- Flights: return flights are included from London to Oulu (via Helsinki). Regional departures may be available on request
- Transfers: return group airport transfers*
- Accommodation: 7 nights' en-suite apartment
- Meals: full board
- Cold weather clothing for the duration of your stay
- Festive celebrations
- Fully qualified wilderness guides and instructors during activities
*Included transfers are based on a set arrival time of 18:05 and departure time of 14:25. Private transfers outside of these times will require a supplement.
Saija is a simple place that perfectly encapsulates the Finnish wilderness and is a wonderful location for your Christmas or New Year break. Situated on the shores of Lake Jokijärvi, you will be surrounded by unspoiled nature and welcomed into Saija Lodge with home cooked food in a charming rustic Finnish setting.
The natural surroundings also become a wonderful playground for some brilliant experiences. During this tailor-made trip, you’re in charge of how you spend your time. Simply choose the activities that suit you from our list in the ‘personalise’ section and then enjoy your seven-night winter getaway. You could try popular pastimes such as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing or enjoy an adventurous snowmobile safari to explore more of the wilderness. We offer a range of activities to suit all tastes.
What’s more, this wild location also means you’re in with a chance of seeing the Northern Lights. Every night, simply step outside and keep an eye on the skies, what a way to celebrate Christmas or ring in the New Year!
During your time here, your home will be a cosy apartment with a private sauna – perfect for unwinding in after you have spent the day exploring the Arctic. All meals are served in the main building’s restaurant, just a short walk away.
Whether you choose to spend Christmas or New Year here, this is sure to be an unforgettable festive break. On Christmas Eve, there will be celebrations in the main hotel building (as the Finns traditionally celebrate Christmas on the 24th) and New Year’s Eve will also be celebrated – the Northern Lights may even make an appearance to really mark the occasion.
Arrival and Welcome
Welcome to Oulu Airport where you are collected for your direct transfer to Saija Lodge. On the way, you can admire the incredible scenery of this wilderness that will be your playground for the next week.
The beauty of our tailor-made option is that you can set the pace of your trip.
The base price includes your flights, transfers, full-board accommodation for seven nights, cold weather clothing for the duration of your stay, festive celebrations, as well as fully qualified wilderness guides and instructors during your chosen activities. You select the activities you would like to do from the list shown in the 'Personalise' section, ensuring your holiday can be as active or gentle as you wish.
Our Artisan Travel Experts are on hand to help you craft the ideal itinerary.Included Meals: Dinner
DAY 2 - 7
Free Time and Optional Activities
Fill your days with as many or as few activities as you wish, selecting from the options listed in the 'Personalise' section.
There's a wealth of Aurora hunting and Arctic experiences to choose from and should you need advice on the best options for you please speak to one of our Artisan Travel Experts. They will be able to help prepare the perfect itinerary for you.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today you bid a fond farewell to Saija and transfer back to Oulu Airport for your return flights home.Included Meals: Breakfast
Included in price
Personalise this tour
Snowshoeing offers the chance to get up close to nature and experience it at a slower pace. On this trip, your guide will lead the way on snowshoes and you will be out in the wilderness for around three hours. Your guide will highlight any animal tracks and provide you with information about the region as you walk amongst the snow-covered trees. En-route you will break for warm drinks around the campfire.
Duration: approx 3 hours
Dog Sledding Introduction
Complete your winter holiday by driving a team of huskies across the frozen landscape.
This introduction to dog sledding starts with a full safety briefing and instructions on how to mush your team of dogs. The huskies may be barking and howling at this time as they are extremely eager to get going but rest assured, once you’re out on the trail they fall silent so you can appreciate the serenity of the surrounding nature.
You will then set off on a 13km ride into the wilderness where you will gain a real insight into life as a musher. Each person will drive their own team of 4-6 dogs.
Duration: 2-3 hours.
Visit to a reindeer farm
Reindeers are synonymous with Lapland and have been herded for centuries, forming an intrinsic link with both the Sámi people and North Finland. This insightful activity will allow you to experience a working reindeer farm.
At the farm, you will be able to get up close with these gentle creatures and there will be opportunities to take photographs. You can also ask the herder any questions you may have about his reindeer and life up here above the Arctic Circle. This is sure to be an interesting experience for the entire group.
Venturing to the frozen lake you will be given an introduction to the classic Nordic pastime of Ice Fishing. Your guide will explain the techniques which include drilling a hole through the ice and setting up a line. Hot Drinks will be served around a campfire as you wait patiently for a fish to bite. It is incredibly rewarding to make a catch, but the surrounding scenery and stunning snow-covered horizon add to this unique experience.
