number of participants in order to run which is also listed.

We do however also offer some holidays which can be offered on a private departure basis – where you choose the departure date to suit you and your party. These trips will be operated for you but there may be other people participating in the activities.

We also offer tailor made holiday options in some destinations whereby you can design your holiday from scratch using a weekly schedule of activities. You can choose how long you wish to travel for, when you want to travel and which experiences you would like to enjoy. A tailored quote can be prepared for you by one of our experts so please get in touch.

How can I log into my online account?

When you book one of our trips we will provide you with an online account which you will be able to log onto in order to access your trip documents. To access this please click the 'Log in' button at the top of the website homepage which will prompt you for your username and password. These will have been sent to you at the time of your booking being processed.

When you log onto your account for the first time you will be asked to confirm your details, following which you will be able to access all of your documentation for your Aurora Zone experience. These include a trip dossier with full packing list, your payment receipts, booking details and important safety documentation. Approximately two weeks before departure, after your balance has been paid in full, your tickets, voucher and important travel documents will be uploaded for you to print and take with you.

If you have any issues accessing your online account at all please contact a member of our administration team on 01670 785 010.

How do I pay the balance for my holiday?

The full balance of your trip will be due no later than nine weeks before your departure date and can be paid via bank transfer, debit card, credit card (a 2% charge will occur or 2.5% when paying by American Express) or cheque. We will provide you with all the details on how to pay for the balance in your online account.

If you make your booking within nine weeks of your departure date you will be asked to pay the full balance when you confirm your booking.

Do I need to pay a deposit?

We do require a deposit that will be payable at the time of booking in order for us to secure your holiday. We would advise paying this via debit card as there is a 2% charge levied by banks for credit cards.

Our standard deposit amount for our trips is £400 per person; however this may vary on occasion depending on the flight arrangements and trip price. You will be provided with details of the deposit amount when you receive your quotation from our travel experts.

Can I make changes to my trip after I have booked?

Changes can be made to your trip within reason before you travel.

The flights we utilise are almost always non-transferrable and non-refundable so we would advise you to check these in detail before confirming changes as we are very unlikely to be able to change them after they are booked.

Other changes to your trip, such as changing room types or activities can be made but an admin charge of £20 may be charged, together with any costs incurred by ourselves and any costs or charges incurred or imposed by any of our suppliers.

Is my money protected?

You may book with confidence as we are a fully bonded member of ABTA (ABTA number Y6261) which means that you have the benefit of ABTA's code of conduct and your money is fully protected regardless of whether we are arranging your flights for you or not.

We hold an Air Travel Organiser's License issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (ATOL number 6865). When you buy an ATOL protected flight or flight inclusive holiday* from us, you will receive an ATOL Certificate.

This lists what is financially protected, where you can get information from and who to contact if things go wrong. We, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL Certificate, will provide you with the services listed on the ATOL Certificate (or a suitable alternative).

In some cases, where neither we nor the supplier are able to do so for reasons of insolvency, an alternative ATOL holder may provide you with services you have bought or a suitable alternative (at no extra cost to you). You agree to accept that in those circumstances the alternative ATOL holder will perform those obligations and you agree to pay any money outstanding to be paid by you under your contract to that alternative ATOL holder. However, you also agree that in some cases it will not be possible to appoint an alternative ATOL holder, in which case you will be entitled to make a claim under the ATOL scheme (or your credit card issuer where applicable). If we, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL certificate, are unable to provide the services listed (or a suitable alternative, through an alternative ATOL holder or otherwise) for reasons of insolvency, the Trustees of the Air Travel Trust may make a payment to (or confer a benefit on) you under the ATOL scheme. You agree that in return for such a payment or benefit, you assign absolutely to those Trustees any claims which you have or may have arising out of or relating to the non-provision of the services, including any claim against us, the travel agent or your credit card issuer where applicable. You also agree that any such claims may be re-assigned to another body, if that other body has paid sums you have claimed under the ATOL scheme.

*The flights and flight-inclusive holidays we arrange are ATOL protected providing they are made available in the UK. For further information visit the ATOL website at www.atol.org.uk.

If you have any questions relating to financial protection, please do not hesitate to contact us as two members of our management team used to work within the CAA. They will be more than happy to take you through any concerns that you may have.

Please see our section on Financial Protection for further information.

Will there be tea and coffee making facilities in my room?

