Where to see the Northern Lights

The frozen ship – Spitsbergen, Norway

Head off into the wilderness and be one of the few people to enjoy the Northern Lights in daylight hours with a stay on the world’s only ice-bound ship hotel. It’s a 120ft schooner that is stuck in a frozen fjord in northern Norway’s Svalbard archipelago.

It has “ten well-equipped cabins, two lounges, a restaurant and licensed bar,” says Aaron Millar in The Independent. “Accessible only by snowmobile or dog sleigh and miles away from civilisation, this is a real Arctic Aurora adventure, but with a warm welcome at the end.”

• Prices start from £159 for a double room (00 47 79 02 4600, Basecampspitsbergen.com).

The glass igloo: Hotel Kakslauttanen, Finnish Lapland

The Northern Lights, or aurora borealis, is a natural light display in the sky, caused by solar particles entering the Earth’s atmosphere and emitting burning gases that produce different coloured lights.

You can view the spectacle from the warmth of your bed with a stay at Kakslauttanen, 155 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

You stay in one of the hotel’s log cabins for most of your stay, but you can spend a night in a glass igloo, a short stroll away in a forest clearing. “Outside it was -10˚C, but I was snug underneath the covers – and a specially designed condensation-proof geodesic dome – ready to watch the greatest astronomical show on earth,” says Richard Green in The Sunday Times. “It’s toasty inside”, too, and the cabins have wood fires and saunas.

• Four nights at the Hotel Kakslauttanen – three in a log cabin and one in a glass igloo – costs from £1,141pp, half-board, including flights with Taber (01274-875199; Taberholidays.co.uk).

The Icehotel – Swedish Lapland

The Icehotel – Swedish Lapland

The hotel is built entirely from ice every year – even down to the furniture. “The temperature inside hovers between -5˚C and -8˚C, so guests sleep wrapped in thermal sleeping bags atop of beds of reindeer skins,” says The Daily Telegraph.

You can take an overnight trip in search of the Northern Lights; guests can “choose between a snowmobile or a howling dog sled team”.

• A three-night break costs from £933 per person, including flights (01737-218801, Icehotel.co.uk)

The hot tub – Iceland

Located two hours from Reykjavik, “this four-star hotel is perfectly placed for observing the Northern Lights”, says The Daily Telegraph. “There are hot tubs from which to await the phenomena, or guests can request a wake-up call if they appear.” The rest of the time the hotel enjoys fantastic views of the East Ranga River or the Mount Hekla volcano.

• Prices start from around £148 for a double room (00 354 487 5700, Hotelranga.com).

The train: St Petersburg, Russia

The train: St Petersburg, Russia

Enjoy a luxurious train journey through Russia while you hunt for the Northern Lights. “In the company of an expert astronomer, travel from St Petersburg to Moscow on board the Golden Eagle, which features en-suite, panoramic-windowed cabins and a fine-dining restaurant,” says Aaron Millar in The Independent.

“Stop off along the way for specialist aurora excursions and visits to the Unesco World Heritage city of Vladimir and the Golden Ring town, Veliky.”

• There are two train trips each winter, book now for winter 2015. From
£6,395 per person for a ten-day trip (0161-928 9410, Goldeneagleluxurytrains.com).

Merryn

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