ALL OF THE ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES LISTED BELOW ARE INCLUDED IN THE HOLIDAY PRICE
- Flights: direct return flights are included from London Gatwick to Ivalo. Routes are subject to change.
- Transfers: return airport transfers
- Accommodation: 7 nights in twin/double hotel room
- Meals: full board
- 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)
- Clothing: cold weather clothing for the duration of your stay
- Aurora alert until approximately 1 am
- Fully qualified guides and instructors during activities
When it comes to locations, Wilderness Hotel Inari really is set in one of the most spectacular. On the edge of a vast frozen lake, the views can really take your breath away.
We are thrilled to offer our guests the chance to spend seven nights in this winter wonderland over Christmas; hunting the Aurora at night and enjoying Arctic experiences by day.
Renowned as an amazing Northern Lights destination, this is heaven for those who want to combine Northern Lights potential and adventures. The lights can often be seen from directly in front of the hotel and the innovative Aurora alert system in place here is designed to aid you in your search, even when you are not out on an evening activity.
The dedicated hunts will all take place in the company of expert local guides who will use their knowledge to help ensure you have the best possible opportunity to see the Northern Lights. On two nights you will travel to dedicated camps in prime viewpoints in the hope of witnessing a display. You will also take to trails on snowmobiles to try and track down the lights and will lastly use the mobility of a minibus or car to hunt the Aurora and hopefully outrun any localised cloud cover.
During the day we offer a great balance of free time and activities to make sure that you can make the most of your holiday but still return feeling relaxed. We include all the highlights such as dog sledding, a visit to a reindeer farm, visiting the famous Sámi Siida Museum and a cross-country skiing lesson.Read more
During your free time, you can always explore the nearby village of Inari independently, enjoy some additional activities or perhaps relax in the glass-roofed Northern Lights sauna which is available for guests to use
With festivities taking place on Christmas Eve (when the Finns celebrate Christmas) to just finish off this wonderful itinerary, we can think of few better places in which to spend the festive season.
Image credits: Matt Robinson and Inari Saariselka Tourism
Welcome and Arrival
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. You can then check in and enjoy your first evening meal in the stunning restaurant with panoramic windows which face the vast frozen lake.
You will also be provided with your cold weather clothing, final itinerary (the order shown here is always subject to change) and Aurora alert. Be sure to take a walk to the lake tonight, the Aurora may well appear and welcome you to Lapland.
Snowshoeing, Aurora Workshop, Christmas Festivities
To really appreciate your new surroundings, you need to explore on foot. Now, admittedly if you tried to walk in the snow here in boots, you’d sink pretty deep, so that is where snowshoes come in. You will set off on a walk lasting around four hours (including a campfire lunch – weather permitting). You can soak up the wilderness and enjoy the peace of this special place as you travel at a leisurely pace, taking in the flora and fauna as you go.
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.
Tonight, you will be treated to Finnish Christmas festivities as the Finns celebrate on Christmas Eve. A delicious meal featuring some local traditions will be served for guests.
Visit to Sámi Siida Museum and Aurora Camp
The Sámi Siida Museum is a famous attraction and is located in Inari, just five minutes by car from the hotel. It offers insight into the Sámi culture, both in the past and present. The displays are fascinating and provide a background on the flora and fauna of the area. There is also a presentation of local Aurora photography. You will be transferred to the museum for your visit today before returning to the hotel for lunch.
The guides at the hotel (and their sister hotels in the region) have set up a network of Aurora Camp destinations in prime Northern Lights territory. Travelling either by car or by snowmobile sleigh (depending on the location of the camp) you will head to one of these camps after dinner this evening. A fire will be lit and warm drinks served, as you gaze up at the unobstructed views of the night sky in the hope of catching an Aurora display. You will be out for around 2.5 hours this evening.
Dog sledding is one of the activities which is most synonymous with the Arctic. Very few experiences can compare to the delight of being pulled across a frozen lake by a team of eager huskies.
You’ll typically meet the dogs on the lake just down from the hotel. You will certainly hear them before you can see them, as their excitement for the trails means they make a fair amount of noise.
A lesson on how to control the sled and a safety briefing will be given before you are provided with your team. Your guide will then release your ground anchor and then you’ll be off out across the lake, travelling two people per team (one sitting and one controlling the sled; there will be the chance to swap half way).
Lunch will be served in the restaurant, either before or after your adventure. The safari will last around 1.5 hours in total and there will be some time at the end of the safari 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
The daytime today has been left free for you to tailor your time. You may simply want to relax at the hotel or perhaps enjoy the sauna. Alternatively, additional activities may be available locally or you could take a walk into Inari. Your meals will be served in the restaurant as normal.
Tonight, the action starts again with a snowmobile safari in search of the Aurora. Snowmobiles are a very popular mode of transport in this region and are an excellent way to hunt the Northern Lights.
After a full safety briefing and a lesson on how to handle the snowmobile, you will set off in pairs, following your guide on the marked trails. You must be over 18 and hold a full driving license in order to drive a snowmobile and you can swap places at the halfway point so that both can experience the thrill of driving. Using their knowledge, your guide will lead you to an Aurora viewpoint. Warm drinks will be served and with luck, the lights will be dancing overhead.
Cross-Country Skiing and Aurora Hunt
Cross-country skiing is one of those activities which Finns take up as children, so it would be rude not to give it a try. You don’t need any form of experience on skis to enjoy this activity as full tuition is provided. Once the group has got to grips with the techniques required, you will take a turn around the trails near the hotel. In total this activity will last around two hours.
If you have yet to see the Northern Lights, then tonight’s Aurora hunt should provide an excellent opportunity. Travelling by car or minibus, your expert guide will lead the hunt this evening using the latest Northern Lights and weather forecasts to select the best route. This may mean travelling to an Aurora Camp near the hotel or heading further afield. The mobility provided by the vehicle means that you should hopefully be able to outrun any localised cloud cover.
All in all, you will be out for around 2.5 hours.
Reindeer Farm Visit and Aurora Camp
Reindeer herding remains an integral part of life in Lapland and an encounter with reindeer is certainly an integral part of any Christmas holiday.
You will be transferred to a local reindeer farm where a herder will explain what day to day life is like for them and their animals. The significance of reindeer herding to the local economy and culture will also be apparent. Of course, you will also get the chance to spend time in the company of reindeer at the farm. The experience will last for around 2.5 hours.
Back at the Wilderness Hotel, you will enjoy your final dinner in the restaurant before your last Aurora hunting experience.
This evening you will head back out to one of the Aurora Camps for a final night of searching the skies. It is the ideal spot in which to gather with other guests and contemplate all the experiences you’ve had over the week, as you hopefully await the start of a display. With a little luck, the Aurora will appear above you to bid you farewell.
Today it is time to wave farewell to the Arctic and you'll head home in time to celebrate the New Year.
Included in price
Dates & Prices
Price Comparison Guarantee
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.
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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.
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.
During your stay, you will be supplied with an Aurora alert. This is typically a mobile phone system to which the staff will send a text should the Northern Lights be sighted. The alerts generally operate until 1 am 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 on them and should also keep an eye on the sky yourself.
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.