Find out if we’ve got your favourite pastime covered in our dedicated special interest holidays travel guide or just search for a few more ideas to help you have a really worthwhile week away rather than just a boring break at the beach. This page is all about what special interest holidays entail and how you can choose between small group and tailor made options to ensure you get the most out of your holiday.
When to see the Northern Lights
The Northern Lights are a winter phenomenon, and the epic arctic nights are the perfect pitch black backdrop for these luminous creations.
However, it’s not as simple as turning up and staring skyward – as lunar cycles, cloud cover, light pollution and solar activity also play a part in when to see the Northern Lights. While some of these are seasonal or can be monitored days or hours in advance, others are fluke occurrences, and the speed with which the aurora moves means that they often materialise as if from nowhere. Quite simply, the main obstacle is cloud cover. If it is clear, there is a high chance you will see the aurora – so booking a four or five night trip will increase your chances of seeing the light show of your life.
Alaska Weather Chart
Our Northern Lights Holidays
The Northern Lights, month by month
If you'd like to chat about Northern Lights or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Best time to see the Northern Lights
David Phillips is an astronomy expert and Iceland tour guide with our supplier Explorers Astronomy Tours. He has a 100 percent success rate for seeing the aurora on his trip to Iceland - here’s his experience of seeing the lights – and their unpredictability: “People just don’t realise that every night it’s different – sometimes it will be very muted and quiet. You’ll see nothing for several hours and then within the space of five minutes there’s an eruption of activity, with curtains dropping down and rays that point up to the sky. You’ll have ten minutes of tremendously dynamic activity which is impossible to predict, even with all the data. You know that there might be an incoming solar wave, but you still don’t know precisely when that eruptive display will happen. So that’s why you have to be patient – but that’s also why it’s kind of lovely because you don’t know what you’re going to get each night.”
More about Northern Lights
Mythical as they are magical, as elusive as they are ethereal, the Northern Lights - also known as the Aurora Borealis - are one of nature's most stunning spectacles.
Our guide to where to see the Northern Lights travels around the Arctic Circle - from Finland to Fairbanks, Lapland to Iceland.
The Northern Lights in Finland are as legendary as sleigh rides and Santa.
For winter visitors, Norway’s night sky can make for its most mesmerising moments.
Iceland has been shaped by nature's powerful forces and the Northern Lights add their dramatic paintbrush to its already colossal canvas...
You can only admire the aurora at night, of course - so here are our suggestions for things to do in the Arctic winter when not gazing skyward.
It'll mean staying up past bedtime, of course - so seeing the Northern Lights with kids is sure to be a hit.
The holiday companies we work with have been travelling up to see the Northern Lights for many winters, and have discovered the top spots to see them and the best times of night for aurora shows.
Travelling responsibly may not spring to mind when planning a Northern Lights watching holiday, but there are plenty of things you can do to make it memorable for all the right reasons.