Seeing the Northern Lights up close and personal is a hugely exciting opportunity that attracts thousands of visitors to Lapland and the Arctic Circle every year. Many guests choose to take guided excursions into the icy wilderness to see the Aurora away from the light pollution – or stay overnight in a snow lodge, ice hotel or glass igloo to make the most of the spectacle.
However, once you have seen the lights or returned to your base, the magic is far from over, with thousands of activities to enjoy, whether you are travelling to see the Northern Lights as a romantic couples trip or are heading into the Arctic with friends and family.
The Baltic Travel Company recommends a diverse array of options to ensure your Northern Lights holiday is one to remember, from relaxing spa experiences to energetic outdoor adventures.
Dog Sledding and Snowmobile Tours
The outdoor landscapes of a Northern Lights holiday to Sweden, Finland, Norway, Svalbard, Iceland or Greenland offer flurries of white, powdery snow and a background of glaciers, frozen lakes, forests and mountains. Travellers can experience endless winter activities, either as part of an evening or night-time tour to see the Aurora at its finest or during the day to soak in the bright sunshine and clean, fresh air.
Dog sledding is a classic excursion, with husky tours suited for visitors of all ages. Local guides can explain the history and athleticism of their treasured dogs, show you how to attach their harnesses and talk about how they keep their teams in great shape. Note that in harsher conditions or very cold temperatures, dog sledding may be available with wheeled sleds as an alternative.
Opt for a one-day tour and settle back in your sled as you traverse forests and snow dunes, with only the whisper of the sled to interrupt the tranquillity – or choose a snowmobile tour if you'd like to get in the driver's seat!
Snowmobiling is fast, fun and exhilarating. You'll need a guide to follow since keeping track of your direction and location can be tricky among a blanket of snow while you zoom across frozen lakes and forests. Children are welcome on most snowmobile tours, although you must have a driver’s licence to be able to operate your own vehicle.
Reindeer Sleigh Rides
Reindeer are an integral part of the Arctic lifestyle. A journey to the far north provides an incredible opportunity to visit reindeer farms, glimpse wild herds, or take part in a traditional sleigh ride with your little ones – often available as part of a visit to a grotto during the festive period.
These elegant, gracious animals are an important part of the heritage of native Sami people, and reindeer have shaped everything from clothing to traditions alongside travel methods. You might opt to visit a local reindeer farm to learn about herding, meet the smaller reindeer calves, or simply want to try a reindeer sled excursion to experience one of the oldest forms of transport – and a staple of Nordic culture.
Wildlife Spotting and Photography
Lapland is a fantastic place for photographers, and if you are visiting to capture the Northern Lights, you may have several chances to take remarkable photos of the unusual, rare and protected species that live in the Arctic Circle.
There are lots of options, from boat tours to spot whales, walruses and polar bears, trips to small, remote islands to see seals and wild birds, or cross-country excursions where you may be lucky enough to encounter the Arctic fox. Local guides have superb knowledge of the countryside and where these animals roam and can offer advice to ensure you maintain a safe distance.
Photography boat tours can be organised as day trips or excursions lasting several days, and if you are away from the nearest town or city, you'll have an awe-inspiring view of the Northern Lights when they come out to dance across the night sky.
Many photography holidays include a guide who is experienced in capturing the Northern Lights. You’ll normally need to bring your equipment, but you can rent tripods and other accessories as required and learn how to take sharp, crisp and vibrant photos of this natural phenomenon.
Arctic Hot Springs and Spa Breaks
After a busy day of dog sledding and boat rides, nothing says relaxation quite like a traditional steam sauna – a pastime that remains hugely popular throughout the Arctic region. Within Finland, Norway and Sweden you will find lots of public saunas and accommodation with a private sauna or jacuzzi included.
Natural hot springs in Greenland and Iceland provide an excellent way to escape the chill. There are also saunas and outdoor spas throughout areas such as Lake Inari in Finland and close to the Lule River in Swedish Lapland.
If an outdoor sauna isn’t your preference, you might also consider a luxury spa hotel, with some of the best in Europe based in this region. Most focus on natural and eco-friendly treatments, with hot tubs, wood-burning saunas and superb refreshments served with a view over the surrounding forests.
Cross Country Skiing and Glacier Hiking
Onto our final recommendation, and we’d suggest giving skiing or hiking a go, even if you are completely new to winter sports! Resorts offer guides and instructors who can teach skiers of every age, including those who haven’t tried skiing before, with beginner slopes that are suited to everybody.
Those with a taste for adventure can experience the Arctic landscapes a different way, heading out to try cross-country skiing – an excellent way to see those rarer species and travel across the snow under your own steam. Snowshoeing is another great full-body exercise activity, and you can hire extra warm clothing, accessories, and snowshoes on the day.
For more information about any of the Northern Lights activities, tours and excursions mentioned here, please get in touch with our friendly travel consultants at your convenience. Alternatively, you can browse our huge range of Aurora holidays, pre-packaged tours, and offers online. Contact us for further advice or for help customising your holiday to your requirements.
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About Baltic Travel Company:
We specialise in crafting unique, tailor-made travel experiences that showcase the diverse wonders of the Europe and the Baltic region. With over 15 years of experience, our dedicated travel experts are committed to providing exceptional service and unparalleled expertise to ensure your Baltic adventure exceeds your expectations. From cultural city breaks to the inspiring northern lights and breathtaking natural landscapes, our carefully curated itineraries highlight the very best of the Nordic Region, Scandinavia, The Baltic Region, Poland, Slovakia and more. Whether you're a solo traveler, couple, or group, embark on a journey of discovery with Baltic Travel Company – your ultimate travel partner in exploring the hidden gems of the Baltics.
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