THE ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES LISTED BELOW ARE ALL INCLUDED IN THE HOLIDAY PRICE
- Flights: return flights between London and Kittilä (either direct or via Helsinki depending on departure date). Regional and non-UK departures available on request (flight routes are subject to change)
- Transfers: return airport transfers
- Accommodation: 7 nights in a standard twin/double room at Hotel Jeris. Winter Cottage upgrades are available for a supplement.
- Meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
- The following activities and equipment are included: a visit to Torassieppi Winter Village, a reindeer farm visit and sleigh ride and Northern Lights workshop, dog sledding and Sámi evening, snowmobile safari and traditional net fishing, free day and Aurora Snow Train, showshoeing, Sauna World and Shamanic Ceremony, free day and Lappish dinner (order subject to change)
- Cold weather clothing for the duration of your stay
- Fully qualified wilderness guides and instructors during activities
- Dedicated Artisan Travel Company representative
- Aurora Alarm until approximately 1 am
The setting for this trip encapsulates the splendour of Lapland in all senses. Jeris is situated on the shore of Lake Jerisjarvi (jarvi means lake in Finnish). The views across the frozen, snow-covered water towards the fells on the far shore are simply sublime and a far, far cry from the bustling towns and cities back home. Here in Lapland, you are as likely to encounter a reindeer as you are another human being.
It is the perfect base from which to truly experience the Essence of Lapland.
This holiday aims to introduce you to Lapland old and new, whilst providing you with an excellent opportunity to witness the Northern Lights. The focus during your stay will very much be on discovering the fascinating culture of the Sámi people, the only indigenous culture in Europe. The highlights of your cultural journey will include a Shamanic ceremony and an evening in the company of a local Sámi, who will sing traditional Joikus (songs) and relate tales from Sámi folklore. You’ll also be treated to some Lappish delicacies on your final night.
During the day, you will also visit Torassieppi Reindeer Farm for an insight into the traditions of reindeer herding and you’ll try your hand at net ice fishing which is still practised today.
When it comes to Northern Lights hunting, Jeris resides in prime Aurora territory and the lights often grace the skies above the hotel. During the holiday we have included an Aurora workshop to provide you with an overview of the science behind Nature’s light show and the myths and legends which have surrounded the phenomenon for centuries. You will also take a ride on the Aurora snow train which will take you out hunting the lights one evening. Additional Aurora activities can be added in during your stay (see 'Personalise' section for details), or guests may prefer more leisurely evenings keeping watch on the sky from the lake at Jeris independently.
As this holiday is also about Lapland in the modern-day, you will try out some of the most popular present-day activities. Daytime adventures include a thrilling snowmobile safari and an unforgettable dog sledding adventure which is sure to be a true holiday highlight. You will also head out on snowshoes to explore on foot and will be treated to a visit to the onsite Arctic Sauna World to help you unwind in a typically Finnish way.
Photography by Antti Pietikainen
Arrival and dinner
You will be met at Kittilä Airport from where the transfer to Jeris’s stunning lakeside setting takes around an hour.
After settling into your accommodation, dinner will be served in the restaurant and you will also be kitted out with you winter clothing (this might be in the morning if you have a late arrival).Included Meals: Dinner
Torassieppi Winter Village, Reindeer Farm and Northern Lights Workshop
After breakfast, it’s a short ten-minute bus transfer to Torassieppi Reindeer Farm. Not too many of Finnish Lapland’s older buildings survived World War II, so this 100-year-old Lappish farmhouse is a rare insight into the realities of life here in the north in the last century. Torassieppi was a reindeer herder’s farm and the Reindeer Museum here bears testament to the hardiness of the people who have herded here for centuries.
You’ll try your hand at lassoing (you may be relieved to hear it is not a live reindeer but antlers perched on a large log). You will then engage with the real thing in a reindeer-pulled sled as you enjoy a 3km circuit in the quiet, snowy forest.
A short stroll from the reindeer farm brings you to a much more modern Lappish phenomena, the Winter Village which is constructed from just snow and ice. You’ll have your lunch in the ice restaurant (conditions permitting) as well as having time to admire the ice bar and the remarkable snow and ice sculptures.
Later this afternoon back at Jeris, your guide will host a Northern Lights Workshop to discuss the science and mythology that surround this remarkable celestial light show.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Dog Sledding and Sámi Evening
It is just a short transfer to the dog sledding centre, but the decibel level is about to be turned up to eleven. These dogs just love winter because this is when they get to do their favourite thing in the whole world…..run!
