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Price from £1,880pp
All prices include: flights, transfers, accommodation, meals, guided activities and cold weather clothing; all as listed.
Menesjärvi is an exceptional Aurora destination and the activities included will give you memories to last a lifetime. Anne and Timo, your hosts for this four-night holiday, are two of the most welcoming people we have come across and will be sure to make this a Christmas to remember.

What's included?


  • Flights: direct return flights between London and Ivalo. Regional and non-UK departures available on request (flight routes are subject to change)
  • Transfers: return group airport transfers
  • Accommodation: 7 nights in twin/double hotel rooms
  • Meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
  • The following activities and equipment are included in the price: snowmobile safari and ice fishing, Christmas Eve programme, Aurora workshop and Aurora snowshoeing, morning with a reindeer herder, Aurora snowmobile safari, husky safari, visit to the Sámi Siida Museum, Aurora dinner (the order of activities is subject to change)
  • Cold weather clothing is provided for the duration of your stay
  • Free use of snowshoes, cross-country skis, kicksleds and toboggans
  • Services of our expert local guides

This very special version of our ever popular four-night 'Wilderness Auroras' holiday allows you to spend your Christmas in one of the most remote regions of Finland. With its array of outstanding activities and stunning setting, Menesjärvi is the perfect location for a festive adventure.

For seven nights you will stay at the Hotel Korpikartano, deep in the Lapland wilderness and far from the madding crowds that can take over some areas at this time of year.

The characterful accommodation and your delightful hosts, Anne and Timo, offer a warm welcome and a variety of festivities to ensure a wonderful Christmas. Furthermore, with its almost total lack of light pollution and unobstructed views of the night sky from the lake, Menesjärvi offers the potential to view the Northern Lights at their spectacular best.

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As well as the traditional Finnish Christmas celebrations such as festive cookie baking and a local Christmas dinner - highlights of this trip include a morning with a reindeer herder, where you will gain a valuable insight into one of the most important occupations in Lapland.

This Christmas Aurora holiday will also see you being pulled by a team of eager dogs across the snow-laden landscape and zipping across frozen lakes on a snowmobile.

Whilst we have described this as an active holiday there is also time available for guests to relax and enjoy some time at leisure. Additional activities can also be arranged for those who wish to continue to explore the Great Outdoors. Alternatively, you can take advantage of the snowshoe and cross-country ski equipment which is yours to borrow throughout your holiday.

Some evenings will be spent seeking out the Aurora on a Northern Lights snowmobile safari and during an Aurora snowshoe hunt. The beauty of Menesjärvi is that on many occasions the lake in front of the hotel offers some of the best views of the Northern Lights - ideal for those late night displays when guests can be found on the lake wearing their pyjamas under their outdoor thermal suits!

There will be some families staying at the hotel during this period but this is far removed from the Santa crowds and all activities are operated for adults only.

We love this location for the sense of peace and space that it offers and for allowing you to gain a real insight into the lives of the people of Lapland. Menesjärvi really is in the middle of nowhere. If you are looking for something a bit different this Christmas and wish to gain an absolute sense of escapism, then look no further.

Image credits: Timo Halonen

Key facts

Duration:7 nights
Suitable for: Ages 15+. See our terms for further information
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  • Upon arrival in Lapland, you will be greeted and transferred to the small community of Menesjärvi. 

    You will check into your room and dinner will be served in the hotel restaurant. Afterwards, you will be given cold weather clothing that will be yours for the duration of your stay.

    You may wish to wander down to the vast frozen lake. This is the ideal vantage point to stare up at the Arctic sky and await a potential Northern Lights viewing. With any luck, the Aurora will welcome you to Lapland.

    Included Meals:  Dinner
  • Today, an exhilarating snowmobile safari will follow breakfast. After you have received full tuition and a safety briefing you will travel two people per snowmobile on a thrilling safari. Providing you both have full driving licences, you will both get the chance to experience the fun of taking to the controls. It is also possible to upgrade and ride one person per snowmobile for an uninterrupted driving experience – see the ‘Personalise’ section for details.

