I’ve travelled to some fantastic places and met some amazing people along the way. What starts off as a working relationship, quickly becomes friendship and it is this close partnership which helps us create trips that we are both proud of and confident in operating.
Here at The Aurora Zone, we feel it is so important to get the trip right and to do that, we need to put in a lot of effort researching and assessing new destinations. This may start with several conversations over email and phone but usually ends with a site visit so that we can see the accommodation and understand how the activities operate. It also allows us to appreciate what our customers will be experiencing and if there is anything we can do to enhance the quality of the trips we provide.
We like to visit our local suppliers as much as possible so that we can hear their new ideas and talk about our plans for the upcoming season. This also enables us to provide you with the best possible experience, and it was with this in mind that I travelled to Finland in July.
I’ve been lucky enough to travel to Finland many times before, but never in the peak of summer, so my trip was a new experience full of exciting adventures and some fantastic weather along the way. I’m used to the cold winter temperatures in the Arctic, so strolling around in my shorts and t-shirt did feel a little strange, especially when talking about frozen lakes and snow-covered forests to our local suppliers!
The reason for my trip was to visit our two new holiday destinations for this winter, The Arctic Circle Wilderness Lodge and Apukka Resort. New destinations are always exciting but I was particularly eager to visit these two.
Both of them are close to Rovaniemi airport, providing easy access via direct flights from London, followed by a short transfer journey. They are located in tranquil wilderness settings, looking out over a river and lake respectively. This means that there’s no need to worry about any light pollution, which is a key factor when searching for the Northern Lights. The two destinations offer very different accommodation, but both are equally welcoming in their own ways.
The Arctic Circle Wilderness Lodge focuses on traditional log cabins and cottages, as well as the fantastic Panorama Huts with their floor-to-ceiling windows looking out to the forest beyond. The lodge sits in amongst the forest, with views out to the River Raudanjoki and the expansive sky beyond. There are plenty of nearby walks, including a circular one around an island in the middle of the river, which I imagine will be equally as beautiful in the winter as it was in the summer.
As well as offering the usual thrilling winter activities of snowmobiling, reindeer safaris and husky tours, they also offer an exciting Northern Lights flight. During this truly unique experience, passengers fly in a small, 7-seater plane in search of the Aurora; we can’t wait to offer our clients this amazing opportunity!
The second destination, Apukka Resort, lies on the shores of Lake Lahdenperä, with unobstructed views looking out to the skies above. It sits in a fantastic Aurora hunting position and offers a variety of on-site activities to keep everyone entertained.
Along with the various hotel rooms on offer, they also have several Aurora Cabins, each with a half-glass roof, and their own bathroom with shower too.
Another highlight is the Ice Cabins. Built new every year, you can enjoy a night warmly wrapped in your thermal sleeping bag surrounded by walls built of ice logs.
I came away from Finland feeling very happy and excited about our plans for next winter and the new destinations we’ll be featuring. Each of them has their own charm and offer incredible opportunities to see the Northern Lights.
Image credits: Apukka Resort and Arctic Circle Wilderness