ALL OF THE ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES LISTED BELOW ARE INCLUDED IN THE HOLIDAY PRICE
- Flights: return flights from London Heathrow to Ivalo (via Helsinki). Direct upgrade possible subject to availability, supplement applies (flight routes are subject to change)
- Transfers: return airport transfers
- Accommodation: 4 nights in twin/double hotel room
- Meals: 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners*
- The following activities are included in the holiday: husky safari, visit to a reindeer farm, an Aurora Camp visit, 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
*If you arrive late in the evening on day one, the hotel will provide you with a light dinner.
The first week of the New Year can be a difficult time. At some stage, you have to raise yourself from the food and drink induced lethargy of the festive period and get back to reality. So why not avoid all of that and escape on an unforgettable holiday to Wilderness Hotel Nangu instead?
Think deep snow and frozen lakes, think ‘Narnia-style’ forests and white-blanketed landscapes. Think of the purest air in Europe, crisp and crackling with winter chill and then imagine the darkest of dark skies alive with the shifting, shimmering and glimmering lights that are the Aurora Borealis.
Our New Year Aurora hunting trip at Nangu in Finnish Lapland is the perfect way to extend the festive feeling and avoid the dreaded January blues.
During the day, you’ll be out in the wilds dog sledding, meeting reindeer and snowmobiling. We have also provided some time in which you can relax and take things easy or tailor your holiday with additional activities.
In the evenings, the coal black skies above Lake Inari are perfect for Aurora watching if the weather and Aurora conditions are right. This stunning log-built hotel is well and truly off-the-beaten-track and as a result, there is very, very little artificial light pollution to spoil the show. Indeed, many of us here at The Aurora Zone witnessed our first ever Aurora displays close to Lake Inari.
Lake Inari is Finland’s third largest lake and its second deepest. It is steeped in tradition and mysticism and, even today, it plays an important role in the spiritual lives of the indigenous Sámi people. Once you have seen the Aurora dance above the lake, it is not hard to understand why it has gained such symbolism.
Image credits: Markku Inkila and Anthony Oberlin
Arrival and Welcome
Arriving at Ivalo Airport is akin to arriving on a different planet. If your day started in a major city like London, then this snow-covered world 250km above the Arctic Circle may be a bit of a culture shock.
When you get to Nangu after a 30-minute transfer, the log-built building and the welcoming glow through its windows are almost like a wilderness mirage. It seems impossible that such a cosy and comfortable retreat could exist amidst these winter wilds.
Nangu is stunning. Accommodation this far north is always decent but sometimes it can feel functional. Nangu has raised the bar in this part of the world and with just 24 bedrooms it feels like something of a privilege to be here.
You will be welcomed with soup and then it’s time to settle in for the night. As tonight is a late arrival, you will receive your cold weather clothing tomorrow. We suggest relaxing so you’re ready for your adventures in the morning.
If you have upgraded to the direct flight then you will arrive at the hotel in the afternoon. After checking in, you’ll have dinner before heading out on your first Northern Lights hunt. You will travel on a snowmobile-pulled sled to reach an excellent viewing spot at the Aurora Camp where hopefully the Northern Lights will appear above you.
Husky Safari, Reindeer Farm Visit and New Year Celebrations
Today is your first day in Northern Finland so make sure you are well-fuelled up at breakfast.
Things kick off in style today as you transfer to Nellim, a remote village close to the Russian border and home to Wilderness Hotel Nellim, one of Nangu’s sister properties.
From Nellim, the group will split for the day’s activities with half heading initial to meet the huskies for a thrilling safari and the other half heading to a local reindeer farm, before swapping at lunchtime.
The dog sledding starts with a thorough briefing on how to handle the team and the sleds. The excitable dogs will be making their enthusiasm for the trail obvious with their eager barks and so we save the photo opportunities for the end of the safari.
You’ll then 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 welcome you and tell you about the importance of the animals to the Sámi people. You should hopefully also get the chance to feed the animals from your own hand which is a great experience, they never get tired of moss! On the way, you will stop at the Russian border and the stunning log church in Nellim. You will be out for around 7 hours today and lunch will be served at Wilderness Hotel Nellim during the day.
