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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 in Finnish Lapland.
Experience an autumn break in the heart of Lapland where the landscape is ablaze with a kaleidoscope of earthy hues, inky Arctic skies are bursting with celestial ripples of dancing light and daytime hours provide exquisite opportunities. See below for the experiences you could enjoy this autumn in Finnish Lapland.
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!
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Where to go to see the Northern Lights
Though there is no one best destination to witness an Aurora display, there is an area where they appear most frequently which is called the Aurora Zone. The Aurora Zone is situated in a latitude of approximately 66°N - 69°N and covers Finland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland. However, in order to maximise your chances, you need to escape artificial lights to find the dark starry skies.
Some of our trips include stays in bustling cities such as Reykjavik and Tromsø whereas others are in some of the most remote locations in the Arctic, but all of our dedicated Northern Lights activities take you out of the light pollution and into the best areas of the destination in order to maximise your Aurora chances.
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When to travel
The Aurora Borealis can occur at any time throughout the year but they only become visible once the summer’s Midnight Sun fades and the dark skies return once more to the Arctic.
From late August until April, the Aurora’s hypnotic dance can be seen by the naked eye. That means that you have all of autumn, winter and spring to choose from for your Northern Lights holiday. Whether you prefer the milder temperatures and colourful landscape of autumn, want the full wonderland experience in winter or still want the snow-based activities but in slightly warmer temperatures in spring, you have plenty of choice of when to travel for your Northern Lights holiday.
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How to hunt for the Northern Lights
In such remote areas, an expert local guide is imperative in helping you hunt for the Northern Lights. Not only do they have exceptional experience in the Arctic activities such as snowmobiling and snowshoeing but they also have unparalleled knowledge of the area in which they work. That means they can take you to the best vantage points and wilderness settings, whilst telling you all about the wonderful landscape.
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Making the most of the daylight hours
Though the Northern Lights may be your sole focus, the daytime hours in the Arctic can be just as memorable.
Experience the best of the winter wonderland as you travel out into the wilderness in an array of styles. Snowmobile across powdery trails, mush your loyal dog sledding team along the Arctic landscape and jump into a reindeer-pulled sleigh for the ultimate Lappish experience.
Of course, there are more relaxing activities if you want some downtime before your Aurora hunts. Take to the trails via cross-country skis or snowshoes for a slower pace, or unwind as the locals do in a traditional sauna.
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Choose the accommodation to suit you
A once-in-a-lifetime Northern Lights holiday deserves some spectacular accommodation. Choose from log cabins, wilderness lodges, remote hotels and even accommodation made completely of ice and snow!
For the Aurora enthusiasts, there are many different options that give you the chance to witness the brilliant light show right from the comfort of your bed.
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Ask an expert
Expertise and knowledge are key to witnessing the Northern Lights and our Aurora Experts have over 16 years’ experience in specialist holidays. When you combine our first-hand visits, expert local guides, scientific research and feedback from you, our valued clients, the by-product is a carefully-crafted Northern Lights holiday of a lifetime.
The Aurora Zone are quite simply your best chance for witnessing an Aurora display. Now you know a little more about what to expect from a Northern Lights holiday, get in touch today and we’ll help you choose your perfect break. Call 01670 785 012.
Image credits: Antti Pietikainen
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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.
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’.
Jade works within the Product and Operations Department and feels very fortunate to be able to pursue her dream job within the travel industry. Having always been a lover of the night sky, Jade shares the passion and excitement of our clients for wanting to see the Northern Lights.
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Having grown up as a member of a very active family, Jo now lives on her husband’s family farm in Northumberland where she can indulge her passion for ‘The Great Outdoors’. Having been on active holidays throughout her life, The Aurora Zone is the ideal place for her.
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- Watching the Northern Lights from the glass roofed sauna at Wilderness Hotel Inari.
- Snowmobiling on the pack ice in Luleå, Swedish Lapland.
- Listening to the excited huskies howl before dog sledding at Harriniva, Finnish Lapland.
- Eating reindeer meat cooked on an open fire in the Arctic.
- Hiking on a glacier in Iceland and seeing the black volcanic ash layers bringing geology to life, then winding down in the Blue Lagoon.
- Being in Menesjärvi, Finnish Lapland – in the middle of nowhere and skiing across the frozen lake.
- Bumping into Ray Mears on a frozen lake in Finland.
- Seeing the colour of autumn dazzle in Lapland and watching reindeer meander through the golden forests.
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