Tea and coffee facilities are not generally provided as standard in accommodation in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland. If they are included then we will list these details in the accommodation section on the trip pages. Tea and coffee will be available for you to purchase throughout the day in many of our destinations and the majority offer it free of charge.

If like us at The Aurora Zone, tea and coffee are essential daily items then we would recommend taking a travel kettle and your favourite hot drinks with you.

How expensive is Finland

Finland is not the cheapest destination when it comes to purchases. Alcohol in particular is expensive and you should expect to pay anywhere between £6 and £8 for a glass of wine. If you are staying in a remote location we do often offer these on a full board basis or if not on full board, a half board option. None of our holidays however are all-inclusive which means you must pay for your drinks at your hotel. Cash machines are not readily available in remote locations but within your accommodation you will be able to use your credit card to pay for additional items. We do also recommend you take some cash in case you wish to purchase some local souvenirs.

What kind of plugs do I need in Finland?

You will need an adaptor if travelling from the UK as Finland uses the Northern European two-pronged plug (type C).

How dark will it be in Finland?

The timings below are based on the town of Kittila in Finland but provide a good overview of what can be expected across Finnish Lapland.

From late August and through into the autumn months, the Aurora becomes visible in Finland as the nights draw in and daylight hours shorten. At the end of October areas of Finnish Lapland experience around seven hours of daylight per day (the days having rapidly shortened after midsummer's day).

As winter sets in things change quickly. From mid-December to the start of January areas of Northern Finland are bathed in a mystical blue light which is known as 'Kaamos' by the locals, this is when the sun disappears below the horizon and does not rise at all.

During this period the majority of the activities included in our itinerary will be carried out in this blue light, however in December and January, hours of light are limited so it is not uncommon for certain activities to be carried out in darker conditions. Don't despair though as the dark skies and increased hours of darkness are a great advantage for those looking to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. As the hours of darkness are longer it means you potentially won't have to stay up as late to see the Northern Lights.

By the end of January the daylight has returned to around five hours per day.

At the end of February, guests will be enjoying around eight to nine hours of daylight which increases to over thirteen hours by the end of March.

The Aurora hunting season therefore finishes in the first weeks of April as the daylight hours increase to a level which makes the Northern Lights hard to witness.

How cold will it be in Finland?

The weather in Finland is entirely dependent on the time of year you are travelling and where you are travelling to within Finland, as the weather in Helsinki is a lot milder than in Lapland. As the majority of our Finnish holidays are based above the Arctic Circle, the information below is based on the average conditions in the Lappish town of Kittila.

To give an average prediction is often difficult when it comes to the weather, however, in generalised terms during the months of September and October the temperature will typically range between 10°C and freezing. Snow has been known to fall in September so we do recommend that anyone travelling during this time is flexible with activities, as hikes can easily become snowshoe treks.

If you would like to experience the real winter months of Finnish Lapland then you should consider travelling during the months of November and February as you will experience daily average temperatures between -5°C and -15°C. As with all weather conditions they are out of our control; our guides will adapt itineraries for safety reasons and if they can rearrange activities for a later date or time they will always try their hardest to do so. The snow will remain on the ground until May but the temperatures will begin to rise from March onwards so you will experience some charming long days of sunshine. April and May are the months when the Finns take their holidays in the region where average day temperatures range between -4°C and 10°C.

What is the currency in Finland?

Finland's currency is the Euro as it is part of the Eurozone. Bank notes are available in the values of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Euro. Major credit cards are widely accepted in Finland and they are generally the simplest way to pay. For local handicraft items you might only be able to pay with cash so we do recommend you have cash on you. Cashpoints are not widely available throughout Finland so we would recommend you buy your Euros in your home country.

You should avoid reliance on a Diner's Club card, American Express or pre paid currency cards in these remote destinations as some systems will not accept them.

What is the food like in Finland

In Lapland, the wealth of lakes and traditional reindeer herders mean that there is an emphasis on local produce with fish and reindeer appearing on most menus.

Fish such as the Inari White Fish are unique to the waters of some of the Finnish lakes and the local people fish on a regular basis both during the summer and winter months (ice fishing is one of the most popular winter pastimes).

Although we understand that some people may not want to eat reindeer, it is a wonderful meat. The herders work using the same methods that they have done for centuries and there can be few meats that are as lean, delicious and sustainably farmed. Whether it is reindeer stew, filet steak, sautéed with mashed potato or salami, it is well worth trying if you are a carnivore.

