Harriniva - Northern Lights Quest with Aurora Cabin
Overview & Agenda
- Duration:4 nights
- Group Size: Minimum 10 persons, maximum 24 (approximately)
- Suitable for: Ages 16+ with a reasonable level of physical fitness. See our terms for further information.
- Flights: Return flights from London to Kittila (via Helsinki). Routings are subject to change. Non-UK and regional departures may be available on requests (supplements may apply).
- Transfers: Return airport transfers
- Accommodation: 3 nights' accommodation in a double room or Northern Lights Cabin at Harriniva, 1 night wilderness Aurora Cabin.
- Meals: 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners
- The following activities and equipment are included in the price: Snowmobile safari, Northern Lights workshop, Northern Lights hunt by minibus, visit to a reindeer farm, Northern Lights snowshoe, husky safari (the order of activities is subject to change)
- Cold weather clothing for the duration of your stay
- Services of our expert local guide and representative
- Aurora alert until approximately 1am at Harriniva
Harriniva provides a wonderful balance. A cosy and welcoming family run base, a varied array of outstanding activities, exceptional staff, wonderful Northern Lights prospects and the chance to spend the night in an Aurora Cabin situated deep in the wilderness.
During your four nights here your accommodation will be principally at the charming Harriniva Wilderness Hotel. This is one of our most popular accommodation options with its warm hospitality and traditional wooden décor. It is also famed for its activities, and the excursions on this trip are sure to be both enjoyable and interesting providing you with a wealth of photographs and lifelong memories.Read more
As this is one of our active trips your days include some wonderful experiences. You will head out into the wilds on an exciting snowmobile safari across frozen lakes and through forested-fells in addition to travelling in an altogether more peaceful manner on a 17km husky safari. On another day you will be able to gain an invaluable insight into the culture of this remote region as you spend the morning at a working reindeer farm.
For your evening Aurora activities you will enjoy searches on snowshoes with your guide leading the way to what will hopefully be ideal vantage points for a potential display of the Northern Lights. You will also enjoy a hunt via minibus, with the mobility of the vehicle hopefully allowing you to outrun any cloud cover that may be obscuring a display.
For your last night you will check out of your accommodation at Harriniva and journey to a remote wilderness setting where you will find an Aurora Cabin. Here you will spend your final night in Lapland, deep in the wilds, enjoying a more simple way of life and, with luck, the Northern Lights dancing overhead.
We love this trip as the combination of interesting daytime activities, relaxing afternoons and varied Northern Lights hunts. The night in the wild is truly the icing on the cake.
Image credits: Antti Pietikainen
Day 1 Arrival and welcome
Upon arrival at the airport you will be welcomed before being transferred to your accommodation at Harriniva Wilderness Hotel.
The majority of our guests will be arriving on an afternoon flight, so after your warm welcome at Harriniva you will have a chance to settle into your rooms before sitting down to dinner with your group.
You will then be provided you with your cold weather clothing and Aurora alert. We would suggest taking a wander down to the nearby River Muonio as this is a lovely vantage point should the Northern Lights make an appearance.
Some groups may be arriving on a later evening flight. If this is the case you will have a cold supper on arrival and receive your introductory talk and cold weather clothing in the morning. An advantage to the lateness of the hour though, is that you are arriving at the ideal time for a prospective Northern Lights display, so keep an eye on the sky on the drive here.
Day 2 Snowmobile safari and minibus hunt for the Northern Lights
Your Arctic adventure will begin in earnest this morning. First up on the agenda is a thrilling snowmobile safari, which offers the ideal introduction to your vast wilderness surroundings. Snowmobiles are essential during the winter months as they help to maintain links between remote communities and are also essential in the working lives of the reindeer herders here. For visitors to the region though they are great fun and allow you to see a lot of this remarkable landscape in a short amount of time!
Full instructions and tuition will be provided before you head into the wilderness, crossing frozen lakes and winding through forest trails, covering around 30km in total. You will travel two people per snowmobile and will have the chance to swap drivers (as long as you both have a full driving licence and are over 18 years old).
