Northern lights travel guide, including top northern lights experiences, tips for seeing the northern lights, when to see the northern lights and northern light
There are some experiences that are so extraordinary they make you cry at the wonder of it all. Or at least have a lump in the throat. The first great whale that you see. The sight of quarter a million king penguins on a beach in South Georgia. Or seeing the northern lights in all their magnificent glory.
The first part of an auroral display usually comes from the east, as the earth rotates into the area of maximum activity. You’ll most likely see a pale green column first, but this may then grow into billowing sheets. If you’re really lucky, the whole sky will be full of curving, twisting shapes.
Although green is the most common colour, red is occasionally seen – but this can be considered a bad omen by some, with many superstitions around it.
You are most likely to see the northern lights in the far north. This auroral band includes Greenland, Lapland and far north Canada and Alaska.
From whetting your palate in Portugal to splashing your way around Fiji and drifting the ice floes of the Antarctic, find your sea legs on these epic watery adventures... More
With the planet's most famous sights drowning in visitors, here are the incredible alternatives you may not know about – just don't tell anyone... More
Away from the polar bears and ice cap is a little-known hiking trail that traces the line of the Arctic Circle. Intrigued, Phoebe Smith packed her sense of adventure and headed north... More
With their mighty snow-capped mountains, glistening glaciers, and stunning mirrored lakes, Canada's Rocky Mountains have to be seen to be believed... More
Wanderlust’s editor-at-large heads to New Zealand’s soon-to-be Dark Sky Sanctuary, in search of flightless birds, elusive aurora, and a whole lot of stars… More
Explore the inside of volcanoes, clamber over glaciers, or simply soak in a thermal pool. These are the activities that will take you to the heart of this most unique of destinations More
Sail the coast of Portugal, drive on ancient Silk Road trade routes, or take an overland adventure through Africa. These new trips will take you to uncharted territory - and beyond More
Spotting the northern lights isn't all that easy. But head to the right places at the darkest time of year and you may just be in luck... More
Want an unforgettable trip on the cheap? You don't get much more spectacular than the Northern Lights – here's how to see them for less than £250 (yes, really!) More
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... More
Find out how to snap fantastic photos of the aurora borealis with William Gray’s insightful guide. Just don't forget to take a step back from the lens to admire the natural phenomenon... More
Some of the world's finest travel photographers, including Richard I’Anson, Amos Chapple and Tariq Zaidi, pick the most rewarding places to focus their lenses on More
Adventure travel bloggers, including Runaway Juno, Wanderlusters and Nomad Revelations, pick out the world’s most remarkable and beautiful landscapes that need to be seen to be believed... More
From whale-watching in the oceans of Norway to exploring the ghost town of Chernobyl, there's no reason why a short break can't mean a big adventure. Take inspiration for your next trip... More
Don’t let Iceland’s pricy reputation put you off. Here’s how to camp and road trip your way around the the country’s mountains, fjords and volcanoes, saving money along the way More
We asked 11 famous folks, including Brian Cox, Kate Humble and De La Soul, the destinations that top their ‘To Do Before I Die’ list. From Borneo to Korea, these are their answers, and the clear favourite is…? More
Sunset on Uluru, sunrise in Naples, starry skies over Wadi Rum… Wanderlust.co.uk readers pick the incredible views they'll remember forever, from deserts to cityscapes to rainbow-framed waterfalls More
From ice skating on lakes in the east of Sweden to tucking into a seafood feast in the west. Swedish Adelina Storkaas reveals hidden gems, local activities and traditions that you won’t want to miss More
New ﬂights. New walking trails. New experiences. Here's the definitive guide to the destinations you'll want to add to your travel wishlist for 2017 More
The Arctic winter (Oct-Mar) means not only the best time to go northern lights-hunting, but also exploring wild seas, tundra and boreal forests, whale-watching, Arctic bushcraft and more... More
By snowmobile, by sled, or in bed (yes, really!) - here's how to get a unique view of the Northern Lights in Lapland More
Captivating photos of Northern Lights, star wheels, sparkling galaxies, the 'man on the moon' and more, from the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016 competition winners More
Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall on hiking in Skye, chewing coca in Peru, dancing with Jarvis Cocker in Greenland and animal attacks in Galapagos More
From photography to painting, stargazing to wildlife, having an expert guide can take travel experiences to the next level. Here are some of the best new expert-led trips... More
Forget predictable, all-inclusive cruises - these sea and river odysseys have adventure and excitement in spades... From the frozen Arctic to the temples of Bagan, where will you end up? More
