Luosto Hotel Aurora - Searching for the Aurora Borealis
Overview & Agenda
- Duration:7 nights
- Group Size: Minimum group size 6 and maximum 20 people (approximately)
- Suitable for: Ages 18+. Please see our terms for further information
- Flights: Return from London and Rovaniemi or Kittila (via Helsinki). Regional and non-UK departures available on request. Routings are subject to change
- Transfers: Return airport transfers
- Accommodation: 7 nights’ accommodation in standard twin/double rooms. Superior room upgrades are available (supplements apply)
- Meals: 7 breakfasts, 7 dinners
- The following activities and equipment are included in the price: husky safari, introduction to snowmobiling, leisurely snowshoe hike, visit to the Aurora Kota, reindeer safari, kota dinner, secrets of the amethyst, Northern Lights snowshoe and Aurora hunt via snowmobile-pulled sled (the order of activities is subject to change)
- Cold weather clothing is provided for the duration of your stay
- Services of our expert local guides and representative
- Aurora alert service until approximately 1am
Your holiday base is the lovely Hotel Aurora (formerly Aurora Chalet), a delightful boutique style hotel which has become one of our most sought after destinations. Here, all the rooms come with a private sauna and the restaurant is famed for its skillfully prepared local and international dishes.
Luosto itself nestles amidst the fells and forests of this stunning region of Lapland and retains its charm whilst having some great facilities within easy reach.Read more
This balanced itinerary has been created to showcase the key activities which are on offer whilst giving you plenty of time to simply relax and unwind. The activities are fairly gentle and usually last around half a day, giving you plenty of free time to enjoy your private sauna or hire snowshoes and cross-country skis to explore at leisure. There are even a few downhill ski slopes for you to enjoy if you wish to get your fix of downhill skiing or just to have a short introduction, as lessons can be booked locally. Activities such as snowmobiling, dog sledding, a reindeer safari and snowshoeing are all included, along with a visit to one of the last working amethyst mines in Europe.
Given the name of the holiday, you will also spend evenings looking for a potential Northern Lights display. This shall be done in a variety of ways throughout the trip with an Aurora hunt via snowmobile-pulled sled, an evening snowshoe excursion and dinner in a remote kota all included to aid you in your search. Your Aurora alert gives you an added bit of help in your quest.
Luosto has an exceptional Northern Lights record and, on the evenings where you have free time, your guides will be happy to tell you some of their favourite places for an Aurora stake-out.
You may also like to upgrade one evening to the spectacular 'Arctic View' rooms adjacent to the hotel. The glass rooftops provide unadulterated views of the night sky. See the 'personalise' section of the holiday page for further details.
Image credits: Tanya Wheeler & Snowgames
Day 1 Flights, arrival and introduction
Upon arrival at the airport you will be welcomed by a driver before being transferred to your accommodation in Luosto.
The village consists of two hotels, many log cabins and a selection of shops and cafés, offering guests a combination of a traditional Finnish village with easily accessible amenities. There are also seven ski slopes in the village which many guests enjoy during their stay.
If you have arrived on an afternoon flight, once you have reached Hotel Aurora, you will have the chance to settle into your room before enjoying a welcome dinner with the group. Hotel Aurora is renowned for its restaurant which serves a delightful combination of traditional and international dishes.
In some circumstances groups may be arriving on a later evening flight. Should this be the case you will have a cold supper on arrival before heading to bed.
Day 2 Husky safari
After breakfast this morning you will have a welcome meeting with your dedicated local representative who will talk you through the upcoming schedule, prior to your first activity of the week.
For many people dog sledding is a real bucket-list activity. There is something about travelling in this time-honoured fashion that provides a real connection to the landscape. The eager dogs' excitement is infectious and the noise they can create, in anticipation of the trail, is quite incredible. As soon as they start to pull, they fall silent and focus on the task in hand, allowing you to travel in peace.
This morning is your chance to try it out and see what all the fuss is about as you visit a husky farm and head out on a short husky safari.
