ALL OF THE ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES LISTED BELOW ARE INCLUDED IN THE HOLIDAY PRICE
- Flights: return from London to Ivalo (via Helsinki depending on departure date). Regional and non-UK departures available on request (flight routes are subject to change)
- Transfers: return airport transfers
- Accommodation: 4 nights in an Aurora Cabin
- Meals: 4 breakfast, 1 lunch and 4 dinners
- Activities: Guided hike in the National Park, Aurora photography workshop, Husky farm and wheeled sleigh ride, Aurora Camp by the lake, visit to Inari*, Aurora Camp by the border or Aurora search on Fatbikes (order subject to change)
- Aurora alert service which you can set to alert you throughout the night or end at a specific time
- Services of our expert local guide
Situated high above the Arctic Circle, amongst the forest and fells of Finnish Lapland sits Saariselkä, a location renowned for its Aurora activity. It’s no surprise then, that the masterminds behind the Northern Lights Village decided to make the most of this wonderful gift from nature. This special village provides you with the brilliant opportunity to search the skies from the comfort of your bed in your Aurora Cabin.
Here at The Aurora Zone, we want to give you the best possible chance of seeing a display. So though your Northern Lights hunt can continue long into the night from your cabin, we have also included two dedicated Aurora activities to increase your chances. During both of these guided excursions, you will travel further into the wilderness and to darker skies, to search for the green ribbons of light dancing above. We have also included an Aurora photography workshop so that you can have your camera at the ready for that perfect photo, should they appear. What’s more, autumn has been scientifically proven to offer dazzling displays and allows you to tick this off your bucket list and experience the Arctic in much milder temperatures!
This time of year also opens up a breathtaking landscape during the daylight hours. Autumn baths the surrounding wilderness in colourful shades of orange, red and brown and for those travelling nearer November, you may experience the first snow of the season.Read more
Your itinerary includes a range of activities to make the most of the beautiful landscape. There is a guided hike into the Urho Kekkonen National Park with pine forests and flowing rivers where you will look for any wildlife in the area. You’ll also journey through the stunning wilderness as you try dog sledding with an autumnal difference. As the deep snow is yet to arrive, you will travel on a wheeled sled with your loyal pack of dogs out in front guiding the way.
To experience the fascinating culture, we have included a day trip to Inari, the heart of the Sámi people. Here you will visit the Sámi Siida Museum which provides a brilliant insight into the indigenous Sámi people and is also a great place to pick up some souvenirs.
This holiday gives you the opportunity to experience the wonders of the Arctic during its fabulous autumnal season. With a brilliant Northern Lights track record and plenty of opportunities to explore the wilderness all before retiring to your Aurora Cabin, this trip gives you a fantastic insight into life in Lapland.
Image Credit: Makku Inkila, Inari Saariselkä Tourism Limited, Northern Lights Village Saariselkä, Adriana Estallo Giral
Arrival and Welcome
On arrival at Ivalo Airport, you will be transferred to the Northern Lights Village where you will check into your Aurora Cabin. Get settled into your new surroundings in Finnish Lapland ahead of dinner in the restaurant tonight. You will also receive your Aurora alert to use for the duration of your trip. Be sure to keep it close when you retire to your cabin as the Northern Lights may be there to welcome you to the Arctic!Included Meals: Dinner
Guided Hike through the National Park and Aurora Photography Workshop
Today, following breakfast, you will see the wonderful natural surroundings in all their autumnal glory during a guided hike into the Urho Kekkonen National Park.
The landscape at this time of year is simply stunning and hiking through the park is one of the best ways to see the vibrant colours. The trails will take you through the wilderness, passing by crystal-clear rivers and through forests bathed in the shades of the season. You will also visit Korvatunturi Fell (known as ‘ear fell’ because of its shape) - ancient Finnish folklore suggests that this is actually the true home of Father Christmas.
During the hike, you will stop and enjoy a light lunch by an open fire, whilst your guide tells you all about life in Lapland. You will spend approximately two hours hiking and the tracks are suitable for all levels.
