13 independent reviews for Northern Lights vacation, Finnish Lapland

Reviews for Northern Lights vacation, Finnish Lapland

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review 13 Mar 2019

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

Every single day! Taking part in different activities each day, changing accommodation every few days, and different meal formulas each day (many different restaurants, self-catering, home-cooked meals and take outs) meant that every day brought us new experiences and individual memories which is very different to a vacation where everything blurs into one when you stay and eat in the same place each day. Of the activities, all were superbly family friendly (we were there with 7 and 8 year olds), but the day at the Husky Farm was the most exciting - a four hour husky sledding trip and helping to feed the dogs afterwards. We really appreciated having Riitta on call via Whats App throughout the vacation, so we could ask any last minute questions about the itinerary and she could let us know of any changes. It was a bit like having an independent travel experience with a guardian angel watching over us!

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

1) Use the trips advertised as your starting point, and then talk to Riitta to hone the content and experience to your own wishes. Riitta put together a super bespoke trip for our family based on two trips we were interested in, and took a lot of care to make sure that each element fully met our expectations. Originally we were hesitant to move around so much with the kids, but it worked out very well as we got to see a lot of the country. 2) It's cold outside... ! In March we had minus 34 celsius on some days. It's recommended to hire clothing (ski suits/overalls, mittens and boots) as they are cut big enough to put at least three good layers of clothing underneath (even another ski jacket), and are thick enough for the winter temperatures. Take good quality silk or wool gloves that can go inside the mittens, long ski socks and wool socks to go on top, to keep your hands and feet warm. Check with the agent that the boots you are hiring are the ones that pull in tight at the top, so the snow doesn't go in - we had mixed experiences with the boots but otherwise we never felt cold. 3) One to two days in Rovaniemi is enough - it was great to visit Santa with the kids and we enjoyed the Arktikum museum but Santa's village and the sporting activities centerd there appeared very much a commercial venture packed with tourists. We were glad to spend the majority of our trip in the wilderness further north and just drop in on Rovaniemi at the end.

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

Yes. Everything seemed as natural as possible, given that it was a vacation where we were trying out different winter sports. Pleasingly, we didn't see a single gift shop for the first 6 days of our 9 day trip :) and Riitta made sure that all activities were authentic. For example, the day before we were due to visit a reindeer farm Riitta found out from the hotel that they were going to take us to a commercial reindeer tourist resort which she felt would be inappropriate for us. She went ahead and negotiated with them to ensure we would visit a real reindeer farm as planned. We only knew about this as it resulted in a small change in our itinerary, and we very much appreciated that she kept on top of all the details like this. We were also glad to be booking through a travel company specialising in Finland, who are based in Finland.

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

Outstanding. This was the trip of a lifetime!

review 1 Mar 2019

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

Meeting Reindeers and sled dogs, watching Aurora Borealis.

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

Stay in one spot.

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

Yes, benefited local people, no increased environmental impact, yes supported conservation.

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

Great.

review 14 Jan 2019

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

The Northern Lights! I was blessed to see it two out of three nights! All in, a fabulous vacation ~ loved every moment of it.

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

If it's the Northern Lights you want to see, manage expectations. Nature performs to its own schedule. Be sure to enjoy the rest of what nature and Finland/Lapland has to offer.

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

Definitely. Spending time with the Sami people and visiting their cultural center has also made more even more aware of the need to protect the environment.

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

I couldn't have asked for more! It was a fantastic vacation, the tour company was extremely accommodating and efficiently responsive. I take this opportunity to commend them, and Responsible Travel.

review 5 Mar 2019

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

It’s hard to pick one out! But I think our snow-shoeing walk, in sunshine, getting into the beautiful, pristine snowy landscape of the national park stood out for me. (I love walking, and skiing, and this was like a bit of both experiences put together.)

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

Be very warmly clothed and shod!

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

I felt happy to be supporting the local economy - e.g.the restaurant that provided our meals - and even helping to keep local activities alive, such as dog-sleighing.

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

Our hosts couldn’t have been more friendly or helpful, so we felt really welcome which was lovely. I loved the range of activities, and the pace of the break was just right: active and varied, but not rushed or stressed. I would just recommend that it’s made clearer what happens on each activity. All three guided tours included quite long breaks around a fire, reducing the time spent actually doing the activity. I understand this may suit some visitors, and they were nice opportunities to chat to our guides, but for example on the snow shoeing walk, we would have preferred simply to walk further and were expecting a 2hr walk (we are quite regular walkers) rather than a long stop around a fire.

review 21 Mar 2018

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

Husky ride

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

Take plenty of layers to keep warm if visiting in march

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?

