Torassieppi - Aurora Photography
Overview & Agenda
- Duration:7 nights
- Group Size: Minimum group size 4 people, maximum group size 16 people (approximately)
- Suitable for: Ages 15+. See our terms for further information.
- Flights: Return flights between London and Kittila (via Helsinki). Regional and non-UK departures available on request. Routings are subject to change
- Transfers: Return airport transfers
- Accommodation: 7 nights’ accommodation in twin/double hotel rooms. Winter cottage upgrades are available (supplements apply)
- Meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
- Activities: Aurora photography workshop and photography lesson, 17km husky safari, Aurora campfire , reindeer farm visit and sleigh ride, visit to Winter Village, Pallas snowshoe trip, snowmobile safari, smoke sauna, eagle and wildlife watching, three nights of Aurora hunting via minibus (approximately nine hours in total), photography presentation (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 1am
- Photography tuition
- Free use of cross country skis and snowshoe equipment
Capturing the Northern Lights in all of their glory is a feat that many people long to achieve. This holiday has been crafted to help guests achieve this goal whilst also enjoying the other exceptional experiences and photographic subjects available in Lapland.
Based in the cosy accommodation at Torassieppi Reindeer Farm you will be immersed in the nature of Lapland from the very outset. This location is deep within The Aurora Zone and on the edge of the Pallas National Park.Read more
Throughout this holiday you will be accompanied by an expert guide who knows this landscape like the back of their hand and, importantly, will tutor you in how to capture it on camera. At night your guide will use their specialist techniques and knowledge to help you seek out and photograph the magnificent Northern Lights. During the daylight hours your subjects will include local wildlife, landscapes and sculptures crafted from ice. To be honest there is very little in Lapland that can be classed as un-photogenic and your guide's knowledge will enable you to make the most of the opportunities this region presents.
Whilst photography underpins this holiday, you will also experience a full range of Lappish activities including dog sledding and snowmobiling, whilst also gaining an understanding of this very unique natural environment and the local culture. With reindeer encounters, eagle watching and snowshoe hikes in a national park, the daytime activities during this holiday are an exceptional compliment to the dedicated Northern Lights excursions which occur in the hours of darkness.
Your guide will lead you on four evening trips which are dedicated to the pursuit of the Aurora and to capturing them on camera. These include three evening minibus hunts for the Northern Lights. The key to the success of these hunts is your guide's knowledge and expertise, as they utilise their forecasts and network of Aurora hunters, to help determine the route for the evening's quest. Minibuses allow you to outrun any potential local cloud cover and reach clear skies where displays may be visible.
These hunts may be rescheduled at quite short notice if conditions are better on certain nights or two may even be combined together to make a six hour epic Northern Lights hunt wherever your guide may take you to give you the best possible chance of accomplishing your goal. If the group is lucky enough to locate an Aurora then your guide's years of photography experience come into their own as they help you capture the best possible imagery.
This is a holiday for those who want to experience this magical landscape in an active way, whilst capturing some of its greatest experiences on camera.
Image credits: Antti Pietikainen
Day 1 Arrival and introduction
Upon arrival in Lapland you will be transferred to your accommodation at Torassieppi.
Dinner will be served in the hotel restaurant and presents the ideal opportunity to get to know the like-minded photographers with whom you will be sharing the forthcoming week. You will also be kitted out in your cold weather clothing and will be provided with your Aurora alert.
Day 2 Aurora photography workshop, husky safari and Aurora campfire
After breakfast, it is straight on to the primary task for the week, as you participate in an Aurora photography workshop led by your expert guide. Information on the Northern Lights will be provided before the group move on to the equipment and the settings which will need to be applied to cameras in order to capture the Aurora. Techniques will be demonstrated ahead of your first chance to put it all into action tonight.
After the workshop the group will enjoy one of the most popular winter activities in Lapland, as you head to a nearby sled dog centre to meet the eager huskies. Prior to setting off on your adventure you can meet with the mushers and learn a little about their lives and the how these huskies are trained. You won't be able to avoid the dogs' enthusiasm for the trail, as the noise is likely to be deafening as their excitement builds (there can be 400 dogs in this sled centre!).
Once you have had the chance to meet the dogs the mushers will provide you with instruction and a safety briefing, as you are presented with your team of four to six dogs for a 17km safari.
