- Flights: return flights from London Heathrow to Ivalo (via Helsinki). Flight routes subject to change
- Transfers: return airport transfers
- Accommodation: 7 nights' in a standard double or twin hotel room
- Meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners (including a traditional dinner in Lappish Kota)
- Activities: cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, husky safari, reindeer sleigh ride, New Year’s Eve celebrations, Northern Lights walk, Northern Lights by snowmobile-pulled sleigh and Northern Lights snowshoeing (the order of activities is subject to change)
- Cold weather clothing provided for the duration of the trip
- Fully qualified guides and instructors during activities
Please note: to drive a snowmobile you must have a full driving licence and be at least 18 years old
If you have dreamt of spending New Year’s Eve, in a unique way, in beautiful winter surroundings, this trip is perfect for you; you can celebrate not only once, but twice!
Your week will be spent taking part in some thrilling activities. You will find yourself speeding over the fells on a husky sleigh, taking in the enchanting winter forest as reindeer pull you through the snow and taking a nature tour on cross-country skis. You have free time available for when you want to relax or add extra activities to your holiday (details can be found in the ‘Personalise’ section). There are plenty of opportunities to learn about the Sámi culture during this trip, and your Sámi wilderness guide will teach you everything there is to know about the Sámi lifestyle, as well as give you the opportunity to experience it for yourself.
In the peaceful town of Utsjoki, where your hotel room overlooks the breathtaking Teno River and the Norwegian Fells, you will end the week with a traditional Finnish dinner and party, counting down to the New Year, then rewinding the evening as you cross the border to Norway and celebrate the last hour all over again.
©Klaus-Peter Kappest & Hotel Village Valle
Arrival and Welcome
Upon arrival into Ivalo, you will be greeted at the airport and transferred to Holiday Village Valle Hotel which will take approximately two hours.
A delicious evening meal will follow your arrival, after which you can relax and settle into your new surroundings.Included Meals: Dinner
Visit to Reindeer Farm and Northern Lights Walk
After breakfast, you will attend a welcome meeting where you will be given all of the necessary information for your trip and your warm cold-weather clothes, which can be returned at the end of the week. You will then enjoy a truly authentic day, as a Sámi reindeer herder guides you through the magical experience of visiting a reindeer farm.
After a short walk to the farm, the herders will introduce you to the reindeer. You will be able to feed the animals and get to know them before they take you on your fantastic sleigh ride through the forest.
After the ride, you can relax and take a snack and a hot beverage in your guide’s cosy and authentic tepee while he tells you about his life as a herder and a little more about how the reindeer are so vital to Sámi culture history and economy.
Lunch will be served at the hotel and your afternoon is open for you to spend it as you wish, followed by a delicious dinner in the restaurant.
During the evening, your search for the Aurora will begin with an invigorating walk amidst the pristine winter landscape. Before setting off your guide will give you an introduction to the lights before instructing you on how to capture this natural phenomenon on camera which is vital for producing stunning pictures of the Aurora. Hot drinks will be served as you walk beneath the dark skies and enjoy the beautiful and tranquil surroundings of this Lappish wilderness.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
After breakfast, your snow fun begins immediately as you are given an introduction to two traditional Finnish pastimes – cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Your guide will teach you how to cross-country ski and give you an introduction to your snowshoes. Then, it’s up to you to decide which activity you would like to take further on a short tour. If you want a peaceful, walking tour through the thick snow, you can keep your snowshoes on, and if you would like a more fast-paced tour gliding over the fells, you had better strap on your skis.
During the tour, your guide will teach you about the surrounding nature and wildlife, as well as how to read animal footprints, as it is often possible to see tracks from the likes of willow grouse, hares or reindeer along the way. You will then learn how to start a fire, which will act as your warming campfire that you can sit beside while you enjoy coffee, a snack and the surrounding landscape.
Dinner will be served in the holiday village’s restaurant Deatnu, which specialises in traditional Sámi dishes such as game meat, fish and reindeer. The remainder of the evening will be yours to enjoy at your leisure and you may want to venture outside and see if the Northern Lights appear.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Husky Safari and New Year Twice
Once you have finished breakfast, you will be transferred to the husky farm in Tana. This farm actually lies on the Norwegian side of the River Teno, so you will be spending your morning in Norway.