In our opinion Finnish food has always exceeded customer expectations. In some of our destinations the restaurants have a reputation for cuisine. In others the food is fabulously simple, home-cooking using local ingredients. In remote areas, the access to fresh fruit and vegetables can be limited and so they may not form a major part of the menu. In all of our destinations, we find that the food is exactly what you need after a day of experiences - whether it is a set menu of crafted cuisine or a meal cooked on an open fire in a wilderness cabin.

Helsinki is a wonderfully gastronomic city, so if you are stopping off on your way north or south then we will be more than happy to recommend some restaurants, because there are some fabulous culinary experiences to be had. Please let us know of any dietary requirements at the time of booking so our suppliers can accommodate them to the best of their ability.

If you have any special dietary requirements then please let us know at the time of booking. We often have requests to cater for vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, fish free diets, etc, and the accommodation providers and guides will always do all they can to cater for them accordingly. We can of course also cater for dietary requirements based on religion, food intolerances and allergies.

Due to the remote location of many of our destinations, the options can be a little limited for those with dietary needs. Please provide us with as much information, as far in advance as possible.
Where buffet food is included, there will be a vegetarian option available. Fresh fruit and vegetables can be a little hard to come by in the depths of the winter months in some of our destinations so they can be a little scarce.

If we are arranging your flights we will always aim to ensure that the airline is made aware of any dietary requirements. Dietary requirements with the airline cannot always be guaranteed in our experience, you may wish to consider taking your own food as a backup plan - especially where there is 'buy on board' food, as the options can be very limited.

What should I wear in a sauna in Finland

You will find a sauna in most of our Finnish holiday accommodations, even our wilderness cabins, as they are almost a national obsession.

There are a number of different ways in which saunas can be heated and these vary from accommodation to accommodation, including traditional wood burning saunas, electrically heated saunas, smoke saunas and steam saunas. Do be prepared, Scandinavians typically enjoy their sauna clothing free which is why there is usually separate facilities for men and women.
Should you really want the full experience then feel free to embrace this too, however, we do understand that this will fill many with dread; swimwear and towels can also be worn.

Regardless of what you decide to wear (or not wear), the customary invigorating roll in the snow or dip into an icy lake are considered to be tradition after a sauna (as long as you are a medically fit and don't have any heart conditions!).

How expensive is Norway?

Due to high taxation Norway is the most expensive of all the Nordic countries with high prices for accommodation, food and drink.

This may all seem unfair to visitors and travellers but it does ensure that Norway is one of the most generous welfare states in the world and has a higher average wage for its residents.

You should be prepared to pay more for your purchases when visiting Norway and in particular alcoholic drinks as these are heavily taxed. We do not offer any all-inclusive trips, so drinks must be paid for directly with the hotel.

What is the currency in Norway?

The currency in Norway is the Norwegian Kroner often abbreviated to NOK. Bank notes are available in denominations of 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 kroner and coins are in 1, 5, 10 20 kroner. Generally the easiest and securest way to pay for items is via credit card as these are accepted in the majority of places. Your credit or debit card will require you to have a card with a chip and PIN (Personal Identification Number) to pay with or to withdraw your cash. The older magnetic-strip cards (usually found in the USA) are not commonly accepted. In remote locations, cash machines are not common so we would advise you to either take cash with you or make use of the cash machines at the airport.

You should avoid reliance on a Diner's Club card, American Express or pre-paid currency cards in these remote destinations as some systems will not accept them.

What is the food like in Norway?

Norwegian cuisine is inspired heavily by its natural surroundings. With a coastline covering more than 25000km it is not surprising that fish and seafood dominate Norway's culinary scene.

A traditional Norwegian dish which is now a major international export is smoked salmon and this will be commonly found throughout the country. Cod, sardines, herring and mackerel also widely feature.

In the coastal regions, Lutefisk is also a famous snack. Here fish is hung out to dry on huge drying racks, using a method that has been in practice for thousands of years.

The northern coastal regions, in particular Kirkenes, are renowned for freshly caught king crab dishes. These creatures were introduced to the Barents Sea by Russia during the 1960s to provide a valuable catch for Soviet fishermen. Served as a delicacy, they have flourished and spread along the coast.

The diversity of Norway's landscape also provides a natural habitat to a range of sheep, elk, reindeer and woodland fowl, which are commonly used in recipes throughout the country.

If you visit the city location of Tromsø you will find the culinary scene is incredibly modern, international and varied with a huge range of restaurants to choose from.

