The Aurora Zone Blog

Top 5 Arctic Activities in Autumn

Between late August and mid-November, the Arctic undergoes a spectacular transformation. As the Midnight Sun starts to set and the landscape prepares for the winter freeze, autumn’s reputation as the season of change has never been more apparent than in the North.

With milder temperatures, a landscape washed with beautiful colours and the chance to get ahead of the winter tourists, there are so many reasons to go on a Northern Lights holiday in autumn. What’s more, this shoulder season also makes way for some brilliant Arctic activities – it’s not just the deep snow that provides exceptional experiences.

Take a look at our top 5 activities to enjoy this autumn:

1. Aurora hunting

Of course, searching for the Northern Lights has to come top of our list but it’s not just because we’re Aurora experts. In fact, we’ve had confirmation from two professors at UCLA’s Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics to say that twice as many geomagnetic storms occur on average during the equinoctial months (September, October, March and April). This means that during this time, there has been an increase in Auroral activity and so, more Northern Lights displays.

If you travel to Wilderness Hotel Inari, you can make use of the many dedicated Aurora Camps situated on the shores of Lake Inari which also gives you the added bonus of two Northern Lights displays for the price of one as they reflect in the waters below.

In Saariselkä, you’ll have the wonderful opportunity to search for the Northern Lights from the comfort of your bed as you stay in one of the glass-roof Aurora Cabin for the duration of your holiday.

Travel to Menesjärvi and you can learn all about the Northern Lights ahead of your night-time hunts with an Aurora photography workshop. Find out everything you need to know about Mother Nature’s incredible display and learn the skills required to capture this amazing moment on camera.

Back at Inari, if you travel before the big freeze sets in, you can search for the Northern Lights on a boat. This wonderfully peaceful activity will have you set sail on the impressive Lake Inari – far away from any light pollution.

2. Nature walk

The changing season showcases a brilliant array of colours as the leaves turn red and you may see signs of the first frost.

In September, the Finns call this period ‘Ruska’ which is a word to describe the stunning reds, yellows and golds of the landscape transforming from summer to winter.

One of the best ways to see these wonderful colours is during a nature walk. On this autumn trip to Wilderness Hotel Inari, you’ll wander into the wild natural surroundings for a chance to spot the local wildlife. If you’re travelling a little later and witness the first snowfall, you’ll strap on a pair of snowshoes and explore the landscape as it prepares for winter.

In Saariselkä, you can tailor your time and choose the activities to suit you. You could travel into the stunning Urho Kekkonen National Park to see the wonderful autumn terrain in this expansive landscape.

Travel early on in the season to Inari and see a forest floor carpeted in berries and mushrooms. Or explore Menesjärvi to journey into a peaceful woodland where wildlife and autumnal aromas await. 

3. Siida Museum

The Sámi people are the only indigenous people of Europe who have survived and thrived in the harsh Arctic environment for years. Inari is known as the Sámi heartland and so learning about this fascinating culture during your stay in the region is a brilliant way to add to your experience.

Our two autumn trips to Inari and our holiday to Menesjärvi all include a visit to the wonderful SámiSiida Museum and during our tailor-made trip to Saariselkä, you can easily add on a visit.

4. Visit Husky Farm

Though you need to wait for the snow to set in before dog sledding season starts, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on seeing some of Lapland’s most-loved animals. In fact, in Saariselkä, you can enjoy a wheeled sleigh ride to get the full autumnal experience.

In Inari and Menesjärvi, you will visit a husky farm to gain an insight into the life of these sled dogs. You may even get to cuddle some puppies.

5. Reindeer Farm

Lapland and reindeer go hand-in-hand and it’s not all thanks to Father Christmas. Reindeer herding is of cultural and economic significance and during our trip to Menesjärvi, you will meet with a local herder who will explain all about their line of work. You will also get to meet the wonderful animals on site.

Image credits: Markku Inkila, Timo Halonen and Inari-Saariselkä Tourism

White outline Interreg Nord

Read 1665 times Last modified on Tuesday, 31 August 2021

Get an expert opinion

The Aurora Zone was born from a desire to share Mother Nature’s greatest wonder with our clients. We’ve explored the destinations, researched the science, and fallen in love with the Scandinavian way of life. It’s our mission to pass this knowledge on to you, providing you with the very best chance of experiencing the magic for yourself on your Northern Lights holiday.

  • Specialist

    Aurora knowledge and experience

    Unique holidays, in the very best destinations

    Expert guides – exceptional local knowledge

    Advice and guidance every step of the way

  • Comprehensive

    We include more in our holidays than any other Aurora operator

    Price Comparison guarantee

    No ‘from’ prices, everything you see is included in the price

    No hidden extras

  • Independent

    Proudly Independent

    The original and still the only dedicated UK Northern Lights tour operator

    Personal, hands-on service

    Fair and sustainable work ethos

  • Trusted

    100% ATOL and ABTA protection

    Providing peace of mind


    Responsible relationships

    Over 16 years’ experience