You may want to try and fit in a quick pre-dinner snooze though as tonight is New Year’s Eve and so you’ll want enough energy to enjoy the celebrations and the special festive dinner at the hotel.
Free Day and Aurora Snowmobiling
A free day today allows you to pick and choose whether you want to relax (and perhaps recover following the New Year celebrations) or choose some additional activities.
Perhaps a day of cross-country skiing through the forest and over the frozen lake will be the perfect way to unwind and enjoy the tranquil surroundings of fells, forests and crisp snow, sliding across the frozen landscape, high above the Arctic Circle.
Alternatively, you could simply relax in the hotel and mesmerise yourself with the gorgeous views towards Lake Inari, cosying up in the hotel’s lounge area with a good New Year’s read.
After a day at your own pace and dinner in the hotel restaurant, tonight you will set out with your expert guide in search of the Aurora, using snowmobiles as your transport.
Prior to departure, you will be given a full safety briefing and full instruction on how to handle a snowmobile. You will then set off for your hunt which will take you to some prime local Aurora viewpoints. Travelling two people per sled, you can swap drivers when you break for a warm drink. Drivers must be over 18 years and hold a full driving licence to drive a snowmobile.
Your local guide knows all the key local viewpoints and they will determine the route based on the weather conditions and the Aurora forecast. You will be out for around two and a half hours in total.
Lake Inari Snowmobile Safari and Aurora Camp
Your final day in Finland is once again full of incredible experiences as you head out onto the ice of Lake Inari for a snowmobiling adventure.
The lake is the third largest in Finland and its scale is hard to appreciate unless you explore on snowmobiles. So, following a safety briefing and full instruction, you will head out for an unforgettable safari with your guide leading the way. With two people per snowmobile, there will be the chance for you to change drivers when you break for a campfire lunch in the wilderness. Again, you must hold a full driving licence to drive a snowmobile. In total, you will be out for around 4 hours.
Back at Nangu, there will be some free time to reflect on your holiday before your final post-dinner activity gets underway.
Your guide will lead you back out to one of the Aurora Camps close to the lake for another stake-out. If conditions are favourable there can be few better places from which to watch the Northern Lights dancing overhead. With a little luck, the lights may come and bid you farewell ahead of your departure tomorrow.
All good things must come to an end and today it’s time to head home and back to what we laughingly refer to as “the real world”. Still, there’s considerable consolation in knowing that you have successfully postponed the return to daily working life and will have some unforgettable memories to see you through until spring.
Included in price
Personalise this tour
Many find the idea of driving a snowmobile slightly daunting and jump at the chance to ride as a passenger instead of taking control. However, we know from first-hand experience that you are hugely missing out if you do not seize the opportunity to drive one yourself. Therefore, we present you with a beginner’s driving lesson for those who want a little extra support and confidence before their first ride.Read more
Firstly, your guide will familiarise you with the snowmobile and its controls (there really aren’t many), providing a full safety briefing and a driving lesson. By the time this has finished, you will feel confident enough to set off, two people per snowmobile, on a guided excursion. As you grow increasingly comfortable with your machine, you can pick up the pace whilst enjoying your snow-carpeted surroundings.
The distance you cover will depend on the group, but the activity will last for around two hours in total.
If you wish to drive your own snowmobile please ask our Travel Experts for a quotation.
Please note: The driver must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid driving licence.
Duration: 2 hours
Dog sledding and reindeer day in Nellim
This day trip combines two animals which have become synonymous with this part of the world, huskies and reindeer. First, you will meet with your guide and the rest of the group and take a transfer to Nellim, which takes approximately 30 minutes.Read more about this activity
Then, you will say goodbye to half of the group as one half will begin with a dog sledding safari while the other takes a snowmobile-pulled sleigh ride to the reindeer farm. Both groups will come together for lunch at Nellim Wilderness Hotel before you set out on the activity you are yet to do.
Once you arrive at Nellim’s husky farm, you will most likely be greeted with loud and excitable barks as the dogs will be bursting with energy and impatient for a run. Your guide will give you a safety briefing and advise you on how to handle the sled before you set off. All the while the dogs’ excitement becomes more and more infectious resulting in an almost deafening canine din.