After lunch back at the hotel the group will be given an Aurora workshop. The guides here are all local experts with a real passion for the Northern Lights and the region that they live and work in. They are always keen to share their knowledge and experiences so will talk to you about the phenomenon of the lights and what to look out for as well as the legends and culture they have shaped over the centuries. This should provide you with the background information you will need before your Northern Lights hunt this evening.
Tonight's inaugural quest for the Northern Lights utilises the mobility provided by a minibus to track down the best possible location for a display. Your expert guide will put their local knowledge, experience and the Aurora and weather forecasts to good use to maximise your chances.
Day 3 Visit to a reindeer farm and Aurora snowshoe
Torassieppi Reindeer Farm is one of the best places in Lapland to gain an understanding of the essential ties between the reindeer and this region. The practice of herding dates back centuries, with knowledge and traditions being passed down by generations of Sámi families.
After arriving at the farm you will be given a tour and the chance to feed the animals before enjoying a short reindeer sleigh ride. The herders will answer any questions you may have and hopefully you will gain an insight into the importance of reindeer to both the economy and the culture of the region. There is also a small museum on site which offers further information and a wide selection of artifacts from Sámi families who have lived in the area for centuries.
This evening, following dinner, you will set off for a guided Northern Lights snowshoe hunt. Your guide will choose the most appropriate route for the group and conditions and with some luck the Aurora may light your path.
Day 4 Husky safari and Aurora Cabin
This morning you will check out of Harriniva and ready yourself for your final night in the wilderness. There is some serious fun to be had prior to this evening's adventures however!
We really have saved the best until last and your final full day in Lapland will certainly be one to remember. A husky safari is a wonderful winter activity which encapsulates the spirit of Arctic adventure and is almost always a universal favourite with our guests.
Harriniva has a husky centre on site, so you will walk down to meet the eager team who will be leading you through the wilderness. You will cover around 17km on your sled, with the dogs pulling you enthusiastically across the snow-covered landscape. The dogs have a real passion for running and their boundless joy is infectious. You will travel two people per sled with one person standing on the back controlling the brake and the other person sitting in the sled enjoying the fantastic scenery. There will be a chance to swap over when you stop for some hot drinks and you will also be able to ask the musher any questions you may have about dog sledding and their lives up here above the Arctic Circle.
After the safari, guests can freshen up in the sauna suites at Harriniva before their transfer to the Aurora Cabin, deep in the wilderness around thirty minutes from the hotel. This is a hands-on and back to basics experience and all of the guests will get stuck in with helping to collect wood for the fire if needed. Dinner will be cooked on an open fire by your guide tonight and you will get to taste the delights of wilderness living, something very few people get to enjoy in today's world. With this being Finland, there is of course a sauna at the cabin which the guides will heat for you so you can steam clean.
This is a real wilderness cabin, whilst being extremely atmospheric and cosy, it is basic and the accommodation is shared here in one large dormitory style room. However, enjoying a final farewell dinner, around a warming fire, in such a wonderful location is something not to be forgotten. In our opinion this is the perfect way to end your time in Lapland after a few days of exhilarating winter adventures.
Of course this very special location is also an exceptional viewpoint for any Northern Lights display as you are far from any light pollution. This is a spot regularly frequented by the guides from the hotel because of its remote location and dark skies.
Should you prefer to spend this final night in a snow village then please see our Northern Lights Quest and Snow Village holiday. If you would simply prefer to spend the night at the hotel then this can be arranged (subject to availability), please contact our travel experts for details.
Day 5 Departure
This morning you will enjoy breakfast at the cabin before you must sadly bid farewell to Lapland and you head back to the airport for your return flights home.
If you wish, we can also arrange for you to extend your stay. Perhaps you may enjoy a night at the nearby Torassieppi Snow Village or a city break in Helsinki on the way home. Full details can be found in the 'personalise' section of the holiday page.
Included in price
Harriniva Wilderness Hotel
Ideally located in the north west corner of Finland, high above the Arctic Circle and in the very heart of the Aurora Zone, Harriniva Wilderness Hotel serves as a perfect base for your adventure holiday.
