For anybody travelling around Scandinavia, a view of the Northern Lights is always high on the itinerary. The unique beauty of the natural phenomena creates an experience that cannot be replicated and truly felt through photographs and second-hand accounts. Here are six places to witness a breath-taking view of one of the planet’s most awe-inspiring spectacles.
The Icelandic capital’s naturally unique landscape makes for a beautiful spectacle even when the Northern Lights are not caressing the sky. The relative low cost of travelling to Reykjavik means that you can make a last minute decision to hop over after a good Aurora forecast.
What Else to do: Reykjavik is hugely popular with weekend party-goers, enjoying a fantastic selection of bars and clubs.
Close to the Russian border is the village of Ivalo, which plays host to unparalleled views of the Northern Lights within Finland. The perfect latitude for viewing the spectacle, visiting Ivalo is worth the difficult trip for the experience.
What Else to do: Ivalo’s snowy terrain makes it an exceptional spot for winter sports including reindeer sledge riding.
The northernmost town in Sweden, Kiruna is steeped in culture and history as many areas still appear untouched by the modern world. Enjoying the Northern Lights in Kiruna feels more like a spiritual experience than a tourist experience.
What Else to do: The Kiruna Ice Hotel, made entirely of snow and ice, is a fantastic place to stay to really experience the essence of Scandinavia.
One of the most northerly points of Europe, Tromso sits atop the country’s famous fjords and is a hugely popular tourist destination. VisitNorway suggests that Tromso is the premier place in the World to take in the Northern Lights.
What Else to do: Visit Tromso in January to take in both the Tromso International Film Festival and the Aurora Festival, a celebration of classical music.
On the Open Seas
Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas’ voyages around Scandinavia and Russia often take in fantastic views of the Northern Lights. Spacious decks allow for all passengers to get an uninterrupted view of one of the World’s most beautiful spectacles.
What Else to do: Let your sporty side out on one of the liner’s basketball courts, volleyballs courts, Adventure Ocean pool areas or giant climbing walls.
If you want to stay a little closer to home, then Shetland is another fantastic place to enjoy the Northern Lights’ majesty. Close to the Arctic Circle, Shetland offers one of the World’s few beaches with Northern Lights views.
What Else to do: With three National Nature Reserves, Shetland is an area of outstanding interest for fans of beautiful Flora and Fauna.
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: Gunnar Hildonen, Philippe Moussette