Wednesday 12 February 2020

4 Places to Take Your Family to See the Northern Lights


One thing that I am desperate to tick off my bucket list is seeing the Northern Lights.  They look magical, ethereal and they remind me of the beauty that is all around us.  I have been checking out different options for visiting the Aurora Zone  and the types of holidays that are available if you want to catch a glimpse of the night sky lit up.  

There seems to be three choices for visiting the Aurora Zone, September and October when the ground is fresh and you might catch a glimpse of the lights above the rivers and water.  November and December are when the snow starts falling but there is the magic of Christmas and there are many trips where you can visit the big man in red at the same time which would be truly incredible.  January, February and March are colder and everything will be covered by a blanket of white which means all sorts of snowman fun during the day!  The warmer months are not the best time to visit as the bright sun means the sky is too light.  I love the idea of combining a trip to the area with a visit to see Santa and I imagine it would make for the most magical lead up to Christmas for any child (or grown-up)!

There seems to be four countries that reach high up near the Arctic, all of which offer something unique.

Iceland is the place I associate most with the Northern Lights, probably because I have family who visited recently and saw a spectacular light show on their trip.  As well as hunting for the lights, Iceland offers an UNESCO World heritage site, iconic geysers and waterfalls.  The scenery of the country sounds spectacular and trips to the capital Reykjavik can include coach trips to quieter areas with less artificial light to give you a better chance of seeing the wonders.  

One of the big draws of visiting Swedish Lapland is the famous ICEHOTEL.  A trip to Sweden can include ice fishing, snowmobile-pulled sled tours and husky safaris.  The ICEHOTEL looks incredible and definitely an experience to remember.  We have briefly visited Sweden in the past and I have been wanting to go back but I would love to see such a different part of the country.  

For some reason I think Finland is often overlooked as a Northern Lights destination which makes no sense as they have just as wonderful light displays as their neighbours.  Finnish Lapland is home to 200,000 reindeers which for me is reason alone to push this to the top of the list.  If I was to be able to visit Finland then the Aurora Domes look like an incredible and cosy place to stay although the tree-houses would be a close second!  In the winter here temperatures are usually around -5 to -15 degrees and the sun doesn't rise above the horizon, however this doesn't mean there is no natural light at all, there is a blue haze that comes from the sun and the reflections on the snow.

Norway has Tromso, widely regarded as the 'capital of the arctic' and home to 19th century architecture, a rich culture and a history of arctic exploration with the stories being told in various museums.  I think if you are interested in knowing more about the northern most points of the world this would be a fantastic place to visit.  Holidays to Norway can include self drive options which give you so much freedom to enjoy the area at your own pace.  The choices of accommodation are just as varied and interesting as its neighbours and there are quiet islands and fjords to explore locally as well as the bigger city.  I love the idea of having a busy metropolitan city to enjoy at the same time.

Researching the different options for visiting the arctic circle and hunting the Northern Lights has only made me more desperate to visit, although I can't decide which country I would most like to visit! I found a three countries break where you can hunt the lights by catamaran and take in the best of each country and it has shot to the top of my list!  Have you been to see the Northern Lights yet? Would you like to?

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