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Price from £1,300pp
VISITING: Finland BROCHURE CODE: 20014
All prices include: flights, transfers, accommodation, meals and cold weather clothing; all as listed.
Saariselkä, located 250km above the Arctic Circle surrounded by stunning wilderness, has a fantastic Northern Lights record. At the Northern Lights Village, you can spend the entirety of your stay in innovative, glass-roofed Aurora Cabins, seeking out one of nature’s greatest shows from the comfort of your bed. Autumn in this region is quiet, vibrant and peaceful and you can choose from a range of activities, including a hike in Urho Kekkonen National Park, trying gold panning or cruising on Lake Inari.

What's included?

ALL OF THE SERVICES LISTED BELOW ARE INCLUDED IN THE HOLIDAY PRICE

  • Flights: return flights from London Heathrow to Ivalo via Helsinki (flight routes subject to change)
  • Transfers: return airport transfers*
  • Accommodation: a minimum of three nights in a glass-roofed Aurora cabin
  • Meals: half board
  • Activities: choose from our extensive range of activities (individually priced as detailed in the activity timetable)
  • Cold weather clothing for the duration of your stay

 

* Transfers are based on a scheduled group shuttle to a few nearby hotels. If you would prefer to upgrade to private taxi transfers please ask our Travel Experts for a quotation.


Saariselkä is nestled amidst the fells and forests of North Eastern Finland, high above the Arctic Circle. It is a prime location for Aurora activity and the Northern Lights Village offers the ingenious glass-roofed and cosy, Aurora Cabins, which is separated from the town by thick forest. Unlike other destinations where Aurora accommodation may only be for a single night, here, you get to spend the whole of your holiday in one of the cabins. The tailor-made aspect of the holiday ensures that you can maximise your potential for spotting the Aurora by choosing Aurora activities, such as an adventure to the prime viewpoint at Paatsjoki Bridge, which lies close to the border of Russia. In addition, we also offer a range of daytime activities which allows you to explore the autumn landscape and delve deeper into the culture of Lapland.

The autumn is a particularly special time to visit the Arctic. September is the peak of the Finnish ‘Ruska’ which is a local term referring to the changing colours of the leaves. The landscapes are bathed in vibrant shades of orange and brown, but as you approach November, you may experience the first snows of winter.

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There is an assortment of activities available which focus on exploring the autumn landscapes. The Urho Kekkonen National Park showcases the very best of the Finnish ‘Ruska’. The pine forest and isolated fells are highlighted by the colours of autumn and the park is home to an abundance of birdlife.

A day trip to Inari includes a relaxing cruise on the lake, combined with a visit to the Sámi Siida Museum which provides a fascinating insight into the indigenous Sámi culture.

A particular highlight in Saariselkä is an interesting and rewarding trip to the Tankavaara Gold Village, which is said to be the only international museum in the world displaying the past and present of gold panning and prospecting. After a tour of the museum, you can try your hand at searching for gold. Anything you discover is yours to keep, so search hard enough and you may find your fortune in Lapland.

To conclude, this tailor-made holiday is ideal for Aurora seekers who want to potentially experience delightful displays, whilst enjoying the tranquil autumn terrain. The prospect of spending the entirety of your holiday in an Aurora Cabin ensures that you are able to maximise your potential for spotting this natural phenomenon and the daytime activities offer insight into all aspects of Lapland.


Credit: Markku Inkila, Visit Finland and Aleksi Koskinen, Inari-Saariselka Tourism Ltd
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Key facts

Duration:3 or more nights
Pace:Set your own
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Included in price

Saariselkä Northern Lights Village (autumn)

Nights: 1-4

Located in North East Finland, the Northern Lights Village sits on the outskirts of the ski resort of Saariselkä. Tucked away from the town and separated from it by dense forest, the location is ideal for viewing the Northern Lights but is still within walking distance (around 500m) of the town’s amenities.

