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  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Here is list of frequently asked questions that should provide you with some extra information you might need.

    What makes us different (or better) than other northern lights holidays?

    With us, you can be about as guaranteed as possible to see the northern lights. We are out of the way of light pollution and way up north so when the skies are clear, if there is aurora activity at all, you can see it. And if there is activity in the skies but the skies happen to be overcast, no problem, we’ll drive you where the skies are clear.

    We also offer activities beside the aurora gazing so if you want some excitement during the daytime as well, we’ve got you covered. And if you don’t, you can relax in the quiet of Lapland, in the peace of your own cottage. With us you also get the chance to experience a little slice of authentic life in the very north of the Finnish Lapland. We live here ourselves and know the area well and we are happy to show it to you.

    Is seeing the northern lights guaranteed?

    No. As much as we’d like to guarantee you that you will see the northern lights, we can’t. No one can. But with us, your chances of seeing them are much higher than with most other companies. The further north you go, the better chances you have of seeing the northern lights. But some nights, you could go all the way to the north pole and still not see them. Because some nights they just don’t happen.

    It is quite rare but it happens and for this reason auroras cannot be guaranteed, not by anyone. Clouds can be a problem too. If it’s cloudy, the view of the night sky will be blocked and thus we won’t see auroras. If it is cloudy, we drive pretty far to try and find clear skies or even gaps in clouds, but even then, it’s not guaranteed. Sometimes the entire continent is under a blanket of clouds and there is nothing we can do.

    What is the maximum amount of people on our tours?

    Each holiday is for 8 people. We have four cottages, all identical to each other. Each cottage sleeps 4-6 people. They have two twin bedrooms and there is also a sofa bed in the living room where another two people can sleep. So although we usually only take twelve people on our holiday, we can actually accommodate up to 24 people with prior arrangement.

    How long is the holiday?

    In winter our holidays are from Tuesday to Sunday so in total 5 nights and 6 days.

    In the summer, we are able to arrange more customized stays. Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information. Contact@auroraholidays.net

    Are children welcome?

    We are happy to welcome children ages 10 and up. However if you want to come with smaller children, please email us before booking. We can always do things to customise the tours to suit you and your family. It is not necessary to leave the cottages most nights and if we do have to take the van to chase the northern lights, we won’t go far. We do ask you to let us know well in advance if you’re travelling with children who need car seats.

    How cold does it get?

    It depends on the time of winter. But it is safe to assume it will be 0°C (32°F) or below most of the winter and it can quite easily be -10°C, -20°C or -30°C (14-(-22)°F) on some days. Due to Finland’s location, it’s not as cold here as it is in the very North of Canada and Alaska or Siberia.

    We’ll have a fire outside to warm up around during the nights we’re outside and if you for some reason feel it is too cold to go outside, you can see the northern lights from the windows of your cottage most nights. See the section on what to wear on your trip here.

    Is it suitable for people with disabilities?

    It depends on the nature of your disability. As long as you can get in and out of cars and walk a few steps up some stairs, you are most welcome. If you are dependent on a wheelchair then we are sorry but our holiday is not suitable for you. Some of the daytime activities we offer require a bit more mobility than the nighttime activity of aurora gazing. If you have any questions, do contact us and we’ll try and accommodate you as much as possible.

    If you have any other questions about anything concerning our holidays, feel free to contact us!

    How to dress right

    Lapland is the biggest province in Finland and covers almost one third of Finland´s land area. The climate varies in different parts of Lapland, thanks to the seas, fells and mainland. The Arctic Ocean and the Gulf Stream both affect the climate of Utsjoki by offsetting the temperatures.

    The average yearly temperature is -0,5 °C (31 °F) in the Utsjoki area. The coldest month of the year is January, when the average temperature is -12 to -14 °C (10 - 6 °F). But it´s not rare, that the temperature drops down even to -30 or -40 °C! ((-22)-(-40)°F)

    Winters last long here because the northernmost part of Finland is above the Arctic Circle, so the sun doesn´t rise at all for a month during the winter. In Utsjoki, the polar night period (kaamos) lasts for nearly two months.It´s not completely dark, there are still a few hours of twilight around noon. Sometimes one can witness “the blue moment”.

    On the coldest of nights, when the temperature drops below -30°C (-22°F), we won’t go out in the van for safety reasons (in case of breakdowns so we don’t get stranded out in the cold). But even then you can stay by the fire at the cottages and stay warm while looking up.

    It really is all about the clothing! And we know from living here what surviving in these weather conditions requires. The temperatures can vary a lot between days, from 0°C to -30 °C (32-(-22)°F). The most important thing to know about correct clothing is to have lots of layers and the correct materials! You can always take off clothing layers if it gets too warm, or put more on if it gets too cold. Being active keeps you warmer but sometimes admiring the auroras forces you to stand still for a while, so proper clothing is essential!

    Every layer has its own purpose and together they make you feel comfortable while being outdoors. Luckily the air is usually very dry here, so the coldness doesn´t feel as cold as near the sea. Also the snow is dry kind of snow, so the clothes won´t get wet easily. That means you won´t necessarily need waterproof clothing or footwear. Sometimes it is not possible to avoid feeling a bit cold since it is still winter in Lapland! That is why we have a nice fire near the cottages where you can warm yourself up, or you can always just go inside your cottage for a while.

