Win a voyage in search of the Northern Lights

AOL Travel
Northern Norway - The ultimate winter adventure playground
Northern Norway - The ultimate winter adventure playground

Witnessing the magical Northern Lights from on-board a Hutigruten ship - a sight to behold. Credit: Hurtigruten

There is no sight in the world more bewitching than the Aurora Borealis, aka nature's most spectacular lightshow. And there is no finer place to see this stunning natural phenomenon than in northern Norway.

As well as the chance to view the Northern Lights, the region's other attractions are equally awesome - dramatic unspoilt scenery, wonderful wildlife, excellent cuisine, first class accommodation and friendly towns await.

It's also the place to go for anyone who loves outdoor activities: dog sledding, snowmobiling, king crab safaris, ice hotels, Sami culture and visiting the beautifully serene Lofoten Islands to name but a few.

For information on how to get there and partner tour operators, click here.

WIN a voyage in search of the Northern Lights

To win a dream six-night full board Hurtigruten voyage from Bergen to Kirkenes, including transfers and return flights from Heathrow, just answer this simple question.

Northern Norway - The ultimate winter adventure playground
Northern Norway - The ultimate winter adventure playground

Visiting Tromsø gives you the opportunity to drive your own team of huskies. Mush! Credit: Bjørn Klauer/ Huskyfarm Innset


Tromsø – the gateway to the Arctic

Many people visit Tromsø because of the Northern Lights. Not only is the county of Troms one of the best places on the planet to view this phenomenon (it is right in the Lights' "prime zone") it is one of the most accessible, with regular flights from the UK via Oslo.

The Arctic Guide Service provides visitors to Tromsø with fantastic excursions and activities, such as a full-on chase every evening to witness the Northern Lights! While in Tromsø, do not forget to visit the Polar Museum, the many art galleries and craft workshops, as well as sampling the wonderful local cuisine.

Lofoten Islands – tranquil, serene and beautiful

The pristine natural beauty of the Lofoten Islands has to be seen to be believed – staying in one of the old restored fisherman's cabins just adds to the sense of history and tradition one will feel.

The wildlife is just as remarkable. You may spot a graceful sea eagle soaring into the sun, or glimpse a majestic whale on an organised nature safari. When visiting the Lofoten Islands, you will experience an overwhelming atmosphere of tranquillity and serenity that is simply captivating.

Vesterålen – spectacular scenery and amazing adventures

The islands of Vesterålen beckon with gorgeous indigo light, a distinctly warm camaraderie and limitless outdoor activities amid an outstanding landscape.

Amateur fishermen will return home with stories of amazing giant cod fished from the shore. Dog-sledding will bring out the adventurer in you and of course there is always the opportunity to be cast spellbound by the bright fiery tapestries of green, amber and hazel of the Northern Lights.

Svalbard – journey to one end of the earth

This awe-inspiring glacial island 400 miles north of the Norwegian mainland is a world of haunting landscapes and warm hospitality. The warming Gulf Stream means conditions up here can be far less harsh than expected, enabling the visitor to navigate the region on a range of unique excursions from snowmobiling to husky driving.

All journeys here have a sense of adventure, a hint of nostalgia and a feeling you are in a place few have been before, although it is only a few hours from the UK. The landscape, air, light and sense of discovery you will experience in Svalbard will remain with you forever.

Northern Norway - The ultimate winter adventure playground
Northern Norway - The ultimate winter adventure playground

Meeting the Sami and enjoying a reindeer sleigh ride - two unique experiences from Northern Norway.Credit: Terje Rakke/ Nordic Life


Sami - culture, customs and charm

The Sami are the indigenous people of Northern Scandinavia who have lived here for thousands of years. All over the Finnmark region you are likely to see Sami wearing their traditional multi-coloured clothing. Many still practice reindeer herding and visitors can take part occasionally.

Sample their warm hospitality, learn about their ancient customs and culture and be entranced by folk tales and haunting music in a traditional lavvu (tent) and you will be transported to another era.