ALL OF THE ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES LISTED BELOW ARE INCLUDED IN THE HOLIDAY PRICE
- Flights: return from London to Ivalo (either direct or via Helsinki depending on departure date). Regional and non-UK departures available on request (flight routes are subject to change)
- Transfers: return airport transfers are included
- Accommodation: 7 nights' accommodation in twin/double hotel rooms. Apartment/cabin upgrades available (supplements apply)
- Meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
- The following activities and equipment are included: cross-country skiing, Aurora workshop, Northern Lights snowshoe, wilderness snowmobile safari, snowshoe trek, Aurora Camp, snowmobile safari to a reindeer farm, Aurora snowmobile safari, husky safari, minibus hunt for the Northern Lights (the order of activities is subject to change)
- Cold weather clothing for the duration of your stay
- Services of our expert local guide and representative
- Aurora alert until approximately 1 am
As you would expect from the name, our Aurora in the Wild trip is an exciting adventure in the wilderness of North-East Finland. It provides a busy mix of activities by day in combination with Aurora hunting at night.
Wilderness Hotel Nellim is a small family run hotel close to the shores of Lake Inari and just nine kilometres from the Russian border. This remote location, in combination with the almost total lack of light pollution, makes it the ideal spot for a potential Aurora viewing.
The hotel has always been ahead of the game when it comes to innovation and certainly makes the most of this when it comes to Aurora activities. Firstly, they have created several Aurora Camps in spectacular spots from which to view the Northern Lights, offering unobstructed views of the night sky. They are wonderful locations in which to sit around a campfire and wait for the sky to light up.Read more
Just a short walk from the main hotel building you will also find a fantastic selection of Aurora Bubbles and Aurora Kotas which you can upgrade to for a night during your stay. Inside you can lie back on the bed and gaze directly through the glass roof into the Arctic sky above you. We can also offer guests the chance to enjoy an Aurora sleigh ride from the hotel – a private trip in a heated sleigh with panoramic windows, allowing you to search out the Northern Lights with your guide. These are in addition to the evening activities which are scheduled during this wonderful week. Details can be found in the 'personalise' section of the holiday page.
There are many highlights in the array of activities offered on this trip. A wilderness snowmobile safari and the chance to try dog sledding are amongst the favourites with our guests. For those interested in the fascinating culture of this region or the Sámi people who have lived here for centuries, you will also spend time with a reindeer herder and gain an insight into the traditional techniques that are still utilised today.
We love Nellim for many reasons – it's huge Northern Lights potential, its welcoming staff, and its exciting variety of activities. One of the most wonderful things about it, however, is that it is the perfect antidote to a busy life and work schedule. Here you will re-discover what it is to experience true silence and you will be able to understand that there are some parts of our world which are truly unspoilt.
Image credits: Markku Inkila
Upon arrival at the airport, you will be welcomed and transferred directly to Nellim and your accommodation for the next 7 nights, the Nellim Wilderness Hotel. You will then enjoy a dinner before bed.
On one of your nights you may choose to upgrade your accommodation to a spectacular Aurora Bubble or Aurora Kota at Nellim – see the 'Personalise' section for full details.
Please note that the order of activities within your itinerary is subject to change and the agenda below should be used as a guide only. The exact order of your agenda will be confirmed upon arrival at the hotel.
Cross-country skiing, Aurora workshop and Northern Lights snowshoe safari
Following breakfast this morning you will strap on some cross-country skis and set out to explore the hotel's surroundings. Cross-country skiing is one of Scandinavia's most beloved activities and something that we find our guests keen to try out. We assume no prior experience so you will be given full instruction before heading out for an easy paced lesson. The guided activity will last around two hours in total and the skis will then be yours for the afternoon if you would like to explore independently.
Before your first foray into the Arctic darkness tonight, you will be given an Aurora presentation by an expert local guide. They will discuss with you the science and legends behind the phenomenon and what to look for when you are gazing into the sky on your snowshoe walk. They will also detail the camera settings you will need when trying to photograph the Northern Lights.
On tonight's Aurora snowshoe, the guide will lead you to a local vantage point from which you can keep an eye on the sky for a potential Aurora sighting. This is a lovely way to see the landscape in a completely different light and walking under a star-filled sky is a very special experience (weather conditions permitting). You will be out for around two and a half hours tonight.
Wilderness snowmobile safari
By now you are sure to have realised that you are in an exceptionally beautiful corner of the world with wonderful landscapes to explore. One of the most exciting ways to do this is via snowmobile as, in addition to allowing you to cover great distances quickly; they are also exceptionally good fun. Snowmobiles have been utilised in this region since the 60s and have proved to be hugely important in helping to maintain links between remote communities.
Today you will travel two people to a snowmobile and cover around 40 to 60km, traversing frozen lakes and forested fells. Providing you both carry a full driving licence and are over 18, you will have the chance to swap seats and each take a turn at driving the vehicle. You will also enjoy a campfire lunch prepared by your guide. Your snowmobiling tour will last for approximately four hours.
To give you some time to relax after your snowmobile safari there is no planned activity for tonight as you may just wish to relax by the fire and reminisce with your fellow guests about your day. However, you do have the option this evening of trying the wonderful Aurora sleighs or spending the night in an Aurora Bubble or Aurora Kota. See the 'Personalise' section for further details and price information.
Snowshoe trek and visit to Aurora Camp
Today is your opportunity to try out a very traditional way of transport again, as you put on snowshoes and head out into the forest to explore areas of deep snow around the hotel.
Compared to snowmobiling and husky sledding, snowshoeing may not seem like the most exciting of activities, but rest assured, it is a remarkably fun and memorable way to explore the wilderness. Your guide will lead you through the forest, helping you get to know the area and search for signs of wildlife. You will be out for around four hours in total and will enjoy a campfire lunch and hot drinks during your trek (weather permitting).
Tonight a visit to one of the Aurora Camps is included. Nellim has several at its disposal and they are excellent spots either on the edge of Lake Inari or in a forest clearing. All offer a warming campfire, hot drinks and spectacular views of the night sky. The Aurora Camp activity will last for around two and a half hours tonight.
Time at leisure
Today we have given you a free day to relax and take in all that you have seen so far.
For those who wish to keep the activities going the hotel will have a range of options available. Alternatively, you may wish to hire some snowshoes or cross country skis and utilise your new found skills on one of the trails close to the hotel – you must seek maps and trail conditions from the hotel prior to planning your route.
