Northern Lights Holidays

Here at Off the Map Travel we know that Northern Lights holidays allow you to experience one of nature's greatest spectacles. Our tailor made Northern Lights trips can help you to witness this magical phenomenon for yourself in style!

© Alex Conu/Visitnorway.com

Northern Lights Holidays

Whether you are looking for luxury Northern Lights holidays or soft adventure Northern Lights trips and tours, our Northern Lights holidays specialists will work with you to produce a tailor made itinerary that is sure to please. We specialise in booking luxury Northern Lights holidays to all of the best Aurora locations around the world. If you have always wanted to see this beautiful natural phenomenon, contact us today to discuss our tailor made Northern Lights holidays and related activities.

You will not see thousands of different packages for Northern Lights trips to see the Aurora Borealis on our website – this is because our Northern Lights holidays are all about quality, not quantity. Each destination has been hand-picked by one of our passionate travel experts, allowing us to create truly bespoke, tailor-made luxury Northern Lights holidays that will be built to suit your exact requirements.

We organise your Northern Lights holidays based around you and your expectations – whether you want a personal guide, would like to join one of our small group Northern Lights holidays, or would like to travel independently, we will prepare luxury Northern Lights trips to suit. We also specialise in family Northern Lights holidays.

There is so much to see and do in the Arctic in addition to Northern Lights trips – popular activities to complement your Aurora spotting are whale watching holidays, dog sledding, wild camping and more.

Book Your Northern Lights Holidays

Looking to book your Northern Lights trip? Discover the tailor-made Northern Lights holidays and experiences that we offer.

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Chad Blakley

Science and Forecast

What are the Northern Lights?

The Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis (Northern Hemisphere) or Aurora Australis (Southern Hemisphere) are the result of a collision of high energy particles from the sun and atoms high in the atmosphere causing them to become what is known as excited or ionised. When these elements in the atmosphere return back to a normal state, a proton is released in the form of light, the Aurora, and this is the awe inspiring imagery that makes Northern Lights holidays such a popular bucket list experience.

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Myths & Legends

The northern lights have, and in some ways always will be, surrounded by myth and legend. Even the modern day solar scientists openly admit that there is so much that is still not understood – continuing to fuel appetite for stories passed from generation to generation. Now you can write your own unforgettable story with one of our Northern lights holidays.

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Explore the Arctic

When is the Best Time to Book Northern Lights Trips?

The best time of year for northern lights trips is between September and March. The Aurora Borealis is visible from nightfall to sunrise, although the best hours are typically between 9pm and midnight. While you will need to be under open, dark skies for a clear view of the lights, the Aurora is so powerful that it can still be seen under clouds. When booking Northern Lights trips it is also good to consider which other activities you would like to do – there is a lot to choose from and this will affect where and when you travel.

Contact us for more information about our Northern Lights Trips

We’re always happy to discuss your dream luxury Northern Lights holidays, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. The destinations for our Northern Lights trips are hand selected by our travel designers who have plenty of experience travelling in this part of the world. This wealth of experience means they can apply their expert knowledge to planning your Northern Lights holidays, helping create personally tailored Northern Lights trips to see the Aurora Borealis that you will never forget.

 

Northern Lights Holidays

Northern Lights trips feature at the very top of most people’s ‘Bucket List’ and, as experts in the Aurora, we can totally understand why! Standing beneath this awesome natural wonder is breathtaking to say the least. Whether you want to experience them in complete silence at the top of a mountain or enjoy them with the roar of a snowmobile engine as your theme tune as you fly through the snowy forests we can help!

We are proud to say that all of our experienced Travel Designers have been lucky enough to witness this natural phenomenon in many different ways and in many different countries. This allows us to share our personal experiences and recommendations from our own Northern Lights trips to guide you and help to make your Northern Lights holidays a reality by designing your perfect trip.

Destinations for your Northern Lights Trips

Northern Lights Holidays in Norway

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Northern Lights Holidays in Sweden

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Northern Lights Holidays in Finland

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Northern Lights Holidays in Iceland

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Aurora Itineraries to Inspire

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Tailor-made from £999pp*

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Tailor-made from £1399pp*

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Tailor-made from £1099pp*

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Tailor-made from £4399pp*

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Tailor-made from £1249pp*

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Tailor-made from £1399pp*

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Tailor-made from £1499pp*

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Tailor-made from £1899pp*

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Tailor-made from £1975pp*

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Tailor-made from £2549pp*

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Tailor-made from £3099pp*

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Tailor-made from £1249pp*

Take a look at some of our example itineraries to help inspire you with ideas for activities to experience on your Northern Lights holidays. We can create bespoke Northern Lights trips that are tailor made to your exact requests. Get in touch with us and let us know what has inspired you!

