Finland’s Secret Island
Stay on your own Arctic Circle island and search for the Northern Lights by snowmobile and reindeer
Finland’s Secret Island
About your trip
A private aurora island on the Arctic circle will be your nightly base as you discover the magic of Finnish Lapland.
By day, you’ll travel deep into silent, snow-laden forests on cross-country skis – pushing yourself to your limits as you’re lured on by nature’s ethereal beauty. You’ll plunge into freezing water holes for a taste of heart-stopping cold-water therapy and fly across frozen landscapes by husky sleigh, safe in the knowledge that a warm campfire and hearty meal will be waiting in the wings.
And by night? Always Northern Lights hunting, of course. Whether it’s a thrilling aurora safari by snowmobile, a twilight reindeer ride into uncharted territory or time spent looking to the sky on your far-flung arctic island; the odds of seeing nature’s most wonderous spectacle are firmly in your favour.
- Exclusively for people in their 30s & 40s
- All activities mentioned on the itinerary
- All meals
- Stay on a boutique private island
- Private apartment with beds split across two floors
- We offset 0.06 tCO2e (carbon) per person on this trip
- Tips for the activity guide
- Private minibus, snowmobile, reindeer, skis
- Arrival Airport transfer
- Cold weather kit including coat and boots
- Maximum 18 Flashpackers
Flashpackers are required to produce proof of COVID-19 vaccination at least 30 days before departure. Remember, flights aren't included and prices are based on sharing a twin room. If you'd like to upgrade to a single room, you can add this during the booking process or by contacting our Customer Experience team
Day 01 An Arctic Welcome
Welcome to Rovaniemi, the home of Santa Claus and your gateway to Arctic Circle adventures. The wilderness just beyond Rovaniemi’s colourful lights is calling, and a transfer awaits to whisk you away to your private island immediately. You’ll be welcomed by traditional saunas and a private chef serving outstanding local dishes. And it’s all yours. Completely private. How’s that for exclusivity? Tonight, you’ll settle in for a welcome dinner for a chance to get to know everyone over some celebratory drinks and traditional Finnish supper. You’ll feast on fresh local produce, from Arctic char and Lappish lamb to forest-picked mushrooms, berries and veggies. Afterwards, if the night is clear, it’ll be worth stepping outside. Amidst the stillness on your private island, you’ll find yourself in one of the world’s best spots to see the Northern Lights. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for you.
Day 02 A PRIVATE ISLAND & AURORA HUNTING
This morning, you’ll get kitted out with your essential cold weather gear, keeping you warm and snug in minus degree temperatures. Then, it’s time to embark on a husky adventure. You’ll learn all you need to know about driving the husky sleighs yourself before you’re let loose onto the vast icy tundra. With the wind and snow whipping around you and temperatures reaching as low as minus 30, you’ll feel like a real Samii herder. Tonight, cross over to the mainland for your twilight Northern Lights safari by snowmobile, where you’ll delve kilometres into the Arctic wilderness, always with one eye to the sky.
Day 03 Ski trek & reindeer adventures
Today you’ll strap on some cross country skis and push yourself on and on into scenes more and more beautiful, gliding to some untouched hard-to-reach spots. After some recovery time back on your island, you’ll learn how to drill and cut a hole into the ice around you. Why? You’ll all be getting in it, of course. Prepare for the ultimate invigorating wellness experience as you immerse yourself in water so cold it will take your breath away. This evening you’re off on another Northern Lights safari, and this time it’s by reindeer. Travelling deep into the forest and 20km from the nearest city, you’ll firmly be entering wolf and brown bear territory – but don’t worry, they’ll keep their distance.
Day 04 A final sauna
Your adventure may have been short, but you’ll be leaving today knowing you packed every last moment with thrilling Arctic experiences. You’ll have time this morning to enjoy a slow breakfast and one last sauna as a group before you’re transferred to the airport for your flight home. You never know, the magic might continue as you fly off – the Northern Lights from the vantage point of a plane window is something worth looking out for.
Our Favourite Hotels
Browse a selection of our favourite hotels, for a flavour of where you may stay on this trip.
Hotel Vartiosaari is a little-known island wonderland that can only be accessed by a bridge connecting it to the mainland. As well as the beauty of it’s untouched location, the island’s accommodation has been designed by a revered Finnish architect, who has added a welcome touch of chic to the Finnish wilderness.
- Which airport do I need to fly in and out of? Plus airport code
Rovaniemi Airport (RVN)
- Do I need a visa?
Most likely, you will not need a visa if you are a UK or USA national, however, some nationalities will require one. To check whether you will need a visa or not, it is best to visit this website.
If you do need a visa, visa applications are handled by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.
- By what time should my flight arrive? (so arrive in time for the welcome meeting)
Before 6pm ideally. The welcome meeting and dinner will be from 7:30pm onwards at the hotel, which is located approximately 20 minutes from Rovaniemi airport.
- What time should my flight depart on the last day?
Check-out time is before 12 pm but you can leave any time that suits you.
- Will I see the Northern Lights?
The Northern Lights are best viewed on clear nights between late August and early April.
Please be aware that the Northern Lights are weather-dependent and not guaranteed to appear on every trip.
