The Arctic may not be the most popular holiday destination, but for those who do choose to brave the icy temperatures, there’s plenty of wilderness adventure, unspoiled landscapes, unique wildlife and endless skies.
But is it possible to travel and explore the Arctic Circle on a budget? We think so, and some of the points below will help you explore this epic part of our beautiful planet to the max without breaking the bank!
See the Northern Lights
Something that’s going to cost you nothing is watching the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis. You’ll be amazed, maybe even a little freaked out when you see the flashes of brightly coloured lights shimmer and fly across the sky. It can be spooky, but breathtakingly beautiful and mesmerising.
Go on a Whale Safari
If you’ve never seen a whale, you’re in for a treat. For a minimal fee, and depending on which time of the year you visit, a boat will take you to see humpbacks, orcas, bowheads and other whales. You’ll forget all about the temperature as these giants come close to the boat. You might see one or you might see a pack of them as some whales get really friendly.
Find the right tour company
Considering booking an affordable tour during your time in the Arctic. Companies like Oceanwide Expeditions have a bunch of tours visiting islands such as Bear Island, Bouvet Island, Cape Verde, Greenland and more for some bird watching.
If you rather stay on dry land, not a problem. Simply dress warm, bring along food and drink and stretch your legs while exploring Spitsbergen. As a beginner, you can hike for an hour or two, while for dyed in the wool hikers there are full day activities. Chances are, you’ll come across some reindeer and polar bears.
If you’re on a budget, strap on your skis for some cross-country skiing. If this seems like too much effort, you can also opt for a snowmobile. Either way, you can cruise through nature on fresh powder, marveling at fells and glaciers. When booking a multi-day tour, you’ll be welcomed with a hearty meal and a warm bed at the end of the day.
Make Friends with the Huskies
If skiing or snowmobiling is not for you, how about getting into a sled and being pulled by reindeer or huskies. Kids and adults alike love this way of transportation. If you’ve never done this before you’ll get an introduction into sledding, while for a multi-day tour you’ll have to learn about caring for the dogs, such as harnessing them, feeding them, and settling them for the night.
Mind Your Budget
Regardless of your plans, there are a few ways of saving money. Bring plenty of warm clothing so you don’t have to buy anything. Also, bring your own food as hotel restaurants can be very expensive. Lots of places have a microwave where you can whip something up yourself. As there are few banks and ATMs in the Arctic, bring cash!
Whether you like land or sea, birds, whales or bears, travelling to the Arctic on a budget is not only possible, it is fun. The northern people are a friendly bunch who like nothing better than to take you around, while at the tourism centre you can get a variety of information.