Your friendly and loyal huskies will be waiting excitedly for your arrival, and you will have the pleasure of meeting them and playing with them before you begin. After meeting your musher and receiving a thorough briefing of the activity, you will set off on your exhilarating safari with two people per sleigh, riding for around two hours over the beautiful, snow-covered fell landscape.
On your return, you will receive a picnic lunch which you will eat by a toasty campfire, while you listen to stories and interesting facts about these Arctic family members. After lunch, it is time to say goodbye to the huskies before returning to Utsjoki.
The afternoon is free so you can choose how you want to spend your time. You could make use of the snowshoe or cross-country skis, which are free to use at your leisure, should they be available.
During the evening the anticipation of the oncoming New Year will have grown and after a special New Year’s dinner and a glass of sparkling wine in Deatnu restaurant, the festivities will begin. First, you will experience one of the most popular New Year’s Eve customs in Finland: melting tin. Each person receives a small piece of tin that is shaped like a miniature horseshoe, a traditional symbol of good luck. Then, the horseshoe is melted and the liquid metal is poured into a bucket of cold water, where it hardens into a new shape. The piece of metal is then inspected in order to predict your future for the coming New Year.
After celebrating in Holiday Village Valle, the party will pick up and move across the bridge to Norway where, due to the time difference, the New Year won’t even have happened yet. The festivities will begin all over again as you countdown to the New Year for the second time. If the weather is suitable, everyone can release a lantern into the Arctic sky and make a wish as it drifts away.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Leisure Time and Northern Lights by Snowshoe
Today is left free for you to decide which activities you would like to do. You may want to spend the day relaxing or making use of the facilities on site, creating your own activities. Alternatively, you can book an activity that is not already included in your holiday, like a scenic snowmobile experience (detailed under the ‘Personalise’ tab).
During the evening, you will venture out into the tranquil wilderness in search of the Aurora. Using snowshoes, you will enter into the silent forest and enjoy the beautiful nature during a dark winter night before reaching an area away from artificial light. The winter conditions and the location north of the Arctic Circle are perfect for Aurora displays and hopefully, you can witness a magical display whilst crossing the deep winter snow. Hot drinks will be served during this fantastic Northern Lights adventure.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Free Day And Northern Lights by Snowmobile-Pulled Sleigh
Following breakfast, you will once again have the day to enjoy at your leisure. The stunning winter wonderland surrounding the accommodation has a number of walking trails and thus you can enjoy a relaxing stroll amidst the beautiful winter landscape. Alternatively, a number of winter based activities are available from our 'personalise' section.
Following dinner, you will enjoy your final Aurora activity as once again you venture towards the Teno River valley on a snowmobile-pulled sleigh. Enjoy the pristine surroundings during the tranquil winter evening before stopping for warm drinks and interesting tales about the Northern Lights. It’s a magical experience to sit beneath the starry sky north of the Arctic circle, and hopefully, this will be heightened by the appearance of the spectacular natural phenomenon – the Aurora Borealis.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Free Day and Traditional Dinner in a Lappish Kota
After breakfast, you can enjoy your final day in this stunning Lappish wilderness at your leisure. With a number of activities to choose from you will have plenty of magnificent options from which to continue your exploration. Alternatively, you can simply relax and enjoy the stunning terrain.
During the evening, you will enjoy a special, traditional Finnish dinner in a ‘kota’, an indigenous Sámi tent, similar in shape to a teepee. You will eat by the open fire while your host tells you about life in Utsjoki, and may sing some 'Joiku' for you, a specific type of traditional Sámi song.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today, you will say farewell to Utsjoki. You will enjoy breakfast before been transferred to Ivalo Airport in preparation for your flight home.Included Meals: Breakfast
Included in price
Personalise this tour
Cross-country skiing is one of the oldest methods of travel used by the Sámi people. Using the cross-country skiing equipment will allow you to make the most of the snow-covered landscape and explore the untouched wilderness that surrounds the area and to appreciate the beauty of this remote region. You will enjoy a real sense of silence during this activity and hopefully, encounter some of the local wildlife such as elk, hare and willow grouse. There will be a break for warm drinks en-route. This activity requires a minimum of two participants.
Duration: 2 hours
Tour to the Arctic Ocean by car
You will be driven over the border into Norway to the magnificent Varangerfjord and the fishing village of Nesseby. A trip will be made to the nearby Sámi museum to learn more about the indigenous people of the Nordic countries, and you will also find out about contemporary life by the Arctic Ocean. Time will be made to visit a ‘seita’, or Sámi worship site, and there will be a picnic lunch along the way. Heading back, a stop will be made at a Sámi handicraft workshop in the village of Tana.