Back at the village, it’s time to learn everything you need to know about the Northern Lights and how you can capture the elusive display on camera. During this photography workshop with a local Aurora expert, you will learn all the tips and tricks of searching for the Northern Lights as well as the optimal camera settings so that you’re ready to take that perfect picture, should the lights appear.
Tonight, enjoy dinner in the restaurant and keep your Aurora alert close. Hopefully, you will get to put your new camera skills to good use.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Husky Farm and Wheeled Sled Ride and Aurora Camp by the Lake
After breakfast, you will get to meet some much-loved animals of Lapland during a visit to a local husky farm.
Upon arrival, you are likely to hear the dogs before you see them as their excitable barks echo through the Arctic. You will meet with local mushers who will give you a guided tour of the farm and tell you all about their lives with the dogs.
Following the tour, it’s time to gain a real insight into mushing during a 30-minute husky-pulled sleigh ride on a wheeled sled. A full safety briefing will be provided along with instructions before you set off on this wonderful adventure.
Back at the Northern Lights Village, you will have some time to relax ahead of dinner this evening. Then, as the dark skies set in, it’s time to hunt for the Aurora Borealis.
You will join a local expert guide who will transfer you via minibus to the stunning wilderness region of Lake Rahajärvi. Here, your guide will build a fire - keep warm while you enjoy hot drinks and snacks, all the while searching the sky for a potential display. If conditions are favourable, the mild autumnal temperatures mean you could see two displays at once as they dance overhead and reflect below on the lake.Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Trip to Inari and the Sámi Siida Museum and Aurora Camp on the Border
Following breakfast, you will transfer to the Sámi heartland of Inari. The Sámi are Europe’s only indigenous people and there is no better place to learn about their fascinating culture and tales of survival in the Arctic than at the Sámi Siida Museum*. Here, you will have time to admire the impressive exhibitions and explore more of the village.
You will return to the Northern Lights Village and have dinner ahead of your Aurora hunt this evening. You will meet with your local guide who will transfer you via bus to Paatsjoki Bridge, approximately an hour away on the border of Finland and Russia. This wilderness area is renowned for its Northern Lights potential and offers very minimal light pollution.
Upon arrival, you will sit around an open fire enjoying hot drinks and snacks with your local guide who will tell you all about the Aurora Borealis as you wait in hopes of a sighting. You will be out for approximately four hours tonight.
Alternatively, you could choose to hunt for the Aurora via fatbike. The wide tyres on these bikes make them perfect for travelling on the trails and can easily tackle any early signs of winter on the ground.
Meeting with your local guide, you will cycle away from the lights of the village and into darker skies to try and spot the Northern Lights. Along the way, you will stop for warm drinks before taking to the enchanting trails again which lead you through dark forests and if conditions are favourable, under the Auroras. You will be out for approximately 2 hours and the speed and complexity of the trail will be determined based on the group’s ability. You don't need to have prior mountain biking experience, but average physical condition is needed.
*Please note: The Sámi Siida Museum will sadly be closed for renovation for the 2021/2022 season so the main exhibitions are not accessible. Guests will be able to visit the gift shop and the open-air museum – an outdoor trail showcasing exhibits on the cultural heritage, architectural heritage and livelihoods of Finland’s three Sámi cultures. Guests are also welcome to visit Sajos, an architecturally beautiful building in the heart of Inari which is home to the Sámi Parliament and is the centre of Sámi culture and administration. Guided tours and an informative video are offered throughout the day and there is also a shop selling Sámi handicraft, books and music.Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Today, unfortunately, marks the end of your time in Saariselkä. Following breakfast, we will transfer you to the airport for your flight home. If you have an early flight time. We will box up breakfast for you to take with you.Included Meals: Breakfast
Included in price
Personalise this tour
Aurora camp by the lake
Local expertise and mobility are two of the key elements required for Aurora hunting success and this activity delivers on both fronts.
