Find out where to witness the aurora borealis, with ice hotels and hot springs included.
At Finland’s Kakslauttanen Resort, you don’t even need to get out of bed to catch the Northern Lights. Gaze up through your glass-domed igloo, and you’ll drift off to sleep as emerald green, fuchsia, and indigo streaks light up the night sky.
North of the Arctic Circle in the vast Finnish Lapland, surrounded by towering pines, it’s a surreally beautiful place to experience the aurora borealis, which has been confounding and delighting observers for centuries. Towns across Scandinavia, Alaska, and Canada market the lights as the main attraction, offering experiences for adventurers and luxury travelers alike.
The lights, which are caused by charged particles from the sun colliding with atoms in Earth’s atmosphere, make for a dazzling natural display and can be experienced in a variety of locations across the globe.
In Churchill, Canada, you can watch the lights dance over a family of polar bears from the comfort of your mobile sleeper car. There’s even a chance to see them in the continental U.S. at Pennsylvania’s Cherry Springs State Park, which is noted for its dark skies.
If this is the year you vow to see nature’s light show for yourself, set your sights on these destinations.