Please let us know at the time of booking if you have any dietary requirements so that our suppliers can accommodate them to the best of their ability.

We often have requests to cater for vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, fish free diets, etc and the accommodation providers and guides will always do all they can to cater for them accordingly. We can of course also cater for dietary requirements based on religion, food intolerances and allergies.

Due to the remote location of many of our destinations, the options can be a little limited for those with dietary needs. Please provide us with as much information, as far in advance as possible.
Where buffet food is included, there will be a vegetarian option available. Fresh fruit and vegetables can be a little hard to come by in the depths of the winter months in some of our destinations so they can be a little scarce.

If we are arranging your flights we will always aim to ensure that the airline is made aware of any dietary requirements. Dietary requirements with the airline cannot always be guaranteed in our experience, so you may wish to consider taking your own food as a backup plan - especially where there is 'buy on board' food, as the options can be very limited.

What kind of plugs do I need in Norway?

You will need an adaptor if travelling from the UK as Norway uses the Northern European two-pronged plug (type C).

How dark will it be in Norway?

The northern areas of Norway experience large variations in daylight hours due to their latitude. From Midnight Sun in the summer to polar nights in the winter - there is something special about each season here. The details below are based on the city of Tromsø but are relevant to the region as a whole.

For an Aurora hunter however the season kicks off in earnest around mid-October as the days grow shorter, rapidly. At the start of the month the region enjoys over 11 hours of daylight and by the end this is under seven hours.

The sun disappears behind the horizon at the very end of November and does not appear again until mid-January. During this period of polar nights the middle of the day does offer some light for a few hours and this is called 'blue light' and is similar to an extended dusk. It is a stunning spectacle to see the landscape bathed in this unique light but you should be prepared for activities to take place in the hours of darkness. One of the real benefits of this period however is the chance for early evening Auroras in the dark skies.

By the end of February the region enjoys around nine hours of daylight and the Northern Lights season will end at the end of March as the daylight hours overtake the night once again.

How cold will it be in Norway?

Weather conditions in Norway vary depending on which area of the country you are travelling to and what time of year it is that you visit.

The weather and temperatures discussed relate to the counties of Nordland and Finnmark as the majority of our trips to Northern Norway are based here.

During the winter months along the north coast the Gulf Stream keeps temperatures mild and wet with increased rainfall in comparison to other countries of similar latitude. Winters along the Norwegian coastline are relatively warm compared to Northern Finland and Sweden, in Lofoten the average temperature between November and March is around 0°C. In Tromsø the November averages are between 2°C and freezing falling to between -2 and -7°C on average in February.

How dark will it be in Iceland

Due to its latitude Iceland experiences extreme variations in daylight hours which change rapidly throughout the year. The details below are all based on the country's capital – Reykjavik.

The Northern Lights viewing season begins in earnest in October as the days draw short enough to provide the dark skies required for a sighting of the Aurora. From mid-October Reykjavik experiences eight hours of daylight a day – great for both daytime and night-time activities.

Through November the nights draw in until at the end of December this capital city receives around four hours where the sun is above the horizon per day.

This all changes exceedingly quickly however as by the end of February Reykjavik receives nearly 10 hours of daylight once again.

The Northern Lights season here draws to a close in March as the nights begin to lighten quickly and there are over 13 hours of daylight by the end of this month.

How cold will it be in Iceland?

The weather in Iceland is notoriously unpredictable and the area you are travelling to and the month in which you travel will all factor into the weather conditions.

Despite its icy name Iceland does not experience high snowfall, even in the winter.

Iceland is surprisingly warmer than people would expect due to it being warmed by the Gulf Stream and from October through to April the average temperature is between 5°C and -5°C.

When travelling to the South Shore region of Iceland it is advisable to go prepared for all weather conditions as it is not uncommon for you to experience a variety of temperatures and conditions during one week.

As a contrast to the north, where snow is common in the winter, the south is generally warmer, albeit wetter and windier.

What is the currency in Iceland?

The currency in Iceland is the Icelandic Króna which is often abbreviated to ISK or Kr. Coins are in values of 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1 ISK and bank notes are in values of 10000, 5000, 2000, 1000 and 500 ISK.

Most major credit cards are widely accepted and these are the simplest way to pay for items. If you are travelling to remote destinations we would recommend carrying some cash.

