ALL OF THE ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES LISTED BELOW ARE INCLUDED IN THE HOLIDAY PRICE
- Flights: return direct flights from London Gatwick to Ivalo. Flight routes are subject to change
- Transfers: return airport transfers
- Accommodation: 4 nights in a standard twin/double hotel room
- Meals: full board
- The following activities are included in the holiday: dog sledding, visit to a reindeer farm, two Aurora Camps, Aurora snowmobiling, Lake Inari snowmobile safari (the order of activities is subject to change)
- Fully qualified guides and instructors during activities
- Cold weather clothing for the duration of your stay
- Aurora Alert until approximately 1 am
Nangu is everything you ever imagined a secluded winter retreat to be. The lakeside setting and the snowy forest that surround it are quintessential Lapland. To simply stand outside and listen to the silence of nature is a rare treat these days.
When you travel north of the Arctic Circle there was previously a distinct lack of more boutique style accommodation. This is particularly the case when you leave the more populated areas and go in search of the dark skies required to see the Aurora Borealis in its full glory. Happily, that has now changed with the welcome addition of Hotel Nangu on the southern shore of Finland’s third largest lake.
This small, adults-only boutique hotel is the brainchild of Jouko and Mari Lappalainen who have revolutionized the accommodation sector in this part of Finland. With the emphasis being very much on traditional design and the Aurora, they have created a real gem here at Nangu. The secluded location is perfect for actively exploring by day, Aurora hunting by night and relaxing in comfort during the intervening hours.
This holiday takes place over the Christmas period, but it is a far, far cry from the overcrowded “Santa Centrals” further south. During your stay at Nangu, you will explore the winter landscapes during the day by snowmobile and dog sled, as well as having the chance to meet a Sámi reindeer herder and help them feed their animals.Read more
The evenings will be taken up with Aurora hunting. We have included two visits to Aurora camps on Lake Inari, both in prime locations for potential displays of the Aurora, as well as a Northern Lights Snowmobile trip. This really is tremendous viewing territory and our guides will be doing their absolute best to ensure that you experience one of Mother Nature’s greatest wonders in what is a truly spectacular setting.
All your meals are included, as is your cold weather clothing and a wealth of exceptional activities such as dog sledding during the day and your Aurora hunts at night. The essence of it is that you really do not need to do a lot of thinking. All you need to do is relax and enjoy a fabulous Christmas.
Image credits: Markku Inkila,
- DAY 1 Arrival , Welcome and Aurora Camp
On arrival at Ivalo Airport, you will be welcomed by your driver and taken to the transfer vehicle. From here, you’ll head through town before heading northeast towards the Russian border and taking a small road north towards the shores of Lake Inari. Just as you think the driver is lost, you’ll arrive at Nangu where a warm welcome awaits.
You’ll enjoy dinner in the restaurant and be fitted out with your cold weather clothing and Aurora Alert.
Following on from your meal, you will head out for your first Aurora stakeout. You’ll travel out to one of the many camps dotted around Lake Inari in a sled pulled by a snowmobile. Once at the camp, your guide will get a fire on the go and there will be warm drinks to keep you warm while you wait for an Aurora display. You will be out for around two and a half hours.Included Meals: Dinner
- DAY 2 Dog Sledding, Reindeer Farm Visit and Christmas Festivities
Dog sledding was only introduced to Europe about a century ago, but reindeer herding has been an integral part of daily life for hundreds of years. Regardless, both have become synonymous with Lapland and today you get to meet both reindeer and huskies.
The drive to Nellim will take around 30 minutes along the snowy roads that head towards the Russian Border. On arrival, the group will be split, with half going off to the reindeer farm and the other half heading out with the dogs. The roles will be reversed after lunch, which will be served in the restaurant at Wilderness Hotel Nellim, one of Nangu’s sister hotels.
