Menesjärvi – Aurora Short Break

Flights Included
  • Details


Right in the heart of the Auroral zone, reindeer herding country and the snowy wilderness of northern Finland is sleepy, little Menesjarvi. Our flexible programme here allows you to enjoy the silent winter landscapes at your own pace. You can choose which activities you want to do during the day, and we will have you out and about searching for the Aurora at night. After all, this is one of Lady Aurora’s favourite places to come dancing!

The words "real" and "genuine" are too often overused to describe tourism destinations. In the case of Menesjarvi, we cannot stress them enough. This is where the Sami people tend their reindeer herds and Lappish traditions hold sway to this day.

The Hotel Korpikartano (try saying that after a couple of drinks!) is not easy to find. After leaving the main road north at Ivalo, the terrain becomes increasingly isolated until after 30 minutes, you turn onto an even more unlikely piece of snow-covered tarmac. It is easy at this stage to begin wondering what you've let yourself in for, but any unease will last a matter of seconds.

Situated on the shore of Lake Menesjärvi (Jarvi means lake in Finnish) and surrounded by mile upon mile of winter wilderness, this is the place to really get away from the daily stresses back home.

This is also prime Northern Lights territory and with very little light pollution in this sparsely populated area, the chances of seeing a dazzling Auroral display are extremely good.

The lights are the main focus of your three-night stay, and it is no coincidence that people who are patient and prepared to stay up into the early hours are very often rewarded. For that reason, we have not included any daytime activities but there are several that you can do including: Visiting a reindeer herder, cross-country skiing, dog sledding and visiting the excellent Siida, Sami Museum. These activities can be booked and paid for while you are in Menesjärvi but to guarantee availability you might want to book in advance through The Aurora Zone. After all, there are only so many dogs and sleds to go round.

If you just fancy a long lie-in after a night scouring the skies then you can enjoy free use of snowshoes, kick sleds and sledges during your stay.

Concentrating on the Northern Lights will start with an Aurora workshop. You will receive information about the Northern Lights as well as instruction as to how to photograph them. We do recommend taking a DSLR camera and tripod for the best results.

You will then strap on snowshoes and your guide will lead you into the dark night while all the time looking for those tell-tale green lights as they emerge from the coal-black Arctic firmament.

The second Northern Lights hunt of your stay is on snowmobiles. You will receive full driving and safety instructions before heading into the wilderness in search of Mother Nature's celestial light show.

If you are travelling on 23rd December, either snowshoeing or snowmobiling will become a day excursion to keep the evening of 24th December, when Christmas is traditionally celebrated in Finland, free for celebrations.


On arrival at Ivalo Airport, you will be met and transferred to the Hotel Korpikartano in Menesjärvi.

Included Meals:  Dinner

[IVL] Ivalo Airport, Finland To Hotel Korpikartano
Airport Transfer
Hotel Korpikartano - Check In
Address : Inari, Lapland Regional State, Finland

This 3-night break is all about the Northern Lights and hence, we have left the daytime free for you to do as you like. You can take advantage of the “snow fun” equipment which is free to use during your stay.

As this is very much reindeer herding country, we would certainly recommend a trip to visit a reindeer herder and join him as he checks on his herd. This can be booked in Menesjärvi (subject to availability) or in advance through us at The Aurora Zone if you wish to guarantee your spot(s).

This evening, we will host an Aurora Workshop (approximately one hour) which will include instruction on how to capture the lights with your camera and you will also learn about the science and myths behind the Aurora. You will then strap on snowshoes and head into the dead silence of the Lapland night. This activity will last for around two hours.

With a bit of luck and clear skies, you will be treated to the spectacle that has fascinated human beings for centuries.

Included Meals:  Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel Korpikartano - Stay
Address : Inari, Lapland Regional State, Finland

If you stayed up into the early hours you may fancy a relaxing day before heading out again this evening. Alternatively, how about a dog sled safari or, if you fancy something less strenuous, a visit to the excellent Sami Siida Museum? Both can be booked in advance through us here at The Aurora Zone.

This evening, you will be searching for the Aurora on snowmobiles. You will receive full instruction and a safety briefing before setting off and your guide will head for some of the best local vantage points.

As before, with clear skies and a just a hint of geomagnetic activity in the atmosphere you could witness a sky blazing with shimmering and swirling colour.

You will travel two people per snowmobile with the chance to take turns (providing you both have full licences and are 18 years or over). In total, this activity will last around two hours.

Included Meals:  Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel Korpikartano - Stay
Address : Inari, Lapland Regional State, Finland

Menesjärvi and the Hotel Koprikartano may be remote and functional rather than five-star luxury but we have always found that it is a very, very hard place to leave.

Nevertheless, leave you must, and you will be returned to Ivalo Airport in good time for your return flights home.

Included Meals:  Breakfast

Hotel Korpikartano To [IVL] Ivalo Airport, Finland
Airport Transfer
Hotel Korpikartano - Check Out
Address : Inari, Lapland Regional State, Finland

What's included?

  • Return flights from London to Ivalo (via Helsinki). Flight routes are subject to change
  • Return group airport transfers from Ivalo Airport
  • 3 nights’ accommodation in a standard double/twin hotel room
  • 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners
  • Aurora Workshop
  • Snowshoe hunt for the Northern Lights
  • Snowmobile Aurora hunt
  • Free use of snowshoes, kick sleds and sledges
  • Cold weather clothing for the duration of your stay
  • Evening Sauna
  • 24/7 assistance from our UK based operations team and in destination support from our local partners


Hotel Korpikartano

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.

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Key Facts

Pace Active
Holiday Type Package Holiday
Max Group Size NA
Cities / Destinations Finland, Menesjärvi
Brochure Code 21007
Price from
£1,535 pp
4 days

Aurora Zone

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Menesjärvi – Aurora Short Break


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