Winter adventure in Finland

“A week of winter activities in Finnish Lapland, travelling in a small group, and staying in a wilderness hotel. Husky safari was totally unforgettable. ”

Highlights

Finnish Lapland | Wilderness hotel | Husky safari | Overnight in wilderness cabin | Northern Lights | Reindeer farm and safari | Snowmobile safari | Overnight husky safari | Cross country skiing | Snowshoeing | Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park

Description of Winter adventure in Finland

This winter adventure holiday in Finland, far north of the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland is not only an exciting outdoor experience but also packed with typical Finnish things to do, wilderness being our middle name. Based in the charming, remote Harriniva Hotel, located by the Muonio River and on the outskirts of Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park.

The national park boasts over a thousand square kilometres of boreal forest, high fells and myriad snowshoeing and cross country skiing trails, and has a very untouched feel about it. It is, therefore, the perfect location for snowshoeing, cross country skiing, visiting a reindeer farm and, the highlight for many, going on a husky safari. No ordinary husky safari, however, but an overnight one staying in a wilderness cabin for escapism at its most exquisite. Especially if the Aurora Borealis does her beautiful thing.

ACCOMMODATION
Harriniva Wilderness Hotel (nights 1-3, 5-7)
Ideally located in the north-west corner of Finland, high above the Arctic Circle and in the very heart of the Aurora Zone, Harriniva Wilderness Hotel serves as a perfect base for your adventure holiday. Owned and run by the Pietikäinen family, the hotel has developed a growing reputation for its warm ambience and the large range of enjoyable activities on offer.

Wilderness Cabin (night 4)
Wilderness cabin accommodation is reserved for those people enjoying overnight safaris. There can surely be few better forms of escape from the everyday stresses (which could include laptops, mobiles and your day job) than a night in one of these cabins. Their isolation also means that the views of the night sky are incredible.

WHAT'S INCLUDED
Return flights London to Kittilä
Transfers
7 nights’ accommodation, six in a hotel and one in a wilderness cabin
7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
Winter outdoor clothing
Expert guides
Activities: Reindeer farm and safari, snowmobile safari, husky safari, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, equipment

Photography: Antti Pietikäinen, Steve Cushing, Laura Hodgkiss, Manny Alsina & Martin Prcychodny

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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Date
Price
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01 Dec 2019
£1995
including UK flights
Available
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08 Dec 2019
£2025
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15 Dec 2019
£2025
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05 Jan 2020
£1995
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12 Jan 2020
£2045
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19 Jan 2020
£1995
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26 Jan 2020
£1995
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02 Feb 2020
£2045
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09 Feb 2020
£2045
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16 Feb 2020
£2145
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23 Feb 2020
£2045
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01 Mar 2020
£1995
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08 Mar 2020
£1995
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15 Mar 2020
£1995
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22 Mar 2020
£2225
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29 Mar 2020
£2225
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05 Apr 2020
£2225
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Responsible tourism

Winter adventure in Finland

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

Tourism in Finnish Lapland has become the main income source of employment and income replacing traditional industries such as forestry. Development from a period of extractive industry to an industrial society has come about quickly. In 1950 the largest part of Lapland’s inhabitants lived in rural areas and more than half the workforce worked in forestry and agriculture. Today 65 % of the workforce are in the service industry, 22 % in processing and 10 % in primary production.

This huge growth in tourism and service provision has been developed in conjunction with a long-term sustainable tourism plan with one of the primary objectives being to maintain nature in its natural state while guaranteeing the traditional way of life.

Much of this has been achieved along with membership of EU development programmes, aimed at diversifying sources of livelihood, effective usage of resources and to increase export.

Approximately a quarter of Lapland’s 100 000 strong workforce was unemployed in 1997. Promoting entrepreneurship, ongoing re-education of the workforce and development of the educational system to suit the needs of enterprises is continuing. The target is to diversify the sources of livelihood, increase the value of refinement production and develop new enterprises particularly in the area of tourism. National measures as well as EU-programme measures support this objective.