As soon as you release the brake, the dogs will fall silent as they pay full attention to their most beloved pastime, pulling a sled. Travelling two people per sled, you will have the chance to swap drivers as you travel through the wilds, and no doubt you will be able to capture some wonderful action shots whilst you are the passenger.
Lunch will be served in the main restaurant back at Torassieppi this afternoon and you may then enjoy the afternoon exploring your new surroundings independently. Additional activities may be available (book and pay locally) or alternatively enjoy a relaxing sauna before your adventures continue this evening.
Following dinner in the restaurant the group will be led to a campfire situated on the edge of the frozen lake in which Torassieppi sits. Here you can watch the skies in warmth, grilling sausages and toasting marshmallows, as you await a potential glimpse of the Northern Lights.
Day 3 Reindeer farm, ice restaurant and Aurora hunt
Torassieppi's first role in the region was as a reindeer farm and, even though there has been some diversification, the reindeer farm still exists to this day. It's not far from your cosy accommodation to the farm, where guests can encounter the animals up close, and take some shots of these gentle creatures.
There will be the chance to feed the reindeer and have a go at lassoing them in time-honoured fashion. You will enjoy a tour of the old farm house (which dates back to the 1800s) with many of the families possessions still preserved in wonderful condition. By the end of the tour you will have gained a real insight into the life of a reindeer herder and the traditions that underpin their existence in the region.
A 3km reindeer-pulled sleigh ride will be enjoyed, and this peaceful experience will present many a photographic opportunity, as this is picture postcard stuff.
No doubt ready for lunch after the morning's activity, you will head to Torassieppi Winter Village. This magnificent snow and ice structure is crafted every year and is a real favourite with guests. You can photograph the ice sculptures which adorn the interior rooms and suites before lunch is served in the ice restaurant – a unique dining experience.
On one of your free evenings, if you would like to try something a little more adventurous, we can arrange for you to spend the night in one of the rooms at the Winter Village – see the 'personalise' section for details.
After dinner, your guide will join you for your inaugural Aurora hunting session. Armed with weather forecasts, solar activity information and a wealth of local knowledge, your guide will take you by minibus on a nocturnal adventure. Travelling in search of clear skies and the perfect viewpoint, your guide will determine the best route and the best spot to set up for the evening. They will then be on hand throughout to offer tuition should the Northern Lights begin their dance overhead.
Day 4 Pallas National Park, snowshoeing and Aurora hunt
Torassieppi is on the edge of the Pallas National Park, one of the most spectacular wilderness reserves in Europe. In this protected area you will explore on snowshoes as you travel through the woodland, hopefully encountering some of the local wildlife, and marvelling at the panoramas that confront you. This is a winter wonderland and snowshoes enable you to get closer to the natural environment than any other activity. You will enjoy a picnic lunch in the park, prior to heading to the nearby nature centre, where you will gain a deeper insight into this Arctic region and the flora and fauna that live here.
Your pictures from today are sure to show that some of the most beautiful sights in Lapland can be witnessed in the daylight hours.
Tonight it is back into Aurora hunting mode, as you head off with your guide on your second dedicated Northern Lights photography trip. Each of these hunts will last around three hours but, please be aware that should conditions be especially favourable on a given night, then your guide may change the order of activities or perhaps combine two of the hunting sessions into an epic six hour adventure. They will use their experience to determine the best possible itinerary for guests, securing the best possible chances for Aurora photography.
Day 5 Snowmobiles and smoke sauna
Taking to the trails on a snowmobile is one of the most exhilarating experiences available here. It gives the chance to venture further into this vast wilderness and gain a sense of the scale of this landscape.
After a full safety briefing, you will head off into the wilderness, with two people per vehicle, enabling you to capture some great images before you swap drivers (all drivers must have a full driving licence and be over 18 years old). In total the safari will cover 50km of arctic scenery before reaching Sarkitunturi Fell – a viewpoint offering some serious panoramas. A campfire lunch will be served en route.
This afternoon is all about relaxation as you head to Hotel Jeris, one of Torassieppi's sister hotels, to enjoy use of their spa pool facilities and their famous smoke sauna. A smoke sauna is one of the great traditional experiences in the region and is typically followed by a dip in an ice hole in the nearby frozen lake – we'll let you decide if you are brave enough for that.