You will meet the dogs, receive a full safety briefing and then take to your sleds. With one person driving and one in the sled you’ll head out into the wintery expanse on a 15km safari. It is almost cathartic watching the winter-white landscapes slip by accompanied by a soundtrack of swishing sled runners and the pitter-patter of canine feet.
Dinner this evening will be served around an open fire in the lakeside restaurant after which you will be joined by a local Sámi. He or she will sing traditional Sámi joikus. These sometimes haunting mixes of chant and song, tell of Sámi life and the natural world with which their lives have been so tightly inter-entwined over the centuries.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Snowmobile Safari and Traditional Net Fishing
Two wildly contrasting activities are combined into one today.
After a full safety and tuition briefing, you’ll head out on the well-maintained snowmobile trails for a 35km safari. One person will drive and another ride as pillion with opportunities to swap places along the way. Please note that you must be over 18 and hold a full driving licence to drive a snowmobile.
Snowmobiles are ubiquitous up here in Lapland and are used for daily trips such as shopping as well as leisure activities. They are also a fantastic way to get a sense of just how vast these snowy landscapes are. With rolling fells, frozen lakes and snowy forests you could easily imagine yourself to be in Narnia rather than Finland.
Stopping on one of those frozen lakes (the ice is incredibly thick), your guide will demonstrate how the Sámi people have traditionally fished here using nets. He or she will also get a fire going and cook up lunch out in the open. Food always tastes better in the fresh air and as the air here is the cleanest in Europe you can look forward to a very tasty meal.
There will be a local treat awaiting you when you return to Jeris.
This evening, you may wish to include an additional Aurora activity in your holiday. The details can be found in the ‘Personalise’ section of the holiday page. Alternatively, you may wish to take a walk to enjoy the peace of the nearby Lake and keep an eye on the sky from closer to home; you are in prime Aurora viewing territory here.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Free Day and Aurora Snow Train
Today is free to relax or try additional activities (payable locally). It won’t have escaped your notice that there are a lot of dedicated cross-country skiing trails hereabouts and this is an absolute favourite pastime amongst the locals. There are few better ways to experience the intense silence of Lapland’s snow-laden forests. Skis and snowshoes can be rented at Jeris should you wish to explore independently. Alternatively, if you want to take a more relaxed approach to your day, there are several spa and sauna facilities available.
This evening you will go in search of the Northern Lights with an expert local guide.
You’ll board one of the Aurora Snow train’s (a tracked, all-terrain vehicle) heated carriages and be taken out into the dark Arctic night. Your guide will take you to a remote Aurora viewpoint and will get a fire on the go. You will enjoy a snack and warm drink while you wait for Mother Nature to hopefully share her fabulous light show.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Showshoeing, Sauna World and Shamanic Ceremony
The Sámi people have used snowshoes for centuries and although today’s modern versions are somewhat less cumbersome, they remain essentially, 'tennis rackets for your feet'. The genius of snowshoes is that they spread your weight and prevent you from sinking waist-deep into the powdery snow. This will be a definite advantage as you explore the stunning landscapes of the Pallas Fells.
Lunch will be served back at Jeris.
Later today, you will get to indulge in one of the Finns most favoured pastimes. It is said that the sauna is the first room any Finnish architect considers when planning any building and here at Jeris’s lakeside sauna complex, you will have the opportunity to try four different types of sauna. You can, of course, then take on the challenge of either a dip in the lake or a roll in the snow to really complete the experience - but it is entirely optional and only for those who are in excellent health.
You will then be visited by a Shaman (a local wise man) who he is here to perform a positive ceremony calling on the powers of the four elements. It is a spine-tingling throwback to how life would have been in these parts in times gone by.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Free Day and Lappish Dinner
By now you will be familiar with the local area and you may know which activities you might like to try again or you may have discovered additional activities you’d like to arrange locally. Cross-country ski trails are also abundant in this area and if you want to explore independently, then equipment can be rented from the hotel.
This evening’s farewell dinner brings proceedings to a close and will include several Lappish dishes to round of a week that will have shown you the very best of Lapland, old and new. Don’t forget to take a walk after your evening meal in order to keep watch on the night sky one last time. The Aurora may well appear to bid you farewell.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Unfortunately, it is departure time and you will be transferred back to the airport in good time for your flights home.Included Meals: Breakfast
Included in price
Personalise this tour
Northern Lights Snowshoeing
There can be no more peaceful way of searching for the Aurora than on snowshoes. Your guide will take you by snowmobile-pulled sleigh to the start of your snowshoe trail where you head off in search of the Northern Lights on foot. Warm drinks, guides, instruction and equipment are included.
