3 & 4 nights at Northern Lights Village
Dates & Prices for Northern Lights Village itinerary
The main thing I love about the Northern Lights Village is that it is the only place we sell which is dedicated to Aurora accommodation only. This means that you really do maximise your chances of seeing the lights, even outside of the dedicated Aurora hunts. When I was in my cabin, I constantly found myself gazing up at the sky above my bed, fighting sleep for as long as I could. When I noticed a flicker of green I was overcome with excitement. I got dressed with my PJs under my winter clothing and watched with the other guests as the display became more animated. It was an unforgettable experience. - Katharina Rogalski
Northern Lights Village
3 Night Itinerary
Day 1 - Arrival & Aurora Camp
On arrival at Ivalo Airport, you will be transferred to your accommodation at the Northern Lights Village and can check into your Aurora Cabin. You will be served an evening meal in the restaurant before embarking on your first Northern Lights hunt.
Tonight’s inaugural hunt will last around three hours and will involve making a journey to the Aurora Camp at Lake Rahajarvi by bus. You will stop at vast Lake Inari en-route and will hear about the lake’s importance to the region and the indigenous Sámi people of Lapland.
Once at the camp, you will keep warm by the fire and enjoy a hot drink and snacks with your guide providing some information regarding the Northern Lights and answering any questions you may have.
At the camp, the anticipation will begin to build and you will search the skies for any glimmers of green. If you are lucky enough to witness a display begin, then you can grab a reindeer hide, lie down in the snow and enjoy a captivating show as the lights dance overhead.
Day 2 - Free Day & Northern Lights Snowshoeing
Following breakfast, the day is yours to spend at leisure. The Northern Lights Village is approximately 1000 metres away from the ski resort town of Saariselkä and, despite been 250 km north of the Arctic Circle, Saariselkä has much to offer. There are shops, restaurants and cafés to enjoy as well as downhill ski slopes if you fancy some alpine action.
If you prefer to stay onsite, then the Northern Lights Village has a reindeer paddock close to the restaurant (where your lunch will be served). Follow the jangling of bells and you will be greeted by these furry nosed animals.
During the evening, you will venture out into the wilderness which lies on the doorstep of the Northern Lights Village for a Northern Lights snowshoe hike. This is an invigorating and peaceful way in which to hunt the Aurora and your guide will lead the way to a perfect viewpoint. Here, you will stop and build a fire and enjoy snacks and hot drinks as you watch the skies in this most incredible location.
Day 3 - Husky Safari & Aurora Camp OR Aurora Snowmobile
After breakfast, you will enjoy a wonderful taster of the most eagerly anticipated winter activities; a 5 km dog sled safari. Huskies are synonymous with the Arctic and a husky safari is the epitome of a winter adventure.
The huskies are eager to run and you will not fail to notice their excitement as they bark and howl in anticipation, straining to get going. You might expect this to continue as the safari gets underway, but this is not the case, as the dogs are soon focused only on running. Full instruction will be provided before you take to the trails, travelling two people per sled.
This activity lasts around one and a half hours in total (including transfers and instruction). We expect you to be out on the husky sledges for around 20 – 30 minutes in total. There are much longer safaris if you would like to enjoy more time out on the trail. If you would like to extend and spend more time with the dogs then please see the ‘Personalise’ section of the holiday page for more details.
Following the husky safari, you will enjoy lunch at the restaurant before a final Aurora hunt.
Following dinner this evening you have the choice of two activities.
Option one is a visit to an Aurora Camp close to the Russian border. The four-hour activity will begin with a bus journey through the small villages of Ivalo and Nellim. Once at the border you will walk an extra kilometre towards Paatsjoki Bridge (a prime viewpoint), before settling down by a roaring campfire. Hot drinks and snacks are included.
The more adventurous option is a Northern Lights snowmobile safari lasting around three hours. After a full safety briefing and driving instruction, you will follow your guide, travelling two per snowmobile, in search of the Northern Lights. You’ll travel into the fells and once at the top, you will keep warm by an open fire and enjoy hot drinks. Please note that the driver of a snowmobile must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid driving licence.
Day 4 - Departure
Today it is time to bid farewell to Lapland and you will be transferred back to Ivalo after breakfast for your return flights home. If you are on the early flight, a packed breakfast will be provided.
Saariselkä Northern Lights Village
Located in North East Finland, the Northern Lights Village sits on the outskirts of the ski resort of Saariselkä. Tucked away from the town and separated from it by dense forest, the location is ideal for viewing the Northern Lights but is still within walking distance (around 1000m) of the town’s amenities. The ski slopes can be accessed via a shuttle (small charge applies) or a pleasant walk of around 40-50 minutes.
The Northern Lights Village offers accommodation in Aurora Cabins which are half-roofed with glass. The twin or double beds are situated beneath the panoramic roof and provide the chance to view the Northern Lights from your bed! It’s not often that folk prefer a sleepless night but here it’s not considered to be a huge inconvenience as it provides the chance to potentially witness Mother Nature’s greatest light show!
There are 80 cabins in total, all of which are within a 5-10 minutes’ walk of the Village’s central facilities which include the restaurant where you’ll enjoy breakfast and dinner.
The village restaurant is an atmospheric place, inspired by traditional wooden kotas (Finnish teepees). Breakfast is a buffet of continental options and some hot dishes. Evening meals are a buffet with starters of soups and salad, a choice of local meat or fish will follow (the reindeer and white fish in this region are delicious!). Typically a cake will be served for pudding, keeping you well-fuelled for your nocturnal Aurora hunting adventures. Dietary requirements are all well-catered for as long as we are informed at the time of booking.
The Northern Lights Village has an onsite reindeer farm and all activities (including the reindeer safaris) start in the village so there is no need for time-wasting transfers. Basically, because we want to make your holiday as uncomplicated as possible, life is made very easy here.
The Northern Lights Village is home to a herd of reindeer and you can watch them go about their business as you eat breakfast in the restaurant.
Saariselkä is around a 20-25 minute walk from the Northern Lights Village (40-50 minutes to the ski slopes) which means that all of the amenities, shops, cafés and local restaurants are within easy reach.
For all Northern Lights activities, an expert guide will provide you with photographic tuition. If you do not have an SLR camera and tripod then they can both be rented locally. The guides sometimes take pictures throughout the activities which can be purchased on your return to the village, if they take any.
The Aurora Cabins have a half-glass roof and all face north. The design is based on the traditional wooden kotas (teepees) of Finland and has been specifically created for the village.
Each cabin has twin beds (which can be made into a double) and a sofa bed, suitable for an additional adult. There is a shower room (with underfloor heating) and a toilet, as well as a luggage storage area. Tea and coffee making facilities, a hairdryer and a minibar are also included.
Importantly for duvet-based Aurora hunting, a timer switch can be used to heat the glass roof should your view be obscured by snowfall. It takes approximately 5-10 minutes to heat and melt the snow so there’s no need to go and sweep the roof in your pyjamas!
Cabins are not cleaned between arrival and departure unless requested from reception. Additionally, towels can be exchanged at reception if required.
Wi-Fi is only available at the onsite restaurant.