ALL OF THE ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES LISTED BELOW ARE INCLUDED IN THE HOLIDAY PRICE
- Flights: direct from London Gatwick to Ivalo. Regional and non-UK departures available on request (flight routes are subject to change)
- Transfers: return airport transfers are included
- Accommodation: 7 nights accommodation in twin/double hotel rooms. Apartment/cabin upgrades available (supplements apply)
- Meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
- The following activities and equipment are included: cross-country skiing, Aurora workshop, Northern Lights snowshoe, wilderness snowmobile safari, snowshoe trek, Aurora camp, snowmobile to a reindeer farm, Aurora snowmobile safari, husky safari, minibus hunt for the Northern Lights (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 1 am
This festive edition of our hugely popular Aurora in the Wild trip is a thrilling wilderness adventure in a remarkably picturesque corner of Finnish Lapland. As one of our most active trips, it offers guests a busy schedule of exciting daytime activities complemented by Aurora hunting in the evening.
During your time here you will stay at Nellim Wilderness Hotel, a friendly retreat close to Lake Inari. The hotel is family run and annually charms its guests with its hearty meals, Nordic décor and enthusiastic guides. The staff here understand that, as well as celebrating Christmas, one of the main aims of your holiday is to seek out the Aurora, and they do all they can to make this happen. One of the benefits of the hotel is its remote location and minimal light pollution, which ensures a huge potential for Aurora viewing. The beautiful snow-covered wilderness location will also make you feel like you are stepping into a Christmas card.
Nellim increases your chances of catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights through the activities and facilities it offers its guests. With four nights dedicated to Aurora activities, an Aurora alert system and the chance to enjoy an Aurora sleigh ride or a night in an Aurora Bubble or Aurora Kota on site (see the 'Personalise' section for details) – Nellim leads the pack when it comes to innovative ways to seek out the Northern Lights.
Nellim isn't just about the evening activities, though, there is also much to see and do during the day with husky sledding, snowmobiling, a day with a reindeer herder and more.
Christmas is celebrated on the 24th December in Finland and the occasion is marked with a traditional Finnish Christmas dinner and festivities with the other guests.
We have loved Nellim for years and amongst our clients, it remains one of our most popular locations every season. We love it because its owners are two of the hardest working people in Northern Finland and are always striving to make their guests' experiences as enjoyable as possible. We love it for its incredible wilderness surroundings, frozen lakes and forested fells. Mostly, though, we love Nellim for its huge Aurora potential.
Image credits: Markku Inkila
Flights and arrival
Upon arrival at the airport, you will be welcomed and transferred to the Nellim Wilderness Hotel. You will be given your Aurora alert and cold weather clothing, which is yours for the duration of your stay.
After dinner with the group, you may want to have an early night to prepare you for your upcoming adventures. You should be aware however that the Northern Lights may put an end to that idea!
Please note that the order of activities within your itinerary is subject to change and the agenda below should be used as a guide only. The exact order of your agenda will be confirmed upon arrival at the hotel.
Cross-country skiing, Aurora workshop and Northern Lights snowshoe safari
This morning you will awake in a winter paradise and are sure to be filled with excitement and anticipation at the sight of this pristine snow-laden landscape. Christmas in Finland is celebrated on 24th December, so today will be a wonderful start to your time away, filled with festive cheer.
After breakfast, you will head out for your first foray into the wilderness as you strap on cross-country skis and set off across the snow. As one of Scandinavia's most beloved pastimes, cross-country skiing is always something that guests are keen to try out. You will be given full instructions (as we assume no prior experience) before you head out on the trails. The guided activity will last around two hours before you are free to explore on your own this afternoon. We find that many guests choose to then hire the equipment locally to explore independently later in the week.
Tonight you will be served a traditional Finnish Christmas dinner and there will be festivities for all to enjoy as you celebrate Christmas in this unique location, before enjoying your first evening of adventure.
Before you head out on your first Northern Lights hunt you will have an Aurora presentation led by one of the guides. They will talk you through what you should be looking out for tonight and will discuss the science and legends behind the natural spectacle. As photographing the Northern Lights is also a desire for many people, they will also talk you through the optimal camera settings to help you get that all-important photograph.
Tonight, on your guided snowshoe walk, you will be led to a local vantage point which offers unobstructed views of the night sky. Here you will not only enjoy the wonderful landscape at night but you will also hopefully witness a fantastic Aurora display. You will be out for approximately two and a half hours tonight and you may well welcome in Christmas Day with a spectacular show.