In the company of an expert local guide, you will travel by minibus to the shore of Lake Inari, a vast expanse of frozen water situated to the north of Saariselkä. The size of the lake means it provides an open view of the northern skies and is known locally as being an excellent spot for viewing the Northern Lights.
In a remote spot, your guide will lead you to a wilderness shelter. A fire will be lit and warm drinks and snacks will be served to ensure that you are as warm and comfortable as possible while you wait to see if the Aurora will appear.
Why not take one of the reindeer rugs, lie back on the snow, sip your hot drink and immerse yourself in the near-perfect Arctic silence?
Group numbers: 1-24 (approximately)
Availability: Monday to Sunday at 8 pm from December until March. Please note that the time may vary throughout the season.
Duration: 3 hours (approximately)
Aurora Camp near the Russian border
Our friends at the Northern Lights Village have, over the course of many years, researched the best places in the region for Aurora viewing and created Aurora Camps in their favourite spots.
Travelling by minibus you’ll head North East of Saariselkä towards the tiny village of Nellim on the shores of Lake Inari. You’ll follow a small road past the village which will eventually bring you to Finland’s border with Russia where there is definitely an air of James Bond!
You’ll continue on to the Aurora Camp, where a campfire will be made in a Lappish tepee and hot drinks and snacks will be served; hopefully the Aurora will make an appearance for you tonight. If there is time, you may also visit Paatsjoki River Bridge, a place that features in many a glorious Aurora image.
Group size: 1-24 (approximately)
Available: Monday to Sunday at 8.00 pm from December until March. Please note that the time may vary throughout the season.
Duration: 4 hours (approximately)
Visit to a husky farm and wheeled sleigh ride
Huskies are synonymous with the Arctic and this activity is particularly popular here at the Aurora Zone. Very rarely will you witness such excitement amongst dogs as when you first enter the vicinity to prepare for a sleigh ride. Their eagerness is infectious and displayed with some pretty happy (and loud) howls and barks.
A guided tour of the farm will give you an insight into the lives of the mushers and their dogs.
Following the tour, you will experience a taste of the musher’s lifestyle with a 20 to 30-minute husky pulled sleigh ride on a wheeled sled. A full safety briefing will be provided along with instructions before you set off on this thrilling trip.
Please note that the sled ride is dependent upon the weather. On warmer days (generally above 7C), the huskies are unable to run and a sleigh ride is not possible. Instead, you will spend longer visiting the husky farm and learning about the life of a dog musher.
Duration: approximately 1 hour
Availability: Monday - Sunday at 11 am
Minimum 2 people
Credit: Malcolm Turner
Gold panning at Tankavaara
Find your fortune with a trip to Tankavaara, which is said to be the only international museum in the world displaying the past and present of gold panning and prospecting. Gain insight into this fascinating trade with a tour of the museum and the impressive exhibitions, before experiencing gold panning in an authentic Lappish setting.
You will be provided with the relevant equipment and given an introduction to gold panning by an experienced guide. You will then be taken to a nearby site in order to try your hand at this unusual activity. If you are lucky enough to find any gold, you can keep it and take it home with you. Either way, you will return from this activity richer, in both knowledge and experience.
Duration: approximately 4 hours
Availability: Monday - Sunday 11 am
Minimum 2 people
Image Credit: Visit Finland and Juho Kuva
Hiking trek to Urho Kekkonen National Park
Urho Kekkonen National Park showcases the autumn terrain in its entirety. There are open wilderness areas bathed in vibrant colours, crystal clear rivers, and forests littered with autumn shades. The trails are excellent for both experienced hikers and beginners and a hike is a fantastic way in which to explore and immerse yourself in the natural surroundings.
The hike includes a visit to Korvatunturi Fell, which translates to ‘ear fell’ due to its unusual shape. Folklore suggests that the fell is the true home of Santa Claus and his secret workshop, therefore, if you see elves roaming through the forest which surrounds the picturesque fell, then don’t be alarmed.
During the hike, you will stop and enjoy a light lunch by an open fire, whilst listening to engaging, first-hand stories from your wilderness guide. Approximately 2 hours will be spent walking and the tracks are suitable for hikers of all levels.
