Explore The Dolomites

The Dolomites are located in north-east Italy close to the Austrian border. The village of Wolkenstein where our group will have accommodation during the tour is the perfect location to access the most amazing hikes from a 360 degree stand point. You would be excused if you thought that the village was in Germany. You’ll find that the locals are German, the road signs, architecture, beer and everything around you is German. The Dolomite mountain range is nothing short of remarkable. The rock formations are jagged and high which presents spectacular vistas at every corner. Much of the lower lands are covered with alpine covered hills and wonderfully picturesque mountain villages.
We Take our Clients on a 7 day adventure Hiking one of the most spectacular areas in Europe. The Dolomites is perfectly set up to meet the needs of the walker with different levels of difficulty to suit. Our Guides are vastly experienced and we have a working knowledge of the area.


Meet your guides

KEITH McDONNELL : The very experienced Keith McDonnell has been guiding international adventures for many years. Originally from Co. Meath, Keith is a true modern day explorer with many exciting expeditions under his belt including a traverse of South Georgia island in the Antarctic and summiting one of the highest mountains in the world; Aconcagua in Argentina. Keith holds an international mountain leader licence and is a regular visitor to the Italian Dolomites so you’ll be in safe hands.
STEPHEN POWER : A native of Waterford, Stephen is a well seasoned adventurer spending three years exploring the globe solo including Africa, Asia and the Americas. With a love of mountaineering he has reached the summits of Mount Blanc, Grand Paradiso in the Italian Alps and an active volcano; Mount Damavand in Iran. Stephen has spent time hiking the Dolomites and is looking forward to hiking there once again with your group.
TONY CORCORAN : Tony is one of Extreme Ireland Adventures prized guides. From our smallest neighbouring island, the Isle of Man this true Celt is a lover of music and anything outdoors. Tony has hiked far and wide around this planet and the Dolomites has to be one of his favourites. A group leader for many years with vast experience and knowledge, Tony will be there to help you with any issue, big or small while on tour.
For more details download our pdf 

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Dublin’s Premier Greenspace: Phoenix Park

All of our day tours begin & end in Dublin so we have decided to tell you a little bit about its largest park. Dublin’s largest park also happens to be the largest urban park in Europe! Established in 1662 at 707 hectares the Phoenix Park was originally supposed to be a royal deer park. However the park went on to play many roles.

The park contains the official home of the President of Ireland, Áras an Uachtaráin. This was built way back in 1750. It is right beside the United States Ambassador’s residence, which was built in 1774. The Park features numerous walking and cycling trails and is open all year round. About 30% of the park is covered in trees. This makes it a safe home for many animals and a wide range of habitats are in the park.

Wellington Monument

This park has also seen some historic visits including Pope John Paul II’s visit in 1979. Right after the Pope arrived he took a helicopter straight to the park where he gave mass to 1,250,000 people. Today the spot that he performed the mass in is marked by a Papal Cross. The cross is 35 metres tall and can’t be missed.

Other notable attractions in the park include Dublin Zoo. The Zoo is one of Dublin’s main attractions and is the biggest in Ireland. It opened in 1931 making it the 3rd oldest zoo in the world! The zoo houses over 700 animals and tropical birds from around the word.

Finally the Wellington Testimonial is well worth a look. The obelisk is 62 metres tall and commemorates the victory of The Duke of Wellington. It is the largest obelisk in Europe and would be even higher if the public funding had not run out.

As you can see there is plenty to do so make sure you swing by!


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Historic Attractions in Dublin

All of our day tours begin and end in Dublin so we have put together a list of some of the best historic attractions for you to explore once you have finished with us!

Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle remains one of the most important buildings in Dublin as it is host to a range of government buildings. The castle used to be the administrative centre for the British government in Ireland. Today it remains an architectural beauty and a must see if you are in Dublin.

Dublin Castle

The G.P.O

Dublin’s general post office played a major role in the 1916 rising. Today it is one of the city’s most recognisable buildings. The building was used as the headquarters for the rebels during the rising. It is also the location of the first reading of the Proclamation of the Republic of Ireland by Padraig Pearse.

St Stephens Green

It’s hard to believe it now but this beautiful city centre park was once used as a base of the Irish Citizens Army. Unfortunately for the Irish a park was not the best place to set up headquarters especially when it was surrounded by tall buildings. The British quickly took over the Shelbourne Hotel which overlooked the park. This gave them a perfect aim on the Irish & bullet holes can still be seen on the arch at the entrance of the park.

