Northern Lights: A Lapland Winter


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    From snow-covered landscapes and otherworldly icy seas to magical natural light shows, Lapland is the perfect place to experience the breath-taking nature of the Arctic Circle. On this winter adventure, we’ll see it all – travelling from enchanting Oulu to Santa’s Village in Rovaniemi and back again (and stopping off at a reindeer farm, a scenic UNESCO geopark and a castle made entirely from snow along the way).

    Highlights

    • Enjoy a once in a lifetime cruise on the Sampo Icebreaker (with the chance to try a spot of ice floating)
    • Hunt down the mesmerising aurora borealis on a snowmobile or sleigh excursion
    • Discover a local way of life and spot magnificent Arctic creatures at Ranua Wildlife Park

    Itinerary

    Day 1 – Oulu
    What better way to get to know the snow-dusted city of Oulu (and your fellow travellers) than by diving into a first-day orientation tour? Along the way, our local guide will introduce us to the idyllic Pikisaari district. Later on this afternoon, we’ll travel to the mystical Rokua Geopark – where we’ll set out to explore the magnificent landscape on a snowshoe excursion. After rounding off our adventure with a hot drink in a traditional Finnish hut, we’ll return to Oulu – where we’ll enjoy a delicious welcome dinner back at the hotel. (D)

    Day 2 – Oulu – Kemi
    After this morning’s breakfast, we’ll move on to Kemi – where we’ve an appointment to keep at the world-famous SnowCastle. We’ll have plenty of time to explore the resort’s fairytale-like chapel and ice sculptures before we transfer to the pier – where we’ll climb aboard the mighty Sampo Icebreaker for a once-in-a-lifetime cruise. If you like, you can even take to the Arctic waters to float amongst the ice! This evening, we’ll come together for a memorable dinner in the Ice Restaurant. (B, D)

    Day 3 – Kemi – Rauna – Rovaniemi
    Today we set our sights on Ranua – where we’ll have the opportunity to see some fascinating Arctic species up close at Ranua Wildlife Park. Later this afternoon, there’s a quintessential Lapland experience on the cards: a snowmobile (or, if you prefer, sleigh) safari to a traditional reindeer farm, where we’ll meet a family of third generation reindeer herders. Then: onwards to our hotel in Rovaniemi. (B)

    Day 4 – Rovaniemi
    A magical morning at Santa’s Village awaits us! While here, we’ll have the chance to wander the many charming shops, take a look around Santa’s Post Office – or even pay a visit to the man himself. The remainder of the afternoon will be yours to spend as you please in Rovaniemi before we reconvene for an after-dark snowmobile safari. As we ride through the snow-covered forest and along the frozen river, we may be lucky enough to catch glimpses of the enchanting Northern Lights. When the safari is over, we’ll warm up with a snack and hot drinks by the campfire before resting our heads back at the hotel. (B)

    Day 5 – Rovaniemi – Kemijarvi – Kuusamo
    Today there’s a treat in store for the gastronomes among us: a special ‘wild food’ experience at a wonderful lakeside restaurant in Kemijärvi. We’ll then press onwards through the skiing village of Ruka towards Kuusamo, where you’ll be free to make your own dining arrangements before we gather together to enjoy one of the highlights of our tour: a snowshoe excursion in search of the Northern Lights. We’ll stop to take in the breathtaking views as our guide tells stories of the famous natural light display and the local Arctic wildlife. (B, L)

    Day 6 – Kuusamo – Syöte
    There’s no better way to get to the heart of Kuusamo than with a visit to a husky farm. While here, we’ll learn how to drive a traditional husky sleigh like a local – with the opportunity to embark on a thrilling ride through the snow-covered landscape afterwards. Later on this afternoon, we’ll travel deeper into the wilds of Lapland as we set a course for Syöte. Dinner tonight will be another group affair. (B, D)

    Day 7 – Syöte
    Today’s first activity? An ice fishing experience on a scenic frozen lake – including fireside drinks in a traditional Finnish hut. After drilling holes into the ice, we’ll lower our lines, cross our fingers and wait for a bite! After that, you’ll be free to relax and soak in your stunning surroundings before we come back together this evening for our grand finale: a farewell dinner back at the hotel. (B, D)

    Day 8 – Syöte – Oulu
    One last breakfast, then it’s time to hit the road. After journeying back to Oulu, we’ll say farewell. (B)

    Tour Inclusions

    • 7 nights hotel accommodation
    • 12 Meals: 7 Breakfasts, 1 Lunches, 4 Dinners

    BR-BEHNLOO

    Images courtesy of BackRoadsTouring