    Your first snowmobile stop will be the traditional Sámi community of Lemmenjoki. From here you will travel to a frozen lake and attempt to master the traditional art of ice fishing.

    You will be shown how to drill a hole through the layer of thick ice over the water before dropping in a fishing line and waiting for a bite. The fun is in the anticipation – even if you are not lucky enough to make a catch, it is still a relaxing way to enjoy the scenery which surrounds you.

    Lunch will be served in the restaurant, followed by an afternoon to unwind. After a special Aurora dinner, prepared over an open fire in one of the hotel’s kotas, you will be given an introduction to Northern Lights with a science and photography workshop. Your host will be one of the expert local guides, who are enthusiastic and skilled photographers. They will talk you about the science behind the Aurora before advising on how best to photograph the lights.

    Following on from this introduction you will head out with your guide for a journey into the night as you search for the Aurora on snowshoes. Hopefully, a stunning display will bring the evening to a close, giving you the chance to put your new photography skills into practice.

    Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Following breakfast, you will get to encounter the most Christmassy of all creatures in their natural habitat as you spend the morning with a reindeer herder. The value of reindeer in this remote region dates back centuries and they are of huge economic and cultural importance to the Sámi people.

    Upon arrival at the farm, you will travel via snowmobile-pulled sleigh to a clearing in the woods. The herder will then call the reindeer in, which is a remarkable sight to see – more and more will appear through the trees. You will then have the opportunity to feed the animals and take some photos. The herder will light a campfire and you will be able to enjoy hot drinks and ask any questions you may have. This is not a typical tourist excursion but a unique experience where you get to join a herder going about their daily work.

    Following lunch, you will have some free time to once again enjoy the snowshoes or cross country skis which are available to borrow from the hotel. There is also a special session of guided cross-country skiing which can be added to your holiday – see the ‘Personalise’ section for more details. Of course, you might prefer to stay in and relax in one of the hotel saunas.

    After dinner this evening, you will be back out on your Aurora quest, this time using snowmobiles to track down a possible display. Your guide will use their experience to lead you on the most suitable trails to the most promising viewpoints for potential sightings. Driving the snowmobiles at night is a totally different experience, with your headlights illuminating the wilderness as you search for the Northern Lights. Once again, you will travel two people per snowmobile and there will be the chance to alternate drivers (if you both have driving licences). As before, you can also upgrade to drive one person per snowmobile – see the ‘Personalise’ section for more details.

    Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Finns celebrate Christmas on the 24th December so all of the guests in the hotel come together to start the festivities today.

    Start Christmas Eve with breakfast at the hotel restaurant before taking part in one of the most popular winter activities: an incredible husky safari. You will be transferred to a husky farm where you will meet with the dogs' trainers and get to know more about the lives of the huskies.

    You will receive full instructions before you travel two people per sled with your own dog team for a safari lasting around two and a half hours. Traversing the landscape in this time-honoured fashion is always one of our guests' most beloved experiences. The dogs love nothing more than to pull a sled and they always make this known with their boundless enthusiasm. It is a remarkably quiet activity once the dogs are over their initial excitement, which gives you ample opportunity to appreciate the peaceful serenity of your surroundings.

    After a traditional Christmas porridge lunch, you will have an afternoon to unwind with a session of Christmas cookie baking to add to the festive mood. Be sure to head over to the frozen lake when you have finished dinner and watch for the Northern Lights. You can also book a Northern Lights snowshoeing hunt to finish your holiday, which can be found in the ‘Personalise section’. Who knows? You might even capture a reindeer-pulled sleigh rocketing across the sky...

    Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Christmas Day and Boxing Day have been left free for you to spend as you wish. Our Travel Experts will be happy to advise you on how you can fill your time – why not browse through our ‘Personalise’ tab, or see which extra activities you can book and pay for locally during your trip? Or, you can spend your time doing some independent exploration, taking advantage of the free snowshoes, skis and kick sledges available during your stay.

    Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served as usual during your free days.

    Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • After breakfast, you will leave behind this winter wonderland and return home with a head full of wonderful Christmas memories.