St. Stephen's Green

Kilmainham Gaol

This former prison was built in 1796 and closed its doors in 1924. Many members of the Irish Republican movement during the Anglo-Irish War (1919-21) were also detained in Kilmainham Gaol, guarded by British troops. In fact 14 of the 16 Irish soldiers who were executed by British Forces were shot inside the jail. Today the jail functions as a museum which serves to educate visitors of the plight of the Irish revolutionaries.

Kilmainham Gaol

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Blarney Castle: More than a Stone!

Blarney Castle is mainly known for its famous Blarney Stone which is said to grant the gift of the gab to whoever kisses it. The stone often overshadows the other things that can be done at the castle & the line for the stone can be pretty long. With this in mind we have decided to highlight some of the other things that can be done besides waiting in line.

Blarney Castle 1

  1. The Dungeon

Beneath the castle lies a maze of underground passages and chambers dating from various periods in the castle’s history. Although the dungeon is mostly inaccessible nowadays you can still see the chambers where the castle’s prisoners would have been held.

Blarney Dungeon

  1. Wishing Steps

These limestone steps are said to grant wishes if you can perform a certain ritual on them. Apparently if you can walk up and down the steps with your eyes closed whilst only thinking of your wish it will be granted within a year. If you are superstitious enough to try this be careful as the steps can be slippery!

Blarney wishing steps

  1. The North Wall

Blarney Castle sits directly on top of an eight-metre cliff of rock. This rock was used to build the castle. From the North wall you can see exactly how the castle was built in two stages with the right hand part being a tall thin wall. You can also see 3 holes that were used when the maids would have emptied the chamber pots.

  1. The Lake

This lake was once nearly drained by one of the ancestors of the current owner. Why you ask? Well rumour has it that the treasure of the MacCarthys was thrown into the lake but so far nobody has found it.

Blarney Lake

  1. The Gardens

Last but certainly not least is the Blarney Castle Gardens. These gardens bring you on a journey through diverse surroundings.  There are over 60 acres of land featuring gardens, avenues and waterways. They even contain one of the few poison gardens in Ireland where you can look but not touch!


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Killary Fjord Cruise

Killary Fjord is located in the heart of Connemara and it is one of the three glacial fjords in all of Ireland! Once you board the Killary Fjord cruise ship, you will enter a dining area. Sit back and relax as you cruise down the fjord with a warm meal and a drink. Savor the freshest fish and shellfish from the clear water on the fjord. If you are not into seafood, enjoy a crisp salad or a handmade sandwich. The crew will not only accommodate you they will tell you all they can about the wildlife and facts about the fjord, they will also make your choice of drinks from a deep dark Guinness to spirits and even coffees. Take in scenery from the surrounding landscapes, from mountains peaks and green plains to the deep sea while enjoying a brief meal.

Killary Fjord Cruise

After your meal, look out to either side of the ship and see the majestic mountains surrounding the fjord and sheep dotting the green plains. The location of the fjord creates a natural border between Mayo and Galway, and the location also provides a safe haven for a variety bird species such as barnacle goose, ringed plover, tufted duck, mallard duck, mute swan, whooper swan, and even otters and dolphins. If you get lucky, you might have a chance to see dolphins emerge towards the mouth of the fjord! Furthermore, the depth of 45 meters and the mountains in the north and south, create a perfect habitat to farm mussels and catch salmon. You will have a chance to see ropes at several points on the fjord and circular salmon farms. This fjord is teeming with wildlife and fresh ingredients for local farmers to sell around the area. These 16 kilometers is simply a sanctuary for wildlife and you will be in awe of the dramatic scenery.

Killary Fjord Cruise

This cruise is one to remember as you will have a chance to see the incredible panoramic view of the mountains, various wildlife, and ocean life in the same location. Come on the Connemara tour to experience a sight you might never forget!

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Galway City – A vibrant but intimate city

Visit the beautiful Galway city on our Connemara day tour!

Once you arrive in Galway’s City Center, you will have roughly over an hour to explore this beautifully intimate city. Flags from every country in the world were hung, zigzagging the streets above the heads of locals, and tourist. Shrubbery and flower pots were hanging off window ledges adding a certain artisan feel to the yellow, red, blue, and green buildings. Back on the ground, hundreds of people were making their way through the street, passing various street performers dancing on cardboard to singers serenading to onlookers and to people eating fire while juggling knives.

