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Price from £1,825pp
VISITING: Finland BROCHURE CODE: 5025
All prices include: flights, transfers, accommodation, guided activities, meals and cold weather clothing; all as listed.
Wild Lapland is a world where reindeer outnumber people and it spends six months of the year covered in snow. Staying in cosy cabins run by a Sámi family, you will leave Utsjoki feeling like friends, knowing some stories and secrets of the culture and having tried out the must-do highlights.

What's included?

  • Flights: Return from London to Ivalo (either direct or via Helsinki depending on departure date). Regional and non-UK departures available on request (flight routes are subject to change)
  • Transfers: Return group airport transfers*
  • Accommodation: 7 nights' in a standard double or twin hotel room
  • Meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Activities: Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, introduction to Utsjoki, reindeer sleigh ride and local culture, husky safari (order subject to change)
  • Cold weather clothing is provided during winter activities
  • Fully qualified wilderness guides and instructors during activities

*Arrivals which do not meet the group transfer times will be subject to a private transfer supplement.


Staying in cosy, comfortable accommodation run by a friendly Sámi family, guests will leave feeling like friends, knowing some of these stories and secrets of this fascinating culture. Your winter cottage accommodation (around 2km from Utsjoki town) has great views north across the Teno River and into Norway. You are in prime Northern Lights territory here, with frequent and spectacular displays which even still stop the locals in their tracks. Evening safaris are available during your stay to book and pay for locally. They are not part of the Artisan holiday because Utsjoki has such great views of the Aurora when they occur that an inclusive trip may be surplus to requirements.

Around Utsjoki, dramatic peaks rise from snow-covered fells above the tree-line. Wild Lapland can be an inhospitable place so a good wilderness guide is vital. They will teach you about how the Sámi people survived in such a barren landscape for so many centuries.

Today the population density is 0.25 people per square kilometre. Compare this to London where it is 4,978 people per square kilometre and you have some idea of the remote beauty you may expect. Nothing, however, can prepare you for the reality of this stunning environment where snow covers the ground for six months of the year and the reindeer outnumber the people.


Images credits: Holiday Village Valle and Klaus Peter Kappest
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Key facts

Duration:7 nights
Pace:Balanced
Suitable for: Anybody over the age of 18. See our terms for further information.
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  • Following your flight into Ivalo, you will be directly transferred to your accommodation in Utsjoki. The northern skies are visible all the way to your destination and many a transfer has witnessed a display of the Aurora – what a way to be welcomed! Depending on when your flight lands, you will either have a packed dinner during the journey or dinner in the restaurant on arrival.

    Your Sámi hosts will greet you at your accommodation. You can head to your cabin or hotel bedroom (Aurora permitting) to enjoy your first peaceful night in the very north of Finland.

  • After breakfast, your introduction to the Arctic starts with lessons in cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The first is a national obsession and the second is a relaxing way of getting around on the snow – both are incredibly good fun!.

    Take a short trip with your guide and learn about the flora and fauna of the region and how to identify the variety of animal tracks dotted across the snow. You will also be shown how to light a fire – an essential skill in these parts. Visit during January and February and you might have the added chance of learning traditional fishing techniques to catch burbot if time allows.

    After lunch back at Utsjoki, you will be taken to the church houses close to the village. Mostly dating back to the 18th century, these were used by people who had to cross vast distances to attend services at the local church. You will also visit the village of Utsjoki and have the chance to see some Sámi handicrafts created by local artisans. Such traditional crafts play a key part in this village, ensuring the survival of many Sámi traditions.

    Dinner will be served back at the holiday village restaurant with more time to watch the skies in this remote location, hoping the Northern Lights will perform their magical dance.

  • Your hosts are Sámi reindeer herders, so it is fitting that after breakfast you should learn more about these animals which are so central to Sámi culture. It is a very short walk to the reindeer corrals near your cabins. Here you can help to feed the animals before enjoying a reindeer-pulled sleigh ride covering around two kilometres.

    Over a warming drink, you will learn about the lives of the herders and the way in which the reindeer are central to the culture and traditions of this region. Lunch will be had back at the holiday village restaurant.

    This afternoon we have left free for you to enjoy your local surroundings at your leisure before dinner in the restaurant.

  • After breakfast, a 50-minute transfer will take you across the border to Tana, Norway. Here you will meet with the local musher who will show you how to handle a sled and a team of eager huskies. You will depart on a husky safari lasting around two hours, travelling two people per sled. There is nothing comparable to the thrill of travelling by dog sled. Whether you are driving or sitting in the sled, it is an exceptional experience. 

    Following the safari, you will enjoy some snacks and coffee around a campfire. You will have time to say goodbye to the dogs at the end of your tour and take as many pictures as you wish before you head back to Utsjoki for free time and dinner.

  • We have left the next three days free for you to either spend relaxing and simply enjoy the stunning Arctic surroundings of Utsjoki or you may wish to take part in some activities.

