Do you wish to experience a real Christmas adventure this winter? Step your foot on the cold white snow, placing your head towards the sky seeing northern lights or Aurora Borealis, also hearing the heavenly sound. If you experienced too much of metropolitan cities, sky crappers, high rise building, why not try yourself an Arctic Wilderness for this winter?
In this blog, I will teach you how to spend only USD 3650 for a Winter Northern Trip to Norway, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, and United Kingdom at the same time. Not only you would be able to explore 5 countries, but also experiencing different atmosphere and northern lights.
Many have said that Finnish Lapland is as close as a winter wonderland, and you can almost have a view of northern light every evening. There are many places in Lapland to enjoy the northern lights, such as Rovaniemi, Otsjuki, but if you would like to try something different, many recommend the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort.
We can enjoy the northern lighs view at our own glass igloo at the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort. There are some reviews from the other bloggers that said Kakslauttanen is not really that great in terms of services. However, many would still come to this resort for exploring their magnificent igloos.
The igloos cost around USD 500 a night for double occupancy. If you are on tight budget, I suggest you to stay in dorm which costs round USD 30, rent a car for USD 60 per day, and be aware that Finland is Pricey, so it is wiser for you to bring one or two friends with you, either to share hotel rooms or even the car rent.
In here, you would have the chance to discover the home of Santa!!! Yes, it definitely turns you on if you are a Santa Wonderer and Christmas Dreamer.
It costs around USD 750 for a one-way flight from Indonesia to Helsinki in Finland. After that, we would need to take another approximately 2 hours flight to Ivalo Airport, Kakslauttanen which cost around USD 50 – USD 200. The earlier you booked the flight, the cheaper the fare would be. You could spend a few days in Helsinki and a couple of days in Lapland, depending on what you prefer.
According to skyscanner, the village of Jukkasjärvi in the Kiruna region of Sweden is home to the country’s first Ice Hotel. There is a gallery of snow sculptures, you can join aurora-watching trips straight from the door, and celebrate a successful night’s viewing with a cocktail at the IceBar.
There are plenty of places to stay beside the ice hotel, you can rent a room or apartment in Airbnb. Hotels are not that pricey either, last time I checked it costed the same as Airbnbs.
To reach here, you will need to fly from Ivalo, Finland to Stockholm, Sweden which costs around USD 250 one way, and Stockholm to Kiruna for USD 100. You can stay in Stockholm a few days before exploring the northern lights in Jukkasjarvi.
Svalbard is well up into the Arctic – and generally the higher the latitude, the better your chances of seeing the Lights. If you are travelling in December then you definitely can witness the Northern Lights. Svalbard is without daylight between mid-November and the end of January, and our chances of seeing aurora are higher.
However, majority of visitors come to experience the Polar Night If you visit outside of that period, you’ll have a much better chance of seeing reindeer, walrus and polar bears – as seen on Frozen Planet. So, it depends on what you would like to explore.
There are no direct flights from Kiruna, Sweden to Longyearbyen, Norway. Therefore, you would need to fly from Stockholm, Sweden. The flight is not always available, so it cost around USD 200. The price is the same to if you fly to Oslo then Longyearbyen.
You would not see northern lights if you stay in Oslo, so you would definitely need to visit Svalbard if you wish to explore the northern lights there. The hotels in Svalbard is standard as well.
Reykjavik is still the most affordable and accessible place to see the Northern Lights compare to the others above, the aurora is visible from late September to early April. Flying from Oslo to Reykjavik costs not more than USD 100, and hotels room rate cost the same as well, around USD 100 or more than that depending on where you would stay.
It’s fun to hunt for the Northern lights here since the nights are longer, you could enjoy them while sitting on a rocking dock somewhere in an old harbour, and Borganes has one you can drive your car onto and sit and wait inside while little fishing boats float beside you.
According to the local guide, you could see aurora nearly 8 months a year from September to mid April. We can only see them in darkness and when the skies are clear. You can sometimes see them from downtown if you don’t feel like leaving far from the city, but just not quite as bright.
5.Scotland, United Kingdom
Christmas in Reykjavik, then New Year Eve in UK, wouldn’t it be nice? The best time to experience Aurora Borealis in Scotland is in around January, and since the lights only lasted for minutes and even few seconds, you would definitely experience it if you are lucky enough.
Scotland has a fair few places for finding a dark sky at northerly latitudes and if Aurora activity is forecast it’s not far to do an on-spec Lights chase. If you want winter adventures too, Aviemore and the Cairngorms National Park is a good bet, although you may have to get up high for snow cover. The huskies will be hoping for snow at the annual Aviemore Sleddog Rally in January as well.
To reach Scotland, we need to fly from Reykjavik to Edinburg, and the airfare only cost around USD 150. If you have never been to UK, you could as well discover the whole UK by visiting the other towns and cities as well.
If we stay around 5 days in each countries, it means we would need to prepare the budget for 25 days, and if each night cost us around USD 30 then we would need USD 750 for the accommodation), 25 days of transportation roughly cost us USD 750 (this math is based on two person).
As for the airfare, my calculation is USD 1600 plus USD 550 a ticket from Edinburg to Indonesia, means all would cost of USD 2150. The total would be USD 3650 before meals. You could squeeze the budget if you want, you could just pick one place for a northern light trip, such as Reykjavik and explore the other countries as usual, but skip the cities that needed airfares, such as Kakslauttanen, Jukkasjarvi or Svalbard, which are around USD 400.
If you do that, it means you would be travelling from capital city to another, Helsinki, Stockholm and Oslo, that means it is wiser for you to use an Eurail Pass, which only cost around USD 300 to travel the whole Scandinavia.
There are still many many many ways to squeeze budget, such as having a free accommodation in exchange with workings, volunteer, however, it usually involved tough jobs, such as taking care of animals (dogs, horses), and they needed someone to stay longer in that country as well, so I don’t really recommend that.
I prefer to explore Scandinavian countries and its neighborhood at the same time because it would be a great savings because of my expensive round trip ticket from Indonesia. You can imagine how much more I would be spending if I went to each countries at different times, I would definitely need to spend more than USD 10.000 in a total. Therefore, I choose to travel wisely.
You could also choose to explore northern lights in Greenland, Northern Canada and Alaska as well. However, I recommend you to visit there in another trip, because airfare from Iceland to Greenland costs around USD 750 one way trip. In addition, tourist mostly come to explore the arctic animals like we have seen on TV, and also popular with their Alaska Cruise.
The idea of travelling is not merely just going to places we have never been, but exploring the new places with the special ones and capture the lifetime moments that probably would be just once in your whole life.
This blog is dedicated to my special friend who dream of Northern Lights, may you discover the beauty of Scandinavia northern lights someday with someone very special, Happy Birthday Longfeet!