Galway City

Galway is a city that houses many hidden gems with its vibrant buildings, and festival-like decorations. When I visited this city, I casually walked down the street and embracing the unique atmosphere it gives off, and made my way to eat at a small pub in a corner of the street called Tig Coili. The food and drink were amazing, and they played live Irish music at almost all times of the day. My only regret was that I was not able to go to every pub! Although, I did get a chance to walk to South Park.

South Park is a short walk through the city center. It is an open field by the ocean where you can walk along the coast or the pier, take pictures of the view, or even sit on a bench and look out into the sea. I would recommend going there to sit by the coastline and if you have not eaten, it is a perfect place to have a nice picnic. The park is also close to a quaint museum you can visit in the short time you are here. However, due to the time restraint, you might only be able to do one or two things before you will need to head back to the bus.

If you want to experience a cruise along the Killary Fjord, visit Kylemore, and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of Galway, book a ticket and anticipate a fulfilling day brimming with adventure.


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Kylemore Abbey

Kylemore Abbey is a historic destination of romance, grandeur and breath-taking beauty. It’s no wonder it’s one of Ireland’s top tourist attractions. The lakeside castle sits in splendid isolation on the edge of Connemara National Park. It’s only an hour drive from Galway, so there’s no excuse to deny yourself the magnificence of Kylemore and the savage beauty of Connemara!
The castle came to pass when Mitchell and Margaret Henry travelled to the Connemara region on their honeymoon from England in 1850. They quickly fell in love with the untouched beauty of Connemara, mesmerised by rugged mountains and rich meadowlands. After inheriting a fortune, Mitchell bought Kylemore Lodge and begun building the castle in 1867. The elaborate castle was a romantic token for his wife Margaret and a nest for their 9 children. Travel through time as you behold the near-perfect reflection of the fairy-tale castle in Lough Pollacapull.
Roughly 30 years later the castle was sold to the Duke and Duchess of Manchester until becoming owned and operated by a Benedictine community in the 1920’s. In a few short years the Benedictine nuns converted the castle into an abbey and opened a international boarding school for girls. Saint Benedict accurately described the garden grounds as ‘her secret haven of peace and tranquillity’. Entering the front door of the Abbey you are immediately greeted by a beautifully carved angel, holding the coat of arms of Margaret Henry’s birth family. Intricate carvings of birds throughout the Abbey represent the nesting place that both the Henry’s hoped Kylemore would be for their family.


Despite being a popular tourist destination, an atmosphere of tranquillity and calmness continues to surround the area. Developed alongside the castle in the 1800s, the Victorian Walled Garden at Kylemore is a beautiful sanctuary of flower beds, ferns, fruit trees, vegetables and herbs. The garden is the true jewel in Connemara’s Crown. Beyond here you will find the sweeping splendour and constantly changing moods of the Connemara countryside.
Experience woodland and lakeside shore walks, ever-changing colourful gardens and magnificent architecture when you visit Kylemore. Walk just five minutes alongside Lough Pollacapull and you will discover the enchanting 1800s neo-Gothic Church. When you visit Connemara and Kylemore Abbey you are guaranteed to discover unique beauty in stunning architecture and windswept countryside.

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11 Stunning Reasons to Cycle Clare & the Aran Islands

11 Stunning Reasons to Cycle Clare & the Aran Islands

We’re a tad spoilt for choice when it comes to remarkable roads in Ireland. This cycle route explores some of the most stunning scenery in Ireland at the perfect pace. It is an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime. For someone who is perpetually late and takes endless photos, the self-guided aspect of this cycle tour is genius. The plan to cycle self-guided may not always go to plan. Don’t fear. If you find yourself lost you’ll soon realise it’s difficult to find anything but marvellous views along Ireland’s west. Immerse yourself in nature, history and the lively Irish culture at your own pace.

Let’s begin eh? Don’t forget your camera.

bike sea, self guided cycle Ireland

  1. Ennis

Ennis is a truly hidden gem and your entry point into the capital of county Clare. After an early transfer from Dublin the town is yours to explore. Wander the colourful streets, listening out for traditional buskers and savouring smells from local cafes. The Ennis Friary is the town’s oldest building and is an iconic stop while you’re in town. Founded in the late 13th century, the history, archaeology and sculptures contained within the medieval building are a treasure. Not a history buff? Perhaps the Dromore Wood Nature Reserve is more your style. The national park offers two gorgeous walks taking in lakes, limestone and woodlands full of wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for a red squirrel. Remember, wasting time in Ireland is not time wasted.

