Saariselkä - Aurora Cabins and Finding Father Christmas
- Duration:3 nights
- Suitable for: Anybody aged 4 years or over (younger children may join the holiday, but may not be able to participate in all the activities). Please see terms for details
- Flights: return direct flights from London Gatwick to Ivalo. Regional and non-UK departures available on request (flight routes are subject to change)
- Transfers: return airport transfers
- Accommodation: 3 nights in a glass-roofed Aurora Cabin
- Meals: half board
- Activities: Searching for Father Christmas
- Aurora alert service which you can set to alert you throughout the night or end at a specific time
- Cold weather clothing for the duration of your stay
- Fully qualified guides and instructors during activities
'Winter Wonderland' is a term used frequently but you won’t find a more fitting phrase for the Northern Lights Village in Finland. Sitting north of the Arctic Circle, you’ll feel like you’ve walked through the wardrobe and into Narnia.
What’s even better is the location. You’re within walking distance of the resort of Saariselka and all of its facilities, but you’ll still get the full experience of a winter escape.
This short break is ideal for the festive period and what better way to get in the spirit than a meeting with Father Christmas himself. Rather than standing in a long queue to see the man in red, a friendly elf will take you one family at a time on a magical sleigh ride. Here, you’ll search for the lights of Father Christmas’ cabin and once you find it, your family will have a private meeting with him and will even receive a gift to take with you!
What makes this break extra special is the place you’ll call home. Your glass-roofed accommodation is an Aurora cabin in the snow-covered wilderness, giving you incredible views of the night sky. As you’ll be in Northern Lights territory, you could see the amazing light show right from your bed. Kids will love the excuse to stay up late and you won’t be able to resist looking up at the sky and searching for the lights.
Saariselka itself is just 1000m away and offers lots for families as well as some excellent downhill skiing. We also offer plenty of fun-filled activities to add to your time away. This short festive break in the Northern Lights Village is a convenient, yet perfect location for you and your family to create many once-in-a-lifetime memories together.
Image credits: Eerikki Rundgren, Markku Inkila, Matt Robinson
Day 1 Flights, Arrivals and Transfers
Upon arrival at the airport, your transfer will be waiting to take you directly to your Aurora accommodation in the incredible Northern Lights Village, around 25 minutes away.
Depending on your arrival time, you may want to book an evening activity for after dinner – especially now you’ve entered Northern Lights territory! See our ‘Personalise’ tab to choose an activity to suit your family.Included Meals: Dinner
Day 2 A Meeting with Father Christmas and Free Evening
Following breakfast, let Father Christmas’ elves lead the way as the whole family goes on an adventure to find the man himself.
You’ll start by baking gingerbread (Father Christmas’ favourite!) with a friendly elf before meeting some reindeer and enjoying a short sleigh ride (approx. 10 minutes).
Now you’re all ready to go, it’s time to begin the search. You’ll travel in a cosy sleigh pulled by a snowmobile and your elf will help you look for Father Christmas’ cabin deep in the forest. Watch your children’s faces light up as they spot the cabin for themselves and you all enjoy a private meeting with Father Christmas – you’ll even receive a gift to take home with you!
To make the visit even more personal, children can write a letter to Father Christmas in advance so that he will have it when they arrive for their meeting. He is a busy man at this time of year, but he will try to read all the letters.
Following the day’s 3-hour adventure, you’ll have a free evening to do as you please. You could go on one of our dedicated Northern Lights trips such as Aurora hunting by heated sleigh, found in our ‘Personalise’ tab.
Dinner will be served in the restaurant this evening.Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 Free Day and Evening
After the excitement of yesterday, you’ll have breakfast and then a free day to explore your surroundings as you please. Why not get to know the local wildlife with an enchanting reindeer sleigh ride, or see the wintery landscape during an exciting husky sledding experience? See our ‘Personalise’ tab for all of the activities available for your family.
After dinner, you have a free evening with your family. With such dark skies to play with, why not spend the last night in style and arrange a Northern Lights trip such as the Aurora camp by the lake - see the ‘Personalise’ tab for more information.Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 Departure
Unfortunately, it’s time for your festive family short break to come to an end. If you don’t have time to enjoy breakfast in the restaurant, we’ll box it up for you before transferring you to the airport.Included Meals: Breakfast
Included in price
Saariselkä Northern Lights Village
Located in the north-east of Finland, the Northern Lights Village is the latest in a long line of innovative Aurora accommodation coming out of Finland. This one is particularly clever because you spend every night in your glass-roofed Aurora Cabin rather than just one which is normally the case. Situated close to, but distinct from, the small ski town of Saariselkä, the village’s outlook is that of a pristine, snow-covered wilderness which will capture the imaginations of children and adults alike. Conveniently, however, the town itself is only 1000 metres away. This means that you will find all the amenities necessary for a relaxed family holiday, yet you are still right on the doorstep of an authentic Lappish wilderness.
