Northern Lights activities

Things to do in the Arctic


WHAT TO DO WHILE YOU'RE WAITING FOR THE LIGHTS

Cross-country skiing


The snow-smothered Arctic landscapes can be explored on snowshoes, snowmobiles and 4x4s – but to really cover some ground without relying on noisy vehicles, one of our favourite things to do in the Arctic is cross-country skiing. Cruise around fells and glaciers for a few hours, or take a multi-day tour, staying in different cabins each night

Be pulled by huskies and reindeer

This classic winter activity is fabulous fun for kids and adults alike. Multi-day husky tours will teach you how to harness and drive your own team of dogs, as well as feed and settle them in a different spot each night. Shorter trails provide a fascinating introduction to sledding, with the silence of the snowy forests broken only by the swish of the sled runners. Reindeers play a pivotal role in Arctic life – youngsters will enjoy Santa-style sleigh rides, and visits to reindeer farms reveal fascinating insights into native Sami culture, as you discover how their life is intertwined with that of the reindeer. Reindeer and husky safaris are common things to do on holiday in Scandinavia, check with your tour company if you would like to try sledding in Iceland or Alaska.
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Tour Iceland’s Golden Circle

This 300km loop from Reykjavik will delight anyone with an interest in volcanoes, waterfalls, geology, crazy landscapes and photography

The main highlights include the geothermally active valley at Haukadalur, which contains the Geysir and Strokkur geysers – Geysir gave its name to geysers worldwide. There is also the impressive Gullfoss waterfall, Thingvellir National Park with its tectonic fissures, plus volcanic craters and a geothermal power plant.

Get your facts right

From scientific explanations of charged particles, to ancient myths about sprinting foxes, the more you know about the Northern Lights, the more you’ll be able to appreciate them. There are many educational centres located around the aurora zone. Finland’s Aurora Kota has aurora projections, astronomy talks and local storytelling, while Reykjavik’s Northern Lights Center has an aurora experience room, interactive displays and tips on nighttime photography. Science fans can take a day trip to the Esrange Space Center in Northern Sweden, which gathers information from its rockets and balloons. Visitors to Fairbanks should stop by the sound and light installation at the University of Alaska’s Museum of the North, and Norway’s Tromsø University Museum also has Northern Lights displays.
Photo credits: [Cross country skiing: Antti Pietikainen and www.theaurorazone.com ] [Be pulled by juskies and reindeer: Hotel Korpikartano] [Iceland's Golden Circle: Cali4beach] [Get your facts right - Esrange Space Center in Northern Sweden: US Embassy Sweden]
Written by Vicki Brown
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