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5 days - Stay in an Aurora Glass Cabin with all private inclusions and transport
Visit one of the northernmost inhabited areas in the world and experience a unique Sami culture, amazing scenery and exhilarating winter activities with this short private highlights tour. Spend a night in the magical Kirkenes Snow Hotel, and try your hand at dog-sledding, arctic king crab fishing and reindeer sledding. If conditions are right — be dazzled by the northern lights, preferably on the night you are sleeping in an Aurora Glass Cabin in Northern Finland.
This tour can also be done in reverse, starting in Kirkenes.
- Catch some Arctic King Crab and enjoy the feast afterwards by the fire
- Dress warmly and go Aurora Borealis hunting by snow mobile
- Stay in two unique Northern Lapland hotels, Aurora Village and the Gamme Cabins or a snow room in Kirkenes
- Opportunity for spotting the Northern Lights
- Day 1
- Arrive and private transfer to the Aurora Village
- Day 2
- Private Husky Safari including lunch in the wilderness
- Day 3
- Visit to a local Sámi reindeer herder and Northern Lights by Snowmobile in the evening
- Day 4
- Transfer to Kirkenes via Sami Siida Museum and explore the Snowhotel with King Crab Safari
- Day 5
- Departure day or join a Norwegian Coastal Cruise
- Start Place
- Ivalo, Finland tours
- End Place
- Kirkenes, Norway tours
- Destinations Visited
- Finland tours
- Norway tours
- 5 Days
- Easy independent holiday suitable for singles, couples & families
- All hotel accommodation in shared double/twin room with private facilities, single supplement available
- 3 nights in an Aurora Glass Cabin, breakfast and dinner included
- Kirkenes Stay: Gamme cabins or a snow room option available 20DEC to 20APR, dinner included
- Daily breakfast
- Private transfers between Kirkenes and Ivalo
- Included Activities: Private Arctic King Crab Safari, Private Husky safari (4 hrs), Private Northern Lights snow mobile safari, Reindeer Farm Visit and Museum Visit
- Outdoor clothing for winter activities/safaris (winter boots, balaclavas, woolen socks, mittens, overalls, tube scarf) at the Aurora Cabins
- Sparkling piccolo bottle, water bottle, tea, coffee and sweets as complimentary arrival treats in your room at Aurora Cabins
- Toboggans, sleds, sliders, ice-skates, cross-country skis, kick-sledges and outdoor games are available complimentary at the Aurora Glass Cabin.
- 24-hour emergency service
- Taxes and service fees
Flights, meals other than specified, winter clothing (thermal overall & boots) for the entire stay, items of personal nature, beverages, additional activities such as icefishing, horse riding or overnight safaris.
Please note that additional nights can be added either in Kirkenes or Ivalo.
A Norwegian coastal cruise between Kirkenes and Tromsø can be added where possible.
Day 1 - Arrive and private transfer to the Aurora Village
On arrival, you will be greeted by our friendly team and private transfer and check in to your Aurora Glass Cabin where you will be spending the next three nights!
Dinner at the hotel then get ready for your night in under the stars - and hopefully the Northern Lights.
Finnish Aurora Glass Cabins provides 'one-of-a kind' opportunities to admire the Northern Lights and millions of stars in the crystal clear sky while enjoying a comfortable room temperature. Built with a massive special thermal glass window facing sky wards, the temperature inside the cabin always stays at a normal level. It also prevents the glass from not getting white frosted, hence keeping the view clear even when the temperature outside drops to under -30°C.
Day 2 - Private Husky Safari including lunch in the wilderness
After breakfast, get ready for today's four-hour husky safari - an unforgettable journey through breathtaking winter scenery.
On arrival to the husky farm we will provide you with a warm outer thermal suit, gloves and hat and then we will present your very own husky team. You will be given a lesson on how to drive the sledge and how to observe important hand signals given by your leader.
Each team consists of about six dogs, you, the driver, and your passenger, who is comfortably seated in the wooden sledge. The driver and the passenger can change places during the safari.
You stop half-way for a lunch in the wilderness and you can learn a lot about huskies from your guide, a professional musher.
Day 3 - Visit to a local Sámi reindeer herder and Northern Lights by Snowmobile in the evening
Nature connected visit to a local Sámi reindeer herder family home. They live by a lake side surrounded by forest and hills. Meet the family reindeer, feed them and photograph them up close. Together walk a short distance in the forest near by. You will hear stories about how important nature diversity is for the reindeer and for the local nature.
Then you can visit the Sámi home, a traditional log house. You get to see their family´s traditional Sámi dresses as you hear stories about Sámi culture and about the Inari Sámi language revitalization.
Return to the Aurora Village for lunch and free afternoon to explore. This evening, discover Lappish food with a traditional local meal before heading out on a Northern Lights tour by snowmobile.
Meet your guide at Aurora Village reception and then watch for the Northern Lights dancing on the sky during your snow mobile drive through the frozen lakes and rugged snowy forests. Once reaching the special custom made aurora camp spot, a campfire will be started and you can start focusing your eyes and cameras towards the Northern sky. If the sky is clear there is a great chance to witness the most beautiful show the nature has to offer.
