Husky sledding in Canada (Dreamstime)
List 14 November 2018

14 alternative northern lights trips, from husky sledding in Norway to photographing Iceland

Explore wintry landscapes by day and spy cosmic wonders by night. Take your pick from our list of ultimate northern lights escapes...

1: Admire the lights from the comfort of a chalet in Canada

Northern lights (Magnetic North Travel)

Northern lights (Magnetic North Travel)

Enjoy a full-on aurora borealis experience on Magnetic North Travel’s Yukon Northern Lights Holiday in a Glass Chalet itinerary. With floor-to-ceiling wrap-around windows, a trio of new chalets – the first in the Yukon – offer the chance to spy the dancing lights without even stepping outside. To avoid cabin (or chalet) fever, join nightly guided aurora-viewing sessions, ride a husky sled through the surrounding tundra, and visit the Yukon Wildlife Preserve to spot caribou, lynx, moose and muskoxen.

Who: Magnetic North Travel (01664 400103)

When: December–April

How long: 3 nights

How much: £1,095 (excl flights)

2: Explore the Arctic by husky sled in Norway

Husky sledding (Best Served Scandinavia)

Husky sledding (Best Served Scandinavia)

The swoosh of runners on fresh snow, the panting of huskies, the crisp Arctic air – dog-sledding is the perfect way to roam Norway’s frozen north. On Best Served Scandinavia’s Wildlife, Huskies and Northern Lights on Sommaroy tour you’ll explore Tromso and sled forest trails before spotting reindeer, sea eagles and (hopefully) the aurora on Sommaroy Island.

Who: Best Served Scandinavia (0207 664 2241)

When: Best mid-November–March

How long: 4 days

How much: From £1,175 (incl flights)

3: Board an aurora-spotting flight in Finland

Northern lights spotted from a plane window (The Aurora Zone)

Northern lights spotted from a plane window (The Aurora Zone)

Take your northern lights spotting to new heights – literally – on The Aurora Zone’s Rovaniemi – Aurora Hunting at the Arctic Circle Wilderness Lodge trip. Based at a rustic, wood-beamed lodge, you’ll explore pristine forests by snowmobile and head out on an evening snowshoe hike to hunt for the heavenly lightshow – adding a flight on a private jet to soar above any clouds and maximise your chances of viewing the phenomenon.

Who: The Aurora Zone (01670 785012)

When: Selected dates December 2018–March 2019

How long: 4 nights

How much: From £1,751 (incl flights)

4: Photograph sights and the northern lights in Iceland

Hone in new photography skills in Iceland (Wild Photography Holidays)

Hone in new photography skills in Iceland (Wild Photography Holidays)

Wild Photography Holidays’ North Iceland: Northern Lights, Waterfalls & Game of Thrones Locations trip explores the less-visited region around Lake Myvatn. Prime your camera and venture to vast Hverfjall crater, Hverarond’s fumaroles, Dimmuborgir’s eerie lava formations and Grjotagja cave. With luck, you’ll also snap the northern lights reflected in the lake.

Who: Wild Photography Holidays (01630 647828)

When: 27 January 2019

How long: 7 nights

How much: £2,800 (excl flights)

5: Watch the aurora all day long in Norway

Camp under the northern lights (Off The Map Travel)

Camp under the northern lights (Off The Map Travel)

Above the Arctic Circle in midwinter, the sun never rises, providing the possibility of round the-clock northern lights watching. Off The Map Travel’s All Day Aurora tour heads to Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen, where between November and January you might spy the spectacle even during your daytime dog-sledding adventure. You’ll also explore ice caves, camp out in the Arctic wilderness and roam the wilds on the back of a snowcat on the hunt for the aurora.

Who: Off The Map Travel (020 3504 6446)

When: 24-hour darkness: November–January

How long: 4 days

How much: From £1,249 (excl flights)

6: Steer your sled across the wilds of Greenland

Greenland (Regent Holidays)

Greenland (Regent Holidays)

Join indigenous Inuit dog-sledders and mush your own husky team past the glaciers and through the snow-clad mountains of Ammassalik Island on Regent Holidays’ East Greenland Dog Sledding Expedition. Snowshoe to high ridges and drink in views of frozen fjords before bedding down among the colourful clapboard houses of tiny Tiniteqilaaq as icebergs drift past, heading out after dusk to hunt for the aurora in the silent wilderness.

Who: Regent Holidays (020 7666 1290)

When: Selected dates February–April 2019

How long: 10 days

How much: From £3,595 (incl flights)

7: Sleep on ice in far northern Norway

Have an igloo adventure (Wild Frontiers)

Have an igloo adventure (Wild Frontiers)

The Arctic north is awash with animals and activities, as you’ll discover on Wild Frontiers’ Snow Hotel at the Top of the World adventure. Based in Kirkenes, you’ll try your hand at dog-sledding, catch and cook king crab in the Barents Sea, and explore the vast tundra by snowshoe or on a snowmobile. For the (iced) cherry on the cake, spend a night in a beautifully carved igloo, nipping out to peer into the sky for nocturnal glimpses of the aurora.