In order to pay or withdraw cash with your credit or debit card it requires that you have a card with a chip and PIN (Personal Identification Number). The older magnetic-strip cards (usually found in the USA) are not commonly accepted. You should avoid reliance on a Diner's Club card, American Express or pre-paid currency cards in remote destinations as some systems will not accept them.

There are ATMs in the majority of locations to enable you to take out cash, but again, these are less common in some of the remote regions.

What is the food like in Iceland

The food in Iceland offers a wide variety of gastronomic delights, from traditional dishes which date back centuries, to a variety of remarkable international cuisine.

Iceland's traditional dishes are commonly based on lamb, fish and dairy products with little added herbs and spices. Local dishes include Skyr (a cultured dairy product similar to yoghurt), cured shark and singed sheep head – however these are not regulars on most destination menus.

Seafood is very central to a lot of Icelandic cooking; principally cod, haddock, salmon and herring.

Puffin is considered a local delicacy and can be sampled in a small number of restaurants.

You will likely be served traditional side dishes such as boiled or mashed potatoes, green beans, pickled cabbage, or rye bread.

The modern food scene is thriving and Reykjavik in particular has many award winning restaurants and chefs. With restaurants creating imaginative and delicious fare it is fast becoming one of the best locations to sample high quality new Nordic cuisine.

Here you can sample diverse uses of local ingredients such as fresh seafood, organic lamb and wild game; but be sure to try an Icelandic hotdog too.

If you have any special dietary requirements then please let us know at the time of booking. We often have requests to cater for vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, fish free diets etc, and the accommodation providers and guides will always do all they can to cater for them accordingly. We can of course also cater for dietary requirements based on religion, food intolerances and allergies.

Due to the remote location of many of our destinations, the options can be a little limited for those with dietary needs. Please provide us with as much information, as far in advance as possible.
Where buffet food is included, there will be a vegetarian option available. Fresh fruit and vegetables can be a little hard to come by in the depths of the winter months in some of our destinations so they can be a little scarce.

If we are arranging your flights we will always aim to ensure that the airline is made aware of any dietary requirements. Dietary requirements with the airline cannot always be guaranteed in our experience and you may wish to consider taking your own food as a backup plan - especially where there is 'buy on board' food, as the options can be very limited.

How expensive is Iceland?

As with its Nordic counterparts, Iceland is sadly not the cheapest of destinations when it comes to purchases such as food and drink, accommodation, activities and transport. In particular alcohol can be very expensive and we would advise you to budget for this accordingly.

A pint of beer costs on average £7, whilst a glass of wine will set you back around £9.

Restaurant costs can vary depending on where you are, but in places such as Reykjavik you will find options for all budgets.

The majority of our trips in Iceland will include breakfast and are often based on half board to make things easier for you.

What kind of plugs do I need in Iceland?

You will need an adaptor if travelling from the UK as Iceland uses the Northern European two-pronged plug (type C).

How dark will it be in Sweden?

The Northern Lights season kicks off in earnest at the end of August in Northern Swedish Lapland as the daylight hours begin to draw in, following the 24 hour daylight of June.

The daylight hours discussed below are for the town of Kiruna in Swedish Lapland but give a good indication of what conditions will be like across Swedish Lapland.

In the autumn months the days are light and the nights start to offer the ideal backdrop for our Aurora hunting tours with around seven hours of daylight experienced in the area at the end of October.

From the middle of December the sun disappears behind the horizon and does not reappear again until January. During this period the area experiences a wonderful polar light for a period of time during the middle of the day, this light is similar to an extended dusk. If you travel during this period then you should expect activities to be enjoyed either in this blue light or perhaps the darker hours of the day.

By the end of January guests can enjoy the sun once again during around six hours of daylight. This extends by the end of February to around nine hours, increasing to over thirteen hours by the end of March.

The Aurora season draws to a close around the first two weeks of April as the nights become too short and the days too bright to witness the Northern Lights in their full glory.

How cold will it be in Sweden?

The good majority of our trips in Sweden take place close to or above the Arctic Circle so you will expect to find a subarctic climate of short mild summers and longer cold winters. The figures below are based on the average climate experienced in Kiruna, Swedish Lapland.

In the autumn months temperatures fall from an average high of 9 degrees Celsius in September to around -4 degrees by November.

From December through to February temperatures tend to range between -5 and -15 degrees Celsius although lows of around -35 degrees have been experienced. As March progresses the temperatures rise a little and temperatures tend to remain between 0 and -10 degrees as an average.

