The transformative tranquility of the dancing Northern Lights awaits two lucky couples. If you’re fortunate, being in the best place in the world to see them will make it possible. When the weather conditions are right, this unique experience lights up more than the sky, it ignites your heart and spirit. This experience is packed with relaxing, restorative and refreshing moments—both in the city center of bustling Helsinki, and out into the edge of civilization in Lapland, where lack of artificial light makes the pure viewing experience a once-in-a-lifetime possibility! Escape the familiar to a wintry wilderness replete with activity, stillness, luxury and fun.
Upon arrival in Helsinki, transfer to the Hotel St. George and check-in for a one-night stay. Later that morning, set out on a guided food tour of Helsinki, a great way to learn about Finnish traditions through the lens of local food experts and enthusiasts. In the afternoon, take a sightseeing tour by car to discover the Presidential Palace, Parliament building, modern City Hall and Finlandia Hall.
On day two, you’ll fly to Lapland for two nights’ accommodations at the tranquil Northern Lights Ranch, with its serene setting, pure air and astounding beauty. The remote location free from artificial light offers one of the world’s best opportunities to experience the amazing Northern Lights, which are often visible during the winter months. Your evening includes a Shaman mystery tour—and the opportunity to take a soul-searching wilderness walk for greater spiritual clarity and connection.
The next day, it all goes to the dogs on a thrilling husky ride at Levi Husky Park in a sledge, following a six-kilometer route traversing the beautiful wintry forest and lake landscapes. After the ride, your guide will introduce you to the Park’s animals: the Siberian huskies, friendly little dogs and a tundra wolf named Boogie and his pack. That afternoon, enjoy learning about long established traditions and modern reindeer antler work during a Finnish Traditions Program. After a performance, you’ll have an opportunity to make your own souvenir from a reindeer antler and explore a Lappish log-built home.
Spend your evening in search of the illustrious Northern Lights. This three-hour adventure ups your chances of witnessing the extraordinary natural phenomenon. Absorb the silent winter setting and stay warm with a hot drink and sausages sizzled up on a campfire. Look for the lights, and if luck is on your side, enjoy a memorable display of the luminescent ribbons as they dance overhead.
The next morning the jaunt is to a jolly reindeer farm where the creatures invite you to their home for a detailed introduction to daily deer life and work. Then, you’ll head off for your next adventure at the Levi Resort and settle in to your private luxury villa, your home for the next four nights. Heralded as “One of the Top 25 Most Romantic Hotels in Europe” by France’s Elle magazine, this unique wilderness retreat is set against the stunning backdrop of a sweeping river and open fields. When the bitter frost bites, sit next to the fireplace or enjoy the warmth of your own personal sauna and spa. A special feature of each villa is the kota, the Lapp word for tent, which is built for you to enjoy inside your holiday home.
In the evening, experience the Lainio Snow Village, a magical world of ice and snow. Covering an area of about 20,000 square meters, it includes a snow hotel, with snow rooms and suites, the Ice Restaurant, Ice Bar, Ice Chapel, a slide and a vast network of striking corridors full of spectacular snow and ice art to explore. After your village tour, enjoy a traditional three-course dinner at the Ice Restaurant.
The next day you’ll discover snowshoeing is a great way to experience the Lapland wintry wildernesses. Enjoy the fresh and clean air, get some exercise and see why people in Arctic areas have been using snowshoes for centuries, before enjoying lunch and dinner in your villa. For later that evening, you’ll take a snowmobile safari in search of the Auroras. You will be at a premium Aurora Borealis sighting location at the best time to spot the magic lights. Driving through the dark landscapes is an awesome experience itself, but if the sky is clear and you are lucky, you can experience the beautiful show of the Northern Lights, a star-studded sky or a mystical full moon.
The next morning, it is all about a private snow rally where you will have the opportunity to demonstrate your driving prowess. After lessons from professional drivers, you’ll enter the rally sprint competition, consisting of two special stages. Ready, steady, go! Afterwards, the fastest drivers will be awarded with a festive ceremony.
Your final day in Finland starts with a guided cross-country skiing excursion right next to the villa. After lunch, visit the private traditional smoke sauna on the lakeshore in the middle of the wilderness. Smoke saunas are the original traditional saunas that are now quite rare and treasured in Finland. They provide a mystical “löyly” – a combination of heat, steam and arctic atmosphere, and are highly prized by sauna aficionados because of the deep relaxation it delivers. Be bold and follow up the sauna with a dip in the arctic waters of Lake Immeljärvi or by rolling around in the snow!
See the world in a different light…bid high now…competition is sure to be brisk!
Trip to Finland is confirmed for mutually agreeable dates in March 2020. The winning bidders will be able to select alternate dates based on availability at the time of scheduling. Package includes all airport transfers while in Finland and Deluxe accommodations in all locations as described. All tours in Lapland are on private basis with an English-speaking driver-guide and a Mercedes V class or similar. The Northern Lights are a naturally occurring phenomenon and viewing will depend on weather conditions. Dinner at The Northern Lights Ranch doesn’t include alcoholic beverages. Couples will have access to a private chef for up to eight (8) hours a day during their stay at the Levi Resort. Private chef will be available to prepare meals for the couples, but groceries expenses will be the responsibility of the winning bidders. The drivers of the snowmobiles and rally cars must have a valid driving license. Trip does not include any activity or meal not mentioned in the itinerary, personal expenses, passport and Visa fees, personal and travel insurance or gratuities.
Nordic Luxury, with thanks to Christin McKay, Luxury Travel Advisor with SmartFlyer
Airfare donated by Joan & Bob Clifford