ALL OF THE ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES LISTED BELOW ARE INCLUDED IN THE HOLIDAY PRICE
- Flights: are included from London to Ivalo (either direct or via Helsinki depending on departure date). Flight routes are subject to change and regional departures may be available.
- Transfers: return airport transfers
- Accommodation: 7 nights in twin/double hotel room
- Meals: full board
- Clothing: cold weather clothing for the duration of your stay
- The following activities are included in the holiday: snowshoeing, Aurora workshop, visit the Sámi Siida Museum, two Aurora camps, husky safari, Aurora snowmobile safari, cross-country skiing, Aurora hunt, visit a reindeer farm (the order of activities is subject to change)
- Fully qualified guides and instructors during activities
You’ll find that many of our holidays are situated within reach of Lake Inari, but no other destination has a location quite as close to the lake as Wilderness Hotel Inari. This newly built hotel sits proudly on the lake’s shore.
This region of North East Finland is renowned as a Northern Lights destination and is a real paradise for those who want a dedicated week of Aurora hunting and the chance to take part in all the Arctic activity highlights as well.
Wilderness Hotel Inari is the brainchild or our long-standing friends and local partners, Jouko and Mari Lappalainen who also own Nellim and Muotka which are two of our most popular destinations. They have coveted this location for years, simply because of the view and the Aurora viewing potential. Having realised their dream of securing the land they then brought their charm, imagination, dedication and expert guides in, to create an incredible new destination.Read more
When it comes to Aurora hunting there are few areas which would stack up against the Inari region. There are so few people (far more reindeer) here that there is very little light pollution and the vast lake provides unadulterated views north across the ice. We include five dedicated Aurora hunts in this holiday which include an informative workshop, two visits to perfectly located Aurora Camps, a hunt by car/minibus and an Aurora snowmobile safari. These activities when coupled with a seven-night stay provide a fabulous potential for witnessing the lights.
The wonderful thing about Inari is that, like in many of our destination, if the Aurora conditions align on a night when you are not taking part in a Northern Lights hunt, you still have an excellent chance to witness them from very close to the hotel.
We find that many guests also like to consider upgrading to one of the Aurora cabins in order to gaze at the sky from the comfort of their own bed. Please see the accommodation section for details or ask one of our experts for an upgrade quote.
During the day you’ll take to the trails for a dog sled safari with an eager team of huskies and will also try the favoured Finnish pastimes of snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. These are all exceptional ways in which to explore the landscape around you.
The village of Inari itself is not far from the hotel and is the centre of Sámi culture in Finland. We make sure that you glean an insight into this fascinating indigenous culture during your holiday. You’ll visit the Sámi Siida Museum in Inari and will also meet with a reindeer herder and their animals.
This is an unforgettable week which encompasses all of the main highlights of Lapland and provides some outstanding Northern Lights viewing opportunities.
Image credits: Inari-Saariselkä Tourism Ltd, Markku Inkila and Anthony Oberlin
Arrival and Welcome
Upon arrival at Ivalo Airport, you will be met by your transfer driver and driven to the hotel on the shores of Lake Inari around 40 minutes away.
Once you’ve settled into the hotel, dinner will be served in the restaurant which has huge windows looking out across the lake.
Your cold weather clothing will be allocated either tonight or tomorrow depending on your arrival time.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to cast an eye to the north before bed tonight, just in case the Aurora are dancing overhead.
Snowshoeing and Aurora Workshop
The final order of your activities will be confirmed to you on arrival at Inari Wilderness Hotel and so this agenda is provided as a guide to what is included, rather than forming a fixed programme.
One of the best ways to appreciate your new surroundings is on foot. You wouldn’t get very far just walking around in the deep snow as you’d quickly end up knee deep, but if you put on snowshoes life is much easier. Today’s snowshoe walk will last for around four hours (including a break for a lovely lunch around a campfire) and so there is plenty of time for you to soak up the silence of this wild environment. The pace will be leisurely so you have time to stop and admire the flora and fauna in the company of your expert guide.
This evening, you will gather for an Aurora Workshop at the hotel. This informative presentation will provide you with a greater understanding of the Northern Lights and the basics of how to capture the Aurora on camera.
Visit to Sámi Siida Museum and Aurora Camp
The Sámi Siida Museum is located in the small village of Inari, just a short drive from the accommodation. A visit to this fascinating museum provides a great insight into Sámi culture both in the past and present. The museum helps to ensure that the values and traditions of Lapland are not lost. The many displays and interactive presentations available will keep you well entertained and guests always find it a fascinating experience.
Your meals will be served at the hotel (lunch may take place in Inari depending on timing) today and you’ll need a hearty dinner ahead of your Aurora Camp excursion this evening.
Jouko and Mari (the owners of the hotel) and their guides have set up wonderful Aurora Camps all over the area. They are all situated in places where the skies are pitch black and the views to the north are unobstructed. Travelling in a sleigh pulled by your guide’s snowmobile, you will travel in comfort to the camp. A fire will keep you warm and hot drinks will be served as you patiently wait for the Northern Lights. With a little luck, they will make an appearance tonight. You will be out for around 2.5 hrs tonight.
There are few activities which are as synonymous with the Arctic as a husky safari. There is quite simply nothing that can really be compared to the sense of adventure you get from hitting the trail with an eager team of dogs pulling your sled along. It is a time-honoured way of travelling which has never lost any of its appeal.
