- Flights: London Heathrow to Ivalo (via Helsinki). Flight routes subject to change
- Transfers: return airport transfers
- Accommodation: 3 nights in a standard double or twin hotel room
- Meals: 3 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 3 dinners
- The following activities are included in the holiday: Aurora workshop, Sámi Siida Museum, husky farm visit, Aurora camp, guided nature hike, Northern Lights boat tour or minibus Aurora hunt* (the order of activities is subject to change).
- Fully qualified guides and instructors during activities.
*For those travelling after the 20th October, the Northern Lights boat tour will be replaced with a Northern Lights hunt by minibus due to ice forming on Lake Inari.
Located in the far north of Finland, on the shores of Lake Inari, you will find Inari village the centre of Sámi culture in Finland. The Sámi way of life is intertwined with Lapland’s nature throughout the seasons and for any visitor to Lapland, autumn is a prime month in which to witness that natural world at its best. This time of year offers an ever-changing landscape and some fascinating experiences, all ahead of the winter crowds.
In September, the nights grow longer once again after the daylight hours of summer, and the Northern Lights return to the sky. The forest floor and canopy take on a golden and burnt orange glow during September as the leaves change. Then throughout October and November, the temperatures begin to drop, and the first snowfalls of winter arrive. Each change provides its own glimpse of how nature adapts in this challenging environment. This itinerary has been designed so you can explore and learn, experiencing the very best of Lapland during these transitional months.
One of the biggest draws of autumn in Lapland is the chance to witness some exceptional Northern Lights displays and of course, we will do all we can to maximise your viewing potential.
Before Lake Inari freezes, there is also the opportunity for you to hopefully witness the Aurora Borealis reflecting off its vast surface, before it gains a layer of ice around the end of October. This holiday includes a boat trip on the lake for earlier dates which is changed for those travelling after the 20th October to a minibus hunt for the Aurora.Read more
You will also enjoy a guided hike to a carefully chosen Aurora Camp with spectacular views of the night sky. Scientific evidence suggests that solar activity is heightened during the autumnal equinox, so you may potentially witness some captivating displays.
During the day you will gain an insight into the Sámi culture. This includes a visit to the Sámi Siida Museum in Inari which has impressive exhibitions displaying the history of the indigenous people of Lapland and the natural world in which they live. If you wish, you can also learn about reindeer herding and add a visit to a Sámi family to your holiday. Please see the 'Personalise' section of the holiday page for further details.
You will also visit a nearby husky centre and meet the sled dogs, which are synonymous with the Arctic. Whilst the lack of snow means that you cannot go out on a sled, you can still learn a great deal about the lives of these working dogs and their mushers.
Autumn in Finland is known locally as ‘Ruska’ which refers to the vibrant colours which are typically displayed in September. A guided nature hike will lead you into the surrounding forest where you will assist your guide picking local berries or mushrooms before enjoying lunch around an open fire.
The weather in autumn can change very quickly and so an element of flexibility is required when travelling at this time of year. On the plus side, this does mean that you might witness the magical morning when the area awakens to the first dusting of snow.
Image Credits: Visit Inari.fi, Matt Robinson
- DAY 1 Arrival and Aurora Workshop
Following your arrival at Ivalo Airport, you will be transferred to your accommodation in the small village of Inari.
During the evening, you will enjoy dinner in the restaurant before a specialised Aurora workshop. The workshop will prepare you for the potential appearance of the Northern Lights with an insight into photography and the camera settings needed to capture this natural phenomenon.
This evening, before heading to bed, we recommend that you take a walk away from the hotel’s lights in order to gaze at the skies. The Aurora are frequent visitors here and if conditions are favourable you may be welcomed with a display.Included Meals: Dinner
- DAY 2 Sámi Siida Museum, Husky Farm Visit and Aurora Camp
Following breakfast, you will gain insight into the local Sámi culture with a visit to the Siida Museum. The exhibitions are impressively done, providing a detailed history of the Sámi people with beautiful photographs and interactive audio. There is also a huge amount of information on the natural world, birdsong can be heard, and the highlights of each season are depicted.
After visiting the Siida Museum, you will be transferred to a nearby husky farm to meet the iconic sled dogs. Huskies are synonymous with the Arctic and your guide will provide an insight into lives of these working dogs. You will spend approximately one hour at the farm.
During your free time this afternoon, you may like to further your knowledge of Sámi culture by visiting a local reindeer herding family. At their homestead, you can meet some of the herd and perhaps feed them. Then you shall be given an introduction to Sámi traditions, family life and will have the chance to see some handicrafts crafted by your host. Please see the ‘Personalise’ section of the holiday page for details.
