Thursday, July 24, 2014

Finland and Estonia - Northern Lights Itinerary



The goal of our trip to Finland was to see the Northern Lights, and this explains why we spent 9 nights in the Arctic Circle / Finnish Lapland. 

People have always advised us that we should not go to the Finnish Lapland just to see the northern lights because there is never a guarantee that we would see it. There are so many winter activities to enjoy, and seeing the northern lights should be treated only as a bonus. 

We know... but who are we kidding right?! ;) Deep inside, we still badly hoped, but not expected, to see the Northern Lights! That was why we spent so many days there - to have more chances.

*By the way, you can click on the hotel name to go to the hotel website :)
*We went there during Winter in February

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Flight - Singapore to Helsinki - Finnair

Day 1 - Helsinki and Porvoo, Finland

Round Trip Land Transfer - Helsinki Airport to City Center - Public Bus

Round Trip Land Transfer - City Center to Porvoo - Public Bus


Porvoo - Half Day


Porvoo Unesco Finland


Flight - Helsinki to Ivalo - Norwegian Air

Land Transfer - Ivalo Airport to Menesjarvi - Arrange with the Hotel

Hotel - Hotel Korpikartano - 2 Nights

Hotel Korpikartano Finland

Day 3 - Menesjarvi, Finland


Winter Activities Finland Itinerary


Land Transfer - Menesjarvi to Inari - Arrange with the Hotel

Hotel - Hotel Inari - 2 Nights

Finland Northern Lights Itinerary


Hotel - Hotel Inari

Northern Light Inari Finland


Land Transfer - Inari to Kakslauttanen - Arrange with the Hotel

Hotel - Glass Igloo Kakslauttanen - 1 Night

Aurora Borealis Igloo Kakslauttanen Finland


Land Transfer - Kakslauttanen to Kiilopaa - Arrange with the Hotel

Hotel - Fell Centre Kiilopaa - 4 Nights

Kiilopaa Finland Northern Lights

Day 8 - Kiilopaa, Finland


Winter Swimming Finland Arctic Circle

Day 9 - Kiilopaa and Saariselka, Finland

Round Trip Land Transfer - Kiilopaa to Saariselka - Public Ski Bus


Saariselka - Half Day

Skiing Kilopaa Fell Finland

Day 10 - Kiilopaa, Finland
Day 11 - Helsinki, Finland

Land Transfer - Kiilopaa to Ivalo Airport - Public Bus

Flight - Ivalo to Helsinki - Norwegian Air

Land Transfer - Helsinki Airport to Hotel - Airport Taxi

Hotel - Best Western Hotel Katajanokka - 2 Nights

Katajanokka Helsinki Finland


Land Transfer - Hotel to Ferry Terminal - Advanced Booking Taxi

Round Trip Ferry Transfer - Helsinki to Tallinn - Tallink Silja Ferry

Land Transfer - Ferry Terminal to Hotel - Normal Taxi


Old Town Tallinn Estonia

Day 13 - Helsinki, Finland

Land Transfer - Hotel to Helsinki Airport - Advanced Booking Taxi

Flight - Helsinki to Singapore - Finnair

Helsinki Shopping Finland


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References:

Our Budget for 13 Days Per Person with shared rooms
Plane Fare from Singapore - EUR 750
Transportation - EUR 350
(Domestic Flights, Ferry, Hotel Transfers, Bus, Taxi)
Accommodations - EUR 800
Food - EUR 400
Activities - EUR 500
(Husky Dog Sled, Reindeer Sled, Snowmobile Sled, Horse Sled, Ski Rentals, and Smoke Sauna)
Total for Per Person = EUR 2,800 / USD 3,700

Accommodations - Please click on the Hotel Names to visit the website
International Flights - www.finnair.com
Domestic Flights - www.norwegian.com
Saariselka Ski Bus - www.saariselka.com/individual/travelling/skibus
Airport Bus - www.saariselka.com/individual/travelling/airport-bus-timetable

10 comments:

  1. This information is helpful, Jamie! I'm in the midst of planning a trip to Finland, in search of the Aurora for December next year while on my European tour :) I think you're right about spending longer nights in the Laplands, in hopes of searching that spectacle.

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    1. I'm happy you find this helpful Fadhilah! :) I really, really hope you can witness the Aurora! Enjoy your trip planning, and let me know if there's anything I can help you with :) Cheers!

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  2. Hi Jamie

    I am planning to visit Finland for Nov this year. Your sharing is really helpful. Do you know the chances of catching Northern Light in Nov. As I only have a shorter duration of 11d10n, do you think is it still worthwhile to make a trip if I skip Fell Centre Kiilopaa? Do you have a more detailed itinerary to share?

