All prices include: flights, transfers, accommodation, meals, guided activities and cold weather clothing; all as listed.
Situated in an untouched snowy wilderness, Menesjärvi is your guaranteed white Christmas. What’s more, this four-night break includes incredible winter activities and dedicated Aurora hunts to make this a holiday to remember.

What's included?


  • Flights: indirect return flights from London Heathrow to Ivalo (via Helsinki). 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, Christmas Aurora 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, cross-country skis, kicksleds and toboggans
  • Services of our expert local guides

Please note: The Sami 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 trial 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 Sami handicraft, books and music.

This very special version of our ever-popular four-night 'Wilderness Auroras' holiday allows you to spend your Christmas in one of the most remote regions of Finland. With its array of outstanding activities and stunning setting, Menesjärvi is the perfect location for a festive adventure.

You will stay at the Hotel Korpikartano, deep in the Lapland wilderness and far from the madding crowds that can take over some areas at this time of year.

The characterful accommodation and your delightful hosts, Anne and Timo, offer a warm welcome and a variety of festivities to ensure a wonderful Christmas. Furthermore, with its almost total lack of light pollution and unobstructed views of the night sky from the lake, Menesjärvi offers the potential to view the Northern Lights at their spectacular best.

The highlights of this festive trip include a morning with a reindeer herder, where you will gain valuable insight into one of the most important occupations in Lapland. You will also get to meet these iconic animals which are synonymous with both Christmas and the Arctic.

This Christmas Aurora holiday will also see you being pulled by a team of eager dogs across the snow-laden landscape and zipping across frozen lakes on a snowmobile.

Whilst we have described this as an active holiday there is also time available for guests to relax and enjoy some time at leisure. Additional activities can also be arranged for those who wish to continue to explore the Great Outdoors. Alternatively, you can take advantage of the snowshoe and cross-country ski equipment which is yours to borrow throughout your holiday.

Some evenings will be spent seeking out the Aurora on a Northern Lights snowmobile safari and during an Aurora snowshoe hunt. The beauty of Menesjärvi is that on many occasions the lake in front of the hotel offers some of the best views of the Northern Lights - ideal for those late-night displays when guests can be found on the lake wearing their pyjamas under their layers and outdoor thermal suits!

There will be some families staying at the hotel during this period, but this is far removed from the Santa crowds and all outdoor activities are operated for those aged 15 years or older.

We love this location for the sense of peace and space that it offers and for allowing you to gain a real insight into the lives of the people of Lapland. Menesjarvi really is in the middle of nowhere. If you are looking for something a bit different this Christmas and wish to gain an absolute sense of escapism, then look no further.

Image credits: Timo Halonen

White outline Interreg Nord

View Gallery Download Holiday Overview Download Trip Notes

Key facts

Duration: 4 nights
Pace: Active
Suitable for: Ages 16+. See our terms for further information.
Make An Enquiry

Thank you for your interest in this Aurora Zone experience.

We have found that this holiday is better tailored exactly to your requirements, so please email our Travel Experts at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact us on 01670 785 012 to discuss the various options available to you.

Our Travel Experts have been to all the destinations we feature and love to share their experiences and insight. We want to match you with your perfect trip, so if you have any questions please get in touch; we will be happy to talk through the destinations and itineraries with you.


Please view our alternative departure dates here - Menesjärvi Wilderness Auroras and Menesjärvi New Year Wilderness Auroras

  • Upon arrival in Lapland, you will be greeted and transferred to the small community of Menesjärvi. 

    You will check into your room and dinner will be served in the hotel restaurant. Afterwards, you will be given cold weather clothing that will be yours for the duration of your stay.

    You may wish to wander down to the vast frozen lake. This is the ideal vantage point to stare up at the Arctic sky and await a potential Northern Lights viewing. With any luck, the Aurora will welcome you to Lapland.

    Included Meals:  Dinner
  • Today is Christmas Eve and Finns traditionally celebrate Christmas on the 24th December so guests can expect a festive day. Following breakfast, you will get to encounter the most Christmassy of all creatures in their natural habitat as you spend the morning with a local reindeer herder.

    Upon arrival at the herder’s house, you will be taken via snowmobile-pulled sleigh to search for the herd. With the prospect of food to tempt them, they will appear through the trees and you will then have the opportunity to feed the animals and take some photos. A campfire will be lit and you will be able to enjoy hot drinks and ask any questions you may have. This is not a typical tourist excursion but a unique experience where you get to join a herder going about their daily work.