    There are plenty of optional daytime and evening activities which you can book, including taking a tour by car to the edge of the Arctic Ocean, an excursion to the wilderness and hunting the Northern Lights on snowshoes or snowmobiles, among others. Please see the ‘Personalise’ section for further information.  You can also walk over the Giisá village hall and make the most of its handicraft store and café.

    Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included each day.

  • Today, you will be transferred back to Ivalo Airport for your journey home. If your flight is earlier in the morning, you will be given a packed breakfast rather than having it in the holiday village restaurant.

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.

Cabins

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

Northern Lights hunt via snowmobile-pulled sled

From £76pp

Sitting in a snowmobile-pulled sleigh, warmly wrapped up you will travel behind the guide's snowmobile in search of the magnificent Northern Lights. The local guides know all the best vantage points and they will lead you to an area with minimal light pollution. Throughout your journey, you can keep your eyes on the sky and should conditions be favourable you will hopefully enjoy a display of the Aurora.

A minimum number of two participants is required for this activity to take place.

Duration: 2 hours


Other options

Activities

Scenic tour via snowmobile-pulled sled

From: £76pp

The focus in Utsjoki is on enjoying the stunning wilderness at the very north of Finland. This scenic snowmobile-pulled sled tour is an ideal way in which to sit back and enjoy the idyllic surroundings whilst venturing further out into the wilderness, towards the Norwegian border. The diverse nature is particularly picturesque as you approach Norway, with spectacular views towards the Teno River and the rugged Norwegian fells. This trip is ideal for those looking to capture the nature of Utsjoki on camera and you may even spot some reindeer.

Duration: 3 hours

Winter Fishing

From: £64pp

In Utsjoki, Ice Fishing is perhaps the most popular winter activity for locals. Join an experienced guide and learn the secrets behind this unique form of fishing. Your trip will begin as you are transferred via car to a nearby frozen lake. Following this, your guide will then drill holes in the ice using a special drill called ‘kaira’ before you attempt to catch Arctic Trout or Salmon Trout from the watery abyss below. Whilst you are fishing, your guide will prepare warm drinks over a campfire.

Duration: 2-3 Hours

One-day husky safari

From: £392pp

If your two-hour husky safari has you addicted to dogsledding, this will make for a perfect addition to your free day: a daylong husky safari covering around 30 kilometres! You will ride one person per sled, with winter clothing and a picnic lunch provided.

A minimum number of two participants is required for this activity to take place.

Availability: January 2018 onwards

Excursion to the wilderness

From: £164pp

Following breakfast, you will be taken to a splendid fell region by snowmobile-pulled sled. A stop will be made at a frozen lake to learn ice fishing, with the chance to catch species like Arctic trout and grayling. If you would prefer not to fish, snowshoes will be brought along for an alternative trek around the fells. You will also be taken to meet reindeer and learn how they are reared by their herder.

This activity is best enjoyed from 22 January 2018 onwards due to increasing light levels. That said, it is available from November 2017 onwards, with the land covered by more of a twilight.

A minimum number of two participants is required for this activity to take place.

Duration: 4-5 hours

Tour to the Arctic Ocean by car

From: £165pp

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.

Minimum numbers: four participants are required for this activity to take place.

Duration: 4-5 hours

Northern Lights reindeer sleigh ride

From: £126pp

Combine two of the most well-known Lapland symbols in one activity and hunt for the Northern Lights while sitting back on a reindeer-pulled sled. Carried along at a gentle pace, you can relax and focus all of your attention on the night-time landscape and the skies above. You will cover around two kilometres.

A minimum number of two participants is required for this activity to take place.

Duration: Approximately 2 hours

Cross-country skiing

From: £60pp

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 picnic snacks en-route. This activity requires a minimum of two participants.

Duration: 2 hours

Northern Lights snowshoeing

From: £60pp

Strapping on snowshoes you will head out into the surrounding wilderness to hopefully seek out the Northern Lights. You will have two hours at your disposal and your guide will lead the way to a remote spot far from light pollution. Your guide will highlight some of the flora and fauna that can be found in the region. With any luck, the Northern Lights will pay you a visit.

A minimum number of two participants is required for this activity to take place.

Duration: 2 hours

Northern Lights hunt via car

From: £76pp

This is an opportunity to seek out a prospective Northern Light display via car or minibus. The guides here are all local experts and know all the best spots in the region from which to view the Aurora. The mobility that the car provides should ensure you are able to outrun any cloud cover and hopefully be successful on your mission to witness a dazzling Aurora display.

A minimum number of two participants is required for this activity to take place.

Duration: 2 hours

Daytime snowshoeing

From: £60pp

Snowshoeing is a fantastic and ecological way in which to explore the surrounding nature of Utsjoki. This particular trip will lead you across a beautiful wonderland towards the snow-covered forests whilst your guide gives you an insight into the surrounding nature and the diverse flora and fauna which can be found north of the Arctic Circle. You may even spot some wildlife for yourself with both moose and reindeer common in this area.

