Northern lights family holiday, tailor made

“The beauty of this Northern Lights family trip is the sheer variety of activities on offer for all ages and how well organised it is - no one will be bored any of the time.”

Highlights

Luosto | Central Lapland | Pyhä-Luosto National Park | Finnish wilderness setting | Fantastic hotel and spa facilities | Husky safari | Reindeer farm visit | Snowmobile safari | Snowshoeing | Evening hunts for the Northern Lights | Expert guides and instructors | Sledging |

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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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made to suit your requirements
Our top tip:
Places on activities get snapped up quickly, so decide what you want to do and get booked up!
Trip type:
Tailor made to your budget and preferences.
Activity level:
Leisurely/moderate.
Accomm:
3 nights excellent hotel.
Solos:
Solo travellers welcome. Single rooms available for a surcharge.
Meals:
All breakfasts, all dinners.
Included:
Flights, transfers, accommodation, guides and instructors.
Vouchers
Accepted

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.

Environment
Saariselka is a small ski resort in the North East of Finnish Lapland. A region where tourism has increasingly become the mainstay of the economy, as other traditional industries have dwindled.
The Northern Lights Village sits around 500m from the village on the outskirts of the resort and on the edge of the wilderness. Being adjacent to such a wild and untouched region, it is, of course, vital that any new development such as the amazing Northern Lights Village is critically aware of its responsibilities to the environment and the local community.

This pick and mix holiday, allows families to design their own holiday, and tailor their time whilst staying in the Aurora Cabin accommodation for which the village is famed.

The buildings here were all constructed in the last 3 years and so they have implemented as many modern technologies as possible when it comes to energy efficiency.

The main restaurant building is geothermally heated.

All buildings were built using sustainably certified wood from a local timber supplier.

All lighting systems have been designed to be as efficient as possible, so they are activated by motion sensors and are all LEDs. The default settings for lighting in all cabins are low light. Not only does this reduce energy consumption but also reduces light pollution and improves the chances of seeing the Northern Lights.

Throughout the Northern Lights Village, waste materials are recycled where at all possible and guests are very much encouraged to ensure they also recycle waste. Food waste is kept to a minimum too and guests are encouraged to avoid the use of any single-use plastics.
Many activities begin on-site and so the use of vehicular transfers is reduced. Transfers, in general, are grouped where possible and shuttles to and from the town to the village are also by shared minibus.
The activities, of course, operate a strict leave no trace policy and any wood used in lighting fires is sustainably sourced.

Dog sledding, reindeer safaris, snowshoe trips and cross-country skiing all utilise marked trails to minimise the impact on the local environment and group sizes for all activities are limited. Animal welfare is of course vitally important, and all animals featured in the safaris are exceptionally well cared for and certified with all the necessary veterinary inspections.

When operating snowmobile safaris, all the tours utilise the cleaner 4 stroke engines and only marked and maintained trails are utilised. Snowmobiles are very much a daily mode of transport here and they replace the use of cars and 4 x 4 vehicles during activities and within the local community. As this is a tailored holiday then guests can, of course, decide whether they would like to take part in any snowmobile safaris or not.

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. We always encourage all of our clients to respect and embrace the lives and culture of local inhabitants by learning a few important words: hello, goodbye, please, thank you etc.

We have also included activities with a cultural base on our holiday. 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 suppliers, enabling locally owned businesses and the economies in which they work to benefit directly.

Our suppliers in Luosto provide a vital source of employment throughout the whole region. The restaurant serves as much local produce as possible. Many of our safaris in Luosto also utilise other local enterprises such as the amethyst mine and the remote smoke sauna and restaurant we use in one of our activities is the primary income for a local couple.

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 Saariselka, the effects of such a drift could be devastating.

The use of small 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 unspoilt than Saariselka. 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 always insist that our local providers are equally conscious of this.

The wooden chalets that we use as accommodation are built using sustainable timbers and are all extremely well insulated to ensure maximum efficiency.

We do appreciate that some may feel that snowmobiles should not be included in such itineraries however in areas such as Luosto 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. Our suppliers also utilise new 4-stroke engines that are less polluting.

