The Northern lights, or Aurora Borealis, represent Nordic nature at its best and brightest – literally. It’s no wonder people travel from far and wide just to catch a glimpse of this natural spectacle. One of the best chances of experiencing this marvelous light display first-hand is visiting Northern Finland during the dark winter months.
The hands-down best place for observing one of mother nature’s greatest spectacles is the Kakslauttanen Hotel in Saariselkä. The hotel houses visitors in unique glass igloos. Underneath the glass roof, you get to lay back, warmly tucked into your bed and simply watch the enigmatic Aurora Borealis dance across the skies. It’s no wonder Ralph Lauren chose this as the location for their 2015 Fall/Winter campaign shoot.
As with all natural phenomena though, there’s no sure-fire forecast for the Northern Lights. Your chances are high, though – they say that between September and March, Aurora Borealis occur about every other night, provided that the skies are clear. But you don’t have to just wait around for the magic to happen as there is plenty to see and do up North.
With miles and miles of untouched snow stretching out all around you, Lapland offers fantastic opportunities for some unforgettable bob-sledding and skiing. Lapland has a couple of well-established ski-resorts – most people head to Ruka or Iso-Syöte to ski.
After spending a day or two surrounded by mountains of snow with more than a few reindeer roaming about, you’ll be a believer too – Santa Clause really does reside in Finland. Accordingly, there is a whole theme park dedicated to Kris Kringel and his elves which is open all year round. The aptly named Santa Park is fittingly located smack-dab on the Arctic Circle, just outside the city of Rovaniemi.
And finally, though Finland might be better known for all its snowy, wintry charms, the Finnish summer is pretty darn spectacular as well. The most striking feature of the Nordic summer is the perpetual daylight. At these latitudes, the sun really does not set during the summer months. This might take some getting used to if you’re looking to get some shut eye, but it also adds an undeniable magic to the season. Imagine sneaking off for a midnight swim or even a picnic… in broad daylight. It’s also a good excuse to party until dawn – and that’s exactly what the locals do come Midsummer, one of the biggest celebrations in all the Nordic countries.
That’s the great thing about Nordic nature. Doesn’t matter if you come during Midsummer or in the dead of winter. At these latitudes, mother nature always has something truly spectacular in store.