Hence, the sudden silence that occurs when the huskies begin to run comes as something of a relief and leaves you to truly appreciate your surroundings as you are pulled along the trail and through the glistening white landscape.
You will travel two people per sled, with the chance to swap with your partner so that you both experience driving the team and riding as a passenger in the sled.
On your way to the reindeer farm, your guide will take you to Nellim’s small yet beautifully ornate church. Then, the trip will continue, as you go to meet a Sámi reindeer herder for this cultural excursion.
The herder will tell you all about his/ her own culture and traditions, as well as answering any questions you might have about this intriguing lifestyle. Then, you will be shown how to feed the reindeer, which is normally done by holding the food out in the palm of your hand and waiting for them to come and enjoy their meal.
Duration: 7 hours
Explore Lake Inari by snowmobile
This excursion promises to be a thrilling experience, as you head out onto Lake Inari on your snowmobiles.
Whether you are a beginner or have driven a snowmobile before, it does not matter as a full safety briefing will be given before you set off on your guided journey. Lake Inari is the third largest lake in Finland and in winter it is the perfect playground for snowmobilers. With wide open spaces, fantastic views and very little need for any technical steering skills.Read more about this activity
You will eat lunch around a cosy open fire, with hot drinks for added warmth.
If you wish to drive your own snowmobile please ask our Travel Experts for a quotation.
Please note: The driver must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid driving licence.
Duration: 4 hours
Ice fishing trip with snowmobile-pulled sleigh ride
On this excursion, you will hop into a sleigh and your guide will pull you along behind his or her snowmobile.
Once you reach the lake and your guide has chosen an ideal spot for fishing, you will stop there and your guide will set up. After showing you how to drill a hole in the ice and use the equipment, you will wait patiently in the hope of a catch.
After fishing, you will also enjoy hot drinks and lunch around a campfire; hopefully, you will be eating fresh fish!
Duration: 4 hours
Image credit: Juho Kuva and Visit Finland
This activity will take you deep into the wilderness that surrounds Nangu. Your snowshoes will be provided, and you will strap them to your winter boots prior to setting off on the trail.Read more about this activity
Your guide will take you through the stunning winter scenery, while you appreciate the peace and quiet as the snow deadens any sound and only the crunching sound of your feet on the ground is audible. While you walk, your guide will share information and stories about the area’s nature and wildlife.
During this activity, you will stop for hot drinks and lunch around a campfire.
Duration: 4 hours
Cross-country skiing is a traditional Finnish winter sport, and a “must-try” when you are here in Finnish Lapland!
Do not worry if you have never skied before, as you will be given a full safety briefing and lesson which will include tips and techniques that will help you along. Even those experienced downhill skiers will find this a completely new experience, so the group can muddle along together until everyone finds their feet. Then, your guide will take you out on the trail, keeping to a pace and route that is suitable for the group.
Duration: 2 hours
Snowmobiling at night is a completely different experience to during the day and it always feels as if you are travelling at a much faster pace. You’re not of course but it can be so thrilling to cross Lake Inari which is shrouded in Arctic darkness.Read more about this activity
First, you will receive all of your necessary equipment and a full safety briefing. Based on knowledge of the evening’s predicted Auroral activity and the local weather forecast, your guide will then lead the way to what will hopefully be a prime Northern Lights spotting location. The dark, expanse of sky over the lake will hopefully be glistening with green and red swirls as the Northern Lights dance above you. If so, you will all turn off your engines, switch off the headlights and stop to appreciate the fantastic display.
Two people will share a snowmobile on this excursion, and distance covered will depend on the Northern Lights visibility tonight.
Please note: The driver must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid driving licence
Duration: 2.5 hours
Dates & Prices
Price Comparison Guarantee
Sun 30 Dec 2018Book
Thu 03 Jan 2019
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. Should you wish to proceed, the remaining deposit will be payable at this stage. If you decide not to travel, we will refund your initial £50pp 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.
Sun 29 Dec 2019Enquire
Thu 02 Jan 2020
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.
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.
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.