Hot drinks and snacks are served by the campfire.
Day 4 - Transfer to Kirkenes via Sami Siida Museum and explore the Snowhotel with King Crab Safari
Transfer by private vehicle, door to door from Ivalo to Kirkenes (3.4 - 4 hrs). Along the way, stop in Inari for a simple local lunch and a guided tour at Sami Siida Museum - the national museum of the Sámi and a national special museum in Finland. The guide will help you to have an in-depth view of Siida’s permanent exhibitions. Siida’s exhibition tours cover the permanent exhibitions of the house.
Every room in Kirkenes Snowhotel is like a small treasure. The rooms are equipped with everything needed for a comfortable night in the somewhat extreme conditions. The pictures look like you are sleeping on ice, but that would be too cold and too hard for your back. The beds are framed with ice blocks and the beds have comfortable mattresses with thermal insulation on top. You sleep inside a sleeping bag graded for -35 degrees celcius. However, snow is a very good insulator, so even when it's -35 degrees outside, the Snowhotel remains a stable -4 degrees.
Upon entering the gates of the Snowhotel, you will receive a welcome drink at the snowbar, made from berries collected from surrounding hills. It will then be time to make the ‘coolest’ hotel check-in around!
At 5pm, you will do a King Crab Safari - a very popular highlight for our travellers north. There is an option to do this safari on the departure morning too.
The Arctic King Crab is a sought after delicacy and you will learn how to catch, prepare and eat them. Your guide takes you out and you can lend a hand in sawing through the ice before your guide attempts to land you a few of these massive crustaceans. Enjoy the day's catch for lunch seated by a cosy fire in a small local farmhouse by the lake. You will travel to the lake by snowmobile sleigh.
After dinner you will have the opportunity to walk around the snowhotel and say hello to our resident reindeers, and with any luck, catch a glimpse of the northern lights.
Day 5 - Departure day or join a Norwegian Coastal Cruise
Transfer to the Kirkenes airport after breakfast. If you are interested in continuing down the coast of Norway on the Kystruten route, all the way to Bergen, we can arrange this for you.
Price per person, twin share. Please note that this tour differs from our other Northern Lights tours as activities are only with your own party, not small group tours which are more typical at all Lapland resorts. Early indicative price for 2022/2023.
15 Apr 2022
31 Mar 2023
15 Apr 2023
Please note that this tour can also be run in reserve, starting in Kirkenes.
Your glass igloo hosts in Ivalo were the first accommodation in Northern Lapland to receive the Green Key award, the leading standard for excellence in the field of environmental responsibility and sustainable operation within the tourism industry. This prestigious eco-label represents a commitment by businesses that their premises adhere to the strict criteria set by the Foundation for Environmental Education. Some examples of how they carry this out include offering recycling facilities in all cabins and no longer offering plastic bottles in accommodations, along with protecting the diversity of the surrounding nature, i.e., bird house and insect hotels. Hiking, biking, and skiing tracks are direct from the hotel and as such they encourage low carbon activities such as snowshoeing and toboggans.
Interactive Tour Map
Travel insurance is compulsory for all tours with 50 Degrees North. Please ensure that you have this organised as we will need to see proof of this upon issuing your tour documentation. Please contact us for a quote or visit http://www.suresave.net.au/
General information about staying at the Kirkenes Snowhotel
First the Kirkenes Snowhotel engineers produce a lot of snow with water, cold air and snow-machines. Then they inflate a large balloon and cover this with snow. When this balloon is totally compacted with 2 metres of snow, they then deflate the balloon and remove it, leaving a circular room. For the corridors, they construct wooden frames and also cover them in snow before removing them.
Kirkenes Showhotel opens each year around 20 December and closes on the 20 April.
The temperature inside is a constant minus 4 degrees Celsius.
There are 20 bedrooms with normal mattresses. On top of the mattress is an extra thermal insulation layer. You are also provided a sleeping bag made for extreme expeditions, rated for minus 30 degrees celsius. Most guests however, find that it can get too hot inside the sleeping bag.
In the marketing pictures, it looks like the beds are made of ice! However, they have cleverly placed ice-blocks around the beds to create the illusion of an ice-bed! Sleeping directly on ice would be a bit drastic and not very comfortable.
Every room is decorated differently which is why there is also different lighting used to create a different atmosphere. The lights are LED which gives off very little heat. For security reasons the lights are not switched off. We advise using eye covers to sleep if a small amount of light bothers you.
There have nice bathrooms, showers and a sauna in the building next to the Snowhotel. So you have to leave your sleeping bag for a few minutes. Brrr....
It is usually couples. Average age is around 45, however their oldest guest has been 92 years old! Each year, the Kirkenes Snowhotel sees marriage proposals being made and of course, in such a beautiful place, weddings for many happy couples take place.
Yes. The Snowhotel is constructed to the calculations and standards made by a Finnish professor of snow building. The Snowhotel is still standing a month after they close for the season, even with the warmer weather!
People with claustrophobia have had trouble sleeping in the Snowhotel. There is also a minimum age of 7 years to stay in the snowhotel. There is a warm lobby available in case people may feel uncomfortable during their night’s stay.