We embrace this philosophy, employing local activity providers and using only locally owned hotels. In this manner we help to maintain jobs in an area where unemployment was, until recently, very high. Additionally, the use of local suppliers ensures that the tourism spend filters through to local economies via the tourism multiplier effect.

11 Reviews of Winter adventure in Finland

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 12 Jan 2016 by

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


Scenery, experiencing the Arctic, husky safari

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


Make sure you are fit.

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


Yes

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


Excellent

Reviewed on 24 Jan 2015 by

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


All of it. The husky tour is probably my favourite but I enjoyed the Northern Lights, the snowmobile, the snowshoeing, the cross country skiing, the ice hotel, the reindeer!!

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


Bring lots of loose layers and thermal base layer to keep you warm if you travel in December/January - temperatures go as low as -44c!

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


Yes, I think so!

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


Excellent

Reviewed on 04 Jan 2012 by

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


Every day was an adventure, so difficult to single one experience out really, but I'll go for the husky sledding. We expected someone else to be driving - controlling the dogs yourself (though I use the word "control" in the loosest sense) was utterly exhilarating. The accommodation and surroundings were fabulous too.

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


I found using my own ski gear rather than the provided warm weather gear was better, so if you have ski gear, bring it.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, absolutely. All activities involved local businesses. It was interesting that the training of reindeers to pull sleds is an art that would die out without tourism and also provided the reindeer farm with a subsidy to what came across as an incredibly eco-friendly industry.

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


It was a magical experience that as well as providing exhilarating adventures also taught us a lot about the local culture. We came away with many questions and thoughts about how we could adapt our own lives to introduce some of the quality of living that the Lappish Finns seem to have.

I do though have a few minor complaints:
1. I specified when booking I was a vegetarian and although this was recorded on my holiday voucher, it seems the information was not passed to the airline when booking the flight. Finnair had no food for vegetarians without a special order, so on a fairly long journey (4.5 hours of flying in total on each leg), this was noticeable.

2. We were able to sit together on only one of the four flights. On the way back, we checked in online the maximum 36 hours before (and around 18 hours before on the way out) and already almost all the seating had gone. This may be something to do with the way Finnair allocates seating - perhaps it is done at the time of booking? In which case I
wonder whether something else could have been done at the time of booking to link the two of us? Perhaps the flight bookings were made separately?

3. The bathroom light in our accommodation was not working. We reported this to our rep on the second day but it was never fixed. This meant we had to use the bathroom in almost complete darkness, with only some light filtering from the sauna.

We will definitely return to this area of Finland again, though will explore the option of independent travel next time.

Reviewed on 11 Apr 2011 by

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


Overnight husky safari, getting to bond with your team of dogs. Then running out in our pyjamas to watch the northern lights!

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


Think about what to do with your free days-options at hotel very expensive and poor value for money. Consider duty free alcohol to take with you as hotel bar v expensive €5.80 for beer.Try and go before April as end of season and things winding dow/snow melting.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Helped local community- tourist industry, maintaining huskies. Helped local reindeer herding communities. I assume the snowmobiles would be damaging to the environment.

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


Excellent experience, good taster of the best that Lapland has to offer. Beautifully snowy countryside and not as cold as I expected .

Reviewed on 04 Feb 2011 by

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


The two day husky safari.

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


Take some suitable footwear for inside the hotel.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Certainly.

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


A great variety of activities to wet your appetite.

Reviewed on 09 Jan 2011 by

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


Husky dog sledding.

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


Make sure to bring a down jacket layer (thin) to fit under outerwear, and make sure to bring thin glove liners that are for arctic conditions but can fit under the large mittens (mine were too thick)

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Maybe - did not get much education on that. Was expecting to learn more about the local Sami culture, but didn't learn much about that. Certainly the hotel (Harriniva) and activities seem to be very low impact and conscientious.

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


9 out of 10, would not recommend the Snow Village - except for a tour and drinks in the bar. Staying the night was not worth the money.

