Exploring the Northern Lights and the Arctic in Lapland, Finland

Lapland has always been on my bucket list, but I didn’t have an opportunity to go until recently. My friend, whose company organizes tours to Lapland, invited me to join him there to take a seminar on finding your life purpose.

lapland safaris
The igloos at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Lapland, Finland. Photo: Sophia Klotska

The magic started when we arrived at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort (Read reviews on TripAdvisor | Book here) The igloo we stayed in the first night felt just like the igloos you see in documentaries and movies.

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In front of our igloo. Photo: Sophia Klotsa

It was an interesting experience, but after the first night we asked to be moved into a wooden chalet as the igloo was a bit tight for our party of four.

Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort. Photo: Sophia Klotsa

The wooden chalets are beautiful and look like something out of a fairy tale. The difference is that they were much more comfortable and spacious.

Day 1: Reindeer Safari

We spent the first day in a workshop session, then set out that evening for a reindeer safari. The guides provided us with warm thermal clothes to wear on top of our own thermals. With these outfits on, we didn’t feel cold at all!

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Unfortunately we didn’t manage to see the Aurora Borealis during the 2-hour reindeer safari, but later that night as we were returning to our igloos, there they were: the beautiful Northern Lights! We got just a small taste of them the first night, but they appeared almost every night after that.

Day 2: Saariselka, Snowmobile Safari, Santa Claus Village

The second day started with a visit to the beautiful, traditional village of Saariselka. The village was so covered with snow that we couldn’t distinguish the roads from the pavements. The little stores and bistros were similar to Hansel and Gretel’s chocolate house and offered some interesting shopping.

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Snow-covered landscape. Photo: Sophia Klotsa

Soon after we returned from the village, we left again the resort to go on the snowmobile safari. This safari was great in the respect that it took us to a high plateau from where the view was simply magnificent. But the activities hadn’t finished for the day.

The next activity on the list was the visit to the Santa Claus Village, a rather cheesy experience for grown-ups but surely great for kids. Still, we all were in such a great mood just for being in this amazing place that we enjoyed Santa’s home as well as the little elf we met that was one of Santa’s best helpers.

At the end of the activities, a second coaching session followed on finding our life purpose. The truth is that as the place was that magical it was the perfect setting for some soul searching.

That night we experienced a traditional Lappish dinner with reindeer, and other local delicacies. After the dinner we stayed for some drinks and then suddenly a friend of mine shouted, “you should all come outside now!” When we did, we saw the northern lights again but much clearer than the night before!

Although the scenery was quite impressive, it was not the one I had seen in various National Geographic pictures or videos online. But as said, it was only our second night there.

Day 3: Husky Dog Sleigh Ride

The third day was by far the best day we had during our stay at Kakslauttanen as it started with a husky safari. To be honest it couldn’t have started better! The husky safari for me, as well as for many of the other people in the hotel, was the best activity of all.

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Preparing for the husky dog sleigh ride. Photo: Sophia Klotsa

As soon as we went to the area where all the huskies were with the slides, I was impressed. I had never seen so many huskies in my life all together making all this noise.

We chose a partner to do this activity together as one person was going to drive the slide while the other would sit and take pictures. Although I love taking pictures, I decide to drive the slide first as I wanted to have this experience, and it was a very good thing that I did!

The husky sleigh ride felt like skiing in small paths between huge trees. The nature, the air, the sun rising, everything was magical that morning. In the middle of the ride, I swapped seats with my friend and had the chance to just enjoy the ride by taking pictures. I loved every minute of it and I didn’t want it to end.

When we returned to the resort, we stayed to spend some time with the huskies and take pictures with them. On our way back we saw the beautiful reindeer getting ready to leave on a safari. After spending some time with the reindeer, we returned to the hotel to get some rest before the third and final session of our workshop.

People were much more excited after all these great experiences to search for their life purpose. The workshop ended with some beautiful discussions about the common regrets people have in life, as well as the most important things that contribute to our overall happiness.

Night 3: Northern Lights Snowmobile Safari

They saved the biggest surprise of all for our last night. After dinner we set off to chase the Northern Lights by snowmobile, and the magic started. At the beginning we didn’t see anything, just dark black skies everywhere we turned. But as we started to move further away from the resort, we started noticing some soft colors in the sky. And then the snowmobile stopped and we walked down for a better view, and the show started! The sky was filled with different colors: mainly green, but also red and blue were dancing in the sky and taking various shapes. It was totally magical!

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A glimpse of the Northern Lights. Photo: Sophia Klotsa

We tried to capture the sight with our cameras but unfortunately I only had my iPhone with me, so although I did capture some lights in my pictures, the real sight of the aurora borealis and the emotions it created couldn’t be captured. You really had to be there to see it for yourself.

Seeing the northern lights above the arctic circle is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that everyone should have. Yes, it is far to fly over the arctic circle but it is also totally worth it. This experience has made me yearn for even more great adventures in the years to come!

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About Sophia Klotsa

Sophia KlotsaSophia Klotsa has been a savvy world traveler since her early years. She has travelled to over 50 countries so far, and her goal is to reach a 100 countries by the time she is 50! She has traveled extensively as a child and then later in life for her studies and work, until she had her own family. Now she continues traveling -- that is at the same time a passion and a way of life for her -- with her family. She studied communications and psychology in the U.S. that she still practice with passion, and she started writing about luxury travel as a hobby some years ago. Her articles have been featured in many digital and print media through the years, including Conde Nast Traveler, Woman Symbol, Departure Blvd, Selides, Ladylike.gr and many others. She is working on launching her own travel blog in the next couple of months that will focus on luxury family travel. When she doesn't travel, she spends time with her family or organizes the next adventure they will have together. Follow her on Instagram.

Click here to read Sophia's articles

If you've always wanted to see the Northern Lights and explore Lapland, Finland, participating in a Lapland safari should be on your bucket list.

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