After instruction and a safety briefing, you will take the reins on the sled with a team of four to six huskies. You will travel two people per sled with one person standing on the back controlling the brake and the other person sitting on the sled. There will be the opportunity to swap drivers.
Day 3 Introduction to snowmobiling
Your second activity is one of the most popular in Lapland – it is time to go snowmobiling.
Using snowmobiles is a hugely important part of life above the Arctic Circle, ensuring that remote communities stay in contact in the deep winter months and greatly assisting the Sámi reindeer herders with their work. For guests, this is really about getting out and about in the wilderness and experiencing something new.
We know, that for some people, snowmobiling can be a daunting prospect but we find that following the full safety briefing and instruction guests really enjoy their lesson. The guides will answer any questions that guests may have and provide assistance as needed. The groups travel at a leisurely pace so you can enjoy the experience and the scenery. You will travel two people per snowmobile with the chance to swap drivers (providing you both have a full driving licence).
If you do catch the snowmobiling bug, then additional safaris can be arranged later in the week (see 'personalise' section for details).
Tonight you may also like to consider spending the night in one of the delightful Arctic View rooms at the hotel. With their panoramic views of the night sky these rooms are an exceptional place to spend the night. Please see the 'personalise' section for details.
Day 4 Leisurely snowshoe hike and visit to the Aurora Kota
In our experience, snowshoeing is one of Lapland's most underrated activities. However, after guests experience the joy of walking on deep snow, in areas that would otherwise prove inaccessible, we receive exceptional feedback.
This morning, you will depart with your guide on a snowshoe hike which offers a peaceful and sedate way to explore the environment around you. With a little luck you may also meet some of the local wildlife.
After dinner this evening, you will set out for your first dedicated hunt for the Northern Lights, when you are transferred by car or minibus to the Aurora Kota.
Here you will be given a presentation by a local expert on the phenomenon of the Northern Lights. This will include scientific information and details on the myths and legends that the Northern Lights have inspired over the centuries. You are also in prime location for a live show, so fingers crossed the Lights will make an appearance.
Day 5 Visit to a reindeer park and kota dinner
Reindeer are synonymous with Lapland and have been of the utmost importance to Sámi people for centuries, supplying them with food, clothing and transport. The traditional knowledge and centuries-old skills are still passed down through the generations and form an intrinsic part of the Sámi culture which is prevalent in this region.
Today you will visit a reindeer farm where you can get up close with these gentle creatures and take plenty of photographs. There will also be the chance to take a short sleigh ride (approximately 30 minutes) through the snow-laden forest.
This evening's dinner is rather special. You will be led on a short walk from the hotel to a kota in the forest, where dinner will be served. Depending on the conditions, occasionally this evening will be hosted in an ice restaurant, and either venue provides a wonderful a unique dining experience.
It may be hard to pull yourself away from dinner, but don't forget to pop your head outside from time to time in case the Aurora prospects are good.
Day 6 Secrets of the amethyst and Northern Lights snowshoe
Apart from the Northern Lights, one of Luosto's other key attractions is the wonderful amethyst mine.
Firstly, guests will enjoy a presentation detailing how amethysts are formed - the timescales are just beyond comprehension....3000 million years!!!
The main mine is not open to the public but there is a section of fell that allows visitors to try mining for their own gem. Don't worry, you don't have to venture underground, but simply down some steps to a covered area of the surface mine, where you begin your dig. If you strike it lucky, and you can close your hand around the gem, you may take it with you.
This evening, you'll be strapping on the snowshoes again as you venture out with your guide on another search for the Northern Lights. Again, the pace will be gentle and hopefully, the Aurora Borealis will light your way.
Day 7 Free day and Aurora hunt via snowmobile-pulled sled
Today you can spend the day as you wish. You can relax in your sauna, explore the village, hit the downhill ski slopes or book some additional activities. Details of the activities available can be found in the ‘personalise’ section of the holiday page.
