Northern lights short break, Finland

Countries:
Finland, Lapland
Price:
From £1315 - £1345 (5 days) including UK flights
Included: Return UK flights, airport transfers, 4 nights spa hotel (please ask for log cabin supplement), 4 breakfasts, 4 dinners, activities as per itinerary (order subject to change), cold weather clothing, access to Aurora Lounge & Aurora Alert.
Vouchers: accepted
Dates:
2016: 13 Jan, 26 Jan, 10 Feb, 17 Feb, 3 Mar
Availability:
Check availability on all dates
Reviews:
8 reviews4 star rating
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Northern lights short break, Finland

Interview with the MD of this company

Ali McLean "Gazing in wonderment at the Northern Lights from a remote cabin high on a Lappish Fell. It doesn’t get any better than that."

Read the full interview with Ali McLean here

Responsible tourism: Northern lights short break, Finland

Environment

Our vacations rely on visiting beautiful and un-spoilt areas, and they don't come more un- spoilt than Luosto. Naturally we wish to maintain the natural settings in which we work, not just for the future of our company, but also for future generations. We always insist that our local providers are equally conscious of this.

The wooden chalets that we use as accommodation are built using sustainable timbers and are all extremely well insulated to ensure maximum efficiency.

We do appreciate that some may feel that snowmobiles should not be included in such itineraries however in areas such as Luosto they are a way of life. They are the only means of keeping in contact with remote reindeer herders and communities as the road infrastructure is not extensive.

All trails are well managed. The alternatives to snowmobiles would in most cases be large, gas-guzzling off road vehicles. All snowmobiles are regularly serviced and kept as fuel efficient as possible. Our suppliers also utilise new 4-stroke engines that are less polluting.

The snowmobile service industry is also another vital source of employment in these remote areas. We always ensure that all litter is removed from any of our activity sites, we strongly encourage group transfers to reduce traffic volumes and we make our clients aware of their obligation to the environment. We always offset our air travel emissions and would encourage you to do the same.

Community

Tourism in Finnish Lapland has become the main source of employment and income, replacing traditional industries such as forestry. Working within this growth industry in rural and remote areas means that we must take a great deal of responsibility; socially, environmentally and economically.

We fully appreciate the impact of tourist visits on local communities and their residents and strive to ensure that we are having a positive effect. We always encourage all of our clients to respect and embrace the lives and culture of local inhabitants by learning a few important words: hello, goodbye, please, thank you etc.

We have also included activities with a cultural base in our vacation. In addition, we always encourage our clients to get involved in local events and activities which help to sustain traditional values and customs.

In all of our destinations we ensure that we use local suppliers, enabling locally owned businesses and the economies in which they work to benefit directly.

Our suppliers in Luosto provide a vital source of employment throughout the whole region. The restaurant serves as much local produce as possible. Many of our safaris in Luosto also utilise other local enterprises such as the amethyst mine and the remote smoke sauna and restaurant we use in one of our activities is the primary income for a local couple.

Through the tourism multiplier effect, this all helps to generate incomes and employment where the drift might otherwise be towards larger employment areas such as towns and cities. In a small and remote village such as Luosto the effects of such a drift could be devastating.

The use of small businesses means that the tourism income, generated by our presence, stays where it should, in the local economy. We firmly believe in paying a fair price for all the services provided by our suppliers regardless of where they are in the world.

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Northern lights short break, Finland : the story of this vacation company

The founder of this company started as a family summer operator over 10 years ago. When he started adding a few Lapland vacations he was amazed at how popular they were and, avoiding the ski resorts, he set up more snow vacations in privately-owned accommodations in the wilderness. Today, these places are filled every winter with people living the dream - going on husky safaris across frozen lakes and cooking on log fires beneath the glorious Northern Lights. Many visitors book these vacations as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity but find themselves returning again and again, unable to resist the magnificent snowscapes.

Northern lights short break, Finland

Reviewed 12 Dec 2014 by Thomas White5 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The snowmobiling through the forests to go husky sledging and reindeer sledging was brilliant!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


It was easy to put too many layers of clothing on when doing sporting activities such as skiing. Take your own balaclava or two and glove liners. You can rinse out your clothes it you get too sweaty and dry them in electric dryers that each hotel has. So you don't need to go over the top with too many winter clothes. The warm winter clothes they supply are excellent and all you need are some thermals for a couple of days

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Everything was very 'eco'. The people are so friendly and helpful... I only met one grumpy person in a shop!

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


I had reservation when I booked this vacation. It was in my top three vacations and I have travelled a lot. An absolute must!

Reviewed 09 Mar 2014 by Alison Ferguson5 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Husky sledging.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Snowsuits extremely warm, packing a lot of heavy clothing unnecessary.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Daughter said, "best vacation ever".

