Muotka and Nellim – The Great Aurora Adventure

Flights Included
  • Details


This trip combines two of our best-loved destinations in one epic Aurora hunting week. Starting in the stunning Wilderness Hotel Muotka before heading to remote Nellim, exceptional winter activities fill your holiday in areas with outstanding Northern Lights records.
Wilderness Hotel Muotka and Wilderness Hotel Nellim, are two of our most popular Northern Lights destinations. Each hotel offers guests something special, and many people have found it hard to choose between the two destinations. This holiday means that you do not have to make that choice as both locations are combined in one unforgettable week. When it comes to activities and Aurora hunting, both hotels are at the top of their game. Both sit in remote areas, far from light pollution, both offer guides with extensive local knowledge and Aurora expertise and both offer innovative Aurora accommodation options. Your holiday will start at Muotka, where you will enjoy the total seclusion of the hotel and the peace and quiet which accompanies this location. Surrounded by forests and fells, the hotel is the ideal base for activities. Here you will explore the landscape on snowshoes and cross-country skis (the region is renowned for its ski trails). Guests will also encounter reindeer following a snowmobile safari to a local reindeer farm and you will get to try your hand at ice fishing on a frozen lake. Your evenings at Muotka are filled with Northern Lights viewing opportunities. Expert guides will lead the hunt as you travel to a specifically chosen Aurora Camp and explore the forests on foot during a guided snowshoe hunt. After four nights at Muotka, it is time to head to Nellim. The landscape around Nellim just begs to be explored, this is real wilderness! You will head out on snowmobiles for an adventure before the all-important husky safari where you will take control of your own team of dogs. At Nellim, you will also enjoy a visit to an Aurora Camp, travelling by snowmobile-pulled sleigh. This holiday is already special, but if you fancy adding further finishing touches then you can do so by taking advantage of some of the exceptional overnight experiences which are available. You can spend your time at Muotka in an Aurora Kota - enjoying the benefits of your own cabin-style accommodation with a glass tepee roof above your bed, ideal for watching the Aurora from the comfort of your duvet! You can also enjoy the wonder of the Aurora Bubbles at Nellim. These incredible stand-alone rooms have transparent domes above the beds and enable you to keep an eye on the skies throughout the night. The activities outlined will all be included in your holiday, however, the order listed is for guidance only, and your agenda will be confirmed on arrival. If you are travelling over Christmas or New Year, you will enjoy a festive dinner and celebrations on the 24th and the 31st of December (traditionally in Finland, Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve).


Upon arrival, you will be transferred* to Wilderness Hotel Muotka, your base for the first four nights of your holiday.

Dinner will be served in the hotel restaurant this evening and you can enjoy your very special new surroundings.

Please note that the order of the activities listed in this agenda is provided for guidance only; your activity timetable will be provided on arrival.

* Transfers are based on a scheduled group shuttle which sometimes makes stops at a couple of hotels in nearby Saariselka. If you would prefer to upgrade to private taxi transfers, please ask our Travel Experts for a quotation.

Included Meals:  Dinner

[IVL] Ivalo Airport, Finland To Wilderness Hotel Muotka
Airport Transfer
Wilderness Hotel Muotka - Check In
Address : Saariselka, Inari, Finland

Your adventure at Muotka will begin with an Aurora workshop which will be hosted by one of the expert guides. It will give a simple overview of the science behind the Northern Lights and will advise you on what to keep an eye out for during your hunts.

Your first foray into the wilds is designed to introduce you to the stunning natural environment which surrounds the hotel. You will be guided on a snowshoe hike through the forests and your guide will point out any local flora and fauna as you explore. Lunch will be served around an open fire (weather permitting) and you will be out for around 4 hours in total.

Dinner will be served at Muotka tonight before your inaugural hunt for the Northern Lights.

The Aurora Camps around Muotka have been chosen specifically for their views of the skies. You will travel to the selected camp in a sleigh pulled by the guide’s snowmobile. A campfire will be lit, and you will commence your Aurora stakeout. Should conditions be favourable, you will be in a prime viewing location. In total you will be out for around 2.5 hrs.

Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Wilderness Hotel Muotka - Stay
Address : Saariselka, Inari, Finland

Snowmobiles are a vital part of the local economy and ensure that remote communities can stay connected, even reindeer herders have benefitted hugely from them as they track down their herds each day. Snowmobiles are also hugely popular with local people from a leisure perspective and today you will see why during your first snowmobile safari.

Your guide will give you a full safety briefing and instruction on driving the snowmobiles before you set off on the trails. Your destination is a local reindeer farm for an encounter with these delightful animals and the chance to meet the herder. Here you can enjoy learning about one of the most remarkable ways of life in Europe and the importance of the reindeer to the region. A short reindeer-pulled sleigh ride is included, and you will also be shown how to use a traditional lasso. A warming soup lunch will be included during your activity.

