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Written by Savi, 27 Comments

This article is Part 3 of our 4 part series on planning the ultimate trip to Lapland, Finland

Read Part 1 The Ultimate Itinerary for Finnish Lapland (opens in a new tab)

Read Part 2 The Ultimate Guide to Packing for Finnish Lapland (opens in a new tab)

Read Part 4 Staring at the Northern Lights in Saariselka (opens in a new tab)

 

The Finnish Wilderness stretches out before us. We’re huddled around a bonfire in a traditional teepee clad in warm Arctic suits. Rustic lanterns sway from the slanted ceiling of the teepee as we sip on warm Finnish berry juice. All eyes are towards the sky. There’s no sign of the elusive Northern Lights but we can see millions of stars and the majestic milky way

 

Lapland Safari
Huddled around a bonfire in the Arctic wilderness

 

The night gets colder. The owner of the reindeer farm regales us with Finnish folk tales – tales of Vikings, sky dwellers, ancestral spirits, and Arctic foxes conjuring magical lights in the sky.

A safari in Finnish Lapland is no ordinary experience. It’s a collation of dozens of once-in-a-lifetime experiences in one nifty package.  But if you’re in Lapland for a limited time, you’re bound to get confused. That’s because there’s everything from reindeer safaris and Arctic animal adventures to snowmobiling and Northern Lights hunting on offer. Each one of them is more tempting than the last – how is one to choose? Here is our guide to our favourite Lapland Safaris:

 

I) Reindeer Safaris for romantics (and kiddies)

Imagine gliding through a snow-laden forest on a reindeer sleigh. Lappish fur rugs keep you warm as the hypnotic tinkling of bells helps you drift deeper and deeper into dreamland. All around, perfectly-shaped snowflakes continue to fall silently.

 

Reindeer safari lapland
It’s like being in a magical winter wonderland

 

A reindeer safari in Lapland is truly an experience like no other. It’s the ultimate romantic getaway for couples but it’s perfect for families with young kids too. After all, who doesn’t love nuzzling against a real-life Rudolph?! 🙂

 

Reindeer sleigh Rovaniemi
The cutest reindeer ever 🙂

 

 

We’ve mentioned this before, but we’ll say it again. We highly recommend pre-booking all your safaris with Lapland Safaris. That way you can keep their Arctic overalls, equipment for the activities, ski gloves, even snow boots for the length of your stay in Rovaniemi for free. They’ll keep you warm and you won’t have to pay a penny. It’s a win-win situation 🙂

 

2) Husky Dog Safari for adventurers

If you want something to get your heart racing as fast as it possibly can, then a husky dog safari in Lapland is for you. There are a variety of safaris – overnight, half day, and full day – to choose from. You can feed cuddly husky dogs, nuzzle them to your heart’s content, and even prepare your own sled. Husky dogs are stunning creatures with sparkly blue & brown eyes, and it’s hard to get enough of them.

 

Husky safari Rovaniemi
The huskies getting ready

 

Once the sled is ready, it’s time to go on an adventurous ride through Arctic forests, snow-covered fields, and the Lappish wilderness. You can choose between sitting on the sled or ‘driving’ (aka manoeuvring) the sled.  The huskies are always raring to go for a run, so be prepared for a thrilling ride that will leave you breathless. The silent Finnish wilderness is truly awe-inspiring – the panting of the husky dogs is probably the only sound you’ll hear for hours.

 

Us on husky sled in Rovaniemi
The fun begins 🙂

 

Most day-long safaris include a pit-stop at lunch, which is served around bonfire (on a frozen lake, no less!).

 

3) Snowmobiling for adrenalin junkies

There is nothing quite like driving snow-mobiles/snow scooters across the snowy Arctic lands. A snowmobile safari will leave you spell bound from the second you turn on the ignition to the second you take off your helmet and park your snowmobile. Snowmobile journeys in Lapland will take you through glistening forests, dream-like landscapes, and entire panoramas enveloped with magic. The crisp air of the Finnish countryside is sure to leave you awestruck!