Have no fear though, you will find that in the vast majority of our holidays all of your cold weather clothing is provided and if you follow our packing lists you should have no trouble keeping the cold at bay.

What is the currency in Sweden?

Sweden utilises the Krona as its currency, which is often abbreviated as SEK. Bank notes are available in values of 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 and coins come in 1, 5 and 10 Krona.

In remote locations, cash machines are not common so we would advise you to take some cash with you or perhaps use the cash machines at Stockholm Airport if you are transiting there.

Major credit cards are accepted in most hotels and destinations and these are usually the easiest and most secure way to pay for your items. In order to pay or withdraw cash with your credit or debit card it requires that you have a card with a chip and PIN (Personal Identification Number). The older magnetic-strip cards (usually found in the USA) are not commonly accepted.
You should avoid reliance on a Diner's Club card, American Express or pre-paid currency cards in these remote destinations as some systems will not accept them.

What is the food like in Sweden?

There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to Swedish cuisine, which has no doubt been influenced by the likes of IKEA; it is commonly believed that all restaurants serve meatballs and Daim bar cake alone!

Sweden is hugely influenced by the surrounding countryside with dishes characterised by the distinct and natural flavours of the landscape. The food scene here is one that is continually evolving, and recently chefs have been looking to old culinary traditions, rediscovering and reinventing Swedish classics, known as husmanskost.

Dishes tend to include ingredients such as pork, reindeer, herring, crayfish, milk, cabbage and potato. Commonly enjoyed Swedish dishes include pea soup (ärtsopa) usually served with pancakes (pannkakor), potato dumplings with a filling of onions and pork (kroppkakor) and meat stew with onions (kalops).

Pickled herring is used in vast quantities, due to its abundance in the North and Baltic Seas. Breads are prepared and served in endless variation, commonly flatbread, rye bread and crisp bread.

Desserts can include flavours such as lingonberries and cloudberries. Sweet treats are also found in the form of pastries and waffles.

If you have any special dietary requirements then please let us know at the time of booking. We often have requests to cater for vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, fish free diets, etc, and the accommodation providers and guides will always do all they can to cater for them accordingly. We can of course also cater for dietary requirements based on religion, food intolerances and allergies.

Due to the remote location of many of our destinations, the options can be a little limited for those with dietary needs. Please provide us with as much information, as far in advance as possible.

Where buffet food is included, there will be a vegetarian option available. Fresh fruit and vegetables can be a little hard to come by in the depths of the winter months in some of our destinations so they can be a little scarce.

If we are arranging your flights we will always aim to ensure that the airline is made aware of any dietary requirements. Dietary requirements with the airline cannot always be guaranteed in our experience and you may wish to consider taking your own food as a backup plan - especially where there is 'buy on board' food, as the options can be very limited.

How expensive is Sweden?

Sweden is no exception to the reputation that most Scandinavian countries are rather expensive. Alcohol and food in particular are priced fairly high with a glass of wine between £7 or £8 and a pint on average £6. The majority of our trips do include, some are half board and in remote destinations we offer full board. You should budget your trip accordingly as alcoholic drinks are not included on our trips.

What kind of plugs do I need in Sweden?

You will need an adaptor if travelling from the UK as Sweden uses the Northern European two-pronged plug (type C).

Do I need a visa in Sweden?

If you are travelling from within the EU you do not require a visa for Sweden and if you are a UK national you are able to stay for up to three months. Your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay. It is your responsibility to ensure you have all the necessary visas, passport validity and documents in place before you travel if you are travelling on a non-British passport. Please contact your foreign office or Swedish Embassy for all the necessary details.

What should I wear in a sauna in Sweden?

You will find a sauna in most of our Swedish Lapland holiday accommodations, even our wilderness cabins, as they are almost a national obsession. There are a number of different ways in which saunas can be heated and these vary from accommodation to accommodation including traditional wood burning saunas, electrically heated saunas, smoke saunas and steam saunas.

Do be prepared as Scandinavians typically enjoy their sauna clothing-free which is why there is usually separate facilities for men and women. Should you really want the full experience then feel free to embrace this too, however, we do understand that this will fill many with dread; swimwear and towels can also be worn.

Regardless of what you decide to wear (or not wear), the customary invigorating roll in the snow or dip into an icy lake are considered to be tradition after a sauna (as long as you are a medically fit and don't have any heart conditions!).

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