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Price from £1,595pp
VISITING: Finland BROCHURE CODE: 21006
All prices include: flights, transfers, accommodation, meals, guided activities and cold weather clothing; all as listed.
Spend a week in Menesjärvi, where you’ll receive the warmest of welcomes from your local hosts to this wild and pristine Northern Lights destination. Situated close to the Sámi heartland of Inari, this itinerary features a visit to the village, as well as plenty of opportunities to explore the wilderness - from dedicated Aurora hunts and dog sledding to winter fishing by snowmobile.

What's included?

ALL OF THE ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES LISTED BELOW ARE INCLUDED IN THE HOLIDAY PRICE

  • Flights: return flights from London to Ivalo (either direct or via Helsinki depending on departure date). Flight routes are subject to change
  • Transfers: return group airport transfers
  • Accommodation: 7 nights twin/double hotel rooms
  • Meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
  • The following activities and equipment are included in the price: Snow Fun, Aurora Workshop, Northern Lights Hunt, Aurora Snowmobiling, Wilderness Skills, Husky Safari, visit to the Sámi Siida Museum and Winter Fishing by Snowmobile (the order of activities is subject to change).
  • Cold weather clothing is provided for the duration of your stay
  • Free use of snowshoes, cross-country skis, kicksleds and toboggans
  • Services of our expert local guides

Situated just 30 minutes from Inari, the Sámi heartland of Finland, but in pristine wilderness sits Menesjarvi, your base for a week of winter experiences.

Close to Lake Menesjärvi and near the stunning Lemmenjoki National Park - the largest in Finland - you have plenty of land to explore and this itinerary offers many different opportunities to do so. From snowmobiling and dog sledding to learning wilderness skills from a local expert guide, you will get an authentic experience of the Finnish nature. Pair this with a visit to the Sámi Siida Museum in Inari and you’ll gain a real insight into the culture and natural surroundings.

At night, this vast wilderness area provides an ideal environment for Aurora hunting. With little light pollution and an excellent Northern Lights track record, you’re in with a spectacular chance of seeing Mother Nature’s greatest light show during your time here. If conditions are favourable, simply walk down to the frozen lake (or the ‘nightclub’ as Anne the hotel owner affectionally calls it) and look up but we’ve also included two dedicated Aurora activities to increase your chances.

During the day, we have left plenty of free time to enjoy your surroundings as you please. Your base at Hotel Korpikartana provides a rustic and simple charm with an exceptionally warm welcome thanks to hosts Anne and Timo. In between your Arctic and Aurora adventures, take some time to enjoy the views of Lapland from the two terraces and unwind in the onsite saunas.

Image credits: Timo Halonen, Hannes Becker and Visit Finland
  • Upon arrival at Ivalo airport, you will be met and transferred to your base in Northern Lapland. You will have time to settle into your room at Hotel Korpikartano before enjoying dinner in the restaurant.

    After you have enjoyed your evening meal one of the guides will sit with you in the lounge area and tell you a little about the science and myths behind the Northern Lights.  The guide will also introduce you to some of their favourite Aurora Forecasting websites and tell you how to use them. Finally, they will provide some guidance and information about photographing the Northern Lights and assist anyone who needs help in programming their cameras to the correct settings.

    Included Meals:  Dinner
  • Following breakfast, it’s time to make the most of the deep and stunning snowy surroundings. Your guide will show you how to use all the snow-based equipment including toboggans, kick sledge, snowshoes and cross-country skis - then it’s up to you to explore as you please. Now you know how to use the equipment, you could take them out later in the week.

    After lunch in the hotel restaurant, you will have some free time to relax before heading out on your inaugural Northern Lights hunt this evening!

    Following dinner, you will meet with your guide and strap on a pair of snowshoes to travel into the night. You will experience the wonderful silence of the Arctic while your guide tells you all about the surrounding nature and the Northern Lights. If conditions are favourable, you’ll see the green Auroras dancing above on your peaceful walk. You will be out for approximately two hours.

    Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Today you have a free day to enjoy as you please. You could add another Arctic activity to complete your stay, see our ‘personalise’ tab for more information.

    All meals will be served in the restaurant as usual before your Northern Lights adventure this evening. You will meet the guide who will give you full instructions and a safety briefing on how to drive a snowmobile before driving out to explore the frozen landscape. With a bit of luck, you’ll see the Auroras on your journey. You will be out for approximately 2 hours tonight.

    Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Following breakfast, you will learn all about the Finnish nature with some practical wilderness skills. First, you will meet with your guide who will take you snowshoeing through the forest and to the lake area. You will learn how to use a compass, GPS, read a map and what to look out for in the nature around you. You’ll also learn how to make a fire and identify animal footprints. You’ll travel to a Lappish hut to enjoy lunch by an open fire.

    You will have a free afternoon and evening to enjoy as you please. You could add on a Northern Lights activity or search the skies from just outside the hotel.

    Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Following breakfast, it’s time to enjoy one of the most sought-after Arctic experiences; dog sledding. You will meet with the expert musher and hear all about the life of these wonderful sled dogs. After a full safety briefing and instructions, you will head out into the wilderness with your loyal team of dogs. You will ride two people per sled, one driving and one as a passenger in the sled with the option to swap halfway.

