Aurora on the horizon, Torasseippi, Finland

Finland Northern Lights Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Short Breaks
Destinations:
Finland
Programmes:
Winter
Trip Code:
CFL
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

4 Days Flight Inclusive
4 Days Land only
Min age: 16

Trip Overview

In order to truly appreciate the Northern Lights in their full glory, it is recommended to have the following; zero light pollution, close proximity to solar wind activity and a unique landscape. High above the Arctic Circle, this long weekend in a remote part of Finnish Lapland covers all three. With expert local guides, head deep into a unique snow-laden wilderness that will, with any luck, become the backdrop to one of the most spectacular natural phenomena on Earth.

At a Glance

  • 2 nights hotel, 1 night wilderness cabin
  • 2 days mixed activities and Northern Lights themed excursions
  • Group normally 4 to 12, plus leaders. Min age 16 years
  • No previous experience necessary
  • Basic level of fitness required

Trip Highlights

  • See the Northern lights with expert guides
  • Enjoy exciting winter activities
  • Experience a unique wilderness location

Is This Trip for You?

Level 2 - Leisurely/Moderate

This is a mixed activity trip. None of the activities require previous experience, however a good level of fitness is needed to take part in the dogsledding excursion and in the walks. Please bear in mind that being in the cold for an extended period of time can be quite tiring.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Group

There will be local guides and drivers where needed. As each activity requires different skills there will be a specialist leader for each activity. Should you have any queries during your stay, one of the staff members at Harriniva will be on hand to help you.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
6
Max group size:
12

Itinerary

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Fly to Kittila via Helsinki; transfer to Harriniva (approx. 40mins).

    Our trip starts in Harriniva, located in the beautiful rolling fells of western Lapland, near the border with Sweden. 

    Meals included:
    Dinner
  • Day 2

    Morning dogsledding near national park; "Secrets of the Northern Lights" presentation and evening snowmobile excursion.

    This morning we head to the husky kennels where we will meet our friendly teams, who will be extremely happy to see you. After a short lesson on the basics of dogsledding we head out, 2 to a sled, for a 17 km 'mush' on pre prepared sled tracks. We will then head back to the hotel where will have our lunch.

    In the afternoon we will enjoy a "Secrets of the Northern Lights" presentation with pancakes cooked on an open fire. Dinner will then be served in the hotel restaurant to sample traditional local foods. After digesting, we then suit up and head into the wilderness on snowmobiles in search of the Northern Lights. Our route takes us on a 20km circuit to the top of a nearby fell, where we will enjoy some warm drinks and hopefully a glimpse of the Aurora over the vast untouched Arctic wilderness.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 3

    Morning visit to a local reindeer herder's farm, short tour on traditional reindeer sleds; lunch at Winter village; transfer to wilderness cabin, after-dinner Northern Lights snowshoe walk.

    After a hearty Finnish breakfast we transfer to a local reindeer herder's farm to learn about the life and ways of the Lappish reindeer herder. We will be shown how to throw the Lappish lasso, or 'suopunki', and also experience a 3km ride on a traditional reindeer sled. We will then have lunch at the Winter Village in the Ice Restaurant, which displays ice sculptures designed by local artists. The afternoon is free to relax. Once the sun is firmly below the horison, we then transfer to our wilderness cabin (approx 35mins). Situated deep in the forest our cabin is surrounded by 0 light pollution and is the perfect place to spot the Northern Lights. After dinner there will be a chance to don our snowshoes and head out into the wilderness in search of the Aurora.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 4

    Transfer to Kittila Airport; fly to London via Helsinki.

    Our trip ends in Harriniva.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotel and Wilderness Cabins

At Harriniva we stay in a hotel, right on the edge of the river Etuvayla, the other side of which is Sweden. Each room has cosy pine interiors and a private bathroom with shower. A sauna is available at the hotel.

The wilderness cabin is a dormitory style accommodation with maximum 8 persons per room (mixed dorms). The facilities can be quite simple but cosy with all huts heated by a wood-burning stove. It also features a sauna.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single only guarantees a room for single use. It does not always mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included.
The food provided covers a variety of traditional Finnish dishes and is prepared at a high standard. Vegetarian options also available.