You will return to Muotka on your snowmobiles after a wonderful set of experiences. Throughout you’ll be travelling two people per snowmobile and will have the chance to swap drivers at the reindeer farm (any driver must be over 18 and have a full driving licence). The activity lasts around 4 hours in total.

After dinner, you will set out on the trails with your guide, using only headtorches to light your route. Your Aurora snowshoe hike will lead you into a prime Northern Lights location. Here you will enjoy a break around the campfire and watch the skies for a potential display. In total you will be out for around 2.5 hours. The distance travelled on snowshoes varies depending on conditions.

Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Wilderness Hotel Muotka - Stay
Address : Saariselka, Inari, Finland

Today you will head out into the wilderness for the chance to try your hand at a local favourite, ice fishing.

You will travel by snowmobile-pulled sleigh, as your guide takes you to one of the numerous frozen lakes around Muotka. You will be shown how to drill a hole in the ice and the best techniques to try and land a catch. This is a fantastic activity to enjoy the peace and quiet of your stunning surroundings. Lunch and hot drinks will be served around a campfire, and you may even get to try a freshly caught fish! You’ll be out for approximately 4 hours, before returning to the lodge.

Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Wilderness Hotel Muotka - Stay
Address : Saariselka, Inari, Finland

This morning your time at Muotka has come to an end as you will check out ready for the next stage of your holiday.

Before heading to Nellim you will ?enjoy a morning of cross country skiing. This area is renowned as one of the best places in Finland to enjoy cross-country skiing and the sport is hugely popular in Finland. It is your turn to see what all the fuss is about.

No previous experience is required as you will be given full instruction from your guide as you ski along the tracks, exploring the forests and taking in the sights. This sport can be very addictive however and so you can hire skis at Nellim should you wish to continue to explore independently. The lesson lasts around 2 hours in total.

After your activity, you will take the road to Nellim (around 1.5hrs drive), travelling along the edge of Lake Inari. The trip will give you a sense of how big this lake is, as you will still be following its shores when you arrive at Nellim.

On arrival at Nellim you can check in to the hotel and enjoy an evening meal in the restaurant ??(today’s lunch will either be served at Muotka, or Nellim, depending on timings).

Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Wilderness Hotel Muotka To Wilderness Hotel Nellim
Wilderness Hotel Muotka - Stay
Address : Saariselka, Inari, Finland
Wilderness Hotel Nellim - Stay
Address : Nellim, Inari, Finland

The scenery around Nellim is just begging to be explored. Shaped by the huge frozen expanse of Lake Inari and surrounded by dense forests, the area really feels wild and wonderful.

Snowmobiles offer the best means of getting to grips with the scale of the wilderness here and today you will be back out on the trails for a thrilling safari. Travelling across the lake and exploring the forests will give you such a sense of what a remarkable area you are in and how remote the village of Nellim is. Lunch will be cooked on an open fire. In total you will be out for around 4 hours today.

You will travel two people per snowmobile and will have the chance to swap drivers (all drivers must be over 18 and have a full driving licence).

After dinner tonight it is time to visit one of Nellim’s Aurora Camps as you travel by snowmobile-pulled sleigh to a remote Northern Lights viewpoint. Fingers crossed the Northern Lights will add their own illumination to the glow of your campfire. You will be out for around 2.5 hrs.

Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Wilderness Hotel Nellim - Stay
Address : Nellim, Inari, Finland

One of the highlights of any holiday in this region must be a dog sled safari. For many, this is the experience which is most synonymous with the Arctic.

You will be given a safety briefing and full instruction on handling a dog sled and your team before you head to the husky camp a short distance from the hotel. Your instructions are provided away from the animals because they are sure to make a cacophony of noise before departure, as they are so excited for the trail.  Once you have been allocated your teams, you will set off travelling in pairs (one driving and one enjoying the views from the sled). The huskies fall silent as soon as they set off as they are totally focused on the task at hand, leaving you to enjoy the peace and quiet. This is an experience that is not easily forgotten and is a magical way to travel. Back at the camp, you will have time to take some pictures with the huskies and ask any questions you may have about these wonderful working dogs. The total experience lasts around 3 hours and lunch will be served back at the hotel.

As you have another free evening, we strongly recommend a walk to one of the lakes to enjoy the views of the sky. Many a guest (and Aurora Zone staff member) has enjoyed staggering displays of the Northern Lights from these spots, and with luck, the Aurora will bid you farewell this evening.

Alternatively, you may wish to book additional activities. Please speak to one of our Travel Experts or see the ‘personalise’ section for details.

