If you’re going to travel to the ends of the the earth to catch a glimpse of this amazing phenomena, you might as well do it in comfort and style.
Catching a view of the otherworldly Aurora Borealis phenomena is on many people’s travel bucket lists but what a lot of people don’t tell you about the experience is just how much effort is actually requires. For one, just because you signed up for a Northern Lights tour doesn’t guarantee that you’ll actually see it. Not only does it require travel to remote locations where there is almost no light pollution to spoil your viewing, you also need a bit of luck and the perfect weather conditions to view it in all its spectacular glory.
Needless to say, it’s important to choose a reliable tour operator to ensure you have the best possible Northern Lights experience, and that’s what Off the Maps Travel promises to offer with its tailor-made, “soft adventure” tours.
Some of its tours take place in Bjorkliden, Sweden, which is supposed to be one of the best places on earth to view the Northern Lights. Says Jonny Cooper, director of Off the Map Travel and Northern Lights expert, “Bjorkliden has a spectacular backdrop for Northern Lights holidays. It’s surrounded by arctic mountains, lakes and Arctic wilderness that gets covered in a thick blanket of snow and ice in the winter. It’s a stunning winter wonderland by day and one of the best places to hunt for the Northern Lights at night.”
“In Bjorkliden, your chances of seeing Aurora in the region are increased because of the surrounding mountains which create a weather shadow and more clear skies than other areas across Lapland – it was this that first brought us to Bjorkliden on our first Northern Lights chase, ” shares Cooper.
For those who are less than keen on roughing it out, you’ll be happy to know that Off the Map Travel tours will bring you on lots of new adventures without unnecessary hardship. Not only will you not require any specific training, they’ll take care of all aspects of planning. Feel free to tell them more about your likes, dislikes and preferences, so you can have an experience completely tailor made for you.
Another thing that sets Off the Map Travel apart from many tour operators is the fact that they work closely with climate change experts ClimateCare to offset carbon emissions from their tailor-made Northern Lights holiday experiences. ClimateCare ensures that funds donated through our carbon off setting program deliver benefits for people, as well as the environment, through a wide range of projects.
“Projects supported on behalf of Off the Map Travel include the multiple award-winning LifeStraw Carbon for Water Project, which delivers safe water to more than 4.5 million people in Kenya and the Gyapa cookstove project in Ghana, which creates local jobs and help families save money on their fuel bills and reduces deforestation, ” shares Cooper.
Here are some of the bespoke travel itineraries you can expect from Off the Map Travel this season:
The Aurora Festival (Bjorkliden, Sweden)
Aurora experts from around the globe are being gathered to celebrate and share their knowledge about the Aurora with enthusiasts from a scientific, historic and mythological standpoint. Thought to be the world’s first Aurora Festival, guests will get hands on with experiments; learn how experts predict Aurora displays; learn from locals about how the Aurora has shaped the culture in the Arctic; and experience the Aurora through a variety of Arctic activities.
A three day two nights The Aurora Festival itinerary in Bjorkliden, Northern Sweden, with Off the Map Travel costs from £899 (Approx. SGD$1950); excluding flights. This includes full board accommodation in four star accommodation; a welcome (invite only) reception, expert talks throughout the weekend with world class speakers; an excursion to Sweden’s highest mountain lodge; an expert aurora photography course; an arctic experience and Sami experience at the Aurora Village.
The Aurora Village (Bjorkliden, Sweden)
The Aurora Village is made up of a collection of three traditional Swedish ice-fishing huts that are placed on the banks of a remote frozen lake during the winter months in the mountains surrounding the world famous Northern Lights region of Bjorkliden and Abisko. The huts, which are traditionally used by ice-fisherman in the region during the Arctic Winter, have uninterrupted 180° views of the greatest light show on earth and make a great base from which your guide can cook Arctic bush delicacies.
A four-night trip to Bjorkliden and Abisko in northern Sweden costs from £1, 399 (Approx. SGD $3030) per person on a full-board basis with accommodation for three nights in a four- star hotel and one night in the Aurora Village on a frozen lake with 180-degree uninterrupted views. Price includes a Lights Over Lapland photography trip, dogsledding and snowmobiling for two adults; flights excluded.
The Grand Aurora Adventure (Norway, Sweden, and Finland)
This is the ultimate Aurora adventure taking guests on an epic chase of the Northern Lights across Scandinavia visiting world famous Aurora spotting destinations across Norway, Sweden and Finland. Guests will have the chance to do everything from reindeer and dog sledding; snowmobiling; visiting the ICEHOTEL; to the chance to learn Aurora photography with a world renowned photographer on their way.
A ten night small group guided Original Grand Aurora tour with Off the Map Travel costs £5999 (Approx.SGD$13, 000) per person not including flights based on 2 sharing. The Grand Aurora includes an expert guide, accommodation on a half board basis, reindeer sledding, a Tromso guided city walk, Northern Lights dinner cruise, an Arctic experience, Alaska trapper dogsledding tour, Lights Over Lapland Aurora and photography evening, Aurora Sky Station exclusive dinner trip, a visit to the ICEHOTEL, a three border point snowmobile trip, Northern Lights tour in a snowmobile-pulled sled and a reindeer and culture tour as well as lots of exclusive extras such as meals in fantastic restaurants and fika stops on travel days.
Moonlight Aurora (Bjorkliden, Sweden)
The Moonlight Aurora experience was created by Aurora travel experts to give guests an alternative experience in hunting the Northern Lights – under an Arctic full moon. Contrary to popular belief, many Aurora experts – from leading guides to world class photographers – believe that the full-moon enhances the Northern Lights rather than detracting from it. The Moonlight Aurora experience is designed to also give guests the chance to enjoy a range of Arctic winter activities under the full-moon whist having the best possible chance of experiencing the Northern Lights.
A four night Moonlight Aurora adventure to Bjorkliden and Abisko in Northern Sweden with Off the Map Travel (www.offthemaptravel.co.uk) costs from £1749 (Approx. SGD$ 3800) per person, excluding flights, based on two sharing. This includes transfers, four nights in a spectacular 4 star hotel on a full board basis, a private specialist guide, a visit to the ICEHOTEL, private Lights over Lapland moonlight photography tour, dog sledding as the moon rises, visit to the Aurora Sky Station, Snowmobile tour, guided moonlit snowshoe walk, Norway fjord trip and Ice fishing and cooking under the moon.