    Included Meals:  Breakfast

Included in price

Hotel Korpikartano

Nights: 1-7

The Hotel Korpikartano was originally a boarding school for those growing up in this remote part of the world and is, therefore, full of quirks, character and charm. The welcome provided by the owners, Anne and Timo, creates a wonderful atmosphere and their passion for the region is infectious.

The hotel’s location couldn’t be more idyllic, with a fantastic outlook over Lake Menesjärvi and the remote wilderness beyond. The lack of artificial light in the area ensures that if the Aurora appears, then you may well be able to enjoy fantastic displays very close to the hotel.

The hotel comprises two main buildings. The main building houses the dining room and a number of bedrooms. A separate annexe building (a very short walk away) houses the majority of the guest accommodation.

Hotel facilities

  • Traditional home cooking is the order of the day in the hotel’s restaurant. The food can be described as 'simple, tasty and hearty' and is very much designed to fuel you up for your outdoor adventures. In many cases, the evening’s set menu will contain local ingredients such as fresh fish that Timo has caught himself or meat purchased from the local reindeer herders. The set evening meals are all self-service and you can also purchase a range of wine, beer and spirits to accompany your meal. Please let us know at the time of booking if you have any dietary requirements so these can be accommodated
  • Obviously, saunas are a pre-requisite in these parts and there are two in the main building as well as an outdoor wood-burning sauna. Should you request the use of the outdoor sauna (a local charge will apply), don't forget that a dip in the lake is almost obligatory (as long as you are in a good physical condition)
  • The simple lounge (near the reception) provides tea and coffee making facilities. Consider this to be the perfect spot to relax by the stove with a book but remember to keep your eyes peeled for the Northern Lights as the windows face north! There is also a TV in case you fancy watching some unfathomable Finnish TV
  • There is free Wi-Fi for guests to use throughout both buildings and there is a PC available at reception
  • Books and games are also available to borrow from reception

Room types

The 28 guest bedrooms vary in size and shape. They are cosy, comfortable and decorated with locally-sourced wood in a Scandinavian style. Some of the furniture has been crafted by Timo's own hand. All guest bedrooms have an en-suite bathroom with shower and a hairdryer. Cups and kettles are provided in each room and a variety of teas and coffee is available in each building for you to take to your room.

Image credit: Timo Halonen, Matt Robinson

Personalise this tour

Our pick

Cross-country skiing

From £40pp

Cross-country skiing is remarkably good fun and is an efficient way to travel and explore the terrain surrounding the hotel. Gliding across a frozen lake or through a snow-laden forest helps you understand why people get addicted to this pastime. Your guide will give instructions and lead you through the forest on a short ski trip. The skis will then be yours for the remainder of the day should you wish to further enhance your skills. This is an excellent option for your first full day in Lapland.

Duration: 1 – 1.5 hrs (ski hire for the day)

Other options


Additional Aurora snowshoe session

From: £55pp

Wandering around on snowshoes is a classic way of getting around in Lapland, taking you into some truly quiet natural spaces. Why not add another to your holiday for an extra session of therapeutic walking, looking out to see if the Aurora are dancing in the skies above?

Duration: 2 hours

Image credit: Timo Halonen

Riding one person per snowmobile

From: £45pp

Driving a snowmobile over the open whiteness is utterly electrifying, so it is well worth upgrading to drive your own snowmobile for the whole activity, rather than going two per vehicle.

Price Comparison Guarantee

Expertise and knowledge are key to witnessing the Northern Lights. We’ve been running Aurora hunting holidays longer than any company in the UK and with no lead in prices, no hidden costs and more included, we’re confident our tours will come out on top.
Price guarantee

The single adult price is based on a single room but sharing a snowmobile. If you would prefer to drive your own snowmobile please speak to our Travel Experts for the supplement.

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.

Sat 21 Dec 2019
to Wed 25 Dec 2019
Adults£ 1,880 Single Adult£ 2,000

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

The Specifics

Traveller Reviews

05 January 2015 by Margaret Swinyard

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