Camping under the Lights (Dreamstime
List Words : Team Wanderlust | 10 June 2019

7 unique Northern Lights adventures you’ll want to book now

Don’t just watch the Northern Lights. 'Experience' them. From snowshoeing in Lapland to sleeping in a Sami tent, you’ll encounter the lights in a way you will never forget. But spaces are limited...

1. Do a snowshoe shuffle under bright Northern Lights

Snowshoeing in Abisko (KE Adventure Travel)

Snowshoeing in Abisko (KE Adventure Travel)

Experience a winter trek under the dancing Northern Lights on this active winter holiday with KE Adventure Travel.

Under the watchful eyes of an experienced guide, you’ll strap on snowshoes and head into Abisko National Park, a vast wilderness in Swedish Lapland. 200km north of the Arctic Circle, the area lies under an atmospheric ‘blue hole’ that ensures clear skies most nights and makes it one of the best places to see the Northern Lights.

This is a real winter adventure that will see you trekking through pristine white landscapes, tracking the area's wildlife and staying in remote cabins on the shore of frozen Lake Alesjaure. On returning to ‘civilisation’ in the tiny settlement of Abisko, there’s the chance to try dog-sledding, ice-climbing or Nordic skiing.

Trip: Northern Lights Snowshoe Safari

Who: KE Adventure Travel

Type: Small group

When: Departures Feb & Mar

How long: Six days

How much: From 1,295 (exc. flights)

2. Have a whale of a time in Iceland

Northern Lights in Iceland (Dreamstime)

Northern Lights in Iceland (Dreamstime)

Head deep into western Iceland, chasing both whales and the Northern Lights, on this wildlife and wild lights adventure with Wildlife Worldwide.

The bay of Grundarfjordur in western Iceland is a wildlife lover’s delight. Birdlife is abundant and whales are frequent visitors. Based in the countryside, set amidst lava fields, and within the imposing, glacier-topped volcano of Snaefellsjokull in western Iceland in sight, you’ll chase orca by day and aurora by night.

The trip includes two whale-watching expeditions by boat, as well as the chance to explore the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and visit Stykkisholmur, a small fishing village known as the ‘town of a thousand islands.’ The peninsula is lightly inhabited, so at night, when the Lights come out to play, you’ll see them bright and clear.

Trip: Orcas & Northern Lights

Who: Wildlife Wordlwide

Type: Small group

When: Mar

How long: Five days

How much: From £1,170 (exc. flights)

3. Discover the bright lights of Canada’s Yukon

Inquisitive polar bear cubs in the Yukon (Dreamstime)

Inquisitive polar bear cubs in the Yukon (Dreamstime)

Set off on an adventure through the Yukon in search of the Aurora Borealis, the bright ribbons of colour known as the Northern Lights, with Flight Centre.

Staying in Whitehorse, you’ll spend your nights looking for one of nature’s most impressive spectacles, and your days exploring the Yukon’s wildlife and mountains, as well as trying out some winter sports such as dog sledding and snowshoeing. 

Toast marshmallows around the campfire under a multitude of stars. Soak in the Takhini Hot Springs. Or even try your hand at ice fishing.

Trip: Northern Lights of the Yukon

Who: Flight Centre

Type: Tailor-made

When: Departures Nov to Mar

How long: Eight days

How much: From £1,929 (inc. flights)

4. Sleep with the Lights on in Finland

Levi igloo (Wexas Travel)

Levi igloo (Wexas Travel)

Enjoy uninterrupted views of the Northern Lights from the comfort of your bed on this extraordinary trip deep into Arctic Finland with Wexas Travel.

Imagine staying in your own private glass-ceilinged igloo, kicking back on your bed, hands behind your head, and watching the swirling Northern Lights dancing right above you. That knock on the door? That’s just the concierge telling you that your traditional Lappish soup dinner will be served in the cosy tipi-style restaurant.

Set in the remote fells near Kittilä, there are plenty of winter activities to drag you away from your igloo. Lake Äkäslompolo is a short snowshoe walk away and Ylläs skiing centre is nearby too. This being Finland, a sauna and hot tub await at the end of each day.

Trip: Glass Igloos & Northern Lights

Who: Wexas Travel

Type: Tailor-made

When: Flexible departure dates

How long: Five days

How much: From £1,120 (exc. flights)

5. Bed down inside an ice sculpture in Sweden

Art Suite, Icehotel (Dreamstime)

Art Suite, Icehotel (Dreamstime)

Experience a unique and stylish short break you’ll never forget, bedding down on reindeer skins in the original ICEHOTEL with Best Served Scandinavia.

The ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi in Swedish Lapland was the first in the world. Each year, over 60 rooms are built from snow and crystal-clear ice from the frozen river nearby. Ranging from simple snow rooms to art suites adorned with stunning ice sculptures and flushed with subtle lighting, the sight as you open the main reindeer-skin clad doors is breathtaking.

You’ll spend one night in a snow room and two nights in warm accommodation. For a real treat, upgrade to one of the magnificent Art Suites, designed by artists from all over the world and featuring unique designs, striking ice reliefs and sculptures.

You’ll also get the chance to try your hand at ice-sculpting or ice-driving, or even dog-mushing on the optional husky sled transfer from the airport.

Trip: Classic ICEHOTEL Break

Who: Best Served Scandinavia

Type: Tailor-made

When: Flexible departures Nov to Apr

How long: Four days

How much: From £575 (inc. flights)

6. Borealis birdwatching in Sweden

A golden eagle in the Swedish snow (Shutterstock)

A golden eagle in the Swedish snow (Shutterstock)

Encounter golden eagles in their natural setting on this birdwatching and photography trip to Sweden with Wildlife Worldwide.

Golden eagles are one of Europe’s most impressive and majestic birds, and notoriously difficult to photograph. Based in a remote and rustic base north of Stockholm, you will have access to a hide in the midst of one of the most robust populations in Europe.

There are no captive birds in controlled conditions here, just plenty of opportunities to photograph golden eagles in a snowy coniferous forest, and a warm and welcoming lodge waiting for you at the end of every day.

Trip: Golden Eagles in Winter

Who: Wildlife Worldwide

Type: Small group

When: Jan to Feb

How long: Four days

How much: £1,295 (inc. flights)

7. Sail under the Northern Lights

Watching the Northern Lights through a telescope (KE Adventure Travel)

Watching the Northern Lights through a telescope (KE Adventure Travel)

Sail along the coastline and fjords of northern Norway in search of the Northern Lights on this one week arctic cruise with KE Adventure Travel.

Your base for the week will be the stunning Rembrandt van Rijn, a three mast schooner sailing ship from the grand old days of the sea. Small enough to access small remote fjords and small hamlets, she’ll allow you to truly experience the wild nature of this part of the world.

Each day you’ll take an exhilarating zodiac ride ashore to hike or snowshoe in Norway's incredible landscapes. In the evenings, expedition staff will help you spot the magical northern lights. It’s a trip you’ll never forget.

Trip: North Norway, Aurora Borealis - Hike and Sail

Who: KE Adventure Travel

Type: Small group

When: Mar & Apr

How long: Seven days

How much: From £2,015 (exc. flights)

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