The Northern Lights Village offers accommodation in Aurora Cabins which are half-roofed with glass. Imagine a cosy family evening as the Aurora appears above the panoramic windows. The cabins are unusual in that the glass is heated meaning that any view-restricting snow simply melts.
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. There’s also the large lobby near reception for you to relax in after your meal.
- Enjoy wonderful family evenings as you seek out the Northern Lights from the comfort of your own cabin. The half-glass roofs are laser heated and offer unobstructed views of the northern sky. There’s also the option to rent an Aurora Alert. This is payable locally, please contact our Travel Experts for more information.
- Visit the village of Saariselkä which has an array of shops, restaurants and cafés which are only a 20-25 minute walk from your accommodation. The village also has an Angry Birds Park which is always a big hit with younger children.
- The Northern Lights Village is home to a herd of reindeer and you can watch them go about their business in the paddock.
- For all of your provided winter clothing, simply go to the onsite Safari House where overalls, gloves, boots, skis and snowshoes are stored for easy access.
- For an extra charge either for public use or booked privately, you can relax in the sauna and hot tub after your day exploring the Arctic. If you’re feeling really brave, there’s also the Ice Pool for you to plunge into.
The Aurora Cabins have a half-glass roof and all face north. The design is based on the traditional wooden kotas (teepee) of Finland.
Each cabin has twin beds (which can be made into a double) and a sofa bed, suitable for an additional adult or two children. There is a shower room (with underfloor heating) and a toilet (please note that the hot water is limited in the cabins). 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 melt the snow so there’s no need to go out 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.
Image credits: Markku Inkila, Matt Robinson
Personalise this tour
Aurora camp by the lake
Venturing out into a dark wilderness in search of the Aurora is an enticing prospect. You will travel via bus with a sense of anticipation and excitement. The hunt in itself is an experience, but the captivating landscapes are ethereal and enchanting during the night hours. Your guide will build an open fire by the shore of the frozen lake, where you can enjoy some hot drinks and snacks whilst gazing up at the night sky. Keep an eye out for flickers of colour, for if the ‘Green Lady’ appears then you are likely to be treated to a spectacular dance.Read more
Duration: approximately 3 hours
Availability: Monday - Sunday at 8 pm (please note that the time may vary throughout the season)
Minimum Age: 5 years and over
Group size: 1 - 24 approximately
Photography by Markku InkilaFrom £107 per adult
From £54 per child
Aurora hunting by heated sleigh
A Narnia-esque winter wonderland awaits as you journey by snowmobile-pulled sleigh up into the snow-covered fells surrounding Saariselkä.
Your guide will make an open fire where you can enjoy a hot drink and listen to tales about the Aurora, before hopefully experiencing a captivating show. The lack of light pollution and the location of The Northern Lights Village at the heart of the Aurora Zone are ideal for Auroral activity.Read more about this activity
Duration: approximately 3 Hours
Availability: Monday - Sunday at 8.30 pm. Please note that the time may vary throughout the season.
Minimum Age: 5 years and over
Group size: 1 - 24 approximately
Photography by Markku InkilaFrom: £107 per adult
From: £54 per child
A husky safari is a favourite here with everyone at Activities Abroad. The excited yelping of the dogs as the sled is been prepared is infectious and you’ll doubtless find that your family are just as eager to get going. Once the dogs get down to business and you glide over the snow-covered landscapes the yelping is replaced by the gentle pattering of paws as they focus on the road ahead. It is quite surreal when you take a moment to process what you are actually doing in comparison to your daily life. Driving a team of dogs (2 people per sled) in a Lappish wilderness is such a contrast, that is unless you happen to be a professional musher.Read more about this activity
5 km: £115 per adult, £81 per child. Available from Monday - Sunday at 11 am and 12.30 pm. Please note that the times may vary throughout the season. The total duration incl. briefing is approximately 1 hr. We expect you to be out on the husky sledge for around 30 minutes.
10 km: £145 per adult, £102 per child. Available Monday - Sunday at 9 am and 2 pm. Please note that the times may vary throughout the season. The total duration incl. briefing is approximately 2 hrs. We expect you to be out on the husky sledge for around 1-1.5 hours.
