There are many spectacular sights to be seen as a couple but there are few more romantic than witnessing the otherworldly Aurora Borealis. It is one of life’s ultimate ‘bucket list’ experiences and here at Hero & Leander we have put together a list showcasing the different ways to see this extraordinary natural display. Check out the top 10 ways to see the Northern Lights together.
Guided Adventure Through Finland
Why not go all out and enjoy an eight day guided adventure through Finland enjoying the Call of the Wild. Build an igloo, go husky-sledding and travel in February for a chance to see the Northern Lights. Fly into the remote region of Kuusamo (via Helsinki). Enjoy a morning introduction to cross country skiing before exploring the wilderness along snow covered pine forests and across frozen lakes. Take an overnight snowshoe expedition travelling across frozen lakes and over ridges with the chance to track elk, wolverine, pine marten, wolves or even possibly signs of bears in hibernation.
Learn how to make an igloo, Finnish style, creating a huge pile of snow and hollowing it out, before sleeping in it overnight
Transfer to Oulu Airport and return to the UK (via Helsinki). Departs 3 and 10 February 2017 staying in log cabins along the way, with one night in wilderness cabin.
For more information please visit walksworldwide.com
Discover The Dark Sky Preserves In Alberta
Alberta’s dark sky preserves offer some of the best aurora borealis viewing on the planet. Two of the best locations for stargazing including Jasper and Banff National Parks.Due to its vast size and location, Jasper National Park is considered to be another of the world’s largest accessible dark sky preserves. It’s also one of the best places to stargaze in the Canadian Rockies. Every October the park holds a Dark Sky Festival that includes both free and ticketed events and workshops. You can learn about the constellations, listen to aboriginal songs and stories, and even pick up some tips for photographing the spectacular starlit sky. Jasper’s Dark Sky month runs throughout October with many great events happening throughout various locations in the town-site of Jasper, Canada and Jasper National Park.
A scenic hour-and-a-half drive west of Calgary, Banff National Park is also a perfect destination for stargazing with your partner across the beautiful Vermillion Lakes. Whilst due to its high elevation and lack of urban light pollution, Cypress Hills was the first designated dark sky preserve in Alberta. Every August the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada holds a Summer Star Party that’s considered to be one of the largest stargazing events in the country. The park also offers a variety of camping options, so cosy up by the campfire and gaze in wonder at the starlit sky nd hopefully see the Northern Lights.
For more information please visit www.travelalberta.com/uk/
Experience The Magic Of The Yukon At Northern Lights Resort and Spa
This remote property is hidden far away from busy city life and is the prime location for viewing the spectacular Northern Lights. Couples will have an unforgettable stay as they can view this phenomenon from the privacy and comfort of their own personal cabin. Located just 20 minutes south of the city of Whitehorse, the property is found in 160 acres of private land, close to the Yukon River and surrounded by pine forests and mountains. After an adventurous day exploring, visitors can relax in the luxury outdoor jacuzzi or enjoy a treatment at the wellness spa. An incredible place to stay during both the summer, when there is 20 hours of sunshine, or in the winter, when it is a dreamy snowy wonderland, the lodge offers year-round, un-obscured views of the soaring Aurora Borealis.
For more information please visit www.northernlightsyukon.com
Ice Fish and Snowshoe under the Northern Lights in Lapland
Spend a weekend in the Finnish wilderness as you explore Pyhä-Luosto National Park and ice fish on Pyhäjärvi lake. Experience true Finnish culture as you snowshoe across the Pyhä-Luosto National Park on the hunt for Auroras before spending half a day ice fishing on the frozen lake of Pyhäjärvi. Your guides will even teach you how to photograph the Northern Lights professionally, so you can return home with incredible photographs. This is the perfect weekend getaway if you’re looking to really shake up your winter by getting to know the Finnish lifestyle. Two days of arctic activities with no experience required—all you need is an adventurous attitude.
For more information please visit www.muchbetteradventures.com
Ice Floating in Finnish Lapland
For the more adventurous, and new for 2017/18, is an innovative Aurora Ice Floating experience which offers the chance to see the Northern Lights overhead whilst floating in an icy lake. Protected by a high-quality drysuit, lie back and float under the starry sky in sub-zero temperatures while remaining toasty warm and dry underneath. The Finnish town of Rovaniemi just south of the Arctic Circle is the location for this unique flotation adventure and can be experienced on a four-day break showcasing the very best in outdoor adventure staying in the superb Arctic Light Hotel in the heart of Rovaniemi, as well as a night at the new Arctic TreeHouse Hotel.
For more information please visit www.best-served.co.uk/destinations/finland/extensions/aurora-ice-floating-147396
Board the Polar Express
One of the most spectacular and romantic ways to see the Northern Lights is from the charm and comfort of a train that sweeps up into the Arctic Circle. In Norway, the journey from Bodo to Trondheim offers views across fjords and lochs against a stunning backdrop of magnificent mountains.
