Most people associate seeing the northern lights with snowy landscapes, huskies and snowmobiles. However Lapland’s neglected secret is that some of the best aurora sightings take place in the autumn months.
Autumn Aurora in Sweden
Once the midnight sun starts to fade and the Arctic nights draw in the Northern Lights return. In reality aurora displays kick off from late August, perfectly timed for our northern lights holidays which start from September and run through October.
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Different colors of autumn
By travelling early in the autumn you also will witness the spectacular autumn colours as the landscapes prepare for winter. The trees deliver a kaleidoscope of shades from yellow to brown and red through to purple which framed against the dramatic setting of Norway’s Lofoten islands or the fells in Swedish Lapland leaves a lasting impression.
This is the time of the fly drive holiday. With excellent road networks and limited traffic you can really get out there and explore the stunning landscapes of Swedish and Norwegian Lapland.
So how long should you go for?
In a nutshell the journey can be expanded to fit in with your ambition. We can open up the whole of Swedish Lapland from the Lulea Archipelago to Abisko and then if you wish to venture further why not drop down into Norway at Narvik and continue your journey to the Lofoten Islands, Norway’s crown jewel. From 4 days to 2 weeks the opportunities of seeing the northern lights in Autumn are endless.
Lulea lies on the eastern coast of Swedish Lapland and is accessible through a schedule of 6-8 flight connections a day from Stockholm on either SAS or Norwegian. The city itself is vibrant due to its university status and has a growing number of excellent restaurants. Nearby is the UNSECO site of Gammelastad, the 15th century UNESCO world heritage church village which is worth a visit on an autumn northern lights trip.
20 minutes outside town Pine Bay lodge and Brando Lodge are nestled on the fringes for the Bay of Bothnia. Run by our long standing partner Goran Widen they offer authentic accommodation in a good location. Boat trips out to the remote islands in the Bay of Bothnia along with an island lunch complement night time boat trips in search of the northern lights, or land based northern lights adventures.
Moving inland there are a number of fabulous places to stay in the Autumn. The iconic Tree Hotel with its whacky themed rooms ranging from a UFO to a Birds nest makes for an interesting night’s stay on an autumn northern lights trip to Sweden.
Further inland set in a pristine river valley is the Artic Retreat; 4 luxury log cabins set on a bend in the river and surrounded by pine forests that are the perfect chill out place. Enjoy delicious food based on autumn produce, a Swedish massage or simply soak up the atmosphere in your private outdoor hot tub. Autumn holiday experiences include canoeing the river in search of beavers to visiting a Sami family. Northern Lights activities are planned locally depending on the forecast.
An action packed northern lights holiday tying in the coastal region of Lulea with the Tree Hotel and the Arctic Retreat is our Autumn Tree Hotel and Aurora Retreats break
This six day journey can either be done using private transfers or on a self-drive holiday.
If you are planning to do an Autumn northern lights holiday combining the east and west parts of Swedish Lapland then it’s a 4 hour drive on the E10 to go from Lulea to Kiruna and then another hour to Abisko.
Why not break this journey with a stay at Sapmi Nature Camp? Run by Lennart Pittja this authentic luxury Tepee camp is a fantastic addition to the Swedish Lapland scene. In autumn there are fewer better places to experience the changing seasons as the camp is set on the edge of the Lapponia national park.
If you thought you could only stay in the ICEHOTEL in winter – think again. ICEHOTEL365 is open all year round offering the genuine ICEHOTEL experience on an autumn Northern Lights trip.
A perfect complement to this are the 2 Arctic Gourmet Cabins set in a picturesque river valley with the mountains at Nikkaloukta nearby this is a place to relax or go for walks or boat trips. As its autumn the region is bearing its harvest of wild berries, mushrooms and other delicacies. Foraging and outdoor meals are a super way of experiencing the great outdoors. Run by a local couple Johan and Malin one of your treats is experiencing Johan’s great meals cooked and served in ‘ Sweden’s smallest restaurant’.
Abisko rightly carries the tag of being probably the best places on earth for regular sightings of the northern lights. Basing yourself here for a couple of nights should be on any autumn aurora hunter’s itinerary. Our dear friends Mina and Dick Johansson welcome travellers to Abisko Mountain Lodge with effortless hospitality. Abisko is beautifully situated and is a region where walks are rewarded with splendid views or pristine wilderness.
To do Swedish Lapland well on an Autumn Northern Lights Holiday you should allow 10 days to get to see as much as possible or if you want ba short sharp experience then 4/5 nights in either the Lulea or Kiruna/ Abisko regions works well.
If you get as far as Abisko on your Northern Lights adventure then an hour down the E10 you reach the Norwegian coast at Narvik. Whether on day trip from Abisko or as an extension to the Lofoten islands ( 4 hour drive from Narvik),Norway offers a completely different holiday experience. The Lofoten islands in the Autumn months are beautiful. Spectacular mountain scenery, evocative fishing villages, autumn colours and Northern Lights amalgamate to produce a stunning short break. Take a look at our Lofoten Autumn Aurora Panorama and Fjords trip for a four night self-drive programme to this majestic corner of Norway.
