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Most Iconic Places to Witness the Northern Lights

Jávri Lodge is where to see the northern lights

Off The Map Travel / Jávri Lodge

Watch the aurora borealis lightshow this winter from your remote—yet remarkable—lodging in the Arctic when the northern lights peak.

This winter, we are setting our sights high. As high as the skies to witness the annual light show that dazzle during winter and spring months in the amazing Arctic Circle. For the most iconic places to watch the northern lights we garnered four luxurious accommodations, from remote chalet’s only accessed by helicopter to a spa retreat at the Blue Lagoon. Each location serves up a dose of sumptuous sophistication, culinary prestige, alpine skiing above fjords, and of course, polar light shows that mesmerize.

They are noted for their shades of green, pink, blue and violet that cast ribbons of light across the entire sky during the winter season.

where to see the Northern Lights at Sheldon

Totement / Sheldon Chalet

Many have wondered what exactly the northern lights are (also called the aurora borealis) and when exactly they are, so you can better your chances to witness this natural marvel. The phenomenon is a light display that is caused by electrically charged particles from the sun entering the earth’s atmosphere and can be seen from above the magnetic poles of the northern hemisphere.

They are noted for their shades of green, pink, blue and violet that cast ribbons of light across the entire sky during the winter season (September through March). Science aside, this spectacle for global travelers and wilderness enthusiasts alike is made for those eager to get off the grid this winter and underneath the dazzling northern lights where they are best seen from these luxurious destinations.

The Blue Lagoon Resort where you can see the northern lights

Off The Map Travel / The Blue Lagoon

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HYDRO HEALING AT ICELAND’S ICONIC BLUE LAGOON
A trip to Iceland is not complete without a dip into the mystical blue lagoon flanked by volcanic rocks and icy-blue geothermal pools. The Blue Lagoon Retreat Spa & Hotel, located just an hour from the country’s capital Reykjavík, is the place to book your luxe visit to the region as it caters to discerning travelers with an appreciation for relaxation.

where to see the northern lights at the Blue Lagoon Hotel

Helga Laufey / The Blue Lagoon

Expect sophisticated suites crafted with warm wooden interiors, plush linens, and wide-open views of Iceland’s vistas beyond. And the dining at the retreat? Satiate with their creatively displayed seasonal ingredients, opt for a vegan-only menu or for its seven-course meal of gastronomic dishes offered by the chef. A rejuvenating spa experience whisks you into healing treatments comprised of seawater and white silica to exfoliate and moisturize skin with earth’s elements.

The Blue Lagoon Hotel is where to see the northern lights

Off The Map Travel / The Blue Lagoon

The pool’s temperatures are around 100 degrees with winter temperatures in the region around 32 degrees, making this destination a must for those who are wellness-obsessed and looking for equilibrium in the hydro healing lagoon with the chill of winter just beyond. Fortunate swimmers and spa-goers may even be able to see where the northern lights are from their seat in the steamy lagoon. Float over to the swim-up bar while defying the aging process with a self-applied facial using the algae from the on-site mask bar, then end the day with an in-water massage as you wait for the neon sky to perform an illuminated waltz above.

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The outdoor spa contains a gorgeous sauna and a jacuzzi perfect for viewing the epic light shows where the northern lights are dancing across the blanket of sky overhead.

Skaret lodge where you can see the Northern Lights

Evan Tryggstrand / Skaret Lodge

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NORWAY’S ISLAND RETREAT FULL OF ROMANCE AND WHIMSY
If you prefer to skip the long car ride and fly directly into your Arctic getaway to see where the northern lights are, then consider taking a helicopter straight to Norway’s Skaret Lodge overlooking the Skogsfjordvatnet lake along the sparkling vastness of winter. The island of Ringvassøya is the sixth largest island in the country and an ideal home for hunters, avid hikers and winter athletes due to its wild landscape boasting both waterfront activities and woodland excursions.