20 km: £199 per adult, £139 per child. Available Monday - Sunday at 10 am. Please note that the times may vary throughout the season. The total duration incl. briefing and lunch is approximately 4 hours. We expect you to be out on the husky sledge for around 2-2.5 hours.
Minimum Age: 5 years and over
Group size: 1 -16 approximately
Photography by Inari-Saariselkä TourismFrom: £115 per adult
From: £81 per child
Reindeer sledge ride
Reindeer are synonymous with Lapland and winter. A sleigh ride is something which will capture the imaginations of both children and adults alike. It is an experience which can be hard to comprehend until you actually do it. You generally only see such things on TV, but the reality is much more enchanting. The landscape is draped in a perfectly white blanketed and the only sounds are of crunching snow. So Idyllic is the landscape and so fresh is the air, that you could be forgiven for thinking you had entered some fairy-tale realm.Read more about this activity
25 minutes: £62 per adult, £31 per child. Available Monday – Sunday at 9.30 am and 1.30 pm. Please note that the times may vary throughout the season.
2 hours in total (1-hour sleigh ride - approximately): £116 per adult, £58 per child. Available Monday – Sunday at 11 am. Please note that the times may vary throughout the season. The activity will last for around two hours in total
Minimum Age: 5 years and over
Group size: 1 - 24 approximately
Image credits: Inari-Saariselkä Tourism LtdFrom: £62 per adult
From: £31 per child
Snowmobile safari - 2 hours
This activity has been designed for those who would like to try snowmobiling but for a shorter duration.
During this two-hour excursion, you will be given expert tuition on how to handle your snowmobile and you can test your skills as you drive across the snow. Travelling two adults per snowmobile, you will stop for hot drinks and snacks along the way.
Children will enjoy the winter wonderland from the comfort of a heated sled.Read more about this activity
Please note: the driver of a snowmobile must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid driving licence. Children (13 years and under - regardless of height) will travel in a heated sled pulled by the guide’s snowmobile. Children 4 years and under must be accompanied in the sleigh by one parent. Older children (14 years and over) may be able to travel as pillion on the snowmobile but this is at the discretion of the guide and the child must be at least 140 cm tall. Children will pay the adult price if riding on the snowmobile.
Duration: approximately 2 hours
Availability: Monday – Sunday at 10 am, 1 pm and 3 pm. Please note that the times may vary throughout the season
Minimum Age: 5 years and over
Group size: 1 - 24 approximately
Photography by Markku InkilaFrom: £102 per adult
From: £51 per child
Dates & Prices
We include more, no hidden costs
Price based on two adults sharing a Northern Lights Cabin with one child (aged 4-14) on a sofa bed.
Thu 12 Dec 2019
to Sun 15 Dec 2019
|Adult price (per person): £1395.00||Child (age 4 - 14): £855.00||Book|
Thu 19 Dec 2019
to Sun 22 Dec 2019
|Adult price (per person): £1495.00||Child (age 4 - 14): £975.00||Book|
Thu 26 Dec 2019
to Sun 29 Dec 2019
|Adult price (per person): £1595.00||Child (age 4 - 14): £995.00||Book|
Thu 02 Jan 2020
to Sun 05 Jan 2020
|Adult price (per person): £1495.00||Child (age 4 - 14): £955.00||Book|
Next season’s pre-sale dates and prices
To secure your holiday for next season, you can make a pre-reservation by paying a deposit of only £50pp. The provisional prices, departure dates, and itinerary remain subject to change. We will contact you when final details are confirmed, and you will have 14 days to decide if you would like to go ahead. Should you wish to proceed then a further deposit (typically of £350pp) will be payable at this stage. If you decide not to travel, we will refund your initial £50pp payment. Our Travel Experts will happily provide you with full terms and a complete quotation.
Thu 10 Dec 2020
to Sun 13 Dec 2020
|Adult price (per person): £1495.00||Child (age 4 - 14): £915.00||Enquire|
Thu 17 Dec 2020
to Sun 20 Dec 2020
|Adult price (per person): £1600.00||Child (age 4 - 14): £1045.00||Enquire|
Thu 24 Dec 2020
to Sun 27 Dec 2020
|Adult price (per person): £1705.00||Child (age 4 - 14): £1065.00||Enquire|
Sat 02 Jan 2021
to Tue 05 Jan 2021
|Adult price (per person): £1600.00||Child (age 4 - 14): £1020.00||Enquire|
For our full booking terms and conditions please click here
Holiday group size (approximate)
This holiday requires a minimum of 2 people to run, however, on some dates we require a minimum of 8 people for our flight allocation. Maximum 30 people (approximately). Please speak to our Travel Experts for further information.
