Finland
Adults from: £1725
Children from: £1325
Brochure code: 11005

Included in the price...

  • Duration: 6 nights
  • Group size: Minimum group size of 4 people with a maximum group size of 20 people
  • Return flights from London to Ivalo (via Helsinki) (flight routes subject to change)
  • Return airport transfers
  • 6 nights hotel accommodation in double/twin/family room
  • 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners
  • Activities: Snowshoes (by day & by night!), kick sleds, cross-country skiing and Aurora Workshop, Reindeer farm, Wilderness skills, Finnish sauna, Winter fishing by snowmobile, Husky safari, Sámi Siida Museum, Aurora dinner (the order of activities is subject to change)
  • Fully qualified wilderness guides and instructors
  • Cold weather clothing for the duration of your stay

 

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Finland - Essential Packing & Information

For the Aurora hunting family Menesjärvi’s location is ideal. You are far from any significant light pollution and deep in the Aurora Zone. With the activities we’ve included you should stand a very good chance of catching an Aurora show if the conditions are right and also experience the best that Lapland has to offer.

The accommodation at Menesjärvi is warm and welcoming, offering simple Scandinavian décor and hearty food, perfect for the winter climate. Your hosts, Anne and Timo are two of the loveliest people in Lapland and really do all they can to make sure you have an unforgettable and unique experience.

The activities included are genuine arctic experiences and by the end of your stay here you will have travelled via snowshoes, kick sleds, cross-country skis and snowmobile-pulled sleigh. Furthermore you will have encountered reindeers and huskies in their ideal environment and also gained an insight into the remarkable culture of the Sámi people who make their home in this remote corner of the world.

This holiday is about shared family experiences and activities and getting to know the real people of Lapland, their culture and the landscape in which they live. It’s a magical place to spend time together as a family and search out the Aurora Borealis.

Suitable for

Any active families with children aged 8 years and over.

Hotel Korpikartano

When it comes to remote locations there are few that compare to Menesjärvi. For a family trip in search of the Aurora and an arctic adventure, there can be few places as unspoiled or pristine.

Menesjärvi is a traditional reindeer herding community and what was once the local school is now the Hotel Korpikartano. Owned and run by Timo and Anne you are sure of a warm and traditional Finnish welcome and our guests often say that they leave feeling like they are part of the family.

Hotel facilities
The hotel is split into two buildings with the main building housing the dining room and reception as well as some bedrooms whilst the annex houses the majority of the bedrooms.

The two buildings are no more than 50 metres apart. There are saunas available in both and free Wi-Fi throughout.

Most meals will be served in the hotel restaurant. The food is simple and hearty, but in our experience it has always been delicious and ideal sustenance after a day’s adventuring.

If you want to check an Aurora forecast then there is a PC for guests to use in the reception area. A selection of games and books is also available but we find that most of our guests spend their time outdoors gazing at the skies or simply enjoying the snow.

For families staying here cross-country skis, snowshoes and kick sleds are available to use – free of charge.

Room types

Family rooms
The hotel is anything but standardised with no two rooms being the same shape or size. There are 28 rooms in total all of which have en-suite shower rooms, hairdryers, radios and televisions.

The rooms can accommodate families of up to six people and you will be allocated the most suitable room for you at the time of booking (subject to availability).


Day 1: Flights, arrival and introduction
Today you will leave the hustle and bustle of Heathrow and arrive into the wilderness of Lapland. The contrast could not be greater and once you are on your way to Menesjärvi you will be able to get a sense of how sparsely populated it is in this part of the world.

A warm welcome and dinner awaits you at the Hotel Korpikartano this evening. Afterwards you will have a brief introductory talk from your host who will discuss the upcoming schedule and provide you with your cold weather clothing.

Some groups may be arriving on a later evening flight – should this be the case you will have a cold supper on arrival and be given your introductory talk the following morning.

Day 2: Snowshoes (by day & night!), kick sleds, cross-country skiing and Aurora Workshop
If you arrived in the darkness then this morning you will get your first glimpse of where you will spend the coming days. The hotel’s lakeside location is sure to take your breath away. You will also fully appreciate that there is a massive wilderness just waiting to be explored.

The best way to get acquainted with your new surroundings is to get out and about in the snow trying some of the most popular arctic activities. Snowshoeing is great fun and kick sleds can be hilarious so you’ll have the chance to try both this morning.

After lunch at the hotel your guide will teach you the basics of cross-country skiing before leading you on an easy trail this afternoon.

Later there will be a presentation on the Northern Lights and some hints and tips from your local guides on how to capture the Aurora on camera. You can then take a walk down to the lake on snowshoes to watch the skies and perhaps see your first Aurora display.

Day 3: Reindeer farm and Aurora snowshoe
Reindeer are synonymous with Lapland – its culture, traditions and people and a genuine reindeer encounter is a ‘must’.

Today you will be transferred to a local reindeer farm where you will meet with your Sámi host who will give you an insight into the lives of the herders and their animals. You will meet the reindeer, feed them, try your hand at lassoing and take a short sleigh ride.

Tonight your Aurora hunting continues in earnest as you head out once more on snowshoes for a search for the Northern Lights. Your guide will use his or her local knowledge to find you a vantage point from where the views of any Aurora will be uninterrupted.

Day 4: Wilderness skills and Finnish sauna
Wilderness skills are a vital part of any Lappish upbringing. Your Finnish Ray Mears will take you into the forest on snowshoes and will teach you how to navigate using GPS and a compass.

You’ll do some map reading, learn how to identify animals from their footprints, how to light a fire and safely put a wood knife into use (under supervision). Another vital Lappish skill is learning how to heat a wooden sauna and hot tub, which you can enjoy in the afternoon.