    This afternoon you will visit the village of Inari with the brilliant Sami Siida museum for a wonderful insight into the rich culture here. You will then transfer back to the hotel to enjoy dinner in the restaurant. Tonight is free to enjoy as you please. If the Northern Lights conditions are favourable, simply walk to the frozen lake to enjoy a display.

    Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Enjoy breakfast in the restaurant ahead of a true Arctic experience when you go winter fishing by snowmobile.

    You will receive full instructions and a safety briefing on how to drive a snowmobile and you can choose whether to be the driver, passenger or tucked up in the sledge pulled by the guide’s snowmobile. Your destination is Lake Menesjärvi where you will learn all about winter fishing and wait in hopes for a catch. You will be out for approximately 2 hours and upon return, you have the rest of the day free, with lunch and dinner served in the restaurant as usual. You could put your new winter skills to the test and take out cross-country skis or snowshoes for some independent exploration. This evening, keep an eye on the Aurora forecast.

    Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Today has been left completely free for you to enjoy however you like. See our ‘personalise’ tab for optional activities you could add to your itinerary, or simply relax around the hotel. As usual, all meals will be served in the restaurant.

    Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Today it is sadly time for your winter week to come to an end. Enjoy breakfast in the restaurant before departing or if you have an early flight time, we’ll box up breakfast for you to take with you.

    Included Meals:  Breakfast

Included in price

Hotel Korpikartano

Nights: 1-7

Hotel Korpikartano is a very special place in a breath-taking location in Finnish Lapland. Its situation could not be more idyllic, with a fantastic outlook over Lake Menesjärvi and the remote wilderness beyond. The lack of artificial light in the area ensures that if the Aurora appears, then you can enjoy amazing displays from very close to the hotel.

Hotel Korpikartano was originally a boarding school for those growing up in this remote part of the world and is, therefore, full of quirks, character and charm. The welcome provided by the owners, Anne and Timo (Timo is retired but still makes regular appearances to take Aurora photos here), creates a wonderful atmosphere and their passion for the region is infectious.

The staff and guides have a huge passion for this landscape and for providing guests with a truly memorable stay.

The hotel comprises of two main buildings. The first houses the dining room and a number of bedrooms. A separate annexe building (a very short walk away) houses the majority of the guest accommodation.

It is a place with great soul and which offers guests the chance to completely switch off from the everyday and relax in a wild and beautiful environment. You are likely to leave feeling very privileged to have experienced this wonderful place. 

Hotel facilities

  • Traditional home cooking is the order of the day in the hotel’s dining room. The food can be described as 'simple, tasty and hearty' and is very much designed to fuel you up for your outdoor adventures. In many cases, the evening’s set menu will contain local ingredients such as fresh fish that Timo has caught, berries Anne has foraged, or meat purchased from the local reindeer herders. The set meals are all self-service. Breakfast is a buffet of breads, meat, cheese and fish with the addition of porridge and fruit. Lunch and evening meals start with a salad and bread, a set main and then a pudding which is often a local speciality. Please let us know at the time of booking if you have any dietary requirements so these can be accommodated.
  • You can also purchase a range of wine, beer and spirits to accompany your meal.
  • Obviously, saunas are a pre-requisite in these parts and there are two, one in each building. They can each be booked privately by guests each day in hour long slots.
  • There is an outdoor wood-burning sauna and rustic hot tub. Should you request the use of the outdoor sauna (a local charge will apply), don't forget that a dip in the lake (in autumn) or a roll in the snow (in winter) is almost obligatory (as long as you are in a good physical condition).
  • The simple lounge (near the reception) provides tea and coffee making facilities. Consider this to be the perfect spot to relax by the stove with a book but remember to keep your eyes peeled for the Northern Lights as the windows face north!
  • There is free Wi-Fi for guests to use throughout both buildings and there is a PC available at reception.
  • Books and games are also available to borrow from reception.
  • If you are travelling in the winter then the hotel offers free use of snowshoes, cross-country skis, kick sleds and toboggans so there is also something for those who love the great outdoors and want to explore independently between activities. There are marked trails across the stunning frozen lake and maps are available at reception.
  • If you want to send a memento home, then there are postcards available to purchase and some of Timo’s Aurora photography is for sale. Anne also knits cosy woollen socks for charity and these can usually be purchased at reception.
  • There is a lakeside Kota (wooden tepee) which is open for all guests during the evening. Here you can light a fire and warm up in between forays out onto the lake in search of the Northern Lights.

Room types

The 28 guest bedrooms vary in size and shape as you may expect from a former school. They are cosy, comfortable and decorated with locally-sourced wood. Some of the furnishings have been crafted by Timo's own hand.

All guest bedrooms have an en-suite bathroom with shower and a hairdryer. Cups and kettles are provided in each bedroom and a variety of teas and coffee is available in each building for you to take to your room.


Image credit: Timo Halonen, Matt Robinson (please note: The images depicted show the hotel during both the winter and autumn months)

Personalise this tour


Our pick

Aurora Snowshoe

From £50pp

Tonight you will strap on a pair of snowshoes and follow your guide into the wintery nature on a search for the Northern Lights.