Guided Fat Biking
For those who desire a more unconventional method of exploring the snowy wilderness then why not enjoy a unique tour by Fat Bike.
This relatively new activity has grown in popularity over the last few years and allows for cycling through deep snow, on frozen lakes and through forested tracks. The chunky tyres have extra grip and allow you to cut through the snow with relative ease. This unique activity will allow you to cycle towards spectacular snow-covered horizons with incredible views of Finnish Lapland.
The tour will include a stop for a coffee break near the rapids where you can spot various bird life and other natural wonders in this stunning winter wonderland.
Extra husky safari
The thrill of husky safaris is almost impossible to resist, and it is quite likely that you may wish to add another to your itinerary.
Full instruction is provided for each activity and guests will travel one person per team of dogs.
There are three options to choose from:
13km safari - £162
20km safari - £195
30km safari - £240
Cross-country ski tour
Cross-country skiing is nothing short of an obsession for many Finns and it is only when you experience the joy of gliding through the silent forests and fells that you really begin to understand why it is such an addictive pastime. Your guide will provide you with complete instruction so no experience of any kind of skiing is required. You will head out onto the trail for around two hours and explore the stunning scenery around Saija Lodge.
Duration: approx 2 hours
Snowshoe and cross-country ski hire
Saija has a range of snowshoe and cross-country ski tracks on the doorstep with various lengths from 4km to 25km. The incredible landscape of frozen lakes and forest-covered fells provide a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a scenic route across the snow. The snowshoes or cross-country skis will be yours for the day. You must speak with the staff about the local conditions, inform them of your plans and take a mobile phone with you on any trip that you take independently. You should have completed a guided snowshoe or cross-country ski trip previously if you would like to hire the equipment.
Hire for the day: £16 per person
Snowmobile safari (60km)
If you are keen to keep the adventure going following your husky safari then why not try a thrilling snowmobile safari on your free day – a completely different way to experience this landscape. Following a full safety briefing, you'll depart on a safari covering around 60km with two people travelling per snowmobile. There will be spectacular views as you travel across frozen lakes and over the tops of fells. You will enjoy lunch around an open fire in a traditional wooden kota before returning to Saija lodge.
Duration: 60km (the time on trail depends on conditions)
Drive your own snowmobile: £58 per person supplement
Snowmobile safari (30km)
If on your free day you would like to try something completely different to dog sledding, then a snowmobile is not only an efficient way to make the most of the vast scenery here but also exceptionally good fun. Following a full safety briefing, you will set off on one of the many trails that criss-cross the forests and fells, travelling two people per snowmobile. This 30km safari is a great introductory snowmobile tour and there will be a break for coffee around a campfire.
Duration: 30km (the time on trail depends on conditions)
Drive your own snowmobile: £40 per person supplement
Hunting Northern Lights on a Snowmobile
Searching for the Northern Lights is an exciting experience in itself but pair this with a snowmobile ride into the Arctic night and you’re in for a truly memorable adventure.
After a full safety briefing and instructions, you will be ready to start the hunt. As you ride along the trails with just your headlights lighting the way, your guide will stop if there are any signs of the Aurora. Along the way, you will enjoy warm drinks around the campfire as you stop for a photo break.
Please note, you must be 18 years or over and hold a full driving licence to drive a snowmobile.
Duration: 2-3 hours (approx. 30km)
Fat Biking - Rental
Saija’s wilderness is a wonderful place to explore and fat biking is a unique way to do it. The wide tyres help grip the snow as you cycle through wintery forests and on frozen lakes.
You must speak with the staff about the local conditions, inform them of your plans and take a mobile phone with you on any trip that you take independently. You should have completed a guided fat biking previously if you would like to hire the equipment.
Dates & Prices
We include more, no hidden costs
Sat 21 Dec 2019Book
Sat 28 Dec 2019
Sat 28 Dec 2019Book
Sat 04 Jan 2020
Please note: Our holiday prices are based on the lowest available airline fares. These fares can sell out quickly and, as a result, prices may increase and supplements may be applicable. We recommend booking at the earliest opportunity in order to secure the best possible fares and flight times.
Next season’s pre-sale dates and prices
To secure your holiday for next season, you can make a pre-reservation by paying a deposit of only £50pp. The provisional prices, departure dates, and itinerary remain subject to change. We will contact you when final details are confirmed, and you will have 14 days to decide if you would like to go ahead. Should you wish to proceed then a further deposit (typically of £350pp) will be payable at this stage. If you decide not to travel, we will refund your initial £50pp payment. Our Travel Experts will happily provide you with full terms and a complete quotation.
