ALL OF THE ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES LISTED BELOW ARE INCLUDED IN THE HOLIDAY PRICE
- Flights: return flights from London to Ivalo (via Helsinki). 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 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
Arrival and Welcome
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.Included Meals: Dinner
Snow Fun, Northern Lights Workshop and Northern Lights Hunt
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, 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.
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
Free Day and Aurora Snowmobiling
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 travel two people per snowmobile with the chance to take turns (providing you both have full licences and are 18 years or over). You will be out for approximately 2 hours tonight.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Wilderness Skills and Free Evening
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. This activity will last around three and a half to four hours in total including lunch.
You will have a free afternoon and evening to enjoy as you please.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Husky Safari and Visit Sámi Siida museum and Lapland Nature Centre in Inari
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. The activity will last around two and a half hours in total.
This afternoon you will visit the village of Inari with the brilliant Sámi Siida Museum* for a wonderful insight into the rich culture here. This is a great museum with a great permanent exhibition about the seasons in this remote area of Lapland and how the Sami people have adapted and survived the extreme conditions throughout history. There is also a video presentation about the Northern Lights and several other interesting exhibitions to view. There is also a great gift shop selling local Artisan products – very popular for picking up some souvenirs! You will also make a stop at the Lapland Nature centre to learn more about the flora and fauna indigenous to the region.
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.
*Please note: the Sámi Siida Museum will sadly be closed for renovation for the 2021/2022 season so the main exhibitions are not accessible. Guests will be able to visit the gift shop and the open-air museum – an outdoor trail showcasing exhibits on the cultural heritage, architectural heritage and livelihoods of Finland’s three Sámi cultures. Guests are also welcome to visit Sajos, an architecturally beautiful building in the heart of Inari which is home to the Sámi Parliament and is the centre of Sámi culture and administration. Guided tours and an informative video are offered throughout the day and there is also a shop selling Sámi handicraft, books and music.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Winter Fishing by Snowmobile and Free Evening
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. You will travel two people per snowmobile with the chance to take turns (providing you both have full licences and are 18 years or over). Your destination is Lake Menesjärvi where you will learn all about winter fishing and wait in hopes of a catch. You will be out for approximately two 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
Personalise this tour
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 in total (approximately)
A Taste of a Reindeer Herder’s Day
During this taste of a reindeer herder’s day, you will be out for about 3 hours in total. After being transferred to a nearby reindeer farm, you’ll head off in a snowmobile-pulled sleigh to find the reindeer herd and feed them. A fire will be lit and you can enjoy a hot drink whilst watching the reindeer. You can chat and ask the herder any questions you may have about the reindeer herd and their way of life.
Dates & Prices
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Please note: if you are travelling over Christmas or New Year, you will enjoy a festive dinner and celebrations on the 24th or the 31st of December (traditionally in Finland, Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve).
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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)
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 24 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 https://www.mfat.govt.nz/
Canadian Consular Affairs Bureau http://voyage.gc.ca/
The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel.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
I really cannot fault your administration and the holiday itself. It was a pleasure to travel with your company and the holiday exceeded our expectations. Hotel Korpikartano is a gem and we really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere there. The lack of light pollution and no traffic noise was a novelty!
I found the young staff group friendly and welcoming, the hotel generally laid back and relaxing, and some other guests friendly and willing to chat. By the time I was leaving I was one of 5 women staying there on my own - a very positive thing: it felt safe and friendly to be there as a single woman. The location is sensational. And the vegetarian food vastly exceeded my expectations - it was probably the best sustained week of excellent vegetarian food I have had in my life. I'd not expected this in an area so famed for local meat and fish. The workshop and advice on northern lights photography on arrival was very useful. I also appreciated the time and patience offered by Graham in helping me consider options and choose this holiday - thanks, Graham! The advance information received on many topics was also extremely useful.