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Latest Review Winter Adventure Elizabeth McIlroy (Reviewed 02, Mar 2011)
Fantastic. This was the most fulfilling holiday we had been on. We were content to return to the UK after the 7days because we did all that we came to ...
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the aurora zone
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Husky Safari Northern Lights
Included in the price...
  • Duration: 5 nights
  • Group Size: Approximately 2 - 8 people.
  • Suitable for: Anybody over the age of 18. See our terms for further information.
  • Flights: Flights from London Heathrow (regional departures may be available on request) to Ivalo Airport (via Helsinki)
  • Transfers: Return group airport transfers*
  • Accommodation: 5 nights winter cottage accommodation
  • Activities (order subject to change): Cross-country skiing, introduction to Utsjoki, fell safari, reindeer, snowshoeing, husky safari, reindeer safari and winter fishing
  • Meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
  • Cold weather clothing is provided during winter activities
  • Fully qualified wilderness guides and instructors during activities
  • *Arrivals which do not meet the group transfer times will be subject to a private transfer supplement.

Welcome to wild Lapland where the population density is 0.25 people per square kilometre which makes it a tad quieter than, say, London (4,978/sq km according to Wikipedia). The aim of this holiday is to show you what life is really like in an environment where snow covers the ground for six months of the year and reindeer comfortably outnumber the human population. Don’t panic though, every night you’ll return to some cosy and comfortable accommodation run by a wonderful Sámi family. Guests who have stayed here previously have always left as friends, set to return the following winter.

Your winter cottage accommodation is situated about 2km from Utsjoki town and boasts an enviable aspect with views north across the Teno River and into Norway. This is prime Northern Lights territory with frequent and spectacular displays which even have the locals gazing skywards. There are evening safaris available should you wish to include these during your stay and they can be arranged and paid for locally. We have not included them in the holiday as your accommodation at Utsjoki provides such great views of the Lights that they may be surplus to requirements.

The countryside around Utsjoki consists largely of dramatic snow-covered fells whose peaks rise above the tree-line. It can be an inhospitable place so the company of a good wilderness guide is a priority and an education. It’s fascinating to learn how the Sámi people have survived in such a barren landscape for so many centuries.

This is a unique destination that is far off the beaten track but offers so much to any visitor to the region.

Suitable for

Anybody aged 18 years or over.

Alistair Mclean - Activities Abroad

Our Opinion

"Utsjoki is about as far north as you can go in Finland and up here the vegetation and terrain changes dramatically from the sedate lake and forest scenery further south. There’s a stark and rugged beauty about Utsjoki’s rolling and barren fells. This is a land of far horizons where reindeer and their Sámi herders eke out a living and have done so for centuries. The way of life here is as traditional as anywhere we’ve come across on our travels. Nevertheless, it’s easy to appreciate why the Sámi people might have embraced the arrival of central heating pretty quickly! The word “genuine” is used too freely in travel literature but not here in Utsjoki because this is where Europe’s only indigenous people still live and work. It is a very different way of life!"  Ali Mclean

Your Opinion

"I got back from Utsjoki ('the top of Finland') on Friday and I'm just emailing to let you know what an excellent experience it was in all respects (even at -35°C). Travelling was trouble-free, the hosts were professional-yet-friendly and attentive to our needs (that's me and the only other people there, a couple from Germany) - though we didn't actually need anything outside of what was provided.  The food was particularly fabulous.  We agreed that Anne and Petteri made us feel more like welcome visitors than 'tourists' - I particularly appreciated that as a lone traveller - and I'd definitely recommend this for anyone wanting a closer-to-nature experience than some of the hotel-based trips.  The Northern Lights made their appearance twice (that we caught).  That's not something you could have laid on but I thought you might like to know.  Best birthday ever! " Hilary Hazzard - Feb 14

Lomakyla Valle

Commercial 5 star hotels don’t exist this far north in Finland, however 5 star locations certainly do. Here at Utsjoki you will receive a warm and friendly welcome at the relaxed, family-owned and operated accommodation. The family who own this unique place are traditional Sámi reindeer herders and so you will really get to glimpse what life is like for the people that live this far North. Previous clients have simply not wanted to return to the realities of life further south.

Hotel facilities
The accommodation comprises of a central building which includes a dining room with fireplace, a reception area and lounge with striking views of the stunning fell landscape.

Meals are served in the main building and tend to be a set menu containing many local dishes and produce as well as some more international flavours.

This is a very special place and far off the tourist trail so only a lucky few people ever get to experience this region. We can highly recommend being one of them.

Room types

Surrounding the main building (within 100 metres) are eight winter cottages. Inside each are two bedrooms, a kitchenette, living area, fireplace, WC and sauna. These cottages are very cosy and provide guests with their own Lappish home for the duration of their stay. There is nothing nicer then coming back after a day in the wilds to a log fire and your own private heated sauna – just lovely.