This evening, after your meal we find that many guests gather on the frozen lake, adjacent to the hotel. Here a fire can be lit and stories shared. It also happens to be an excellent Northern Lights viewpoint, should conditions be favourable. It is also possible to add one of the fantastic Northern Lights sleigh rides – this unique sleigh ride is fantastic fun and previous clients have listed it as a real highlight of their holiday. Demand for these sleighs is extremely high so we would recommend booking in advance. Please see the 'Personalise' section for more information.
Snowmobile Safari to a Reindeer farm and Aurora snowmobile safari
Today you will once again be setting off on snowmobiles as you head towards a working reindeer farm. Reindeer have been herded in this corner of the world since the Stone Age and they remain of the utmost cultural, economic and social importance to the Sámi people in the region.
Upon arrival at the farm, you will have the chance to meet the herder who will discuss his livelihood with you and answer any questions you may have about the reindeer and his daily life. There will be the chance to feed the reindeer and take lots of pictures before enjoying lunch around an open fire and snowmobiling back to Nellim. You will be out for approximately five to six hours today, driving two people per snowmobile. Drivers must be over the age of 18 and hold a full driving licence.
Following dinner this evening, you will be back on snowmobiles for a thrilling adventure into the wilds which surround Nellim as you enjoy an Aurora snowmobile safari. Your guide will use their local knowledge to choose the best trails to follow and hopefully it won't only be the headlights which are lighting your way. Your Aurora Hunt will last for around two and a half hours this evening.
Husky safari and minibus hunt for the Northern Lights
For your final day in Nellim, you will be participating in an activity which is almost universally loved by guests – dog sledding. In contrast to snowmobiling, husky sledding is an almost silent activity (once the dogs have got over their initial excitement!), with the only sound being the swishing of the sled's runners and the padding of the dogs' paws.
You will receive full instruction and tuition before enjoying a safari of around 17km. You will travel two people per sled with the chance to swap over so you can each take a turn at driving the sled.
Tonight you will head out in a minibus on your final hunt for the Northern Lights. The advantage of the minibus is that it offers additional mobility to potentially outrun any cloud cover that may be blocking an Aurora. This, in addition to the guide's excellent local knowledge, should hopefully allow your final night to be filled with Northern Lights. You will be out for approximately two and a half hours tonight.
Depart or extend your stay
Today you will bid farewell to Nellim as you are transferred to the airport for your return flight home. Alternatively, we can arrange for you to extend your stay in Lapland and spend two nights in the ski village of Saariselka or you may wish to enjoy the sights and sounds of Helsinki on your way home. Please see the 'Personalise' section for details.
Included in price
Personalise this tour
What a concept this is! These bubbles represent the absolute pinnacle in the increasingly sophisticated search for the Northern Lights.
Essentially, the Aurora Bubble brings the Arctic wilderness and the night sky into the comfort of your own bedroom. Each bubble has a heated bedroom with a large north-facing dome window, allowing you to gaze at the firmament from the comfort of your own bed!! This is Aurora hunting in style.Read more
The bubbles are located in an area of minimal light pollution but within walking distance of the hotel should you wish to return to your room during the night. We can't imagine that you will as there is a toilet which means there is no need whatsoever to leave your comfortable bubble during the night.
Of course, we can neither guarantee that the Northern Lights will appear nor can we ensure cloud-free skies because Aurora hunting will always carry an element of luck. What we do know is that the Aurora Bubbles represent a genuinely unique and memorable experience.
Please note: Prices are based on you spending the first or last night of your holiday in this unique accommodation and not keeping your original accommodation. If you would like to do this on any other night during your holiday you will need to keep your accommodation and supplements will apply.
Heated Aurora Sleigh
The wonderful Jouko and Mari at Nellim have once again come up with an innovation in Aurora hunting, ensuring that guests are in total comfort throughout. They have created a heated Aurora sleigh: a private, intimate and toasty warm experience that has been thrilling visitors to Nellim during the winter.Read more about this activity
This is the way to travel in the Arctic! Climb into your private Aurora-viewing cocoon which will be pulled behind a snowmobile driven by a local guide. The sleigh has large transparent windows to the front, back and, most importantly upwards, hence providing a fantastic view of the night sky. As they are heated, it could be -30C outside and you will be reclined in comfort hopefully gazing at the fabulous Northern Lights.
This safari lasts about two and a half hours (departing around 8 pm) and takes you onto the frozen expanses of mystical Lake Inari some 250km north of the Arctic Circle in prime Aurora hunting territory. Your English-speaking guide will take you to some of the best vantage points where you can choose to get out (or not!), take photos and walk on the ice. You will also be served warm drinks.
We cannot guarantee that the Aurora Borealis will come out to play but regardless, the Aurora Sleigh is a fantastic way to experience the Arctic in the dead of night.
Unsurprisingly the sleigh rides have seen many marriage proposals over the past months and for anyone thinking about popping the question, this is a very stylish way in which to do it – sadly we cannot guarantee the answer, but this setting should give you an excellent chance!
Private Aurora sleigh ride including dinner: please speak to our Travel Experts for a quote
A night in an Aurora Kota
The team at Nellim are world-experts when it comes to Northern Lights viewing, and frequently devise creative new ways to appreciate this natural phenomenon. The Aurora Kotas at Nellim and Muotka are well in keeping with such a tradition: combining a cabin structure with glass tepee elements, they provide a large glass roof above the sleeping area, allowing visitors to lose themselves in the magic of night-time Northern Lights displays.Read more about this activity
Each Kota contains a twin/double bed and being a bit larger than an Aurora Bubble, it has room for a third person on a sofa bed. The 18m² space has simple and inviting décor, as well as pleasant lighting which illuminates the area without disrupting aurora-watching experiences. Linking to their natural setting, the majority of the Kotas do not have a shower- even so, each includes a toilet and small sink. Two of the Kotas do have a shower and are slightly larger at 29m².
Please note: Prices are based on you spending the first or last night of your holiday in this unique accommodation and not keeping your original accommodation. If you would like to do this on any other night during your holiday you will need to keep your accommodation and supplements will apply. Prices are based on the Kotas without showers; if you would like to stay in a Kota with a shower, please speak to our Travel Experts for a full quote, as they attract a higher cost.
Helsinki city break
With our destinations being so remote, the majority of flights to Finnish Lapland are operated by Finnair and therefore involve connecting through Helsinki Airport. Many of our guests choose to extend this stop and spend some time in the Finnish capital, either at the start or end of their holiday.
