Northern Lights and Reindeer Herders


Stretching across the Arctic Circle in northern Finland lies a land full of winter adventures. Intrepid traveler and veteran Trip Leader Ingrid Cercek has traveled to Finland many times to experience its northern wonders. We’ve created a journey that includes her favorite experiences in this beautiful Arctic realm. Take a polar plunge (in a dry suit, of course!), hike through snowy mountains, ride a sleigh pulled by reindeer, and race across the snow in a sled pulled by huskies. We’ll be immersed in Lapland culture too, meeting Sami reindeer herders, tasting specialties including succulent whitefish and forest-harvested mushrooms, and with luck, see the Northern Lights dance across the sky. Many visitors to the area have spotted these shimmering phenomena, and you’ll be able to view them by sleigh or from the comforts of our lodges, each set in a prime location along the Aurora belt. At the end of each exhilarating day, unwind in the soothing smoke saunas—a truly Lappish experience.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2
Rovaniemi / SnowCastle / Icebreaker Expedition

Getting right into the winter spirit of Lapland, we head to the spectacular SnowCastle, rebuilt from fresh snow and ice each winter in a new style. After a sip of hot cocoa or a cocktail at the castle’s Ice Bar, we board the icebreaker Sampo to navigate through the pack ice that separates Finland and Sweden. We can walk out on the ice, or for the brave, take a dip in the bracing waters!

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Days 3-4
Pyhä-Luosto / Snowshoeing / Reindeer Sleigh

In the fells and rugged hills of Pyhä-Luosto National Park, we strap on snowshoes for a hike with sweeping mountain views. We also travel these Arctic landscapes the age-old way—on sleighs pulled by reindeer.

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Days 5-7
Cooking Class / Ice Fishing / Nordic Skiing

These days are for ice fishing, sampling Finnish specialties cooked over a wood fire, and Nordic skiing, all authentic traditions of Lapland.

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Days 8-12
Sámi Culture / Husky Sledding / Glass Igloo

The only indigenous population of Finland, the Sámi embrace their traditional way of life, continuing reindeer husbandry and dogsledding. With their help, we learn to work their dogsleds and take a ride on their sturdy horses. One evening, we set off by husky-drawn sled in hopes of seeing the northern lights, with an overnight in “glass igloos” that give us a planetarium feeling from our beds. Depart from Rovaniemi on Day 12.

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Visit the spectacular Snow Castle, take a ride by icebreaker
Meet traditional Sámi reindeer herders and dogsledders
Look for the elusive northern lights flickering across the heavens
Experience Finnish and Lappish culture, enjoy relaxing saunas
Try Nordic skiing, ice fishing, snowshoeing, and other winter adventures


Length: 12 days
Cost From: $7795  
Arrive: Rovaniemi, Finland
Depart: Rovaniemi, Finland
Lodging: 11 nights hotels
Meals: All meals included except 1 dinner (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

A mix of moderate to strenuous hiking and snowshoeing, 1-3 hours most days