Northern Lights holiday in Finnish Lapland, Harriniva

“An eight day odyssey not only of Finland’s winter wilderness but of the dark skies. Watch constellations, gasp at the Aurora and go husky sledding. Hurrah for Harriniva.”


Harriniva | Winter adventures in Western Finnish Lapland | Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park | Snowmobiling | Husky sledding | Reindeer sled ride | Wilderness hotel | Northern Lights | Options for cross country skiing or snowshoeing

Description of Northern Lights holiday in Finnish Lapland, Harriniva

This Northern Lights holiday takes place in the western region of Finnish Lapland, based in a small wilderness hotel on the outskirts of Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, just beside the frozen waters the Muonio River. Far out there, this really is the most perfect spot for seeing the Northern Lights as it is far from light pollution and also high above the Arctic Circle. It is also so remote that when and if they appear, seeing the Lights against this wild, rugged landscape really is an extraordinarily beautiful experience.

Every night is an adventure on this holiday, you will be taken on evening activities in the hope of seeing the Northern Lights. So, for example, we go snowmobiling over the wild fells, well away from light pollution, or go on a reindeer sleigh ride through snow laden woodland, or we go on a husky sled safari into the night. It doesn’t get more exciting than that really, especially when the Aurora comes out to do her beautiful thing. There is also an Aurora alarm system at the home to keep everyone alert to incoming Lights!

Because the organised activities on this Northern Lights holiday are at night, you are free to chill out during the day, enjoying the wilderness accommodation at Harriniva with its traditional saunas, and also snowshoes and cross country skis available for use. The hotel also has an Aurora Wellness Centre with jacuzzi. The hotel has 64 bedrooms, with a mix of single and double rooms, with a few triple rooms if needed. There are also more secluded riverside cabins, which have a private sauna, so do contact us if you would like to consider this option.

The price of this holiday includes:

Return flights from London to Kittilä, transfers, 7 nights’ accommodation, snowshoes and cross country skis, Aurora alarm, outdoor winter clothing, expert guides and activities, which include: Northern Lights workshop, snowmobiling, Northern Lights explorer by minibus, husky safari, reindeer sleigh trip, snowshoeing, sauna.

Photos: Antti Pietikainen

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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

This Northern Lights- dedicated trip is thoroughly focused on exposing guests to the stunning nature of Harriniva, and operates with great care for the environment. Every day of this itinerary is open for guests to choose how to spend their time, and they are offered free use of snowshoes, cross country skis and of the hotel spa. This encourages recreational activities which are non-polluting and focus on physical health and well-being, as guests are likely to take advantage of facilities that are free of charge.

Many of the activities use completely natural facilities, making the most of the area’s animal-powered transport, as guests complete a reindeer safari and a husky safari. Not only does this minimise carbon emissions where ever possible, it also benefits the animals as it keeps them exercised and adds some extra love and attention to their daily routine. It is safe to say that most sledding organisations in this region take great care of their huskies, and we specifically choose husky farms that do so. Guests will complete their safari at the largest and most well-known husky farm in Finland, which places the health and well-being of the huskies as its top priority. They receive regular visits from the vet and an annual inspection to ensure their happiness and welfare.

The surrounding landscape also greatly benefits this trip’s itinerary, as activities such as snowshoeing and cross country skiing are environmentally harmless. When potentially harmful machinery is used, such as the snowmobiles, two people drive one snowmobile. This reduces the number of snowmobiles being driven at any one time, minimising the number of fumes and chemicals that are released into the environment.

Each activity has the goal of seeing the Northern Lights, therefore guests are taken away from the light pollution and sound pollution of busy, built-up areas in order to appreciate them. They will pay constant attention and awareness to their environment and the phenomenal natural properties of Western Lapland, admiring the stars and the Northern Lights, should they be visible.

The Impacts of this Trip

All aspects of this trip remain local and close to the surrounding community. Activities are based in Harriniva and all guides are local, providing native workers with financial support and gain. Two of the included activities are a visit to a local husky farm and a visit to a reindeer farm, where guests join local families to learn about the history of the animals and their importance to the economy. This combines fun and thrilling activities with culture and tradition, teaching guests important Finnish pastimes in an interesting and enjoyable manner. This also benefits small, local businesses and maintains financial security within the community.

The dining on this seven night venture is also local and regional. Each meal is taken in the hotel restaurant, including a special farewell dinner which consists of only Finnish delicacies. Eating locally not only has its financial benefits, but also advocates tradition and cultural exchange, giving guests a taste of the regional cuisine.

Guests have the option to attend a Sámi Culture day, which involves learning about Sámi traditions and visiting a museum. This allows indigenous people to teach others about their lifestyle and customs which may otherwise be misunderstood or merely unknown. This is hugely important for such an interesting and diverse culture, advocating respect and understanding of their beliefs and values.


2 Reviews of Northern Lights holiday in Finnish Lapland, Harriniva

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 26 Jan 2020 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

That's a difficult question because there were so many, I couldn't pick just one. From seeing the snow glittering on the trees as we snowshoed through the Narnia like nighttime forest, to the excitement of dog sledding and getting hugs and kisses from the dogs after our trip, to seeing the Northern Lights, to sitting under a blanket in the stillness of the night as a reindeer pulled our sleigh across a frozen lake; it was all magical. Many memories to last a lifetime.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Bring a book, games, cards, snacks such as popcorn, hot cocoa. We travelled with our 2 young adult children. Our activities were all at night so while we skied, hiked and explored during the day, there was time before and after dinner that we spent in our cabin and were glad for having brought playing cards and snacks.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Absolutely. This was all confirmed in conversations had with the staff, the dog handlers and the reindeer herder. I also appreciated that all items in the gift shop were made in Finnland. A suggestion would be to add paintings and drawings by local artists.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Definitely a 5 star vacation. We enjoyed every meal and the options. The staff were knowledgable and friendly. Our cabin was perfect, the beds comfortable and the sauna a delight. The excursions were well done, the guides excellent. They explained things well, our safety and an enjoyable experience were their primary concern.

Reviewed on 11 Mar 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

There were many memorable parts to this holiday, from catching a glimpse of the lights, to riding snow mobiles through the forest at night, to breathing such beautiful clean air. The holiday was magical.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

There is no need to buy lots of specialist clothing, just some thermals and a couple of base layers. No need to dress up. Also don't stress about seeing the lights, the holiday is fabulous and if you get to see them its "the icing on the cake", enjoy all the wonderful experiences and the beauty and magic of the place.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The holiday was so interesting from the environmental and conservation point of view. We went on the Sami culture day which explained so much about how they lived and how they worked with the environment. A truly beautiful, unspoilt place.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

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