The Northern Lights Village offers accommodation in Aurora Cabins which are half-roofed with glass. The twin or double beds are situated beneath the panoramic roof and provide the chance to view the Northern Lights from your bed! It’s not often that folk prefer a sleepless night but here it’s not considered to be a huge inconvenience as it provides the chance to potentially witness Mother Nature’s greatest light show!

There are 80 cabins in total, all of which are within a 5-10 minutes’ walk of the Village’s central facilities which include the restaurant where you’ll enjoy breakfast and dinner.

Please note: The Northern Lights Village team are expanding their public areas, so guests will have access to improved reception, restaurant and equipment facilities. The work is scheduled for completion in November 2018. The Aurora accommodation is not impacted by this work but you may find the latter stages of the work still ongoing and this may limit your use of some of the communal spaces. Please contact our Customer Service team if you would like any further information on these development works.

Facilities

  • The village restaurant is an atmospheric place, inspired by traditional wooden kotas (Finnish teepees). Breakfast is a buffet of continental options and some hot dishes. Evening meals are a buffet with starters of soups and salad, a choice of local meat or fish will follow (the reindeer and white fish in this region are delicious!). Typically, a cake will be served for pudding, keeping you well-fuelled for your nocturnal Aurora hunting adventures. Dietary requirements are all well-catered for as long as we are informed at the time of booking
  • Saariselkä is around a 20-25 minute walk from the Northern Lights Village (40-50 minutes to the ski slopes) which means that all of the amenities, shops, cafés and local restaurants are within easy reach
  • For all Northern Lights activities, an expert guide will provide you with photographic tuition. If you do not have an SLR camera and tripod then they can both be rented locally. Your guide will also take pictures throughout the activities which can be purchased on your return to the village

Aurora Cabins

The Aurora Cabins have a half-glass roof and all face north. The design is based around the traditional wooden kotas (teepees) of Finland and has been specifically created for the village.

Each cabin has twin beds (which can be made into a double) and a sofa bed, suitable for an additional adult. There is a shower room (with underfloor heating) and a toilet, as well as a luggage storage area. Tea and coffee making facilities, a hairdryer and a minibar are also included.

Importantly for duvet-based Aurora hunting, a timer switch can be used to heat the glass roof should your view be obscured by the first snowfall of the oncoming winter.

Cabins are not cleaned between arrival and departure unless requested from reception. Additionally, towels can be exchanged at reception if required.

Wi-Fi is only available at the onsite restaurant.


Image credits: Markku Inkila

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Expertise and knowledge are key to witnessing the Northern Lights. We’ve been running Aurora hunting holidays longer than any company in the UK and with no lead in prices, no hidden costs and more included, we’re confident our tours will come out on top.
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Next season’s pre-sale dates and prices

To secure your holiday for next season, you can make a pre-sale booking and fix the price of your trip at the pre-sale price displayed below. Simply by paying an initial deposit of £50pp, you will protect yourself from any package price increases. The departure dates and itineraries remain preliminary and we will contact you when the final dates and itineraries are confirmed, you will then have 14 days to decide if you would like to go ahead. A further deposit payment of £350pp is due by 01 April 2019 or at the time of us confirming the trip details to you, whichever is sooner. If you decide not to travel, we will refund your full deposit payment. We reserve the right to charge supplements where there are significant changes to an itinerary or increases in flight costs. Any non-package rates remain subject to change.

Departure dates between
Mon 26 Aug 2019
to Mon 14 Oct 2019
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3 Nights£ 1,300 Extra Night£ 180
Tue 15 Oct 2019
to Tue 12 Nov 2019
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3 Nights£ 1,480 Extra Night£ 235

For our full booking terms and conditions please click here

GROUP SIZE

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.

Itinerary amendments

The order of activities is always subject to change and guests will be provided with their final itinerary upon arrival.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT

Please note that some of our holidays may incur a single supplement. Please speak to one of our Travel Experts who will provide you with a quotation.

Medical History and advice

We want our holidays to be accessible as they can be and will do our best to accommodate any special requests and requirements where possible. We have a wide range of holidays and destinations and so our travel experts will help find the best holiday for you.