- How much should I budget per day for extras?
This trip is nearly fully inclusive so you won’t need much. Activity guide tips are included in the cost – but you’ll need to allow for any drinks at the hotel. As a guide, a beer costs 6.5 Euros and a bottle of wine is from 42 Euros upwards.
- What fitness levels do I need for this trip?
This adventure is fast-paced and it will challenge you during the ski trek especially. However, no specific level of fitness is required, we just want to ensure you are happy partaking in the activities like snowmobiling across the Arctic. The trek itself will vary between 2-5k depending on the weather and the fitness of the group. We recommend having a read-through of the itinerary above, and getting in touch if you have specific questions on fitness.
- What equipment do I need?
We will kit you out with cold weather kit including a thermal overcoat, boots and gloves.
You should bring thick socks, a long-sleeved thermal top, and underwear; jeans, shirt and fleece or jersey; an insulated, wind-resistant jacket; a beanie and scarf or buff; and, a pair of good mittens.
- Can my special dietary requirements be catered for?
Food allergies and special diets can of course be catered for on this trip, for example, if you are a vegan you will receive a vegan version of the same menu. However extreme allergies like an extreme nut allergy cannot be catered for on this adventure, as all food is prepared in the same kitchen. Please bear this in mind when booking, and reach out to us if you think you will be affected.
- Will this itinerary change?
Please be aware that the itinerary, activities, and hotels are subject to change. These changes are rare but can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control – but we’ll always do our best to ensure it has little impact on your experience. From time to time, we may also make changes to your itinerary to test new ideas and keep things fresh and exciting. We’ll always try to let you know in advance.
- Can I drive a snowmobile?
You need to have a driver’s license from your home country in order to drive a snowmobile. Otherwise, you can still take part but you’ll need to ride pillion.
Before going on the snowmobiling safari, you will be asked to sign a liability form to confirm you consider yourself to be able to take part in the activity. Snowmobiles are expensive machines and the form also explains that in the unlikely event you damage a snowmobile, you will be required to pay for repairs up to a value of 900€ (euros). An insurance policy at a cost of 15€ is available to purchase locally which will decrease your liability for any damage to 150€. Your activity guide will talk you through everything before the safari to ensure you are comfortable, but if you would like to see a copy of the liability form prior to travel, please do feel free to get in touch with us.
- What should I pack?
To keep you warm in the frosty Finnish Winter, you’ll be provided with a thermal overcoat, boots and gloves. However, please prepare for extreme weather and bring your own warm and waterproof clothes for day-to-day wear. Temperatures can reach -20 in this region.
What you pack is personal to you and our list is certainly not exhaustive. If you have any questions about what to pack for your trip to Finland, please get in touch with one of our friendly Trip Experts.
- A large backpack or suitcase – it’s up to you whether you bring a backpack or a suitcase.
- A day bag – this needs to be around 20-25L to fit your daily essentials in, such as water and your camera.
- Activewear. Breathable and light materials are best as a base layer for most activities. Hiking tops are best as they have wicking properties that remove sweat.
- Outdoor trousers that are warm and waterproof.
- You will need a warm and waterproof jacket for general wear in Finland.
- Fleeces/jumpers/a jacket. Substantial, warm layers will be required.
- Thermal vests/base layers. If the weather gets cold, you may want to wear a thermal vest during the day and at night.
- Swimwear. You will have the chance to cold-water-swim and use the sauna
- What you wear in the evenings is up to you, but you may want some nicer clothes for the evenings.
- Waterproof shoes and socks. You’ll be provided with snow boots during outdoor activities, but warm and waterproof shoes will be useful for everyday wear in Finland.
- Driving license for snowmobile driving.
- Electricals and chargers, such as your phone, camera, chargers etc.
- Plug socket adaptors. The standard plug socket in Finland is type C which has 2 round prongs. This is the same as most of Europe.
- Refillable water bottle. Refilling a bottle instead of buying single-use bottles will help to reduce our plastic footprint.
- Eye mask and earplugs. If you’re a light sleeper, you may feel more comfortable bringing an eye mask and earplugs.
- Any personal medication you require.
- Personal toiletries, including a toothbrush, deodorant, razors, hairbrush etc.
- Shampoo and conditioner.
- Anti-bacterial gel
- Insect repellent
- Lip balm with SPF
- High SPF factor sun cream
What Flashpackers say
"I had the absolute trip of a lifetime through Flash Pack visiting Finland! While it was one of the shorter experiences, I came away with memories of adventure and a new travel family in the fellow Flashpackers I met on the trip! "
"This trip was phenomenal! It was filled with a lot of culture and adventure in one of the most magical places in Finland! "
"Snowy wonderland. Everything was well-planned and ran seamlessly. I’m a vegan and my meals were wonderful and I didn’t have to worry about what I would eat. Every aspect of the trip was perfect and the most fun I’ve ever had on a vacation!"
" Everything about this trip was amazing - from the staff at cabins, to the cabins themselves, to the activities, the Northern Lights, the scenery and most importantly, the people. The group bonded more or less straightaway. I can honestly say I haven’t laughed that much in a very, very long time. It was just perfect. "
As captured on Instagram
The latest from Flashpackers in Finland on #picsworthsharing
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