ennis main st, self guided cycle Ireland ennis, self guided cycle Ireland

  1. Spanish Point

Cycle alongside rolling green pastures until the mighty Atlantic comes into view at Spanish Point. The area was named Spanish Point after several ships from the Spanish Armada sunk in 1588 during wild weather. Nowadays Spanish Point is a great spot to enjoy white-sandy beaches and sample some fantastic local seafood.

spanish point, self guided cycle Ireland

  1. Cliffs of Moher

Words alone cannot do the Cliffs of Moher justice. They are one of the most, if not the most, iconic destinations in Ireland. Just outside of Liscannor village, the vertical cliffs stretch as far as the eye can see with the highest peaks towering 200m over the wild Atlantic. It is a rugged landscape of immense natural beauty. Can you hear the sounds of sea-bird colonies and crashing waves? If you’re blessed by sunny skies you’ll enjoy tremendous views across to the Aran Islands and Galway Bay. I would recommend the Cliff Walk as the best way to experience your visit. Hike along the 8km of coastline, perhaps on your designated rest day? Sense of adventure is essential.

Cliffs Of Moher, self guided cycle Ireland Cliffs of Moher, self guided cycle Ireland

  1. Wild Atlantic Way

Spend today’s cycle with the mighty Atlantic Ocean on your left and the rocky Burren National Park on your right. The Wild Atlantic Way provides a sensational journey along sweeping coastlines and towering sea cliffs. Soak in views from the northerly tip at Black Head before reaching Ballyvaughan. Take in this enchanting village while being surrounded by the limestone landscape of the Burren. Don’t forget to keep your eye out for hidden beaches and grand bays as you cycle the loop back to Doolin.

Doolin beach, self guided cycle Ireland

  1. Doolin

I would argue that Doolin is the best possible place to be based for 4 nights of your cycle adventure. Are you mad for trad? For many Doolin is the Irish traditional music capital. In other words, you are guaranteed good craic. A visit to McGann’s Pub in the heart of Doolin is an absolute must for a drink and a homely Irish meal. Listen to some powerful folk music and enjoy what can only be described as a truly intimate Irish town.

Doolin, self guided cycle Ireland

  1. Aran Islands – Inishmore

A short ferry ride from the mainland lies the wild beauty of these ancient islands. Immerse yourself for an entire day on the largest of the islands, Inishmore. Only 14km long and 4km wide the island is a cyclist’s paradise. Arrive in Kilronan and cycle through and eclectic mix of attractions along the way. The natural land and seascapes reveal an abundance of wildlife and native wildflowers. Inishmore is famously known for its strong Irish culture and prehistoric stone forts. You cannot miss seeing Dun Aoghasa, a semi-circular stone fort perched on the edge of vertical cliffs. Follow the road along the north coast and enjoy the breath-taking white sands of Kimurvey Beach. Take your time today and hop off your bike at every photo opportunity. You have all the time in world to explore the raw beauty of this incredible island. Well, until the afternoon ferry arrives. Get cracking!

aranoverheadstock aranstock

  1. Doolin Cave

Descend into Doolin cave and marvel at the largest free-hanging stalactite in the Northern Hemisphere. Journey beneath the limestone valley into darkness and learn how weak acidic water dissolved limestone rock, thus bringing the cave to life. Can you believe the 7.3 metre long stalactite has taken 70,000 years to form? This is truly one of the best kept secrets along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way! Side note: No photo inside of Doolin Cave has been included to guarantee you visit.

doolin caves, self guided cycle Ireland

  1. Poulnabrune Dolmen

Discover this archaeological mystery on your cycle loop from Doolin. The name ‘Poulnabrune’ literally means hole of the sorrows, and it is exactly that. Situated in the Burren National Park the dolmen is a burial site of a local Chieftain. A spectacular remnant of Neolithic history. Be sure to wander around the 4,500 year old dolmen as it provides magnificent aspects from every angle.

Poolna brone dolmen, self guided cycle Ireland

  1. Noughaval Catholic Church

Only a few kilometers outside of Kilfenora are the ruins of this early monastic site. Exploring the grounds you will notice two distinguishing features, a decorated arch over the church doorway and an ancient Celtic Cross on the grounds nearby. Hundreds of these crosses are dotted throughout cemeteries in Ireland and the United Kingdom. It is believed that St. Patrick introduced the Celtic Cross, during his conversion of paganism to Christianity. The date of the crumbling site is unknown, creating a haunting yet intriguing atmosphere.

