The Arctic – just the mention of the world’s northern polar region conjures up the names of explorers past. And, all of that adventure still exists today, with snowmobiles, dogsleds and reindeer sleighs bringing you out into snow-clad forests in search of the Northern Lights – a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s just that, unlike the pioneers before you, you’ll return to the likes of cosy log cabins, glass igloos and mighty ice hotels. There’s even Santa to visit. What’s more, all this remote beauty has never been more accessible, with the northern reaches of Norway, Sweden and Finland just a short flight hop away.
However, the Artic isn’t just for winter. Over the summer months, the Northern Lights are replaced by another celestial phenomenon – the Midnight Sun, when the sun never fully sets below the horizon. It’s northern Europe’s best-kept secret, ushering in long, easy days of fjord cruises, forest hikes and island relaxation. It’s the chance to enjoy rural Scandinavia at its most idyllic.
Then, autumn offers the best of both worlds. With the Northern Lights returning as early as September, you can tick off the aurora while enjoying hikes and horse-back rides in the milder weather. Indeed, with so much on offer in Arctic Europe, it’s well worth taking in more than one destination. For instance, you can combine Norway’s Northern Lights capital Tromso with Sweden’s iconic ICEHOTEL with a trip on the Arctic Circle train. There are plenty of cross-border options to make the most out of your trip, showcasing the best of the region's three countries.