Honeymoons, Travel

Chasing the Northern Lights

A travel wishlist come true

The Northern lights are such a fascinating natural phenomenon that for centuries, so many travellers have travelled far and wide chasing the beautiful but unpredictable Aurora, dancing across the sky.

With the Northern lights being high on our bucket list, we set out to plan our encounter with the lights with a lot of hope and optimistic faith.

As fate would have it, we stumbled upon The Royal Travel Malta and our amazing journey through the arctic regions of the north began. We worked together with Sam to design the perfect personalised trip for us, with the main goal of seeing the Aurora Borealis.

We were aware that there were no guarantees of seeing the lights, so we really wanted to maximise our time by going on as many adventures as we could handle.


Snowmobile Safari, Santa Clause Village, Santa Park, and Husky Safari

Our first stop was Rovaniemi, Lapland. Sam, set us up for an adventure-packed trip in Lapland from the moment we set foot on the snow-covered land.

Our first day, we checked into the idyllic and dreamy Arctic Treehouse Hotel. Nestled within a wooded area, about 3km from the city of Rovaniemi, it was far away enough to see the northern lights from the full-glass windows of our private cabin, should they decide to grace us with their colourful presence.

Almost immediately after, we were picked up to join other Lapland visitors for a Snowmobile Safari with Northern Light Campfire in the arctic forest. And what an exciting ride that was!

The deep darkness of the arctic further added to the thrill of the ride through the less-travelled out roads of Lapland. For anyone with a spirit of through adventure, this snowmobile ride is a definite must!

After about 3km into a clearing in the woods, which we later discovered was a frozen lake, we made camp and hoped for the lights t show up. Unfortunately, it was too cloudy and so we didn’t see them. However, the whole experience was still exciting and satisfying for us.

Of course, a trip to Rovaniemi isn’t complete without a visit to the official home of Santa Claus in the world. So the next day, we went to say hello to the big guy and made a show of crossing the Arctic Circle. It was interesting to discover that Rovaniemi is the only inhabited city that lies directly on the line of the Arctic circle.

Later that day, we made our way to a reindeer farm where we had a very relaxing sleigh ride, fed some reindeer and listened to the fascinating history of the Sami indigenous people of Lapland, and how precious the reindeer were and still are to them.

Unfortunately, it was another cloudy day and so seeing the Northern Lights wasn’t possible.

For the next day, Sam had arranged a tour to a husky farm where we went on a Husky Safari Ride to another region of Lapland. We have to say, this was the highlight of our time in Lapland. The dogs were so full of energy and ran with such speed and vigour! We were able to appreciate the beauty of the arctic forest in daylight while holding on tightly to the sleigh as our furry four-legged guides led us on a ride of a lifetime.

Next we spent the afternoon at Santa Park, an underground cavern that houses Santa’s secret workshop, an Ice bar and a mini theatre among other things. It is also the only underground arena that passes under the arctic circle!

Being our last night, we decided to visit Rovaniemi city centre for a stroll and a nice dinner then we went back to our cabin, hoping to sight the lights. While the lights eluded us for a third night, the view of the trees covered in snow was so so peaceful and calming that we really had nothing to complain about.

Read our more in-depth experience in “The most Exciting time in Rovaniemi, Lapland”

Read More about the Experience


Northern Lights, Reindeer Farm and Whale Watching

The next day, we boarded a bus that took us 8 hours to Tromso, Norway. Sam had arranged the ride so we could enjoy the scenery of both Finland and Norway, rather than having to endure 2 connecting flights to Tromso.

The next day, we boarded a bus that took us 8 hours to Tromso, Norway. Sam had arranged the ride so we could enjoy the scenery of both Finland and Norway, rather than having to endure 2 connecting flights to Tromso.

The ride was quite comfortable and relaxing. The closer we got to Tromso, the more excited we became because our driver had been telling us stories of how he and his family had been seeing the lights for the past couple of days.

Once we arrived, we set off to Tromso harbour for dinner. After a hearty and delicious meal, we stood up to leave. Just then, the waitress walked casually to us and said, “If you want, the Northern Lights are outside now.”

In shock, we stood speechless for a few seconds before dashing out into the crisp cold night. A little walk along the harbour, and we began to see grey streaks in the sky. At first, we were disappointed but then, something magical began to happen.

The grey slowly turned to pale green, then light green. We were finally seeing the Northern lights! They were so beautiful that I couldn’t control the tears of joy. After a few minutes, we got our cameras and began taking pictures. Of course, with the fact that the human eye doesn’t have good night vision, our camera picked up the lights much clearer than we saw them. All in all, it was a truly magical experience!

The next day, we went to visit Tromso center and took the Tromso Fjellheisen cable car up a mountain (it doesn’t seem to have a name) to behold the breath-taking views of the Island of Tromso connected by a bridge to the mainland.

In Northern Europe, at this time of the year, the sun doesn’t quite rise but stays in the horizon for a few hours each day. This provides such a transfixing view that makes for postcard-perfect pictures.

Later that day, we went to visit a Reindeer farm set far away from the city, in the silence of the forest. The main goal again, was to hunt the Northern Lights.

And would you believe it, after feeding the reindeer and having a cosy dinner by the fireplace in a traditional Lavu hut. we saw the lights again for the second night in a row! This time, even more intense.

Bright green lights dancing across a deep dark sky, sparkling with stars. The green lights swirl and loop around, sometimes brighter and then dimming a bit, only to light up again and change direction.

In the crisp cold air, there is silence but it doesn’t mean there’s no one there. People stand about, transfixed, staring at the lights with eyes lifted or cameras raised.

We stare along with the others with wonder and awe. We’re all witnessing the Aurora Borealis dancing in the sky. Pietro and I hold hands tightly with a wide smile on our faces. We can’t believe how fortunate we are to see the Northern Lights yet again! So many have made this trip several times but weren’t as lucky. Yet, here we were, on our first trip to Tromso, Norway and we stood in awe in front of the lights.

The show lasted for over an hour. The Northern Lights in all its glory!

The next day, we had a full day cruising the cold Norwegian fjords on a silent whale-watching cruise. Silent, because the catamaran uses a hybrid engine that produces less pollution and less noise to ensure that the whales aren’t disturbed and the sea is as clean as it can be.

On the cruise, we sighted pods of whales of different species. Orcas, hunchbacks, fin and sperm whales. Although we didn’t go beyond 100m of the whales not to disturb them, it was still a sight to behold. They would sometimes surface alone or in groups, spouting jets of water high into the sky before diving smoothly back in to the sea with their large fins gracefully sliding back in the water.

When the whales were out of sight, we enjoyed the view of the rocks and mountains on the sides of the fjords.

After the cruise, we headed back to our hotel, content and happy.

And here, ended our epic journey. We had accomplished what we came here for. We saw the Northern Lights, met some amazing people and their precious animals, and saw the fjords and whales. So many firsts for us, wrapped up in one trip.  All with the help of Sam.

Thank you so much for an unforgettable trip that we will treasure for the rest of our lives. Perhaps, one day, we’ll be back to get wooed again by the fierce beauty of Finland and Norway.