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Price from £2,295pp
VISITING: Finland BROCHURE CODE: 5526
All prices include: flights, transfers, accommodation, guided activities, meals and cold weather clothing; all as listed.
Celebrate the New Year twice on this brilliant six-night trip to Utsjoki. Immerse yourselves in culture in the only municipality of Finland with a majority Sámi population and join your Sámi guide in some amazing activities. These include a husky safari, a reindeer sleigh ride, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and two New Year celebrations – one in Finland and one across the border in Norway.

What's included?

  • 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, do some independent activities or add extra activities to your holiday (details of extra activities can be found in the ‘Personalise’ section.) Culture is hugely integrated into 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 breath-taking 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
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Key facts

Duration:7 nights
Pace:Balanced
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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Today, you will say farewell to Utsjoki. You will enjoy breakfast before been transferred to Ivalo Airport in preparation for your flight home.

Included in price

Holiday Village Valle Hotel

Nights: 1-7

This small holiday village run by a Sámi reindeer herding family and offers cosy winter cabins and a lovely hotel by the famous Teno River. The accommodation has a reception building which includes a dining room with a fireplace, a lounge and a wonderful view of the Teno and the Norwegian fells opposite.

Meals are served in the main building and include local produce and delicacies.

Guest room options

Hotel room: Each room has a big window that looks out onto the River Teno and the Norwegian Fells. The rooms consist of two single beds, which can be pushed together or left separate, and two big, cosy chairs, one of which can be pulled out to form an extra bed. These rooms all have ensuite bathrooms, a drying cupboard for clothes, a kettle and a hairdryer. Wi-Fi is available throughout the whole of Village Valle premises, including in your bedroom.

 


Other options

Holiday Village Valle Cabins

Supplements from: £125pp

Surrounding the main building (within 100 metres) are ten winter cabins. There are two bedrooms in each cottage, a kitchenette, living area, fireplace, WC and sauna. These cottages are very cosy and provide guests with their own Finnish home for the duration of their stay. There is nothing nicer than coming back after a day in the wilds to a log fire and your own private heated sauna – just lovely.

Personalise this tour


Our pick

Cross-country skiing

From £63pp

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


Other options

Activities

Tour to the Arctic Ocean by car

From: £173pp

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

From: £80pp

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

Ice fishing

From: £85pp

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

From: £77pp

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

We include more, no hidden costs

On each of our holidays you will see a clear outline of exactly what's included in the price of your holiday. We never use 'headline' or 'lead-in' prices like so many tour operators, as we prefer to include as much as we can, rather than see our clients incur considerable additional costs in our destinations.
Price guarantee
Dates
Thu 27 Dec 2018
to Thu 03 Jan 2019
Book
Adults£ 2,295 Single Adult£ 2,607

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 places for next season, you can make a provisional booking and fix the cost of your holiday at the provisional package price displayed online. Simply by paying a deposit, you will protect yourself from any package price increases. The departure dates and itineraries remain subject to change and we will contact you when the final dates and itineraries are confirmed. You will have 14 days to decide if you would like to go ahead. If you decide not to travel we will refund your deposit. 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.

Dates
Thu 26 Dec 2019
to Thu 02 Jan 2020
Enquire
Adults£ 2,455 Single Adult£ 2,785

For our full booking terms and conditions please click here

Holiday group size (approximate)

Approximately 8 - 24 people

Group sizes
Most of our holidays require a minimum number of participants to operate. Minimum numbers are detailed on each holiday page and are always approximate. Group sizes for tailor-made holidays will vary for each of the activities. For private departures, you may also be joined by other guests during the activities unless you have discussed specific private activities with us.

If your selected date has not yet reached minimum numbers, you will be informed at the time of booking. In the unlikely event that your chosen date has not reached the required minimum numbers nine weeks before your scheduled departure date, we will contact you and discuss the various options available to you. We will always do all we can to operate a holiday and in some cases, we may be able to operate the holiday by combining your itinerary with that of other guests for some activities (this may mean that the maximum group size is increased but this will be discussed in full with you).

If we are unable to operate the holiday, then you will be offered the chance to transfer to an alternative holiday or date (subject to availability). If the alternative is more expensive you will be asked to pay the difference, if it is cheaper then you will be reimbursed. You will also be offered the option to cancel and receive a full refund of all monies paid.

Minimum age

Unless otherwise stated in the 'Key Facts', 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

Single supplements

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

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.

We cannot be held responsible for any incident or event arising from your failure to do so.

Reduced mobility
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
In almost all our destinations, you can book and pay for additional activities locally. Please note that we cannot be held responsible for any injury or loss that occurs through any activities that are booked in your destination (see our terms and conditions for further details).

Please always ensure that your safety is your primary concern when arranging any such activity.

Car hire
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.

Traveller Reviews

All spot on! 07 January 2019 by Lynne Vipond

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!

TOTALLY AMAZING! 04 January 2018 by Jane and David Williamson

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
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loads of snow and blue-sky days, so the views across the lakes and forest runs were outstanding.
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Amazing winter holidays 26 December 2016 by Silvie Lorkova and James Baister

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

No faults in the entire trip! 26 December 2016 by Shaemala Anpalakhan

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 26 December 2016 by Elizabeth DeLorenzo and Elaine Brown

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
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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.
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