We can arrange a wide variety of city centre hotel accommodation for guests to choose from and some options closer to the airport should you prefer. We know that everyone tends to be looking for something different so please contact our travel experts for their opinion on the hotels which may best suit you and your party.Read more about this activity
Located on the peninsula of the Baltic Sea, Helsinki enjoys a charming coastal location and has much to offer its guests. This thriving city has a rich culture and arts scene with many museums and galleries to enjoy alongside the exciting gastronomy.
Despite its cool urbanism and a reputation for cutting-edge design, Helsinki also retains its charm and visitors will enjoy this city's very friendly atmosphere.
In the city itself, Senate Square is the main feature, showcasing neoclassical architecture and offering easy access to the surrounding shops. With Helsinki once part of the duchy of Russia, it offers similar striking architecture, with wide streets and bold facades. For those looking for more of an insight into the city's past, we would suggest visiting the Ateneum Art Museum which houses over 20,000 pieces of art, or the Helsinki Design Museum which showcases the history of design in the country from traditional folklore to postmodernism.
A 15-minute ferry ride from the main city is the UNESCO-listed Suomenlinna Sea Fortress which was constructed in 1748. As well as being a unique monument, it is also a lovely day trip, as the island has numerous shops and parks to explore.
Helsinki's food scene has seen a recent evolution, with a growth in street food which showcases the city's multicultural population. Helsinki is famed also for its specialist dishes of seafood and Russian cuisine so there is much to sample!
Finland is famed for its coffee consumption so you can be sure of a thriving café culture here. Be sure to include an obligatory stop for a coffee and a cinnamon roll during your explorations!
Whether you add your city break onto the start or the end of your holiday, spending a night or two in Helsinki is not something that you will regret.
Please contact our Travel Experts for a full quotation. All city breaks are subject to flight availability.
Image credit: VisitFinland
Extend your stay in Saariselka
Following on from your holiday, we can arrange for you to extend your stay in Lapland and spend two nights in the ski village of Saariselka. This extension is ideal for those who want to combine their initial Arctic adventures with some downhill skiing or those who want some time to explore independently.
There are lots of things to see and do from your comfortable and well-equipped hotel in the village centre. We can arrange for you to add in additional activities, hire downhill or cross-country skiing equipment or you can simply explore at your own pace and enjoy the shops and restaurants. The choice of how you spend your time here is yours, however, our Travel Experts will help you plan the perfect extension and provide a full quotation.
Dates & Prices
We include more, no hidden costs
The single adult price is based on a single room but a shared transfer and snowmobile. If you would prefer to drive your own snowmobile please speak to our Travel Experts for the supplement.
Sun 09 Dec 2018Book
Sun 16 Dec 2018
|Adults£ 2,285||Single Adult£ 2,520|
Sun 13 Jan 2019Book
Sun 20 Jan 2019
|Adults£ 2,145||Single Adult£ 2,380|
Sun 27 Jan 2019Book
Sun 03 Feb 2019
|Adults£ 2,145||Single Adult£ 2,380|
Sun 10 Feb 2019Book
Sun 17 Feb 2019
|Adults£ 2,395||Single Adult£ 2,630|
Sun 24 Feb 2019Book
Sun 03 Mar 2019
|Adults£ 2,145||Single Adult£ 2,380|
Sun 10 Mar 2019Book
Sun 17 Mar 2019
|Adults£ 2,145||Single Adult£ 2,380|
Sun 24 Mar 2019Book
Sun 31 Mar 2019
|Adults£ 2,225||Single Adult£ 2,460|
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 in order to secure the best possible fares and flight times.
Next season's provisional dates and prices
To secure places for next season, you can make a provisional booking and fix the cost of your holiday at the provisional package price displayed online. Simply by paying a deposit, you will protect yourself from any package price increases. The departure dates and itineraries remain subject to change and we will contact you when the final dates and itineraries are confirmed. You will have 14 days to decide if you would like to go ahead. If you decide not to travel we will refund your deposit. 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 08 Dec 2019Enquire
Sun 15 Dec 2019
|Adults£ 2,445||Single Adult£ 2,695|
Sun 12 Jan 2020Enquire
Sun 19 Jan 2020
|Adults£ 2,295||Single Adult£ 2,545|
Sun 26 Jan 2020Enquire
Sun 02 Feb 2020
|Adults£ 2,295||Single Adult£ 2,545|
Sun 09 Feb 2020Enquire
Sun 16 Feb 2020
|Adults£ 2,560||Single Adult£ 2,810|
Sun 23 Feb 2020Enquire
Sun 01 Mar 2020
|Adults£ 2,295||Single Adult£ 2,545|
Sun 08 Mar 2020Enquire
Sun 15 Mar 2020
|Adults£ 2,295||Single Adult£ 2,545|
Sun 22 Mar 2020Enquire
Sun 29 Mar 2020
|Adults£ 2,350||Single Adult£ 2,600|
For our full booking terms and conditions please click here
Holiday group size (approximate)
Minimum 8 persons, maximum 24 (approximately)
Group sizes and minimum numbers
Most of our holidays require a minimum number of participants to operate. Minimum numbers are detailed on each holiday page and are always approximate. Group sizes for tailor made holidays will vary for each of the activities. For private departures you may also be joined by other guests during the activities unless you have discussed specific private activities with us.
If your selected date has not yet reached minimum numbers you will be informed at the time of booking. In the unlikely event that your chosen date has not reached the required minimum numbers nine weeks before your scheduled departure date we will contact you and discuss the various options available to you. We will always do all we can to operate a holiday and in some cases we may be able to operate the holiday by combining your itinerary with that of other guests for some activities (this may mean that the maximum group size is increased but this will be discussed in full with you).
If we are unable to operate the holiday then you will be offered the chance to transfer to an alternative holiday or date (subject to availability). If the alternative is more expensive you will be asked to pay the difference, if it is cheaper then you will be reimbursed. You will also be offered the option to cancel and receive a full refund of all monies paid.
See our booking conditions for further information.
Order of activities
The order of activities is always subject to change and you will be provided with your final itinerary upon arrival at your destination
Medical History and advice
If you or any member of your party is pregnant or has any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday or has any special requirements as a result of any medical condition or disability (including any which affect the booking process), please tell us before you confirm your booking so that we can assist you in considering the suitability of the arrangements and/or making the booking. In any event, you must give us full details in writing at the time of booking and whenever any change in the condition or disability occurs. You must also promptly advise us if you become pregnant or any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday develops after your booking has been confirmed.
See our booking conditions for further information.
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 lever 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
In almost all of our destinations you can book and pay for additional activities locally. Please note that we cannot be held responsible for any injury or loss that occurs through any activities that are booked in your destination (see our terms and conditions for further details).