Duration: 2 Hours

Extensions

Overnight husky safari

From: £675pp

If you are looking for a real adventure then you can extend your stay in Finland and choose to add on an overnight husky safari in the region of Tana. This is a wonderfully exciting opportunity to lead your own team of enthusiastic dogs to a remote wilderness cabin where you have the chance to get back to nature and appreciate the endless remote landscape which surrounds you.

Read more about this activity

The safari includes two picnic lunches, one dinner at the cabin and breakfast in the morning. You will stay overnight in a wilderness cabin with shared facilities, all of your equipment including an arctic grade sleeping bag is provided for you.

This extension requires a minimum of two participants.

Availability: January 2018 onwards

Distance: Approximately 60km in total (or around 30km per day)

Duration: 2 days

Extend your stay

From: £80pp

If you have a little bit more time to enjoy the wonder of the wilderness then why not extend your stay. We can arrange for you to spend an extra night in a cabin, with half board included so that you can take advantage of some of the other activities that are available in this remote and beautiful area.

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

Please note: Single occupancy is only available for the hotel room option.

Next season's provisional 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
Sun 18 Nov 2018
to Sun 25 Nov 2018
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Adults£ 2,155 Single Adult£ 2,495
Sat 24 Nov 2018
to Sat 01 Dec 2018
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Adults£ 2,000 Single Adult£ 2,340
Sun 09 Dec 2018
to Sun 16 Dec 2018
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Adults£ 2,470 Single Adult£ 2,800
Sun 06 Jan 2019
to Sun 13 Jan 2019
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Adults£ 1,840 Single Adult£ 2,170
Sun 13 Jan 2019
to Sun 20 Jan 2019
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Adults£ 1,825 Single Adult£ 2,155
Sun 20 Jan 2019
to Sun 27 Jan 2019
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Adults£ 1,840 Single Adult£ 2,170
Sun 27 Jan 2019
to Sun 03 Feb 2019
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Adults£ 1,825 Single Adult£ 2,155
Sun 03 Feb 2019
to Sun 10 Feb 2019
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Adults£ 1,825 Single Adult£ 2,155
Sun 10 Feb 2019
to Sun 17 Feb 2019
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Adults£ 1,975 Single Adult£ 2,315
Sun 17 Feb 2019
to Sun 24 Feb 2019
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Adults£ 1,825 Single Adult£ 2,155
Sun 24 Feb 2019
to Sun 03 Mar 2019
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Adults£ 1,825 Single Adult£ 2,155
Sun 03 Mar 2019
to Sun 10 Mar 2019
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Adults£ 1,825 Single Adult£ 2,155
Sun 10 Mar 2019
to Sun 17 Mar 2019
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Adults£ 1,840 Single Adult£ 2,170
Sun 17 Mar 2019
to Sun 24 Mar 2019
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Adults£ 1,940 Single Adult£ 2,270

For our full booking terms and conditions please click here

Holiday group size (approximate)

Approximately 2 – 20 people. However, please note that for the Aurora Centre Wilderness Yurt, the maximum capacity is 120 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

Whilst Artisan Travel only sells holidays to those aged 18 years and over on a small selection of holidays there may be those under the age of 18 who have booked with other companies and where our local supplier also allow those under 18 to participate (additional activities during tailor made holidays for example). Our travel experts will answer any concerns you may have in this regard.

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.

Experience and fitness

Any activities included in your itinerary are all designed for beginners. Full instruction and tuition is 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 absolutely 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 everyday.

Consequently, their knowledge and experience is 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 of 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

More than lived up to expectations 19 March 2017 by Mary Piers

The holiday was fantastic and more than lived up to expectations. A very well planned and organised holiday. Very good guides and instructors. So very friendly and helpful. The Husky sledding (was my favourite) because I just adore the huskies and I spent several hours out in the beautiful wilderness driving the tram. Thank you for all your assistance and a huge thank you to all in Utsjoki, I
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could not have asked for better care and assistance. Activities fantastic. So very sorry to leave but I will be back in Sami country next year!!
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The whole holiday was so, so excellent 06 March 2016 by Sok Wai Lou

All meals were good quality, excellent scenery around where we stayed, the accommodation was so good...having my own sauna in the house was a real bonus! Henry, the owner of the place was so attentive to our needs (he even provided packed-breakfast the night before we left for Helsinki very early morning). The whole holiday was so, so excellent that I won't hesitate to recommend to my friends.

An excellent experience in all respects 17 February 2014 by Hilary Hazzard

I got back from Utsjoki ('the top of Finland') on Friday and I'm just emailing to let you know what an excellent experience it was in all respects (even at -35°C)Travelling was trouble-free, the hosts were professional-yet-friendly and attentive to our needs (that's me and the only other people there, a couple from Germany) - though we didn't actually need anything outside of what was
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provided. The food was particularly fabulous. We agreed that Anne and Petteri made us feel more like welcome visitors than 'tourists' - I particularly appreciated that as a lone traveller - and I'd definitely recommend this for anyone wanting a closer-to-nature experience than some of the hotel-based trips. The Northern Lights made their appearance twice (that we caught). That's not something you could have laid on but I thought you might like to know. Best birthday ever!
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