Owned and run by the Pietikäinen family, the hotel has developed a growing reputation for its warm ambience and large range of enjoyable activities on offer.Read more about this accommodation
The hotel has a range of facilities that have been designed to make your stay here as enjoyable as possible.
- There is free Wi-Fi throughout for guest use, in our experience we have found it works best in the main reception and dining area
- The hotel restaurant consists of three separate dining areas. The meals are served in a buffet style with two or three choices for each course. The food here is hearty and wholesome
- The hotel also has a pub serving a range of beers, wines and spirits - this is the perfect place to unwind and relax with your fellow guests in the evening
- Tea and coffee is available throughout the day at reception, but it is not free of charge, so we would recommend taking a travel kettle if this is of particular importance to you
- In the main reception area of the hotel, you will find a small gift shop selling a range of postcards, soft toys and handcrafted products. There is also a selection of snacks that can be purchased
- A sauna is available for guest use with separate facilities for men and women. This is free of charge and is heated every evening for around three hours
- The hotel also has an Aurora Wellness Centre (situated a short walk away on the riverbank), where you can enjoy a range of therapies such as facials or massages. A real treat after a day of sapping up the pristine wilderness! During peak periods, we would strongly recommend booking therapies in advance through reception (all payable locally)
- Snowshoes and cross country skis are available to hire for a small charge and there are marked trails surrounding the hotel for those with some experience. For those interested in downhill skiing, reception will be able to arrange a taxi to the nearby ski resort of Olos (payable locally)
Guest bedroom types
Harriniva has 64 guest bedrooms which consist of twin or double rooms. Triple rooms are also available on request. Decorated in traditional Scandinavian style, all rooms have an en suite shower room and a hairdryer.
Northern Lights cabins
The hotel has a small number of cabins available on the riverbank, which offer a more secluded accommodation option. The cabins have double or twin beds, a private sauna, an en suite shower room, a small kitchen and a lounge area.
For those travelling on our longer husky or snowmobile experiences, your nights at the hotel will be spent in shared accommodation in one of Harriniva's Safari Houses. Each has sleeping facilities, a shower room, toilet and a sauna. Some safari houses are on site, whereas others are located 3km from the hotel. If you are staying off site, you will be transferred to and from the hotel for meals.
The Aurora Cabin
There are a number of wilderness cabins which can be used for this programme with varying facilities and levels of comfort. Some cabins do not have running water or electricity whilst others do have additional facilities such as private sleeping areas. Regardless of the specifics of the accommodation the main attraction of this special programme remains the same; an utterly unique and memorable experience, with like-minded individuals who are looking to give themselves the best possible chance of witnessing the incredible Aurora Borealis.Read more about this accommodation
- The vast majority of the time this holiday is based at the wonderful Aurora Cabin which is situated in the depths of the Lappish wilderness around 30 minutes drive from Harriniva Wilderness Hotel.
- This cabin is one of those which is often utilised for overnight husky safaris and other such adventures, meaning that it is basic but offers a wonderful experience for all who stay there. The location, far from light pollution, creates the ideal backdrop for guests to enjoy the Northern Lights, should the conditions be favourable.
- All guests get involved in the collection of wood for the fire and help to prepare the evening meal with the guide. Dinner is cooked over an open fire, a truly wonderful experience.
- As this is Finland, there is of course a sauna (located a few short steps from the cabin) which the guides will warm for you to enjoy giving you the chance to steam clean. You can even roll in the snow nearby for the authentic Finnish sauna experience!
- Alcohol cannot be served in the wilderness cabin but if you want to buy some from the hotel reception to take with you then this is permitted but you will need to buy it before you set off.
Accommodation here is shared and dormitory style; everyone stays together and enjoys the warmth given off by the stove and the friendly group atmosphere and camaraderie provided when people enjoy such a unique and special experience together.
This cabin does have running water and electricity, a rarity in these parts, and it also has the luxury of an indoor toilet for added convenience.
This is an exceptional wilderness (and hopefully Aurora) experience and one that very few people get to enjoy.