Stone arch, self guided cycle Ireland grave yard, self guided cycle Ireland

  1. Noughaval Catholic Church

Burren National Park

Cycle into the heart of the Burren and wind around amazing limestone mountains at every turn. Burren National Park is a place of grand national beauty. The gnarly rocks seen here are made up of limestone pavement, formed from a tropical sea over 330 million years ago. Look close enough you will discover valleys teeming with colorful flora and fauna. If you haven’t been wowed enough by this lunar landscape you should stop at the Hazel Mountain Chocolate Factory. Hidden in the Burren mountains it is one of the most remote chocolate factories in the world. Chocoholic or not, this place is also worth a visit.

the Burren, self guided cycle Ireland The Burren, self guided cycle Ireland

  1. Kinvara & Dunguaire Castle

Marvel at the views of Dunguaire Castle from the quirky seaside town of Kinvara. You will soon discover why Dunguaire is the most photographed castle in the west. Perfectly placed on the harbour shoreline the castle is well worth climbing up the stairs to explore. After hundreds of kilometres of cycling why not find yourself a nice pub and reward yourself with a freshly poured pint of Guinness? You’ve earned it. This was a cycle adventure well done.

Kinvarra, self guided cycle Ireland Dunguire Castle, self guided cycle Ireland


Self guided Clare, Aran Islands cycle by Extreme Ireland

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The Burren in Co. Clare


Unique landscapes of Ireland : The Burren in co Clare

The Burren, or the Rocky Place reveals a lot in its name.  The Burren is made up of limestone, a porous young rock substance formed at the bottom of the sea. Over time due to the plates of the planets movement (Plate tectonics), this limestone has risen from the sea bed to form much of the Irish landscape. Here, however the limestone is bare, barren exposed stone, making this place quiet unique. The plateaus of limestone were exposed to glaciers, several ice ages, over the millions of years of its formation. As these glaciers melted, this melted water moved above the rock and below the ice to erode intricate patterns, many of which have geological classifications. It is these patterns in the stone that make ‘the Burren’ so unusual, often described as a moody place due to how the light reflects on the grey stone. Thus you will find a dry, arid, moonlike landscape of limestone.

The Burren

Looking closer, you will find a wide variety of Burren flora, representing more than 75 per cent of the biodiversity in Ireland in just less than a per cent of the country. The Burren is home to 1,100 species of plants out of the 1,400 in Ireland. It is the only place in Europe where Mediterranean and Arctic Alpine plants grow together in perfect harmony. Rare flowers include Lady’s Tresses, Bee Orchids, Fly Orchids, Irish Orchids, Pyramidal Orchids, Lesser Butterfly Orchids, and Fragrant Orchids. This makes it a treasure chest for botanists to visit, especially come spring time. The secret of the diversity of this area comes from its glacial artic history and its temperate climate.

Flowers in the Burren

The Burren is Ireland’s most important cave area. This strange hundred square mile limestone “desert”, where only one river reaches the sea by an over ground course, has more active stream caves than any other part of Ireland. Over 35 miles of cave passages have actually been surveyed; this area is also full of large caves that can be explored with its accompanying stalactites and stalagmites.

Keep an eye out for the feral Burren Goat that roams the hills of this area. These goats get culled frequently as they can be seen as a threat to the biodiversity of the area. There is about 1,000 of these goats roaming the upper-Burren area. Other mammals living in this environment would include the Pygmy Shrew, a little ratlike mammal that is only 5 grams in weight and would fit in a matchbox. Among the seven species of bats inhabiting this part, is the lesser known Horseshoe Bat, which is endangered in an international context.

Feral Goats, The Burren

As you travel through the Burren you will notice the dry stone walls that mark boundaries all the way to the tops of the hills. Dry stone walls are typical of the west of Ireland. They range in size and style and have been maintained for centuries under a variety of state and community initiatives. Some walls are said to be as old as the Neolithic; these are found in Connemara in a particular site called the Ceide Fields. While others, are from the Iron Age where clans/tribes built their forts on the top of hills, excellent views above, of the sea and the surrounding area.

stone walls in the Burren

More commonly the stone walls of this area date from 2 distinct times; Resettlement and Famine. The resettlement of Gaelic families was common place during the 16th and 17th centuries, where families who rebelled against English settlers lost their lands on the east to them and were sent to these harsh areas of the island as a punishment.  During particular times of hardship like the Famine of 1847, poor houses were set up. These houses were extremely difficult places to survive; disease was rife, hunger, malnourishment and unhygienic conditions were the norm. The Workhouse was an extension of the Poor-house; people had to work for food. One of the key types of work was restoring and building these dry stone walls which are a symbol of our turbulent past.

