10 days
Duration
Destination
PDF of Tour

Important commentary on Covid-19

For all travellers joining an Odyssey small group tour we ask for respect for all member of the group and yourself and the communities we are visiting and that:

  1. If requested by Odyssey Traveller you will undertake to take a Covid-19 test and share the result with Odyssey no more than 72 hours before a tour commences.
  2. You respect the communities you are visiting and the Covid-19 directions issued including social distancing.
  3. You will advise your program leader/Odyssey of any underlying change in your health whilst on tour and up to 14 days after the tour.
  4. Odyssey and its suppliers will observe as a minimum the WTTC guidelines and those of the region you are visiting their Covid-19 requirements, the higher standard of the two instructions will be applied for a small group tour.
  5. We remain aware, vigilant and empathetic to the need to change arrangements in response to the challenges of managing Covid-19 before and during a small group tour for the benefit of all in the internal and external Odyssey Traveller community.

Travellers should also familiarise themselves with our Peace of mind travel policy for Covid-19 as well as the terms and conditions applicable at the time of booking.

Northern Lights Small Group Tour

Experience the Northern Lights with our Northern Lights small group tour in the outermost regions of Finland and Norway - from Saariselkä to Tromsø, high up beyond the Arctic circle. This vacation with Odyssey Traveller will give you the best chance of hunting down the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), both by sea and by land. Along the way you also have the opportunity to try a variety of winter activities. These include a reindeer safari, husky dog sledding and snowmobiling.

Northern Lights Tour Itinerary

We start our tour in the wonderful capital of Finland, Helsinki and spend time to visit all the must-see attractions of the city. Then we transfer to Saariselkä, where we enjoy a sleigh ride (sledge pulled by snowmobile) and catch the first glimpse of the Northern Lights. We then cross the border to Norway and visit Karasjok, the Sami capital (the Sami are the people indigenous to the area). Next day we are headed to North Cape, the northernmost point of Europe situated on Magerøya Island. We then travel back south to reach Tromsø, where we enjoy a Northern Lights safari taking us away from the city giving us the best chance to catch the Aurora borealis.

Of course everyone would like to document this once in a lifetime opportunity so Odyssey Traveller have you covered with an article on Photographing the Northern Lights. You can also read our FAQs which answers the most common questions about the Northern Lights.

You can learn more about Finland and Norway with our country profile where all other tour departures are listed as well. If you are interested in visiting Scandinavia, we offer tours to Denmark, Iceland, Greenland, about Scandinavian Design visiting several countries, or you could take the Trans-Siberian Railway from Helsinki to Irkutsk.

For more details on this tour, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right hand side of this page.

External articles to assist you on your visit to see the Northern Lights

FAQs

The Northern Lights (also known by their scientific name ‘Aurora borealis’) are caused by a natural phenomenon when charged particles from the sun become trapped in the Earth’s magnetic field and collide with gases such as oxygen and nitrogen.

The Lights are an all-year round phenomenon. However, long, dark, winter nights are increasing your chances to actually see them. Hence, most experts say you should plan your trip between August and April on the Northern hemisphere.

Since we can’t see the Lights with a naked eye unless it’s dark, your best chances are around midnight local time during a moonless night, preferably away from light pollution (cities).

Since it’s a natural phenomenon unfortunately it is not guaranteed you’ll actually see the lights. However, the right timing of the tour and giving yourself several days to catch a cloudless night are greatly improving the chances you could tick off the Northern Lights from your bucket list.

Theoretically you could see them anywhere although they are more frequent at higher latitudes closer to the Earth’s poles. The Lights are not exclusive to the Northern Hemisphere, southern lights are called ‘aurora australis’. These circumstances make Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Greenland, Alaska, Canada, Tasmania and New Zealand the most popular Lights watching destinations.

Articles


PDF of Tour PDF of Reading List

Overview: We make our way individually to the hotel. We meet for a welcome dinner and program orientation this evening.