Reviewed 10 Mar 2014 by Rene Ostapuk4 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Seeing the Northern Lights! When the skies opened up on our final night, it was like a big bow on top of a really special present. Amazing! We also enjoyed all the activities provided through the local operator. They were well organized and easily accomplished. The surrounding forest is so beautiful and it was incredible to venture out into the pristine surroundings.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Don't stress or worry about bringing extra warm clothing. As long as you have layers you will be fine with the suits provided. The only time we were too cold was when we stood in the middle of the frozen lake waiting to view the lights, about 3 hours. For this, the heat packs and balaclava were very beneficial. There is a fire pit available on shore to help keep you warm. We brought a lot of heat packs and used only a few.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Absolutely! We thoroughly enjoyed visiting the husky and reindeer farms. The reindeer farmer explained that his family has raised reindeer for generations. Tourism helps to pay for the feed, now needed to sustain his herd, due to
the fact that the forest is too young to produce the moss that used to feed the reindeer. We were told of similar stories from the husky camp. We also shopped at the local market and ate local food in the restaurant.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


This was an amazing adventure. I would really recommend participating in all the activities as they provided me with an enthusiastic adventure each and every day. The lights were an amazing bonus, especially since clouds were forecast for our entire trip. It was very difficult to leave and return home; I wanted to stay longer!

Reviewed 05 Jan 2014 by Tricia Callaghan4 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Snowmobile safari to the amethyst mine. Digging for your own - I found a really
big one! I could almost close my hand around it so they let me keep it. The
views were breathtaking. We didn't get to see the Northern Lights but I still
enjoyed every minute of it. The staff were great, so friendly. It dipped to
minus 10-12 but with the outdoor gear we were given we never felt cold!
The Finnish people are lovely.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


If you are traveling alone be aware of the single supplement on the activities
- it is quite hefty.

Outdoor gear including mittens boots and overall - brilliant don't bother
taking your own. Do take a good hat.

Try as many of the activities as possible.
There isn't much chance to dress up - don't bother taking anything too smart.
The hotel food is good - the salmon was out of this world.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Benefited local people.
Huge amount of electricity needed to heat the rooms etc so I can't say it helps
reduce environmental impact.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


I didn't see the Northern Lights, like for most people was my dream BUT I did
have a fab time and will always remember the wonderful views/experiences.
Don't expect to see them just think that you will still have that experience to
look forward to.

Reviewed 03 Jan 2014 by Nicola Cullen4 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Husky sledging!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Nil.....all v well catered for.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Fantastic, despite not seeing northern lights.

Reviewed 07 Mar 2014 by John Thorpe3 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The last evening with the visit to Kuusiranta and Northern lights dinner.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Read the information you are issued by The activity company carefully and take note especially on the clothes you actually need. Don't assume you need to spend loads of money on special clothing....you don't.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


It certainly benefitted the locals in as much as not only the hotel staff are all local but also the guides and suppliers of the winter wear and all the activities were hosted by locals and very good they all were.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Very good. Although it is not cheap. it is a one off. Although we were not fortunate enough to see the Northern Lights, nearly all on the trip would not return as the cost was prohibitive.

Reviewed 10 Feb 2014 by Anne Stevenson3 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The room was well equipped and comfortable. Spectacular scenery and powder snow. Loved the evening around the fire, eating salmon in kuurisanta.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Don't go expecting to see the Northern Lights. We were there for 5 nights and there was only low level clouds covering the sky. Once you accept this, it's still lots of fun. But do pre-book anything you desperately want to do....I missed out on the husky dogs and ice fishing, as they were fully booked.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I didn't see any recycling bins anwhere so not sure how this is managed. Most activities in the area seem to be focused on tourism, so I'm sure locals do benefit economically.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent, relaxing....such fun.

Reviewed 04 Mar 2012 by Diane Wilkinson4 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Seeing the Northern Lights.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Don't take too many clothes - either smart ones or extra warm ones.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Certainly very green.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Very good indeed.
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Vacation Reviews

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Date
Prices (Adult,pp)
Basis
Status
 
13 Jan 2016
£1315
including UK flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 13 Jan 2016 departure
26 Jan 2016
£1325
including UK flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 26 Jan 2016 departure
10 Feb 2016
£1345
including UK flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 10 Feb 2016 departure
17 Feb 2016
£1345
including UK flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 17 Feb 2016 departure
03 Mar 2016
£1345
including UK flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 03 Mar 2016 departure

Small group vacations

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?

Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.

Who is it ideal for?

Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.

Mythbuster

“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.

Meet a group Leader

As well as taking care of all the day-to-day practicalities, your group leader is the one who will turn your trip into an adventure. Leaders are extraordinary characters – the kind of person who has spent 14 Christmas days on the slopes of Mount Everest, runs marathons wearing tiger suits to raise funds for their conservation and thinks nothing of leading an overland trip in Sudan or Afghanistan. Fearless and inspiring, group leaders are as important as the destination itself.

Meet a local guide

No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure. As well as doing crazy things like climbing Kilimanjaro 100 times, they also donate their time to local projects supported by travelers – such as rebuilding Sri Lankan villages following the 2004 tsunami.
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