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Holidays

Holiday/Northern Lights advice

46 replies

mn2022 · 27/06/2021 12:47

Would like to chance seeing the Nothern lights.
Would also like to try the blue lagoon and an ice hotel.
Have a toddler, so not sure if the 'Finnish lapland(?)' is the best bet as it might have Father Christmas

The northern lights are the priority. But obviously I know there's no guarantee you will see them.

Which country do I go to?
And roughly how much do I budget for?

Thanks

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titchy · 27/06/2021 13:03

Well if you want to go to the blue lagoon you'll have to go to Iceland as that's where it is! Grin

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Zodlebud · 27/06/2021 13:09

Finnish Lapland has the better chance of seeing them but you need to be as far north as possible and avoid Rovaniemi as it’s too lit up. We stayed in Luosto and there was an amazing show you could see in Exeter……..shame it was cloudy though and we couldn’t see a blooming thing even though they were right above us.

We have tried three times now and haven’t seen them.

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mn2022 · 27/06/2021 13:09

Haha yes this is my dilemma!

I'm not sure whether I should remove the idea of the blue lagoon for a different a different location that has a higher chance of the northern lights.

Not really sure where I should be focusing my search (lights, Santa, Golden circle etc)

It's such a big trip that I don't want to get it wrong

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mn2022 · 27/06/2021 13:10

@Zodlebud this is my worry, so I'm hoping if I pick a location that ticks other things off my list I won't go home disappointed

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VikingNorthUtsire · 27/06/2021 13:14

We found the Blue Lagoon underwhelming. Very busy, not very clean. There are loads of other pools in Iceland which we enjoyed much more although they're not as goodlooking.

Iceland is stunning but tbh I'd save it until your child can appreciate it too. We went in October and saw the lights.

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Zodlebud · 27/06/2021 13:14

We used Canterbury Travel and did a Santa trip which truly exceeded my expectations and I would highly recommend. I would wait until your child is at least five before going though as it’s REALLY cold and they would get far more out of it.

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mn2022 · 27/06/2021 13:15

@VikingNorthUtsire

Yes I've heard that a few times. Think I'll have to google to find some more similar style pools.

DS will be 4.5 so the trip has to be child friendly

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Geamhradh · 27/06/2021 13:15

There is a poster in Iceland who did an AMA a while back. There was lots of info about when is best to go iirc and the merits of the Blue Lagoon.
Also hoping to go maybe next year.

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Zodlebud · 27/06/2021 13:15

Oh, and our trip was £4,500 for all four of us full board and all activities. It’s not cheap!!!!

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mn2022 · 27/06/2021 13:16

@Zodlebud

We used Canterbury Travel and did a Santa trip which truly exceeded my expectations and I would highly recommend. I would wait until your child is at least five before going though as it’s REALLY cold and they would get far more out of it.

Ahhh thank you, a company recommendation is perfect!

DS is used to the cold ski temperatures but maybe I'm underestimating the temperature
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NavigatingAdolescence · 27/06/2021 13:16

@VikingNorthUtsire

We found the Blue Lagoon underwhelming. Very busy, not very clean. There are loads of other pools in Iceland which we enjoyed much more although they're not as goodlooking.

Iceland is stunning but tbh I'd save it until your child can appreciate it too. We went in October and saw the lights.

Likewise.

We did Iceland at new year. Spent 5 nights chasing the lights with no luck.

Stopped over on a transatlantic flight in late August and couldn’t move for them. 😂
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mn2022 · 27/06/2021 13:16

@Zodlebud

Oh, and our trip was £4,500 for all four of us full board and all activities. It’s not cheap!!!!

Thank you, that's fantastically helpful!
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Zodlebud · 27/06/2021 13:29

It’s much colder than skiing. You get frost on your eyelashes………

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RedToothBrush · 27/06/2021 13:29

Blue lagoon was good 15 years ago. Now its over touristed and skanky. Do not bother.

There are better alternative hot pools.

Volcanic hot pools are in Iceland only though and there aren't ice hotels in iceland.

You are looking at Sweden or Finland for that.

Fwiw ive been to iceland, sweden and finland (in rural areas) numerous times. In that time ive managed to only just see a faint barely a whisper of them twice and caught on camera (but not visible to the naked eye) once. Its distinctly underwhelming tbh. You have to be lucky to get more.

I love it up in the cold but i would say don't go JUST for the Northern Lights.

The weather alone, particularly in Iceland, can be completely against you. You csn be lucky to get a clear night for it.

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RedToothBrush · 27/06/2021 13:40

[quote mn2022]@VikingNorthUtsire

Yes I've heard that a few times. Think I'll have to google to find some more similar style pools.