 

Us on our snowmobile driving into the Arctic forest in Rovaniemi
Adrenaline Rush 🙂

 

We loved our first snowmobile safari so much that we booked another overnight snowmobile safari and even went hunting for Northern Lights on snowmobiles. This is definitely our favourite way of exploring Finnish Lapland’s stunning wilderness.

Snowmobile safari Rovaniemi
Driving into the Arctic forest

 

A word of caution – things can get very chilly on snowmobile safaris, so make sure you’re well covered. We have suggestions on which clothes you should take to your trip to Lapland. But no matter how warmly clad you are, you should protect yourself further with balaclavas, helmets, mittens, and ski socks provided by your safari provider for your snowmobile safari. Those little things will keep you well and truly warm, so you can enjoy your safari to your heart’s content 🙂

 

4) Northern Light Safari for err EVERYONE!!

Once you’ve feasted your eyes on Lapland’s idyllic frozen landscapes and taken dozens of photographs, it’s time to explore the same panoramas at night and go hunting for the fleeting Northern Lights. At night, the silent Lappish wilderness seems to acquire a thrilling halo. The moon shines on miles after miles of pillowy snow and lends an air of mystery to the proceedings.

 

Northern lights safari Rovaniemi
The Northern Lights – finally !!!

 

You can choose to experience this supremely unique landscape on reindeer sleighs, horse sleighs, snowmobiles, skiis, or snowshoes. The guides make sure the excruciating wait for the Northern Lights is peppered with anecdotes and tales from Finnish folklore. If you’re lucky, the dancing Aurora Borealis will pay your group a visit on your night out in the Lappish wilderness.

 

Snowmobile Northern Lights
Our snowmobile against the Northern Lights 🙂

 

We got very lucky and chanced upon a stunning display of the Northern Lights on our snowmobile safari – one minute we were racing across a frozen river and the next we were all glued to our spots, eyes transfixed on the sky. Vid spotted a streak of green in the sky and prompted the group to stop. No sooner had we stopped that THE Northern Lights came out to play. The sky was suddenly aglow with shades of green, purple, and pink that we didn’t know existed. They danced from one end of the horizon to the other, faded, and then appeared stronger than ever before. By the end, we were well and truly hypnotised 🙂

 

Now, a word of advice. You know we love capturing moments like these with our bulky DSLR, be it as images or as videos. But we found lugging around the DSLR quite tedious or pretty much impossible during some of these safaris, so we took a lot of pictures using our trustworthy GoPro camera. We got some great footage of our safaris so we highly recommend carrying a small action camera with you.

 

[box type=”info”]Cover-More have a crazy competition where you can win a trip worth $10,000 (including $2000 spending money), and 10 Go Pro Hero 4 cameras. Participants from all over the world can apply. You can enter the competition here – Finland was one of our dream vacations, perhaps you could win yours with this competition ? [/box]

***

Here’s a video of all the fun we had with Lapland Safaris

 

We booked all our safaris with Lapland Safaris. More information on their website http://www.laplandsafaris.com/

 

 

Planning a trip to Finland? We have written about everything you need – itineraries, tips on packing, accommodation suggestions and much more –  in our 4 part series on planning the perfect holiday in Finnish Lapland 🙂

27 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide to Lapland Safaris in Finland

  1. Wow you have covered it all…very comprehensive information. Of course all your destinations have been going straight to my bucket list but this one goes on the top! I had another question since you mentioned Go Pro. We are going on a Himalayan trekking expedition shortly and I was sceptical of carrying my DSLR so was about to settle for my Sony Cybershot point and shoot mainly because of the size and ease of handling. Now that you have mentioned Go Pro, I am curious…which one do you use? I like the Go Pro Silver because it has a touch screen but at the cost of resolution which is better in Black. I am not much a video person so my main interest is taking photos. Is Go Pro worth the investment in that case? Sorry for the lengthy comment but I absolutely love the photography on your blog and was hoping to take some decent pictures myself 😛

    1. Hi Soujanya,

      We wouldn’t recommend the GoPro only for still images – of course you’ll be able to capture them, but a digital camera or DSLR will do a better job on the whole. The Sony point and shoot might be better to begin with, and if you feel the need to capture action shots / videos, then you can go for a GoPro. I would say that for the trek, you should be able to take your DSLR too – just be careful with it, tuck it away in a secure bag and only take it out when you need to take a picture 🙂

      Hope this helps.

