Welcome to Helsinki! This lively hub for creativity and design is the perfect start to your northern adventure and your search for the mystical Northern Lights. On arrival, you'll be transferred to your hotel. There's time to freshen up and enjoy the Finnish sauna or fitness facilities before joining your Local Specialist for a city sightseeing tour. Later, a Welcome Dinner will set the tone for your epic Scandinavian adventure.
Today our flight takes us north from Helsinki, across the Arctic Circle to Ivalo. Later, a short drive brings us to the enchanting snowy escape of Saariselkä, our home for the next two nights.
Today is your chance to try your hand at some winter activities. Perhaps ride a snowmobile, try snow shoeing, or build yourself a snowman. This evening, you'll want to join an Optional Experience to go out 'hunting' for the Northern Lights with an expert Local Specialist, who will explain this extraordinary phenomenon and maximise your chance of a sighting.
Travel south to Rovaniemi, the official hometown of Santa Claus, where you'll discover the magic of Christmas and Dive Into Culture at Santa’s official post office. Send a letter to your loved ones or snap a selfie at the edge of the Arctic Circle before continuing on to visit Rudolph and his friends. Dive Into Culture once more as we visit the home of Santa’s sleigh-pullers. Be sure to bundle up for this unique opportunity to get up close and personal with these incredible Arctic creatures. The perfect finale to this amazing day comes when we check in to tonight’s iconic Stays With Stories hotel. Spend the night gazing upwards through your Aurora Cabin’s perfectly positioned glass roof in search of the Northern Lights, all while staying warm and cozy in the middle of the Arctic wilderness.
Bid farewell to Finland, bound for Sweden. Today you will visit the unique church village of Gammelstad, UNESCO-listed for its 424 wooden houses built around an early 15th century stone church, providing visitors with a view of what such a village would have looked like in northern Scandinavia several centuries ago. Continue to Luleå, the largest city in Swedish Lapland. Tonight perhaps join an Optional Experience to enjoy a dinner of locally-sourced Nordic specialties in a stunning lakeside lodge.
Venture north to Jokkmokk, an historic meeting place for the indigenous Sámi people, and enjoy a guided tour through the Ájtte museum learning the story of life and survival in the demanding northern climate. Continue north to Kiruna, where tonight you will Connect With Locals over a truly unique Be My Guest experience. You'll join members of a Sámi family, who will explain the heritage of their traditional dishes and sing joiks as you dine together.
Today you have a free day to get acquainted with this Swedish mining center, which is in the process of being relocated a few miles from its original location due to the growing size of the iron mine beneath its surface. Perhaps join a unique Optional Experience, navigating the snowy landscape on a husky safari, holding on tight as the eager dogs race across the white landscape. This exhilarating encounter with one of the most special canine breeds in the world is an experience you'll never forget. In the afternoon, you might choose to visit the incredible Icehotel on an Optional Experience to marvel at the ice sculptures and have a drink at the Ice Bar. Tonight, be sure to take the last chance to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights in this extraordinary Arctic environment.
This morning we depart the frozen north to fly to Stockholm, Sweden’s sophisticated capital. We join a Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour of the city locals refer to as 'beauty on the water', built on 14 islands where the lake meets the sea. Tonight, your journey across Lapland in search of the mystical Northern Lights comes to an end with a walk through the cobbled streets of the Old Town and a memorable Farewell Dinner with new friends.
As our journey in the snowy Arctic lands of reindeer and Father Christmas comes to an end, the memories of ancient Sámi culture and Nordic traditions in our hearts, we bid a fond farewell to newfound friends. Find out more about your free airport transfer at trafalgar.com/freetransfers.