Dinner will be served back at Torassieppi and you will have a night to yourselves. Torassieppi is in the heart of The Aurora Zone and so, if the skies are clear and the solar activity levels are good, you may get to experience an Aurora without having to venture far at all.
Many guests also enjoy spending one night at the Winter Village in a snow room – we can easily arrange this for you. Please see the 'personalise' section of the holiday page for details.
Day 6 Free day and Aurora hunting
Today has been left free for you to determine how active or relaxed you would like to be. There will be a range of optional activities available (bookable and payable locally). If you have some cross-country skiing experience then the equipment can be borrowed on site or you may like to further your snowshoe skills on an independent walk. Your lunch can be prepared as a packed lunch should you wish.
Many guests enjoy a leisurely day with some time to review and edit the images they have taken so far.
This evening you will be back on the road for the final night of Aurora hunting with your guide, and the chance to once again seek out the Northern Lights in all their glory. By now you will hopefully have mastered the art of Aurora photography but of course your tutor will be on hand to help you develop your skills further.
Day 7 Eagle and wildlife watching, farewell dinner and photography presentation
After breakfast you will travel to Yllas, where your destination is a remote hide. The hide is equipped for eight people and is designed to give visitors the opportunity to photograph some of the incredible arctic wildlife and birdlife that inhabits the region. The primary focus of today will be to witness one of the eagles which live here but you may also see ravens, jays and Siberian Fox. Obviously sightings can never be guaranteed but with some patience, guests here are usually well rewarded for their efforts.
After your final day in Lapland you will be served a special farewell dinner tonight after which you will gather for a photography presentation led by your guide. Here you can review some of the images from the past week and recap some of the adventures that you have had.
Day 8 Depart or extend your stay
It is time to say goodbye to Lapland today but you will leave with a wealth of memories and hopefully many SD cards full of exceptional images.
If you would like to extend your time in Finland, we can arrange for you to spend some time in the nation's capital, on the way home. Helsinki has much to offer and details can be found in the 'personalise' section of the holiday page.
Included in price
Torassieppi Reindeer Farm
Torassieppi Reindeer Farm is located next to Torasjarvi Lake and is on the edge of the Pallas Ylläs National Park, one of the greatest wilderness areas in Finland. The farm itself is one of the oldest buildings in the area, dating back to 1847 and has been lovingly renovated and restored as a unique accommodation option.
The farm is owned and run by the Pietikäinen family who also run the sister hotels of Jeris, Harriniva and Kittila. The farm is only a 15 minute drive from Harriniva Wilderness Hotel where the majority of the activities will take place, so everything is conveniently close by.Read more about this accommodation
- The restaurant serves a variety of dishes which include both local and international cuisine. This is the perfect place in which to unwind and enjoy evenings by the log fire. The food here focuses on locally sourced and organic produce where possible. Traditional dishes and cooking methods are also frequently featured.
- There is no bar at Torassieppi but drinks can be purchased in the restaurant. Two lakeside saunas are also available in the evenings with separate facilities for men and women.
- There is free Wi-Fi in the main restaurant building.
There are eight rooms at Torassieppi which can be made up with either twin or double beds. The rooms all have their own entrance, shower, toilet and coffee maker. They are located in separate lodge buildings near the central restaurant building.
Torassieppi Winter CottagesFrom: 157.50pp
Guests can choose to upgrade their accommodation at Torassieppi and spend their holiday in one of the winter cottages.
These cottages all feature a fireplace, living area, kitchenette, two bedrooms and a fold out sofa bed. One bedroom offers twin beds and the other features bunk beds with a double bed on the bottom and a single on top. They can accommodate between two and five people (we recommend a maximum of four adults).Read more about this accommodation
Some of the cottages also have their own saunas. These are larger and have two bedrooms plus a sleeping alcove. These are suitable for two to six people (we would again recommend maximum of four adults). They feature a living room, fireplace, kitchen, shower, toilet, drying cupboard and washing machine. Both bedrooms have twin beds (which can be joined to make a double) and the alcove can accommodate two people on single beds.
The rooms and cabins are all located near to the main building where guests will enjoy all of their meals.