Accommodation: Sokos Hotel Presidentti or similar

Overview: Today, we enjoy a panoramic, half-day tour of Helsinki. Meals: B

Accommodation: Sokos Hotel Presidentti or similar

Overview: Today, after breakfast, we transfer to the airport to fly to Ivalo airport. From there, we transfer to Saariselkä. In the evening, we enjoy a Northern Lights journey by sleigh ride (sledge pulled by snowmobile). We travel to the nearby fell district to see the beautiful fell scenery and, if lucky and the sky is clear, experience the extraordinary and bewitching Northern Lights.

Meals: B

Accommodation: Santa’s Hotel Tunturi Oy or similar

Overview: Today is at own leisure, and during the day you are able to choose from one of the many optional winter safaris on offer. Meals: B/D

Accommodation: Santa’s Hotel Tunturi Oy or similar

Overview: In the morning, after breakfast, we begin our journey to Karasjok. On the way, we stop at Inari and visit the Siida Sami Museum. The Sami are a people indigenous to the area, and the museum showcases their culture and history. We then continue north west, crossing the border into Norway, and shortly afterwards arrive in Karasjok, the Sami Capital. This town has strong ties to Sami culture, and is home to the Sami parliament, “Samediggi”. Meals: B/D

Accommodation: Scandic Karasjok or similar

Overview: After an early breakfast, we depart the hotel and head to North Cape. Travelling through the North Cape tunnel, we reach the Magerøya Island on which the North Cape is situated. Subject to weather conditions, we visit the North Cape cliff itself.  We visit the North Cape Hall, which is a visitor centre at Europe’s northernmost point, mostly inside a cliff, with cinema, bar & restaurant. Meals: B/D

Accommodation: Scandic Honningsvåg or similar

Overview: Today, we head south and travel back along the Porsanger fjord bound for Alta, “The Northern Lights city of Norway”. In the afternoon, we visit the Alta Museum to see the expositions about the local history of northern lights. The remainder of the day is free (optional Northern Lights excursion available). Meals: B

Accommodation: Scandic Alta or similar

Overview: Today, drive along the Arctic fjords bound for Tromsø, former starting point of many North Pole expeditions. We enjoy free time before embarking on an evening Northern Lights safari at the Aurora Camp. Enjoy the convenience or our Northern Lights visit only 25 minutes away from downtown Tromsø. You will be served hot drinks and you can grill sausages over an open  fire in side a Sami Tent (lavvo) while you wait for the lights. Outside you can lay down on reindeer skins or sit on chairs while you scout the dark sky for the lights. Your guide will answer any questions you may have and while there is is no guarantee of the Northern Lights, however visiting the 300 Alaskan huskies is well worth it.

In the evening you will head back to Tromsø and enjoy a traditional sami reindeer stew (Biidos). Meals: B/D

Accommodation: Thon Hotel Polar or similar

Overview: Today we enjoy a day at own leisure in Tromsø, where we have the opportunity to take an optional snowmobile safari, husky safari or many more exciting excursions. We come together in the evening for a farewell dinner. Meals: B/D

Accommodation: Thon Hotel Polar or similar

Overview: After breakfast at the hotel, we say our farewells and the program draws to a close. Meals: B

1
Experience the aurora borealis (Northern Lights)
2
Visit Tromso, the capital of the Arctic
3
Experience seven nights in the Arctic circle
4
Visit the Royal & Ancient Polar Bear Society Museum
5
Study the rock art in the UNESCO listed Alta Museum (if weather permits)

What’s included in our Tour

  • 9 nights accommodation.
  • 9 breakfasts, 6 dinners.
  • Flight (economy class) from Helsinki to Ivalo (near Saariselkä).
  • Transport and field trips as indicated.
  • Tour leader for the duration of the tour.
  • Services of local English speaking guides.
  • Service charges and gratuities.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • International Flights.
  • International comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Meals not specified in itinerary.
  • Items of a personal nature like laundry and phone calls.
Northern Lights small group tour
Snow in Lapland
Northern Lights, Aurora, Norway