Wilderness Hotel Muotka – Searching for the Northern Lights

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Muotka is one of our most scenic locations, tucked away in the fells and forests of Northern Finland. This 7-night stay offers a balanced itinerary to showcase some of the best landscapes and experiences in Lapland during the day, and exceptional Northern Lights excursions as night falls.

Muotka Wilderness Hotel has become a stand-out favourite amongst our guests. This accommodation charms guests with its hospitality, Nordic décor and fantastic guides.

Muotka's location is delightful, surrounded by trees and next to a small stream. Muotka is tucked away in its own little winter world, a retreat from the modern world. Residing amongst the forested fells of North East Finland and far from the nearest town, the hotel offers a wonderfully secluded base for your adventure in prime Aurora territory. The minimal light pollution here, means, that if conditions are right, there is great potential for viewing the Aurora just outside the hotel.

During the winter, this region receives some of the highest levels of snowfall in Lapland and we really exploit this during this holiday.

Guests will enjoy snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, allowing you to get close to this stunning landscape and hopefully some of the wildlife that lives here. There are also snowmobile and dog sled safaris included; two exceptional experiences which give you a sense of the scale of the wilderness in the region. 

Of course, you are here to search for the Northern Lights and this is done in serious style at Muotka. The evening hunts are varied and you will take part in Aurora searches using snowshoes, a snowmobile-pulled sleigh and a minibus. Each activity is designed to maximise your Aurora viewing potential and all activities are led by expert guides with a wealth of invaluable local knowledge, essential when Aurora hunting.

If you would like to really go all out on the Aurora front then we can also arrange for you to spend all or part of your stay in the magnificent Aurora Kotas here. These cabin/glass tepee combinations offer guests many added comforts and nights filled with Northern Lights opportunities. 

We have loved Muotka from the beginning and it offers a sense of escapism that can only be found when you know you are somewhere very special and enjoying incredible experiences on a daily basis. The fact that it offers guests the most wonderful chance of seeing the Northern Lights is the icing on the cake!

Please note: If you are staying over Christmas or New Year, you will enjoy a festive dinner and celebrations on the 24th or the 31st of December (traditionally in Finland, Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve).

Important Information

The order of activities listed in this agenda is provided for guidance only. Your final and detailed itinerary will be provided either with your final travel documents (which will be emailed to you around a week prior to departure), or upon arrival.


You will be met on arrival at the airport and transferred* to your accommodation at Muotkan Maja Wilderness Hotel, your new home for the next seven nights.

You will have a meal this evening and we would suggest casting your eyes up to the night sky – the Northern Lights often welcome guests to Lapland in spectacular fashion.

* Transfers are based on a scheduled group shuttle that sometimes stops at a few nearby hotels. 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 led by one of the knowledgeable guides. The guide will provide information on the science behind this natural phenomenon and advise you on what you should be looking out for during your Aurora hunts. They will also advise on the optimal camera settings that should help you capture any display on film.

After lunch, you will enjoy your first foray into the beautiful wilderness which surrounds the hotel when you head out on a cross-country ski adventure. Cross-country skiing is something of a national pastime in Finland and is enjoyed by people of all ages. There are a variety of trails which surround the hotel and your guide will lead you on one of these, allowing you to gain an appreciation of how scenic and peaceful the landscape is here. Full tuition is provided so you do not require any experience. You will be out for around two hours. As this activity can be rather addictive, there is the opportunity to hire skis from the hotel later in the week and explore independently.

Dinner will be served at Muotka tonight before your first search for the Northern Lights gets underway.

Your inaugural Aurora hunt involves heading out to an Aurora Camp on a sled pulled by the guide’s snowmobile. Your guide will drive you to one of the best locations in the area from which to witness an Aurora. The guides here have expert knowledge and a huge amount of experience which they utilise when choosing the best routes for the evening searches. If conditions are favourable you will hopefully, catch a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis. This activity will last for approximately two and a half hours.

Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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

Snowmobiles have become essential machines in this corner of the world, keeping remote communities connected and also providing reindeer herders with an easier means of tracking down their dispersed herd. However, for visitors to this area, they are also a thrilling way to make as much of the winter landscape as possible.

After full instruction and a safety briefing, you will head out into the vast wilderness travelling two people per machine. Your destination for the morning is a reindeer farm around 20km away so there will be the chance to swap drivers (providing you both have full driving licences and are over 18) allowing you both to take control of the snowmobile and travel as a passenger, enjoying the scenery.

Upon arrival at the reindeer farm, you will be able to chat with the herder and ask them any questions you may have. Reindeer herding has been an inherent part of life in Lapland for many hundreds of years and today you will learn a little about the fascinating history of herding and its importance to the local culture. This activity lasts for around four to five hours and includes a soup lunch, as well as a short reindeer sleigh ride.

This evening you will be provided with snowshoes and your guides will lead you to a great Northern Lights vantage point. The snow-covered trees can look like unique sculptures in the beam of your headlight and the absolute silence when you stop is something you rarely get to experience. Your guide will serve warm drinks as you wait patiently for a potential Aurora. In total, this activity is approximately two and a half hours long.

Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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

Today you will have a free day to enjoy as you please. Breakfast and lunch will be served at the hotel.

After dinner, there will be another dedicated search for the Aurora as you head out in a heated minibus to try and track down a display (approximately two and a half to three hours). The mobility provided by the minibus allows your guide to utilise the weather and Aurora forecasts to determine the best route to take to avoid any potential cloud cover. Hopefully, your efforts will be rewarded with a wonderful display.

Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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

This morning you will have the chance to explore on foot. The use of snowshoes dates back centuries and their performance when navigating areas of deep snow should not be underestimated. With these shoes strapped to your feet, your guide will lead you through the forest, pointing out areas of interest and hopefully highlighting some of the wildlife between the trees. You will be out for around four hours in total. Lunch will be enjoyed around the campfire.

This afternoon is left free for you to set your own agenda. You may want to book an additional activity (payable locally) or alternatively, you can take advantage of one of the saunas or enjoy a good book and some downtime.

There are no Aurora activities planned with your guide tonight, however, the skies above Muotka have produced inspiring displays of the Northern Lights and you don’t necessarily have to go very far to witness a wonderful show. With any luck, the sky will be filled with a dazzling array of colours.

Guests may like to spend this evening (or any other night) in an Aurora Kota at Muotka – the ultimate Aurora hunting rooms with the chance to view a display from the comfort of your bed.

Full details can be found in the Personalise section of the holiday page.

Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Wilderness Hotel Muotka - Stay
Address : Saariselka, Inari, Finland

This holiday has been designed to balance activities with free time in which you can simply relax and enjoy your surroundings. Snowshoes and cross-country skis can be hired from the hotel if you wish to explore independently and there is also a selection of additional activities which can be arranged for you.

Muotka is just one of those places where spending the day with a good book, admiring the views and enjoying a sauna can also be a rather lovely thing to do.

Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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

On your final day at Muotka, you will try an activity which is a definite bucket list experience; driving a husky team across the Arctic wilds.

Following breakfast, you will meet your team of eager dogs who will no doubt show their enthusiasm and willingness to get out on the trail. After receiving instructions you will set off, two people per sled, (one person will stand on the back of the sled controlling the brake and another will sit in the sled) for around one hour. 

There will also be the opportunity to chat with the mushers who make their living here and ask them any questions you may have about their dogs and their lives north of the Arctic Circle. This activity lasts for approximately 2 hours. You will then take lunch.

After your last dinner at the hotel this evening you will head out for your final Aurora hunt. You will once again travel via snowmobile-pulled sleigh to an Aurora Camp. Fingers crossed, the Aurora will bid you farewell.

Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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

Today is 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 breakfast box.

If you can’t quite bear to leave just yet, then we can arrange for you to enjoy a city break in Helsinki on the way home. 

Included Meals:  Breakfast
Wilderness Hotel Muotka To [IVL] Ivalo Airport, Finland
Airport Transfer
Wilderness Hotel Muotka - Check Out
Address : Saariselka, Inari, Finland

What's included?

  • Return flights between London and Ivalo (via Helsinki). Flight routes are subject to change.
  • Return scheduled group shuttle airport transfers
  • 7 nights accommodation in twin/double hotel rooms
  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Aurora workshop
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Two Aurora Camp visits
  • Snowshoe hike
  • Minibus search for the Northern Lights
  • Snowmobile safari to reindeer farm
  • Aurora snowshoe
  • 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
Accommodation Upgrade to Superior Sauna Room
No of Days: 1
Upgrade to log cabin
No of Days: 1
Accommodation Upgrade to Aurora Cabin
No of Days: 1

Personalise This Tour

Tour Map

Additional Info

Price is based on 2 persons travelling

Tour terms, click here  

Booking conditions click here

Payment and Cancellation Terms:

Please note that the following cancellation terms supersede in part those mentioned in Section 7 of our general booking terms and conditions.

If you are travelling between, and including, the dates of 15.12-06.01, the following cancellation terms apply:

– Prior to 25.09 – Loss of deposit (including the full cost of the flights or other services where paid at the time of booking)

– 26.09 up until departure date – 100%

For all other travel dates, the following cancellation terms apply: 

– Up to balance due date (this is normally 16 weeks prior to departure however some holidays differ. If this applies to your holiday you will be advised at the time of booking) – Loss of deposit (including the full cost of flights or other services where paid at the time of booking)

– Between balance due date and 43 days prior to departure – 60%

– 42 to 16 days prior to departure – 85%

– 15 or less days – 100% 

Key Facts

Duration 7 or more nights
Pace Active, Balanced
Holiday Type Package Holiday
Max Group Size NA
Cities / Destinations Finland, Muotka
Brochure Code 20004
Price from
£2,695 pp
8 days

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Wilderness Hotel Muotka – Searching for the Northern Lights


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