After another delicious meal, you will be enjoying another dedicated Northern Lights hunt, as you head out once more into the picturesque wilderness on a sled pulled by your guide's snowmobile. They will lead you to a nearby vantage point offering fantastic views of the sky should the Northern Lights make an appearance.
Day 8 Depart or extend your stay
Today you will bid farewell to your relaxing adventure as you head to the airport for your flights home.
We can however, arrange for you to enjoy a stop off in Helsinki on the way home should you wish. Please see the 'personalise' section for details.
Included in price
With spectacular scenery, a tremendous Northern Lights record and a huge array of activities, Luosto is an ideal destination for a holiday within The Aurora Zone.
As Luosto is a small ski resort, there are seven slopes to keep downhill enthusiasts entertained as well as a network of perfectly maintained cross-country skiing and snowshoe tracks, so there is always a way to get outdoors and enjoy the landscape if not on an arranged activity (all equipment is available for hire and is payable locally).Read more about this accommodation
There are a couple of souvenir shops available and a small supermarket where you can buy drinks and snacks. There are also two additional restaurants and a cheap and cheerful café at the small ski centre.
The Hotel Aurora is one of only two hotels here and has proved to be one of our most popular accommodation options in Finland with its boutique charm, excellent gourmet food and cosy rooms with private saunas.
On arrival at the Hotel Aurora, guests are provided with an Aurora alarm. Essentially this is a mobile phone which will receive text alerts. The alarm operates via the Geophysical Observatory in Sodankyla which sends a message to the hotel. If the conditions in Luosto are promising then the hotel will alert guests (until around 1am - please confirm this with the hotel on arrival). The system is designed to aid you in your Northern Lights hunt but as conditions can change very quickly you should not rely solely upon this and should try and keep an eye out yourselves.
There is a lovely dining area from where you can watch the chef in an open kitchen working on a lava stone grill. Local ingredients are very much to the fore, fish from the lakes, meat from the forest and are transformed into delicious dishes that any restaurant would be proud to serve.
Breakfast is a typical Scandinavian buffet and in the evening you will be served a set three course meal (special dietary requirements such as gluten free and vegetarian diets can be catered for if we are made aware of them at the time of booking).
There's a small lounge area with a log fire where you can enjoy a pre or post dinner drink.
Hotel Aurora has 11 beautifully decorated and furnished standard hotel bedrooms. A combination of dark wood and warm colours creates a tranquil and distinctly Lappish atmosphere. All rooms have their own private sauna and en-suite shower room with hairdryer. The rooms are also equipped with wireless internet, television, telephone and tea and coffee making facilities.
Hotel Aurora - Standard Room with FireplaceFrom: 65pp
For those who want a little extra from their room then you can choose to upgrade to a room with a log burning stove should you wish to relax by the fire in the evenings.
The 12 rooms are all equipped with their own private sauna and en-suite shower room with hairdryer. The rooms are also equipped with wireless internet, television, telephone and tea and coffee making facilities. Starter kits for the fires are provided along with instructions for use.
Whilst the rooms are all fully heated at Hotel Aurora, a fire can be a delight after a day and night of activities out in the Arctic wilds.
Hotel Aurora - Superior roomsFrom: 32.5pp
There are four superior rooms at Hotel Aurora, all of which are around 28m2 and offer spacious accommodation for guests.
The rooms are all equipped with saunas and en suite shower rooms. Tea and coffee making facilities are provided as well as TV and wireless internet. The primary difference in these rooms is that they offer guests more space and a sofa seating area. This sofa can also be turned into an additional sleeping area as it functions as a twin sofa bed.
There are also two superior rooms with their own fireplace (shown) which are a slightly higher in cost but provide the warming glow of the stove in the evenings.
There is also one suite available at the hotel which can sleep four people. This is subject to an additional supplement so please contact our Travel Experts for details.
Hotel Aurora - Arctic view rooms
The 10 spectacular Arctic view rooms at the hotel are a favourite with guests and many people like to spend a night in one of these glass-roofed delights. If however, you would really like to maximise your Aurora watching options and treat yourself, then you may also upgrade for the duration of your stay.
