Northern Lights Holidays to Menesjarvi

Located in the Inari municipality, Menesjärvi is essentially a small reindeer herding village, set in a stunningly isolated landscape of river valleys and fells. Finland is truly a country of epic landscapes and this is beautifully evident at Menesjärvi.

It can be found around an hour from the nearest airport and 30 minutes from Inari, the centre of Sámi culture in the region. Whilst it is one of the more remote Aurora Zone destinations, it receives wonderful reviews each season, with guests won over by the untouched wilderness and vast expanse of snow-covered scenery.

Primarily a reindeer herding Sámi community, the village is home to around 17 houses and approximately 40 people. The hotel that we feature here, Hotel Korpikartano was once the local boarding school for herder’s children, but has now been lovingly converted into a welcomingly rustic hotel.

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The hotel sits on the banks of the vast Lake Menesjärvi. During the long winter season, this lake is entirely frozen and topped in a thick layer of snow, becoming an ideal viewing platform from which to gaze at the unending Arctic sky. This of course makes it the perfect spot to stay and keep watch for a potential viewing of the Northern Lights. Just a short walk from the hotel you can wander down here on foot, but there are also snowmobile and snowshoe excursions which can be arranged. Even if you are very unlucky and the Aurora is not seen, the absolute minimal light pollution means that you can fully enjoy an inky black, star-filled sky, here high above the Arctic Circle.

Menesjärvi lies close to Lemmonjoki National Park, one of the largest parks in Europe and a historical homeland of the indigenous Sámi population. Named after the 50 mile long Lemmonjoki River, the park is a rugged fell landscape topped with pine and birch forests and mires. The park is also home to around 7500 reindeer and has long been a reindeer herding destination, with evidence of this dating back hundreds of years.

Image credits:  Timo Halonen

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The Aurora Zone was born out of our love of all things wintery. We were already regular visitors to the likes of Norway, Finland, Sweden and Iceland thanks to a fascination with winter activities such as dog sledding, snowmobiling and the Scandinavian way of life. Many of our visits coincided with sightings of the Northern Lights and The Aurora Zone was born from a desire to share Mother Nature’s greatest wonder with as many people as possible. We have all been held in the Aurora’s thrall and our mission is to do our very best to ensure that our clients can experience that magical moment on their Northern Lights holiday.

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