In order to give us the best possible chance to do this we ask that if you or any member of your party has any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday or has any special requirements, that you tell us at the time of enquiry or booking. You must also promptly advise us if any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday develops after your booking has been confirmed. You may need to provide a doctor’s note and proof of insurance in some cases as the health and safety of our clients is absolutely paramount.

In providing this information you are allowing us to work with our expert local partners to ensure that your whole party can enjoy the holiday. By letting us know in advance we can discreetly work with you to adapt any part of the holiday which may potentially be challenging. Being able to prepare for this in advance makes an incredible difference to what we can offer and minimises any impact on your party and the rest of the group.

Unfortunately, if you choose not to share this information with us in advance then it may limit some or all of the itinerary you have booked, and we cannot be held accountable for any additional costs or missed activities resulting from this.

PREGNANCY

If you are pregnant at the time of booking your holiday or you discover you are pregnant prior to your departure, firstly – congratulations! Secondly – please tell us as soon as possible. This situation does arise, and we are able to advise you both from our own first-hand experience and from discussing this at length with our expert local partners who have experience in this area. The more notice you can give us the better, in order to suggest any adaptions to the itinerary you have booked which will reduce the risk to both mother and baby. Please contact our customer service team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

INSURANCE

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.

Reduced Mobility

If you have a reduced level of mobility, then please contact our travel experts to discuss the suitability of this holiday in relation to your requirements.

Experience and fitness

We offer a vast choice of holidays which range from 'relaxed' to 'active' so there really is something for everyone and our holidays can be filtered by how active they are. Regardless of the chosen holiday, all activities will include tuition from a beginner's level and no prior experience is assumed.

If you are unsure about the physical demands of a particular holiday please contact us and our expert team will be happy to help.

See our booking conditions for further information.

Guides and safety

It is absolutely essential when partaking in any activity that you listen very closely to, and abide by, the instructions provided.

If there is anything that you are unsure of during a safety briefing or that you would like to clarify with the guides please make this clear to them immediately before starting the activity.

Our guides' word on activities is always final and your safety is their principal concern at all times, please respect their decisions. By following their instructions, your safety and enjoyment during each activity will be greatly enhanced.

See our booking conditions for further information.

Booking activities locally

Additional activities can be booked locally in almost all our destinations. However, as per our booking conditions, we cannot be held responsible for any injury or loss incurred through participation in activities which are booked at your destination outside of our holiday itinerary (see our ‘Terms and Conditions’ for further details).

When arranging any such activity please always ensure that safety is your primary concern. In some of our destinations, you can borrow or hire equipment for use in your free time.

You do so entirely at your own risk. You must ensure that you are properly prepared, have the necessary equipment and knowledge (maps, etc) and ensure that where applicable, you follow marked routes. We recommend discussing your plans with the local teams who will be able to advise on the most suitable options for you.

Always let the reception/guide know where you are planning to go and take a torch and mobile phone (with the hotel/guide’s phone number stored). It is also a good idea to leave your contact number and the time you expect to return to the hotel should the hotel need to contact you.

Car Hire

If your trip includes car hire the named driver must have a credit card registered in their name which they can present when they collect their car along with their driving licence, as a deposit will be held on the credit card.  Please see your trip dossier for full details.

Our clients’ safety is at the centre of everything we do, and our operations team continually assesses and monitors the destinations we feature. We carry out thorough risk assessments and work closely with all of our suppliers to continually follow best practice. For up to date travel advice the UK government offers its Travel Aware website as well as the advice detailed below.

FLIGHT SCHEDULE CHANGES AND CONNECTING TRANSPORTATION

On your documentation, we will confirm your flight schedule. Sometimes the flight number, routing and timings might change prior to your departure. If the change is classed as a significant change then we will contact you to discuss this. Please see our booking conditions for details.

Flight schedule changes can impact on your pre and post-holiday travel arrangements if these have been booked separately to your holiday. We strongly recommend that you do not book transport (such as trains or transfers), car parking or non-connecting flights to the departure point for your holiday until you have received your final confirmed travel times when your final travel documents are issued. We are not responsible for the effect of any schedule change on your pre or post travel arrangements. We strongly recommend that you do not purchase non-flexible or non-refundable tickets to avoid cancellation and penalty charges.

