The Northern Lights official name is the Aurora Borealis and are mother nature’s very own light show. It is a natural phenomenon that is on many people’s bucket lists due to the mesmerising vibrant colours formed during the show. An added bonus about travelling to see the Northern Lights is the beautiful destinations on where they take place. The countries offer a snowy wilderness like no other creating a truly magical feel inside you and offering some of the best experiences such as husky dog rides, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing to name a few.
When is The Best Time to go?
The most common assumption is that February is the best time to see the Northern Lights. This is a lie.
The Northern Lights are always there but they just appear to us at certain times when the weather conditions are good enough and it is dark outside. As a result, the best time to see them is anytime from October to the end of March. This is when the days are much shorter proving a lot more opportunity to see them.
If you want to enjoy the cities and towns where you can base yourself to see them without lots of snow, October and November are the best months. If you really want to enjoy the thrill of a husky ride or explore the Arctic wilderness on a snowmobile, the January to March is the time to travel.
What are the best countries to visit for the Northern Lights?
Countries in Scandinavia are the best spots in Europe to see the Northern Lights due to their Northernly location. Iceland is a popular destination for a weekend break. You get a really good chance of seeing the Northern Lights but you can also enjoy a relaxing dip in the Blue Lagoon and go on a tour looking out for the famous Giza’s. Iceland, in particular the capital city Reykjavik, is just below the Arctic Circle meaning that the conditions are good to see the Northern Lights but not necessarily the best.
For the best chance to see the Northern Lights Norway and Lapland in Finland or Sweden are excellent options as they are all above the Arctic Circle. They also offer great experiences such as husky rides and a trip on a snowmobile. Visiting Norway, you can also enjoy the spectacular views as you meander through the country’s famous fjords and wander through the pretty towns and cities.
Seeing The Northern Lights in Canada
If you want to go a bit further afield, Canada is a perfect choice – we’re guessing you might be a little surprised to read this. The best part of Canada to visit o experience the magic of the Northern Lights is Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon area of Canada. The city is surrounded by lakes that freeze over, providing unobstructed views of the Northern Lights. The lakes give the perfect opportunity to enjoy a ride on a snowmobile. The city of Yellowknife also has lots to offer to enjoy but can easily be twinned with a stay in Vancouver as well.
Our Favourite Northern Lights Holidays:
Lapland Northern Lights Extravaganza
3 nights from just £799 per person
- Return flights from the UK to Finnish Lapland
- 3 nights hotel accommodation with full board
- Return airport transfers
- 2-hour husky sled ride
- 2-hour snowmobile ride
- Northern Lights Forest Trek
- Visit to the Reindeer Camp
- Loan of thermal suit and boots
This 3-night trip offers exceptional value for money. All of your excursions are included and so is all of your food. You also get a thermal suit and boots throughout your stay meaning you do not need to buy any specialist clothing, just pack your warm jumpers to wear underneath. You will get multiple chances to see the Northern Lights (weather permitting) but also discover the magical land of Finnish Lapland. The scenery is breath taking and the excursions are experiences that you will remember fondly forever.
Iceland Winter Super Break
3 nights from £550 per person
- Return flights from the UK to Iceland
- 3 nights hotel accommodation in Reykjavik with breakfast
- Return Airport coach transfers
- Northern Lights Hunt Excursion
- Reykjavik Sightseeing Tour
- Golden Circle Tour
A few days in Iceland’s capital city provides the perfect mix of the Scandinavian city life and the wild Arctic. This 3-night break includes a stay in a hotel in the centre of the city allowing to you to explore it at your own pleasure but also have the chance to see the Northern Lights and the famous waterfalls of Giza’s. We highly recommend adding a visit to the Blue Lagoon – an experience that you will not want to miss.
Hunting the Northern Lights along Norway’s coastline
11 nights from £1,349 per person
- Return economy flights from the UK to Bergen, Norway
- 12-day Round Trip Voyage onboard one of Hurtigruten’s ships
- Full board basis
- Northern Lights Promise
- Transfers between the airport and ship
For a longer trip away and to experience magical Norway from top to bottom (and back again), travelling with Hurtigruten is the best option. Visiting 34 different ports during this holiday means you get to see the real Norway whilst also travelling through the beautiful fjords. All your food is included and there are hundreds of optional excursions you can choose to tailor the holiday to just how you want it.
You travel above the Arctic Circle giving you a high chance to see the Northern Lights. Hurtigruten are so confident that you will see them that they have a Northern Lights Promise. If they don’t appear during our 12-day holiday, they will offer you a 5 or 6-night voyage free of charge so you can see them again the following year.