ALL OF THE ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES LISTED BELOW ARE INCLUDED IN THE HOLIDAY PRICE
- Flights: indirect return flights from London Heathrow to Ivalo (via Helsinki). Regional and non-UK departures available on request (flight routes subject to change).
- Transfers: return group airport transfers
- Accommodation: 4 nights in twin/double hotel rooms
- Meals: 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners
- The following activities and equipment are included in the price: snowmobile safari and ice fishing, Aurora workshop and Aurora snowshoeing, morning with a reindeer herder, New Year’s Eve kota dinner, husky safari, visit to the Sámi Siida Museum, Aurora snowmobile safari (the order of activities is subject to change)
- Cold weather clothing is provided for the duration of your stay
- Free use of snowshoes and cross-country skis
- Services of our expert local guides
There can be few better locations for welcoming in the New Year than Menesjärvi. This is not a destination for those looking for lively nightlife but with its remote wilderness location, lakeside setting and lack of light pollution, Menesjarvi offers a wonderful sense of escapism. There is also huge potential to witness the region's own bright lights as the Aurora Borealis is a frequent guest here.
Your four nights will be spent at Hotel Korpikartano, a hotel that brims with character and offers a warm welcome to all its guests. The accommodation is simple and cosy, providing all the essentials. The staff members here are wonderful and the location is incredibly special.
As one of our active trips, this itinerary is designed to keep you busy during the day and at night. That said, you do also have some time to simply relax and tailor your four-night holiday.
Highlights of the Northern Lights trip include a snowmobile ride to go ice fishing, a morning with a traditional Sami reindeer herder and a memorable husky safari in the Arctic wilds.
Your evenings will, of course, be spent seeking out the Aurora with a snowshoe walk, Northern Lights snowmobile trip and a special New Year's Dinner in a lakeside kota all included.
We love this location because it has everything a wilderness setting should have: endless snow-covered fells and forests, the vast expanse of frozen Lake Menesjarvi and absolute silence all around. This remoteness, not only ensures that you get a fantastic sense of peace but also means that your chances of seeing the Northern Lights are excellent.
Welcoming a New Year in this unique and remarkable environment is sure to be something you will never forget.
Image credit: Timo Halonen & Ville Heimonen
Flights, Arrival and Introduction
After landing at the airport you will be met by your guide before being transferred to the remote and picturesque community of Menesjärvi. As you drive through the wilderness you begin to appreciate what a remarkable location this really is, miles from the nearest town.
Upon arrival at Hotel Korpikartano, you will have the chance to settle in before enjoying a welcome dinner with the group. A brief introduction will be given on the hotel facilities and the final order of your activities will be confirmed. You can also get kitted out with cold weather clothing which you will keep for the duration of your stay.Included Meals: Dinner
Morning with a Reindeer Herder, New Year Kota Dinner and Festivities
Reindeer herding is a hugely important part of life in Lapland and the Sámi herders play an essential cultural, economic and social role today as they have done for centuries.
Following breakfast, you will be transferred to meet a local reindeer herder who will explain his life and work.
On arrival at the reindeer farm, you will travel out via a snowmobile-pulled sleigh in search of the herd. The reindeer will start to make their way through the trees, drawn by the smell of food and you will have the chance to observe them up close and to feed them. A campfire will be lit and you will enjoy hot drinks, as well as the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the herder’s daily life before your return to the hotel. This experience is not for tourists, you simply join the herder on their daily work; a really fantastic opportunity.
After lunch this afternoon you will have access to the snowshoes, cross-country skis, kick sleds and toboggans at the hotel so you can explore independently if you wish. We have a special guided session of cross-country skiing that you can add to your holiday. Please see the ‘Personalise’ section for more information. Alternatively, many guests enjoy making use of the sauna facilities at the hotel which can be booked in hour long slots each day for private use.
This evening, you will gather with the other guests at the hotel to celebrate the start of a New Year in this amazing location. Dinner will be served in one of the hotel’s traditional kotas (wooden tepees). You can then all head onto the nearby lake to keep watch on the sky and see if the Aurora come and join in the celebrations. There are few better places we can think of to see in a New Year.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Snowmobile Safari and Ice Fishing, Aurora Workshop and Aurora Snowshoeing
After breakfast this morning, you will explore the area around the hotel on snowmobiles. Before setting off, you will receive a full safety briefing and instructions on how to drive the vehicles. The purpose of your journey is to locate the ideal ice fishing spot on one of the frozen lakes nearby.
