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
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.
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?! 🙂
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