TNT is particularly excited about the Northern Lights this year, travelling from Norway to Orkney, in the hope of catching them, that's because this year's Aurora Borealis is set to be the best display for 50 years.
Here’s the science: this year is a period of a solar maximum, which means the sun’s magnetic field is rotating at a faster pace on the solar equator than it is at the solar poles, which creates greater activity than normal. Apparently.
So what does this mean to me and you? Big, exciting displays in the sky, that’s what. The phenomenon can appear as jagged twisting shapes, a billowing blanket of light, a spectacular laser show, or even resemble a pair of headlights – usually in a shade of rave-tastic alien-green, although other colours can materialise (often blue, pinky-purple and orange). It’s
a dumbfounding sight witnessed by few of your fellow earthlings, which is why travellers make the extra effort to seek them out in the most isolated corners of the Arctic Circle.
Finland is an awesome spot for anyone after some aurora borealis action. Get yourself up to Finnish Lapland – particularly Kilpisjarvi in the north-west – for the best chance of catching them. The further away you are from light pollution, the better.
You’ll need a clear, dark night – even a full moon will dull the effects.
Other options in Finland include the Oulanka National Park in the far north. Basecamp Oulanka offers log cabins with saunas and hot tubs (at a price – around £1500 for a week, with flights), and basic huts at the Davvi Arctic Lodge in Karesuando also let you learn about Sami culture (more on the Sami in this week's issue of TNT) at about £1000 for a week, including flights.
We also like the Kakslauttanen Holiday Village, 80km from the Russian border, where you can view the light show from your bed in a glass igloo.