Wilderness snowmobile safari
Today is sure to be one of the highlights of the trip as you set out to explore this beautiful location on snowmobiles. As well as allowing you to cover great distances quickly, snowmobiles are exceptionally good fun.
Today will be your chance to see what all the fuss is about as you travel two people per snowmobile and set out with your guide. You will cover between 40 to 60km, travelling across frozen lakes and forested fells. You will stop to enjoy a campfire lunch; here you can also swap drivers so you can both enjoy driving (providing you both have a full driving licence and are over 18 years old).
There is no scheduled activity for tonight as you may want to simply relax after your long day in the wilds. Nellim has a lovely lounge area with fireplace that is the perfect spot to curl up with a good book or chat with your fellow guests. Later in the evening, we would suggest taking a wander down to the lake to keep watch for the Northern Lights.
Some guests may also like to enjoy an additional Aurora excursion such as an Aurora Sleigh ride or a night in a wonderful Aurora Bubble. Details of these options are available in the 'Personalise' section of the holiday page.
Snowshoe trek and visit to Aurora Camp
Your first activity this morning will be your chance to enjoy a very traditional way of transport as you put on snowshoes and head out into the forest. In comparison to what seems like the more exciting activities of snowmobiling and husky sledding, snowshoeing can seem quite tame. However, it is often a surprise highlight of the trip as you enjoy the tranquillity of your surroundings and the chance to get up close to this pristine environment. You will be out in the forest for around four hours in total and will also enjoy a campfire lunch prepared by the guide (providing the weather isn't too cold).
After dinner tonight you will be heading out via snowmobile-pulled sled on a visit to one of Nellim's famed Aurora camps. The camps are situated in prime Aurora territory and are generally located either on the banks of Lake Inari or in a forest clearing. All of the sites offer a warming fire, hot drinks and a perfect view of the night sky. You will be out for approximately two and a half hours tonight.
Reindeer farm and Aurora snowmobile safari
After breakfast, you will set out via snowmobile to a working reindeer farm where you will gain a unique insight into the daily life of a herder and the importance of reindeer to the region. Reindeer herding has been practised for centuries, with traditional knowledge being passed from generation to generation. To this day reindeer are of huge social, economic and cultural importance to the Sámi people of Northern Finland.
Whilst you are here you will be able to get up close to these gentle animals to feed them. The herder will be on hand to answer any questions you may have as you sit around the fire enjoying lunch and hot drinks before you head back to Nellim. Today's activity will last for approximately five to six hours.
Following dinner, back at the hotel, you will once again be heading off on snowmobiles for an exhilarating nocturnal adventure in search of the Northern Lights. Travelling via snowmobile at night is a wholly different experience to travelling in the day and seeing the scenery illuminated only by the headlights is wonderful. Fingers crossed, the Northern Lights will light up the sky overhead as well. Tonight's safari will last for approximately two and a half hours.
Both of the snowmobile safaris today are based on two people sharing. If you would like to drive your own snowmobile, a single supplement will apply. To drive a snowmobile, you must be over 18 years old and have a full driving licence.
Husky safari and minibus hunt for the Northern Lights
Husky safaris are almost universally loved by our guests and today you will get the chance to find out why, as you head out with an eager husky team into the wilderness.
There is something wonderful about traversing the landscape in this traditional fashion and it is usually the activity which makes people feel the closest connection to the Arctic. Once the dogs have got over their initial excitement and settle into a steady pace, all that can be heard is the sound of the sled's runners and the dogs' paws on the snow allowing you to really appreciate this remarkable wilderness location.
Before you head off with your team you will be given full instructions and a safety briefing before you enjoy a safari of around 17km, lasting approximately two hours. You will travel two people per sled with the chance to swap over so each can take a turn at holding the reins.
After tonight's dinner at the hotel, you will spend the rest of the evening out searching for the Northern Lights during your final Aurora activity.
You will hunt for the Northern Lights using a minibus to provide additional mobility to hopefully ensure you can outrun any cloud cover that may be blocking a potential Aurora. You will be out for approximately two and half hours tonight.
Today is scheduled as a free day for you to relax and enjoy your surroundings and take in the winter wonderland. There will be additional activities to choose from (payable locally) or you can wander around the village, visit the wooden church or unwind in the sauna. Many guests also hire snowshoe equipment and cross country skis for some independent exploration following their lessons earlier in the week.
On an evening where guests do not have scheduled Aurora hunts then we tend to find that people gather by the small frozen lake just behind the hotel, light the fire in the small kota and enjoy warm drinks. Sitting on a reindeer skin on a frozen lake, watching the sky for the Northern Lights is one of the best ways to spend an evening here.
