Northern Lights holidays best deals from £358 per person | Travel News | Travel

The Northern Lights are a stunning natural phenomenon that tourists from around the world travel in their droves to tick off the bucket list experience. In 2022, a poll commissioned by Audley Travel, 2,088 British adults were asked about the activity they would most like to do abroad during their lifetime, with most citing the colourful sensation.

Also known as aurora borealis, the natural occurrence can occasionally be spotted in parts of the UK, but is most commonly witnessed in Iceland, Norway, Finland, Alaska and parts of Canada. Britons who do want to witness the Northern Lights don’t need to worry about travelling too far to see the Northern Lights, with flight times to hotspots in Iceland and Finland generally within three hours.

Closer to home, Scotland and parts of northern England have been lucky enough to witness the spectacle in recent months. And this year, there’s even more in store for those desperate to catch a glimpse of the natural phenomenon. Thanks to a rare solar occurrence, the aurora borealis is likely to be even brighter in 2024. 

This year is the solar maximum, which means it is the highest peak of activity during the solar cycle. The solar cycle can last anywhere from nine to 14 years. The absolute solar maximum is marked by the moment that the Sun’s north and south poles switch places.

How does this impact the northern lights? Well, this is because the northern lights are caused by activity on the surface of the sun. Sunspots are particularly active areas, which release streams of electrically charged particles down to earth, captured at the north and south poles. These interact with gases in the atmosphere forming the beautiful colours so many people love. 

During the solar maximum of 2024, there will be even more sunpots meaning even more particles entering the atmosphere, and therefore more intense displays. It’s likely displays will be more frequent too and could even be seen further south and therefore even closer to home than usual.

In line with this popular attraction, many package holiday and travel operators offer their own Northern Lights trips, with flights and hotels to some of these destinations. Some even include day trips and excursions as part of the deal or as an additional extra.

Prices vary on trips, from the super high-end, luxury break of a lifetime, to more budget-friendly options that still offer a glimpse of the gorgeous colours.

Travellers who have previously booked trips to visit Northern Lights hotspots, describe it as “spectacular” to witness, and enough to invoke “tears of joy” when leaving reviews on Tripadvisor.

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