Day 1: Flights, transfers and welcome
You will arrive into the depths of the Arctic at Ivalo Airport and be transferred directly to your accommodation at Utsjoki. If your arrival is late in the evening, you will be served a packed meal during the 2 - 2.5hr drive from the airport. The northern skies are visible all the way to Utsjoki and many a transfer has been interrupted by a display of the Aurora.

Upon arrival you will be greeted by your Sámi hosts and can settle into your accommodation in the cabins here. For those who have arrived earlier in the day you will enjoy dinner before you head to bed (Aurora permitting) and enjoy your first peaceful night in the very north of Finland.

Day 2: Cross-country skiing and introduction to Utsjoki
After a good night’s sleep and hearty breakfast you will begin your introduction to the Arctic.

First up today is a cross-country skiing lesson (so you can master this Scandinavian obsession) and guidance on how to best use snowshoes. These are two very popular methods of exploring this rugged yet stunningly pretty landscape.

You will be led on a short trip by your guide who will provide you with details of the flora and fauna of the region. Whilst you are out you will learn about the variety of animal tracks that are dotted across the snow and your guide will show you how best to identify their maker. You will also be given a crash course in fire lighting, an essential skill in these parts.

After lunch back at Utsjoki you will be taken to the fascinating church houses which are located close to the village. They principally date back to the 18th century and were used by people who had to cross vast distances to attend services at the local church. You will also visit the village of Utsjoki and have the chance to see some local Sámi handicrafts that are created by local artisans. Such traditional crafts play a key part in this village and ensure the survival of many Sámi traditions.

Dinner will be served back at the cabins. After enjoying your meal don’t forget to keep an eye on the sky in case the Northern Lights are performing their magical dance.

Day 3: Reindeer and local culture
This spectacular and seemingly endless wilderness is just begging to be explored and so this morning, after a hearty breakfast, your guide will collect you for a short walk to the nearby reindeer farm. You will be given the chance to encounter and feed reindeer. Your hosts will give you an understanding of reindeer husbandry and all that is involved in the animals’ survival in this sometimes hostile environment before enjoying a snowmobile-pulled sled ride into the fells.

You make a stop for hot drinks which will be served by campfire before heading back to Utsjoki. Later on this evening you will be served your dinner in a Kota which is a Lappish wooden tepee and will again have the chance to catch a glimpse of the Aurora.

Day 4: Husky safari
After breakfast you will be transferred around 50 minutes across the border into Norway to Tana. Here you will meet with the local musher who will show you how to handle a sled and a team of eager huskies. You will depart on a husky safari lasting around two hours, travelling two people per sled.

After the safari you will enjoy some snacks and coffee around a campfire. You will have time to say goodbye to the dogs at the end of your tour and take as many pictures as you wish before you head back to Utsjoki for dinner.

Day 5: Winter fishing, reindeer and snowshoeing
After breakfast you will travel by a snowmobile pulled sledge to a frozen lake, a favourite fishing spot in the area. Your guide will show you the best techniques for winter fishing success. There is the possibility that you may catch Arctic trout, grayling or the local white fish.

Your hosts are reindeer herders and so it is fitting that today you should learn more about these animals which are central to Sámi culture. It’s a very short walk to the reindeer corrals near your cabins.

Your snowshoe introduction will come into play this afternoon as you venture slightly further into the fells on foot. During your day in the fells a warming lunch will be served on an open fire and you will be out for around 4 - 5 hours.

Day 6: Departure
Today you will leave your northern adventure and return to the airport for your flights home.

Price per person based on 2 adults
Depart Adult
04/12/2016 £1695
11/12/2016 £1695
08/01/2017 £1695
15/01/2017 £1695
22/01/2017 £1685
29/01/2017 £1695
05/02/2017 £1685
12/02/2017 £1695
19/02/2017 £1695
26/02/2017 £1675
05/03/2017 £1675
12/03/2017 £1675
19/03/2017 £1645
26/03/2017 £1675
02/04/2017 £1675
Supplements :
Name Adult
Single Supplement £220
Optional evening activity: 2 hour guided snowshoe search for the Northern Lights £66
Optional evening activity: 2 hour tour in sleigh pulled by snowmobile £80
Optional evening activity: 2 hour search for the Northern Lights by car £76
Extra Night (half board) (per person based on 2 sharing a cabin) £80
Optional evening activity: 2 hour search for the Aurora in reindeer sleigh £126
Optional day activity: 1 day husky safari in Tana and surrounding fell area £391
Optional day activity: 2 day husky safari in Tana and surrounding fell area £675
N.B. Prices in brackets denote a price deduction.

Pricing Notes

Optional evening activities (min 2 people). 

Additional airport transfer supplemet is compulsory when staying an additionl night(s). 

Other dates are on a request basis for a minimum of 4 persons.