Ice fishing is a much-enjoyed pastime in this corner of the world and if you are served fish at the hotel, it is likely to have been caught in one of these lakes.
The guides will show you how to drill through the thick sheet of ice to reach the water below and from there the fun is in the anticipation. If you are not lucky enough to catch anything, this is still a relaxing activity which provides the ideal opportunity to spend time enjoying the silence and the surroundings.
While snowmobiling, you will travel two people per machine with the opportunity to take it in turns to drive (providing you both have a full driving licence and are over the age of 18) or travel as a passenger. It is also possible to upgrade and drive one person per snowmobile. Details about this can be found in the ‘Personalise’ section.
After lunch, this afternoon has been left free for you to relax or to try some additional activities. The hotel offers free use of kick sleds, snowshoes, toboggans and cross-country skiing equipment and so you can explore independently should you wish. There are maps available at reception and you should check the trail conditions and weather before setting off. Bear in mind that it will get dark in the afternoon at this time of year, so a head torch may be required.
This evening after dinner, there will be an Aurora workshop led by one of the expert local guides. They are all talented and enthusiastic Northern Lights photographers and during the workshop, they will showcase their images and discuss some of the science behind the Aurora. They will also talk you through the camera settings required to capture a Northern Lights image before you practice outside during your first night-time excursion: Aurora snowshoeing.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Husky Safari, Sámi Siida Museum and Aurora Snowmobiling
After breakfast this morning you will take part in an exciting husky safari into the winter wilderness. After receiving full instructions, you will head out, two people per sled, with your team of eager dogs leading the way. Traversing the land in this traditional manner is a lovely experience that allows you to really enjoy the peace and tranquillity of your surroundings. We find that it is an activity which is almost universally loved by our guests.
After your husky experience, you will then travel to the nearby village of Inari. Here you will have lunch before visiting the main focal point of the village – the Sámi Siida Museum with its array of interesting exhibitions. Here you can gain an insight into the history of the region and the Sámi culture in general through the interactive displays and presentations.
Tonight, after dinner, you will be back on the snowmobiles as you set off on an Aurora hunt, using the machines to provide you with additional mobility, which can be very helpful when seeking the Northern Lights. Your guide will give you a safety briefing and full instructions on how to drive the vehicles. The pace will be gentle as your guide leads the hunt, using their local knowledge and expertise to try and track down the Northern Lights for you. Once again, you will travel two people per snowmobile; the upgrade to travel one person per vehicle can be found in the ‘Personalise’ section. Anybody wishing to drive must have a full driving licence and be over 18.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
After breakfast, your adventure comes to an end as you are taken to the airport for your flight home.Included Meals: Breakfast
Included in price
Personalise this tour
Cross-country skiing is remarkably good fun and is an efficient way to travel and explore the terrain surrounding the hotel. Gliding across a frozen lake or through a snow-laden forest helps you understand why people get addicted to this pastime. Your guide will give instructions and lead you through the forest on a short ski trip. The skis will then be yours for the remainder of the day should you wish to further enhance your skills. This is an excellent option for your first full day in Lapland.
Duration: 1 – 1.5 hrs (ski hire for the day)
Additional Aurora snowshoe session
Wandering around on snowshoes is a classic way of getting around in Lapland, taking you into some truly quiet natural spaces. Why not add another to your holiday for an extra session of therapeutic walking, looking out to see if the Aurora are dancing in the skies above?
Duration: 2 hours
Image credit: Timo Halonen
Riding one person per snowmobile
Driving a snowmobile over the open whiteness is utterly electrifying, so it is well worth upgrading to drive your own snowmobile for the whole activity, rather than going two per vehicle.
Dates & Prices
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Please note: our holiday prices are based on the lowest available airline fares. These fares can sell out quickly and, as a result, prices may increase and supplements may be applicable. We recommend booking at the earliest opportunity to secure the best possible fares and flight times.
For our full booking terms and conditions please click here
Holiday group size (approximate)
This holiday requires a minimum of 2 people to run, however, we require a minimum of 8 people for our flight allocation. Maximum 24 people (approximately). Please speak to our Travel Experts for further information.
We always try to provide an approximation of the group size you can expect to be with for the duration of each of our holidays. It may be that you are joined by others for parts of your holiday (such as transfers and particular activities) but the above number reflects those you can normally expect to be with from beginning to end. If group size is something which is particularly important to you, please speak to our Travel Experts and they can suggest the best holidays for you.
Tailor-made holiday group sizes will vary for all activities as will the group size for any additional activities you book.