If you do wish to add something extra this evening then perhaps consider a night in an Aurora Bubble or Kota, or a trip in Nellim's heated Aurora sleigh. Details of the options available can be found in the 'Personalise' section of the holiday page.
Of course, the order of the activities is subject to change so it may be that one of your activities is scheduled for today – no matter what the final timetable, this is sure to be a Christmas to remember.
Today your festive adventure will come to an end as you are transferred to the airport for your flights home.
Included in price
Personalise this tour
What a concept this is! These bubbles represent the absolute pinnacle in the increasingly sophisticated search for the Northern Lights.
Essentially, the Aurora Bubble brings the Arctic wilderness and the night sky into the comfort of your own bedroom. Each bubble has a heated bedroom with a large north-facing dome window, allowing you to gaze at the firmament from the comfort of your own bed!! This is Aurora hunting in style.Read more
The bubbles are located in an area of minimal light pollution but within walking distance of the hotel should you wish to return to your room during the night. We can't imagine that you will as there is a toilet which means there is no need whatsoever to leave your comfortable bubble during the night.
Of course, we can neither guarantee that the Northern Lights will appear nor can we ensure cloud-free skies because Aurora hunting will always carry an element of luck. What we do know is that the Aurora Bubbles represent a genuinely unique and memorable experience.
Please note: Prices are based on you spending the first or last night of your holiday in this unique accommodation and not keeping your original accommodation. If you would like to do this on any other night during your holiday you will need to keep your accommodation and supplements will apply.
Heated Aurora Sleigh
The wonderful Jouko and Mari at Nellim have once again come up with an innovation in Aurora hunting, ensuring that guests are in total comfort throughout. They have created a heated Aurora sleigh: a private, intimate and toasty warm experience that has been thrilling visitors to Nellim during the winter.Read more about this activity
This is the way to travel in the Arctic! Climb into your private Aurora-viewing cocoon which will be pulled behind a snowmobile driven by a local guide. The sleigh has large transparent windows to the front, back and, most importantly upwards, hence providing a fantastic view of the night sky. As they are heated, it could be -30C outside and you will be reclined in comfort hopefully gazing at the fabulous Northern Lights.
This safari lasts about two and a half hours (departing around 8 pm) and takes you onto the frozen expanses of mystical Lake Inari some 250km north of the Arctic Circle in prime Aurora hunting territory. Your English-speaking guide will take you to some of the best vantage points where you can choose to get out (or not!), take photos and walk on the ice. You will also be served warm drinks.
We cannot guarantee that the Aurora Borealis will come out to play but regardless, the Aurora Sleigh is a fantastic way to experience the Arctic in the dead of night.
Unsurprisingly the sleigh rides have seen many marriage proposals over the past months and for anyone thinking about popping the question, this is a very stylish way in which to do it – sadly we cannot guarantee the answer, but this setting should give you an excellent chance!
Private Aurora sleigh ride including dinner: please speak to our Travel Experts for a quote
A night in an Aurora Kota
The team at Nellim are world-experts when it comes to Northern Lights viewing, and frequently devise creative new ways to appreciate this natural phenomenon. The Aurora Kotas at Nellim and Muotka are well in keeping with such a tradition: combining a cabin structure with glass tepee elements, they provide a large glass roof above the sleeping area, allowing visitors to lose themselves in the magic of night-time Northern Lights displays.Read more about this activity
Each Kota contains a double bed and being a bit larger than an Aurora Bubble, it has room for a third person on a sofa bed. The 18m² space has simple and inviting décor, as well as pleasant lighting which illuminates the area without disrupting aurora-watching experiences. Linking to their natural setting, the majority of the Kotas do not have a shower- even so, each includes a toilet and small sink. Two of the Kotas do have a shower and are slightly larger at 29m².
Please note: prices are based on you spending the first or last night of your holiday in this unique accommodation and not keeping your original accommodation. If you would like to do this on any other night during your holiday you will need to keep your accommodation and supplements will apply. Prices are based on the Kotas without showers; if you would like to stay in a Kota with a shower, please speak to our Travel Experts for a full quote, as they attract a higher cost.
Dates & Prices
We include more, no hidden costs
Sun 23 Dec 2018Book
Sun 30 Dec 2018
|Adults£ 2,465||Single Adult£ 2,700|
Please note: our holiday prices are based on the lowest available airline fares. These fares can sell out quickly and, as a result, prices may increase and supplements may be applicable. We recommend booking at the earliest opportunity in order to secure the best possible fares and flight times.
