This curated winter holiday to Svalbard sees you explore the ultimate Arctic outpost – the magical setting for Philip Pullman's epic novel and BBC drama, His Dark Materials. In this remote region in the depths of winter, the sun never appears above the horizon, painting the landscape in an eerie blue twilight, known as the Polar Night. For an extra special stay, we've included a thrilling Northern Lights hunt by snowmobile, a magical evening at remote Camp Barentz and accommodation at a choice of hotels – the Radisson Blu Polar or the ultra-contemporary Funken Lodge, Svalbard's finest offering.
Polar Night: Northern Lights in Svalbard
Day by day itinerary
Day 1 » UK to Longyearbyen
Take your flight from London to Longyearbyen (via Oslo), the world’s northernmost airport. On arrival, head to your chosen hotel. And, while the Radisson Blu impresses with recently renovated rooms and superb dining, for the ultimate experience, we recommend the spectacular Funken Lodge, with its ultra-stylish interiors and extraordinary views over the town and the Lars glacier. It also features a celebrated champagne cellar and Longyearbyen's best restaurant.
Day 2 » Northern Lights by Snowmobile
Following breakfast, you've got the chance to explore the wilderness and local culture. To get you started, we've included a thrilling snowmobiling trip through the mountain plains in search of the Northern Lights. With near-silent motors, there's less disruption to local wildlife, giving you the chance to spot reindeer and polar foxes. Finish it all with hot drinks and snacks – hopefully under the glow of the aurora. Then, perhaps wind down with an optional beer tasting at the world's northernmost brewery or pay a visit to the Svalbard Museum, a treasure trove of all things Svalbard.
Day 3 » Optional activities & Northern Lights evening at Camp Barentz
Today provides a further chances to embark on optional excursions in Svalbard's icy landscapes, with favourites including a daytime husky ride in search of the Northern Lights. Then, this evening, we've included a wilderness evening at Camp Barentz, located well away from any light pollution, where you'll hear of aurora stories and enjoy a complimentary dinner and drinks accompanied by, luck depending, those colourful, dancing swirls.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 » Depart for home
Transfer to Longyearbyen Airport after breakfast for your flight home.
Finland: the happiest country on Earth – again
It’s official – Finland is, according to a new United Nations report, still the happiest country on earth. And their Nordic cousins aren't too far behind.
When to visit Scandinavia: a seasonal guide
With such a variety of landscapes and activities, it's hard to define the best time to visit Scandinavia. The answer, really, is that there isn't one. Endless summer days bathed in the midnight sun give way to months of snow-bound fun, when, for many, Scandinavia really comes into its own.