    Following lunch, you will have some free time to once again enjoy the snowshoes or cross-country skis which are available to borrow from the hotel. There is also a special session of guided cross-country skiing which can be added to your holiday – see the ‘Personalise’ section for more details. Of course, you might prefer to stay in and relax in one of the hotel saunas. You can also join other guests and take part in some festive baking. Cinnamon cookies are a Finnish favourite and they will certainly get you into the Christmas spirit.

    During the evening you will enjoy a special festive Aurora dinner, cooked on an open fire in one of the hotel’s traditional kotas (wooden tepees). Make sure to venture outside and see if you can spot any flickers of colour in the sky from the wonderful vantage point of the lake. You can also book a Northern Lights snowshoeing hunt to finish your holiday, which can be found in the ‘Personalise' section. Who knows? You might even capture a reindeer-pulled sleigh rocketing across the sky.

    Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Today, you will get to try two of the region’s most popular pastimes as you travel on snowmobiles to try your hand at ice fishing. Your guide will provide full instruction on how to drive a snowmobile and there will be a safety briefing before departure. You will travel two people per machine and there will be the chance to swap drivers after fishing (you must be over 18 and hold a full driving license to drive a snowmobile).  It is also possible to upgrade and ride one person per snowmobile for an uninterrupted driving experience – see the ‘Personalise’ section for details.

    From the hotel, you will travel along the trails and across the local lake to a spot which is ideal for ice fishing.

    You will be shown how to drill a hole through the layer of thick ice over the water before dropping in a fishing line and waiting for a bite. The fun is in the anticipation – even if you are not lucky enough to make a catch, it is still a relaxing way to spend time in stunning surroundings.

    Lunch will be served in the restaurant back at the hotel, and you’ll have the afternoon free to unwind or explore independently. The hotel offers free use of cross-country skiing and snowshoe equipment as well as kick sleds and toboggans. Maps are available from reception and you should check the trail conditions and weather before you leave. There are some stunning trails to enjoy locally.

    After dinner, you will be given an introduction to the Northern Lights with a science and photography workshop. Your host will be one of the expert local guides, who are enthusiastic and skilled photographers. They will talk you about the science behind the Aurora before advising on how best to photograph the lights.

    Following on from this introduction you will head out with your guide for a journey into the night as you search for the Aurora on snowshoes. Hopefully, a stunning display will bring the evening to a close, giving you the chance to put your new photography skills into practice. You will need to bring your own camera equipment. There are a few tripods which can be borrowed from reception.

    Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Following breakfast, at the hotel restaurant, you will take part in one of the most popular winter activities: an incredible husky safari.

    You will receive full instructions before you travel two people per sled with your own dog team for a safari lasting around two and a half hours. Traversing the landscape in this time-honoured fashion is always one of our guests' most beloved experiences. The dogs love nothing more than to pull a sled and they always make this known with their boundless enthusiasm. It is a remarkably quiet activity once the dogs are over their initial excitement, which gives you ample opportunity to appreciate the peaceful serenity of your surroundings.

    Following the husky safari, you will then take a transfer to Inari where you will visit the Sámi Siida Museum and the Northern Lapland Nature Centre. The Sámi are the indigenous people of Lapland and their culture is both fascinating and unusual. They have thrived north of the Arctic Circle for generations and the colourful museum will give you an insight into this lifestyle. There is also a Northern Lights film showcasing images of some fantastic displays witnessed in Northern Finland. Lunch will be enjoyed in Inari village and you will then be transferred back to Menesjärvi.

    After your final dinner at the hotel this evening, you will be back out on your Aurora quest, this time using snowmobiles to track down a possible display. Your guide will use their experience to lead you on the most suitable trails to the most promising viewpoints for potential sightings. Driving the snowmobiles at night is a totally different experience, with your headlights illuminating the wilderness as you search for the Northern Lights. Once again, you will travel two people per snowmobile and there will be the chance to alternate drivers (if you both have driving licences). As before, you can also upgrade to drive one person per snowmobile – see the ‘Personalise’ section for more details.

    Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • After breakfast, you will leave behind this winter wonderland and return home with a head full of wonderful Christmas memories.

    Included Meals:  Breakfast

Included in price

Hotel Korpikartano

Nights: 1-4

Hotel Korpikartano is a very special place in a breath-taking location in Finnish Lapland. Its situation could not be more idyllic, with a fantastic outlook over Lake Menesjärvi and the remote wilderness beyond. The lack of artificial light in the area ensures that if the Aurora appears, then you can enjoy amazing displays from very close to the hotel.