Minimum numbers required for a holiday to operate
Some of our holidays require a minimum number of participants to operate (as listed in the ‘Group Size’ section). If your holiday departure has not yet reached the minimum number, you will be told at the time of booking. In the unlikely event that your chosen date is not guaranteed by nine weeks before your scheduled departure date, we will contact you to discuss the available options as per our booking conditions.
Minimum and maximum age
If a specific minimum age applies to this holiday, it can be found in the Key Facts box on the holiday Overview page.
Unless otherwise stated in the Key Facts box on the holiday Overview page, the minimum age for participation in an Aurora Zone holiday is typically 12 years old (there may be younger children in some destinations who have booked with other companies). If an adult-only environment is important to you, then please contact our Travel Experts and they will advise on the best dates and destinations for you. If you are looking for a holiday designed specifically for families then please see our sister company www.activitiesabroad.com.
The order of activities listed in this agenda is provided for guidance only, your final and detailed itinerary will be provided either with your final travel documents (which are uploaded into your online account around a week prior to departure) or upon arrival.
Medical History and Advice
We want our holidays to be accessible as they can be and will do our best to accommodate any special requests and requirements where possible. We have a wide range of holidays and destinations and so our travel experts will help find the best holiday for you.
In order to give us the best possible chance to do this, we ask that if you or any member of your party has any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday or has any special requirements, that you tell us at the time of enquiry or booking. You must also promptly advise us if any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday develops after your booking has been confirmed. You may need to provide a doctor’s note and proof of insurance in some cases as the health and safety of our clients is absolutely paramount.
In providing this information you are allowing us to work with our expert local partners to ensure that your whole party can enjoy the holiday. By letting us know in advance we can discreetly work with you to adapt any part of the holiday which may potentially be challenging. Being able to prepare for this in advance makes an incredible difference to what we can offer and minimises any impact on your party and the rest of the group.
Unfortunately, if you choose not to share this information with us in advance then it may limit some or all of the itinerary you have booked, and we cannot be held accountable for any additional costs or missed activities resulting from this.
Insurance is not included in your holiday, but it is a pre-requisite to travelling with us. You will need to ensure that you have cover for all the activities that you will be participating in during your holiday.
It is extremely important that you take out a suitable travel insurance policy at the time of booking. Plans do sometimes change, and you will need this policy should you need to cancel your holiday.
If you are struggling to find a suitable policy then details of our preferred provider, who will cover you for all the activities we offer, can be found on our website by clicking here. Please note that this policy is available to EU residents under the age of 75 only.
Booking Activities Locally
Additional activities can be booked locally in almost all our destinations. However, as per our booking conditions, we cannot be held responsible for any injury or loss incurred through participation in activities which are booked at your destination outside of our holiday itinerary (see our ‘Terms and Conditions’ for further details).
When arranging any such activity please always ensure that safety is your primary concern.
In some of our destinations, you can borrow or hire equipment for use in your free time. You do so entirely at your own risk. You must ensure that you are properly prepared, have the necessary equipment and knowledge (maps, etc) and ensure that where applicable, you follow marked routes. We recommend discussing your plans with the local teams who will be able to advise on the most suitable options for you.
Always let the reception/guide know where you are planning to go and take a torch and mobile phone (with the hotel/guide’s phone number stored). It is also a good idea to leave your contact number and the time you expect to return to the hotel should the hotel need to contact you.
The UK Foreign Office Advice
Our clients’ safety is at the centre of everything we do, and our operations team continually assesses and monitors the destinations we feature. We carry out thorough risk assessments and work closely with all of our suppliers to continually follow best practice. For up to date travel advice the UK government offers its Travel Aware website as well as the advice detailed below.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office Advice
We receive all updates from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) with regards to travel advice and we always ensure that we follow this advice in our operations. The FCO issues travel advisories for countries based on a very wide range of factors. They may provide notification about things as simple as a football match and crowds, or they may go so far as to advise against all travel to a region. We ask all our clients to refer to the relevant Travel Advice by Country for the destinations they are visiting in order to make an informed decision on the safety of the destination based on the details provided. It also provides vital information regarding entry requirements, embassy information, local laws and customs as well as specific safety and health. Guests should take responsibility for keeping themselves up to date with this advice. Please also ensure that, if you are transiting through another country, you have read the advice and meet the entry requirements for that destination too.
