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The Best Places to See the Northern Lights

Chasing down the ever-elusive Aurora Borealis is a daunting task. However, when staying at some of Indagare's preferred polar properties, there's a higher chance of scouting out this dramatic phenomenon. Read on for some of our favorite properties for Northern Lights viewing, along with the best times to go.

Contact Indagare or your Indagare Trip Designer to start planning a  winter getaway. Our team can provide expert travel advice and assist with custom itinerary planning, hotel recommendations and more.

Northern Lights in Sweden

Where to Stay: 

Part art installation, part hotel, Icehotel has been impressing visitors from around the world with its ice-based architecture and construction for more than three decades. Guests stay here not only for the cachet of saying they've slept on a bed of ice but also to partake in the property's wide array of Northern Lights experiences. Enjoy an evening hike, a snowmobile safari, a photography workshop or a wilderness dinner with guides trained in both the science of the phenomenon, and the Sami significance. Another favorite: Treehotela quirky property made up of sleek, minimalist treehouses is a spectacular spot for Northern Lights-viewing and photography. Activities like night safaris with experts, dogsledding and snowmobiling are offered. And since so many of the accommodations are glass-enclosed, lucky visitors may see the Lights from their rooms.

When to Go: August to March

“My jaw dropped. A real genuine drop... A drop that is brought on by the sheer weight of wonder... There they were, the most magical-looking waves of delicate emerald green, dancing right where I imagine the horizon would have been... Ethereal.”
—Indagare’s Bridget McElroy upon seeing the Northern Lights on a recent Finnair flight to Stockholm. Read her story here.Related: The Soul of Sápmi; Where to Go in Sweden Beyond Stockholm; Spotted from the Plane: The Northern Lights

Northern Lights in Alaska

Where to Stay: Beyond Sheldon Chalet's privileged location, perched on a nunatak in one of Alaska's most inaccessible regions, this five-bedroom lodge offers a superb vantage point for watching the Northern Lights dance. Panoramic windows invite viewing directly from your bedroom, and the prime elevation of 6,000 feet highlights the beautiful blues, greens and purples.

When to Go: September to late-April

Northern Lights in Faroe Islands

Where to Stay: 

Denmark's rugged Faroe Islands are ideal for those curious about the road less traveled, with varied terrain, ample opportunity for photography and rich natural landscapes. The best Northern Lights-viewing is at Hotel Føroyar, which is not exceptionally luxurious but well-located above the town of Tórshavn on the coast and away from the village lights. When to Go: November to February

Northern Lights in Finland

Where to Stay: 

To maximize your experience at the cozy Kasklautten Hotel, nestled in Finnish portion of Sápmi, stay in one of the glass igloos. With an Aurora alert system set up in all accommodations, guests will be warned at the first sign of the dancing sky and can participate in Northern Lights-themed hunting activities with reindeer, huskies, a horse sleigh and snowmobiles. When to Go: Late August to late April

Northern Lights in Iceland

Where to Stay: 

Eleven Experience's glorious Deplar Farm offers adrenaline-pumping pursuits such as heli-skiing and snowmobiling based out of a plush 13-room lodge. Guests can take in the Northern Lights from a geothermal heated pool with a cocktail in hand or standing atop the Troll Peninsula with an expert photographer to assist in capturing the sky. This winter, February 4–9, Deplar will host its inaugural Deplar Farm Photo Retreat.

When to Go: October to March, when days are shorter and there's less sunlight.

Northern Lights in Norway

Where to Stay: 

Just steps from the sea, Lyngen Lodge is a northern Norwegian oasis with an understated, alpine-chic feel. Guests spend days cross-country skiing, ice fishing, dogsledding and snowshoeing, and in the evenings, learning how best to photograph the lights with photography experts on hand.

When to Go: Mid-November to early-March

*Seeing the Northern Lights is, unfortunately, never guaranteed. Visibility is dependent upon light pollution, magnetic activity, cloudiness and the position of the sun. 

Contact your Indagare Trip Designer or Indagare, if you are not yet a member, to start planning a winter getaway. Our team can provide expert travel advice and assist with custom itinerary planning, hotel recommendations and more.

This article was published by Indagare Travel in partnership with Visit Sweden.

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