For those that really push themselves, there is a reward waiting for them near the village of Luosto.
There is a refuge café called Torvisen Maja, that sells munki (freshly made doughnuts) and reindeer pancakes. The tiny little cabin is the oldest café in Luosto. It is situated on the side of the cross-country track and is easily accessible for the Finnish locals who have been brought up cross-country skiing but more difficult to reach for the eager tourists, who rather than having to battle with the hard cross-country ski runs, take the two-hour snowshoe walk to get here!
The Finns have something like 50 words for different types of snow and you will be able to see a range of types on the way to the amethyst mine - even if you do not know the Finnish words for them yet! On the last stretch of the snowmobile journey from Luosto to the mine, you will find ‘tykky’ in abundance; large chunks of snow frozen onto the trees, to the point that they no longer look like trees and have taken on the persona of alien sculptures creating a science fiction-esk landscape.
The snow is thick on the ground and untouched by human feet and the landscape is worth a visit but you are here to ‘dig yourself rich’ with some amethysts (well perhaps!).
Arriving at the reindeer farm in Luosto we were met by a fellow in a startling blue cloak decorated with a bright red trim. On his head sat a giant fur hat with flaps similar to that of a deerstalker; his feet were as interesting as the rest of his outfit as, casting my eyes down, I noticed he wore furry shoes that could have been furry slippers that curled around at the toe.
He welcomed us by opening his arms and standing very straight and tall and introducing himself as Joonas; telling us that he is a reindeer herder before he led us towards his reindeer, about 30 metres away. The reindeer stood fairly still as we approached, moving their heads only to check who we were. They were then harnessed up and attached to a sleigh and behind that reindeer’s sleigh was another reindeer and then another sleigh and so on; so standing in front of us was a ridiculously cute reindeer train!
Think of Sicily and most people will immediately say Mafia and Etna and then hear the haunting strains of Nina Rota’s ‘The Godfather’ theme in their heads; I profess to falling for this clichéd image as I arrived at Catania Airport.
Without a doubt, one of the most desired holiday requests is an idyllic island holiday featuring days of sun, sea, and sand. At Activities Abroad however, we see a lot more to islands than just that. Our Island holidays offer adventures across mountains, through forests, along coastlines and on the sea in some of the most thrilling ways.
Get a feel for island life this summer with our top three island adventures:
I travelled to Madeira in late September 2016 to see what the archipelago had to offer and I was blown away by the beauty of the landscapes, the variety of the activities and the range of wildlife to see.
Sadly one of Malta and Gozo’s most cherished natural wonders, the Azure Window, collapsed early yesterday morning due to overpowering weather conditions. After giving so many travellers such joy for so many years, it is sad to see it lost to Mother Nature.
Nevertheless, this delightful part of the world offers so many other great experiences for all to enjoy!
Tell us a little bit about your role here in Luosto
'My job consists of meeting the customers, giving them an orientation of this pretty winter village, explaining what they can expect during their stay, giving them helpful tips and hints. I then spend my time catching up with my customers over the week and help with any queries they may have.'
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