The FCO travel advice is applicable to British Passport Holders. Most governments will issue their own travel advice for a region and, if you are not a UK resident then you can find some helpful links below:
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/
New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Canadian Consular Affairs Bureau http://voyage.gc.ca/
The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english.html
If the FCO deems that there is an unacceptable level of risk for UK citizens then, together with the government, they may issue an advisory against all travel to a region or country. If such an advisory is published, then we will act accordingly, and this may require the cancellation, curtailment or amendment of a holiday itinerary. These decisions are made on the basis of ensuring our clients’ safety and will affect all clients on the holiday, regardless of their nationality.
If one of our local experts suggests an amendment due to a situation which develops locally then we may also take the decision to amend an itinerary appropriately.
If we have to cancel your holiday prior to departure you will be offered the option of an alternative trip (where any price difference will either be refunded to or covered by you) or a full refund of the monies paid.
If we have to curtail a holiday, then you will be refunded for any costs for the elements we have been unable to deliver, where we have been able to secure a refund from our suppliers. If we must reroute a holiday, then any basis for refund is determined on a case by case basis and dependent on whether the central holiday experience was provided or not.
Brexit information for British Passport holders
For the most up to date information on how the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your holiday please click here to view our Brexit information for British Passport holders.
Flight schedule changes and connecting transportation
On your documentation, we will confirm your flight schedule. Sometimes the flight number, routing and timings might change prior to your departure. If the change is classed as a significant change then we will contact you to discuss this. Please see our booking conditions for details.
Flight schedule changes can impact on your pre and post-holiday travel arrangements if these have been booked separately to your holiday. We strongly recommend that you do not book transport (such as trains or transfers), car parking or non-connecting flights to the departure point for your holiday until you have received your final confirmed travel times when your final travel documents are issued. We are not responsible for the effect of any schedule change on your pre or post travel arrangements. We strongly recommend that you do not purchase non-flexible or non-refundable tickets to avoid cancellation and penalty charges.
Booking your own flights - cancellation disclaimer
If you have chosen to book your own flights, then you will need to wait until we confirm to you that the holiday departure has met the minimum numbers required to run (if applicable to your chosen holiday). Once the holiday is guaranteed to run, you will be informed and you can then make your arrangements.
If transfers are included in your holiday, please ensure that any potential flights will be met by our standard transfers (speak to one of our Travel Experts for advice) otherwise private transfer supplements may be applicable. Once your flights are booked, please send us a copy of your detailed flight itinerary.
Please be aware that most tickets are non-refundable in the case of cancellation. For this reason, we strongly advise you check the rules of the ticket and check the limitations of your cancellation insurance before booking. We cannot be held liable, in the unlikely eventuality that we should be forced to cancel or amend your trip, for losses incurred relating to any flight booking you have made.
Terms and Conditions
Our full booking terms and conditions can be found on our website: https://www.theaurorazone.com/booking-conditions
Snowmobile expeditions and husky sleigh ride/drive were fantastic. But the morning with the reindeer herder and his sister was an exceptional way to start the new year. Gentle animals, in stunning scenery, with the herder's explanations providing the context. Jerome was particularly helpful and informative, and always had a smile on his face. And Catherine did her level best to ensure everyone got to the right activity on time. She was also an excellent MC at the New Year's Eve dinner.
As a family all the activities were fantastic with a shout-out for the ice fishing. For me, the dog sledding, but I have a bias towards dogs. All of the activity leaders were great but a special thanks to Jerome. Informative, laid back and very accommodating.
Seeing the Northern Lights on each night of our visit....unforgettable...New Year's Eve Party Celebrations very, very good. Husky safari.......superb. You mustn’t under-estimate the input and contributions made by Anna and Timo, all the guides, the house staff and everyone....and the reindeer herder and the husky guides...and the dogs themselves?...these very good people (and dogs) make the holiday very special.
Thank you to everyone at the above and yourselves for a fantastic service. Timo and the team there were all so lovely and helpful and run a tight ship - nothing was too much, whatever the time,they were all brilliant. We loved all the activities, the setting, the facilities, the weather... There's usually something I can find to complain about after a holiday but on this occasion I'm stumped! Totally fell in love with Finland - thank you - it was worth every penny - please pass on our thanks to all at the hotel. PS we didn't see the lights but awesome though they may be, this really didn't matter with everything else that we had to do, and it's left us with a reason to try again another time.
I was so impressed with the attention to detail regarding my wife being gluten free, even when we were out on excursions she was well catered for. The husky sledging (favourite activity), the dogs were so friendly. We enjoyed helping set up our team and loved fussing them. We will remember this trip for the rest of our lives.