Who: Wild Frontiers (020 8741 7390)

When: December–early April

How long: 4 days

How much: From £1,450 (excl flights)

8: Sail among icebergs and vast fjords in Greenland

Join an expedition cruise (Wildfoot Travel)

Join an expedition cruise (Wildfoot Travel)

Discover the wonders of Scoresby Sund – the planet’s largest fjord system – on Wildfoot Travel’s Greenland Express & Northern Lights expedition cruise. From your floating base on MV Ocean Nova, venture into Greenland National Park to spot muskoxen, admire the multi hued peaks flanking Brogetdal and hike the cliffs of Ella Oya. You’ll also meet the Inuit of Ittoqqortoormiit – and of course watch for aurora overhead.

Who: Wildfoot Travel (0800 195 3385)

When: 2, 9, 16 and 23 September 2019

How long: 9 nights

How much: From £5,100 (excl flights)

9: Spot sealife and scan the sky in Iceland

Spot orcas off the coast of Iceland (Discover The World)

Spot orcas off the coast of Iceland (Discover The World)

In winter, thrillingly large pods of killer whales hunt herring off Iceland’s Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Discover the World’s Orcas and Aurora tour includes two boat trips to track these charismatic predators, plus visits to other-worldly lava fields and volcanoes. At night, aurora experts are on hand to explain the science behind the spectacle in the skies.

Who: Discover the World (01737 218802)

When: 4, 19 and 27 February 2019

How long: 4 nights

How much: From £1,079 (excl flights)

10: See the aurora on an Arctic island escape in Norway

Northern lights in Norway (Dreamstime)

Northern lights in Norway (Dreamstime)

Join Inntravel on its Hamn i Senja Northern Lights Break and spend an island break in the Arctic Circle surrounded by verdant pine forest, rugged cliffs and jagged peaks. Access this natural playground via snowshoe, while the more adventurous can try ocean body rafting (floating in an insulated suit). Gain photo tips on after-dark aurora excursions and make time to relax at the island's harbour and toast the northern lights with coffee and waffles in its lighthouse.

Who: Inntravel

When: Selected dates between 7 January–26 March 2019

How long: 3 nights

How much: From £1,195

11: Watch the lights dance from a glass-domed igloo in Finland

Spot the northern lights from the comfort of bed in a glass-domed igloo (Dreamstime)

Spot the northern lights from the comfort of bed in a glass-domed igloo (Dreamstime)

Bed down beneath the world's greatest light show on Collette's The Northern Lights Tour. Wander the architectural marvels of Finnish capital Helsinki, spying the iconic Helsinki Cathedral and the ornate neighbourhood of Kaivopuisto Park. Then, hop to Kakslauttanen where by day you'll unravel the history of Santa himself and command your own dog sled team. At night, ogle the aurora through myriad ways, from car, reindeer safari and a cosy glass-domed igloo. Arctic viewing at its best.

Who: Collette

When: 24 November 2018 and 8, 11, 13, 25 January 2019

How long: 6 nights

How much: £3,274

12: Hop on the most northerly railway on the planet in Sweden and Norway

Husky sledding (Rail Discoveries)

Husky sledding (Rail Discoveries)

Chase the northern lights by husky and train on Rail Discoveries’ Explore the Mysterious Arctic tour. Stroll Tromso’s collection of museums before sliding across snow-blanketed countryside upon husky sled. Explore the history of the Second World War port of Narvik, before hurtling up Narvikfjellet mountain for a good vantage point of the aurora. Hop on the Ofoten Railway – the world’s most northerly – into Sweden to soak up the Sami culture of Kiruna and bed down in the town’s own Ice Hotel.

Who: Rail Discoveries (01904 734939)

When: 27 January, 17 February, 3 and 10 March 2019

How long: 6 days

How much: From £1,695 (incl flights)

13: See the northern lights on a budget in Iceland

Northern lights over a lagoon by night (Tucan Travel)

Northern lights over a lagoon by night (Tucan Travel)

Join Tucan Travel on its Iceland on a Budget tour a witness a wallet-friendly glimpse of the country’s greatest hits. Spy the artistic murals and modern buildings of capital Reykjavik and have a revitalising dip in the Blue Lagoon. Then, tick off a trio of majestic waterfalls – Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss and Gullfoss – glaciers and geysers, while making room for the fine Silfra Gorge and icy lakes of Thingvellir NP. That’s just the daytime – by night, keep your eyes fixed on the sky for a spectacular aurora show.

Who: Tucan Travel (0800 8048435)

When: Selected dates November 2018–January 2019

How long: 5 days

How much: From £779 (excl flights)

14: Master Arctic survival skills in Sweden

Spot the northern lights overhead (Graeme Richardson)

Spot the northern lights overhead (Graeme Richardson)

Beef up your winter expertise on Off The Map Travel’s Arctic Masterclass trip. Learn everything about traditional clothing in this frozen land, build and cook over an open fire and learn how to ice fish. Away from camp, embark on a snowshoeing trek, take charge of your own husky pack and whizz across the tundra on a snowmobile. Discover the local relationship with the northern lights and when darkness falls, try and spot the real thing for yourself.

Who: Off The Map Travel (020 3504 6446)

When: Flexible between 15 December 2018–12 April 2019

How long: 5 days

How much: From £1,895 (excl flights)

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