Kirkenes - Norway's Northern Lights Frontier
4 night breaks to Northern Norway
See the highlights of Kirkenes and witness the best of Norway’s wild and remote landscape during this 4-night adventure. With snowmobiling, a dog sled safari, Northern Lights hunts and a visit to the famous Snowhotel, you’ll achieve a lot during this short break!
ALL OF THE ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES LISTED BELOW ARE INCLUDED IN THE HOLIDAY PRICE:
Flights: return flights from London Heathrow to Kirkenes (via Oslo). Non-UK and regional departures on request. Flight routes are subject to change
Transfers: return airport transfers
Accommodation: 4 nights accommodation at the Thon or Scandic Hotel. You can upgrade to spend one night at the Snowhotel (see the 'Accommodation' section for more information)
Meals: 4 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
The following activities and equipment are included: Guided snowmobile trip, hunting for the Northern Lights by bus tour, husky safari, Snowhotel visit, Northern Lights king crab snowmobile tour (the order of activities is subject to change)
Cold weather clothing is provided during your activities
Fully qualified wilderness guides and instructors during activities
Welcome meeting with local expert
Upon arrival at Kirkenes Airport, you will be greeted by a guide who will transfer you to your hotel accommodation. You have a choice of two centrally-located hotels, both of which offer excellent facilities for guests and are less than 15 minutes' drive from the airport.
You will arrive at the hotel late in the evening; if you have not already eaten you may enjoy a meal in your hotel's restaurant.
Included Meals: None
Snowmobiling Along the Russian Border and Northern Lights Hunt
After breakfast at the hotel, you are taken straight out to explore Norway's wild frontier in true Arctic style. The most effective way to cover the distance in a wilderness environment such as this is by snowmobile, so today you will set off on an exhilarating safari covering around 80 kilometres!
Following full instruction and a safety briefing from your guide, you will travel two people per snowmobile and will be out for approximately six hours. There will be the chance to swap drivers (providing you both have full driving licences and are over 18 ) allowing you both to take control of the snowmobile and travel as a passenger, enjoying the scenery. This thrilling trip will lead you through the high mountains of Northern Norway to a small village on the edge of the Barents Sea. This is an incredible place to see and you will be able to witness what everyday rural life is like in this extreme location.
Continuing on to the Russian border you will travel past guard towers and border posts where everything has a James Bond feel to it! To round off the trip you will visit an historic chapel before heading back to base for some warm drinks and a well-deserved light lunch at the snowmobile base.
Back at the hotel, there will be a couple of hours for you to rest prior to your inaugural Northern Lights hunt (starting around 7 pm). Your guide will collect you from the hotel in a minibus and take you to the wild Pasvik Valley, an excellent Aurora hunting territory. Upon arrival at the base camp, deep in the wilderness, you will be equipped with your winter clothing in preparation for the start of your Northern Lights quest.
Your knowledgeable guide will check the forecasts and decide whether your best chance of seeing the Northern Lights is towards the Russian border or in the opposite direction at the Finnish border. Travelling by minibus, you’ll use mobility to your advantage as you travel to a carefully selected lookout spot where you will hopefully be greeted with the phenomenal light display.
Warm drinks will be served back at the base before you return to town for a good night's sleep after your action-packed day.
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Husky Safari and Kirkenes Snowhotel
Travelling by dog sled evokes a sense of Arctic adventure that is hard to surpass. Today you will travel in time-honoured fashion during a husky safari.
In the morning, you will transfer (approximately one hour) to the Pasvikdalen Valley for a short sightseeing tour on the way to the husky farm. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the unique nature and culture of these remote borderlands areas. Upon arrival at the husky farm, you will meet with the expert mushers and their dogs. You will immediately see the remarkable bond which the dogs share with their devoted guides; they really do work as a team. Born and bred in this region the huskies are working dogs with seemingly endless enthusiasm for the trails. While they will no doubt be barking in excited anticipation when you arrive, they soon quieten down when you release the brakes and they are free to run.
You will be given full instructions on how to handle your sled and husky pack before setting off in pairs on the trails. One of you will travel as the passenger while the other controls the sled; should you wish, there will also be the chance to swap drivers. Why not upgrade to driving one person per dogsled? See the 'Personalise' section for more information.
You will cover a total distance of approximately 20-25km during your safari. Upon your return to the farm, lunch will be served and you can enjoy warm drinks as you let the experiences of the morning sink in.
There will then be a very short stop at the hotel before the evening's visit to one of Kirkenes' most famous attractions: the famous Snowhotel, around 10 minutes from the town.
