Seeing the Northern Lights is top of my bucket list, so when we discovered that you can take part in a Northern Lights Safari when we were staying at Santa’s Lapland we couldn’t pass up on the opportunity.
We booked it for after our Search for Santa Day which mean’t we had to leave that slightly earlier (3.30pm), but we had made sure we packed everything in that we wanted to do.
It is dark in Lapland by 3.30pm, so the tour departs by coach from the Holiday Club at 4.30pm. We did chuckle that the coach drove us two minutes up the road, where we disembarked to get our kit for the evening which included balaclava’s and helmets – it would have been quicker to walk!!
Once we were kitted out, we walked around the corner to find our mode of transport for the evening – snowmobiles.
The excursion involves driving snowmobiles out in to the wilderness to find a good viewing place. You can pay a single rider premium to have your own snowmobile, or you can ride pillion and have one person driving on the way there and the other driving on the way back, which is what we decided to do.
Whilst our guide was showing us you how to drive the snowmobile, the kids were entertained by other members of staff before getting onboard a sleigh and snuggling under warm blankets. The sleigh is pulled along by a guide’s snowmobile for safety.
We then set off in convoy in search of the Northern Lights. After driving for about half an hour you then make a stop in the forest, away from the bright lights of Saariselkä, and sit around a warming fire where everybody enjoys a hot drink and some traditional gingerbread biscuits whilst the guides tell you the local legends surrounding the Northern Lights.
The old local legend that says that the lights were caused by an Arctic fox as it ran along the fells, catching its busy tail in snowdrifts and sending a trail of sparks in to the sky. In Finnish the Northern Lights are called “revontulet” or “fox fires” as its name derives from this legend.
Frustratingly for us, it was too cloudy to see the Northern Lights, although it had finally stopped snowing, but we all enjoyed a chance to drive the Snowmobiles and get away from the bright lights of the town.
The clouds did part on the way back and we did get to see the super moon that was shining brightly in the sky. It looks like my wish to see the Northern Lights will just have to remain at the top of my bucketlist for a bit longer!!
The Northern Lights Adventure costs €129 per adult and €95 per child and the adventure lasts around 90 minutes. Driving a snowmobile is an experience in itself and we really appreciated the heated handlebars as we bounced around on the snow!!