DS will be 4.5 so the trip has to be child friendly [/quote]
Agree with previous poster about age being key for santa trip/skii trip.

We went when ds was 4. It was fabulous but a lot of the better trips are 6 + only and we were told that kids dont really get on with skiing lessons even if they have them (ds had a one to one session which was fantastic for him but really he couldn't do a huge amount because of his ability level at taking instruction at that age and he is above average for that).

We did actually manage to do more than we should have as there was a certain amount of rule bending going on (no idea why, possibly because he was the only little one and able to take instructions better than most kids)

Golden circle is also crap now btw. Seek out alternative tours rather than the cliche ones for Iceland. Its just a road full of coaches and twats when you get out at the hotspots.

We did intotheglacer last time we went and it was brilliant and away from the wouldbe suicide cases who dont take notice of the important safety stuff.

Vik is beautiful but you have to be careful. There are numerous waterfalls along the 1 south road, but again definitely worth doing your homework, hiring a car (and getting up early) and going to the ones out of the way a little.

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RedToothBrush · 27/06/2021 13:43

Iceland unless you have an adventurous child who can do sizable difficult hikes isn't as for all at that age by any stretch of the imagination.

You can do child friendly stuff if you know what you are doing and know the place but its not somewhere id recommend for a first time visit to Iceland for family with a 4.5 year old.

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mn2022 · 27/06/2021 13:45

Thanks so much everyone.

It looking like Finnish Lapland is my best bet here to try and see the lights & see Santa so it's child friendly.

Such a whirlwind of information online so it can get so confusing

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NavigatingAdolescence · 27/06/2021 13:46

Our DD was 5.5 when we went. She absolutely loves it there.

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RedToothBrush · 27/06/2021 13:50

@mn2022

Thanks so much everyone.

It looking like Finnish Lapland is my best bet here to try and see the lights & see Santa so it's child friendly.

Such a whirlwind of information online so it can get so confusing

Honestly, i would say thats probably the best bet. I have been to swedish lapland, finnish lapland and iceland and thats the option i think is most suitable for that age group without prior knowledge of the place.

I love all three for their own reasons.
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OldTinHat · 27/06/2021 13:50

You can see the Northern Lights in Iceland.

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safariboot · 27/06/2021 13:56

Not long past solar minimum now. Going in 2022 or 23 will be better chance as solar activity increases towards maximum in 2025ish.

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mn2022 · 27/06/2021 13:58

@safariboot

Not long past solar minimum now. Going in 2022 or 23 will be better chance as solar activity increases towards maximum in 2025ish.

Yes I was reading about this. It would be Xmas 2022 we go so I hope that's ok?
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OakleyStreetisnotinChelsea · 27/06/2021 14:58

We went to saariselka in Finland and saw the lights. Organised it ourselves so no being constrained to times with children. Easy to book all the same activities you'd do on a tour yourself so you can do things in your own time and pick and choose. Lots of small child friendly paths and woods to explore with a sledge and the ski area has Ice skating, a huge toboggan run and snow tubing and all you'll need to pay for is a day lift pass if you wanted to get the lift up to the top of the toboggan run. You can walk up though. Best thing in the ski area is the cafe has a room downstairs you can eat your own food in so you are not held hostage to the prices. Though the prices are very reasonable. There is a hotel with a big swimming pool you can pay to use if not staying at the hotel so on days when the snow is coming down in blizzards you can hunker down in there. No ice hotel but there is an ice bar, you pay to go on but your ticket gets you a drink so it is just a way of stopping people going in just to look and not buying anything. They have hot chocolate and hot berry juice for the kids. Our little self catering lodge was great, tiny but comfy with sledges provided in the shed, an open fire and plenty of wood (not needed apart from for fun as heating was fine), a drying cupboard and a private sauna. All for less than a uk holiday cottage!

We would have gone back already if it wasn't for covid. Maybe next year!

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mn2022 · 27/06/2021 15:01

@OakleyStreetisnotinChelsea

That is really interesting, thank you.
Did you find it easy to book everything yourself? Was it considerably less or a similar price to buying it as a 'package'?

A package is so much easier but booking it ourselves definitely gives more flexibility with children

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TheRosesOfSuccess · 27/06/2021 15:10

We've done an aurora chasing holiday and saw the lights every night. It's not a holiday to do with a small child (-37°) but it is the only holiday to do If you want to see the lights with any certainty. It was the best trip we've ever done by a mile. Happy to share details if anyone is interested.

Have also done a short trip to much further south in Finland, and I'd say that 4 is still very young. It was -17 and we were outside most of the time. Some of the younger children on the trip got very cold and tired. A do it yourself break as Oakley suggested might be better with a little one.

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