This evening there is no scheduled Aurora hunt but there is the option to add an excursion via snowmobile-pulled sled (see pricing tab for details).

Day 5: Winter fishing by snowmobile
By now you should have a pretty decent sense of Lapland’s scale but today we’ll get you even deeper into this completely unspoiled wilderness. Snowmobiles are thrilling and after a full safety briefing you’ll head out to explore the trails with your guide. You’ll head to a local lake where you will be introduced to the ancient art of ice fishing.

The afternoon is left free for your family to do as you wish. You may want to relax and enjoy a sauna, or perhaps hire skis or kick sleds and set off into the snow. There may also be additional activities which can be booked and paid for locally.

Day 6: Husky safari, Sámi Siida Museum and Aurora dinner
Husky safaris are key to any winter holiday and today after full tuition you will get to take control of a team of dogs and explore the trails with your guide on a safari lasting around one hour. This is one of those family experiences that you will never forget.

This afternoon you head to the famous Sámi Siida Museum. We know that the word museum strikes fear into the hearts of many children but this place offers so much. You’ll learn about the Sámi people, the culture and their traditions.

Tonight you will be served a wonderful farewell dinner in one of the wooden kotas down by the lake. Eating around an open fire is such a wonderful family experience. Your Aurora guide will be joining you afterwards to lead you to an Aurora view point. Quite often guests stay on the lake near the hotel as it is an exceptional place from which to view the night sky.

Day 7: Departure
Today your adventure will draw to a close as you are returned to the airport for your flights home.

Available  Limited places  On request 
 
Price per person based on 2 adults sharing with 2 children
Depart Adult Child (12 - 15) Child (8 - 11) Availability
16/02/2015 £1725 £1545 £1325
Supplements :
Name Adult Child (12 - 15) Child (8 - 11)
Two children sharing their own room (per child) - £110 £110
Two hour Aurora hunt by snowmobile (based on two sharing) (children travel by snowmobile-pulled sleigh) £100 £55 -
Two hour Aurora hunt by snowshoes £50 £25 -
N.B. Prices in brackets denote a price deduction.

Tourism in Finnish Lapland has become the main source of employment and income, replacing traditional industries such as forestry. Working within this growth industry in rural and remote areas means that we must take a great deal of responsibility; socially, environmentally and economically. We fully appreciate the impact of tourist visits on local communities and their residents and strive to ensure that we are having a positive effect.

The wilderness hotel in Menesjärvi is owned and run by a local family, whose Sámi routes have been in this area for centuries. They have a strong sense of tradition and we encourage all of our clients to respect and embrace the lives and culture of all Menesjärvi’s local inhabitants by learning a few important words: hello, goodbye, please, thank you etc. We have also included activities with a cultural base. In addition, we always encourage our clients to get involved in local events and activities which help to sustain traditional values and customs.

In all of our destinations we ensure that we use local accommodation, transport and activity providers, enabling locally owned businesses and the economies in which they work to benefit directly. The hotel in Menesjärvi also serves as much local produce as possible and stocks locally made souvenirs. Through the tourism multiplier effect, this all helps to generate incomes and employment where the drift might otherwise be towards larger employment areas such as towns and cities. In a small and remote village such as Menesjärvi the effects of such a drift could be devastating.

The use of small family run hotels and businesses means that the tourism income, generated by our presence stays where it should, in the local economy. We firmly believe in paying a fair price for all the services provided by our suppliers regardless of where they are in the world.

Our holidays rely on visiting beautiful and un-spoilt areas, and they don’t come more un-spoilt than Menesjarvi. Naturally we wish to maintain the natural settings in which we work, not just for the future of our company, but also for future generations. We will always insist that our local providers are equally conscious of this need.

We do appreciate that some may feel that snowmobiles should not be included in such itineraries however in areas such as Menesjärvi they are a way of life. They are the only means of keeping in contact with remote reindeer herders and communities as the road infrastructure is not extensive. All trails are well managed. The alternatives to snowmobiles would in most cases be large, gas-guzzling off road vehicles. All snowmobiles are regularly serviced and kept as fuel efficient as possible. The snowmobile service industry is also another vital source of employment in these remote areas.

We always ensure that all litter is removed from any of our activity sites, we strongly encourage group transfers to reduce traffic volumes and we make our clients aware of their obligation to the environment. We always offset our air travel emissions and would encourage you to do the same.

Jo Doran, travel expert - Activities Abroad
Our Opinion

"Menesjärvi is ideally located in the Aurora Zone for family Northern Lights hunting holidays. You will find the Hotel Korpikartano in the remote wilderness away from any light pollution. The activities on this holiday have been designed to optimise your chances of seeing the Aurora if the conditions are right. Ultimately, this holiday will allow you to get a real feel for life in Lapland." Joanna Doran

Our Customers' Feedback

What a wonderful, magical place and the people we're so friendly and interesting. The equipment provided was free to use all week and the warm weather clothing was so good we needn't have taken our own boots or mittens. We knew there would only be one option at meal times so we took noodles and rice to fill the kids up. Having said that they did enjoy the majority of the meals served. Seeing the aurora tops the list, closely followed by the husky rides and beach sauna. Everything else was amazing too, total grin factor from start to finish. Thank you for providing us with a perfect family holiday, it can be tricky to accommodate a large family of 7 with a wide age range, but we can honestly say we all had the best time and didn't want to leave. Although we can say we've ticked that one off our bucket list, we just want to do it again!!
Colin McCaffrey - Mar 14

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