BOOKING YOUR OWN FLIGHTS - CANCELLATION DISCLAIMER 

If you have chosen to book your own flights, then you will need to wait until we confirm to you that the holiday departure has met the minimum numbers required to run (if applicable to your chosen holiday). Once the holiday is guaranteed to run, you will be informed and you can then make your arrangements.

If transfers are included in your holiday, please ensure that any potential flights will be met by our standard transfers (speak to one of our Travel Experts for advice) otherwise private transfer supplements may be applicable. Once your flights are booked, please send us a copy of your detailed flight itinerary.

Please be aware that most tickets are non-refundable in the case of cancellation. For this reason, we strongly advise you check the rules of the ticket and check the limitations of your cancellation insurance before booking. We cannot be held liable, in the unlikely eventuality that we should be forced to cancel or amend your trip, for losses incurred relating to any flight booking you have made.

THE FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE ADVICE

We receive all updates from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) with regards to travel advice and we always ensure that we follow this advice in our operations. The FCO issues travel advisories for countries based on a very wide range of factors. They may provide notification about things as simple as a football match and crowds, or they may go so far as to advise against all travel to a region. We ask all our clients to refer to the relevant Travel Advice by Country for the destinations they are visiting in order to make an informed decision on the safety of the destination based on the details provided. It also provides vital information regarding entry requirements, embassy information, local laws and customs as well as specific safety and health. Guests should take responsibility for keeping themselves up to date with this advice. Please also ensure that, if you are transiting through another country, you have read the advice and meet the entry requirements for that destination too.

The FCO travel advice is applicable to British Passport Holders. Most governments will issue their own travel advice for a region and, if you are not a UK resident then you can find some helpful links below:

Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/                                                    New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/                                                  Canadian Consular Affairs Bureau http://voyage.gc.ca/                                                                                                      The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english.html

If the FCO deems that there is an unacceptable level of risk for UK citizens then, together with the government, they may issue an advisory against all travel to a region or country. If such an advisory is published, then we will act accordingly, and this may require the cancellation, curtailment or amendment of a holiday itinerary. These decisions are made on the basis of ensuring our clients’ safety and will affect all clients on the holiday, regardless of their nationality.

If one of our local experts suggests an amendment due to a situation which develops locally then we may also take the decision to amend an itinerary appropriately.

If we have to cancel your holiday prior to departure you will be offered the option of an alternative trip (where any price difference will either be refunded to or covered by you) or a full refund of the monies paid.

If we have to curtail a holiday, then you will be refunded for any costs for the elements we have been unable to deliver, where we have been able to secure a refund from our suppliers. If we must reroute a holiday, then any basis for refund is determined on a case by case basis and dependent on whether the central holiday experience was provided or not.

Travelling in the Autumn requires a degree of flexibility. This period is a time of change in the far North and the arrival of the first snowfall can be very unpredictable. 

Autumn activities: The daytime activities included in this holiday may be amended to accommodate the arrival of winter's first snows (an unpredictable science!). Walks may become snowshoe treks and guests may need to be flexible in their approach. This is unlikely to be the case in September but changes become more likely in October and November. Your Aurora hunting activities should be unaffected.

If cold weather clothing is required and will make your stay more comfortable then this will be included and issued to you upon arrival. If you would like to borrow any additional equipment then please just speak to one of the local guides. For more information please see the trip dossier.

Minimum age

The minimum age for participation in our itinerary is 4 years old, however, for some activities and transfers, you may be joined by other guests and this may include some of a younger age than stated. Any younger participants will be fully supervised and the guides will ensure that their participation takes place only if the activities will be unaffected.

Very few hotels have a minimum age and there may be families staying at them with younger children, especially during the holiday periods. We do have some itineraries and destinations which are guaranteed to be adult-only, so if this is important to you please speak to one of our Travel Experts.

To drive a snowmobile you must have a full driving licence and be over 18 years old.



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