Chase the Northern Lights in Norway

This new Arctic tour promises a cool combination of comfort and adventure.

The northern lights near Longyearbyen. (Photo: Bublik Polina/iStock)

A cluster of islands midway between Norway and the North Pole, Svalbard offers a prime vantage point for viewing the northern lights, especially during the perpetual darkness of the Arctic winter. But venturing into this frozen wilderness doesn’t have to come at the cost of creature comforts thanks to UK-based Off the Map Travel, whose new A Polar Night itinerary is highlighted by a stay at the archipelago’s most isolated tourist accommodation.

Available from January to May, the five-day adventure begins with a night in Oslo before guests fly north to Svalbard’s Spitsbergen Island, where, after a snowcat tour, the second night is spent in the small mining town of Longyearbyen. From there, they join a dog-sled team for the 30-kilometer journey to Juva Cabin, a cozy backcountry refuge outfitted with bunk beds, a pine-paneled lounge room, and a barrel sauna with mountain views.

Zero light pollution means optimal conditions for spotting the aurora. But even if the lights don’t make an appearance, you’ll be rewarded with star-filled skies and the chance to commune with nature at its most pristine. A final night back in Longyearbyen rounds out the experience.

offthemap.travel; priced from about US$3,180 per person, exclusive of flights.

A pair of sled dogs. (Photo: Daniel Stilling Germer)

The barrel sauna at Juva Cabin. (Photo: Agurtxane Concellon/Hurtigruten)

This article originally appeared in the September/November 2022 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Northern Exposure”).

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