Please always ensure that your safety is your primary concern when arranging any such activity.
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.
The minimum age for participation in our itinerary is 15 years old, however, for some activities and shared transfers, our guests may be joined by others and these may include those of a younger age. Any younger participants will be fully supervised by an adult and the guides will ensure that they are only able to participate if there will be no effect on the activity experience. None of the hotels we feature have a minimum age and so there may be families staying at them with younger children, especially during the holiday periods.
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.
Awesome, beautiful, peaceful yet active holiday that we just loved. Best holiday! We enjoyed all of the activities but had a fantastic day for the reindeer farm day. We spent 5/6 hours on snowmobiles going to the reindeer farm. We crossed beautiful lakes and drove through snowy forests. It was just stunning. We had an amazing time and all of our tour guides were totally fantastic and were very knowledgeable. They work so hard and we appreciated all that they did for us. We didn't see the northern lights ad this was such a shame however, it did not spoil our holiday and we loved very second.
The husky driving. Out of the ordinary, fast and the huskies are gorgeous. I would like to thank you-you all for the personal touches during our communications for the build-up to our holiday. Everything went smoothly. A huge thank you for organising my birthday cake and the bottle of wine I received as a gift from you all. My birthday was amazingly different and enjoyable. Thank you all so much.
We originally booked to see the Northern Lights but that became secondary to all the great activities. We did see the lights just not in full technicolour.... Next time... All our guides were great, friendly, helpful and worked really hard to ensure everything ran as smoothly as possible. We had a couple of extremely cold days (-35 ish) and the guides ensured we kept moving to warm up and checked on us frequently. In addition, flights with Finnair were great. Good service, on time, clean and friendly.
Difficult to decide which was the most enjoyable activity, we loved the husky safaris and reindeer day.
One of the best trips we've ever had. The guides were first-rate - friendly, knowledgable, skilled and enthusiastic.
Well, our trip was absolutely amazing and went off with no issues. It was a trip of a lifetime for my daughter and I and I would recommend The Aurora Zone to all of my friends. Delightful and we saw the lights.
The snowmobiles and husky sleigh through the forest and over the lake was outstanding. But seeing the Aurora was the icing on the trip.
My wife and I have just returned from the best holiday that we have ever been on. Lapland is amazing; Nellim was great. We were lucky enough to experience three nights of Northern Lights. Even without the Aurora, the activities were such a fantastic experience - the Aurora was a bonus. Thank you.
We enjoyed the husky sledding most, probably because we are dog-lovers, but also because it was something that was completely alien to us and it was great fun. We paid to do it again while we were there. We also really enjoyed the cross-country skiing. We loved our week in Nellim - it was the best holiday we have been on. The food and accommodation were great. We were glad that we had booked a log cabin, we needed the room for all the kit! The only think lacking in the cabin was storage space. We had to use the stairs as shelves and there was no hanging space except for two hooks on the wall. We met lovely people and made lasting friendships. The guides were brilliant; funny and knowledgeable. Dan, the rep, was very helpful, he arranged our extra husky sledding trip and helped my husband fix a broken tripod. He knew who we all were and took an interest in what we were doing but he wasn't pushy or intrusive. The whole holiday ran smoothly from start to finish and after receiving the documents from you, we knew exactly what to take with us and what to expect. Nothing was a disappointment. Thank you!
Dan, our rep, was fantastic - he was attentive without being intrusive. Really helpful, would his best to accommodate the group's requests. Snowmobile safari - guide Lamu was very knowledgeable, and funny! The setting was fantastic - couldn't fault it at all.
Returned a week ago from the best holiday of our lives! This was a special trip for our Silver Wedding Anniversary, and we spent a long time deciding where to go. Going to Nellim for the 'Aurora in the Wild' was the best decision we could have made! From the moment we arrived at Ivalo Airport we were well looked after, never pressured, but always well organised. Dan (the Rep) was brilliant, always around if you needed him, very welcoming, but never 'in your face'. The hotel staff and guides were all great, very polite, helpful, cheerful and with so much local knowledge and useful information to share. We stayed in a 'Nangu' cabin, definitely worth the upgrade, our friends were in the hotel and the room was a little small, especially with all the gear you need to keep warm!!! We were lucky enough to see the Aurora 6 nights out of 7 with an amazing display on one night which lasted all evening! Every activity was well organised and brilliant. We were lucky enough to be able to share this whole experience with some new friends we made whilst we were there, who we will be seeing again soon. If you are considering this holiday and are unsure, don't be, it is amazing and we would return tomorrow if we could!!!
Myself and my partner travelled to Finland with The Aurora Zone back in 2015, and it was the excellent customer service that drew us back to the company. We knew as soon as we returned that we'd want to go again, so we booked to go to Nellim for a slightly longer duration this time around! Although the activities planned were the same as last time, we enjoyed them every bit as the first time around. Husky dog sledding was our highlight - there's nothing quite like being pulled across a frozen lake by a team of dogs! The guides at Nellim were all very knowledgeable, and everything was very well organised. The food there is hearty, and welcome after a day of activities. The gear provided is excellent at keeping you warm. We had our own boots, but this time I took up the offer of a snow suit, and boy does that thing keep you warm! We added a private sleigh ride, and a night in a kota onto our trip. The sleigh ride was fantastic - they provided you with two small bottles of sparkling wine, and some chocolates. The cover is clear, and it is heated inside, so you can see your surroundings whilst you're being pulled across Lake Inari. Although we were not lucky enough to see the lights that night, it was an enjoyable experience. The kota was a fantastic overnight stay. Again, we were not lucky enough to have lights that night, but it was a cosy evening! One evening we had an Aurora snowshoe trip - you are taken out to a camp, a fire is built, and you enjoy hot berry juice and biscuits. Whilst we were walking to the camp, the Northern Lights started to appear in the sky. We reached the camp, and I set up the camera. Whilst we were there, the lights just kept on coming! It was an absolutely fantastic display, and at a couple of points, it started dancing and shimmering. On our arrival back from the camp, the lights were still going on, so we decided to make the short walk down to Lake Inari to get some more snaps. We stayed out for another hour and a half just to enjoy the lights, and we were rewarded! More shimmering and dancing occurred, and the sky was just full of gorgeous colours. Whilst I'm not the best photographer, I've added some photos of the lights (and of the huskies). All in all, it was another fantastic holiday from The Aurora Zone, and I would highly recommend the company to anyone. I've got no doubts that we'll be back at some point!
