Wilderness Hotel Nellim – Northern Lights over Lake Inari

  • All Prices Include: Transfers, accommodation, meals, guided activities and cold weather clothing; all as listed.
Flights Included
  • Details


Our Northern Lights over Lake Inari trip is one of our most-loved 4-night holidays. With its exciting and varied winter activities, remote location and dedicated night-time Aurora hunts, it’s very easy to see why.

In the far northeast corner of Finland, the tiny village of Nellim's remote location ensures not only an incredibly scenic wilderness setting for your trip but also fantastic Aurora potential. The warm and welcoming Wilderness Hotel Nellim is located close to the shore of Lake Inari and the lake’s frozen surface provides an ideal Aurora viewing spot. The hotel also has incredible Aurora Bubbles and Aurora Kotas on-site and guests can upgrade to spend the night in these, gazing directly at the Arctic sky from the comfort of their bed.

On one evening, you will travel to one of Nellim's Aurora Camps. They have several at their disposal, all situated in locations chosen to maximise your chances of seeing the Aurora, with their clear night sky views. Here you can warm yourself by the fire and enjoy a hot drink while waiting for a potential Northern Lights display to light up the sky. Another of your nights will be spent on an Aurora snowshoe hike where you can really appreciate the silence and beauty of the surroundings as you walk along snowy trails and look up at the night sky. You will also hunt the lights by car one night, as the flexibility this gives you to outmanoeuvre cloud cover and reach different viewing points quickly can be a real plus.

Whilst the evening excursions are undoubtedly a highlight of this holiday, the days are also filled with some wonderful activities which showcase this remarkable region. You will drive a snowmobile along snowy trails, enjoy a morning with a reindeer herder where you will gain an insight into the importance of these animals to this region and take on a husky safari across the lake, as you guide a team of eager dogs through this spectacular landscape.

Nellim is where four of us here at The Aurora Zone, on separate occasions, got our first glimpse of the Northern Lights and so it holds a very special place in our hearts. There is something about it, with its warm hospitality, beautiful scenery and very knowledgeable guides that make it a very special place indeed. This, in combination with its almost total lack of light pollution and array of Aurora-watching locations, makes it an ideal destination for a Northern Lights holiday.

Please note that the activities outlined will all be included in your holiday, however, the order of activities listed here is for guidance only, and your final timetable will be confirmed on arrival.


Upon arrival at the airport, you will be welcomed and transferred* to Wilderness Hotel Nellim in the northeast corner of Finland.

You can check in and then a hearty dinner will be served in the hotel’s main restaurant.

Before heading to bed, you may want to take a wander down to the edge of Lake Inari, as this is a prime Aurora spot! The beauty of Nellim’s remote location is that there is almost no light pollution, so you don’t need to go far at all if the skies are clear and conditions are favourable.

On one of your nights you may choose to upgrade your accommodation to one of the spectacular Aurora Bubbles or Aurora Kotas at Nellim, or perhaps you may like to head out for an evening of searching for the Northern Lights via snowmobile.

The order of activities listed in this agenda is provided for guidance only, your final itinerary will be provided on arrival at your accommodation.

*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 Nellim
Airport Transfer
Wilderness Hotel Nellim - Check In
Address : Nellim, Inari, Finland

On your first morning at Nellim, you will see that this is a location that is not just about the Aurora and evening activities. During the day, it is a remarkably beautiful part of the world with dazzling frozen lakes, fells and forests blanketed in snow.

After breakfast this morning, you will head out with your guide into the wilderness as you explore on snowmobiles. Your guide will give you a full safety briefing and a driving lesson before you head out along the local trails exploring your new surroundings. You will ride two per snowmobile and you can swap drivers during the safari if both of you hold a full driving licence (you must also be over 18 to drive a snowmobile). The activity lasts around two hours in total.

Lunch will be served back at the hotel.

This evening, after dinner, you will make your first journey to one of Nellim’s Aurora Camps, travelling there by a snowmobile-pulled sleigh. The camps are situated in carefully chosen spots, which offer magnificent views of the night sky.

Your guide will prepare a fire and as a group, you will gather around and enjoy hot drinks as you watch the skies for a potential Aurora display. You will be out for approximately two and a half hours tonight.

Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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

Today you will enjoy one of the highlights of any trip to Lapland as you take control of a team of eager huskies. The husky kennels are just a short distance from the hotel and before setting off your experienced musher guide will give you all a safety briefing and full instructions.

You will travel two people per sled (with the chance to swap places and each drive the dog team) as your dogs pull you over frozen lakes and through snow-covered forests. There is not much that can compare with travelling in such a time-honoured fashion. You will be out on the trail for around 1.5 hours* and there will be time for you to take photos with the dogs on your return to the kennels.  Following the husky safari, you will enjoy lunch back at the hotel.

This afternoon you will have some free time to either relax or perhaps explore independently by hiring some cross-country skis or snowshoes. Marked trails start from the hotel and the reception team can provide you with a map (see the ‘personalise section for details). Additional activities may also be available locally.

After dinner, you will head back out into the wilderness, but this time equipped with snowshoes. Snowshoes help you walk through the deep snow so you can admire the peaceful surroundings as you make your way towards an excellent Aurora viewpoint. Here you will enjoy warm drinks as you look up at the night sky where hopefully if conditions are favourable, the Northern Lights will make an appearance. You will be out for approximately two and a half hours this evening.

* Please note that this safari is sometimes described locally as being 3 hrs in duration, but this duration includes lunch (which we include as standard of course).

Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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

Today your expert guide will accompany you to a local reindeer farm, where you will encounter the animals and discuss their importance with the guide. They will talk to you about the lives of the reindeer and you’ll get the chance to feed the animals. The activity will last for around two hours.

Following dinner tonight, you will head out by minibus on your final hunt for the Northern Lights. The advantage of the minibus is that it offers additional mobility to potentially outrun any cloud cover that may be blocking an Aurora. This, in addition to the guide’s excellent local knowledge, should hopefully allow your final night to be filled with Northern Lights.

You will be out for approximately 3 hours tonight.

Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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

Today you will transfer for your return flights home. If you are departing on an early flight then a boxed breakfast will be provided for you to take with you.

Included Meals:  Breakfast

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

What's included?

  • Return from London to Ivalo (via Helsinki). Flight routes are subject to change.
  • Return airport transfers
  • 4 nights’ accommodation in twin/double hotel rooms. Accommodation upgrades can be arranged, subject to availability and supplement
  • 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Snowmobile safari
  • Aurora snowshoeing
  • Aurora Camp
  • Husky safari
  • Reindeer farm visit
  • Aurora hunt by car
  • 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 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
Accommodation Upgrade to Arctic Suite
No of Days: 1
Accommodation Upgrade to Aurora Cabin
No of Days: 1
Accommodation Upgrade - Log Suite
No of Days: 1
Aurora Kota (Not Keeping Original Accommodation)
No of Days: 1
Aurora Bubble (Not Keeping Room)
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

Key Facts

Pace Active
Holiday Type Package Holiday
Max Group Size NA
Cities / Destinations Finland, Nellim
Brochure Code 2903
Price from
£2,095 pp
5 days

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Wilderness Hotel Nellim – Northern Lights over Lake Inari


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