Lapland Autumn Northern Lights holiday

“A five day, autumn small group holiday to see the Northern Lights in the far north of Finnish Lapland. Staying on the shores of Lake Inari. No snow but, hopefully, lots of glow. ”


Autumn colours of Finnish Lapland | Northern Lights | Lake Inari | Aurora Camps | Sámi Siida Museum

Description of Lapland Autumn Northern Lights holiday

This Lapland Northern Lights holiday takes place in Finnish Lapland during the autumn months, which are not as well known as potential Aurora hunting time, but a stunning time of year to visit these wilderness regions. This small group holiday is based in a waterfront hotel on Lake Inari, where you will get a chance to, hopefully, see the Northern Lights reflected off the lake but also take in the seasonal leaf changes in the forests all around. Located north of the Arctic Circle, you get to experience this wild and wonderful landscape before it freezes over. The autumnal season is known as ‘Ruska’ locally, with everything changing colour by the day, and some flurries of snow thrown into the already magical mix if you are lucky.

The price of this autumn Northern Lights holiday includes two night trips to local Aurora Camps, where you sit and wait by a camp fire with your guides in a chosen location where lack of light pollution and other conditions make it perfect for potential light sightings. You will also get a chance to seek out the Lights with expert guides on a night time minibus trip with the rest of your group. During the daytime, you can take in the Sami Museum or shops or enjoy a guided hike around the surrounding area, which is a wonderful trip into nature at its most tranquil but also flora and fauna rich.

At the family owned hotel where you stay, you will have a choice of rooms as well as some cosy log cabins and also glass roofed Aurora cabins. Do chat with us about options available at time of booking. All meals are provided as is winter clothing. The price of this holiday also includes return flights London to Ivalo (via Helsinki), with regional departures also an option. We recommend this holiday for anyone over the age of fifteen years old.
Photography by Markku Inkila and Reeta Hanninen

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be taken anytime between 25th August - 15th November
Holiday type
Small group holidays
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Meet a group leader
As well as taking care of all the day-to-day practicalities, your group leader is the one who will turn your trip into an adventure. Leaders are extraordinary characters – the kind of person who has spent 14 Christmas days on the slopes of Mount Everest, runs marathons wearing tiger suits to raise funds for their conservation and thinks nothing of leading an overland trip in Sudan or Afghanistan. Fearless and inspiring, group leaders are as important as the destination itself.

Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure. As well as doing crazy things like climbing Kilimanjaro 100 times, they also donate their time to local projects supported by travellers – such as rebuilding Sri Lankan villages following the 2004 tsunami.

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.

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 Nellim is owned and run by the Lappalainen 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 Nellim’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 Nellim 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 Nellim 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 Nellim. 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 Nellim 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.

4 Reviews of Lapland Autumn Northern Lights holiday

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 08 Mar 2018 by

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

Excellent activities. The highlight for me was the dog sledding experience. All other activities were of an exceptional standard as well.

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

Just enjoy it. Bring lots of warm clothes, especially socks and hand/feet warmers.

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

Very much in touch with the local community with activities through local businesses.

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

10 out of 10. A fantastic holiday with great activities and a superb hotel with great food.

Reviewed on 09 Nov 2016 by

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

Can I have two? First, finally, on our third Aurora Hunt and our last night, we watched from the bridge with fantastic open sky views overlooking the Russian
border, as the aurora gradually emerged dancing like curtains above us. It was quite magical. Both aurora, pale green and pinkish, and the millions of stars
were reflected in the dark river below. Second, hiking through the frozen forest wilderness up the hill, following reindeer tracks towards the low sun
streaming through the white, glistening treetops. The silence and stillness of the wilderness are absolute and very moving if you pause, take time and listen.

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

Take lots of layers, thermal if possible. Ski clothes are perfect. It is very, very cold especially on aurora hunts at night. The overalls and boots the hotel give
you are brilliant and you need layers underneath. Inner gloves inside mittens are best.
Be prepared to be out from 9pm until the early hours as that's when the aurora is most likely and visible. Star gazing is excellent too becasue there is
absolutely no ground light away from the lodge. Take binoculars. And take naps in the afternoon to make up for it!

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

Yes all three. Nellim is a tiny village and the Wilderness Lodge is employing more and more local people. The management is developing the lodge in
harmony with the local wilderness environment and the way of life of the local population. We were in a group of 6 at the start of the season. The
management will have to be careful not to grow too quickly and lose the ambience of living with the natural environment not just in it.

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

Excellent. Really great lodge and very friendly and helpful staff. Excellent guides, very knowledgeable and willing to share with you. Lovely to be in a small

Reviewed on 30 Mar 2016 by

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

It was all good but the night trips were the best part

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

Plan to take naps during daylight so you can stay awake longer for the nighttime aurora hunting

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

Yes, clearly provided lots of employment and income for local people. Our stay was too short to assess environmental impact.

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

Excellent. I'd be happy to go back to Nellim again

Reviewed on 01 Jan 2014 by

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

I went on this trip hoping to see the Northern Lights. We did not see them on this trip, but I enjoyed the trip so much, I would happily return, lights or no lights. Some memories: watching the beauty of a light snow falling on pine trees from the dining room while enjoying a lunch of homemade soup and bread (I don't see much snow where I live), traveling through the woods on a sledge pulled by snowmobiles while covered with blankets , a very good talk about the Northern Lights at a nearby research station, enjoying my first ever sauna in my own room, etc. and etc.

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

Just stick with the plan and enjoy!

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


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

It was a wonderful trip and I have fallen in love with Lapland and Finland.

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