Sat 19 Dec 2020Enquire
Sat 26 Dec 2020
Sat 26 Dec 2020Enquire
Sat 02 Jan 2021
For our full booking terms and conditions please click here
Holiday group size (approximate)
Minimum of 2 persons, maximum of 25
We always try to provide an approximation of the group size you can expect to be with for the duration of each of our holidays. It may be that you are joined by others for parts of your holiday (such as transfers and particular activities) but the above number reflects those you can normally expect to be with from beginning to end. If group size is something which is particularly important to you, please speak to our Travel Experts and they can suggest the best holidays for you.
Tailor-made holiday group sizes will vary for all activities as will the group size for any additional activities you book.
Minimum numbers required for a holiday to operate
Some of our holidays require a minimum number of participants to operate (as listed in the ‘Group Size’ section). If your holiday departure has not yet reached the minimum number, you will be told at the time of booking. In the unlikely event that your chosen date is not guaranteed by nine weeks before your scheduled departure date, we will contact you to discuss the available options as per our booking conditions.
If a specific minimum age applies to this holiday, it can be found in the Key Facts box on the holiday Overview page.
Unless otherwise stated in the in the Key Facts box on the holiday Overview page, the minimum age for participation in an Artisan holiday is typically 8 years old (there may be younger children in some destinations who have booked with other companies). If an adult-only environment is important to you, then please contact our Travel Experts and they will advise on the best dates and destinations for you. If you are looking for a holiday designed specifically for families then please see our sister company www.activitiesabroad.com
Please note that some of our holidays may incur a single supplement. Please speak to one of our Travel Experts who will provide you with a quotation.
Medical history and advice
We want our holidays to be accessible as they can be and will do our best to accommodate any special requests and requirements where possible. We have a wide range of holidays and destinations and so our travel experts will help find the best holiday for you.
In order to give us the best possible chance to do this we ask that if you or any member of your party has any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday or has any special requirements, that you tell us at the time of enquiry or booking. You must also promptly advise us if any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday develops after your booking has been confirmed. You may need to provide a doctor’s note and proof of insurance in some cases as the health and safety of our clients is absolutely paramount.
In providing this information you are allowing us to work with our expert local partners to ensure that your whole party can enjoy the holiday. By letting us know in advance we can discreetly work with you to adapt any part of the holiday which may potentially be challenging. Being able to prepare for this in advance makes an incredible difference to what we can offer and minimises any impact on your party and the rest of the group.
Unfortunately, if you choose not to share this information with us in advance then it may limit some or all of the itinerary you have booked, and we cannot be held accountable for any additional costs or missed activities resulting from this.
Insurance is not included in your holiday, but it is a pre-requisite to travelling with us. You will need to ensure that you have cover for all the activities that you will be participating in during your holiday.
It is extremely important that you take out a suitable travel insurance policy at the time of booking. Plans do sometimes change, and you will need this policy should you need to cancel your holiday.
If you are struggling to find a suitable policy then details of our preferred provider, who will cover you for all the activities we offer, can be found on our website by clicking here. Please note that this policy is available to EU residents under the age of 75 only.
If you have a reduced level of mobility, then please contact our Travel Experts to discuss the suitability of this holiday in relation to your requirements.
Experience and fitness
Any activities included in your itinerary are all designed for beginners. Full instruction and tuition are provided for all activities and you do not need to have any previous experience. For example, you need never have set foot on a pair of skis of any kind before a cross-country ski tour. We have adults of all ages and fitness levels taking part in our holidays.
We do highlight certain itineraries where an increased level of fitness is required. If you have any questions at all with regards to fitness levels please get in touch and talk to one of our experts. You can find further details in our trip preparation section online. You must inform us at the time of booking if any of your party has a disability, medical or behavioural conditions which could affect their own participation in the holiday or indeed that of the other people on the holiday.
Guides and safety
It is essential when partaking in any activity that you listen very closely to, and abide by, the instructions provided. Nobody knows the environment better than our activity providers who work here almost every day.
Consequently, their knowledge and experience are unsurpassed. If there is anything that you are unsure of during a safety briefing or that you would like to clarify with the guides, please make this clear to them immediately before starting the activity.
There may be rare occasions when our guides consider local conditions unsuitable for a certain activity. Hence, your itinerary may be subject to change at short notice, but we will always endeavour to firstly find a replacement on the day and secondly, to provide the cancelled activity later in your stay whenever possible. Very occasionally it proves impossible to provide the activity in which case you will be refunded when you return home.
Our guides' word on activities is always final and your safety is their principal concern at all times, please respect their decisions. By following their instructions, your safety and enjoyment during each activity will be greatly enhanced.
You must inform us of any medical conditions that may affect your participation in an activity at the time of booking.
