Northern Lights Tours & Trips
From late August to mid-April, travellers from all over the world search for the Northern Lights. Over the last few years, Iceland has become the most popular choice to see the Aurora Borealis and we can understand why. However, if you'd like to avoid the crowds, Alaska is a great option. If you'd like to stay within the European continent, Norway (Tromso) or Finland are your best bets.See all northern lights tours
The best places to see northern lights
The northern lights can be seen in numerous destinations located near the Arctic! If you're wondering where to see the northern lights without dealing with the crowds, check out Alaska or Lapland. And if crowds don’t bother you, Iceland is a popular choice, as the country provides ample opportunities for rugged exploration without losing the usual creature comforts. Travellers can expect great views of the lights as well as plenty of opportunities for hiking, museum hopping, and relaxation!
It's easy to see why Iceland is such a popular destination for a northern lights tours. The Land of Fire and Ice is perfect for travellers who want to spot the northern lights while exploring a truly unique country. Explore Reykjavik's art and culture scene, hike across glaciers and through ice caves, or relax in an otherworldly lagoon.
Your Canada northern lights vacation could be closer than you think! Canada's size means there are lots of places perfect for spotting the northern lights. In Ontario, the Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Preserve near Muskoka is known for fantastic views of the dazzling lights. Travelling further north? Stop by the Yukon! The seemingly-endless dark skies consistently provide amazing displays of the northern lights.
Looking for northern lights holidays in Finland? There are several great places to check out the northern lights in this beautiful country. Lapland is known as one of the best places in the world to see the lights - they appear roughly 200 nights out of the year! Rovaniemi, the "Official Hometown of Santa Claus," is also known for its stunning northern lights display.
Norway is known for its friendly locals, beautiful landscapes, and, of course, the northern lights! There are plenty of opportunities for northern lights holidays in Norway! Many tours begin in Oslo, a lively city which occasionally sees glimpses of the lights, and continue to Tromso, where gorgeous northern lights displays are common.
America’s last truly wild state, Alaska is a fantastic place for outdoor adventures of all kinds! Visit Fairbanks, often ranked as one of the best places in the world to see the northern lights, for a totally authentic North Pole experience.
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Best time to see northern lights
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Things to try on your northern lights tour
A reindeer safari is a unique way of getting to know the Arctic’s local culture. Most common in Finland, travellers will have the opportunity to learn about these magical animals while viewing them in their natural habitat. If that sounds enchanting, wait until you hear this: travellers can also embark on a reindeer safari in Rovaniemi, Finland - the “Official Home of Santa Claus!”
Sleeping in an igloo
What could be more authentically Arctic than spending a night in an igloo? Whether you opt to sleep in a traditional snow structure (they’re surprisingly cozy!) in Canada or a specialty glass dome in Finland or Iceland to enjoy the Northern Lights in style, a night spent in an igloo is a night you won’t soon forget!
Whether it’s across a vast frozen lake or through a peaceful forest, snowmobiling is one of the most fun and exciting winter activities travellers can enjoy on a northern lights holiday. Try it in Alaska, where you could come across an incredible array of wildlife, or Iceland, as a way to see as much jaw-dropping scenery as possible.
Cross-country skiing & snowshoeing
A centuries-old pastime in wintry countries, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing is a laid back approach to exploration. Imagine forging a trail through fresh snow in places like Finland or Canada; spotting wildlife, taking in the scenery, and feeling utterly relaxed.
Dog lovers, rejoice! Embark on a husky safari to learn all about the ancient sport of dog sledding - used as transportation, in races, and as part of the culture of the Arctic. The practice is fascinating, and as an added bonus, you’ll get to hang out with dogs - seems pretty great to us.
A fat bike, or a bike with oversized tires used for cycling on uneven or unpredictable surfaces, is the perfect way to speed through snow! Cycle along black-sand beaches in Iceland, glaciers in Finland, and through dense forests in Alaska.
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Is it guaranteed I will see northern lights during my tour?
While there are certainly things you can do to increase your chances of seeing the northern lights (see above), there are no guarantees that travellers will see them. Anything from light conditions to cloudy weather can make the difference between seeing the lights and not, and some nights they may not appear at all! The best option is to choose a destination you’d be happy with regardless of whether you see the northern lights.
What other activities are offered during the tour?
Depending on the tour, there are often many other activities travellers can enjoy during their search for the northern lights! Adventurous travellers can enjoy dogsledding, skiing, snow-shoeing, and snowmobiling, while those looking for a slower pace will love the many museums and cultural offerings at many northern lights destinations. Of course, the gorgeous nature is a draw in and of itself!
Can you see the northern lights when there is a full moon?
A popular misconception about viewing the northern lights is that a full moon negatively impacts the lights’ visibility. Thankfully, that is simply not true! The northern lights can and do appear on nights with full moons, and many photographers appreciate the moon’s presence in their shots.
How long do the northern lights last?
As with many questions about the northern lights, the answer to this is: it depends! On active nights, the northern lights can be seen all night long. However, other times the display only lasts for about ten minutes. The weather patterns that cause the lights are not always easily tracked, and therefore it’s not possible to know exactly how long each display will last.
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