      1. Thank you for your reply! This is the best part of your blog, you guys are very approachable and helpful 🙂 So I will dare and take the DSLR. Hopefully I will survive the 10 day trek to take pictures on the summit! 😀

  2. Wow.. like rightly said in the comment above, this one goes straight to my bucket list.. great stuff guys.. 🙂

  3. Hi Savi and Vid,

    I am across your series of posts as well
    As your YouTube videos while researching Kakslauttanen and I have a few questions for you if that is okay. We are booked to stay here in two months and I am super excited!

    1) you mentioned that its a good idea to prebook safaris through Lapland Safaris, and we are not opposed to this idea but reading through tripadvisor we came across someone who mentioned that Kakslauttanen does not allow safari companies to pick you up from the hotel if you do not book through Kakslauttanen? Problem is Ive sent probably five emails to Kakslauttanen now inquiring about safaris but they still havent responded and Im inclined to book through Lapland Safaris just to be sure! Advice?

    2) we are just enthusiasts and have point and shoot knowledge of photography but we’d like to be able to photograph the northern lights. Do you have any suggestions? We have a Canon point and shoot with manual capabilities and a goPro Hero 3. Is a tripod absolutely necessary?

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Dear Karla,

      Sure, we are happy to answer whatever questions you might have 🙂

      1) We booked through Lapland Safaris in Rovaniemi and not in Kakslauttanen. In Kakslauttanen, we did the excursions through Kakslauttanen only. However, I can’t see why you can’t book with an external company like Lapland Safaris – you could just tell them to pick you up from outside the reception and you could just stand outside or something. I can’t see why or how Kakslauttanen will prevent you from booking with other providers. Perhaps you could mail Lapland Safaris in Saariselka and ask them if they have picked up people from Kakslauttanen in the past?

      2) You might not need a tripod, but you will need to find a stable surface where you can place your camera. Sometimes, the Northern Lights are faint so while our eyes can see them, the camera might not be able to capture them unless you use a long exposure. If you use long exposure, you need to place it on a stable surface 🙂 Since you don’t have a bulky DSLR, you could just get a cheap tripod for your canon off Amazon or something for this trip? I have a feeling you won’t regret taking a mini tripod with you 😉

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers

      Vid

  4. Hi Savi and Vid,

    Like one of the commenters above, my fiance and I found your website while researching Kakslauttanen. We will be there at the end of March. Thanks so much for your very helpful posts on what to see/do in Lapland and what to pack. Very useful! We will be using several of your suggestions. A couple of questions:

    1. We had been considering taking a GoPro on this trip, but we don’t have one yet. Which model and accessories did you use for your vlog?

    2. We will be taking the bus from Kakslauttanen to Rovaniemi. The Matkahuolto bus website says we can’t book that journey online. Did you have any issues with that? If so, how did you handle booking in advance?

    Thanks again for all of your tips.

    1. Hey Carrie,

      Thanks a lot for your message 🙂

      The vlog was primarily with the GoPro Hero3+ Black but we also used our DSLR for some video footage. These days we use a GoPro Hero4 Silver 🙂

      You are right about the bus. Even we couldn’t book online but the hotel staff informed us that everyone just bought the tickets on boarding the bus. That’s what we did – just go to the bus stop 10 minutes before the scheduled time of the bus and buy the tickets from the bus driver.

      Hope you two have a great trip to Lapland – it’s one of our favourite places so far 🙂

      Cheers

  5. Hello ,

    I really love all your photos you taken during your safaris tour . May i know what camera and lens you used ? you asked someone to took those photos for you or using tripod during your safaris tour ( husky ride , snowmobile ) ?

