Where to see the Northern Lights

The Northern Lights are a sight like no other. The ethereal dance across the dark sky amazes those who spot them . We think they’re the world’s finest natural phenomenon. With that in mind, we thought we’d share our favourite places to witness them in 2019.




Tromso is at the centre of the northern aurora zone, meaning the odds on spotting them are definitely in your favour. We love Tromso because, while the main draw is undoubtedly to see the Northern Lights, there’s plenty to enjoy on the ground. Opt for adventurous excursions, including husky sledding, snowmobiling, hiking, kayaking and whale safaris.

Or head to Fjellheisen, the cable car behind the city’s Arctic cathedral. Once at the top, a number of delightful walks afford superb views of the city below.

We’ve not even mentioned the lively nightlife. From traditional Norwegian cuisine to more typical home comforts, everybody is catered for here. While for those who want to stay up after hours, Tromso boasts more pubs per capita than any other city in Norway. Skål!



With a population of just 2,600 and three hours from Oslo by plane, Svalbard is remote, and it’s this that makes it the ultimate winter experience. In winter, the sun barely appears above the horizon, giving it an eerie, mystical feel. Its topography is both dramatic and beautiful. Think snow-laden peaks, towering glaciers and ice fields as far as the eye can see.

The total lack of light pollution makes for a terrific Northern Lights experience. Wintry excursions are all on offer here too, though Svalbard has an ace up its sleeve: polar bears. There are more of them than people,. So pack your camera and hop on a photography excursion. The month of September is best for combining both polar bears and the Northern Lights.



The name says it all, doesn’t it? Nestled in Swedish Lapland in the tiny village of Jukkasjärvi and dotted with glassy lakes, snow-clad fir forests and reindeer. The original ICEHOTEL won’t disappoint. It was, in fact, named as one of the ‘world’s greatest places’ for 2018 by Time Magazine.

After nights spotting the lights in the virtually pollution-free north Swedish Lapland, discover the incredible architecture of the hotel itself.  Sleep in an expertly carved -5 degree ice room, kept warm by reindeer furs and woken the next day by a glass of hot lingonberry.

Icehotel, Sweden



One of the most popular and well-known Northern Lights destinations, Iceland’s delights are endless,  and ideal for a bit of romance. The ‘land of fire and ice’ is packed full of adventure, with everything from self-drives among epic waterfalls and erupting geysers to soaks in the famous Blue Lagoon.

If you’re looking for the ideal romantic retreat, Hotel Grimsborgir, surrounded by Iceland’s natural scenery and on the doorstep of UNESCO-listed Thingvellir National Park, is unparalleled. This luxury hotel is ideal for the adventurous, with horse-riding, quad-biking, snowmobiling and glacier hiking on offer. Plus, its rural location means chances of catching sight of those famous lights are even higher – and can even be done from a private hot tub.

Why not combine Iceland’s iconic Golden Circle sights and south coast with the Northern Lights for the ultimate romantic break?

Iceland Northern Lights




Some would say we’ve saved the best until last with this bucket list experience. You’ll start with a stay in the snow-carved rooms of the ICEHOTEL. Enjoy sauna soaks and hearty Lappish cuisine, before swapping to a heated glass igloo for the most magical of private performances,  seeing the Northern Lights from the comfort of your bed. What’s more, if you do fall asleep, a “watcher” will act as an aurora alarm, so you don’t miss a second.


Alongside this unique accommodation, there’s plenty of winter activities to enjoy, too, from snow sculpting and ice fishing to snowmobiling and husky safaris; it’s the ultimate polar adventure.

Glass Igloo

Spotting the Northern Lights is high on many a bucket list and, combined with so many unique destinations and experiences, makes for a wonderful short break. Chic Boutique Travel can offer a range of unforgettable holidays to Scandinavia and the Nordics with tailor-made options throughout.


Call us to find out more about Northern Lights holidays in Scandinavia – 01706 250006

Rendezvous in Rio!

RioI recently headed out from London Heathrow with Latin Routes to explore the cosmopolitan South American city of Rio De Janeiro!  Wow! What an experience!

We arrived in the evening, and as we passed the world-famous Ipanema and Copacabana beaches I firmly had Barry Manilow’s ‘Copacabana’ and ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ etched in my mind and would have for the entire trip!

We were given the most fabulous welcome by the Pestana Hotel – with Caipirinha’s cocktail and the most fabulous roof top views. From the distance we could see Christ The Redeemer appearing and then disappearing again amongst the clouds. It was most eerie.

The first two days I spent lots of time learning everything about this incredible continent, meeting representatives from all over South America.

Faye in RioWe were treated to an evening at Rio’s most photogenic night-spot, Rio Scenarium. The atmosphere was electric – with Samba beats. It is a quirky place, unlike anywhere I have been before. On each of the three floors there is an eclectic mix of antiques from the opulent to the unexpected (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs outside the ladies toilets!). A visit is a must.

On our final evening it was certainly dress to impress, to spend an evening at the luxurious Copacabana Palace. We danced the night away, and I couldn’t help but think how lucky I was to be there!

The team at Latin Routes really did, for me, save the best until last. Our final day arrived and first up was a visit up in the cable cars to Sugar Loaf Mountain – from here the views overlooking the city and it’s gorgeous beaches was a sight to behold.

Then came the big one…. Corcovado, home to Christ the Redeemer. I believe in life, you occasionally witness something truly majestic that leaves you overcome with emotion. For me, this was it! As you approach him you can not help but be wowed by his sheer height and how his commanding position looks over the entire city, protecting it. Then clouds would appear and just has he had done on that first night, he disappeared and then would re-appear. Almost like magic, a rainbow appeared and this memory will last forever.

If you would like information on visiting anywhere in South America, call us to make an appointment – 01706 250006.

Written by Faye Blackburn, Chic Boutique Travel