To see the Northern Lights is a dream come true for many ! I’ve put together a list of hotels for you where you’ll definitely have a good chance to experience this natural phenomenon!
It’s the dream of every traveller: seeing the dancing rays of the Aurora Borealis with their own eyes! You have a good chance of observing the lights in Scandinavia, Iceland and other northern countries from late August until March (the further north you are, the better). The lights are well known for being elusive – you might spend a night glancing to the sky and end up seeing nothing at all. However, when you do it’s one of the most rewarding experiences in your life. I’ve made a list of unique hotels where you have a good chance of seeing the Aurora Borealis if you’ve timed your trip well!
The best Northern Lights hotels
Igloo Village Kakslauttanen, Finnish Lapland
The glass igloos of Igloo Village Kakslauttanen have put this hotel on the world map. In Saariselka, the place where the Finns believe Santa Claus resides, you can find this famous hotel. A night in a glass igloo is the perfect place for spotting the mythical Northern Lights. But the other overnight accommodations aren’t too shabby either! There’s an igloo made from snow, a traditional, romantic wooden chalet with a sauna (you are in Finland after all!), a richly decorated Queen Suite with a jacuzzi and a few more modern houses. And how about a night in the home of Santa Claus himself?
The Tree Hotel in Sweden offers six unique and stylish rooms in Harads, right in the heart of the forest. If you’re here in the right season, you might even be able to view the Northern Lights from here! The Tree Hotel has several kinds of accommodation on offer, each one as unique as the last. For example, the Mirror Cube has six large windows with a panoramic view of the surroundings and the night sky. The cube provides accommodation for two people, so it’s a perfect place for you and your loved one to hide for a few days.
From the woods of Sweden we return to Northern Finland. Levin Iglut Kittila offers glass igloos you can stay in which gives you a great opportunity to see the Northern Lights, just like the other igloo hotel Kakslauttanen. The hotel also features a so-called Northern Lights House: a beautiful, stylish house with large windows, partially built into the ground, giving you fantastic views of the dancing lights above.
A bit further north you will find Iceland, worth visiting just for its absolutely breathtaking nature alone. I have two recommendations when it comes to hotels in this amazing country and both of them are outside of Reykjavík. One of them is Hotel Rangá. This hotel is located in a rural area, which minimises the chance of light pollution ruining your view (though this is a rare thing in Iceland to begin with!). This luxurious hotel is the only four-star resort in the south of Iceland, so it’s a perfect place for some relaxed moments. The wooden lodges combine tradition with design and you’ll find everything that your heart desires here!
Ever since I discovered the ION Luxury Adventure Hotel, it’s been on my bucket list – though you can say the same for every hotel on this list! Located in Selfoss, this hotel is more than spectacular from the outside. It’s situated near the Thingvellir National Park (a UNESCO world heritage site) and it’s not that far from the capital Reykjavík. The design hotel is almost like something out of a modern-day fairy tale, situated between the lava fields and overlooking the gorgeous lake below, Thingvallavatn. All of this combined with the large windows make it a great hotel for you to fulfil your quest of seeing the Northern Lights.
If you want to stay at the Sorrisniva Hotel in northern Norway, then you’re going to have to pack some very warm clothes indeed! You’ll find this incredible ice hotel near the Norwegian town Alta, where the temperature can drop to well below zero. The hotel is re-built out of snow and ice every year. To prevent the guests from freezing, the rooms are equipped with reindeer leather some very warm sleeping bags. Here you can enjoy the unique experience of sleeping in an ice hotel. The perfect place for you to do some Northern Lights gazing is the hot tub – from this cosy spot you have a great view of the starry night sky!
When travelling to Greenland, there’s one hotel in particular that I can definitely recommend. This is actually the most northerly hotel in the world and the conditions here are excellent for spotting the Aurora Borealis. In the west of Greenland you’ll find the Arctic Hotel, situated in the Ilulissat ice fjord, which is also on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The property offers various types of suites, all elegantly furnished, and some even have a view of the enchanting sea ice. You can also spend the night in an igloo made of aluminium on the edge of the ice fjord itself.
The Aurora Bubble in the Wilderness Nellim Hotel, Finland
The Wilderness Hotel Nellim, also located in Finnish Lapland, offers holidaymakers several types of accommodation, including traditional wooden houses and even a special Aurora Bubble! You’ll sleep under the stars, while the icy Arctic winds (up to -30 ° C) gust and blow outside. Inside you’ll still be as snug as a bug, and from your bed you might see the beautiful Northern Lights dancing in the sky.
You don’t have travel to Norway or Greenland to see the Northern Lights – our next door neighbours can sometimes get in on the action too! The northern part of Scotland is actually at the same latitude as Stavanger (Norway) and Nunivak Island (Alaska), giving you the the opportunity to see the Mirrie Dancers, as the Shetlanders call it, in late autumn and winter. I found Croft 103 in the north of the highlands, surrounded by the rugged Scottish countryside and situated on the banks of Loch Eriboll, . The large windows in the stylish cottage give you a spectacular view of the area and of course, the night sky as well!
Which hotel would you love to stay in? I’d love to know! :)