Unbelievably perfect vacation. The activities all turned out to be great, even if we were worried about parts beforehand - the way things were presented and the way we were kept moving made each activity special. Loved them all!! This was a dream vacation. It would still have been a dream vacation even if we had not seen the Aurora. I would recommend bringing a good camera and tripod, even if you don't think you would want to take photos of the northern lights - by the end of the first viewing, everyone was trying to get photos, even on iPhones (there is an app for that)!
We had the most memorable holiday ever, the hotel was excellent all the activities well organised. It was a 60th birthday that I will never forget and hopefully we will go back again.
The guides were really, really excellent - Lamu, Emmi, Kristin, Samson, etc. They know their stuff and they were good fun! Most enjoyable activity: Husky sledding!! The huskies were really raring to go and it was good fun driving the sled even though I fell off! No problem, though, the guide stopped the huskies, gave me some tips and had no problems after that! After husky sledding you get to spend a long time playing with the huskies and even some adorable puppies!
Overall, our holiday experience was exactly what we hoped it would be, and despite the relatively low level of solar activity while we were in Nellim, we were still able to witness the magnificent spectacle of the Aurora Borealis on all but two nights when it was cloudy. The most enjoyable activities were the dog sleigh ride and the snowmobiling, particularly the extended snowmobile trip. The dog sleigh ride was challenging at first as it took a bit of concentration to make sure that you didn't slip off the runners, and also to impose your will over the dogs who were intent on galloping away! It was minus 27 degrees Centigrade that day so it was a bracing activity but highly enjoyable, and I have some lovely photographs of my wife with icicles on her eyelashes. The snowmobiles were equally enjoyable and there was a great impression of speed when we opened them up to the maximum speed, unfortunately limited to ~45 kph. All of the local guides that we had were excellent, and Tony in particular was particularly interesting and told us lots about Finnish customs and how he spends the rest of the year when he is not working as a guide. Emmie, who took us out snowshoeing and Nordic skiing was also very entertaining, pointing out reindeer traps in the forest which were equally effective at trapping Russian soldiers during the war, from where the Finnish resistance fighters would despatch them with a POM, POM, POM from their guns! The camp fires that were lit on every trip were also very enjoyable. The food cooked over the fire was very tasty and just what we needed on a cold day, as was the ubiquitous hot berry juice that we had several times a day. Sitting around the camp fire also provided an excellent opportunity to get to know the other members of or group a little better.
A special thanks to both Toni and Anthony for their care, attention and expertise that made the activities fun and memorable. The husky safari was amazing despite temperature being minus 27C! Unique opportunity to experience something unforgettable.
I can't recommend our holiday enough it was amazing! Our room exceeded our expectations, we had our own sauna and the room was in a log cabin which smelt wonderful. Most enjoyable was the incredible Aurora on our arrival at Nellim. You can't buy that! Otherwise we loved the huskies (we crashed!) and the long snowmobiling trip best. Also the relaxed and cheerful attitude of the guides - nothing was a hassle and the pace seemed to be tailored to suit everyone. The staff and guides at Nellim were all lovely. The atmosphere is very relaxed. We wanted a holiday that was different and we got it. We also had some extremely cold weather -28 quite an experience. We usually travel independently and only booked a package because of time constraints, distance and the activities available. We were worried about being shepherded around but it was fine - it exceeded our expectations in fact.
We enjoyed it all so much that we are already planning to return. Difficult to choose one (most enjoyable activity) as all of the activities were excellent and really enjoyable. We wouldn't change a thing. All of the local guides and our rep were excellent, as were all of the hotel staff. Special thanks to Petra, Ben and Anthony.
The clothing provided was superb - fit for purpose and clean/new. We felt that safety of clients was taken into account on all of the activities. Appropriate information was given in advance and we did not feel that inappropriate risks were taken by any of the guides. Most enjoyable activity for daytime has got to be the husky safari, but I would guess that everyone says that. For night time, we were lucky enough to see the Aurora on the one clear night out of 7. We were on the Aurora car trip that night so had the best of everything. Even better was that our guide teaches photography (amongst many other skills) so he was able to help us out with the finer details of exposure and focus (and he even brought some hot berry juice down to us when we were too excited with our photography to come and get it for ourselves). The hotel staff are lovely and so friendly and the food is amazing. We read some negative comments on Trip Advisor about food before we arrived - they must've been barking mad - there is nothing to complain about. Brilliant holiday. I would definitely consider going back.
Having never been on a winter holiday previously and being in our early 60's we were extremely apprehensive - however, this holiday turned out to be one of the best we have ever had. The equipment and clothing provided were all first class, the accommodation excellent, as was the food. The activity guides were all exceptional and did all they could to make our time at Nellim a safe but adventurous trip. Searching for the Aurora is a priority in the evenings and the guides and staff do all they can to make sure that you find the best position to see them from if they appear - also helping with camera settings etc. Any slight sighting of them and the Aurora alert would come through on the phone. I must also mention the restaurant staff and reception staff who were all so friendly and, whilst it was very busy, would always be helpful and jolly. The food was also a highlight. We would not hesitate to recommend (and indeed already have) this trip and your company to anyone wishing a real winter adventure in northern Finland where the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights are very high.
My husband and I have talked about seeing the Northern Lights since first meeting 6 years ago, so it was the obvious choice when deciding on our honeymoon! We chose Nellim - Aurora in the Wild for the variety of activities on offer, the location within the Arctic Circle and the range of accommodation available. This package excelled on every count. The cabin - Nangu - was absolutely beautiful, sweetly private, and the personal sauna was a major boon in the -18C weather! This also made it easier for dashing out onto the lake at night when the Aurora Alarm went off. The hotel staff were just as fantastic - everyone spoke English to a brilliant standard and found my feeble attempts at Finnish amusing rather than insulting. The guides, in particular, were wonderful. Not only were they very knowledgeable about the areas flora, fauna and history, but they also clearly love what they do. Their unfailing enthusiasm for the beauty of Lake Inari and their reassuring patience with us uncertain (and ever so cold) tourists brought life to all of the activities on offer from snowmobiling to reindeer lassoing. The food was delicious and bountiful; all of the winter clothing and gear in excellent condition, and the staff at the hotel were incredibly helpful and welcoming. Unfortunately, we didn't have the best weather for Aurora hunting for our trip - it snowed 6 days out of 7! But to be perfectly honest, we enjoyed our surroundings so much, and the activities were so delightful, this wasn't quite the deal breaker I had imagined. That said, the one clear night we had, we had a beautiful show! From booking to the last flight from Helsinki, this was a beautifully organised and managed trip. We can't wait to go back! And we certainly wouldn't book with anybody else.