The Arctic and Antarctica are poles apart, but packed with similarly spectacular wildlife, icebergs and adventures. Plan your adventure now. More
Seeing the Aurora Borealis is a lottery at the best of times. Thankfully there are plenty of other things to do whether the Lights come on or not More
Snow looks pretty, but brings photographic challenges beyond just chilly fingers. Here we offer tips to help keep your winter shots whiter than white More
Off-season doesn’t necessarily mean bad season. Sometimes it can be worth putting up with a bit of dodgy weather to experience the best wildlife encounters, natural phenomenon, lower prices or smaller crowds More
Fresh air, dramatic fjords and untamed wilderness – Norway is a geographical stunner. Here is everything you need to know to get there now More
Icelandic winters might be chilly but they’re far from lifeless – indeed, it’s the best season to spot feeding orcas and, with luck, the northern lights says William Gray More
Over the years, you've told us your ultimate travel experiences – so here it is, the definitive travel wish list... More
Perfect for snowy or cold destinations, an insulated jacket will keep you warm whether you’re winter walking, snowmobiling or watching the northern lights – we review the best available More
Peter Moore just got back from witnessing a spectacular aurora display in Abisko in Northern Sweden. Here are five things he wishes he'd known before he went. More
This winter saw the peak of the solar maximum period – and there are few better places to see the dazzling northern lights than Norway’s pristine Arctic extremes More
It’s only two hours away, but it feels like another planet. Iceland expert and guide Cathy Harlow introduces Europe’s coolest capital and its spectacular surrounds More
Everything you need to know about the spectacle of nature that tops most travellers’ wishlists More
Blanketed in polar night during the winter months, northern Norway is renowned for its aurora. Thomas Rees picks six places where you can see it in style More
Planning to see the Northern Lights? Here are five ancient beliefs you should take into account... just to be safe More
We ask the experts to tell us when you are most likely to see the northern lights and the things you can do to choose the best date More
An easy guide to where and when you'll see the greatest displays of the northern lights More
Prefer to enjoy the magic of the northern lights from the comfort of a hot tub? Look no further than these stylish Icelandic retreats, says Thomas Rees More
Finnish Lapland offers prime Northern Lights viewing. But it also offers unique accommodation to watch from so you don't have to brave the cold... too much More
How do you capture the magic of the aurora borealis on camera? Amateur snapper Nick Boulos learned from the pros on a sub-zero photo safari in Finland More
Have you seen the light? William Gray, author of 'The Northern Lights Travel Guide', picks five bright ideas for witnessing the aurora borealis More
Winter sun, Christmas fun - jet off for some adventure this December and January More
It’s the best year in half a century to ogle the aurora, says Lyn Hughes. Don't miss our top three places to check them out More
Legendary polar explorers, Sami culture and perhaps the world’s best place to see the northern lights – north Norway makes for the coolest winter break More
Want a real winter this year? Head north to Alaska for polar bears, husky-sledding and glorious, ice-bound wilderness More
Arctic Sweden’s original Ice Hotel turned 20 in 2010: it's time to wrap up and check in, whilst admiring the awesome Northern Lights More
Winter travel can be great for morale – but seriously bad for the health of the poorly equipped. Follow our expert advice to help you stay safe and warm More
It's all about perspective, says Steve Davey. Abandon the stereotypes and think past the predictable angles and compositions More
Wanderlust subscribers now receive a free £50 voucher valid on trips from a great selection of top tour operators
And the best bit is, this isn't a one-off offer, you get one every time you renew as well!
The £50 discount can be redeemed against one trip booking with one of our tour operator partners, by the expiry date printed on the voucher. The £50 can even be redeemed on top of any discounts our partners are already offering, ensuring Wanderlust subscribers get the best deal possible.
Simply quote your unique voucher code when booking to claim the discount. This offer is only available to Wanderlust subscribers.
UK subscribers automatically receive the voucher each year. Overseas subscribers receive it upon request.
The Aurora Zone
Explore the best of Iceland in autumn and search for the Northern Lights by sea and on land.
The Aurora Zone
This four-night break, features some of the best of Iceland. The ‘Golden Circle’ tour will take you to the country’s famous geysers, the ‘Golden Waterfall’ of Gullfoss, and Thingvellir National Park.
The Aurora Zone
Menesjärvi is an isolated place at the heart of the Aurora Zone. The surrounding wilderness means that there is little light pollution, and as the skies become darker, the Aurora begins to re-emerge.
The Aurora Zone
Wilderness Hotel Inari is located on the shores of Lake Inari in Northern Finland. After the long days of summer, the dark nights return and breath-taking Northern Lights displays can be witnessed.