Snowshoes help you walk over the deep snow with ease, for a peaceful way to enjoy the Arctic night and if conditions are favourable the Northern Lights. 

As you walk, the guide will tell you all about the surrounding nature and help you search the skies for a potential display. 

Duration: 2 hours


Other options

Activities

A Taste of a Reindeer Herder’s Day

From: £170pp

Reindeer herding is historically, culturally and economically significant in this region and during this activity, you will gain an authentic insight into this important pastime.

You will meet with a local reindeer herder who will transfer you to his home farm via a snowmobile-pulled sledge. Enjoy the winter scenes as you travel further into the wilderness to the animal’s home. 

Here, you will help the herder feed the animals and observe them in peaceful surroundings. Enjoy hot drinks around an open fire while you watch the reindeer and herder interact together. 

Duration: 3 hours 

Price Comparison Guarantee

Expertise and knowledge are key to witnessing the Northern Lights. We’ve been running Aurora hunting holidays longer than any company in the UK and with no lead in prices, no hidden costs and more included, we’re confident our tours will come out on top.
Price guarantee
Dates
Sun 16 Feb 2020
to Sun 23 Feb 2020
Enquire
Adults£ 1,675
Sun 23 Feb 2020
to Sun 01 Mar 2020
Book
Adults£ 1,625
Sun 01 Mar 2020
to Sun 08 Mar 2020
Book
Adults£ 1,625
Sun 08 Mar 2020
to Sun 15 Mar 2020
Book
Adults£ 1,595
Sun 15 Mar 2020
to Sun 22 Mar 2020
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Adults£ 1,595
Sun 22 Mar 2020
to Sun 29 Mar 2020
Book
Adults£ 1,795
Sun 29 Mar 2020
to Sun 05 Apr 2020
Book
Adults£ 1,795

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.

Next season’s pre-sale dates and prices

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 will be due at the time of us confirming the trip details to you. 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.

Dates
Sun 29 Nov 2020
to Sun 06 Dec 2020
Enquire
Adults£ 1,845
Sun 06 Dec 2020
to Sun 13 Dec 2020
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Adults£ 1,865
Sun 10 Jan 2021
to Sun 17 Jan 2021
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Adults£ 1,740
Sun 17 Jan 2021
to Sun 24 Jan 2021
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Adults£ 1,740
Sun 24 Jan 2021
to Sun 31 Jan 2021
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Adults£ 1,740
Sun 31 Jan 2021
to Sun 07 Feb 2021
Enquire
Adults£ 1,740
Sun 07 Feb 2021
to Sun 14 Feb 2021
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Adults£ 1,740
Sun 14 Feb 2021
to Sun 21 Feb 2021
Enquire
Adults£ 1,790
Sun 21 Feb 2021
to Sun 28 Feb 2021
Enquire
Adults£ 1,740
Sun 28 Feb 2021
to Sun 07 Mar 2021
Enquire
Adults£ 1,740
Sun 07 Mar 2021
to Sun 14 Mar 2021
Enquire
Adults£ 1,705
Sun 14 Mar 2021
to Sun 21 Mar 2021
Enquire
Adults£ 1,705
Sun 21 Mar 2021
to Sun 28 Mar 2021
Enquire
Adults£ 1,920
Sun 28 Mar 2021
to Sun 04 Apr 2021
Enquire
Adults£ 1,920

For our full booking terms and conditions please click here

The Specifics

Holiday group size (approximate)

Minimum 2 and maximum 24 people (approximately)

Group Size

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.

Itinerary amendments

The order of activities is always subject to change and guests will be provided with their final itinerary upon arrival. The trip dossier is standard to the holiday and does not account for any amends, additions or personalisation to an itinerary. Clients should refer to their booking documents for this information.

The order of activities listed in this agenda is provided for guidance only, your final itinerary will be provided on 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

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

We have no reason to believe that our holidays will be impacted after Brexit and so it is business as usual for us. The European Commission has stated that no aircraft will be grounded, even if no deal is reached between the EU and the UK.

However, the Foreign Office is advising people take the following steps so please review this information and take any necessary action.   

The relevant points include:

  • check your passport
  • get travel insurance which covers your healthcare

If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, the rules for travel to most countries in Europe will change. If your adult passport was issued over 9 years ago, you may be affected. You should use this tool to check your passport is still valid for your trip before booking travel.

Adult and child passports should have at least 6 months’ validity remaining on your date of travel. If you renewed your passport early, extra months would have been added to your new passport. Any extra months on an adult passport will not count towards the validity requirement, so some passport holders will need to have more than 6 months remaining in order to travel.

You will also need to double-check your travel insurance as after Brexit there is no guarantee your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will be accepted.

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

Cancellation terms

Please note that the cancellation terms below supersede those mentioned in section 7 of our booking terms and conditions:

- More than 63 days prior to departure - Loss of deposit (including the full cost of flights or other services where paid at the time of booking)

- 63 to 43 days prior to departure - 40%

- 42 to 31 days prior to departure – 60%

- 30 or less days – 100%



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