Value for money, great action packed vacation

review 20 Feb 2018

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

Husky dog sleigh day at Guesthouse Husky.

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

Be prepared for the cold and it's not a problem.

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! We booked with a tour operator through Responsible Travel. Riitta, organised everything perfect. The entire vacation was hassle free thanks to Riita. All activities were of excellent quality. Rita chose perfectly for our group. I would highly recommend.

review 27 Feb 2018

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

The Husky Safari and Wilderness Boutique Hotel.

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

Stay at least 5 days (or longer if possible). We absolutely loved our time in Finland, but unfortunately time (and cost) were a major factor in us staying for 4 days. Also, a special mention for Riitta. She was great at responding to my queries quickly, and often with useful information.

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

Yes. The trekking hotel was locally owned, and a major part of tourism for that part of Finland. Also had some excellent facilities.

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

Brilliant. Such a wonderful and unique experience with a friendly bunch of local and knowledgeable people at hand. Wished we could stay longer and only saw a mild version of the Northern Lights on 1 night - but beggars can't be choosers! Will definitely try and go back in some sort of capacity again.

review 24 Jul 2017

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

All of the accommodation, guiding and tours in Lapland and Repovesi were of a terrific standard and in some cases outstanding. The most memorable part of a very memorable trip was the Tentsile camping experience. This is where we camped overnight in beautiful surroundings with comfortable bedding in a tent suspended in the trees. The catering and camping facilities were exceptional.

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

Our tour organiser co-ordinated everything so that all we had to do was "turn-up". We think that having access to individual tour components on the website enabled us to have an intelligent conversation about the best travel options in a country we knew little about. Riita then just made things happen by providing transport options between the various components so our "tour" became seamless. We should add that this was done with a very short notice period. So the main tip is to consider the options on offer and then engage directly with the organiser. The second tip is stay a minimum of two nights in each place and in some three-this was our mistake, we rushed the trip and would in retrospect have added a night at each stop.

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

Having communication with a local Finnish operator made us feel that local people were actively engaged. We felt this strongly as we talked with each of the guides assigned to us. In all cases the guides emphasised the environmental impacts of tourism and what they were doing to enhance sustainability. The hotels themselves also promoted care for the environment. An important experience for us both was a guided tour of the Sami parliament in Inari. Learning first hand how indigenous people were attempting to maintain their cultural integrity had a major impact on us.

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

Amazing! We really started with a blank sheet and and a short notice period so it was challenging for anyone to organise . The operator put a lot of care and thought into the organisation of our trip and the result for us meant a thoroughly enjoyable and stress-free travel experience. It has left us wanting to return to Finland again.

review 30 Mar 2017

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

All arrangements went very well. The programs arranged were excellent. My wife and I enjoyed the husky rides and snow mobile safari. Had 2 night of fantastic aurora experience.

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

Come during the end of winter and beginning of spring. Even during this period aurora watching in the open is extremely cold. Need to be proper attired.

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

Yes, learned a lot about the Sami culture.

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

Excellent.

review 22 Mar 2017

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

Watching the glorious Northern Lights in an igloo room in Nellim in the northern part of Lapland; spending the night in a cabin in the wilderness for photographers near Kuhmo in the east, close to the Russian border; spending 2 days in a non-touristic huskies farm;

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

Go to the Lapland end of February to mid-march, it's the best time. Don't worry if you do not speak a word of Finnish, everyone speaks English.

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

Not really, but it did not damage it. I wish there was more obvious recycling, though.

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

Exquisite, magical, enriching and extremely well organized by our agent Ritta. Although it was hard at the beginning to make her understand our travel needs and demand, she did understand them and completely satisfied them. She could not have done much better: it was seamless.

Read the operator's response here:

There is a very high national standard of recycling in Finland. Maybe we should make it more visible. Your wish will be communicated to the local service providers, which in this case were many.

review 16 Feb 2017

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

It's hard to say as every aspect of the vacation was fantastic. If I have to say one thing it would be the activities, exciting, brilliantly organised and great fun!

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

Take warm socks. We were advised to take good socks and it was good advice! So thank you Riitta x

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

A lot of the staff and activity leaders were local so I guess it is good for local tourism? It was clear that all the staff took care of the environment.

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

Best vacation ever!

review 20 Mar 2016

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

Everything, but if I really had to choose - husky sledding and seeing the Aurora the three nights I was there!

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

Dress in layers as the weather is so unpredictable.

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?

Perfect!

review 15 Feb 2016

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

Snowshoeing in the dark

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

Leave plenty of time between arrival at Rovaniemi and your flight, as there is only 2 desks, and 1 security lane, and lots of Japanese with huge suitcases.

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

Supported local companies

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

Very good

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