Transportation

A minibus and a coach are used for transfers.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

In the regions close to the Arctic Circle temperatures during the season range from -30ºC to +5ºC. Christmas will normally be the coldest (usually below -20 C), but the temperatures rise as the days lengthen, and early April can see temperatures around -10ºC to +5ºC. Recent years have seen massive fluctuations in the space of a few weeks with lows of -45ºC and highs of +10ºC just a few days apart. Daylight hours In mid-winter (December/January) the sun remains just above the horizon from 10am to about 4pm. But the days lengthen quickly, and by end of March there are more daylight hours than in the UK. For many people, the most exciting time to travel is in January, the low temperatures and shorter days add a sense of adventure. Often the trees are covered in heavy snow at this time of year, and the low-angled light is excellent for photography. Northern Lights There is a chance of seeing the breathtaking Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) from September to late April (on clear nights) at latitudes close to, and above the Arctic Circle. They are also often seen further south, but are less spectacular and less frequent. Solar activity is greater around the equinoxes (September and April), and at lower latitudes this can be the best time to see them. Inside the Arctic Circle, they tend to be just as good in any winter month, nevertheless the Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon and as such cannot be guaranteed. Please note that as this trip is based well above the Arctic Circle the cold weather is very unpredictable. Safety for the clients is always paramount so please be aware that the order of the itinerary and the length of route may be subject to last minute changes.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 8 days

The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of Thomson Airways or Finnair (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings.
Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Travelling land only: 4 days starting and ending in Harriniva

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Harriniva on Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights.
Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it.

If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight ‐ please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense.

If you are arriving at an alternative time, by prior arrangement shared or private transfers can be organised for you. Please contact the customer operations executive for prices.  

Location start:
Harriniva
Location end:
Harriniva

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Equipment Provided:
The following clothing is issued on arrival and are yours throughout the week:

Thermo-overalls, insulated boots, socks, gloves, woollen hat, balaclava.

Equipment not included: Temperatures vary from month to month, but are not always predictable, you need to pack to allow for cold (-20ºC or lower) temperatures. In colder temperatures, you should wear full winter clothing under your overalls: plenty of pairs of thick and thin socks; thermal underwear; jogging bottoms, (fleece trousers or salopettes if you have them); thin fleeces and warm fleece. In warmer temperatures, you can wear less underneath the arctic overalls. Please bring a head torch to participate in some of the activities, it gets dark early. 

We also recommend bringing casual footwear for evenings and travelling (slippers are a good idea for the evenings in the huts); neck warmer; hand warmers; swimming costume (for saunas, but optional). From the last week of February onwards: sunglasses; sun-cream.

Please bring an overnight bag for the night in the wilderness cabin.

Practical Information

Passport

Finland

Most nationalities, including British, require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Certain European nationalities may be able to travel within Europe on their national identity card. Check carefully with the relevant authorities if you intend to do this.

Visa

Finland

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

There are no specific health risks on this trip.

Vaccination

Finland

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

If you are a UK citizen and travelling in Europe you should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your Post Office. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance.

Local Time

Finland's Timezone:
Europe/Helsinki EET (GMT +02:00)

Electricity

Finland's Electricity:

220-240V. European adapter required. 

Money

Finland's Currency

The national currency of Finland is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 1.2 to the UK£ and 0.9 to the US$.

ATM Availability

Credit cards are accepted at Torassieppi.

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 16 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE –STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

Important Notes

What’s the best way to photograph the Northern lights? If all you have is a small point and shoot camera, the best photos you’ll get will be the dark of the night sky with an extremely faint green glow on the horizon. Your friends may not even believe you have seen them. However, if you are looking for that “National Geographic- esque” shot then you will need a good-quality digital SLR, preferably a wide angle lens. A sturdy tripod and a remote shutter release are essential due to the long exposure time required. If you have all of these and are comfortable with the manual settings, then all that’s missing is a healthy dose of good luck on your side (which sadly you cannot buy). Every evening you will go in search of the Northern Lights with leaders who are well versed in the art of photographing the Aurora, so if you have any questions about camera settings, they will be more than happy to assist.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.