    TIPS ON HOW TO DRESS APPROPRIATELY

    Underwear/base layer:
    As we pointed out, layers are the key to surviving in the cold, so we recommend you to wear thermal underwear. Merino wool is the best choice for material, but some sort of technical material is also good. Wear it directly next to your skin. The second layer could be something like sweat pants and shirt, or fleece trousers and a fleece shirt. When it gets really cold (e.g. -30°C (-22°F)) you may need to use a third layer of clothing under your outer jacket, a wool jumper for example.

    Winter jacket and trousers:
    The outer layer´s job is to protect you from wind and humidity. Winter or parka jackets are often considered one of the best jackets because of a good insulation (down or synthetic). They are designed with added warmth usually achieved by thicker insulation, and often together with a longer length. Also ski jackets and padded jackets should do the job, as long as they have a good insulation too and are thick enough. Make sure that your jacket comes with a hood.

    Same advice apply to the trousers too. So grabbing a great pair of insulated winter cold weather pants can be incredibly helpful in keeping you nice and toasty while braving the coldest of cold weather. It is also bonus, if the material is waterproof (gore-tex). Just make sure that your outer layer is not too tight because air between the layers you are wearing also acts as an insulator and will help you keep warm.

    Footwear:
    Snow boots or winter hiking boots are the best choice. Notice! Winter boots need to be 1 or 2 sizes bigger than your normal shoe size, because you need to have enough space inside for normal socks and wool socks. And there still needs to be space inside your shoe, to feel comfortable and it is the air inside that keeps your toes warm

    You can also use thermal insoles. Having your feet warm is really important, because we may spend hours outdoors while watching the auroras. We recommend not to bring rubber boots during winter months, because they are not suitable for cold weather.

    But if you come in the end of February or during March, then rubber boots could be practical if the snow starts to melt. We also provide some extra winter boots or felt boots, if your own shoes appear to be unsuitable.

    Socks:
    Hiking socks or ski socks are a good choice, while wool is the best material for socks, especially Merino wool. We also provide wool socks, if you don´t have your own. It may be best to avoid cotton socks since it is not the best material in the cold weather.

    Accessories:
    We recommend you to wear a hat, gloves/mittens (though mittens are always warmer than gloves) and a scarf/buff when being outdoors. Even a light wind can freeze your exposed ears or fingers in seconds. It is good to have thin fleece (polyester or wool) gloves under your main wool or leather mittens (or ski gloves).

    In case you have to take the main mittens off for a while (e.g. to use camera), the gloves protect your fingers from cold. A normal winter hat should be enough but in cold weather a furry cap is even warmer. And last but not least, you can always wear a balaclava underneath your hat to keep your head warmer.

    In summary, a minimum recommendation of clothing: hat, scarf, gloves/mittens, underwear clothing, middle layer clothing, fleece or wool shirt, outer jacket and trousers, winter boots and woollen socks. Wool is always the best material in keeping you warm but technical materials such as microfleece and polarfleece are good substitutes.

    We will do everything to make sure you don´t get cold. To ensure that, we can provide snow suits for extremely cold weather.
    Make sure that you have also sunglasses when you arrive. Specially in March and April, sun is really bright when it is reflecting off the snow.

    If you have any other questions about anything concerning our clothing, feel free to contact us! We know the weather here better than anyone!

    Terms & Conditions

    You can secure your place with a deposit of 100 euros per person. This will be paid when you book your holiday.

    Bookings are only accepted via our booking site.

    As a receipt of the booking, we will send you an invoice and other appropriate information, where you will see the services you have booked and the terms of the payments. Payments are due as follows: The remainder must be paid 30 days before your arrival date. We don’t recommend you to pay more than 30 days before.

    The payment is possible also by bank transfer. In this case please ensure that the money is in our account on the due date so please pay a few days before. Unpaid services are considered cancelled.

    In the case of a cancellation, we can’t pay your paid deposits back. This is because they are needed to cover the booking and the cancellation costs. This is why a travel insurance is highly recommended, so you can get your refund through your insurance company.

    CANCELLATION

    If the cancellation comes more than 30 days before arrival, you only lose your deposit.

    If the cancellation comes between 29 and 14 days before arrival 50% of the full cost of your holiday will be paid back.

    If the cancellation comes between 13 and 7 days before arrival, 25% of the full cost of your holiday will be paid back.

    Cancellations done less than 7 days before the holiday is scheduled to start are not refunded at all.

    If one person in your group has to cancel, someone else can take their place for no extra charge.

    The guests participate all services at their own risk. We recommend taking out travel insurance before your visit. If you get a travel insurance with cancellation cover this should cover you in the event of a cancellation due to illness, injury or other unforeseen circumstances.

    If you have any other questions about anything concerning our terms, feel free to contact us!

    Contact information






    Contact@auroraholidays.net

    +358 40 7625 005 / Tiina

    Aurora Holidays
    Mäkeläntie 2
    99980 Utsjoki
    Finland

    We are a registered package tour operator for Finland. Our license number is 403/15/Mj

    Our VAT number is FI27940262

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