Photo: Sheldon Chalet, Alaska
8 Reasons to Visit the Arctic
Issue 48 / 27 October 2020

8 Reasons to Visit the Arctic

With so much to discover and experience in the Arctic , we have put together our top 8 reasons to visit this inspiring region.

Alicia Bryan

Covering eight countries, the Arctic region includes parts of Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Greenland, Canada and the USA (Alaska). The northernmost region on Earth, this polar region is home to wonderful wildlife, breathtaking landscapes and the world-famous Northern Lights. With so much to discover and experience, we have put together our top 8 reasons to visit this one-of-a-kind destination.

1. Witness the spectacular Northern Lights

The mesmerising Aurora Borealis, otherwise known as the Northern Lights, are nature’s very own light show created when charged solar particles become trapped in the earth’s magnetic field. With long, dark nights, the most popular time to view the Northern Lights is from January to March with the most frequent sightings spotted between 9:30 pm to 1:00 am. Centred around the Arctic Circle, those visiting Iceland, Alaska, Finland and Norway stand a particularly good chance of witnessing the beauty of the Northern Lights during their stay.

2. Explore the awe-inspiring landscape & spot the region's wildlife

From cold dry deserts to glaciers, the Arctic landscape is a captivating sight. One of two polar regions of Earth, along with the south pole in Antarctica, the main components that make up the Arctic landscapes are the large amounts of ice, lakes and fir trees. For those looking to submerge themselves in the landscape, Iceland offers some incredible fjords cruises whilst the Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska is one of the best places to experience Arctic glaciers.

Adapted to extreme conditions, the wildlife in the Arctic is incredible. With more than 36 mammals living in the arctic, the wildlife ranges from seals and walruses to reindeer, caribou and bright white arctic foxes. A spectacular sight, millions of seabirds also return to shore for the mating season and can be spotted nesting on the cliff faces.

3. Learn about the fascinating history & culture of the region

With a rich culture of nearly 30,000 years, the Arctic is full of legends with a real sense of community. Discover the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the Arctic people and learn about Inuit and Sami culture and traditions. While the Arctic is a lot more accessible than it used to be, countless brave explorers set out centuries ago to explore the the region. Today the Arctic has several huts and gravesites to pay tribute to these incredible early explorers.

4. Discover the beauty of the Arctic's National Parks

Home to the 20,237ft tall Denali mountain, the Denali National Park is a vast region in Alaska with an abundance of wildlife. Known as the big five, visitors in the region strive to see this famous assortment of beasts which include moose, caribou, wolves, Dall sheep and grizzly bears. Other popular National Parks in the Arctic to be explored include Thingvellir, Skaftfall and Vatnajökull in Iceland.

5. Enjoy a diverse range of outdoor activities

A vast playground for activities, the Arctic offers a diverse range of incredible experiences with something for everyone to enjoy. From kayaking amongst icebergs to husky sledding in Lapland, sporting enthusiasts will also enjoy glacier hiking and climbing, as well as the famous polar plunge swimming in the waters with a temperature around 0°C.

Skiing is also a popular pursuit in the Arctic region. With a vast selection of resorts to choose from, Åre is Scandinavia’s largest resort with the possibility of heli-skiing under the Northern Lights, as well as a selection of rolling slopes and tree-lined runs waiting to be discovered. Skiers can enjoy ideal snow conditions for their luxury ski holiday in Alaska, whilst Finland has a number of resorts suitable for families. With five well-equipped ski resorts, Iceland also has off-piste and heli-skiing as well as cross-country ski tracks for those looking to take in the stunning landscape at a slower pace.

6. Relax & rejuvenate surrounded by incredible scenery

From the famous Blue Lagoon in Iceland to the floating Arctic Bath Spa in the heart of the Swedish Lapland, the arctic certainly knows how to put health and wellness first. Experience a traditional Finnish sauna, an invigorating ice swim, ice yoga or a relaxing session in the hot tub under the Northern Lights.

7. Experience the ultimate "White Christmas"

A winter wonderland, what better way to celebrate the festive season than in the homeland of Father Christmas himself? Capturing the imaginations of children and adults alike, Finnish Lapland is packed full of exciting experiences such as reindeer rides, visits to Father Christmas and ice diving. Santa Park is also full of alternative activities for the whole family to enjoy, including elf workshops, sleigh rides and ice galleries.

8. Luxuriate in the Arctic's luxury lodges

From the remote property of Sheldon Chalet found in the breathtaking Denali National Park, to the modern arctic retreat of Deplar Farm, the Arctic has some spectacular one-of-a-kind properties from which guests can watch the Northern Lights, enjoy a husky ride or go on a snowmobiling safari, Whatever your needs, our portfolio has a beautiful collection of luxury lodges in the Arctic for everyone to enjoy.

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