It’s no surprise that travelers can find the best Northern Lights viewing as far north as possible. For those without the vacation time and the means to take a North Pole cruise, the Scandinavian Arctic Circle is the next best thing. In the past few years, Finland has become ground zero for all things Aurora. The recently debuted Northern Lights Wilderness Camp in Finnish Lapland might be the purest, prettiest (and priciest) way to see the one-of-a-kind phenomenon.
Finland’s Northern Lights Wilderness Camp is an experience unlike any other. Guests begin their journey inside the Arctic Circle, where they travel via snowmobile to a “mobile hotel.” The camp consists of just three mobile sleeping huts — tiny, two-person rooms built atop sleds to ensure they can be moved into just the right position to see the lights. All the essentials — an oversized bed, a gas stove, a table, a heater, and a dry toilet — are provided. Snowshoes and kicksleds allow brave guests to venture into the wintery wilderness outside. The real draw, however, is the glass roof built into the side of each hut, allowing guests to relax and enjoy the Aurora show from the comfort of a warm bed.
Upon arrival, the camp staff provides guests with an overview of how things work and what to expect. They’re then left to enjoy the camp at their leisure. There are no traditional amenities — no lobby, no sauna, no restaurant, no cocktail lounge, not much at all really. Here, it’s about the simple purity of the experience. Locally sourced snacks and hot drinks are provided, as is an Arctic grill dinner and a cooked-to-order breakfast the following morning.
In the last decade, Finland, in particular, and Scandinavia, in general, have become go-to destinations for Americans seeking off-the-beaten-path wilderness activities. It’s a place where adventurous travelers can camp with ancient nomadic reindeer herders, sleep in one of the world’s coolest ice hotels, and enjoy a Viking-style spa experience at Sweden’s Arctic Bath.
Not surprisingly, overnighting at such an exclusive “hotel” isn’t cheap. The one-night experience is available only through Off The Map Travel with a price tag of more than $2,200. Sure, there are far more affordable alternatives like Finland’s own Snowman Glass World Resort with budget-friendly nightly rates of “just” $600 (based on double occupancy). But, do you really want to share your personal Aurora experience with hundreds of strangers?
Before heading into the great white north, check out our essential guide to Northern Lights photography.
- A Beginner’s Guide to Capturing the Northern Lights
- The 5 Best Places to See the Northern Lights in 2022