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Arctic Aura: An Environmental Winter Wonderland

Discover the Arctic Wilderness on this journey through Finnish Lapland

Duration

11 Days

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Arctic Aura: An Environmental Winter Wonderland

Tour Information

Finnish Lapland, the northern-most region of Finland is an outdoor adventurer’s wonderland. Known for its vast nature, winter activities, and of course, its most famous resident Santa Claus, Lapland is also home to the indigenous Sámi people and is referred to as Europe’s last great wilderness.

Lapland is a region of Northern Europe covering areas of Norway, Sweden, and Finland. In the summers the sun never sets, and in autumn, winter, and spring, the Northern Lights dance across the sky. With the world’s cleanest air, an abundance of opportunities for year-round activities, and a unique culture thanks to the EU’s only recognised indigenous people, the Sámi, Finnish Lapland awaits your visit.

 

Set off on an 11-day Sustainable Journey through the heart of Finnish Lapland, weaving through Europe’s last great wilderness from Tampere and Rovaniemi, where urban sustainability meets Nordic charm, culminating in the tranquil town and region of Posio. Here, where there are more reindeer than people, you’ll delve into the ancient traditions of the Arctic, through immersive experiences like reindeer sleigh rides and storytelling by the custodians of Lapland.  Posio was the first destination in the country to be awarded the Sustainable Travel Finland certification and most travel services here are owned and operated by locals. Embrace eco-conscious activities from e-fat biking to snowshoeing, while staying in eco-friendly cabins and the Arctic SnowHotel’s glass igloos. This itinerary is a tribute to sustainable living and the natural beauty of the Arctic.

Journey Overview

Day 1 – Arrive in Tampere
Day 2 – Tampere to Rovaniemi
Day 3 – Rovaniemi to Posio
Day 4 – Pentik
Day 5 – Riisitunturi National Park
Day 6 – Ylitalo
Day 7 –  Himmerki
Day 8 – Posio
Day 9 – Riisituntri
Day 10 – Sinettä
Day 11 – Return to the UK

What’s Included?
  • 10 nights in a variety of accommodation styles, including one night on a train.
  • Meals as mentioned as being included, often self-prepared from provided ingredients.
  • Transfers as indicated.
  • Activities, including sightseeing, snowshoeing, skiing and husky safari
What’s not included?
  • Travel to and from Finland by air or rail
  • Pre or Post tour accommodation
  • Meals and drinks not mentioned as ‘included’
  • Personal Travel Insurance
  • Gratuities
  • Optional activities and tours

How is this a Sustainable Journey?

Visiting lesser-known destinations: This tour encourages travellers to explore less visited regions of Finland, contributing directly to each of the local communities visited by staying in locally-owned accommodations, eating at local eateries, and using locally-owned activity providers. All of the experiences allow for stops in beautiful places that would be missed if only visiting the capital city and larger towns. A growing number of destinations in Finland have signed up to the Sustainable Travel Finland programme, a definitive symbol of commitment towards sustainable practices and principles.

Accommodation: Wherever possible we use locally owned and run hotels, guesthouses, and cabins. You make an impact by contributing directly to the local economy, meeting the locals, and experiencing their hospitality, customs, and traditions. Most of the places you stay are recognised for their leading sustainability practices through the Sustainable Travel Finland programme, the EcoCompass Certificate and many international awards and certifications.

Transport: On this tour you travel by train and bus, thereby reducing your carbon emissions considerably. Travelling on public transport also offers a different type of experience – one where you travel more slowly and see so much more of the landscape. We believe this gives you a far greater awareness of the destination. You also get the opportunity to power yourself along on skis, snowshoes and your own two feet – reducing your emissions to zero! Plus, you’re out in the fresh air, experiencing nature, and there’s so much to see and do along the way.

Food and drink: During this tour, you’ll have the chance to sample local specialities as well as a wide range of produce sourced straight from Lapland. The places you visit offer a chance to experience different flavours and traditional recipes that are localised to their regions, often passed down with the traditional wisdom of many generations. The food chain supply is shortened in that their produce is locally sourced, grown or gathered in their surrounding landscape, and is freshly prepared and cooked. Whilst all this gives your hosts the opportunity to impart their local knowledge, it also gives you quite different and unique experiences, whilst also ensuring there are no unnecessary food miles. The places you visit usually offer vegetarian and/or vegan options, and most can accommodate different dietary needs.

Local staff: Your hosts and guides are predominantly local people living in the destination. They own, manage, or are employed by each hotel, activity provider or tour company, meaning the money paid to them goes directly into the local economy.

