15 October 2012

Chase the northern lights in style

There’s no doubt about it, the Northern Lights are one of the most ethereal natural spectacles on earth. Incandescent ribbons of colour whisper through the night sky, caused by the collision of energetically charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere of the Arctic. 2012 has heralded the start of a solar maxim, resulting in some of the most spectacular displays of the aurora borealis in the past 50 years. To allow you to take full advantage of this rare aurora opportunity, we’ve put together a list of the best destinations to view the lights in style.

Have a listen to our Northern Lights playlist as you read:

LULEA

Head up to the north of Sweden, deep inside the woods of Harads for a surreal Northern Lights experience that only the Swedes can pull off at the Treehotel. Made up of five unique tree houses poking up into the forest sky. Choose between The Bird’s Nest, The Cabin, The Blue ConeThe Mirrorcube or The UFO, all of which radiate an air of make-believe and fantasy, which only serve to make your Northern Lights experience all the more magical.

The Mirrorcube, Treehotel, Lulea

EAST GREENLAND

This one is for intrepid Northern Light chasers. On the iridescent snow-strewn plains of East Greenland you can follow in the footsteps of Arctic explorers as you traverse one of the world’s final frontiers in search of the delicate hues of the aurora. Get behind the reigns of a husky sled, or try your hand at snowmobiling or cross country skiing.  This winter wonder provides some of the most spectacular Northern Light views due to its sheer vast remoteness and the stillness of its snow-kissed landscapes.

ICELAND

Aurora viewing in Iceland strikes the perfect balance between urban chic and rural escapade. Stay at Reykjavik’s first and still unsurpassed boutique Hotel 101, where sleek Norse design is perfectly coupled with traditional oak flooring and open fires making for an authentic Scandinavian experience. Then as day turns to night, leave the city lights behind and quad bike off into the frozen wilderness of rural Iceland for uninterrupted views of the dancing aurora overhead.

Aurora Borealis

SVALBARD ARCHIPELAGO

Officially part of Norway, Svalbard Archipelago is so far north that it is actually part of the Arctic Circle. The sheer stark white of the landscape acts as a blank canvas for the Northern Lights to colour unperturbed. To add a touch of style to your aurora viewing, stay at Basecamp Spitsbergen. This retreat is an experience in itself, built using driftwood, sealskin, slate and old woodwork from Barentsburg, all combining to create an authentic Nordic feel. You don’t even have to leave Basecamp to see the Northern Lights, they’ll be dancing above the glass ceiling in your room.

If you fancy a Northern Lights expedition visit bespoke adventure led travel experts, Epic Tomato for information on booking a trip.

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