Duration: approximately 3 hours
Availability: Monday - Sunday 1 pm
Minimum 2 people
Credit Visit Finland and Aleksi Koskinen
Day trip to Nellim
The village of Nellim is said to be the meeting place of eastern, western and northern cultures. During this trip, you’ll visit different points of interests and gain a wonderful insight into the region’s history and culture.
The journey will first take you to the northernmost border between Finland and Russia. There’s a chance to cross the unfrozen river when you walk over the Paatsjoki River Bridge which will give you better views directly into Russia.Read more about this activity
Next, a visit to the beautifully constructed log church in the village gives you a chance to see the unique works of art on display as well as a look into the history of the Skolt Sámi people.
You will enjoy lunch at either Wilderness Hotel Nellim or you will have a wilderness lunch outdoors, over an open fire.
Duration: around 6 hours (including transfers and lunch)
Available: Monday - Sunday at 10 am from December until March. Please note that the times may vary throughout the season.
Dates & Prices
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For our full booking terms and conditions please click here
Holiday group size (approximate)
Minimum 2 and maximum 16 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.
Minimum and maximum age
If a specific minimum age applies to this holiday, it can be found in the Key Facts box on the holiday Overview page.
Unless otherwise stated in the Key Facts box on the holiday Overview page, the minimum age for participation in an Aurora Zone holiday is typically 12 years old (there may be younger children in some destinations who have booked with other companies). If an adult-only environment is important to you, then please contact our Travel Experts and they will advise on the best dates and destinations for you. If you are looking for a holiday designed specifically for families then please see our sister company www.activitiesabroad.com.
The order of activities listed in this agenda is provided for guidance only, your final and detailed itinerary will be provided either with your final travel documents (which are uploaded into your online account around a week prior to departure) or upon arrival.
Medical History and Advice
We want our holidays to be accessible as they can be and will do our best to accommodate any special requests and requirements where possible. We have a wide range of holidays and destinations and so our travel experts will help find the best holiday for you.
In order to give us the best possible chance to do this, we ask that if you or any member of your party has any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday or has any special requirements, that you tell us at the time of enquiry or booking. You must also promptly advise us if any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday develops after your booking has been confirmed. You may need to provide a doctor’s note and proof of insurance in some cases as the health and safety of our clients is absolutely paramount.
In providing this information you are allowing us to work with our expert local partners to ensure that your whole party can enjoy the holiday. By letting us know in advance we can discreetly work with you to adapt any part of the holiday which may potentially be challenging. Being able to prepare for this in advance makes an incredible difference to what we can offer and minimises any impact on your party and the rest of the group.
Unfortunately, if you choose not to share this information with us in advance then it may limit some or all of the itinerary you have booked, and we cannot be held accountable for any additional costs or missed activities resulting from this.
Insurance is not included in your holiday, but it is a pre-requisite to travelling with us. You will need to ensure that you have cover for all the activities that you will be participating in during your holiday.
It is extremely important that you take out a suitable travel insurance policy at the time of booking. Plans do sometimes change, and you will need this policy should you need to cancel your holiday.
If you are struggling to find a suitable policy then details of our preferred provider, who will cover you for all the activities we offer, can be found on our website by clicking here. Please note that this policy is available to EU residents under the age of 75 only.
Booking Activities Locally
Additional activities can be booked locally in almost all our destinations. However, as per our booking conditions, we cannot be held responsible for any injury or loss incurred through participation in activities which are booked at your destination outside of our holiday itinerary (see our ‘Terms and Conditions’ for further details).
When arranging any such activity please always ensure that safety is your primary concern.
In some of our destinations, you can borrow or hire equipment for use in your free time. You do so entirely at your own risk. You must ensure that you are properly prepared, have the necessary equipment and knowledge (maps, etc) and ensure that where applicable, you follow marked routes. We recommend discussing your plans with the local teams who will be able to advise on the most suitable options for you.