The rooms are situated a short walk from the main hotel building and all of them have excellent views of the night sky from their glass walls and rooftops.
The Arctic view rooms are en-suite with a shower room but they do not offer guests a private sauna and so this is something to consider when booking.
The rooms are all beautifully furnished and offer a high level of comfort and a great chance to view the night sky and with luck, the Northern Lights, from the comfort of your bed.
The price detailed is based on two people sharing an Arctic view room (price per person).
Personalise this tour
Glass Arctic View Rooms at Hotel AuroraFrom £195pp
Why not end your holiday in real style with a night in the stunning Glass Arctic View Rooms at Hotel Aurora. Situated close to the hotel but with views to the northern skies, these rooms have panoramic windows and partially glassed roofs meaning that they are ideal for keeping your eye out for a potential Aurora display. This is luxurious Aurora hunting at its best.Read more
Hotel Aurora's ten rooms will bring guests closer to the Finnish Winter's polar nights in total comfort – with high-quality features, fully-equipped bathrooms and great views. Dinner will be served in the hotel restaurant; breakfast the next morning is also included.
The price detailed is based on guests spending their final night in the Arctic View Rooms. You will therefore be asked to check out of your previous hotel room on the morning before your stay. If you would prefer to keep your hotel room or spend a different night in these unique rooms (or indeed if they are fully booked for your final night) supplements will apply, so please ask for a quotation. You can of course also choose to spend an additional night in Lapland to enjoy these rooms following your holiday.
For single occupancy supplements and availability please contact our travel experts who will be happy to help and give you a full quotation.
10km Husky SafariFrom: £94pp
A dog sled safari is one of the highlights of any trip to Lapland. After a short transfer you will arrive at the husky farm where you meet your eager team.Read more about this activity
The mushers will give you full instructions on how to control the sleds before you set off on the trails with your dogs leading the way. You will travel two people per sled and cover around 10km during the safari. Some hot juice or coffee will be enjoyed by a fire when you return back to the husky farm. There will also be the chance to speak with the mushers and ask any questions you may have regarding the dogs. Guides, instruction, and equipment included.
Total duration: Approximately 2 hours 15 minutes
Available: Thursday and Friday at 13.30
Day tour to RovaniemiFrom: £105pp
You will be driven to the city of Rovaniemi (around 1.5hrs away).Read more about this activity
Here you will have the chance to visit the Arktikum museum and world famous Santa Claus Village before heading back to Luosto.
Total duration: Approximately 8 hrs
Available: Friday at 9.30 from 14 January 2016
Exciting rides with snowmobiles and huskies (approx 4 hours)From: £135pp
Today you will travel by snowmobile to a husky farm offering an excellent introduction to both activities.Read more about this activity
Following full driving instructions you will travel two people per snowmobile for around 12km to reach the huskies where you will meet the dogs and set off on a truly memorable safari of around 10km (again travelling two people per sled). Warm drinks will be served around a campfire upon your return to the husky farm and by the time you arrive back in Luosto you will have travelled 25km. Guides, instruction and equipment included. Snowmobile drivers must be 18 years old and hold a valid driving licence.
Total duration: Approximately 4 hours
Available: Friday at 9am
Cross-country skiing (approx 2 hours)From: £49pp
Cross-country skiing is one of the most popular Nordic activities and this is your chance to learn the basic skills.Read more about this activity
You will be taught the fundamentals before exploring the trails around Luosto covering around three to five kilometers. Many guests then like to hire the equipment again later in their stay to explore independently – it is a very addictive sport. Guides, instruction and equipment included.
Total duration: Approximately 2 hrs
Available: Friday at 10.30
Snowmobile safari to the Amethyst MineFrom: £80pp
On this exhilarating tour you will journey to the top of Lampivaara Fell where you will find one of Europe's last remaining Amethyst Mines and one of the very best views in Lapland.Read more about this activity
After a presentation about the gems you will head down the steps to the mine area where you will get the chance to dig for your own Amethyst. You will travel two people per snowmobile and cover around 10km. Guides, instruction and equipment included. Snowmobile drivers must be 18 years old and hold a valid driving licence.