Board the Polar Express as part of an 8 day tailor made itinerary which also includes 2 nights in the Norwegian Sea on board a Hurtigruten cruise ship from £1125 per person including flights.
For more information please visit https://www.best-served.co.uk/destinations/norway/itineraries/trondelag-the-polar-express-the-arctic-135974
Romantic Picnic Under The Stars In Donegal
If you ever wanted to view the beautiful natural phenomenon that is the Northern Lights, now is your time. Most of us only dream of seeing the Aurora Borealis with our own eyes, as usually it involves a trek to far flung and frosty places like Greenland, but since a recent peak in the sun’s activity, it means the North West of Ireland is now a prime vantage point for taking in these astounding multi-coloured lights in the skyline.
Donegal’s 5-star hotel Lough Eske Castle is now offering visitors a chance to experience one of the “Seven Natural Wonders of the World” with the aid of a professional photographer to capture these special memories. If there are any romantics out there looking for an original way to pop the question, the fabulous ‘Night Sky Package’ might be the solution to spoil your loved one. This unforgettable experience takes place late at night for the best opportunity to see the lights and ends with a luxury gourmet picnic under the stars, prepared by the award winning chefs at Lough Eske Castle.
The Night Sky Package is priced from €799 per person, (guests can upgrade to a 4 hour tour for an additional €50), and is subject to availability and weather condition.
For more information please visit www.solishotels.com/lougheskecastle/
Sky View Cabins In Finnish Lapland
This winter discover the Northern Lights Ranch which is located in Finnish Lapland on the outskirts of Levi – the country’s largest ski resort. On 1st December, the Northern Lights Ranch will be debuting five new Sky View Cabins – log cabins with huge heated windows, a glass ceiling, a bathroom, and a motorised bed. As the property is situated away from the bright lights of Levi centre, guests have a clear view of the sky and a great chance of enjoying the aurora borealis. After a day of skiing, guests can dine on local produce and warm up by the fireplace at the property’s stunning restaurant, meet and feed reindeer in their enclosure or enjoy the silence of the surrounding winter landscape from an outdoor hot tub.
The new Sky View Cabins, which accommodate two adults, are priced from €390 per night in high season. The Northern Lights Ranch provides a free shuttle service to and from Levi Ski Resort. This winter Finnair will launch direct flights from London Gatwick to Kittilä, which is a 20-minute drive from Levi. Starting on 12 December, fares start from £169 in Economy Class including all taxes and charges. www.theranch.fi
The Muotka Wilderness Lodge is located in an idyllic, secluded snow-laden winter wonderland where the minimal light pollution means an increased potential to see the unforgettable Northern Lights. Guests can head out in search of the Northern Lights by snowmobile, or on an ‘Aurora Hunt’ led by an expert local guide. For an extra special night, pre-book an Aurora Cabin, which has a north-facing glass roof window, perfect for lying in bed and gazing up at the sky!
Inghams is offering a seven-night Northern Lights Adventure holiday on a full board basis at the Muotka Wilderness Lodge from £1,879 per person, departing on 28th January 2018. Price includes return flights from London Gatwick, Manchester or Bristol to Kittilä or from London Gatwick to Ivalo, as well as airport transfers and warm thermal clothing and boots. All activities as listed in the itinerary are also included, as is free use of the snowshoe and cross-country ski equipment for the rest of the week following the included guided trip. The Aurora Cabin can be pre-booked from £95 per person. To book, visit www.inghams.co.uk/ski-holidays or call 01483 791 114.
Arctic Adventure Cruise
Head out on a Norwegian coastal Arctic cruise travelling from Bergen to Alesund, Trondheim, the Lofoten Islands, Tromso & Kirkenes, and finish with a unique stay at the Kirkenes Snowhotel. This 8-day cruise holiday starts in the UNESCO-listed city of Bergen and travels north via the art Nouveau town of Ålesund and then on to Trondheim, Norway’s former Viking capital. After crossing the Arctic Circle reach the staggeringly beautiful Lofoten Islands. Continuing north, stop in Tromso, the Northern Lights capital, and finally Kirkenes, which lies close to the Finnish and Russian borders. The final night is spent at the Kirkenes Snowhotel, home of the most northerly ice hotel. Along the way travellers will have the opportunity to take part in exciting optional excursions such as a King Crab safari, a snowmobile adventure or a husky ride through the Arctic wilderness.
Wexas Travel (0207 838 5892, www.wexas.com/itinerary-offers/arctic-adventure-cruise-102364as.com) is offering an eight-day Arctic Adventure cruise from £1,067 per person. Price based on two sharing a Polar Inside cabin on a full board basis. This also includes English speaking tour leader onboard, entrance fee to Hurtigruten museum, 1 night at Snow Hotel HB and transfers in Bergen and Kirkenes. Valid for travel on select dates in January, February and March 2018
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