All guides were excellent, friendly, very knowledgeable about Finnish culture, custom and wildlife and managed to impart this during the activities. We were all looked after with great care despite there being a range of people for the guides to deal with. We would particularly single out Ben who was just excellent. One day my husband was not feeling well and we thought we would have to miss our trip, but Ben enabled us to go and we had a really memorable day. Husky sledding just pipped our snowmobile trip to the reindeer farm. The huskies were amazing, so well looked after, friendly and full of energy, really hard to hold back when we caught up the slow team in front of us. The day we went it was snowing making it really magical. We thoroughly enjoyed all the activities and would do them all again.
Everything was perfect. Enjoyed everything and was even better than expected. Everyone at Nellim is fantastic and so welcoming. Trips out with the owner Joukko particularly good. Felt so relaxed and yet active at the same time. Totally different experience that more than met our expectations. Ben was a fantastic Rep/Guide too.
By far the best holiday we have had; just brilliant. Smoothly operated from start to finish. Can recommend the service and friendliness of everyone involved in running this holiday. The guides with whom we had the most contact were brilliant, knowledgeable and highly engaging. Bring on the Berry Juice!
The whole process from initial ideas shared with you to the holiday itself represented excellence so there are no individual or specific issues requiring further comment. Most enjoyable: Very difficult. Whilst we had always hoped to see the Northern Lights we enjoyed all the activities we were able to undertake bearing in mind Kay's limited mobility but being lucky to see the lights on three occasions, it must be the Aurora safaris/camps. However the Husky safari was a wonderful experience. I had no idea that I would "drive" a dog sled team. Least enjoyable: We enjoyed all the activities we chose . Nothing could remotely be classed as not enjoyable. For us everything was perfection and far exceeded our expectations. Although we were prepared we did underestimate the extreme cold weather. Just a point. This holiday was a wonderful experience which we enjoyed immensely . The hotel, staff, food, activities, guides especially Ben, and all the ancillary items were first class. Lammu and Meeka were the most welcoming and charming hosts and left us with memories to cherish.
10 out of 10. Can’t fault it. Loved it all.
Most enjoyable activity: Seeing the Lights from the Aurora Camp - why is pretty obvious! Huskies and snowmobiles and reindeer sledding also great fun.
Quite frankly an amazing trip - we were blessed with three nights of Aurora sightings but even without this it was a stunning holiday. Lapland was beautiful in March and not too cold. All the activities were amazing fun and the local guides excellent and friendly. The snowmobiling and husky sledding were awesome. One of the Aurora nights was cosmic in proportion and made you realise how unimportant we are! The hotel was very comfortable and the food hearty as stated. We would highly recommend this trip and we met a lot of fun people. This holiday scores 11/10.
Loved every second (well maybe not the cross-country skiing but I am glad I tried it!). Can't find a fault with anything. All my dreams came true with the best Aurora for 10 years according to most sources. Third time lucky as I had booked and had to cancel this holiday in two previous years in sad circumstances.
Most enjoyable was snowmobiling at night, I had been nervous about snowmobiling and a bit horrified to be doing it the first time in the dark but when it came to it the dark added an air of excitement. I love being outside in the dark so all the night activities were my favourite. Least enjoyable was cross-country skiing because I was rubbish at it and think the boots didn't help being soft. Starting out on a big hill didn't help! I found the 60 kilometre snowmobiling a bit long as I have weak arms and the snowmobiles are very heavy to handle. The guides were great, especially Joonas. The kitchen did a great job of catering for our dietary needs. Best holiday ever.
Always wanted to try (husky sledding) and it was well organised and great fun. Knowledgeable and helpful guides who wanted us to get the most from the experience. Don't undersell the cozy but comfortable Lodge as it's small size enhances the personal experience. The Lodge staff seemed genuinely interested in maximising our chances of seeing the Lights and enhancing the experience when we saw them.
The Aurora Camps, partly because we saw the Aurora so much. The camps were, however, very enjoyable experiences in their own right, as they involved heading out at night in a variety of ways (including snowshoeing and snowmobiling) and then sitting around a campfire in the wilderness. The husky sledding was also great fun. It's hard to think of anything (improvements). It was a really excellent holiday. We were extremely lucky to be in Finland during a period of intense Aurora activity, so that made the holiday extra-special. Nonetheless, the hotel is excellent and all the activities are great fun in themselves, meaning that the enjoyment of the holiday isn't solely dependent on whether you see the Northern Lights. All the guides and staff were very knowledgeable and helpful, so we were very well looked after.
Just thought we'd drop you a quick email now we're back and have been able to fully digest the wonderful trip we had to Finland. Everything about the process was great - it was fantastic to secure a cabin and also get two extra nights arranged at the start of the trip, which gave us extra time to relax and explore the area around the hotel.
The week's activities were great fun, especially the husky sledding, which we both absolutely loved! So much so that we were keen to repeat the experience and the local team was very helpful in swopping our schedule about so we could fit another trip in out on the ice with the dogs.
Add to this several spectacular bits of luck. Firstly with the delightful cabin we stayed in, virtually brand new and a picture-prefect gingerbread-house look set alongside the woodland. The private sauna inside was just right for warming up after cold days or easing tired muscles.
Secondly the timing of our stay, coincidentally, with the solar eclipse and when that day dawned clear and bright we knew we'd have a great view - as it turned out whilst stood in a paddock full of reindeer milling around us. The hotel had also thoughtfully obtained some pieces of welding glass so that everyone could have a safe view of the shadow progressing over the sun.
And thirdly, the beautiful Aurora we witnessed virtually every night, including three amazing displays that will live long in our memories.
Add to this a friendly, comfortable hotel with lovely staff and guides, great company, and delicious food there really isn't much that could ever improve on the trip we had.
Friends and family have been awed by the stories we have been telling them and pictures we have shared - so much so that we've directed several to your website. It was such a special trip, thank you again.
Magnus & Helen Hird – Nellim AITW 14 March 15
Overall holiday rating: excellent. Most enjoyable (activity) : husky sledding, as it's something I’ve always dreamed of doing. Least enjoyable: cross-country skiing, as I'm just not good at skiing. Improvements: everything was perfect. Additional comments: best holiday ever!
Everything about the holiday was what we hoped for and more - I would recommend it 100%. The most enjoyable part was the dog sledging without a doubt, it was a fantastic experience!!!! The least enjoyable activity for me was the cross-country skiing, only because I was hopeless at it and when I fell down I couldn’t get up again; that was due to previous riding accident injuries, however we did have lots of fun trying!!!!! There is nothing at all I would have changed about this holiday, it was perfect.