You may also consider spending the night in an Aurora Bubble or Aurora Kota here at Nellim – a fabulous way to end the holiday (see Extras section for details). Please note that as the final order of activities will be confirmed on arrival, the kota cannot be guaranteed to be booked on a night with no activities, but you’ll still be able to enjoy plenty of time in the accommodation after any activities.

Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Wilderness Hotel Nellim - Stay
Address : Nellim, Inari, Finland

Today is sadly departure day and you will be transferred back to the airport to catch your return flights. If you are on an early flight you will be provided with a packed breakfast.

Included Meals:  Breakfast

Wilderness Hotel Nellim To [IVL] Ivalo Airport, Finland
Airport Transfer
Wilderness Hotel Nellim - Stay
Address : Nellim, Inari, Finland

What's included?

  • Return flights between London and Ivalo (via Helsinki). Routings are subject to change
  • Return airport transfers are included as well as a transfer from Muotka to Nellim
  • 4 nights in twin/double rooms at Muotka and 3 nights in twin/double rooms at Nellim (accommodation upgrades are available subject to availability and supplements, see accommodation tab for details)
  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Snowshoeing
  • Aurora workshop
  • Aurora Camp
  • Snowmobile to a reindeer farm
  • Aurora snowshoe hike
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Ice fishing trip by snowmobile sleigh
  • Wilderness snowmobile safari
  • Aurora camp
  • Husky safari
  • Cold weather clothing for the duration of your stay
  • 24/7 assistance from our UK based operations team and in destination support from our local partners


Wilderness Hotel Muotka
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.

Hotel facilities

  • The focal point of the main building is the restaurant which is where you will have the majority of your meals. Food will be served buffet style with a variety of continental and cooked food for breakfast and the choice of two or three options for each course at dinner. The menu has been designed with a focus on both traditional and international cuisine using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients
  • There is a bar which is usually open until 1 am and serves a variety of spirits, wines and beers and a lounge area with comfortable armchairs to relax in during your free time
  • There is a sauna in the main building which is heated daily for guest use
  • Free Wi-Fi is available in the main building (at the bar and in the restaurant)
  • In the main building, you will also find two fireplaces, games and books, which makes it a perfect place to relax
  • The rooms do not have tea and coffee making facilities but tea and coffee are available free of charge and available in the restaurant area
  • Hairdryers are available from the main hotel reception
Wilderness Hotel Nellim

Wilderness Hotel Nellim is owned by our good friends Jouko and Mari Lappalainen. Nellim was their first hotel (they now also own the delights of Nangu, Muotka and Wilderness Hotel Inari) and is now renowned as an Aurora destination. It will always hold a special place in our hearts for being the first place many of us saw the Northern Lights. The hotel has been upgraded over the years and now has a wide range of accommodation options including rooms, suites, log cabins and unforgettable Aurora Cabins and Bubbles (see the ‘Personalise’ section for details) which are all within a short walk of the main reception and restaurant building.

A tiny village, Nellim is a remote spot close to the shores of Lake Inari and surrounded by incredible wilderness, providing perfectly dark skies, ideal for Aurora viewing.

Hotel facilities

  • The restaurant/reception building is the focal point at Nellim. With locally-made furnishings, the atmosphere is charming. Hearty buffets of local and international favourites are served three times a day. There is usually a soup and salad selection, two choices of main meal and a pudding for evening meals
  • Guests can relax next to the roaring fire and enjoy a drink from the bar in the restaurant
  • A sauna is available for guests to use and can be reserved at reception in hourly slots
  • There is a fully-stocked gift shop which offers a range of local produce and souvenirs for you to take home
  • Tea and coffee making facilities are available in the main building for guests outside meal times
  • Cross-country skis and snowshoes are available to hire from the onsite activity centre
  • The small lake behind the hotel is a great spot for some independent Aurora stakeouts – you can light the fire in the small wooden kota (traditional shelter) and watch the sky with a warm drink
Arctic Lake Villa
No of Days: 1
Aurora Bubble (Not Keeping Room)
No of Days: 1
Accommodation Upgrade to Superior Sauna Room
No of Days: 1
Upgrade to log cabin
No of Days: 1
Accommodation Upgrade to Arctic Suite
No of Days: 1
Accommodation Upgrade - Log Suite
No of Days: 1
Accommodation Upgrade to Aurora Cabin
No of Days: 1

Tour Map

Additional Info

Tour terms, click here

Booking conditions click here

Key Facts

Pace Active
Holiday Type Package Holiday
Max Group Size NA
Cities / Destinations Finland, Nellim, Muotka
Brochure Code 20008
Price from
£3,145 pp
8 days

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Muotka and Nellim – The Great Aurora Adventure


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