The dog sledding starts with a thorough briefing and you may have to listen closely because the excitable canines can conjure up quite a din. Before long, you’ll be off on the trail with one person driving the team and the other riding in the sled with opportunities to swap along the way. The landscapes here are simply stunning and as the dogs fall silent as they run, it’s a great time to drink in the vast expanses of winter wilderness.
For the reindeer activity, you will travel in a snowmobile-pulled sleigh or car to meet the animals. The herder will be there to welcome you and tell you a little about the importance of reindeer husbandry in the lives of the Sámi people. You may well get to feed the animals out of your hand……they are particularly fond of a bit of moss!
You’ll be out and about for something like seven hours today so make the most of your time back at Nangu, a little snooze before dinner will set you up nicely for tonight’s festivities and Aurora Camp.
As today is Christmas Eve, a special Christmas Dinner will be served tonight, as the Finns celebrate the festive season on the 24th December. Everyone will enjoy a meal which includes some Finnish delicacies and traditions.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- DAY 3 Free Day and Aurora Snowmobiling
After yesterday’s busy schedule, today you may enjoy a leisurely Christmas Day at Nangu. You may just want to take it easy but alternatively, you can look to arrange an additional activity locally. Lunch will be served at the hotel.
Following your evening meal, you will head out in search of the Aurora on snowmobiles. Prior to departure, you will be given full instruction on how to drive a snowmobile and a full safety briefing. Then, with your expert guide leading the way and your headlights illuminating the route, you will set off on your adventure. Your guide knows all the best spots from which to admire the Northern Lights and they will determine the route based on the weather conditions and Aurora forecast. With a little luck, your efforts will be rewarded with a display.
You must be over 18 and hold a full driving licence to drive a snowmobile in Finland. You will travel two people per machine and there will be the chance to swap drivers during this approximately two-and-a-half-hour experience.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- DAY 4 Lake Inari Snowmobile Safari and Aurora Camp
You will be back on the snowmobiles this morning for a safari on the vast expanses of Lake Inari. It really is the best way to cover ground in the region and you will get a chance to witness the scale of Finland’s third largest lake. During your safari you will stop for a campfire lunch out in the wilds.
Full instruction will once again be provided before departure and you will travel two people per snowmobile (with the chance to switch drivers). You must be over 18 and hold a full driving licence to drive a snowmobile in Finland. Your adventure will last around four hours including lunch.
After dinner, you’ll head back out to Lake Inari where your guide will take you to another of the frozen lake’s excellent north facing vantage points. There is virtually no light pollution here and looking across the ice, pretty much all you can see is the silhouette of trees on the far shoreline and a pitch-black sky. On a cloudless night, this really is perfect Aurora viewing territory.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- DAY 5 Departure
Sadly, it's time to head home and your transfers will get you to the airport in good time for your return flight.Included Meals: Breakfast
Included in price
Dates & Prices
Price Comparison Guarantee
Single adult price: based on single room accommodation, but sharing transfer and a husky sled. If you wish to drive your own team of huskies please ask our Travel Experts for a quotation.
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 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 12 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.
The minimum age for participation in our itinerary is 18 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.
During your stay, you will be supplied with an Aurora alert. This is typically a mobile phone system to which the staff will send a text should the Northern Lights be sighted. The alerts generally operate until 1 am but it is best to confirm with your guide as times may vary.
The alerts are designed as an aid to Aurora hunting and, although every effort will be made to issue an alert should the conditions seem conducive to a display, things can change very quickly so you should not rely solely on them and should also keep an eye on the sky yourself.
We loved this holiday- in fact, it was probably in my top 3 of all time. The dog sledding was brilliant - just amazing but we also loved the snowshoeing. Everyone was delightful. The guides were first class and made all the outings such fun. Jocco ( spelling may be wrong ) was just great. The hotel staff were lovely and the food was really good.
Really enjoyed searching for the northern lights, enjoyed the time on the Fells, dog sledding was a fun experience, small group experience was welcomed. Matt was extremely helpful with all questions, generous with his time to teach the group planetary patterns in the sky above us, helped everyone how to better take photos of the night sky.