What a brilliant holiday, thank you. I have attached some pictures for your interest. The images were taken with a film camera not digital. A Nikon 28mm 2.8 lens and a 400 ISO Kodak Portal film, for those interested in these things.
Husky dog sledging (was) an experience-of-a-lifetime - being pulled across a frozen lake, with amazing scenery by six very excitable husky dogs. Also seeing how well looked after they are back at the kennels.
This is one of the best holidays I've been on; we had a brilliant time, and were very lucky to see the Northern Lights four nights out of six. Everything ran very smoothly, the activities were great and the staff, guides and rep all very friendly and professional. The husky safari was a brilliant morning spent with these amazing animals taking in some beautiful Arctic scenery. What could be better!
Amazing holiday in what was a wonderful hotel which was so friendly it felt like being at home. Local guides were super and their knowledge and skill was wonderful. Husky sledding (was a) unique experience which was good in length and scenery. Guide was also good at giving out information, safety briefing very informative, any questions answered without a problem. All activities were enjoyable and we made the most of what was offered.
My fiancé and I have spent six nights at the Nellim Wilderness Hotel on the 12th Jan-18th Jan, I have to say this is definitely the best holiday we've ever been on. We'd enquired and paid a deposit for this holiday back in summer 2014 and had chosen the 'very active' package to Nellim. Since the very first email to Aurora Zone team, they have been very responsive, helpful and informative with all our enquires throughout this whole time. We especially thank Dawn for being so helpful and lovely during the past six months. When we first arrived at Ivalo Airport, we were greeted by a very friendly guide named Quincy and were immediately transferred to the hotel in a very comfortable car. I do highly recommend getting an upgrade to the cabin, it is just too nice to have your own fireplace and sauna, the cabin was super cosy, clean and warm. Throughout all the activities that we've done, I felt incredibly safe as all the guides were very experienced and all the activity tracks were very well planned and maintained. I have never done cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and dog sledding before but there wasn't even a sense of fear during the activities. You can ask anything as the guides were so friendly and helpful. This was definitely the hardest trip to leave as we've bonded such a great relationship with everyone at the hotel, and thank you so much Aurora Zone for organising such amazing holiday packages for us. I highly recommend the Nellim package to anyone who loves a bit of a challenge and love to have lots of fun. We will definitely go back again in the future.
One of the best holidays we have ever been on, loved every minute. Everyone was great, we loved the place. We just loved being out on the sleds with the dogs, so quiet and such fun! The natural situation of the hotel and the unspoilt environment make the holiday.
Absolutely fantastic - Nellim was beautiful and the staff were brilliant. We loved the snowmobiling but it was all fantastic. Ice fishing (and cooking the winnings) was brilliant too.
Most enjoyable activity? The husky run and sitting in the pen with the huskies afterwards. Amazing animals, and so well-trained. Least enjoyable activity? The cross-country skiing. No-one's faulty but my own and no hard feelings - I was just rubbish at it :) Comments: reading reviews before going to Nellim, the food at the hotel was down-played - things like "Don't expect a Michelin star" - but the food was genuinely excellent. Simple, healthy, tasty, hearty meals. I've stayed at 5* Hilton Resorts before and the food at the Nellim Wilderness hotel was better :)
The guides were fantastic, particularly Joonas, a most charismatic young man. I loved being outside all day in the snow and fresh-air, being active and being given an insight into the life of the people who live there permanently. Spending time with Hannu-Pekker, the reindeer herder and ice-fisherman, was just great. I loved it all including sitting around the open fires for lunch and in the evenings. Seeing the Northern Lights was a bonus.
Just a quick contact to say we had a brilliant week at Nellim last week! We saw the Aurora on three consecutive nights!!! Truly awesome!! The snow activities were fantastic! We had a lovely group of people. Ben and the guides were excellent! The hotel was perfect and the food was superb!! Just a wonderful week!!
We just wanted to thank you for an excellent trip to Nellim, from 15th-21st January. Everything worked like clockwork, and we had the added bonus of not one but two Aurora sightings. We would like to add our appreciation for your representative at the hotel, Ben. He was always available, helpful and friendly. When I felt a bit under the weather and not able to do the whole day snowmobile safari, he arranged for me and my wife to go with him on snowmobiles for a couple of hours, which was very much appreciated. This sort of flexibility is not always offered, and we would ask you to pass on our sincere thanks to Ben. Once again, thank you for a memorable trip.
Rarely on post holiday questionnaires do we rate everything as excellent, but for this holiday we did. The booking process and pre-travel information about what you would need to do and take, etc was excellent and very useful. Booking on the internet can make it very impersonal but being able to talk though any queries or discuss your chosen trip on the phone with Aurora Zone staff was very helpful.
The Wilderness Hotel was comfortable, welcoming and so fitting for its environment which is in the wilderness. The food was plentiful, very tasty and wholesome, served buffet style at appropriate times to fit in with returning from activities. Free coffee & tea available all day long. The staff were attentive and friendly at all times. Nellim itself does not have any amenities but the hotel does have a small gift shop where we were able to buy mittens and a balaclava.
Having Pete, the in-house rep, ensured everything went according to plan and your needs were met. You also felt you were not lost in with the other guests but were part of 'Aurora Zone' group. His character was just right for the variety of guests he would encounter and he was always happy to join in for a chat. The equipment provided for all the activities was excellent and in good order. The guides so friendly and informative and even though our holiday was towards the end of the season they still had plenty of enthusiasm. Often stepping out of the box to do that little bit more for you. Take plenty of clothes for layering. For the trips on the snowmobile, dog sled and to the Aurora Camp extra layers are needed especially around the face. I found mittens inside mittens the best option to stave off cold fingers.
For me it was intended to be my 'holiday-of-a-lifetime' and I was not disappointed. Considering how many activities we were fitting into six days the atmosphere at all times during our stay was very calm and relaxing. We were also lucky enough to see the Northen Lights on a number of occasions during our six night stay so that was the icing on the cake.
Peter was an outstanding rep, excellent sense of humour, very helpful and extremely knowledgeable. He is an asset to your company. We would strongly recommend this hotel, and hope it doesn't change too much in the future. The food was delicious, with adequate choice. Snowmobile activities were exciting and exhilarating, with excellent guides, especially Matti, who made the best reindeer toastie in Finland. The least enjoyable was Aurora by car, but this would have been much better if the Aurora had been visible and the sky clear (you cannot control the weather!). I do not think there is anything you could do to improve the experience we had; it rates as one of our best holidays. All the staff and guides went out of their way to ensure guests had a great time.