Detailed Itinerary

  • Day 1 - Arrival in Tampere, Finland

    Upon arrival in Finland journey to Tampere, details below.

    Check in at Laplands Hotel Arena or similar.

    Begin your Nordic journey arriving in Helsinki. Helsinki can be reached by air non-stop direct from the UK, Tampere a little over two hours rail from Helsinki, or why not consider our two-night slow travel journey add-on from the UK to Finland by rail, making for an interesting as well as a lower carbon option.

    On arrival in Tampere settle into the Lapland Hotels Arena, uniquely situated next to the new Nokia Arena, home to Finland’s premier ice-hockey teams. Enjoy your evening with an optional dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, at your own expense. Inspired by the hotel’s northern roots, their menu is a true celebration of northern Finnish cuisine, using the purest ingredients sourced from the region such as game, reindeer, mushrooms and berries.

  • Day 2 - Tampere and overnight train to Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland

    Begin your day in Tampere with breakfast at your hotel, fueling up for a day of exploration in one of Finland’s most sustainable cities. Your morning will be spent wandering on foot through the heart of Tampere, a city celebrated for its commitment to eco-friendly living. Known as Finland’s city of events, there are lots of opportunities to enjoy music, the theatre and as many as 14 museums! An interesting fact about Tampere is that it is ranked 26th on the list of 446 hipster cities in the world and is often rated as the most popular city in Finland. As such, it has a vibrant food culture and one of the best ways to get to know the city is to head to one of its restaurants, cafes, pubs, and breweries.

    In the afternoon, embrace the magic of Finnish winter by indulging in wild skating or kick-sledging across the city’s frozen lakes. This traditional Finnish activity not only immerses you in the local culture but also respects the delicate balance of nature. As dusk settles, experience the exhilaration of Finnish sportsmanship at an ice-hockey match or unwind in the warm embrace of a traditional Finnish sauna. Have dinner at a local restaurant (at your own expense) before boarding the night train to Rovaniemi.

    Rail from Tampere to Rovaniemi – 432 miles/695 km, 8 hours 11mins

  • Day 3 - Rovaniemi to Posio

    Arrive in Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland and “official” hometown of Santa Claus and begin your day with breakfast at Café Hostel Koti, a delightful eco-friendly spot renowned for its locally sourced menu as well as for its extensive sustainability programme.

    After breakfast, set off on an exciting 3-hour e-fatbike journey into the wild Arctic forests – a perfect blend of eco- friendly travel and adventure, and a great way to discover the scenic beauty of Arctic nature. Continue to the Arktikum science centre and museum, a fascinating hub of Arctic-living knowledge complemented by exhibitions that highlight the balance between nature and culture in the Arctic. Enjoy lunch at the museum’s cafeteria.

    In the afternoon, travel to Posio, a peaceful destination embodying sustainable living. Check-in at for your Log Cabin in Posio for six nights.

    Everything you need for self-catering breakfast and various dinners as shown in the itinerary (from days 4 to 9) are provided, featuring the finest seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers and producers, all reflecting the essence of Finnish cuisine.

    Transfer from Rovaniemi to Posio – 92 miles/148 km, approx. 2 hours

  • Day 4 - Posio - Pentik

    Begin your day by preparing a delightful breakfast with the ingredients provided in your cabin. This morning offers ample time for relaxation, perhaps enjoying a brisk walk amidst the stunning natural surroundings. In the afternoon, explore the renowned Pentik Ceramics Centre, a testament to Finnish craftsmanship and ecological consciousness. The Centre, including a museum, showcases the exquisite harmony of art and nature in its ceramic designs. The onsite cafe, featuring dishes made from locally grown produce, and the factory shop where you can purchase sustainable, artisan-made souvenirs, highlight Pentik’s commitment to environmental stewardship. Afterwards take a leisurely walk to a nearby grocery store, immersing yourself in the local way of life. This stroll is not only a chance to engage with the community but also an opportunity to appreciate Posio’s dedication to sustainability, evident in the locally produced goods and the town’s low-impact lifestyle. As you return to your cabin, reflect on the day’s experiences, whilst you prepare and enjoy dinner.

  • Day 5 - Posio - Riisitunturi National Park

    Your morning begins in the comfort of your log cabin, where you’ll prepare your breakfast. After breakfast, join the team at Adventure Apes for a captivating 5-hour snowshoeing expedition in the enchanting Riisitunturi National Park for panoramic views of unspoiled wilderness. Adventure Apes is a local business with a passion for connecting people with the local community, Finland’s nature and adventure. This expedition is thoughtfully planned to minimise environmental impact whilst maximising your connection with this stunning landscape. A highlight of the day is a campfire lunch, prepared in a traditional Finnish style. This outdoor meal amidst the beauty of the park not only provides a welcome break, but also an opportunity to learn about Lapland’s culture and traditions. Finish your day with a catered dinner back at your cabin, a perfect end to a day filled with nature, adventure, and a deep appreciation of Finnish Lapland.

