Have you ever wondered what it’s like to see the shimmering Northern Lights dancing overhead? To find out, join Sky & Telescope’s Observing Editor Diana Hannikainen on a journey above the Arctic Circle deep in Finnish Lapland for a Northern Lights tour.
The trip kicks off with a couple of days in Finland’s capital city, Helsinki, where among other things you will see unique architecture, Finland’s own brand of Jugendstil known as the National Romantic style. You will then have the opportunity to explore the ruggedness of Finnish Lapland, learn all about the local Sámi culture, and enjoy a sauna the traditional, Finnish way. Reindeer sleigh rides and husky safaris as well as a visit to Santa Claus's lair are all in the program. But all of this is just added bonus — on clear spring nights, there is a good chance of witnessing the Northern Lights.
Want to know more? Check out the itinerary below. Our partner for this Nordic adventure is Collette Travel.
|Note: Details on this page are preliminary and should be used for information only. Reservations for Sky & Telescope's 2019 Northern Lights in Finland will be accepted soon!|
ITINERARY — 8-DAY FINLAND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOUR
|Date||Itinerary at a Glance||Accommodation||Meals|
|Monday, March 25th||Depart for Finland||Overnight flight||Meals onboard|
|Tuesday, March 26h||Helsinki||Lilla Roberts Hotel||D|
|Wednesday, March 27th||Helsinki||Lilla Roberts Hotel||B|
|Thursday, March 28th||Flight to Lapland||Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort||B, D|
|Friday, March 29th||Lapland||Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort||B, D|
|Saturday, March 30th||Lapland||Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort||B, D|
|Sunday, March 31st||Flight to Helsinki||Lilla Roberts Hotel||B, D|
|Monday, April 1st||Depart for the US||Daytime flight||Meals onboard|
Day 1, March 25: Overnight Flight to Finland
Day 2, March 26: Helsinki, Finland — Tour Begins
Your adventure opens in Helsinki, a city with a vibrant architectural style that blends classicism and functionalism. This evening, gather with your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner in the city center. Aurora lecture during or after dinner. Today dinner will be included.
Day 3, March 27: Helsinki
Join a local expert for an engaging city tour. Visit Senate Square, the heart of Helsinki. Designed by famous architect Carl Ludvig Engel, it is home to the city’s most iconic building, the Helsinki Cathedral. Continue your exploration on foot as you make your way through the historic streets of Tori Quarters, where the old city meets the new. Enjoy some free time in Market Square and discover the local flavors. Next, see Kaivopuisto Park, an ornate neighborhood overlooking the sea that is home to beautiful embassies and villas. This afternoon, explore Helsinki on your own. Alternatively, visit the historic Observatory in downtown Helsinki with a guide from URSA, the local astronomical society. Or, choose an optional excursion to Porvoo and catch a glimpse of 19th century daily life in this charming town; a scenic drive along the Porvoo River brings you to the town’s iconic red painted storage houses traditionally used to store delicacies from foreign lands. Today breakfast will be included.
Day 4, March 28: Helsinki — Ivalo — Kakslauttanen — Northern Lights Search
Board your flight for Lapland, Finland’s rugged northern region. Known for its unique culture, this mythical land offers up views of the northern lights, reindeer encounters, and Arctic treasures. This afternoon, explore the splendor of the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort for a 3-night stay. Enjoy the glass and snow igloos, an ice chapel, Finnish sauna and intricate native artwork. Spend the next two evenings in your personal Finnish log cabin equipped with a private fireplace and sauna. Join your fellow travelers on a northern lights trek as you travel north towards Inari, making stops along the way for the best views of the northern lights. Stop to gaze at the sky above and be amazed at the dancing colors in the sky. If cloudy, enjoy an evening lecture on Finnish and Sami mythology. Today breakfast and dinner will be included. Today breakfast and dinner will be included.
Day 5, March 29: Kakslauttanen — Santa Claus's Home — Reindeer Safari — Northern Lights Search
Awake amidst the dramatic scenery. Experience the nature around you as you mush your way to breakfast in a Finnish sleigh. Learn the origins of Santa Claus during a meet and greet at his home. The Christmas cheer is an undeniable component of the Lappish culture. This evening, prepare for an Arctic adventure exploring the remote areas of Kakslauttanen on a reindeer safari. A reindeer farmer introduces you to your companions, the Finnish reindeer! Sip a traditional Lappish drink of warm berry juice as you sleigh through the unspoiled wilderness. Cozy under the blankets, continue your search for the northern lights. If skies are clear, join a local astronomer in exploring the northern skies. Today breakfast and dinner will be included.
Day 6, March 30: Kakslauttanen — Husky Safari — Northern Lights Search
Begin an exquisite day in the Arctic as commander of your own dog sled team! Cute, fast, and born to lead — these huskies will show you the way through the snowcapped scenery. Become acquainted with the dogs, the commands, and the equipment before embarking on your adventure.
Enjoy your last night in Kakslauttanen in the most unique way. In the heart of Lappish wilderness, you may find the northern lights dancing over your private glass igloo. If previous night clouded out, a second chance to observe with a local astronomer. Today breakfast and dinner will be included.
Day 7, March 31: Kakslauttanen — Helsinki
This morning say farewell to Lapland as you board your flight back to Helsinki. Your afternoon is at leisure to explore the city’s central squares, charming shops, and the latest Finnish trends. Finally, celebrate your journey during a farewell dinner in downtown Helsinki. Share your memories, photos and unforgettable Lappish experiences. Today breakfast and dinner will be included.
Day 8, April 1: Helsinki — Tour Ends
Set out for home with many incredible memories and a longing to return. Today breakfast will be included.