October is a month in the Arctic which is the height of the ‘in between’ time between Summer and Winter which can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint what and where the best holidays would be. The Aurora has arrived by this point in the year as the nights are already long and dark so it makes it a perfect time to travel for the Northern Lights; but the snow has not yet arrived so popular activities such as dog sledding or snowmobiling are not possible. It is important however to recognise that there is much more on offer which still makes this an amazing time to travel.
In the Arctic
If you’re looking for a truly ‘Authentic’ stay in the Arctic, October can be a great time to visit. This month gives the opportunity to go a little ‘behind the scenes’ rather than join mainstream tourism; the areas are also less busy and so you will enjoy a much quieter opportunity to explore.
For example, whilst dog sledding is off the cards as there is little to no snow at this point, you can still visit the kennels and learn all about the lives of the mushers, the preparation of the dogs in training and get stuck in to the walking, feeding (and cuddling!) of all the dogs and puppies. Similarly reindeer sledding isn’t an option however you can still enjoy a traditional Sami dinner with the local people, learn their cultures and traditions and get to meet the precious reindeer in their herds.
October is an amazing time to walk through the forests before it gets bitterly cold; you could learn to forage and take part in cookery workshops, see how to navigate the wild surroundings with wilderness skills lessons and soak up the atmosphere of the peace and tranquility in this area of the world wth some outdoor yoga.
If you head towards the sea then this is around the time of the start of the whale migrations following the herring along the coastlines so you could be delighted with some displays of humpbacks feeding or orcas fins slicing through the fjords. In places such as the Lofoten islands then the slightly more ‘unpredictable’ weather conditions only add intense drama to any photos you may take on one of the landscape tours in the area or you could spot the Aurora as you ride along the beach on a Norwegian horse.
In the cities
The Scandinavian capital cities to include; Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Helsinki are all incredible places to visit no matter the time of year. With their wealth of museums, shops, cool restaurants and bars and a large number of hotels to choose from you will truly be spoilt for choice.
Off the Map Travel’s TOP PICK for October: ICELAND
A trip to Iceland is perfect for October months particularly for a self-drive exploratory trip around the island. The reason being is that it is before the tougher and darker winter weather sets in which makes driving the ring road more challenging, and gives you the chance for blue sky days to admire the famous cascading waterfalls and the black sand beach with a beautiful bright backdrop, but still great Northern Lights chances in the evenings. And if it is chilly you can always warm up in a hot spring whatever the time of day or year!