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Northern Lights Adventures

Take a holiday under nature’s celestial disco.

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For the Finnish, the Northern Lights are the sparks from the tail of a racing snow fox. The Vikings thought it was a bridge to the heavens and the Aboriginal people thought they were their ancestor’s dancing spirits.

The reality is much more sublime. Billions of tonnes of charged particles from the sun collide with the earth’s atmosphere, scattering shimmering shades of ethereal greens, blues and reds across the night’s sky.

The brutally long, clear winter nights of November to April are the best time to see the Northern Lights, and the light pollution from the cities provides the perfect excuse to get out into the wilderness.

So whether you’re looking to go dog-sledding through the tundras of Swedish Lapland or backcountry skiing in Norway’s powdered fjords, we’re here to help you pick an unforgettable Northern Lights holiday that’s right for you.

What are the Northern Lights?

The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon that you can observe close to the magnetic North Pole. When the time is right, the Northern Lights illuminate dark northern skies with electric shades of blue, green, red and pink.

So what causes the phenomena? Explosions on the surface of the sun occur frequently (known as a solar flare) and are caused by the powerful atomic activity happening in the sun’s core. Billions of charged particles are fired towards the earth. When these charged particles interact with the earth’s atmosphere, they emit a sea of photons that ripple across the night’s sky.

Neon lights that we use for advertising work in exactly the same way, and can be considered the Aurora’s domesticated cousin.

They occur at both poles. The Aurora Borealis’s southern counterpart is the Aurora Australis, observable in New Zealand, Tasmania and Antarctica.

Where are the best places to see the Northern Lights?

The Northern Lights occur close to the magnetic poles. This means that the further north you go, the more likely you are to see them. This means that the northern regions of Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Canada, Russia, Alaska and even Scotland are aurora hot-spots.

The biggest two enemies of the aurora hunter are cloud cover and light pollution. This means that it is best to go as far away from the city lights are possible. Head to remote, wilderness destinations for the best chance of catching nature’s famous light show. Being with an experienced guide is also incredibly helpful, as they can show you the best vantage points in the area.

When is the best time to see the lights?

The Aurora occurs all year round. However, it is most visible in the long, dark nights of the polar north. This means that a Northern Lights holiday should ideally occur between November and April.

Contrary to popular opinion (often informed by disingenuous marketing) the Northern Lights are not fading or disappearing. However, the sun does go through solar cycles that occur over a period of 11 years.

The sun becomes slightly less active, meaning it emits less powerful solar winds. This means that lights become more localised to specific regions. So places like Norway’s Svalbard, Finland’s Kakslauttanen, Iceland’s Reykjavik and Sweden’s Jukkasjärv will remain illuminated throughout the solar cycle.