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.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

The local family who own the Northern Lights Village, very much share our passion for wanting to ensure that any economic and social benefits of tourism remain in the local area and so utilising local suppliers and local employees is something which they always try to do.

The ski resort of Saariselka, of course, has a limited season from around December to April. The Northern Lights Village and the local tourist board have been working hard to reduce the seasonality of visitors in the region to improve full-time employment opportunities.

Since the inception of the village, 15 construction jobs were created and due to the increase in the size of the village, many of these roles have been sustained. 25 jobs have been created which now span the Autumn, Winter and Spring seasons, thus covering September through to April and there is now also significant employment planned for the summer months.

In total 15 year-round jobs have been provided in the area, which is a significant number. The owners have also invested in training local guides and, and there is a strong desire to employ as many local young people as possible. The aim is to try and create real career opportunities which help curb the rural-urban migration which inevitably occurs in such remote areas.

These jobs are in addition to any indirect positions which have been created through the tourism multiplier effect as some activity elements are outsourced to local suppliers, food is purchased locally where possible, and as much off-site construction as is feasible takes place within Lapland.

Families also have the chance to gain an insight into the local way of life in the region here if they choose to take part in some of the more cultural activities.

We offer activities which visit the Sami Siida Museum in Inari, the home of Sami culture in Lapland as well as a day trip to the tiny village of Nellim on the Russian border. Both of which offer the chance to learn about life in Lapland both in the past and the present.

There are also opportunities to learn about the traditions of reindeer herding, which still very much exist in this wild region and are truly memorable and informative experience for families of all ages.

Climate

11 Reviews of Northern lights family holiday, tailor made

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 12 Jan 2020 by

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


The morning we spent with the reindeer herder. We sat around the fire and he talked about his family's history as Sami reindeer herders. The kids loved the trip on the snowmobile across the frozen lake to go ice fishing. The New Year's Eve dinner, plus fireworks over the lake was also amazing!

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


Make sure you follow the advice about layers. Take two layers of thermals and two layers of wool jumpers for each person. Buy hand warmers to pop in the children's gloves and boots.

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


Yes. Money went straight to the reindeer herder.

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


Outstanding - perfect. An amazing family experience we will all remember for the rest of our lives.

Reviewed on 22 Dec 2019 by

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


The whole searching for Santa experience was truly magical for our 5 year old (and us!!)

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


Be prepared for some early starts with the activities and we wishes we had done 4 nights instead of 3!

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


Hard to say but lots of local people worked at the wonderful resort making it extra friendly and special

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


Absolutely unbelievably magical - amazing accommodation and restaurant area that was suitable for adults and children alike - might have been because we were a few days before Xmas but it never felt overly busy there). Staff were friendly and helpful too!

Reviewed on 04 Mar 2019 by

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


Reindeer herding and the fantastic northern lights display we were lucky enough to see on our last night.

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


Spend longer on the trip - an extra day or two would have allowed a slightly less hectic pace and some more time for exploring, using the equipment or
relaxing in the sauna. My 6 year old was quite tired, but kept going because it was all so exciting.

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


Yes, the visit to a genuine, local reindeer herd was a highlight, and we learned about the local culture.

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


Excellent - we were so sad to have to come home!

Reviewed on 22 Feb 2019 by

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


It's difficult to give just one as there were so many exciting moments: the reindeer trip, the snow shoe walks and the cross-country skiing on the beautiful frozen lake were all highlights, as was the pristine snow in such an unspoilt location.

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


The clothing provided is so good that
You really don't need to bring much of your own outerwear. The food is excellent and plentiful, but we still found it useful to have a few snacks available for the children after some of the more energetic activities.

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


The hotel clearly thought about sustainability and appeared to be using local suppliers. On the other hand, snowmobiles seem inherently bad for the environment and, while essential for local people such as the reindeer herder to do their work, our 2h snowmobile trip with other travellers seemed like a frivolous burning of fossil fuels, even though it was fun!

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


Absolutely excellent: really well organised, friendly and knowledgeable guides, great accommodation and food. Lived up to all our high expectations.

Reviewed on 19 Feb 2019 by

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


The whole holiday was simply amazing but the Husky safari was my very favourite.