  6. This is indeed a trip of a lifetime. May I ask what month did you go there?

    I’ve been trying to book via their website. I’ve been trying from month of December to January but it seems it is always fully booked. Do u think it is safe to book via booking.com, etc?

    1. Hi Joanna,

      We went in Feb. It’s safe to book through booking.com etc. but accommodation in these areas is limited and Jan/Feb are peak months so places run out fast.

  7. hi! i really enjoyed watching your video in lapland and I was very intrigued with the reindeer safari and meeting the sami people. I would love to do that however I will be staying in kakslauttanen for one night only next month, do you think i have enough time to do the activity there or should i book it on another day with another tour operator?

    Thank you! 🙂

  8. Hi, I’m planning to go to Finland this November. I would like to know if we will get to do all the activities you’ll did and I would want to know which brands to shop from for the thermal wear and stuff bcoz it’s going to be way too cold there and we have no clue which are the specific brands. Hope to get a reply from you guys soon. Thanks.

  9. Hi Savy and Vid,

    Its always mesmerising to go through your Blogs and the way you describe the whole journey make it more tempting.

    Me and my wife are planning to visit Lapland (offcourse taking inspiration from your blog..😀) for out 1st Anniversary and Valentines Day in the month of February.

    Although you have given away almost all the details in your blog and also through most or the questions asked by fellow readers, but i still have a few questions i would like to ask..😋

    1. All the safaris look amazing, about the Snowmobile safari, do we get a chance to drive the snowmobile or will it be driven by the guide himself only?

    2. We both are Vegetarians. Lapland being a remote location, can we get vegetarian food options around easily?

    3. In your detailed itinerary you had mentioned first 2 days in Kemi, any recommendations on places to stay?

    4. Any recommendations on what special we can do on Valentines day ?

    Thanks in advance..😀

    1. Hey Guys

      Really sorry for such a delayed response but hope you had a great trip in Lapland – do share some photos with us 🙂

  10. Hi Savi and Vid,

    Its always mesmerising to go through your Blogs and the way you describe the whole journey make it more tempting.

    Me and my wife are planning to visit Lapland (off course taking inspiration from your blog..😀) for out 1st Anniversary and Valentines Day in the month of February.

    Although you have given away almost all the details in your blog and also through most or the questions asked by fellow readers, but i still have a few questions i would like to ask..😋

    1. All the safaris look amazing, about the Snowmobile safari, do we get a chance to drive the snowmobile or will it be driven by the guide himself only?

    2. We both are Vegetarians. Lapland being a remote location, can we get vegetarian food options around easily?

    3. In your detailed itinerary you had mentioned first 2 days in Kemi, any recommendations on places to stay?

    4. Any recommendations on what special we can do on Valentines day ?

    Thanks in advance..😀

    1. Hey Shalabh –
      1) You have to drive the snowmobile yourself
      2) There are limited options for food for both non vegetarians and vegetarians in Lapland, so if you’re fussy about the kind of veg food you want, it might be a problem
      3) Sure you can skip that and stay in Levi or extend your stay in Rovaniemi
      4) A reindeer ride is ideal for valentine’s day

  11. Hello Savi & Vid,

    It is always a pleasure to read through your stories and more so to look at your videos and pictures. It shows how hard you guys have been working while having fun of course. One quick question: How early do you suggest to book the accomodation at kakslauttanen glass igloo. I have been searching for dates for March-April and also October-November but these glass igloos seem like hot cakes. All sold out/non available. Please provide some tips on how early can we plan to book or any other work around. Thanks!

    Sushma,

  12. Hi Savi and Vid,

    Thanks for the detailed ititnerary for lapland.It has been an immense help.We are planning to go to lapland in december.Is february a better time to go? And will it be cheaper as compared to december..Please suggest.

    Also we are planning to hire a car..Could you suggest reliable car rental companies?

    Thanks…looking forward to your reply

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