The Burren is a highlight on our Cliffs of Moher tour

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Experience the Northern Lights in Norway

Experience the Northern Lights in Norway

The northern lights are a science enthusiast’s dream. Even those not interested in the science behind the phenomenon have the northern lights on their bucket list. They have fascinated people from the earliest recorded times with the lights mentioned in writing by Aristotle and others. Intense study of the phenomenon occurred in the 17th century and this is how information was gathered to explain the aurora borealis.

It was a physicist from Norway named Kristian Birkeland who created a comprehensive theory of the northern lights. His research and development of his theory became the basis of modern research into the northern light. It is an area that continues to fascinate scientists. NASA even produced an experiment that successfully recreated the phenomenon in the laboratory in 2013.

The Aurora Borealis or the northern lights are created when electrically charged particles originating from the sun collide with gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. The magnetic field of the Earth moves these particles towards the North and South Poles and this is why the lights can only be seen from close to the magnetic poles. The Aurora Australis or the southern lights are visible closest to the South Pole so best viewed from Antarctica or the southern parts of Australia, New Zealand and South America.

Northern Lights

The lights are not always the same colour, which makes then an exciting and ever changing phenomenon to see. The colour emitted depends on the gases the particles have come into contact with in the Earth’s atmosphere. It also depends on where in the atmosphere the collision between the particles and gases took place. The simplest way to categorise this is determined by scientific observations and roughly: if the collision occurred more than 150 kms from the surface of the Earth, it will be red light; if it occurred between 120km and 150km it will be yellow-green light; if it is less than 120 km, it will be blue-purple light.

The northern lights are also influenced by the sun’s activity such as solar winds. Strong solar winds can intensify the northern lights. Norway is an excellent place to try to view the lights because the darkness of the polar night makes them more prominent in the sky.

To see the northern lights it needs to be very dark, cloudless and it can be an activity that takes time. You may not see them the moment you get there, but if you persist you may be lucky and get very good views of the northern lights. The best months to see the lights are October, February and March. The weather is usually the most significant obstacle to seeing the northern lights. There is a greater chance of stable winter weather inland and in the inner reaches of the fjords.


Light pollution from buildings and roads may degrade the viewing experience, so try to find viewing areas away from sources of light. The full moon may have the same effect, but may actually help you if you plan to take photographs. The moonlight may light up the foreground and surroundings and make it easier to focus and get a clear image. I asked an expert about what is needed to get the best photographs of the northern lights. Because as amazing as it would be to see them, you also want to capture some photographs!


Tripod; Camera; Lenses – wide angle 14-24 mm, narrow view 70-200 mm.


Use the tripod as you will not be able to hold the camera steady for the amount of time needed to get a clear shot;

Camera setting on full manual;

The F point is about 2.8;

Manual focus;

Shutter speed to be adjusted to between 5-15 seconds;

Use a remote for the shutter release (there are apps for your phone that can be connected to the camera through Wi-Fi and a remote shutter release can be done);

Use a strong background – not flat landscape but trees, mountains etc in the background;

Can use light painting techniques;

Meet our guide: Darren Smith

Darren has led the tour to Norway 8 times. He and the group have been lucky on each visit and have seen the Northern Lights. I had a chat to him about how he prepares for a tour and his experiences in Norway.

How do you prepare for a tour?

It’s more about making sure clients have all the information, everything is booked and the kit is prepared. The kit is made up of Merino thermals, socks, inner and outer layers etc.

Do you need to check to see what the weather may be like?

At this time of year the weather is quite settled, it is high pressure cold which is best for seeing the lights.

Has anyone ever come completely unprepared for the cold?

I had someone come wearing canvas shoes before (sailing shoes)! Fortunately even if someone in the group is not fully prepared, there are kits for usage that contain all the required clothing for extreme weather. For the activities such as snowmobiles/dog sledding etc, the providers usually want their own kit to be used even if we all our have our kits.

The extreme cold can affect the enjoyment of the experience and we do everything we can to ensure that all clients have access to the gear needed to be protected from the cold. We want them to be able to focus on enjoying the experience rather than on how cold they are.

Can you describe the northern lights for people that have not seen them? Is it something that everyone just has to see once?

It’s a magical experience; it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. The colours are not just green like many of the photos – it can be red, purple, and orange – many colours. It’s hard to describe, you do need to see it to understand it.

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