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Best Arctic Accommodation for Viewing the Northern Lights

9th January 2019


The Aurora Borealis is a huge draw to the Arctic region for many people and will often feature on plenty of bucket lists. This majestic natural spectacle is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so it’s no surprise people want to make sure they have the optimum chance of seeing it.


Check out our comprehensive guide for the best accommodation to see the Northern Lights in Canada, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

Canada

Wild Camping – Hudson Bay

Transfer to the Schmok Lake Tundra Camp to enjoy two unforgettable days of glamping in the vast tundra landscapes of the Barren Lands. A chance to learn about Arctic flora and fauna, your time will be spent following the ancient migratory pathways used by the Qaminurjuaq caribou herds, enjoying the unique opportunity to experience the remoteness and serenity that few travellers get to encounter.

Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge

A National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, the lodge is ideally located on the Hudson Bay coast, just 250km southeast of Churchill. Polar bear and Northern Lights sightings abound here, and are best enjoyed from the comfort of a lodge with panoramic views.

Female polar bears gather at a denning site nearby and are often seen on the grounds of the accommodation, allowing you to observe these graceful creatures from the comfort and warmth of the lodge. An electric fence and 24-hour patrols ensure the safety of polar bears and guests.

Seal River Heritage Lodge

There are not many places where you can see polar bears from the comfort of your sofa, beluga whale pods from your kayak and the Northern Lights in the same place!

Situated sixty kilometres north from Churchill, Seal River Heritage Lodge can only be accessed by plane and is nestled between the Hudson Bay and Seal River estuary, providing it with the status of National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World.

The estuary is the perfect location to witness the summer congregation of thousands of beluga whales. See more at the lodges’ own viewing tower.

Polar Bear Cabins

Stay in converted Inuit hunting cabins on the western coast of Hudson Bay. You can only access the cabins via bush plane from the Arctic town of Churchill. The cabins are conveniently placed nearby a polar bear migration route to ensure great polar bear sightings and are far away from civilisation to guarantee awesome Northern Lights sightings.

Finland

Wilderness Lodge

During a Husky expedition in the Arctic wilderness, you will stay in remote wilderness lodges. Although not the most glamorous accommodations, they are cosy and come complete with a sauna.

Is there a better way to view the Northern Lights after a long day of husky sledding, with dinner cooked on an open fire while your husky expedition team howl to the skies? We think not.

Nellim Wilderness Lodge - Aurora Bubble

Nellim's world-famous Aurora Bubbles is the most beautiful, unique accommodations you may ever sleep in (complete with private toilet). Lay in your warm, comfortable bed and gaze at the billions of stars in the night sky, shielded from the cold arctic temperatures, which can get as low as -30°C.

If you’re lucky, you might just see the northern lights dancing across the sky!

Aurora Dome, Muonio

Aurora Dome is set on the fringes of a frozen lake close to the inspiring scenery of the Pallas-Ylläs National Park. The shape echoes the igloo design of old, but modified with a high-end luxurious finish and comes equipped with a log burner and plenty of blankets for the cold winter nights.

The front of the dome is clear, offering beautiful views of the night sky and the potential to view the Northern lights from the comfort of your room.

Norway

Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, Alta

The famous Igloo Hotel is rebuilt each winter from the frozen ice of a nearby lake. The northernmost ice hotel in Europe, the Sorrisniva also boasts a spectacular ice gallery, a sauna, hot tubs and a large, lavvo shaped restaurant.

Each ‘cold room’ is individually sculpted, creating a cosy environment thanks to thermally insulated mattresses, reindeer hides and insulated sleeping bags. The only way to top a stay in one of Norway’s most unique overnight experiences? Catch a Northern Lights sighting just outside the hotel!

Svinøya Rorbuer

Stay within the gorgeous Lofoten Islands in a converted original rorbu on the island of Svinøya. At the Svinøya Rorbuer, you are surrounded by an authentic fishing village, connected to the mainland and the rest of Svolvær by a bridge.

Originally the cabins were used to store equipment and food, but now they house visitors, providing them with views overlooking the ocean on one side and the spectacular Lofoten mountains on the other.

Stay in this incredible accommodation on our Group Tour to Norway, hopefully with the Aurora borealis dancing over your rorbu.

Catamaran

Travel in style on a catamaran from Tromso, known as the ‘Paris of the North’. Catamarans are quieter and more stable than boats, allowing a fluid journey through the fjords surrounding Tromso. Spot wildlife such as seabirds, eagles and seals and have a go at fishing.

Following a delicious soup from the fresh catch of the day, settle onto the nets to see the Northern Lights, far away from the light pollution of Tromso. A cup of hot chocolate, the sound of lapping waves and snug blankets make this an incredible experience when watching the Aurora Borealis.

Sweden

Tree Hotel, Harads

A bucket list accommodation for many, the Tree Hotel in the Harads region of Arctic Sweden is certainly unique. Nowhere else could you say you've seen the Northern Lights whilst sleeping in an alien spaceship, elevated in a tree canopy.

Consisting of six tree houses offering a contemporary quirky feel, whilst still being eco-friendly, this is a fantastic option for families and couples looking for something different in Lapland.

Each house is individual in design. The Mirror and Cabin views are stunning and are better suited to couples, whilst the UFO and Bird's Nest would work best for families, as they can accommodate up to four people.

Tying everything together is the lovely Britta's Pensionat, where the owners Kent and Britta Lindvall reside. They are more than happy to help with any request, be it for husky sledding or snowshoeing.

Sapmi Nature Camp, Gallivare

Sápmi Nature Camp is operated by Lennart Pittja who grew up in a reindeer herding family here in Unna Tjerusj Sami community.

This is grazing land that has been used by Unna Tjerusj for thousands of years. Sápmi Nature is committed to responsible tourism that does not threaten the reindeer and the herding here. The camp allows only between 2-10 guests at the same time, creating a personal and responsible experience.

Spend your time here meeting Lennart’s family who does day to day reindeer herding. They will teach you Sami history, reindeer herding and how the changing world and climate is affecting their life. Dinner each evening comes from nature and are most often foraged, hunted or fished by Lennart himself.

Arctic Retreat, Gunnarsbyn

Arctic Retreat is a small scale and very personal lodge experience owned and operated by a young local family in the village of Överstbyn, close to Luleå.

Here, on the banks of the Råne River within a forest, you will experience life in Swedish Lapland in an amazing log cabin accommodation. Each cabin has a double bed upstairs in the loft area, plus single or twin beds downstairs. There is also the possibility for an extra bed in the loft for larger families or groups.

An all-inclusive stay at Arctic Retreat includes a daily activity close to the camp, often in combination with an outdoor lunch. In addition, you can use sleds, snowshoes and skis free of charge, as well as the jacuzzi.


Meike Simms

Meike studied Zoology at University after travelling solo to conservation projects in her youth provided her with a keen interest in science. Her stud…

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