We always try to provide an approximation of the group size you can expect to be with for the duration of each of our holidays. It may be that you are joined by others for parts of your holiday (such as transfers and particular activities) but the above number reflects those you can normally expect to be with from beginning to end. If group size is something which is particularly important to you, please speak to our Travel Experts and they can suggest the best holidays for you.
Tailor-made holiday group sizes will vary for all activities as will the group size for any additional activities you book.
Minimum numbers required for a holiday to operate
Some of our holidays require a minimum number of participants to operate (as listed in the ‘Group Size’ section). If your holiday departure has not yet reached the minimum number, you will be told at the time of booking. In the unlikely event that your chosen date is not guaranteed by nine weeks before your scheduled departure date, we will contact you to discuss the available options as per our booking conditions.
The order of activities is always subject to change and you will be provided with your final itinerary upon arrival at your destination.
Please note that some of our holidays may incur a single supplement. Please speak to one of our Travel Experts who will provide you with a quotation.
Medical history and advice
We want our holidays to be accessible as they can be and will do our best to accommodate any special requests and requirements where possible. We have a wide range of holidays and destinations and so our travel experts will help find the best holiday for you.
In order to give us the best possible chance to do this we ask that if you or any member of your party has any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday or has any special requirements, that you tell us at the time of enquiry or booking. You must also promptly advise us if any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday develops after your booking has been confirmed. You may need to provide a doctor’s note and proof of insurance in some cases as the health and safety of our clients is absolutely paramount.
In providing this information you are allowing us to work with our expert local partners to ensure that your whole party can enjoy the holiday. By letting us know in advance we can discreetly work with you to adapt any part of the holiday which may potentially be challenging. Being able to prepare for this in advance makes an incredible difference to what we can offer and minimises any impact on your party and the rest of the group.
Unfortunately, if you choose not to share this information with us in advance then it may limit some or all of the itinerary you have booked, and we cannot be held accountable for any additional costs or missed activities resulting from this.
Insurance is not included in your holiday, but it is a pre-requisite to travelling with us. You will need to ensure that you have cover for all the activities that you will be participating in during your holiday.
It is extremely important that you take out a suitable travel insurance policy at the time of booking. Plans do sometimes change, and you will need this policy should you need to cancel your holiday.
If you are struggling to find a suitable policy then details of our preferred provider, who will cover you for all the activities we offer, can be found on our website by clicking here. Please note that this policy is available to EU residents under the age of 75 only.
If you have a reduced level of mobility, then please contact our travel experts to discuss the suitability of this holiday in relation to your requirements.
Experience and fitness
Most of the activities we offer have been designed for beginners who have no prior experience and are of all age ranges and fitness levels. Our guides provide expert advice, tuition and instructions prior to any activity going ahead. Activities are designed to be enjoyed and not endured, but some, do require a more basic level of fitness than others. If you have any questions, then please contact one of our Travel Experts who can provide first-hand advice.
The only holidays which are not as suitable for complete beginners are the multi-night safaris which involve several days in wilderness cabins travelling by either snowmobile or husky safari. Again, this all depends on the individual taking part, but some prior experience and understanding of these types of activities can be very helpful and a greater level of fitness is recommended.
Guides & Safety
When partaking in any activity, it is imperative that everyone in your group listens very closely to the instructions provided by the guide and that they are abided by at all times. Our guides are experts in their field and no one knows the environment better than these highly knowledgeable and experienced providers.
Prior to starting any activity, please make it clear to your guide if there is any element of the safety briefing you are unsure of or would like to clarify before you set off.
Our guides will always take local conditions into account when considering whether an activity can go ahead. This is, in part, why your itinerary is subject to change at short notice. This rarely happens, however, if it does, we will always endeavour to reschedule the activity for later in your holiday. If this is not possible then the cost of the activity will be refunded to you when you return home.
Our guides' word on activities is always final and your safety is their principal concern at all times; please respect their decisions. By following their instructions, your safety and enjoyment during each activity will be greatly enhanced.
NB: In order to participate in our holidays, all guests must be able to understand instructions given in English. These instructions may be delivered verbally or in writing and will include vital safety information and ongoing instruction during activities.
Minimum and Maximum Age
The minimum age for this holiday can be found in the ‘Key Facts’ section of the holiday overview.
Younger family members may be able to participate but may not be able to take part in all activities. Please contact one of our Travel Experts if you have any questions.
