With Arctic forests cloaked in jewel-like hues of orange and red, crisp days spent foraging and walking before the clear night sky hosts a magical Aurora Borealis display, autumn is a wonderful time for a Northern Lights holiday.
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An autumn trip offers a superb selection of activities, such as mountain biking, making fires and mushroom foraging, which are best enjoyed before the snow fully arrives. While winter might be the most popular time of year for a Northern Lights holiday, the months of September, October and November are known to provide sublime viewing of the incredible natural phenomenon.
Here's our pick of the best Aurora holidays in Finland, Norway and Sweden this autumn...
Watch the dancing Lights from a giant glass dome
For a contemporary and comfortable setting to witness the Aurora Borealis, you can marvel at the Lights from an Aurora Dome (pictured above) placed in Sweden's wilderness. Providing a 180-degree view north, you'll be warmed by a wood stove and a satisfying bowl of reindeer soup while learning about the phenomenon from experienced guides. As they appear above, you can also make your way outside to a Northern Lights deck to get even closer to the action. Off the Map Travel offers five-day tailor-made Autumn Northern Lights holidays in Kiruna, which can include a visit to the Aurora Dome one evening, from £1,199 per person (September to November).
Experience big adventures beneath the magical Aurora
Tromsø is a terrific location for a thrilling and varied autumn Northern Lights holiday. You can discover the Norwegian city's cosmopolitan charms before embarking on a guided RIB (rigid inflatable boat) adventure, surrounded by breathtaking scenery, with ample chance for wildlife spotting, including many whale species. Head to the Lyngen peninsula of steep mountains and enchanting fjords for an Aurora hunt, before spending an amazing night glamping in a Crystal Lavvu. From beneath its glass roof, you can gaze up at the night sky to spot the majestic Lights. A dramatic and inspiring Aurora husky hike and Aurora hunt by bike complete the itinerary. The Aurora Zone offers the three-night holiday from £645 per person in September and October.
Hunt the Lights on foot with beach and forest walks
Sweden's Luleå Archipelago is the perfect place to explore beaches, forests and nature. During a stay at a cabin, you can enjoy Nordic wilderness walks to learn about the area's flora and fauna and how to make a fire. At night, guided evening walks through the Brändö forests and along the beaches while keeping an eye on the sky for the Northern Lights are fantastic for immersing yourself in the surroundings. Discover the World offers this Autumn Coastal Colours & Northern Lights trip which includes extras such as Northern Lights boat tours, kayaking, fat biking and Aurora photography from £1,479 per person for four nights (September to November).
Explore the surroundings of a historic reindeer herder's homestead
A heavily-forested wilderness located on the edge of Torasjarvi Lake, Torassieppi is the site of one of the oldest surviving buildings in Finnish Lapland. The original reindeer herder's homestead dating back to 1847 has been converted into a handful of inviting cabins where you can stay on a late-summer break. This idyllic lake-side setting offers autumn Aurora hunters a chance to see the Northern Lights reflected upon unfrozen waters. You'll learn the secrets of the Northern Lights by campfire, hunt the Aurora by mountain bike and experience a Finnish sauna like a local. The Aurora Zone offers a three-night Autumn Auroras in Lapland holiday from £975 per person in August and September.
Get in touch with nature by chasing the Aurora by row boat
Those who appreciate the beauty of Swedish Lapland's natural views can take to the Torne River in a traditional handcrafted row boat for a guided tour under the Northern Lights. Departing from the village of Kurravaara with oars in hand, you'll row the tranquil mirrored river that spreads into a vast lake surrounded by mountains. Expert guides will be on hand to teach you about the Arctic night sky as you relax among the wilderness and water, while enjoying a warm berry drink and delicious local snacks. Off the Map Travel offers five-day tailor-made Autumn Northern Lights holidays in Kiruna, which can include an Aurora boat tour, from £1,199 per person (September to November).