Personalise this tour
Spend the night at Torassieppi Winter VillageFrom £70pp
Torassieppi Winter Village is a marvellous construction of ice and snow, crafted from scratch every winter. During your holiday we can arrange for you to spend the night in one of the snow rooms here and enjoy this unique accommodation.Read more
You will enjoy dinner in your hotel before transferring to check into your snow room (details below).
After your stay you will be served breakfast at Torassieppi Reindeer Farm, before continuing back to your hotel to continue your holiday. If you choose to spend the last night of your holiday at the Winter Village then you may have some time to explore the delightful surroundings before you head directly to the airport for your return flights home.
Torassieppi has ten snow rooms inside large snow igloos. Beds are made of snow and ice, which are covered with a mattress and plenty of reindeer skins (both wonderful natural insulators). You will be kitted out with an Arctic grade sleeping bag so you should stay warm despite the indoor temperature of around -5°C!
NB: Please note that as activity schedules can be subject to change we may be unable to confirm the exact night that you will spend at Torassieppi, although every effort will be made to accommodate specific requests they cannot be guaranteed. Your final itinerary including confirmation of the date of your stay at Torassieppi will be confirmed upon arrival in Finland.
Helsinki City break
With our destinations being so remote, the majority of flights to Finnish Lapland are operated by Finnair and therefore involve connecting through Helsinki Airport. Many of our guests choose to extend this stop and spend some time in the Finnish capital, either at the start or end of their holiday.
We can arrange a wide variety of city centre hotel accommodation for guests to choose from and some options closer to the airport should you prefer. We know that everyone tends to be looking for something different so please contact our travel experts for their opinion on the hotels which may best suit you and your party.Read more about this activity
Located on the peninsula of the Baltic Sea, Helsinki enjoys a charming coastal location and has much to offer its guests. This thriving city has a rich culture and arts scene with many museums and galleries to enjoy alongside the exciting gastronomy.
Despite its cool urbanism and a reputation for cutting edge design, Helsinki also retains its charm and visitors will enjoy this city's very friendly atmosphere.
In the city itself, Senate Square is the main feature, showcasing neoclassical architecture and offering easy access to the surrounding shops. With Helsinki once part of the duchy of Russia it offers similar striking architecture, with wide streets and bold facades. For those looking for more of an insight into the city's past we would suggest visiting the Ateneum Art Museum which houses over 20,000 pieces of art, or the Helsinki Design Museum which showcases the history of design in the country from traditional folklore to postmodernism.
A 15 minute ferry ride from the main city is the UNSECO listed Suomenlinna Sea Fortress which was constructed in 1748. As well as being a unique monument, it is also a lovely day trip, as the island has numerous shops and parks to explore.
Helsinki's food scene has seen a recent evolution, with a growth in street food which showcases the city's multi cultural population. Helsinki is famed also for its specialist dishes of seafood and Russian cuisine so there is much to sample!
Finland is famed for its coffee consumption so you can be sure of a thriving café culture here. Be sure to include an obligatory stop for a coffee and a cinnamon roll during your explorations!
Whether you add your city break onto the start or the end of your holiday, spending a night or two in Helsinki is not something that you will regret.
Please contact our Travel Experts for a full quotation. All city breaks are subject to flight availability.
Image credit: VisitFinland
Dates & Prices
Tour dates and prices
Sat 16 Jan 2016Book
Sat 23 Jan 2016
|Adults£ 2,120||Single Adult£ 2,315|
Sat 06 Feb 2016Book
Sat 13 Feb 2016
|Adults£ 2,215||Single Adult£ 2,410|
Sat 27 Feb 2016Book
Sat 05 Mar 2016
|Adults£ 2,120||Single Adult£ 2,315|
For our full booking terms and conditions please click here
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.
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.
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.
Aurora alerts: During your stay you will be supplied with an Aurora alert. This is essentially a mobile phone to which the staff will send a text should the Northern Lights be sighted. The alerts generally operate until 1am 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 upon them and should also keep an eye on the sky yourself.
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 affect on the activity experience.
To drive a snowmobile you must have a full driving licence and be over 18 years old.
Simply the best holiday 18 February 2013 by Manuel Alsina
Simply the best holiday I've ever taken - from beginning to end. I can't recommend it enough - and I look forward to returning in the future.