See what our clients say
Fantastic service, with every detail taken care of and communicated to your agencies and hotels. Would definitely recommend and will be using again.
This vacation has without without doubt, has been the best experience we have ever had. The organisation from the minute we landed in Kiruna until we departed at the close of our trip was second to none. The transition between hotels was always seamless and punctual. Everywhere we stayed was beautifully clean and the meals were top quality. Every driver was polite, entertaining and very knowledgeable, furnishing us with invaluable information about Sweden and the activities in which we were to participate. The snowmobiling was wonderful giving access via our guide, to stunning panoramic views of the mountain whilst viewing reindeer in their natural habitat.
Our guide demonstrated how to use the snowmobile safely he was pleasant and informative. When visiting the reindeer on the Sami reservation; we found the brother and sister team who hosted lovely. Again they were so hospitable and helpful and feeding the reindeer up close was a wonderful experience.
They provided additional activities for us to try and we were treated to a traditional Sami lunch in their hut. They provided us with invaluable information appertaining to their culture and caring for their reindeer. The reindeer were in superb condition and happy in their environment. Similarly, when out with the dog sleds the experience was magical. Two hours of beautiful scenery, and frozen lakes, finishing with a one-on-one experience massaging the dogs. Magic! We were so impressed with the care that was placed upon ensuring the dogs were comfortable, well-nourished and so loved by their owners/handlers.
Now to the photographic experience. A large group of us were treated to a demonstration of how to operate some serious camera equipment with tripod. Each of us was loaned the camera and given assistance setting up the camera on a frozen lake in preparation for the appearance of the Northern Lights. We were taken to this lake on large wooden sleighs pulled by a snowmobile. We cannot speak too highly of the two young men who accompanied us on this experience. They could not do enough for us. They were there to offer assistance with our cameras throughout the two-plus hours we were on this beautiful lake.
They advised where to position the camera and when the Lights appeared, what a performance. We had a two-hour display of this most breathtaking phenomenon. We were so fortunate to be able to experience this once-in-a-lifetime occurrence for which we are so grateful. We will never forget this memorable holiday and cannot thank you and everyone who assisted in making a lifetime dream come true. Karen & Andrew Adamson
We had a wonderful time! The food at the lodge was amazing and there were some great vegetarian dishes. I had the best beetroot I’ve ever had (beetroot tartare).
Everyone was really friendly and all the guides were good fun and very knowledgeable.
A special thanks to William and Petri who were really friendly and really added a personal touch to our trip. The activities were really well planned and we especially enjoyed the trip with the huskies. The area we were in is stunning and the lodge was very nice. We would definitely recommend this to friends and family.
Cannot thank this company enough. Our break to Iceland was the second time we’ve let them organise everything for us and once again they didn’t disappoint. Everything ran seamlessly and the organised tours were wonderful. This company knows what they are doing. If you want to experience the geysers, the volcano, the northern lights and all the other exciting things that Iceland has to offer then this is the company to use.
This was a bucket list trip. The company are specialists and I’ve valued their advice. Everything from the when to go for the best opportunity to see the lights and equipment needed and provided.Our activities included, the Ice Hotel, night photo shoot, snowmobiling, guided walk and the sky station meal. All excellent and well run by knowledgeable experts and guides. The Abisko Lodge is warm comfortable and relaxing the food is excellent and the staff welcoming, friendly and very helpful. I would highly recommend if you’re looking for a different and exciting experience.
We had five fantastic days in beautiful Iceland, as we had never been before Aurora Nights helped with everything and made the holiday so easy and stress free. We stayed at Hotel Ranga which was amazing, we very much enjoyed the tours and the guides were brilliant, very knowledgable and friendly. We will certainly be returning to Iceland and wouldn’t hesitate to book through Aurora Nights again, special thanks to Abigail as her experience and reccommendations made the trip even better.
My daughter and I had an amazing time on our trip, we didn’t want it to end! Everything went according to plan, each excursion was well organized and everyone involved with each activity, as well as everyone at the lodge was kind, friendly, positive and happy, which makes such a difference to your whole experience. The food at The Abisko Mountain Lodge was also incredibly good. Our room was large, comfortable and well-furnished. The bathroom too was also spacious and well-equipped. The outdoor clothing provided was of very good quality which kept us warm, and the staff members are happy to change items if they are not quite the right size for you. This is my second trip with Weekend a la carte and I’m sure there will be more as I have complete trust in them. I highly recommend Aurora Nights, it was fabulous.
Overall very good. Staff excellent and helpful. Accomodation basic but was what we expected. Tour guides very good (nature walks, snow mobiles, dog sleighs). Sky station disappointing as we never got to go up due to the weather and this seem to be a recurring feature.The alternative walk at night and meal was a let down as a result.Overall would recommend to others.
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