Activity level: Medium
Available: Thursday and Saturday at 9pm
Duration: 2-3 hours
Reindeer Aurora Experience
Go in search of the Northern Lights on a traditional reindeer sleigh ride. Wrapped up warm in blankets, you’ll enjoy a peaceful sleigh ride and get to witness the wonderful winter surroundings at night.Read more about this activity
Though the mystical woodland is incredibly enchanting in the dark, make sure you keep your eyes on the sky as you might just be able to see the Northern Lights.
After the sleigh ride, you’ll warm up with a hot drink by the fire.
Duration: 1hr-1.5hrs (approximately) including transfers
Group size: Minimum 2 people; 2 people per sled
Suitable for: Aged 12 years and over
Available: Tuesday and Thursday at 8:40 pm
Northern Lights Horse Riding Safari
For a peaceful way to search for the Northern Lights, this horseback ride takes you out into the wilderness and into darker skies. If conditions are favourable, this will be a brilliant vantage point to look up at the Auroras. This activity lasts for 1-1.5 hours including transfers.Read more about this activity
Minimum group size: 2 adults, suitable for those aged 12 years and older.
Available: Thursday 8:40 pm
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For our full booking terms and conditions please click here
Holiday group size (approximate)
This holiday requires a minimum of 2 people to run, however, on some dates we require a minimum of 8 people for our flight allocation. Maximum 22 people (approximately). Please speak to our Travel Experts for further information.
We always try to provide an approximation of the group size you can expect to be with for the duration of each of our holidays. It may be that you are joined by others for parts of your holiday (such as transfers and particular activities) but the above number reflects those you can normally expect to be with from beginning to end. If group size is something which is particularly important to you, please speak to our Travel Experts and they can suggest the best holidays for you.
Tailor-made holiday group sizes will vary for all activities as will the group size for any additional activities you book.
Minimum numbers required for a holiday to operate
Some of our holidays require a minimum number of participants to operate (as listed in the ‘Group Size’ section). If your holiday departure has not yet reached the minimum number, you will be told at the time of booking. In the unlikely event that your chosen date is not guaranteed by nine weeks before your scheduled departure date, we will contact you to discuss the available options as per our booking conditions.
Minimum and maximum age
If a specific minimum age applies to this holiday, it can be found in the Key Facts box on the holiday Overview page.
Unless otherwise stated in the Key Facts box on the holiday Overview page, the minimum age for participation in an Aurora Zone holiday is typically 12 years old (there may be younger children in some destinations who have booked with other companies). If an adult-only environment is important to you, then please contact our Travel Experts and they will advise on the best dates and destinations for you. If you are looking for a holiday designed specifically for families then please see our sister company www.activitiesabroad.com.
The order of activities listed in this agenda is provided for guidance only, your final and detailed itinerary will be provided either with your final travel documents (which are uploaded into your online account around a week prior to departure) or upon arrival.
Medical History and Advice
We want our holidays to be accessible as they can be and will do our best to accommodate any special requests and requirements where possible. We have a wide range of holidays and destinations and so our travel experts will help find the best holiday for you.
In order to give us the best possible chance to do this, we ask that if you or any member of your party has any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday or has any special requirements, that you tell us at the time of enquiry or booking. You must also promptly advise us if any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday develops after your booking has been confirmed. You may need to provide a doctor’s note and proof of insurance in some cases as the health and safety of our clients is absolutely paramount.
In providing this information you are allowing us to work with our expert local partners to ensure that your whole party can enjoy the holiday. By letting us know in advance we can discreetly work with you to adapt any part of the holiday which may potentially be challenging. Being able to prepare for this in advance makes an incredible difference to what we can offer and minimises any impact on your party and the rest of the group.
Unfortunately, if you choose not to share this information with us in advance then it may limit some or all of the itinerary you have booked, and we cannot be held accountable for any additional costs or missed activities resulting from this.
Insurance is not included in your holiday, but it is a pre-requisite to travelling with us. You will need to ensure that you have cover for all the activities that you will be participating in during your holiday.
It is extremely important that you take out a suitable travel insurance policy at the time of booking. Plans do sometimes change, and you will need this policy should you need to cancel your holiday.
If you are struggling to find a suitable policy then details of our preferred provider, who will cover you for all the activities we offer, can be found on our website by clicking here. Please note that this policy is available to EU residents under the age of 75 only.
Booking Activities Locally
Additional activities can be booked locally in almost all our destinations. However, as per our booking conditions, we cannot be held responsible for any injury or loss incurred through participation in activities which are booked at your destination outside of our holiday itinerary (see our ‘Terms and Conditions’ for further details).