Booking activities locally and equipment hire
Additional activities can be booked locally in almost all our destinations. However, as per our booking conditions, we cannot be held responsible for any injury or loss incurred through participation in activities which are booked at your destination outside of our holiday itinerary (see our ‘Terms and Conditions’ for further details).
When arranging any such activity please always ensure that safety is your primary concern.
In some of our destinations, you can borrow or hire equipment for use in your free time. You do so entirely at your own risk. You must ensure that you are properly prepared, have the necessary equipment and knowledge (maps, etc) and ensure that where applicable, you follow marked routes. We recommend discussing your plans with the local teams who will be able to advise on the most suitable options for you.
Always let the reception/guide know where you are planning to go and take a torch and mobile phone (with the hotel/guide’s phone number stored). It is also a good idea to leave your contact number and the time you expect to return to the hotel should the hotel need to contact you.
If your trip includes car hire the named driver must have a credit card registered in their name which they can present when they collect their car along with their driving licence, as a deposit will be held on the credit card. Please see your trip dossier for full details.
Travel Safety and Foreign Office Advice
Our clients’ safety is at the centre of everything we do, and our operations team continually assesses and monitors the destinations we feature. We carry out thorough risk assessments and work closely with all of our suppliers to continually follow best practice. For up to date travel advice the UK government offers its Travel Aware website as well as the advice detailed below.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office Advice
We receive all updates from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) with regards to travel advice and we always ensure that we follow this advice in our operations. The FCO issues travel advisories for countries based on a very wide range of factors. They may provide notification about things as simple as a football match and crowds, or they may go so far as to advise against all travel to a region. We ask all our clients to refer to the relevant Travel Advice by Country for the destinations they are visiting in order to make an informed decision on the safety of the destination based on the details provided. It also provides vital information regarding entry requirements, embassy information, local laws and customs as well as specific safety and health. Guests should take responsibility for keeping themselves up to date with this advice. Please also ensure that, if you are transiting through another country, you have read the advice and meet the entry requirements for that destination too.
The FCO travel advice is applicable to British Passport Holders. Most governments will issue their own travel advice for a region and, if you are not a UK resident then you can find some helpful links below:
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/ New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/ Canadian Consular Affairs Bureau http://voyage.gc.ca/ The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english.html
If the FCO deems that there is an unacceptable level of risk for UK citizens then, together with the government, they may issue an advisory against all travel to a region or country. If such an advisory is published, then we will act accordingly, and this may require the cancellation, curtailment or amendment of a holiday itinerary. These decisions are made on the basis of ensuring our clients’ safety and will affect all clients on the holiday, regardless of their nationality.
If one of our local experts suggests an amendment due to a situation which develops locally then we may also take the decision to amend an itinerary appropriately.
If we have to cancel your holiday prior to departure you will be offered the option of an alternative trip (where any price difference will either be refunded to or covered by you) or a full refund of the monies paid.
If we have to curtail a holiday, then you will be refunded for any costs for the elements we have been unable to deliver, where we have been able to secure a refund from our suppliers. If we must reroute a holiday, then any basis for refund is determined on a case by case basis and dependent on whether the central holiday experience was provided or not.
Flight schedule changes and connecting transportation
On your documentation, we will confirm your flight schedule. Sometimes the flight number, routing and timings might change prior to your departure. If the change is classed as a significant change then we will contact you to discuss this. Please see our booking conditions for details.
Flight schedule changes can impact on your pre and post-holiday travel arrangements if these have been booked separately to your holiday. We strongly recommend that you do not book transport (such as trains or transfers), car parking or non-connecting flights to the departure point for your holiday until you have received your final confirmed travel times when your final travel documents are issued. We are not responsible for the effect of any schedule change on your pre or post travel arrangements. We strongly recommend that you do not purchase non-flexible or non-refundable tickets to avoid cancellation and penalty charges.
Booking your own flights - cancellation disclaimer
If you have chosen to book your own flights, then you will need to wait until we confirm to you that the holiday departure has met the minimum numbers required to run (if applicable to your chosen holiday). Once the holiday is guaranteed to run, you will be informed and you can then make your arrangements.
If transfers are included in your holiday, please ensure that any potential flights will be met by our standard transfers (speak to one of our Travel Experts for advice) otherwise private transfer supplements may be applicable. Once your flights are booked, please send us a copy of your detailed flight itinerary.
Please be aware that most tickets are non-refundable in the case of cancellation. For this reason, we strongly advise you check the rules of the ticket and check the limitations of your cancellation insurance before booking. We cannot be held liable, in the unlikely eventuality that we should be forced to cancel or amend your trip, for losses incurred relating to any flight booking you have made.