Total duration: Approximately 2 hours
Available: Friday at 13.30
Wilderness snowmobile safariFrom: £72pp
This snowmobile safari will allow you to cover some delightful ground and offers a real sense of the scale of the wilderness here.Read more about this activity
You will cross frozen marshlands, wind through forests and enjoy stretches of open terrain where the views are just spectacular. There will be a break for a warm drink en route and you will return to Luosto with a real sense of having explored the region. Throughout you will travel two people per snowmobile and there will be the chance to swap drivers. Guides, instruction and equipment included. Snowmobile drivers must be 18 years old and hold a valid driving licence.
Total duration: Approximately 2 hours
Available: Friday at 16.30
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 UNSECO 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 multi cultural 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
Dates & Prices
Tour dates and prices
Sun 06 Dec 2015Book
Sun 13 Dec 2015
|Adults£ 1,735||Single Adult£ 2,205|
Sun 17 Jan 2016Book
Sun 24 Jan 2016
|Adults£ 1,755||Single Adult£ 2,225|
Sun 07 Feb 2016Book
Sun 14 Feb 2016
|Adults£ 1,755||Single Adult£ 2,225|
Sun 14 Feb 2016Book
Sun 21 Feb 2016
|Adults£ 1,755||Single Adult£ 2,225|
Sun 28 Feb 2016Book
Sun 06 Mar 2016
|Adults£ 1,745||Single Adult£ 2,215|
Sun 13 Mar 2016Book
Sun 20 Mar 2016
|Adults£ 1,815||Single Adult£ 2,285|
Sun 27 Mar 2016Book
Sun 03 Apr 2016
|Adults£ 1,815||Single Adult£ 2,285|
For our full booking terms and conditions please click here
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.
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.
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.
Aurora alerts: During your stay you will be supplied with an Aurora alert. This is essentially a mobile phone to which the staff will send a text should the Northern Lights be sighted. The alerts generally operate until 1am 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 upon them and should also keep an eye on the sky yourself.
The minimum age for participation in our itinerary is 18 years old however, for some activities and 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 affect on the activity experience.
To drive a snowmobile you must have a full driving licence and be over 18 years old. To travel on a snowmobile (as passenger or driver) guests must also be a minimum of 140cm tall.
The holiday far exceeded our expectations. We were extemely pleased with our choice of hotel! 06 March 2015 by Anita Gorham
The holiday far exceeded our expectations. We were extemely pleased with our choice of hotel!
A really memorable and magical experience 30 January 2015 by Carol Mackintosh
Excellent activity guides and Karen and Graham were knowledgeable and helpful without being pushy. Visiting the huskies and sledging with them through the forest was a really memorable and magical experience.
Best experience I have ever had 11 February 2013 by Peter Scott
This was by far the best holiday experience I've ever had. So much achieved in so little time, it was full steam ahead from day 1. I loved it.
One of the best holidays we have ever experienced 16 January 2013 by Pamela Moore
This was one of the best holidays we have experienced. Everything that was promised was delivered, the Aurora hotel was excellent, the food, service and the general ambience was perfect.
Hotel staff were brilliant 14 January 2013 by Carol Deans
The hotel staff were brilliant - particularly how well they catered for my mum's very restricted diet. It was great that we were able to keep the snow suits, boots and mittens throughout our stay. I really loved the holiday and the way the activities were spread out. It was even more special as we did get to see the Northern Lights.
Thoroughly enjoyable holiday 21 March 2012 by David Cushing
A thoroughly enjoyable holiday which generally exceeded expectations. It wil remain in our memory as one of the best holidays we have had and we have travelled extensively.
An excellent trip 08 March 2012 by John Copley
Overall an excellent trip. A very good intro given we had never before done either a winter trip, or an organised activity trip. A good range of "taster" sessions. Locals were good at giving background and context.