A minimum number of four participants is required for this activity to take place.
Duration: 4-5 hours
Fell scenery tour
If you want to experience something different on New Year’s Eve, why not try this scenery tour? On a sleigh pulled by a guide’s snowmobile, you can sit back, ride through the snow and take in the incredibly peaceful and clear fell surroundings. You will drive to a breath-taking viewpoint that offers you a fantastic vista of the River Teno.
A minimum of 4 participants is required for this activity to take place.
Duration: 2-3 hours
You will take a short, 15-minute transfer to the nearby small lake ready to try this popular Finnish pastime and number one winter sport for locals. You will learn the secrets of a successful ice fishing experience, and if you are lucky you may find yourself catching arctic trout or salmon trout. You also have the opportunity to try drilling a hole in the ice yourself with a special ice drill.
While you are busy fishing, your guide will prepare warm drinks by a campfire for you to enjoy during this activity.
A minimum number of 2 participants is required for this activity to take place.
Duration: 2-3 hours
Forest skiing / snowshoe trip in the wilderness
You can choose which mode of transport you take for this activity. You may want a tranquil snowshoeing experience, wading through the thick, silvery snow by foot. Or, you can try one of the oldest ways of getting around by the Sámi community and strap on some cross-country skis. If you do decide to complete this activity on skis, you will receive a thorough introduction on how to use them before heading into the winter wonderland with your guide.
A hot drink (or juice) and snacks will be served during the experience.
A minimum number of 2 participants is required for this activity to take place.
Duration: 2-3 hours
Dates & Prices
We include more, no hidden costs
Next season’s pre-sale dates and prices
To secure your holiday for next season, you can make a pre-sale booking and fix the price of your trip at the pre-sale price displayed below. Simply by paying an initial deposit of £50pp, you will protect yourself from any package price increases. The departure dates and itineraries remain preliminary and we will contact you when the final dates and itineraries are confirmed, you will then have 14 days to decide if you would like to go ahead. A further deposit payment of £350pp is due by 01 April 2019 or at the time of us confirming the trip details to you, whichever is sooner. If you decide not to travel, we will refund your initial £50pp payment. We reserve the right to charge supplements where there are significant changes to an itinerary or increases in flight costs. Any non-package rates remain subject to change.
Thu 26 Dec 2019Enquire
Thu 02 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.
For our full booking terms and conditions please click here
Holiday group size (approximate)
Approximately 8 - 24 people
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.
The minimum age for this holiday can be found in the dates and prices section of the holiday page, under ‘Terms’.
Unless otherwise stated in the dates and prices section of the holiday page, under ‘Terms’, 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.
The only reason I would not go back to Utsjoki is because there are so many places in the world to visit and so little time in which to do it! All spot on!
If someone had told me before our holiday that I would be capable of managing my own team of huskies and spending 2 days travelling over frozen lakes in the Arctic with them, I would have called them bonkers! It was TOTALLY AMAZING! The dogs were so friendly and so happy and you could tell they just loved running together pulling the sledge. We had magnificent weather too, loads and loads and loads of snow and blue-sky days, so the views across the lakes and forest runs were outstanding.
Amazing winter holidays. Great communication and support from Artisan Travel and very welcoming team at Utsjoki. Enjoyed every day and activity, well planned and organised, traditional food very tasty and amazing place surrounded by nature. Lots of opportunities to see the Aurora lights:). Thank you, Silvie & Chris
Highly enthusiastic guides and restaurant staff. No faults in the entire trip! Strongest lights were seen on New Year's Eve pre-countdown which made it more special. Will be returning to Holiday Village soon!
Excellent trip, had a blast. The dog sledding trip. It was amazing! The sky was this beautiful pink colour the whole time we were there, almost like sunrise and sunset the whole time. It was beautiful scenery and so much fun. The dogs were so adorable, and so happy to be running. We had a nice fire after to warm up. Everyone had a great time! I also really liked the New Year's Eve festivities. The winter games that day was fun. I loved the fireworks at midnight when it was snowing! Also really liked releasing the lanterns into the snowy sky. Then we walked over to Norway and celebrated again. It was a fun night. The Northern Lights were out the best we had seen too earlier at dinner. Great finish to the week.