The best places to spot the Northern Lights without leaving your bed
Though locations north of the Arctic Circle offer an array of incredible experiences, chances are one of your main reasons for visiting is to try and see the Northern Lights. Here at The Aurora Zone, it is our number one priority to share this exceptional bucket list moment with our clients which is why we offer many different ways to try and experience this phenomenal display. One of our favourite ways has to be by spending a night in an innovative Aurora accommodation.
Our local suppliers know exactly what it takes to help you achieve your dream of seeing the Northern Lights, which is why they offer an exceptional standard of dedicated places to stay, giving you the chance to keep your eyes on the sky throughout the night. This not only means that you can continue your search for the Aurora long after that evening’s Northern Lights activity, but it is also one of the cosiest ways to try and spot the skies light up.
So, that’s why we’ve taken a look at some of the most memorable, creative and luxurious places to spend a night (or more!) looking up at the dark Arctic night in hope of an unforgettable display. Here (in no particular order) are our favourite places to spot the Northern Lights without leaving your bed...About The best places to spot the Northern Lights without leaving your bed
Levi and Saariselkä Northern Lights Villages
For those who want the chance to keep watch for the Northern Lights on not just one night but all nights of their stay, the northern lights villages are an ideal option.
Located in the north east of Finnish Lapland, Saariselkä Northern Lights Village was custom built to offer every one of their welcome guests the opportunity to see the Northern lights from the comfort of their bed. Here there are 80 Aurora Cabins, each of which has a north facing, tepee shaped glass roof, underneath which you can lie back in bed and gaze directly into the sky. The hotel lies close the ski resort of Saariselkä yet the dense forest which separates the two ensures the remote location and minimal light pollution that every Aurora hunter needs.
Similarly, Levi Northern Lights Village enjoys its own piece of wilderness around 6km from the centre of Levi. Here there are 40 Aurora Cabins which each have electric fireplaces for that added cosy factor.
The Aurora Cabins at both are all equipped with heated windows (ensuring that snowfall won’t obstruct your all-important view), ensuite toilet and shower room, free Wi-Fi and tea and coffee facilities.
Both destinations have a warm and comfortable restaurant in their main building where you can enjoy delicious local dishes showcasing seasonal ingredients. Each also offers their guests an exciting array of winter activities to really make the most of the snow topped surroundings, with everything from husky sledding to snowmobiling to cross country skiing and more.
The wilderness hotels of Nellim, Muotka and Inari are all an Aurora hunter’s dream. Alongside their remote setting and variety of Aurora hunting activities, each also offers Aurora Cabins as an accommodation upgrade for a night of your stay. For those who are considering booking for a special occasion, or if you perhaps just want a treat for the last night of your trip, these are the ideal option.
At Inari their glass roofed cabins sit on the banks of lake Inari exhibiting beautiful views across the ice by day and a perfect vantage point in which to gaze directly in to the northern sky at night. With the same basic design as those at Levi and Saariselkä, these Aurora Cabins have ensuite toilet and shower room, double or twin beds and a sofa bed with space for an extra guest. Idyllically finished with Finnish-designed soft furnishings they offer a touch of rustic luxury.
Muotka go one step further with their Aurora Cabins which also have a private sauna inside, ideal for warming up after your evening activity or simply relaxing before a night of sky watching for dancing lights. Muotka has a beautiful setting in the tree covered fells of north east Finland and has long been one of our most sought-after Northern Lights destinations.
Nellim was the original wilderness hotel and here guests can upgrade to Aurora Cabins which are similar in design to those they have at Inari. At Nellim they also have Aurora Bubbles, the predecessors to the Aurora Cabins, with a bubble shaped Perspex roof in place of a tepee one, underneath which a double bed looks up directly into the sky. These have an eco-toilet but no shower, so it is usually recommended for guests to keep their hotel room alongside this.
Aurora Dome at Torassieppi
The Aurora domes at Torassieppi are a truly remarkable purpose-built design and are offered as a one-night upgrade to our trips at Torassieppi as well as the nearby destinations of Harriniva and Jeris. They are deal for couples and, whilst they can be booked of any night of your stay, they are a lovely upgrade for the last night of your trip to really finish it off in style!
In contrast to the wood base and glass roofs of the Aurora Cabins, they are effectively large yurt-like structures which have been adapted to their arctic surroundings and to provide guests with an ideal view of nature’s greatest light show.
Echoing a traditional igloo design with their circular shape, each has a double bed and small seating area overlooking a transparent wall through which the night sky can be seen. Each has a wood burning stove which is further complimented by soft lighting, reindeer skins and blankets ensuring a beautifully cosy retreat.
Guests have access to the sauna and bathroom facilities which are situated around 50 metres away from the lakeside camp.
360 Cabin at Apukka
The beautiful design is based on a Komsio (a traditional Sámi cradle) and also nods to it natural surroundings with its traditional Sámi furnishings.
Featuring two tiers, the boutique cabin gives you both privacy and a high vantage point for seeking Aurora-filled skies. The second floor has 360°-degree views via its glass ceiling and windows, under which the bed is conveniently situated. At night you will enjoy ideal view of the sky to look out for potential Northern Lights displays.
Downstairs the view is also taken into consideration. Here you will find a lounge area and a convertible sofa which are overlooked by large windows (you have the option to leave these covered or uncovered).
The cabin can be added as a one night or more upgrade to any of our brilliant Apukka trips. Situated just a short distance from Rovaniemi but set in wilderness surroundings away from light pollution, the Apukka Resort is an ideal location for both Arctic and Aurora adventures
Wilderness Camp North Tour
Our Norway option is essentially an amazing glamping experience alongside an excellent opportunity to see the Aurora!
Located forty minutes from Tromsø on the island of Kvaløya, the Wilderness Camp consists of spacious heated tents inside which is double or twin beds, a seating area, and an all-important window through which you can see the sky from the comfort of your bed.
Prefect for adventurous travellers who also like a bit of comfort, they are set in a captivating wilderness location with dramatic mountain peaks surrounding a snow-covered valley.
It is ideal Aurora viewing territory and spending the night here will give you an excellent chance of seeing the northern lights from the comfort of your cosy tent. With transparent panels above and around you get the perfect view of this beautiful setting and can watch the sky with ease come nightfall in the hopes of a light-filled display.
Nearby a central wooden cabin offers a fireplace and a place to relax in a cosy atmosphere and there are toilets in a separate building along with a water pump which gives access to fresh water whenever you need it.
Arctic Fox Igloo
Going one step further than just a glass roof, the stunningly designed Arctic Fox igloos in Ranua offer panoramic glass walls, giving you an incredible view of the both the surrounding wilderness and the arctic sky. At night with any luck the sky will be filled with dancing green lights which you can enjoy without having to leave your bed.
Situated close to Holiday Village Gulo Gulo which we offer as our standard Ranua accommodation, there are 20 igloos in total which can be offered as an upgrade for one night or more and guests will often add them as a final night treat to add an extra treat to a brilliant trip.
The igloos are set on the shores of the lake Ranuanjärvi with unobstructed views across the lake and into the northern sky so you can easily keep a close watch on the horizon for any Auroras.
As well as heated panels to stop the windows from frosting over or being covered with snow, each has a double/twin beds, ensuite toilet and shower room (in a wood-walled area), and kitchenette. To add a touch of luxury, each also has a private sauna for some relaxing escapism form the arctic cold. You breakfast and dinner will be served at the main hotel.
Image credits: Northern Lights Village Levi, Matt Robinson, Antti Pietikainen, Apukka Resort, Tromso Adventure, Jari Romppainen