Finnish Lapland Escorted Group Tour: Dark Skies and Northern Lights
During this fully-escorted tour, you will immerse yourself in the unrivalled landscapes of northern Finland during this 5-night trip, staying at two unique wilderness hotels. Located deep in dark-sky territory, this guided tour begins with three nights at Wilderness Hotel Juutua, which is located in the small village of Inari. The area has been of huge significance for the indigenous Sámi people for centuries. With its abundance of tradition and local culture, this destination provides a restorative escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
For your final two nights of the tour, you will stay in a glass-roofed Aurora Cabin at Wilderness Hotel Muotka, nestled amongst the trees and with fantastic views of the night sky. Both properties are much loved for their endearing?hospitality, Nordic décor and brilliant guides.
This region of northern Finland boasts a Northern Lights track record that approaches or surpasses other popular Arctic destinations, and it is a fantastic place to enjoy evenings stargazing with minimal light pollution and beautifully dark skies.
This entirely escorted programme includes the very best winter activities available; a husky safari through snow-capped forests and a snowmobile safari across the pristine Finnish wilderness, as well as a walk to a nearby beauty spot, Jäniskoski rapids. Furthermore, two Aurora camps, an Aurora workshop and an Aurora hunt by car have been organised to give you the best possible chance of witnessing the beauty of the Northern Lights and to maximise your opportunities to enjoy the stargazing possibilities. Furthermore, you will also enjoy an Astro presentation from your expert guide to discuss all there is to know about the night sky.
Your Escorted Tour Guides
Dan Monk is the Director of the Gillian Dickinson Astro-Imaging Academy at Kielder Observatory in Northumberland. He has always been fascinated by the night sky and constellations. One Christmas, he received a telescope and would gaze into the sky from his back garden at every opportunity. Growing up in Sunderland, Dans visibility of the night sky was limited by light-pollution from the city, but his passion continued to develop and through his teen years, he invested in more advanced telescopes.
Visiting Kielder Observatory was a significant moment for Dan as he relished in the undisturbed dark skies of western Northumberland. After volunteering at the observatory, Dan became a full-time member of the team and began his dream role.
Most recently, Dan has developed a keen interest in astrophotography and a hunger to capture an image of the perfect night sky. Dan was recently interviewed by Dan Walker on Channel 5 news to discuss the recent Northern Lights sightings in the UK. Dedicated to his field, he insisted he would have to do a pre-record as he didnt want to miss any further sightings that evening.
We are delighted to have Dans passion and expertise for what promise to be truly memorable escorted tours through Northern Finland.
Matt Robinson will be our other tour guide for our escorted tours. Matt, also worked at the Kielder Observatory with Dan as well as hailing from the hotbed of astronomy talent that is Sunderland.
Matt's first experience in astronomy was in 1997, when his uncle showed him Comet Hale Bopp through some binoculars and since then he hasn't looked back.
After a wonderful 18 months at Kielder Observatory, Matt was given opportunities to work in astronomy in other parts of the world. These opportunities have allowed him to live in the Arctic Circle in Finland and Norway under the spectacular Aurora Borealis. Matt has also spent time in the Maldives where he worked as an astronomer in an Instagram famous hotel, and even to Chile where he covered an unforgettable total solar eclipse.
Matt is now based in Gothenburg, Sweden as our astronomy expert and tour guide.
About Kielder Observatory
Kielder Observatory is one of the most remarkable places to visit in the whole of the UK. A public astronomical observatory which is second to none, under some of the darkest skies in the world where you'll find "infinite inspiration" and wonders you could never have imagined!
Kielder Observatory is a public outreach astronomical facility located in Kielder Forest, in some of the darkest skies in Europe and the third largest protected Dark Sky reserve in the world.
Located in Northumberland, England. It is situated just half a mile from the Scottish border on Black Fell near James Turrells Kielder Skyspace. The site was chosen as one of the locations in the UK which has the least amount of intrusive light pollution.
The primary function of the observatory is outreach via public events. The goal being to bring in members of the public of all ages from school children in primary school, and upward. The aim being to engage in discussions and observations of the Universe. We to do this in a way that is friendly, informative and interesting, through our amazing team of astronomers, guest speakers and volunteers.
The observatory hosts upwards of 40 of these amazing events every month, designed for members of the public. Since its opening in 2008, the observatory has played host to tens of thousands of people to observe and engage with the night sky, via talks, activities and telescope observing sessions.
Terms: This holiday requires a minimum of 10 people to run. Maximum 26 people (approximately). Please speak to our Travel Experts for further information. Your flights will not be booked and confirmed until we have reached the minimum number of participants. Please see our booking terms and conditions for further details regarding minimum number of participants.
- Flights: return flights from London to Ivalo (via Helsinki). Flight routes are subject to change.
- Transfers:?return grouped airport transfers based on set flight times
- Accommodation:?3 nights in a standard double room at Wilderness Hotel Juutua and 2 nights in an Aurora Cabin at Wilderness Hotel Muotka. Upgrade options are available for a supplement and subject to availability
- Meals:?5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners (2 Dinners will be a 3 and 5-course tasting menu). Drink allowance for dinners
- Astro presentation
- Husky safari
- Aurora Workshop
- 2 Aurora camps
- Winter walk to Jäniskoski rapids
- Aurora hunt by car
- Snowmobile Safari
- Expert tour group leader from arrival on day 1 to departure on day 5
- Aurora alert service until approximately 1am
- Cold weather clothing is provided for the duration of your stay
- Fully qualified guides and instructors during activities
The newly refurbished Wilderness Hotel Juutua is situated right in the heart of Inari village.
This village has huge cultural significance to the Finnish Sámi population both historically and today, which is reflected in the ownership of this hotel. The hotel became part of the Wilderness Hotel family in October 2022 and whilst they have put their own signature Scandi-chic design style on the hotel they have designed the interior to be sympathetic to its Sámi heritage.
The main building houses the reception, lounge and bar area and the locally renowned Restaurant Aanaar on the ground floor with the standard double/twin wilderness rooms upstairs. A short walk from the hotel, you will find the Juutua Suites located on the shore of the frozen Juutua River.
Restaurant Aanaar is a highly regarded fine dining restaurant which is popular with visitors and locals alike in the Inari region. The menu here reflects local dishes unique to Lapland and uses as many fresh, local ingredients as possible which are all sourced through a network of small, independent local suppliers.
Please note: the images used are an artist’s impression which have been developed with the hotel owners to reflect the intended room style once renovations are complete. Interiors may differ slightly and we will update once the renovations are complete.
Wilderness Hotel Muotka resides around 40km from the main town of Ivalo, tucked away in the corner of North-East Finland. Recently renovated and restored it is owned and run by the same couple as the popular Nellim Wilderness Hotel, Mari and Jouko Lappalainen. They run the hotel with the same hard-working ethos and it exudes the same warmth and charm for its much-welcomed guests.
The hotel boasts some wonderful scenery, tucked away in the forested-fells with roaming reindeer frequently seen amongst the trees. It consists of two main accommodation buildings, one with the majority of the bedrooms and another with hosts additional bedrooms, the main restaurant and the reception area.