Many of our clients know for certain that they want to see the Northern Lights, and rightly so, but many are unsure on which destination is the perfect fit for them. Our Adventure Artist Amy has put together this handy ‘destination guide’ to help you on your way in choosing your perfect Nordic country (or perhaps a combination of more than one!)
We wish we could guarantee the Aurora for our customers but unfortunately we cannot, so it is important to choose your Nordic destination based on things that you enjoy and the activities you’d also like to try rather than solely the Northern Lights.
Northern Norway is without a doubt one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights, but it has a lot more to offer alongside mother nature’s light show. Landscape and photography lovers often choose Norway for its beautiful mountains, fjords and coastlines, alongside fantastic wildlife opportunities such as whale watching.
For those easing themselves into the Arctic and craving ‘soft adventure’, we recommend a city break to Tromso with excursions away from the city lights to search for the Aurora. Being based in Tromso also means there is plenty to see and do in your spare time such as visiting museums, riding on the Fjellheisen cable car, cafe hopping to satisfy your hygge desires, and more…
The Lofoten Islands are another great choice. You’ll most likely have seen amazing photos of Lofoten in many-a Norway holiday advert and for good reason – they are truly beautiful. You can learn about the fishing history and origins of these small islands as well as get epic ‘Insta-shots’, search for the aurora and experience unique adventures such as horse riding along the beach!
We must not forget sensational Svalbard – pretty much the last stop before you reach the North Pole! We must admit it is pretty cool to say you have stayed in the world’s Northernmost hotel in Longyearbyen, and to have experienced the polar night, which gives you the chance to see the Northern Lights whilst enjoying your breakfast…
Finland offers the highly sought-after ‘winter wonderland’ type trip with lots of snowy forests (in fact 75% of Finland is forest!), animal encounters (think huskies and reindeer), and it is also home to Santa Claus himself. Here at Off the Map Travel we can create the family Christmas holiday you have always dreamed of. The possibilities are endless, we can even arrange for a Christmas elf to visit your hotel and read your children a bedtime story before a private meeting with Santa the next morning!
Snowy escapes to Finland are not just for Christmas though, they are for the whole winter season! A popular request we get at Off the Map Travel is to spend a night in an ‘igloo’ or aurora style accommodation, and Finland is certainly the place to be if this is your priority as there is a wide range of aurora style accommodation available. This gives you the chance to enjoy the Northern Lights from the comfort of your bed! You can read our blog about igloos here! We also offer some beautiful private villas in Finland, so if you are travelling with a larger group and want private tailor-made activities then Finland is a good choice.
Known as the land of fire and ice for a reason, Iceland is certainly an out of this world place with unusual volcanic landscapes, hot springs, beautiful waterfalls and rugged coastlines. You can visit the famous Blue Lagoon to relax in the thermal waters and the spa, visit the famous Golden Circle loop to see geysers and waterfalls, and explore the capital of Reykjavik. Iceland is always a popular choice for our clients from across the globe, as flight routes are good and frequent. Direct routes from London take just over 3 hours, and it is less than 6 from New York. Iceland is also proud to say they run on 100% renewable energy, so for the Eco-conscious traveller Iceland is a great choice.
Despite being slightly further South than the other Nordics, Iceland can still provide fantastic aurora opportunities, and in fact some of the best aurora that we have seen has been in Iceland! So do not be put off by it’s more Southerly position. A holiday to Iceland is always an unforgettable trip, and unique activities such as snorkelling between two tectonic plates can be enjoyed – something you cannot do anywhere else in the world!
Now, let’s not forget Sweden! Swedish Lapland is home to many world famous hotels that you have most likely heard of, seen photos of, or seen on TV. These include the original ICEHOTEL, the Treehotel and the new spa hotel, Arctic Bath. The world’s first Arctic glamping site is also in Sweden which is another of our favourites. Cosy cabin style accommodation is a popular offering in Sweden – after a day of adventuring in the snow there is no better feeling than walking into your luxury cabin, lighting the log burner and enjoying a warm drink.
There are some fantastic Northern Lights destinations in Sweden, one of the best being the Abisko & Bjorkliden area. You can enjoy a relaxing cable car ride up to the ‘Aurora Sky Station’ for a high quality dining experience, with the chance to see the aurora from the viewing deck afterwards! We know Sweden very well at Off the Map Travel, in fact some of us now live there! So you are definitely in good hands when booking a winter Swedish adventure with us.