Hotel Korpikartano was originally a boarding school for those growing up in this remote part of the world and is, therefore, full of quirks, character and charm. The welcome provided by the dedicated team at the hotel, creates a wonderful atmosphere and their passion for the region is infectious.

The staff and guides have a huge passion for this landscape and for providing guests with a truly memorable stay.

The hotel comprises of two main buildings. The first houses the dining room and a number of bedrooms. A separate annexe building (a very short walk away) houses the majority of the guest accommodation.

It is a place with great soul and which offers guests the chance to completely switch off from the everyday and relax in a wild and beautiful environment. You are likely to leave feeling very privileged to have experienced this wonderful place. 

Hotel facilities

  • Traditional home cooking is the order of the day in the hotel’s dining room. The food can be described as 'simple, tasty and hearty' and is very much designed to fuel you up for your outdoor adventures. In many cases, the evening’s set menu will contain local ingredients such as fresh fish that one the staff has caught, berries which have been foraged, or meat purchased from the local reindeer herders. The set meals are all self-service. Breakfast is a buffet of breads, meat, cheese and fish with the addition of porridge and fruit. Lunch and evening meals start with a salad and bread, a set main and then a pudding which is often a local speciality. Please let us know at the time of booking if you have any dietary requirements so these can be accommodated.
  • You can also purchase a range of wine, beer and spirits to accompany your meal.
  • Obviously, saunas are a pre-requisite in these parts and there are two, one in each building. They can each be booked privately by guests each day in hour long slots.
  • There is an outdoor wood-burning sauna and rustic hot tub. Should you request the use of the outdoor sauna (a local charge will apply), don't forget that a dip in the lake (in autumn) or a roll in the snow (in winter) is almost obligatory (as long as you are in a good physical condition).
  • The simple lounge (near the reception) provides tea and coffee making facilities. Consider this to be the perfect spot to relax by the stove with a book but remember to keep your eyes peeled for the Northern Lights as the windows face north!
  • There is free Wi-Fi for guests to use throughout both buildings and there is a PC available at reception.
  • Books and games are also available to borrow from reception.
  • If you are travelling in the winter then the hotel offers free use of snowshoes, cross-country skis, kick sleds and toboggans so there is also something for those who love the great outdoors and want to explore independently between activities. There are marked trails across the stunning frozen lake and maps are available at reception.
  • If you want to send a memento home, then there are postcards available to purchase and some local Aurora photography is for sale. 
  • There is a lakeside Kota (wooden tepee) which is open for all guests during the evening. Here you can light a fire and warm up in between forays out onto the lake in search of the Northern Lights.

Room types

The 28 guest bedrooms vary in size and shape as you may expect from a former school. They are cosy, comfortable and decorated with locally-sourced wood. Some of the furnishings have been crafted by the owner's own hand.

All guest bedrooms have an en-suite bathroom with shower and a hairdryer. Cups and kettles are provided in each bedroom and a variety of teas and coffee is available in each building for you to take to your room.

Image credit: Timo Halonen, Matt Robinson (please note: The images depicted show the hotel during both the winter and autumn months)

Personalise this tour

Our pick

Cross-country skiing

From £66pp

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)

Other options


Additional Aurora snowshoe session

From: £58pp

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.

Traveller Reviews

The whole trip, from start to finish, exceeded our expectations 23 December 2018 by The Bould Family

Everyone was friendly, helpful and obviously cared that you were looked after. The hotel, rooms and overall location were second to none.

Fantastic holiday 05 January 2015 by The Swinyard Family

Hosts and guides were warm and helpful, activities challenging and exhilarating. Other guests really nice and mixed, making for 'house party' feel to holiday - expected Hercule Poirot to appear at any time! The husky sledging and snowmobiling were both fantastic fun - new skills that allowed us out into the silent snowy wilderness - real one-off experiences.

Others who viewed this holiday also viewed


Menesjärvi - Wilderness Auroras


Menesjärvi - Aurora Short Break


Menesjärvi - Aurora Wilderness Week

  • Specialist

    Aurora knowledge and experience

    Unique holidays, in the very best destinations

    Expert guides – exceptional local knowledge

    Advice and guidance every step of the way

  • Comprehensive

    We include more in our holidays than any other Aurora operator

    Price Comparison guarantee

    No ‘from’ prices, everything you see is included in the price

    No hidden extras

  • Independent

    Proudly Independent

    The original and still the only dedicated UK Northern Lights tour operator

    Personal, hands-on service

    Fair and sustainable work ethos

  • Trusted

    100% ATOL and ABTA protection

    Providing peace of mind


    Responsible relationships

    Over 16 years’ experience