Written by Arctic expert Polly Evans, this new, thoroughly updated fourth edition of Bradt's Northern Lights: a Practical Travel Guide does what it says on the tin, providing practical guidance to the best places to view the natural phenomenon also known as the aurora borealis. Designed for the many people who dream of witnessing this spectacle, it remains the only guidebook to provide detailed treatment of optimum locations across North America (Canada, Alaska), Greenland and Europe (Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland) while also covering practicalities, with this edition providing greater detail on a wider range of accommodation options, from budget hotels to Sweden's spectacular ICEHOTEL, built each year from river water before melting in spring.
The northern lights – arguably the greatest light show you'll ever see – are a major, increasingly popular tourist draw of the Arctic and sub-Arctic winter. The experience is also increasingly popular: in the decade to 2016, winter tourism to northern Norway increased by 378%.
As well as advice on the best places to see auroras, this guide offers a succinct, easy-to-understand explanation of the science behind the northern lights, and provides information on tour operators offering northern lights packages, up-to-date guidance on photographing the aurora in the light of technological improvements, alongside practical tips including what to wear, how to drive in winter conditions and how to understand northern lights forecasting.
The guide is further enriched by suggestions for complementary daytime activities such as dog sledging, skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and wildlife safaris; an examination of the reactions of the early explorers to their first sightings of this phenomenon; and insights into the myths and legends of the northern indigenous peoples. There is even advice on how and where to get married in ice chapels!
Whether the northern lights are still on your bucket list or you are an experienced aurora aficionado, Bradt's comprehensive guide to the Northern Lights remains the essential companion to planning and getting the most out of any trip to watch one of the world's most remarkable events.
When not teaching Spanish at an English public school, Polly Evans is an award-winning travel journalist and author. She has written five travel narrative books: It's Not About the Tapas (shortlisted for the W.H. Smith People's Choice Travel Book Award, and Daily Express Book of the Week), Kiwis Might Fly, Fried Eggs with Chopsticks, On a Hoof and a Prayer, and Mad Dogs and an Englishwoman. Polly also writes travel guides, specifically Bradt's guides to the Yukon (winner of the British Guild of Travel Writers' award for Best Guidebook), and Northern Lights. She has written for newspapers and magazines including The Times, The Sunday Times, The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, Wanderlust, Condé Nast Traveller, BBC Wildlife and Food & Wine, while her radio documentary for the BBC World Service, The Other Guantánamo, won the British Guild of Travel Writers' Best Travel Broadcast award.