If you are fed up with beaches and city breaks, heading for the northern lights is something every traveller should try. It is a profound, otherworldly experience – so much so, that when you return home, the image of the magical, whimsical light show will remain with you.
The Northern Lights can be seen (infrequently) anywhere in the world, yet there are certain places that offer a more secure viewing. Tromso, in Norway is a beautiful, ‘chocolate box’ town, some of it is located on an island. It is built with wooden houses, which date back hundreds of years and it feel as if you have stepped back in history. This is a perfect place to view the Northern Lights, as it is a small town without garish city lights. Abisko in Sweden is another option for this spectacular sight and there is even a hotel (the Abisko Mountain Lodge) which has a glass viewing ceiling where you may observe.
You could also take in the Lights if visiting Finland – maybe at Christmas time with the kids. There are other places where the lights become abundant, but these are probably the best. Do not assume they will be visible the first night of your stay – and it is best to book for at least 10 days if you want to avoid disappointment. Many things, including the weather and cloud coverage, control this phenomenon, so be prepared to be patient.
If you want to view the Northern Lights outside of Europe, Lake Laberge in Canada will be the ideal place to hire a log cabin. The best months to witness the Lights are between September and April in Scandinavia and August until April in Canada. Wherever this spectacle is witnessed, be sure to take lots of pictures, even though you will hold the image forever.