Dates & Prices
Tour dates and prices
Flight inclusive prices
Wed 13 Jan 2016Book
Sun 17 Jan 2016
|Adults£ 1,595||Single Adult£ 1,720|
Tue 26 Jan 2016Book
Sat 30 Jan 2016
|Adults£ 1,475||Single Adult£ 1,600|
Wed 10 Feb 2016Book
Sun 14 Feb 2016
|Adults£ 1,445||Single Adult£ 1,570|
Wed 17 Feb 2016Book
Sun 21 Feb 2016
|Adults£ 1,545||Single Adult£ 1,670|
Wed 02 Mar 2016Book
Sun 06 Mar 2016
|Adults£ 1,545||Single Adult£ 1,670|
For our full booking terms and conditions please click here
Order of activities
The order of activities is always subject to change and you will be provided with your final itinerary upon arrival at your destination
Medical History and advice
If you or any member of your party is pregnant or has any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday or has any special requirements as a result of any medical condition or disability (including any which affect the booking process), please tell us before you confirm your booking so that we can assist you in considering the suitability of the arrangements and/or making the booking. In any event, you must give us full details in writing at the time of booking and whenever any change in the condition or disability occurs. You must also promptly advise us if you become pregnant or any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday develops after your booking has been confirmed.
See our booking conditions for further information.
Experience and fitness
We offer a vast choice of holidays which range from 'relaxed' to 'active' so there really is something for everyone and our holidays can be filtered by how active they are. Regardless of the chosen holiday, all activities will include tuition from a beginner's lever and no prior experience is assumed.
If you are unsure about the physical demands of a particular holiday please contact us and our expert team will be happy to help.
See our booking conditions for further information.
Group sizes and minimum numbers
Most of our holidays require a minimum number of participants to operate. Minimum numbers are detailed on each holiday page and are always approximate. Group sizes for tailor made holidays will vary for each of the activities. For private departures you may also be joined by other guests during the activities unless you have discussed specific private activities with us.
If your selected date has not yet reached minimum numbers you will be informed at the time of booking. In the unlikely event that your chosen date has not reached the required minimum numbers nine weeks before your scheduled departure date we will contact you and discuss the various options available to you. We will always do all we can to operate a holiday and in some cases we may be able to operate the holiday by combining your itinerary with that of other guests for some activities (this may mean that the maximum group size is increased but this will be discussed in full with you).
If we are unable to operate the holiday then you will be offered the chance to transfer to an alternative holiday or date (subject to availability). If the alternative is more expensive you will be asked to pay the difference, if it is cheaper then you will be reimbursed. You will also be offered the option to cancel and receive a full refund of all monies paid.
See our booking conditions for further information.
Guides and safety
It is absolutely essential when partaking in any activity that you listen very closely to, and abide by, the instructions provided.
If there is anything that you are unsure of during a safety briefing or that you would like to clarify with the guides please make this clear to them immediately before starting the activity.
Our guides' word on activities is always final and your safety is their principal concern at all times, please respect their decisions. By following their instructions, your safety and enjoyment during each activity will be greatly enhanced.
See our booking conditions for further information.
Booking activities locally
In almost all of our destinations you can book and pay for additional activities locally. Please note that we cannot be held responsible for any injury or loss that occurs through any activities that are booked in your destination (see our terms and conditions for further details).
Please always ensure that your safety is your primary concern when arranging any such activity.
Aurora alerts: During your stay you will be supplied with an Aurora alert. This is essentially a mobile phone to which the staff will send a text should the Northern Lights be sighted. The alerts generally operate until 1am but it is best to confirm with your guide as times may vary.
The alerts are designed as an aid to Aurora hunting and, although every effort will be made to issue an alert should the conditions seem conducive to a display, things can change very quickly so you should not rely solely upon them and should also keep an eye on the sky yourself.
The minimum age for participation in this holiday is 16 years old. All guests must also be a minimum height of 160cm at the time of travel to ensure that all participants are able to ride pillion on a snowmobile. To drive a snowmobile you must have a full driving licence and be over 18 years old. There may be younger children staying at the accommodation or utilising shared transfers but they will not take part in the same activity programme (this excludes any additional activities arranged).