    Thanks a lot
    Shannen

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    1. Hi Shannen,

      I'm glad my sharing is helpful. Thank you. Yes, there will be Northern Lights in November, however, there is never a guarantee that you would see it, wherever you are. It is dependent on the weather (there must be clear skies) and on the solar activity. We spent 9 days in the Finland just because we wanted more chances of seeing it. We saw it on our 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 9th night. That's 4 nights out of 9. The only things we did in Fell Centre Kiilopaa were winter swimming and cross country skiing, so in terms of activities, you may skip it, and just stay in other hotels.

      In terms of a detailed itinerary, we only did 1 activity per day in the Lapland as the days were short, and we just wanted to relax. These were: Husky Dog Sled, Reindeer Sled, Horse Sled, Snowmobile, Winter Swimming, Cross Country Skiing, Snowshoeing. We didn't do the Ice Fishing, and some other activities. When you book your hotels, ask them for the list of activities / tours they offer. Compare the prices from different hotels as they can vary a lot.

      My most favorite activity is the Husky Dog Sled. You can miss the others, but I believe you should not miss this. http://jamieluy.blogspot.sg/2014/10/husky-dog-sledding-in-finland.html

      Also, if you can, stay for at least a night at the Glass Igloo. It's one of the best experiences for me. (Mostly because we saw the Northern Lights from there on our 5th night.)
      http://jamieluy.blogspot.sg/2014/12/amazing-northern-lights-at-glass-igloo.html

      I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions :) I really hope you'll see the Northern Lights!! :)

      Have fun Shannen!

      Cheers,
      Jamie

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  3. Hi Jamie, I chanced upon your blog and thanks for your sharing. I am going to chase the Aurora in Mar next year, keeping my fingers crossed with hopes! As you went there in Feb, just would like to know how many layers did you wear? Mind to share what's the layering? I'm bring my mum so I am pretty much concerned with the weather, heard that it is usually around negative 20 deg c?

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    1. Hi Sam, I hope the blog was helpful. In Feb, the weather was not consistent. There were days when it was just about -10 deg c, but then on some days it dropped to -27 deg c, not including the wind which made it feel even colder. Coming from Asia, I'm not an expert in winter outfits, but these worked for me:

      For the top: 1. Thermals 2. Wool / Cashmere / Fleece Long Sleeves 3. Fleece Jacket / Thin down jacket 4. Thick down jacket 5. Windbreaker / Waterproof Jacket.

      For the bottom: 1. Thermals 2. Thermals again 3. Leggings 4. Snow / Ski / Waterproof Pants

      Important Accessories: 1. Earmuffs 2. Gloves or Mittens (Mittens work better) 3. Scarf 4. Neck Warmer (I used this to cover my face) 5. Beanie

      Feet: 1. Wool Socks 2. Plastic bag over socks 3. Socks again 4. Snow boots

      With all these, you will survive -30 deg c. Just remove some of the layers if it's not too cold.

      We also brought little heat packs from Daiso (I'm not sure which country you're from, but this a Japanese store). They are very useful.

      I hope this helps, and let me know if you need anything else :) I really hope you'll see the Aurora! Have fun with your mum! :)

      Cheers,
      Jamie

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  4. Gustavo Woltmann thinks that this is great blog! - Gustavo Woltmann

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  5. Hi Jamie, its me again...
    We intend to spend a total of 9 days, including travelling time, in Lapland (Ivalo and Rovaniemi) in late Nov/early Dec. the activities we wanted to do are Husky sled, Reindeer sled, snowmobile, Horse riding/sled, Beginners Skiing, visit Santa village, maybe the wildlife zoo and of course to catch the Northern Lights. our plan is to spend about 5-6 days in Ivalo and 3-4 days in Rovaniemi (for Santa Village and wildlife zoo). Do you know where is the ski resort near to? Is it nearer to Ivalo or Rovaniemi? Thanks in advance.

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  6. Hi Jamie, nice aurora photos you have! I visited Finnish Lapland in Dec 2014 and I only managed to see very faint aurora. I was very disappointed and planned another trip to Iceland immediately after I came back from Finland. Here is my Finland trip itinerary - http://whenshetravelstheworld.blogspot.sg/2014/02/catch-aurora-finnish-lapland-itinerary.html and Iceland itinerary - http://whenshetravelstheworld.blogspot.sg/2015/01/catch-aurora-again-15d13n-iceland.html

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