Best places to see the northern lights
Imagine waking up in a suspended glass cube – high in the treetops, or falling asleep under an aurora display inside a cosy glass igloo – there really is nothing more relaxing than spending the night amongst truly spectacular surrounds.
From the icy fjords of northern Iceland to the snowy wilderness of Swedish Lapland, with over 34 years’ experience in travelling to the northern climes, we’ve found some truly superb accommodations for catching a glimpse of the aurora borealis, as featured in our unrivalled collection of northern lights holidays.
Treehotel, Swedish Lapland
Great for: Feeling a real connection with nature amongst the peace and quiet of the surrounding forest. There are a variety of unique ‘rooms’ to choose from, which vary in size and design. If you’re feeling particularly active – you can also take part in a host of thrilling activities available.
We recommend: The Mirrorcube (pictured). A fun and spacious room, with floor-to-ceiling reflective windows that appear to camouflage the structure from the outside – clever! Keep watch for the aurora through the glass ceiling, as you relax in style.
Hotel Ranga, South West Iceland
Great for: Location is ideal, just a 90-minute drive from Reykjavik, yet deep in the countryside and away from the light pollution of the city. Ranga also has its own star-gazing observatory, outdoor hot tubs, and gourmet restaurant with one of the most delicious and exciting menus in the country.
We recommend: The Suites. As well as standard and deluxe rooms, Ranga has 7 stylish suites, each with a unique design based on the seven continents. Styled using beautiful and authentic décor and furnishings.
Malangen Resort, Northern Norway
Great for: Stunning natural surrounds and chic properties, within a relatively short drive from the popular fishing town of Tromso. Located near the small village of Meistervik, Malangen Resort is an aurora hunter’s idyll. From stylish and spacious rooms to apartments to modern cabins overlooking the mountains and fjord beyond, be sure to keep an eye out for porpoises swimming nearby!
We recommend: Seaview Cabins. Featuring three bedrooms, these rooms are perfect for groups or families. Each cabin has a private balcony, making the perfect place to watch an aurora display over the mountains and fjord directly in front of you. For a truly amazing aurora experience, book a Northern Light Watch excursion. Watch out for an enchanting display in a specially designed aurora cabin (pictured), or opt for an aurora wake-up service throughout the night.
Aurora Safari Camp, Swedish Lapland
Great for: Northern lights hunters and wildlife enthusiasts wanting a thrilling camping experience. No artificial light is used at the camp, so if you’re lucky enough to catch sight of the northern lights, your experience will be truly spectacular.
We recommend: Lavvu tents (pictured behind). With a firewood heater in each Lavvu tent, you’ll always be cosy – even when temperatures reach -37°C outside!
Nellim Wilderness Hotel, Finnish Lapland
Great for: An authentic Lapland experience. Cosseted by Finnish wilderness, this family-run hotel, set on the shores of the beautiful Lake Inari, offer the ultimate in relaxation for families, couples and groups alike. Choose to do as much or as little as you wish at this charming and welcoming retreat.
We recommend: Rustic Log Cabins. Equipped with a sitting area, kitchen, fireplace and sauna; enjoy the comfort and convenience of your surrounds before heading outside for the chance to catch an immense aurora display.
Icehotel, Swedish Lapland
Great for: Those wanting to tick off a bucket-list experience! This unique hotel is the first of its kind and offers guests the chance to sleep in a room made of pure snow and ice or ‘snice’. With different designs every year, each stay is a one-of-a-kind experience.
We recommend: Venturing out on the Northern Lights Snowmobiling tour – a 4 hour adventure in search of the elusive aurora with food and hot lingonberry juice provided inside a cosy log cabin with a fireplace to warm up!
Siglo Hotel, Iceland
Great for: A classic experience of northern Icelandic life. Nestled on the waterfront in Siglufjordur – a historic fishing town, the views from Siglo Hotel are incredible. From dramatic mountainscapes to glistening fjords beyond and below, if you’re lucky enough to catch an aurora display – your experience will be out-of-this-world.
We recommend: Deluxe Room (pictured). Featuring a balcony that overlooks the fjord and the Holshyrna Mountain, you have the chance to witness a stunning northern lights display from the comfort of your room.
Hotel Husafell, West Iceland
Great for: Exploring West Iceland’s natural gems including Langjokull icecap and Hraunfossar waterfall. Hotel Husafell uses 100% pure energy from spring-fed hydroelectricity and geothermal heating, while natural hot water from nearby mountains is piped into fabulous geothermal pools next door.
We recommend: The restaurant, which serves outstanding food and imaginative dishes, rich in local produce and flavours, accompanied by wraparound mountain views.