When to see the Northern Lights at Skaret Lodge

Off The Map Travel / Skaret Lodge

The Skaret Lodges are a whimsical setting of Instagram-able rooms with pale woods, slate gray walls, hand-crafted furniture, and accents of creamy linens and flickering fireplaces. Even if you stay indoors all week, your time will be memorable as the Norwegian landscape folds in front of the lodge’s panoramic windows and a chef-prepared gourmet meal is made for you and yours. The outdoor spa contains a gorgeous sauna and a jacuzzi perfect for viewing the epic light shows where the northern lights are dancing across the blanket of sky overhead.

An expansive boutique hotel offers a striking sense of place…a place few have the chance to experience.

where to see the northern lights at Jávri Lodge

Off The Map Travel / Jávri Lodge

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SUPERIOR LUXURY AT LAPLAND’S SUBARCTIC JÁVRI LODGE
When the northern lights are flashing above Lapland, find yourself along the sprawling subarctic wilderness of Finland’s northernmost territory to witness the polar light show this winter season. Another phenomenon happens here as well, it is called the midnight sun because for nearly 70 consecutive days in the summer, the sun shines for what seems like forever because of the tilt of the earth’s axis.

winter at Jávri Lodge is where to see the northern lights

Off The Map Travel / Jávri Lodge

But if you are setting your sights on peeping the northern lights, then head to this Arctic locale in the dead of winter. Lapland offers a luxurious accommodation that is worth the trek, where the Jávri Lodge, an expansive boutique hotel offers a striking sense of place…a place few have the chance to experience.

see the northern lights at Jávri Lodge

Off The Map Travel / Jávri Lodge

The traditionally built chalet is crafted from wooden beams and floor-to-ceiling glass walls along with superior amenities like an indoor pool and sauna straight off the pages of Architectural Digest as well as a concierge team that is waiting to meet your every preference. Local organic fish and freshly picked cloudberries adorn the dining tables and communal spaces at the lodge provide a cozy backdrop for reminiscing about the day’s adventures.

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Sheldon Lodge is where to see the Northern Lights

Off The Map Travel / Sheldon Chalet

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TOUCH THE SKIES AT SHELDON CHALET’S EXCLUSIVE $35,000 GETAWAY
Setting our sights stateside, we head to Alaska to see where the northern lights are crafting a spectacle that can be enjoyed in luxury atop a glacial island in Denali National Park. This exclusive experience at Sheldon Chalet is perhaps only rivaled by the flashing lights of the aurora (if you happen to be in the right place at the right time). By exclusive, we mean that this luxurious property located at the summit of North America’s tallest mountain, is accessed only by helicopter from Anchorage or Talkeetna and requires visitors to “log-off” as there is no internet connection.

Star Gazing and Northern Lights at Sheldon Lodge

Off The Map Travel / Sheldon Chalet

Instead, you will indulge in some spectacular views of the Alaska Range that have to be seen to be believed. For avid stargazers, the high-altitude clear skies display shooting stars that can be seen from the pristine luxury of the chalet’s own observation deck. The accommodations themselves are worth traveling far for, as well as being where you need to be for optimal northern lights. For $35,000 per couple for a three-night minimum, guests are welcomed to a completely secluded five-bedroom chalet (sleeps 10) adorned in plush and spacious interiors that are both sophisticated and refined-something rarely found at this height.

We are loving the culinary element of this remote retreat that includes local Alaskan fare that is sustainably sourced and presented with creative flare.

Deemed as the “best winter trip on earth” by a journalist for Backpacker.com who had a first-hand experience in this majestic place that offers guests their own guides, gear, a chef and a concierge during their stay.

The ethos of the Chalet and its owners is to bring guests back to their roots with nature-centric activities ranging from heli-picnics, glacier trekking, snow cavern spelunking, and, of course, guided trips to marvel beneath the ever-changing green, purple and blue skies. So, when is the most ideal time to see the northern lights? It’s best to plan a trip between mid-September to mid-April to better your chances to see them firsthand.

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