Next season's provisional dates and prices
To secure places for next season, you can make a provisional booking and fix the cost of your holiday at the provisional package price displayed online. Simply by paying a deposit, you will protect yourself from any package price increases. The departure dates and itineraries remain subject to change and we will contact you when the final dates and itineraries are confirmed. You will have 14 days to decide if you would like to go ahead. If you decide not to travel we will refund your deposit. We reserve the right to charge supplements where there are significant changes to an itinerary or increases in flight costs. Any non-package rates remain subject to change.
Sun 22 Dec 2019Enquire
Sun 29 Dec 2019
|Adults£ 2,640||Single Adult£ 2,890|
For our full booking terms and conditions please click here
Holiday group size (approximate)
Minimum 2 people, maximum 24 people (approximately)
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.
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.
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.
If your trip includes car hire the named driver must have a credit card registered in their name which they can present when they collect their car along with their driving licence, as a deposit will be held on the credit card. Please see your trip dossier for full details.
The minimum age for participation in our itinerary is 15 years old, however, for some activities and shared transfers, our guests may be joined by others and these may include those of a younger age. Any younger participants will be fully supervised by an adult and the guides will ensure that they are only able to participate if there will be no effect on the activity experience. None of the hotels we feature have a minimum age and so there may be families staying at them with younger children, especially during the holiday periods.
To drive a snowmobile you must have a full driving licence and be over 18 years old.
During your stay, you will be supplied with an Aurora alert. This is typically a mobile phone system to which the staff will send a text should the Northern Lights be sighted. The alerts generally operate until 1 am 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 on them and should also keep an eye on the sky yourself.
I have been to 16 countries, and this trip to Nellim has become my favourite. The hotel is beautifully decorated, the food served in the restaurant were very very delicious. We had a wide range to choose from, meat, seafood, vegetables and soup. The bed in the room was very comfortable. I had so much fun during the activities. The reindeer day was my favourite, which includes snowmobiling, visit the reindeer farm, ice fishing, visit a local church, had a lunch around an open fire and tried the very delicious reindeer soup. Husky safari was a long ride so make sure to wear as much as you can. Cross-country skiing was a hard work but a very different experience to try. We were out to hunt for northern lights every night by different transport and had a hot drink around the open fire. We had grilled marshmallow on our final night.
The tour guides are so knowledgeable and helpful with everything. They set up my camera to take the most amazing aurora photos, also helped me with wearing the shoes, helmet and everything. Every penny I spent on this trip was definitely worthy and every second in Nellim was a memory maker. Thank you.
Reindeer day - It combined a bunch of activities into the one day i.e. snowmobilling, feeding reindeer, ice fishing etc. Husky Sledding - The dogs are just amazing!
I enjoyed everything. Snowmobiles - got plenty of time on them and plenty of exploration; Reindeer Day - plenty of time, feeding reindeers, the farm, ice fishing, husky safari - nice to be at one with the animals and the landscape.
The guides were extremely helpful and knowledgeable about their activity and the area. They made the trip! Really enjoyed spending time with Petri and seeing the reindeers so close. It was interesting to learn the Sámi culture and to learn the importance of reindeer to the community.
I would like to send my congratulations and compliments for providing such a wonderful holiday to me and my family. We travelled to Finland joining the "Nellim Christmas Aurora in the Wild" tour from 19th - 26th Dec 2016. It was really an amazing trip as Nellim Hotel is located at one of the most picturesque locations we have seen! We didn't expect to receive onsite support from Artisan Travel Company surprisingly there was an Agency representative "Kat" was there to receive us when we arrived after a long flight. She quickly introduced herself and ushered us to the lunch buffet before providing us with more information. Throughout the trip, she was always readily available onsite at Nellim Wilderness Lodge Hotel and ready to jump into assisting us should we face any issues/problems. Her performance is certainly outstanding as a tour agency representative and she sets the gold standard for it! You guys have really chosen a good site and well-planned tour activities. If you guys could inform the owners Jouko and Mari that they have the best staff onsite and the food provided each day had its variety with a different flavour to it which allows us to enjoy after a day out in the wild. From the kitchen crew to the guides, I believe Nellim Hotel has given us a deep positive impression too. Please, send our regards to Kat on her well-done job and we will be using Artisan Travel Company for other annual family trips too in the near future too.
Loved the whole experience from start to finish. Other than seeing the Aurora the local activity guides and hotel staff were the best part of the holiday. They made each activity and indeed the overall experience extremely enjoyable and looked after their guests extremely well. We loved the huskies, the snowmobiles and the bubble. We would highly recommend the holiday, the hotel and your company - thank you.