This evening, you will enjoy dinner before going out on your first autumn Aurora hunt. Your guide will lead the way on an easy walk through the forest to an Aurora Camp, specifically chosen for its views of the night sky and lack of light pollution. Your guide will build a fire and you can enjoy a hot drink as you keep an eye out for the start of an Aurora display and listen to your guide’s tales of their own Aurora encounters. In total, you will be out for around three hours.Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
- DAY 3 Guided Nature Hike and Northern Lights Boat Tour or Northern Lights Hunt
After breakfast, you will join a local guide to explore the forests. In September the forest floor is a carpet of colour and berries and mushrooms are in abundance. As the autumn turns cooler in October and November, you will see the local wildlife preparing for the onset of winter and you may even get to walk in the winter’s first snowfall. As you go, your guide will point out local flora and fauna and you will return with a greater understanding of this wilderness.
The route is relatively easy and a picnic lunch will be served by a campfire. You will be out for around three hours.
During the evening you will have dinner in the restaurant before enjoying another dedicated Aurora activity. The beauty of your location next to Lake Inari is that in early autumn you can get out on the water for a very different Northern Lights hunt, exploring the lake by boat. This is a very peaceful way in which to search for the Northern Lights and the sheer size of the lake enables you to escape any light pollution and obtain wonderful views. Should the Northern Lights appear you might even be treated to a captivating display as the lights reflect off the inky black water of the lake.
From 20th October onwards, the lake’s surface is likely to have begun to freeze and so you will search for the Northern lights via minibus instead. A hunt by minibus gives you some additional mobility and so in the company of your expert local guide and armed with the latest weather and solar forecasts, you will be able to outrun any localised cloud cover. Both activities will last around two and a half to three hours in total.Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
- DAY 4 Depart or Extend Your Stay
Following breakfast, you will be transferred back to Ivalo Airport for your journey home. Should you wish to extend your stay then please speak to one of our Travel Experts for more information.Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Included in price
Personalise this tour
Reindeer and Sámi Culture Experience
Reindeer are synonymous with Lapland and an integral part of Sámi culture. This experience provides a wonderful insight into the realities of life for a local herder and also gives you the chance to learn a lot more about family life in a Sámi community.
You will be taken out towards Lemmonjoki National Park where you will visit a traditional homestead. Your Sámi host will greet you before giving you an introduction to reindeer herding and offering the chance for you to see some of the animals up close. You will then have the chance to see how reindeer skin boots are made and admire some of the amazing clothes used in traditional Sámi celebrations. There are also some local handicrafts for sale.
It is a fascinating activity which will give you a personal and authentic account of the life of a Sámi reindeer herding family.
Credit: Inari-Saariselka Tourism Ltd
Dates & Prices
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To secure your holiday for next season, you can make a pre-sale booking and fix the price of your trip at the pre-sale price displayed below. Simply by paying an initial deposit of £50pp, you will protect yourself from any package price increases. The departure dates and itineraries remain preliminary and we will contact you when the final dates and itineraries are confirmed, you will then have 14 days to decide if you would like to go ahead. A further deposit payment of £350pp is due by 01 April 2019 or at the time of us confirming the trip details to you, whichever is sooner. If you decide not to travel, we will refund your full deposit payment. 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.
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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 to secure the best possible fares and flight times.
For our full booking terms and conditions please click here
Holiday group size (approximate)
Minimum 2 and maximum 24 people (approximately)
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.
The order of activities is always subject to change and guests will be provided with their final itinerary upon arrival.
Please note that some of our holidays may incur a single supplement. Please speak to one of our Travel Experts who will provide you with a quotation.
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.
If you have a reduced level of mobility, then please contact our travel experts to discuss the suitability of this holiday in relation to your requirements.
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 level 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/
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.
Travelling in the Autumn requires a degree of flexibility. This period is a time of change in the far North and the arrival of the first snowfall can be very unpredictable.
Autumn activities: The daytime activities included in this holiday may be amended to accommodate the arrival of winter's first snows (an unpredictable science!). Walks may become snowshoe treks and guests may need to be flexible in their approach. This is unlikely to be the case in September but changes become more likely in October and November. Your Aurora hunting activities should be unaffected.
If cold weather clothing is required and will make your stay more comfortable then this will be included and issued to you upon arrival. If you would like to borrow any additional equipment then please just speak to one of the local guides. For more information please see the trip dossier.
The minimum age for participation in our itinerary is 15 years old, however, for some activities and transfers, you may be joined by other guests and this may include some of a younger age than stated. Any younger participants will be fully supervised and the guides will ensure that their participation takes place only if the activities will be unaffected.
Very few hotels have a minimum age and there may be families staying at them with younger children, especially during the holiday periods. We do have some itineraries and destinations which are guaranteed to be adult-only, so if this is important to you please speak to one of our Travel Experts.
To drive a snowmobile you must have a full driving licence and be over 18 years old.