  • Day 6 - Posio - Ylitalo

    Embark on a day steeped in the enchanting beauty of Posio. After breakfast in your cabin, you’ll be on your way to the Ylitalo Reindeer Farm, a leader of traditional reindeer husbandry. Here you’ll experience the magic of a reindeer sleigh ride, a practice deeply intertwined with the local culture and preserving the Arctic environment.  This immersive journey offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature and understand the delicate balance of the local ecosystem. On your return, you can visit a local grocery store where you can select everything you need for your evening meal, sourced from local farmers and producers. Back at your cosy cabin, you’ll have the chance to create a delicious dinner, a perfect end to your day of exploration.

  • Day 7 - Posio - Himmerki

     

    After breakfast, your journey in Posio continues with a visit to the Himmerki resort. Here, you’ll be equipped with eco-friendly cross-country skiing gear. An expert instructor will provide an hour of guidance ensuring you’re well-prepared to cross the snow-covered landscapes. Following your morning adventure, indulge in lunch at the Himmerki restaurant. After lunch you can use your newly honed skills to ski back to your cabin through Posio’s serene winter landscapes, appreciating the untouched natural beauty on your way. The day ends with the delivery of your dinner ingredients for this evening and tomorrow.

  • Day 8 - Posio

    Today is free to enjoy cross-country skiing and exploring around Posio. In the evening prepare your dinner in the cabin.

  • Day 9 - Posio - Riisitunturi

    After breakfast in your cabin embark on an enchanting journey with Kota-Husky, where you’ll experience the thrill of a sustainable husky safari, a quintessential Arctic adventure. Mush through the pristine landscapes, covering a scenic 20km route to the breathtaking Riisitunturi National Park. Renowned for its stunning snowy terrains and ethereal winter beauty, Riisitunturi is a sanctuary of tranquillity. Savour a delightful picnic lunch, thoughtfully prepared with authentic Finnish flavours.

    As the day winds down, retreat to the charming Himmerki Holiday Village for dinner. Located on the shores of Lake Kitkajärvi, noted for its abundant fish and crystal-clear waters, Himmerki is a pioneer in sustainable tourism, offering locally sourced cuisine in a rustic yet cosy setting. The restaurant, with its commitment to using fresh, regional produce, provides a true taste of Lapland hospitality. Return to your cabin knowing you trod lightly on this magnificent landscape, leaving only footprints in the snow and taking away memories to last a lifetime.

  • Day 10 - Posio - Sinettä

    Begin your day in the tranquil setting of Posio with a self-catered breakfast in your cabin. Following breakfast, embark on a journey to the remarkable Arctic SnowHotel, a marvel of winter architecture constructed annually from snow and ice, showcasing sustainable practices in the building. Once you have checked in, explore the intricately designed ice rooms and sculptures, each reflecting the unique culture and nature of the region. You can enjoy lunch (at your own cost) at one of the hotel’s three restaurants, offering menus crafted from locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.

    As twilight descends, prepare for an exhilarating Northern Lights adventure aboard electric snowmobiles. Glide silently through the snowy landscape, with – we hope – the ethereal glow of the Aurora Borealis. The day culminates with a traditional Finnish grilling session, where you’ll savour local flavours in a cosy, rustic setting, embodying the essence of Nordic cuisine. Retire to the enchanting glass igloos of the Arctic SnowHotel, offering a unique overnight experience under the starry Arctic sky. The 360-degree glass roofs of the igloos provide the best possible views of the heavenly magic of the skies. In addition, designed with sustainability in mind, they provide an unobtrusive way to immerse in the natural beauty of the Lapland wilderness whilst ensuring minimal environmental impact.

    Drive from Posio to Sinettä – 99 miles/159 km, approx. 2 hours

  • Day 11 - Return to the UK

    Drive from Sinettä to Rovaniemi – 22 miles/35.5 km, approx. 25 minutes

    Today your Sustainable Journey itinerary sadly finishes, with your departure to Rovaniemi, but not until you’ve enjoyed breakfast at the hotel’s Log Restaurant.

    We’ll be led by you concerning your travel back to the UK, by road and rail to Helsinki and onward perhaps or if you are short of time and need to fly, we can help with non-stop economy flights to London airports.

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