Always let the reception/guide know where you are planning to go and take a torch and mobile phone (with the hotel/guide’s phone number stored). It is also a good idea to leave your contact number and the time you expect to return to the hotel should the hotel need to contact you.
The UK Foreign Office Advice
Our clients’ safety is at the centre of everything we do, and our operations team continually assesses and monitors the destinations we feature. We carry out thorough risk assessments and work closely with all of our suppliers to continually follow best practice. For up to date travel advice the UK government offers its Travel Aware website as well as the advice detailed below.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office Advice
We receive all updates from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) with regards to travel advice and we always ensure that we follow this advice in our operations. The FCO issues travel advisories for countries based on a very wide range of factors. They may provide notification about things as simple as a football match and crowds, or they may go so far as to advise against all travel to a region. We ask all our clients to refer to the relevant Travel Advice by Country for the destinations they are visiting in order to make an informed decision on the safety of the destination based on the details provided. It also provides vital information regarding entry requirements, embassy information, local laws and customs as well as specific safety and health. Guests should take responsibility for keeping themselves up to date with this advice. Please also ensure that, if you are transiting through another country, you have read the advice and meet the entry requirements for that destination too.
The FCO travel advice is applicable to British Passport Holders. Most governments will issue their own travel advice for a region and, if you are not a UK resident then you can find some helpful links below:
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/
New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade https://www.mfat.govt.nz/
Canadian Consular Affairs Bureau http://voyage.gc.ca/
The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel.html
If the FCO deems that there is an unacceptable level of risk for UK citizens then, together with the government, they may issue an advisory against all travel to a region or country. If such an advisory is published, then we will act accordingly, and this may require the cancellation, curtailment or amendment of a holiday itinerary. These decisions are made on the basis of ensuring our clients’ safety and will affect all clients on the holiday, regardless of their nationality.
If one of our local experts suggests an amendment due to a situation which develops locally then we may also take the decision to amend an itinerary appropriately.
If we have to cancel your holiday prior to departure you will be offered the option of an alternative trip (where any price difference will either be refunded to or covered by you) or a full refund of the monies paid.
If we have to curtail a holiday, then you will be refunded for any costs for the elements we have been unable to deliver, where we have been able to secure a refund from our suppliers. If we must reroute a holiday, then any basis for refund is determined on a case by case basis and dependent on whether the central holiday experience was provided or not.
Brexit information for British Passport holders
For the most up to date information on how the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your holiday please click here to view our Brexit information for British Passport holders.
Flight schedule changes and connecting transportation
On your documentation, we will confirm your flight schedule. Sometimes the flight number, routing and timings might change prior to your departure. If the change is classed as a significant change then we will contact you to discuss this. Please see our booking conditions for details.
Flight schedule changes can impact on your pre and post-holiday travel arrangements if these have been booked separately to your holiday. We strongly recommend that you do not book transport (such as trains or transfers), car parking or non-connecting flights to the departure point for your holiday until you have received your final confirmed travel times when your final travel documents are issued. We are not responsible for the effect of any schedule change on your pre or post travel arrangements. We strongly recommend that you do not purchase non-flexible or non-refundable tickets to avoid cancellation and penalty charges.
Booking your own flights - cancellation disclaimer
If you have chosen to book your own flights, then you will need to wait until we confirm to you that the holiday departure has met the minimum numbers required to run (if applicable to your chosen holiday). Once the holiday is guaranteed to run, you will be informed and you can then make your arrangements.
If transfers are included in your holiday, please ensure that any potential flights will be met by our standard transfers (speak to one of our Travel Experts for advice) otherwise private transfer supplements may be applicable. Once your flights are booked, please send us a copy of your detailed flight itinerary.
Please be aware that most tickets are non-refundable in the case of cancellation. For this reason, we strongly advise you check the rules of the ticket and check the limitations of your cancellation insurance before booking. We cannot be held liable, in the unlikely eventuality that we should be forced to cancel or amend your trip, for losses incurred relating to any flight booking you have made.
Terms and Conditions
Our full booking terms and conditions can be found on our website: https://www.theaurorazone.com/booking-conditions