Winter in Utsjoki is magical. The landscape here in the northernmost part of Finland transforms into a real winter wonderland. The winter season at Aurora Holidays lasts from November until March. Join us for our outdoor and cultural activities during the day, followed by an evening of Northern Lights hunting. Whether you’d like to explore the snow-covered landscape during a peaceful snowshoeing hike, go on an exciting husky adventure or join an adrenaline-fueled snowmobiling safari into the hills, we’ve got you covered!
We also offer everything you need to stay warm on a cold winter day: your own private sauna, a communal fireplace with views of the frozen river and hot drinks during the activities.
From late November until mid-January you can experience the Polar Night, the period when the sun doesn’t rise above the horizon. The daylight might be limited, but there is still plenty of time for you to try one of the many winter activities we offer. During the Polar Night you cannot only see the most beautiful pastel colours in the sky, but it also offers plenty of dark hours to go Northern Lights chasing.
Your holiday with us begins on a Tuesday and ends on Sunday. On the Tuesday when you arrive, we will pick you up from Ivalo airport (more about flights here). Depending on the road conditions, it is about a 2 – 2.5 hour drive to Utsjoki and your cottage. We drive through a beautiful scenery of fells (hills), forests and frozen lakes. You might also be lucky and see some reindeer, elk or other wild animals.
Before we leave Ivalo, we will stop at the supermarket in Ivalo village, so you can get some groceries for the week (please note: your cottage is self catering). The supermarket is pretty big and it has everything you need for breakfast, lunch and dinner all week. It also has beer/cider. If you want to taste some local food (salmon/reindeer), we are happy to help you with that. There are supermarkets in Nuorgam and Tana Bru (in Norway), so you will get a chance to do some more shopping if needed.
Upon arriving in Utsjoki, we will show you your cottage and give you instructions on how to use the sauna etc. Water from the tap is drinkable so there is no need to buy water.
The cottages are right on the banks of the river Teno. There is a staircase from the cottages down to the water’s edge where there is a fireplace and a shelter, where you and the other guests can sit watching the Northern Lights for as long as you like. Your cottage also has got a porch you can sit on and watch the lights or the moon and the stars. You can even sit inside the cottage and watch the auroras from the window. The cottages face north and there is no light pollution around, so conditions to see the Northern Lights are ideal.
It can be quite late when we get you to your cottage. You have been traveling all day, so we will leave you to settle into your cottage and have an evening relaxing after your day of traveling. We recommend you to relax the first night so you are ready for the rest of the week.
We will be with you for three evenings and usually we do Wed, Thu and Fri evenings. Depending on the aurora show, we could be out quite late each night. We always base our aurora chasing schedule on the weather conditions and aurora activity. This means that sometimes we may start the first guided chase already on Tuesday evening, if it is a good and clear night and the coming nights seem to be more cloudy. We want to use every opportunity to make your chances higher, to see the Aurora Borealis.
Of course you can always choose to stay at your cottage or do something else if you prefer to spend an evening by yourselves without the rest of our guests. It is up to you.
During the day you can choose between our scheduled activities or feel free to organise your own independent activities. Whether that is walking the many beautiful nature trails nearby or just relaxing at your cottage. If you want to do some winter activities, we do offer a great selection of outdoor and cultural activities, which you can add-on to your holiday to make it even more special. More details can be found here.
We will be at your service for scheduled day & nighttime activities and of course you can reach us 24/7 in case of an emergency. In the evenings, we will be with you chasing the Aurora Borealis. We will let you know the schedule for the evening every day, after we have checked forecasts and know whether we need to drive or we can stay at the cottages. The beginning of the evening can vary, depending on the aurora activity, time of year and weather.
NOTE: We might have to cancel driving due to weather conditions. We take safety seriously and will not drive if it puts you or us in any unnecessary risk. On the coldest nights when the temperature drops below -25°C (-13°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). If we cancel driving, we either stay with you at the cottages or consider to replace the chase later during the week. You will anyway have three guided nights with us.
On the Sunday morning we will come and collect you and take you back on the beautiful two hour drive to Ivalo airport.