It’s excellent news if catching the Northern Lights in action is on your travel bucket list, as 2024 has been hailed as one of the best years to see them.
With this in mind, the team at Expedia has put together a comprehensive report on the best places to witness the magnificent aurora borealis – with this year promising more frequent sightings.
However, it’s one country in particular that commands the top three – and that’s Finland, with the general region of Lapland in first place as well as the capital Rovaniemi in third (with Canada’s Churchill sandwiched in the middle).
While the festive appeal of Lapland might be enough to tempt you for a pre or post-Christmas visit, a much more affordable time to go is October when average daily hotel rates are nearly half the price of December, January, and February – according to Expedia’s findings.
These are the top Northern Lights destinations for 2024, according to Expedia:
- Lapland, Finland
- Churchill, Canada
- Rovaniemi, Finland
- Narvik, Norway
- Kirkenes, Norway
- Kálfafell, Iceland
- Inari, Finland
- Abisko, Sweden
- Isle of Skye, Scotland
- Tromsø, Norway
However, another country dominates the rest of the rankings and that’s Norway – with Narvik at fourth place, Kirkenes at fifth, and Tromsø at tenth.
In fact, searches for Tromsø increased by 40% in 2023, following a notable rise in 2022, as well as a 360% increase in hotel searches compared to 2021 – highlighting the growing interest in the spot for the aurora display.
The best time to see the Northern Lights in Tromsø is late August to mid-April.
So it’s perhaps unsurprising that April is the best month for budget-friendly stays, with hotels averaging around £116, which is £63 less per night compared to January.
However, other emerging Norwegian destinations included Alta, Narvik, and Kirkenes, each seeing an increase of over 60%.
As these aren’t currently the star players of the Northern Lights world, you can expect considerably cheaper prices as a result.
Of course, it’s worth pointing out that you don’t have to jet off abroad to see the lights, as position nine was scooped by Scotland’s Isle of Skye.
Another way to save cash on a trip is to book a package deal and some of the best for the mentioned regions have been cherry-picked below…
Top package suggestions and activities to book via Expedia:
- Tromsø, Norway: You can experience a week at The Clarion Hotel The Edge, Tromsø, for a total of £1,233, including flights from Gatwick between 14th-21st October 2024. Add a husky experience and dog sleigh driving adventure for £131 per person.
- Fairbanks, Alaska: As a prime Northern Lights destination, Fairbanks has seen a 125% surge in hotel searches. Book a seven-night package trip to Chena Hot Springs Resort with flights from Heathrow for £3,055. Add an Aurora Ice Museum experience for £25 per person.
- Isle of Skye, UK: For those hoping to witness the Northern Lights a bit closer to home, such as venturing to destinations like the Isle of Skye — experiencing an increase of up to 60% in hotel searches year-on-year — booking flights on a Sunday instead of Friday could save, on average, 21% on their domestic flights.·
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