Booking activities locally and equipment hire
Additional activities can be booked locally in almost all our destinations. However, as per our booking conditions, we cannot be held responsible for any injury or loss incurred through participation in activities which are booked at your destination outside of our holiday itinerary (see our ‘Terms and Conditions’ for further details).
When arranging any such activity please always ensure that safety is your primary concern.
In some of our destinations, you can borrow or hire equipment for use in your free time. You do so entirely at your own risk. You must ensure that you are properly prepared, have the necessary equipment and knowledge (maps, etc) and ensure that where applicable, you follow marked routes. We recommend discussing your plans with the local teams who will be able to advise on the most suitable options for you.
Always let the reception/guide know where you are planning to go and take a torch and mobile phone (with the hotel/guide’s phone number stored). It is also a good idea to leave your contact number and the time you expect to return to the hotel should the hotel need to contact you.
The order of activities is always subject to change and guests will be provided with their final itinerary upon arrival.
If your trip includes car hire the named driver must have a credit card registered in their name which they can present when they collect their car along with their driving licence, as a deposit will be held on the credit card. Please see your trip dossier for full details.
Travel Safety and Foreign Office Advice
Our clients’ safety is at the centre of everything we do, and our operations team continually assesses and monitors the destinations we feature. We carry out thorough risk assessments and work closely with all of our suppliers to continually follow best practice. For up to date travel advice the UK government offers its Travel Aware website as well as the advice detailed below.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office Advice
We receive all updates from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) with regards to travel advice and we always ensure that we follow this advice in our operations. The FCO issues travel advisories for countries based on a very wide range of factors. They may provide notification about things as simple as a football match and crowds, or they may go so far as to advise against all travel to a region. We ask all our clients to refer to the relevant Travel Advice by Country for the destinations they are visiting in order to make an informed decision on the safety of the destination based on the details provided. It also provides vital information regarding entry requirements, embassy information, local laws and customs as well as specific safety and health. Guests should take responsibility for keeping themselves up to date with this advice. Please also ensure that, if you are transiting through another country, you have read the advice and meet the entry requirements for that destination too.
The FCO travel advice is applicable to British Passport Holders. Most governments will issue their own travel advice for a region and, if you are not a UK resident then you can find some helpful links below:
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/ New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/ Canadian Consular Affairs Bureau http://voyage.gc.ca/ The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english.html
If the FCO deems that there is an unacceptable level of risk for UK citizens then, together with the government, they may issue an advisory against all travel to a region or country. If such an advisory is published, then we will act accordingly, and this may require the cancellation, curtailment or amendment of a holiday itinerary. These decisions are made on the basis of ensuring our clients’ safety and will affect all clients on the holiday, regardless of their nationality.
If one of our local experts suggests an amendment due to a situation which develops locally then we may also take the decision to amend an itinerary appropriately.
If we have to cancel your holiday prior to departure you will be offered the option of an alternative trip (where any price difference will either be refunded to or covered by you) or a full refund of the monies paid.
If we have to curtail a holiday, then you will be refunded for any costs for the elements we have been unable to deliver, where we have been able to secure a refund from our suppliers. If we must reroute a holiday, then any basis for refund is determined on a case by case basis and dependent on whether the central holiday experience was provided or not.
Flight schedule changes and connecting transportation
On your documentation, we will confirm your flight schedule. Sometimes the flight number, routing and timings might change prior to your departure. If the change is classed as a significant change then we will contact you to discuss this. Please see our booking conditions for details.
Flight schedule changes can impact on your pre and post-holiday travel arrangements if these have been booked separately to your holiday. We strongly recommend that you do not book transport (such as trains or transfers), car parking or non-connecting flights to the departure point for your holiday until you have received your final confirmed travel times when your final travel documents are issued. We are not responsible for the effect of any schedule change on your pre or post travel arrangements. We strongly recommend that you do not purchase non-flexible or non-refundable tickets to avoid cancellation and penalty charges.
Booking your own flights - cancellation disclaimer
If you have chosen to book your own flights, then you will need to wait until we confirm to you that the holiday departure has met the minimum numbers required to run (if applicable to your chosen holiday). Once the holiday is guaranteed to run, you will be informed and you can then make your arrangements.
If transfers are included in your holiday, please ensure that any potential flights will be met by our standard transfers (speak to one of our Travel Experts for advice) otherwise private transfer supplements may be applicable. Once your flights are booked, please send us a copy of your detailed flight itinerary.
Please be aware that most tickets are non-refundable in the case of cancellation. For this reason, we strongly advise you check the rules of the ticket and check the limitations of your cancellation insurance before booking. We cannot be held liable, in the unlikely eventuality that we should be forced to cancel or amend your trip, for losses incurred relating to any flight booking you have made.