The holiday itself was absolutely fantastic. The staff were so helpful, nothing was too much trouble for them and they were all so friendly and knowledgeable. Having a guide who did a session on photography so that you had advice on camera settings, etc was so beneficial and helped to make sure that we all got some great shots of the Aurora. We enjoyed all the activities and also having some free time every day to spend as you pleased. The food was excellent always and choices meant that there was something for everyone. Also having hot drinks available from 7pm to 1am was great, especially when you got back late from a viewing. Our latest night out was until 2am!! To sum up - this made the top item on my bucket-list, one that I will never forget; it was all I imagined and so much more. We were lucky to see the Aurora three nights out of five, the middle night being totally mind-blowing, being outside in the forest watching the stars, a fantastic light show and sitting around a log fire. A night to remember forever. We have already passed on your details to several other people and hope that they will come to the Wilderness Hotel and enjoy the hospitality and Aurora as much as we did. THANK YOU SO MUCH.
Thank you so much we had an amazing holiday! We had a great range of activities to do during the day and then the search often by snowmobilies in the evening was fab. Everything we could possibly need was included and thank goodness for the Arctic suits! We feel exceptionally lucky to have witnessed such a display of the Northern Lights it really was spectacular and worth every penny. From our rep Peter, to the guides (Finlands answer to Lara Croft - Noora!) who really made our experience and the other hotel staff we were made to feel so welcome and nothing was too much trouble. The food was great, proper homemade meals after a day in the cold was fantastic. We cannot praise the hotel enough, I will definitely be recommending it to friends. Thank you also for making the booking process so easy.
It was an excellent mix of activities, an excellent hotel and everyone from the guides to the hotel staff genuinely seemed to want to make sure that we had the best time possible. It was worth every penny.
Ok to sum up if you want a holiday where you dont want to mix with people, enjoy good well-cooked food and a relaxed atmosphere and self-induced sleep deprevation [YOU CAN'T AURORA WATCH IN BED HA HA] then go somewhere else. I must also mention our on site rep, Peter who was always around when we needed him and was really interested in how our trips went - great bloke.
The entire holiday was beyond perfect, great organization, great accommodation. The food was excellent, the atmosphere in the hotel was excellent and the guides and people working there all seemed to have passion for their work, which made for a extra special holiday. Peter gave us a great welcome and has a great sense of humour and a positive attitude which definitely made an impression on us. I wouldn't change a thing and I am planning to return! Regards Aphrodite Gogakis
We have had the most awesome adventure and really don't think anything could have improved our holiday. We spoke to Annabel at Aurora Zone to talk about options and to book our holiday and she was fantastic. She was also very helpful and very friendly when we had a few last minute queries. On site our rep Peter was great, helpful, funny, eager to help if he could - and most importantly he was there. On so many holidays the reps greet you and then you can never find them again. The hotel was lovely and cosy, we were expecting something much more basic, the food was great and they catered to our "no fish" requirements, even on the safaris when lunch was prepared around the camp fire - and this was without us reminding the hotel about this when we got there. The hotel staff are lovely, and the guides are AWESOME - they made our holiday and the activities were just brilliant. We are still on cloud nine about the trip; we would recommend it to anyone and we would go back and do it all again in a heartbeat. THANK YOU!!!
This holiday was definitely one of the best I have ever been on. There were plenty of activities to do and the local rep - Peter was friendly and very helpful. In one week, I packed in snowshoeing, cross-country skiing (both skis and snowshoes were also available to borrow at your own leisure), snowmobiling, husky sledding, ice fishing, reindeer herding, plenty of campfire-making and cooking, learning about the local wildlife, history and customs and of course, photographing the beautiful Aurora Borealis. All of the hotel's local guides were highly-skilled, extremely knowledgeable and a pleasure to spend time with - they are very proud of their jobs and country and I can see exactly why. The local forests and the many expanses of frozen water that make up Lake Inari are very picturesque and if you are lucky, you will spot some of the native wildlife such as reindeer, goldeneyes, siberian jays, arctic grouse, foxes and red squirrels. When it came to the evening, the guides led us on a variety of trips (usually by snowmobile or a sled pulled along by one of the guides on a snowmobile) and we usually stopped at one of their 'Aurora camps' - a log cabin out in the forest at the edge of the lake and more importantly, well away from the interference of the hotel lights. We made a small fire and drank hot berry juice under the stars as we waited for the Northern Lights to show themselves and when they did... they were truly spectacular. With regard to the actual photography, the guides were all very knowledgeable and provided help with the optimum camera settings. I was very sad to be leaving when the week was up, but I will certainly be returning to Nellim in the near future to spend more time in the amazing wilderness with these wonderful people.
This has been the best holiday I have ever had. Ultimately we went to Finland to see the "Northern Lights" and weren't disappointed. The staff and the facilities at the Hotel were just amazing, nothing was too much trouble, even providing us as a group with "Berry Juice" and wood for a fire on our night off, so we could sit out and watch for the lights in comfort, and kept the bar open until late for us on our last night! We would also like to comment that Peter our rep was a "Leg-end" informative, checked daily that we were ok, and in his own inimitable way entertaining. Thank you.
Peter, the tour rep, was enthusiastic and informative. He was flexible in rearranging our Aurora Camp night as the conditions looked good on our night off. However we did not have much luck that night so the following night (now our night off) he arranged for us to use the hotel's shelter and fireplace by the lake. Noora, one of the excellent local guides, then chopped us wood for a fire and arranged for a kettle and juice to be taken down ready for us.
An amazing holiday experience. Could not fault anything, it was perfect. The Wilderness Lodge Hotel at Nellim was idealistic. Perfect setting, lovely staff, amazing guides. We looked at so many trips before booking this one, we can't believe this trip could have been beaten.
We were continually impressed by the hotel and all their staff. The guides were all so well informed and authentic. But, at the same time, everyone was so friendly and not at all patronising with us city slickers! We also felt the trainees really added to the trips with their enthusiasm. The equipment was top quality and the food was amazing and really tasty.
Hotel fantastic, all staff exceptional and very helpful. Their knowledge and pride in their environment came over very well and all spoke very good English. The food was plentiful and hearty, just what was needed. Just understand that you are 40 minutes from the nearest village and 300km from nearest town and then marvel even more at how well orgainsed this hotel and the activities are.