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


Take hand and toe warmers if you are travelling in winter.

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?


Fantastic!

Reviewed on 29 Dec 2019 by

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


Husky safari & trip to see Santa

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


Be prepared for lack of daylight

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


Quite eco-friendly

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


Loved the activities, & guides very good. Struggled with sleep (combination of tiny bed & polar night adjustment).

Reviewed on 27 Aug 2018 by

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


Really enjoy searching for the northern lights, enjoyed the time on the Fells, dog sledding was a fun experience, small group experience was welcomed.

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


Book through a tour company that includes all aspects of the trip from airport transportation to the hotel to tours. There was a problem with the original hotel
not being ready for customers but we were taken care of with a new location and same tours without a problem or lapse in our trip momentum.

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?


MAT was extremely helpful with all questions, generous of his time to teach the group planetary patterns in the sky above us, helped everyone how to
better take photos of the night sky. Hopefully you hired him to be a steady staff person for he is great with your customers. Sorry for such a delay in
responding to your questionnaire. Let me know if you want a few photos from my trip in December 2017

Reviewed on 26 Feb 2018 by

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


Husky sledding was amazing.

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


If you have young children (my daughter is 3 and a half), don’t hesitate booking. I was concerned she would be too young but she thoroughly enjoyed playing in the snow and all the excursions.

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


It benefited local people in terms of employment maybe...

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


Amazing - we all loved it. Great accommodation, activities and restaurant.

Reviewed on 24 Feb 2018 by

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


We loved all the activities. I think the huskies would be voted top by most of the party. But just the experience of being surrounded by a beautiful snowy trees and scenery and for small (and larger) children, the constant availability of sledges and slopes and lovely deep snow is magical. Just being able to go in to the zoo every day we were there and see those animals and birds once more was also special.

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


Be prepared for an ambivalent relationship with your snowsuit and other protective clothing, gloves, helmets etc. Taking them on and off takes time and they feel clumsy and uncomfortable at times - know that you will grow to LOVE them once you realise you can only enjoy the snow and the adventurous activities if you are wearing them. 10 mins without those layers will convince you. This can be a tough lesson for small children initially.

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


It certainly seemed that many of the employees at Ranua were local and they were using local people such as reindeer and horse farmers to provide activities. We were impressed that we were taken to what appeared to be a local supermarket not one which belongs to an international chain. Lots of local food and drink on offer.

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


A very special holiday. My Australian son in law and granddaughter (aged 6) had never touched snow before. I wanted to share a special experience with them and my daughter and it was certainly that. It worked for us all whatever age or stage. Its a relaxed and welcoming place where you feel they are taking care of you but they are also providing challenging and memorable activities and sharing their own experience and passion for the landscape and its wildlife. The standard of accommodation and food is high.

Reviewed on 13 Jan 2016 by

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


Snowmobiling! What a fantastic day. The tour was informal, fun and adventurous. What more can you ask for. The setting couldn't have been better.

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


Pack suitable clothing. Although the warm outer gear is perfect for tours, it is a little cumbersome for just popping to dinner.
So good winter gear to go from the cabin to the main lodge. Also, we travelled with a 10 month old baby, so take a sling. The staff were fantastic and loaned us a cart with a reindeer skin, blankets and pillows to transport our baby from the cabin to the lodge. This was great! But if you wanted to go a bit further afield, the sling was important because it keeps the baby a lot warmer.

Don't overpack. In the winter you don't really need to change your clothes that often and there isn't a great deal of storage in the cabins. We had too much stuff and didn't use most of it.

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


All of the staff were local and I felt they were connected and dedicated to the local area.

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


Excellent! What a fantastic place to stay. I would not hesitate in recommending the accommodation used. The staff went above and beyond - no request was too difficult. From the collection to departure, each touchpoint was dealt with a smile and solution.

Reviewed on 29 Dec 2014 by

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


We loved all of it - the food, accommodation, tour guides and the northern lights were spectacular. The trip was very well organised and everything came together nicely. We travel a lot and this trip did not disappoint.

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


Bring a hairdryer as there was not one in our room. We might have been able to borrow one - we didn't ask.

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

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