Reviewed on 22 Feb 2010 by

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



Celebrating my 50th Birthday in unique surroundings witha new group of friends partaking in new and exciting winter activities.

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



Make sure you embrace every opportunity given to you, even if at first it doesn't appeal.


3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?



They seem to provide a happy balance of providing activities that use local people and locally sourced products where possible.


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



The holiday was excellent and no matter how much I tell people, the only way is to experience it for themselves

Reviewed on 25 Jan 2010 by

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


Working with the huskies on our 2 day wilderness safari was amazing. A once in a lifetime experience and Raika, the husky guide was brilliant. Most exciting part was definitely driving a snowmobile at speed across the frozen lakes and rivers!! Our adventure week guide, Marianne, was outstanding and a huge credit to Harriniva!!!

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


Do it - you absolutely must take this journey. It should be on everyone's "bucket list".

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes - the local people demonstrated a passion for their landscape and the environment in which they lived. The Lappish people appeared to live life in harmony with the magic around them.

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


Outstanding; breathtaking; adrenaline pumping; and enormous fun.

Reviewed on 18 Dec 2010 by

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


The whole experience was amazing from start to finish. Everything was organised and the hotel was very comfortable and just what you needed after a day's activities. My husband enjoyed the snowmobile safari best and I think that my favourite was the husky safari but really we loved all the activities that we carried out during the week.

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


If you want a real taste of life in a winter wonderland then this is for you! The equipment provided at the hotel is very good quality so you don't have to spend a lot of money buying winter clothing that you would not generally use again.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes. Some of the main guides were from other countries but this was for language purposes, but the people who worked in the hotel and on some of the activities, were local. Local food and wood is used and the hotel was set up for conserving energy with lights on timers and efficient heating.

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


This was a completely different experience from anything I have ever done before and I loved every minute of it!

Reviewed on 30 Mar 2010 by

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


The highlight of the week was the 2 days with the huskies. The sights and sounds were fantastic, a real "back to nature" experience. The dogs were so keen to get started each day, worked together and kept you informed when you were not doing your duties correctly. The weather was glorious. Most days we had clear blue skies which added to the magical vistas. We also really enjoyed the ice sculpture experience as a part of our overnight at the Ice Hotel. The food there was some of the best we had this trip, the design and construction was brilliant. A must-do experience for insomniacs.

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


When we told friends we were going on a husky safari we kept getting knowing looks and sympathetic comments. "Oh dear, I hope you can stand the dreadful smell !" If you hear this jealous outpouring just smile and say it is the best part. Our team must have been on a different diet. Now, if you want to talk about the stench of the snowmobiles, that is another story... Probably a good time to give up alcohol...hotel prices as per standard Scandinavian tariffs.
Riding pillion on snowmobile is not a great experience and there is a very heavy premium to pay to get a vehicle per person. It may be worth getting a price through your travel agent in advance.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Finland is not exactly the poorest country in the world. Thoughts of responsible travel were not exactly top of our list. With the population of Finland not sufficient to support the travel industry, our trip also gave employment to the neighbours in Sweden. The husky and reindeer trips were surely environmentally friendly. We though that the snowmobiles were fairly low down on the list of environmentally cuddly vehicles, a fun experience but totally irresponsible travel dot com...

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


We travelled to Kitilla on a direct flight from Gatwick with Monarch Airlines. They did a great job in terms of time, in-flight meal (how rare is that on charters these days?) and comfort (we got extended legroom seats on the return trip). All in all a superb experience and highly recommended

Reviewed on 16 Feb 2010 by

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


The overnight husky safari provides you with an opportunity to spend a night in a wilderness cabin and see the night sky without any light pollution.

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


You have to be reasonably fit to get the best out of it. Driving a snowmobile for 80 Kilometres is surprisingly physically demanding (even riding pillion.)

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes. The centre is a major local employer and helping to keep local traditions alive in a sensible and respectful manner.

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


We had a great time. The standard of the food when we were away from the hotel was surprisingly good. The guides ands staff are very friendly and know exactly what they are doing.

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