Experiences for your Northern Lights Trips

Seeing the Northern Lights above you is magical no matter where you are or what you are doing but we can offer activities that will truly enhance your experience! Float in freezing waters in a thermal flotation suit or fly out on a thrilling snowmobile safari into the wilderness - the choice is yours! These examples are just a selection of what is on offer so if there is something special you are looking to experience on your Northern Lights trip, just ask!

Science and Forecast

What are the Northern Lights?

The Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis (Northern Hemisphere) or Aurora Australis (Southern Hemisphere) are the result of a collision of high energy particles from the sun and atoms high in the atmosphere causing them to become what is known as excited or ionised. When these elements in the atmosphere return back to a normal state a proton is released in the form of light, the Aurora.

Origin of the Aurora

The energy that drives the Aurora is generated by the sun and the constant release of high energy particles causing what is called the solar wind. Just like a normal wind the strength and speed of the solar wind can change, depending on what is occurring on the surface of the sun. Events such as Solar flares can cause a high density of these particles to be directed towards Earth so creating a solar storm with high solar wind speeds. In turn this then increases the energy in the upper atmosphere so causing large Auroral displays.

Aurora Forecast

Colours of the Aurora

Aurora can come in many different colours depending on which chemical elements in the atmosphere are excited when hit buy the solar wind. The different colours seen depend on which element is interacted with, what height they are and what state they are in. If oxygen is involved then the Aurora can be green or red, nitrogen blue or red.

What are the Northern Lights?

The Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis (Northern Hemisphere) or Aurora Australis (Southern Hemisphere) are the result of a collision of high energy particles from the sun and atoms high in the atmosphere causing them to become what is known as excited or ionised. When these elements in the atmosphere return back to a normal state a proton is released in the form of light, the Aurora.

Northern Lights Myths & Legends

The northern lights have, and in some ways always will be, surrounded by myth and legend. Even the modern day solar scientists openly admit that there is so much that is still not understood – continuing to fuel appetite for stories passed from generation to generation.

Although the first written account of the aurora is thought to date back to 2,600BC in China, it is a cave painting from southern France from 30,000BC which is believed to be the earliest surviving record of the phenomenon.

The Bible is also believed to describe the aurora in the Old Testament *1 as well as references in ancient Greek and Roman literature*2. It’s no wonder that Northern Lights trips are so popular as it looks as though we have been fascinated with the northern lights for as long as records exist.

northern lights trip Visit Inari

According to one popular Finnish myth, magical arctic foxes sweeping their tails across the snow and spraying it into the sky is the real reason for the spectacular light show. In fact, the Finnish name for the northern lights even translates as ‘fox fires’.

Norse mythology connected the aurora borealis with war. It was believed that the lights appeared when sunlight reflected on the shiny shields of the Valkyries who were racing across the sky on the way to their resting place, Valhalla.

Old Icelandic folklore believed that the northern lights would ease the pain of childbirth. It was not all good news for mothers though – it was also thought that pregnant women looking at the lights would give birth to cross-eyed children.

Sámi Northern Lights Myths

holidays to see the northern lights

The Sámi people traditionally lived in a vast Arctic area of northern Sweden, Finland, Norway and Russia. With an unparalleled proximity to the northern lights a number of legends to explain the phenomenon were passed through generations.

Believing that the lights were souls of the departed, Sámi believed in behaving solemnly and respectfully whenever the lights were in the sky. Bad fortune awaited anyone who showed them disrespect so many people chose to keep their families indoors when the lights were on display.

It was also believed that if you whistle a tune under the lights, it would summon the spirits closer and closer, until you were whisked away.

On a positive note, they also believed that the lights were also considered to have the power to aid conflict resolution.

Scandinavian Northern Lights Myths

The Scandinavian name for the aurora translates as ‘herring flash’ as it was believed that the dancing whirls of green light were a reflection of huge schools of herring in the sea. Whenever the lights were visible, fishermen were expected to be blessed with good catches of fish.

According to Swedish legend, a winter with frequent displays of the northern lights served to predict a good yield of crops the following year.

In Norwegian folklore, the northern lights were thought to be the spirits of old maids dancing in the sky and waving at those below them.

According to one popular Finnish myth, magical arctic foxes sweeping their tails across the snow and spraying it into the sky is the real reason for the spectacular light show. In fact, the Finnish name for the northern lights even translates as ‘fox fires’.

Norse mythology connected the aurora borealis with war. It was believed that the lights appeared when sunlight reflected on the shiny shields of the Valkyries who were racing across the sky on the way to their resting place, Valhalla.

Old Icelandic folklore believed that the northern lights would ease the pain of childbirth. It was not all good news for mothers though – it was also thought that pregnant women looking at the lights would give birth to cross-eyed children.

Let’s plan your holiday

Our experienced and enthusiastic Travel Designers are waiting to create your very own itinerary. Whatever you are looking for, we can help.

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