You will typically meet your eager huskies on the ice of Lake Inari, just a short walk from the hotel. A full safety briefing will be given before you meet the teams and you’ll be shown how to handle the sleds. As the huskies will be eager to get going (you’ll hear their barks long before you see them) you’ll get straight on with the safari.
Your guide will release your anchor and away you’ll go, off onto the trails and out across the lake. Travelling two people per sled, you will have the chance to take it in turns to drive. One of you can enjoy the scenery and the other take the controls and then you can switch half way. It is such a thrilling experience and the scenery here can be spellbinding.
The timing of the activity will be confirmed on your arrival at the hotel, but lunch will be served in the restaurant, either before or after your adventure. The safari will last around 1.5 hours in total and this will be some time at the end to meet the dogs and take photos.
The remainder of your day and evening are free for you to relax and unwind. Dinner will be served at the hotel and you may want to head down to the lakeshore to keep an eye out for the Aurora before bed.
Free Day and Aurora Snowmobile Safari
Today has been left free for you to tailor your time. This is a hugely relaxing setting and there is a lot to be said for some taking a few hours just to appreciate your surroundings. If you’d rather do that in an active way then there will be optional activities available locally.
All your meals are included and will be served in the hotel’s restaurant with its panoramic windows.
Tonight the pace is upped slightly as you use the mobility provided by snowmobiles to search for the Northern Lights. This time you won’t be in a sleigh but taking control of the machine yourself as you travel the trails with your expert guide leading the way.
After a full safety briefing and a lesson on how to handle the snowmobile, you will set off in pairs. You must be over 18 and hold a full driving license in order to take the controls.
The aim is to outrun any localised cloud cover tonight and your guide will use the latest weather and Aurora forecasts to try and hunt down the best potential viewpoints. Warm drinks will fortify you as you enjoy the crisp night air. Hopefully, your headlights won’t be the only lights visible this evening.
Cross-country Skiing and Aurora Hunt
Cross-country skiing is one of those activities which Finns start to do as toddlers. Most of us aren’t quite that lucky, but as this is such a popular pastime in Finland it would be rude not to see what all of the fuss is about. You need no prior experience of any kind of skiing to take part, as your guides will provide all the necessary tuition. Once everyone has got the hang of it, your group will head out for a loop on one of the trails close to the hotel (they are all around this region). In total this activity will last approximately two hours.
Now, if the lights have so far proven elusive, tonight could provide an excellent opportunity for you to see them. Travelling either by car or by minibus, your guide will drive you on a route specifically chosen to match the night’s Aurora and weather forecasts.
The beauty of being mobile is that you can cover greater distances and therefore have a better chance of being able to find clear skies. If the conditions are good close to the hotel you’ll set up in one of the Aurora Camps nearby. If there is cloud cover, you’ll head further afield and will hopefully outrun it. All in all, you will be out for around 2.5 hours.
Reindeer Farm Visit and Aurora Camp
Today’s activity allows you to get an idea of what life is like for the traditional reindeer herders of Lapland and their animals. You’ll visit a local reindeer farm where the peaceful animals will be the star attraction. The herder will provide you with details about their year and the life and importance of a reindeer to the local people and economy. The experience will last for around 2.5 hours.
Back at the Wilderness Hotel this evening you will enjoy your final dinner in the restaurant before your last Aurora hunting experience.
Tonight your guide will take you back out to one of the Northern Lights camps. It is the ideal spot in which to gather with other guests and contemplate all of the experiences you’ve had over the week, as you await a sighting of the lights. With a little luck, the Aurora will appear above you to bid you farewell.
Today it is sadly time to wave goodbye to Inari and the Arctic. You will be transferred back to the airport in time for your return flights home.
If you have an early departure this morning a boxed breakfast will be provided for your journey.
Included in price
Dates & Prices
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Please note: our holiday prices are based on the lowest available airline fares. These fares can sell out quickly and, as a result, prices may increase and supplements may be applicable. We recommend booking at the earliest opportunity to secure the best possible fares and flight times.
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. Should you wish to proceed, the remaining deposit will be payable at this stage. If you decide not to travel, we will refund your initial £50pp 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.
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For our full booking terms and conditions please click here
Holiday group size (approximate)
Minimum 2 people, maximum 24 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.
The order of activities is always subject to change and guests will be provided with their final itinerary upon arrival.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The minimum age for participation in our itinerary is 12 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.
A thoroughly magical trip that delivered everything we could have wished for. The activities on their own were excellent but add in loads of aurora time and we were truly spoilt. The hotel was great, with amazingly lovely staff and fantastic food. Your info, prior is absolutely brilliant, as is your choice of location. We have raved about the trip during and since and recommended you to everyone. Thank you!
Fantastic holiday, full of new experiences, very friendly staff and fantastic hotel. the sear features for holidays make it easy to select the activities you want to do
Hotel and facilities were excellent. Staff very friendly. Really appreciated the warm gear as extremely cold on the night activities. Loved the husky sledding. Great experience. Interesting to learn about the dogs and to see the puppies after sledding on the frozen lake. Had a fantastic holiday. Lucky enough to see the Northern lights on 2 consecutive nights at the hotel. Absolutely brilliant. The holiday is active pace but there is still plenty of time to relax at the hotel/ have a sauna/ walk into the village between all the planned activities.
Hotel staff were all so welcoming and helpful, as were the local guides. Absolutely fantastic holiday, 5 star.
Dog Sledding across the lake, peaceful and great fun