This unique piece of snow and ice architecture is a real marvel and is home to Norway's largest ice-bar. The hotel houses numerous suites and rooms (typically around 25), all of which are crafted to the highest standard and feature ice sculptures and snow art which is all accented by wonderful lighting. You can explore at your leisure and perhaps enjoy an aperitif at the ice-bar before your three-course evening meal is served in the well-known Gabba restaurant a short distance away. The menus here are renowned for their delicious seasonal, local produce and you are sure to enjoy a taste of Lapland tonight.
For those of you who want to really make the most of this spectacular monument to winter accommodation, we highly recommend upgrading to spend the night in one of the rooms here. It's an unforgettable experience to sleep in a room crafted entirely from snow and ice, tucked up warmly in your Arctic-grade sleeping bag and admiring the art which surrounds you. Full details about sleeping at the Snowhotel can be found in the 'Personalise' section of this holiday page.
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Free Day and Northern Lights King Crab Snowmobile Tour
Today has been left free for you to explore the town and relax following your packed schedule so far. You can enjoy lunch in one of the cafés and restaurants and perhaps pick up some souvenirs in town or visit one of the local museums before your evening activity.
You can also book a session of guided snowshoeing, where you will be out and about for approximately 2 hours in the surrounding wilderness. This will take place in the early afternoon and will feature stops to take pictures. See the ‘Personalise’ section for more details.
The Grenseland Museum is a popular attraction and provides an insight into the traditions, culture and economy of this region as well as showcasing some traditional artworks. It offers a well-rounded view of the region and is an interesting option for your free time.
Having ticked the Snowhotel off your Kirkenes checklist it's time for the next, as you encounter one of the most famous residents in the area, the king crab.
At around 6 pm you will be transferred to a local harbour where your purpose is to haul in the giant crab pots from the freezing waters below. The crabs are gigantic and their leg span has been found to be as wide as 5ft 9 inches! These animals are synonymous with the region and have become prolific in the deep waters here (if ice conditions are good, you will be driving a snowmobile to one of the catching places on the ice - two people per snowmobile).
Afterwards, you will go on a snowmobile safari. You will make numerous stops at some of your guide's favourite viewpoints in order to gaze at the sky and search for the Northern Lights. Throughout, you will travel with two people per snowmobile, with your guide choosing the most appropriate route for the conditions. The driver must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid driving licence.
As long as the trail conditions permit, you will stop off at a Norwegian farm, dating back to 1854. Here, you can gain further insight into how people have forged a living this far above the Arctic Circle.
After your Aurora hunting, you will head back to base for dinner. The crabs will have been cooked up and prepared ahead of your return and will form the main element in this evening's meal. You will dine in a traditional lavvu tent which is a wonderfully atmospheric place to end the day.
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
This morning sees the end of your four night trip to Kirkenes and following breakfast, you will be collected and returned to the airport in order to head home.
Included Meals: Breakfast
Thon Hotel Kirkenes
Located in a scenic quayside setting, the Thon Hotel in Kirkenes enjoys wonderful views across the waters of the surrounding Bøkfjorden. It benefits from being just a short transfer from the Hurtigruten Terminal and within easy walking distance of the shops, restaurants and tourist attractions of the city of Kirkenes.
With its modern and bright Scandinavian décor, the hotel offers guests a friendly and comfortable base from which to explore the delights of Northern Norway.
The spacious and relaxing bar and restaurant area offer a varied and exciting á la carte and drinks menu with a focus on locally sourced produce such as king crab
Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the building for guests use
Double/Twin rooms: There are 144 rooms in total. Each has a double or twin bed in addition to an en-suite shower room, a hairdryer, a phone, minibar and a TV.
Spend the night at the Snowhotel
The Snowhotel in Kirkenes excels itself each and every year as its snow and ice designs become more grand and intricate. Visitors to this monument to winter architecture can tour the site and the suites but the most unforgettable experience lies in an overnight stay. We can arrange for you to upgrade to this once-in-a-lifetime accommodation for one night during your holiday.
Guests can stay in one of the 20 rooms which are crafted each season, as well as enjoy a drink at the magnificent ice bar. There's an ice chapel to visit and an abundance of ice art and sculptures to admire.
During your holiday, you will dine with your fellow guests in the Snowhotel's Gabba Restaurant, where a delicious meal will be served. Local produce is always central to any menu here and dishes often include reindeer, salmon and local white fish.
Reservations: 0161 298 7477
If outside 14 weeks of departure this holiday can be booked by paying a deposit of £400 per person. If within 14 weeks before the full balance is due.
Call 0161 298 7477 to book.
This holiday is fully ATOL protected. Dream of Lapland is part of Hays Travel and our bookings are fully ABTA protected.