Top 12 Vacation Rentals for Watching the Northern Lights
K.C. was a featured writer for Yahoo! Travel before joining trips to discover in 2013. She is the author of Best Travel Guide for First Time Visitors to Ireland, an Amazon bestseller every year between 2013 and 2016. She has been a featured expert on Newsweek, Travel + Leisure, Travelocity, among others.
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Watching the Northern Lights is something that’s on the bucket lists of many travelers. While it can never be guaranteed, if you’re planning to visit a destination where they often make an appearance, staying in a vacation rental that will put you away from light pollution in an ideal viewing spot, can make for a magical stay. These options are all located in aurora hot spots while providing opportunities for a myriad of outdoor adventures, enjoyed among spectacular scenery.
One of the best rentals in Iceland to see the Northern Lights, but it has become one of the world’s hottest travel destinations and this cabin truly is a piece of heaven. Built in the old Icelandic style, it’s just 80 miles west of the capital city of Reykjavik while being in a remote area along the sea in the middle of an open field surrounded by mountains, ideal for watching the lights. During the day, you can explore scenic hiking trails and check out breathtaking waterfalls nearby. It includes one loft-style bedroom, sleeping up to four, a wood-burning stove and a well-equipped kitchen.
Vogafjós Farm Resort is family-owned, located in Iceland’s Myvtan area, renowned for its lake and countless geothermal features, a place that will make you feel like you’re on another planet, surrounded by lava rocks. Ideally situated for viewing the northern lights, it offers private rooms in romantic log houses that sleep up to three guests, all of which have en-suite private bathrooms and Wi-Fi. The property also has a farm-to-table restaurant for dining with a view of Lake Myvtan.
Located next to the Simojoki River in Lapland, the Wikkelä Villa sits in one of the best spots for aurora viewing and includes giant windows and doors made of glass that bring in views of the lights as well as the river and forest. The stunningly luxurious traditional Finnish-style space includes four bedrooms, accommodating up to eight, and a wood-burning fireplace. On the terrace there are fireplaces, a Jacuzzi and a Traditional Finnish wooden beach sauna. All sorts of gear is included too, like snowmobiles, snowshoes, fatbikes, a quad bike, boat, paddleboards, and bicycles, some of which are complimentary and others can be used for an additional fee.
This three-bedroom cabin is located in one of the world’s most stunning regions, Norway’s Lofoten Islands. During the day you can enjoy breathtaking water and mountain views, inside or out on the terrace. After dark, you’ll be perfectly situated for northern lights viewing when they make an appearance. It sleeps up to six and includes a well-equipped kitchen and lots of extra-special touches that make for an unforgettable stay. Forget about the “real world” for a while as there is no Wi-Fi, but it’s ideal for disconnecting and simply enjoying the nature that’s all around you.
This recently built chalet sits at the foot of the Annie Lake Mountains, 35 minutes South of Whitehorse, providing a remote location for enjoying Yukon nature and the lights. It sleeps up to three with a queen bed in the loft and a sofabed in the living room. While it comes at a bargain price but you’ll have running water, a kitchen, a bathroom with a shower, and an outhouse. During the day, enjoy cross-country skiing or snowshoeing right out your door. If you’re here in the summer, you probably won’t catch the lights but you can take advantage of hiking trails that start right at the cabin.
When it comes to unique, it’s hard to beat this rental, a 2,200-square-foot houseboat that sits on Vee Lake, a 20-minute drive from Yellowknife. It sleeps up to eight in two bedrooms and includes a kitchen, bar and lounge, and a wood-burning fireplace. You’ll have two decks for viewing the lake and the colorful lights too.
This four-bedroom home accommodates up to nine, located an hour outside of Tromso, Norway, one of the world’s best spots for viewing the aurora. Guests can also book exclusive time at the ocean spa, which includes a wood-fired saltwater hot-tub and sauna that sits on a large outdoor deck with a fireplace and an indoor chill zone. There’s also a big fireplace for bonfires integrated into the deck along with an outdoor BBQ kitchen. The host also offers guided mountain day trips for ice fishing during the winter along with other activities and meals.
Looking as if it were made for a postcard, the Northern Lights Hut is a charming cottage just four miles from the town of Jukkasjärvi while offering light pollution-free views of the aurora. A one-bedroom sleeping up to four, it includes an open fireplace, roof windows for watching the lights, and access to a wood-fired sauna. While the toilet is an outhouse, it’s worth the chilly walk for the experience and you’ll be within walking distance of the Torne River popular for winter hikes, snowmobiling, and skiing.
Located in one of Europe’s most beautiful remote wilderness areas, a stay here will allow you to experience the Arctic while staying right on the ice on Lake Inari from December through April, complete with magnificent natural scenery and opportunities to watch the lights. It’s within walking distance to skiing, snowshoeing, the Siida-museum and culture house, providing a comfy spot for two. It includes a double bed, large windows, Wi-Fi, and storage space for your luggage, with a kitchen and living room, toilets and showers at the connected base camp.
Located just over six miles from the world-famous Icehotel near Kiruna, this cozy cabin in the woods is off-grid, providing a remote location that’s ideal for enjoying northern light appearances, although you’ll have to sacrifice running water, showers and Wi-Fi connectivity, and the toilet is outside, lying adjacent. You will have access to a lakeside sauna for rent and numerous outdoor activities, with ice fishing equipment and snow toys included. Despite being off-grid, the cabin has a TV, radio, microwave oven, and fridge.
This cabin sits on a property with two other nearly identical cabins, surrounded by a magical wonderland in the winter. It’s located a little over 150 miles north of the Arctic Circle and about six miles from famous Santa’s Village. Surprisingly, you won’t even need a car as, despite its remoteness, there’s a supermarket, shops, restaurants, slopes, a toboggan run, and ski tracks all within walking distance. The cabin sleeps four in two bedrooms and has all the modern conveniences, including Wi-Fi, an open plan kitchen-lounge area with a wood-burning fireplace, plus a private sauna that adjoins the shower room.
This rental sits in an area renowned for its dark night’s skies far from city lights where on a clear night you’re practically guaranteed a magnificent show of the aurora. Plus, you’ll be close to Jasper National Park and Mount Robson Provincial Park for exploring breathtaking scenery during the day. It accommodates up to four in two bedrooms and includes a massive stone wood-burning fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows in the sunroom, a full kitchen, washer/dryer, and Wi-Fi.