When arranging any such activity please always ensure that safety is your primary concern.
In some of our destinations, you can borrow or hire equipment for use in your free time. You do so entirely at your own risk. You must ensure that you are properly prepared, have the necessary equipment and knowledge (maps, etc) and ensure that where applicable, you follow marked routes. We recommend discussing your plans with the local teams who will be able to advise on the most suitable options for you.
Always let the reception/guide know where you are planning to go and take a torch and mobile phone (with the hotel/guide’s phone number stored). It is also a good idea to leave your contact number and the time you expect to return to the hotel should the hotel need to contact you.
The UK Foreign Office Advice
Our clients’ safety is at the centre of everything we do, and our operations team continually assesses and monitors the destinations we feature. We carry out thorough risk assessments and work closely with all of our suppliers to continually follow best practice. For up to date travel advice the UK government offers its Travel Aware website as well as the advice detailed below.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office Advice
We receive all updates from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) with regards to travel advice and we always ensure that we follow this advice in our operations. The FCO issues travel advisories for countries based on a very wide range of factors. They may provide notification about things as simple as a football match and crowds, or they may go so far as to advise against all travel to a region. We ask all our clients to refer to the relevant Travel Advice by Country for the destinations they are visiting in order to make an informed decision on the safety of the destination based on the details provided. It also provides vital information regarding entry requirements, embassy information, local laws and customs as well as specific safety and health. Guests should take responsibility for keeping themselves up to date with this advice. Please also ensure that, if you are transiting through another country, you have read the advice and meet the entry requirements for that destination too.
The FCO travel advice is applicable to British Passport Holders. Most governments will issue their own travel advice for a region and, if you are not a UK resident then you can find some helpful links below:
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/
New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Canadian Consular Affairs Bureau http://voyage.gc.ca/
The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english.html
If the FCO deems that there is an unacceptable level of risk for UK citizens then, together with the government, they may issue an advisory against all travel to a region or country. If such an advisory is published, then we will act accordingly, and this may require the cancellation, curtailment or amendment of a holiday itinerary. These decisions are made on the basis of ensuring our clients’ safety and will affect all clients on the holiday, regardless of their nationality.
If one of our local experts suggests an amendment due to a situation which develops locally then we may also take the decision to amend an itinerary appropriately.
If we have to cancel your holiday prior to departure you will be offered the option of an alternative trip (where any price difference will either be refunded to or covered by you) or a full refund of the monies paid.
If we have to curtail a holiday, then you will be refunded for any costs for the elements we have been unable to deliver, where we have been able to secure a refund from our suppliers. If we must reroute a holiday, then any basis for refund is determined on a case by case basis and dependent on whether the central holiday experience was provided or not.
Brexit information for British Passport holders
For the most up to date information on how the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your holiday please click here to view our Brexit information for British Passport holders.
Flight schedule changes and connecting transportation
On your documentation, we will confirm your flight schedule. Sometimes the flight number, routing and timings might change prior to your departure. If the change is classed as a significant change then we will contact you to discuss this. Please see our booking conditions for details.
Flight schedule changes can impact on your pre and post-holiday travel arrangements if these have been booked separately to your holiday. We strongly recommend that you do not book transport (such as trains or transfers), car parking or non-connecting flights to the departure point for your holiday until you have received your final confirmed travel times when your final travel documents are issued. We are not responsible for the effect of any schedule change on your pre or post travel arrangements. We strongly recommend that you do not purchase non-flexible or non-refundable tickets to avoid cancellation and penalty charges.
Booking your own flights - cancellation disclaimer
If you have chosen to book your own flights, then you will need to wait until we confirm to you that the holiday departure has met the minimum numbers required to run (if applicable to your chosen holiday). Once the holiday is guaranteed to run, you will be informed and you can then make your arrangements.
If transfers are included in your holiday, please ensure that any potential flights will be met by our standard transfers (speak to one of our Travel Experts for advice) otherwise private transfer supplements may be applicable. Once your flights are booked, please send us a copy of your detailed flight itinerary.
Please be aware that most tickets are non-refundable in the case of cancellation. For this reason, we strongly advise you check the rules of the ticket and check the limitations of your cancellation insurance before booking. We cannot be held liable, in the unlikely eventuality that we should be forced to cancel or amend your trip, for losses incurred relating to any flight booking you have made.
Terms and Conditions
Our full booking terms and conditions can be found on our website: https://www.theaurorazone.com/booking-conditions