For some obscure reason, Finland is often overlooked as a Northern Lights destination. Don’t be fooled, the Finns see just as many Auroras as any of their Scandinavian neighbours.
Finnish Lapland is home to 200,000 reindeer, 183,000 people, 6 national parks but more importantly, it is possible to witness Auroral activity on anything up to 200 nights per year!
There is a reason why we offer more Northern Lights Holidays to Finland than we do anywhere else in the world and that reason is years and years of Aurora hunting experience.
We have carefully selected the very best places and the most experienced guides for our Aurora holidays because we want to provide our clients with the greatest possible chance of seeing the Northern Lights. We have gone to all four corners of Finnish Lapland in order to locate those extra special destinations which are ideal for experiencing everything the region has to offer, as well as maximizing your Aurora viewing potential.
All of our holidays include dedicated Aurora hunts in the company of expert local guides. Their knowledge gives you a great edge when it comes to the chase. So, whether you want to visit Utsjoki in the north, Torassieppi to the west, Nellim and Muotka to the east or Luosto back down towards the Arctic Circle, the choice is yours.
Our holidays combine the best that Finnish Lapland has to offer in terms of Aurora hunting and there’s always plenty to keep you entertained during the day as you wait for darkness to descend. Activities like dog sledding, snowmobiling, reindeer safaris, snowshoeing and ice fishing are amongst the treats on offer. Our range of holidays includes leisurely, balanced and active so you can choose the pace with which you are most comfortable.
Whichever holiday you choose, you can rest assured that you will be exploring one of Europe’s most pristine wilderness environments in the company of experts.
Finnish Winter Wonderland
The Northern Lights return to the skies towards the end of August when the nights are drawing in once more. That’s why our holidays to Finland start in the autumn, when Auroral displays re-emerge in the darkness after the summer’s 24 hours of daylight. This is a wonderful time to travel as you can often see the Aurora reflected in the as yet unfrozen lakes and rivers and guests can take advantage of milder temperatures and quieter destinations during this season. Our autumn tours to Inari and Torassieppi, with their Aurora Bubbles and Domes, are particularly popular.
The snow will arrive in sporadic flurries anytime from the start of October before the heavy falls in late November which typically blankets the landscape until the end of April.
Temperatures can fluctuate this far north but they tend to hover at an average of around -5 to -15°C in the depths of winter. Please remember that we provide your winter outer-clothing and a kit list so staying warm is not something to worry about.
With the winter comes the polar light, a period in which the sun does not appear above the horizon. This typically lasts for around 50 days between December and January.
When the days are so short you can experience what is called ‘blue time’ around midday, when a dusky light illuminates the landscape in a bluish hue. Couple this with the reflection of light off the snow and it rarely feels particularly dark. So, please forget any nonsense you’ve read about 24 hours of darkness for six months of the year.
Indeed, the days begin to elongate rapidly as the season rolls on and by the end of February and into March, you can experience wonderfully long and bright days. The evening and night-time darkness still provide an excellent backdrop for the lights; you just have to be prepared to stay up a little later.
Our Experiences and Innovations
The fact that we spend so much time in the region and have invested so much in our holidays, means that our suppliers are more like friends than business partners. These relationships work wonderfully well for everyone concerned as they mean that we are at the forefront of any new developments or innovations in the region, and can bring these new experiences to our clients before anybody else.
For example, we worked with Jouko and Mari who own the wonderful Nellim and Muotka lodges and their incredible Aurora Bubbles and Aurora Kota accommodation. We also helped them implement an Aurora Alert for our guests.
All the holidays we offer include dedicated Aurora activities and so narrowing down your choice can be hard! Fortunately, our Aurora Travel Experts’ knowledge means that they can provide you with inside knowledge of the destinations and provide the insight to help you make the right decision.
We know that if you are keen to have a go at photographing the Aurora, you should travel to see our friend Markku at the Northern Lights Village in Saariselkä. He is an Aurora nut and therefore includes photography tuition in all his Aurora tours; or Timo, at Menesjärvi, who loves nothing more than to share his passion for Aurora images. For those who want to hunt out in the wilderness, the Apukka Resort’s innovative SnowTrain is a wonderfully comfortable way to do this. Or perhaps you’d prefer a higher vantage point and so a Northern Lights flight at the Arctic Circle Wilderness Lodge is most definitely the option for you.
We know that if you are a foodie then you’ll love Inari as the restaurant menu there is exceptional. If you’re a dog lover then Harriniva is wonderful as the sled dogs are on site. If you want a traditional Sámi reindeer herding experience then the sacred fells of Utsjoki are the place for you, and if you want to combine skiing and Northern Lights hunts then you should head for Luosto.
We cover a wealth of destinations in Finnish Lapland and at first glance, the choice can be a tad bewildering. Please, just get in touch with our well-travelled Aurora Experts and they will soon be able to point you in exactly the right Northern Lights direction.
Photography by Antti Pietikainen, Markku Inkila, Jarven Ranella, K Chae and Visit Finland
Popular holidays to Finland
Finland’s Northern Lights record can hold its head up high with up to 200 nights of possible Auroral activity each year. Along with our expert Aurora hunters dogged determination to seek out the lights for you during your stay, Finland is a perfect Northern Lights destination. We have selected some of the best locations for our Aurora Zone holidays.
Close to the Russian border lies Salla, a bustling village surrounded by a snow-covered wilderness where the dark skies make Aurora viewing possible. North-west of Salla lies Luosto, bordered by the magnificent Pyhä-Luosto National Park. Here, winter activities are on your doorstep and a Northern Lights display can be viewed from just outside the hotel! Or you may choose to stay in Saariselka or Levi, where the glass-roofed Aurora Cabins in the Northern Lights Villages give guests the chance to witness the Aurora from the comfort of their own bed.
Harriniva and Torassieppi, all run by our good friends, the Pietikainen family, offer a range of Arctic activities and lie within an area of minimum light pollution, ensuring that if the conditions are right, the Aurora will make its presence known.
The enthusiasm of our good friends, Jouko and Mari Lappalainen at Muotka, who also run the accommodations in Inari, Nellim and Nangu, is infectious and their determination to ensure that their guests have the best experience is apparent. Vast Lake Inari, 250 km north of the Arctic Circle – provides a superb open space for Aurora hunting.
Menesjarvi, a tiny reindeer herding village, lies 300 km north of the Arctic Circle. The nights are pitch black and weather permitting, make for a fantastic Aurora viewing spot. Our most northerly destination, Utsjoki, sits on the Teno River; walk across it and you are in Norway! The welcoming reindeer herding family who run the accommodation provide activities all designed to maximise your chances of seeing the Northern Lights. Or perhaps you want to spend some time in the capital of Lapland and bustling city Rovaniemi.
The hotel was very welcoming with large, comfortable and warm rooms. The food was tasty with several Finnish dishes which were just what we needed after the activities. The staff were helpful and our activity guide Mathius was outstanding being caring and thoughtful and explaining everything very well. All the activities were well planned. We really enjoyed the reindeer herding: being in the forest drinking freshly brewed coffee surrounded by wild reindeer and listening to tales of Sámi life. The weather was fabulous with 4 days of cold (minus 34 at the lowest) bright sunshine and clear nights and what's more the Aurora made an appearance on 3 of the 4 nights.
Travelled 15th March 2018