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Seeing the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) is high on the wish list of many keen travellers, and winter 2014 is a perfect time to set out in search of this elusive phenomena.

The Northern Lights are one of nature’s greatest shows - an eerie, multi-coloured display in which the darkest of skies is illuminated with an amazing glow that swirls, lava-lamp like, as far as the eye can see.

The lights are most commonly seen across the Arctic region, but there are a number of great destinations where you will have a great chance of catching a glimpse of what is surely one of the most incredible sights on earth. Unsurprisingly, the further to the north you travel, the better the chances are of success. Reykjavik, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Finland are all good bets, and, of course, each of these destinations has so much more to offer the winter traveller, even if the lights should refuse to cooperate.

Closer to home, places including the Shetland Isles and even the north of Scotland are becoming increasingly popular with ‘light chasers’.

Iceland

When conditions are ideal, it is perfectly possible to see the Northern Lights from locations right across Iceland, though the odds increase the further away from the cities you travel. You can opt to make the capital Reykjavik your base and then travel a few hours outside the city, or choose to stay rurally.

Canada

In Yukon, the Aurora Borealis are visible from August onwards, so that you will be able to combine a summer break with (hopefully) a good view of the lights.

Norway

The most northerly town in the world is Longyearbyen in Norway. This is a stunningly beautiful part of the world, boasting huge table mountains set in the most remote of settings. Many visitors choose to view the lights from a snowmobile safari, where you travel far away from the town, enhancing the light display. Longyearbyen is a great place to stay, and is well supplied with cafes and restaurants offering local delicacies including arctic char, grouse and even reindeer.

Finland

Finland is probably the country where you will have the very best chance of seeing the Northern Lights, with on average two hundred days a year when they are visible. Head for Saariselka - a pretty well located village in the east of Lapland - perfect for seeing the lights and also taking part in a wide range winter sports.

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