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Thread: Northern lights holiday recommendation

  1. #1
    Goon alan hesketh's Avatar
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    Me & my better half are looking to see the northern lights in 12 months time. Does anybody have any recommendations? We want to do other activities too (not skiing/snow boarding). Ideally we want to do approx 4 nights, stay somewhere fairly remote so don't fancy a busy city or cruise. Some people have said you can arrange activities when you get there but I'd rather have everything arranged and ready to go. Cheers

  2. #2
    Initiate Richard G.'s Avatar
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    You could visit the Icehotel?

    Not a package, but you can book all the activities/accomodation through the hotel and then just book flights separately? Fabulous place, but also fabulously expensive.

    We're taking this trip with Speyside Wildlife, fully booked this year, but they might run another next year I suppose?

  3. #3
    Goon alan hesketh's Avatar
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    I do like the look of the ice hotel but I think the charm of a wooden lodge appeals more.

    Your trip looks good, we're looking to do some husky dog sledding, snow shoe hiking, maybe some reindeer spotting, ice fishing would be good too


  4. #4
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    Booking for specific Northern Lights tours can be expensive, and remember that there's no guarantee that the lights will play along with your plans.

    On the other hand, you could do it all yourself on a fairly low budget. Chances of seeing the lights increase as you head north towards the Arctic Circle, but there's no point going further north as you then decrease your chances. So... the cheapest flight you could get might be to Keflavik in Iceland. If you don't want to spend any more money, then take loads of food and warm clothing, and a decent tent, and walk from the airport to an empty part of the Reykjanes peninsula, until you lose any light pollution. Pitch you tent, wrap up warm, cook food, drink hot drinks... and wait... and wait... and wait.

    You might not see the Northern Lights, but at least you won't be burning money!

  5. #5
    Goon alan hesketh's Avatar
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    Hahaha sounds ideal, but... We don't mind spending a bit as its instead of a summer holiday. Budget approx ??1500.
    I know there's no guarantee which is why we want activities too, make it a proper holiday.

  6. #6
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    Activities near Keflavik... spend hours in the big open-air Blue Lagoon, bathing in hot, salty, milky water until you turn into a prune. Does it matter if it's freezing cold outside if only your head is sticking out of the water? If it wasn't floodlit at night, I imagine it would be a great place to watch the Northern Lights. I'm guessing that the nearby Northern Lights Inn must make a pitch for clients who want to see the lights. You can easily hook up with bus tours in that area and get to other places on day-trips.

  7. #7
    Initiate Sand Dancer's Avatar
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    I haven't used them but this company might help

    http://www.transun.co.uk/


  8. #8
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    There's an interesting passage by Bill Bryson in"Neither Here Nor There", where he describes a long and very boring wait to see the Northern Lights. Might be worth a quick read, as he gives a good description of the place he stayed.

    Edit.

    Apparently he stayed in Hammerfest.

  9. #9
    Übermensch Chris OutdoorsGrubcouk's Avatar
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    Try the husky tour place in Innset, northern Norway (get there from Tromso):

    http://www.husky-adventure.com/en/

    Far enough North and great area.

  10. #10
    Mini Goon
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    My son and daughter in law have just returned from Iceland where they saw and photographed the N Lights. Great mountain scenery also. However they found it an expensive place to stay.

    David

  11. #11
    Mini Goon
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    We are planning something similar later this year, anyone know if we can combine wild walks and wildcamping in Scandinavia/Iceland with Aurora watching and minimal travel logistics - ie get to walking asap once in country

    Thinking all we need is darkness and clear skies so possibly in Sept??

  12. #12
    Übermensch Chris OutdoorsGrubcouk's Avatar
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    AFAIK Jan/Feb time of year is the best for the lights. I saw them briefly in N Norway in Sep, so you may get lucky, wouldn't count on it though.

  13. #13
    Mini Goon
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    Cheers Chris,

    problem with Jan/Feb is hiking conditions, might have to think again if can't combine both

  14. #14
    Mini Goon
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    We are planning something similar later this year, anyone know if we can combine wild walks and wildcamping in Scandinavia/Iceland with Aurora watching and minimal travel logistics - ie get to walking asap once in country

    Thinking all we need is darkness and clear skies so possibly in Sept??

  15. #15
    Widdler
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    I went with a company called Authentic Scandinavia last year to Finnish Lapland staying at the Harriniva Holiday Village. It was cheaper than a lot of the other operators mainly due I think to having to organise my own flights (which was very easy with Finnair). I did husky sledding, snowmobiling and reindeer sledding as well as seeing the lights my last night there. There is unfortunately no gurantee for those but I would have had a great time without them anyway. I loved the husky sledding and the snowmobile.

    The hotel I stayed at was right next to a frozen river so the night I saw the lights, I had a fantastic view. I would definitely reccommend the company as with the exception of the flights, everything else (inlcuding breakfast and dinner) was organised for you.

  16. #16
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    FWIW, I have been to Arctic Norway/Sweden/Finland three times in September, roughly the first three weeks of. Seen NLights on all, but the best was on Lofoten last year - awesome. We had some superb long treks, so why not do that and see the NL as a bonus? At least you'll get the treks, and camping out in the middle of nowhere, day after dayis pretty special. But I see your time is limited - might you extend it if you chose the trek option? I don't know when the best time is to see the NL- might Google help?

    But in my case, it's been very pot-luck. You can set your alarm for midnight, or 2 am or whatever, and see nothing. Sometimes the display is very short-lived, so you may just miss it. But going in September, you can sit outside the tent at a reasonable hour and just look, without getting too cold.

  17. #17
    Widdler
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    I've been wanting to the NL for years. SOme great tips here. Might start planning my own trip

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