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If you are planning a northern lights tour in Finland, you are in the first article you should read. Welcome! Are you ready to throw the dust of the Arctic Region? If the adventures that make you say “I did this before I die” give you more excitement than city tours, we can say that this route is one of the most special routes in this world with the experiences it promises.

Even the idea of setting foot in the Arctic region alone is enough to get people excited. Desolate white landscapes, forests bent by the weight of snow, majestic moose grazing on the side of the road, reindeer… The feeling that you have come to the place where the world ends. In this article you will find all the information you need to make your own northern lights tour in Finland. Budget, hotels, prepared route, activities, it’s all there.

Where Is Lapland?

It’s a question that confuses many people. The common name of the geography in the polar regions of Sweden, Norway and Finland (and a little of Russia) is Lapland. They are also referred to separately as Swedish Lapland and Finnish Lapland. The local people of Lapland are Sami. They have lived here since the ice age and are known as the only indigenous people of Europe. The heritage of the entire region is built on the Semitic culture. Therefore, the experience, geography and activities of the three countries in Lapland are very similar. The most attractive aspect that distinguishes Finnish Lapland from others is that it is more economical in the 20-30% band.

The Route We Prepared For You

We have created a route that covers all the special experiences in Lapland. You can either do the same route exactly, or you can combine the pieces yourself like Lego. We traveled 3000 kilometers in 10 days because we said we should go both to Rovaniemi in Finland, to the north, and to Abisko in Sweden, in order to fit everything. Kilometers are many, but don’t get too big in your eyes. You are passing amazing scenery. So you especially enjoy being on the road. However, renting a car is a must. The roads are clear even in winter.


The first reason we chose Lulea is because the cheapest car rental is here. You can see the famous Tree Hotel here. It is also close to the Arctic Explorer Lulea, one of the icebreakers. The Polar Explorer is also halfway between Kemi and Lulea. Affordable accommodation is cheap to expensive: Clarison Hotel Sense, Aurora River Cabin and Tree Hotel


Ice breaker Sampo moves from the Kemi. The Polar Explorer is halfway between Lulea and Kemi. Other than that, there is nothing special about Kemi. You can also visit Snow Castle here. Mustaparta Hotels, Seaside Glass Villa are more suitable as accommodation preference.


Rovaniemi is the capital of Finnish Lapland. Husky tour, ice-fishing etc. Here you can find classic Lapland activities that are ubiquitous. There is nothing more than a sauna in Finland. You’ll be officially smitten with Nordic Adventures in particular. Since this is the most touristic place, it is the best place to eat and drink. If you need shopping go here. These are the accommodation options: Lapinleimu, Artic City Hotel, Santa’s Igloos Artic Circle.

Nellim & Inari

It is one of the best areas we can recommend in terms of seeing the northern lights for keeping an aurora bubble or glass igloo. Here are the Best Glass Iglular and Aurora Cabins you can find. In our opinion, this region in Finland is the best place to see the northern lights. You can also consider staying longer here instead of going to Abisko in Sweden. During the day, you can do the classic Lapland activities. For example, you can ride a snowmobile. It is possible to arrange this from the hotel you are staying at. Accommodation: Hotel Inari, Traditional Hotel Kultahovi, Wilderness Hotel & Igloos Nellim.

Levi & Kittila

This is Ice karting, husky tour, ice-fishing etc. It is the cheapest place to find classic Lapland activities everywhere. The world’s largest ice hotel, called Snow Village, is located here. They also do an ice sculpture workshop which is interesting. Make sure to make all your reservations in advance for activities. At the same time, if you want to end the tour, there is also an airport. You can also stay overnight, hang out at the bars or dine at the ice restaurant. We recommend you affordable and comfortable accommodation places such as Guesthouse Golden Goose and Hotel Levi Panorama.


Abisko is one of the places where you are most likely to see the northern lights. But if you’re lucky, you may have seen the northern lights in northern Finland. But rest assured, Abiskoda is the most amazing. The best thing to do in Abisko during the day is skiing & hiking in the national park. And remember, you’re in Sweden now, so prices are going up quite a bit. The best accommodation is cheap to expensive: Hotell Fjallett, STF Abisko Mountain Station.

How to Plan a Northern Lights Tour

Of course, there is no such thing as the “right route”, this is something that everyone should determine according to their priorities. The route we recommend to you takes between 7 and 10 days, goes both south and north of Lapland, and covers everything special about Lapland that needs to be experienced. It also offers a true arctic experience by going to the most pristine places. For convenience, we’ll call it the Grand Tour: North + South Lapland. On the other hand, we also know that not everyone has that much time. Therefore, we added the Small Tour: Southern Lapland Tour. Small Tour is the most touristic Lapland tour: it does activities around Rovaniemi and Kemi and returns.

Head North to Improve Your Chances of Seeing the Northern Lights

Contrary to popular belief, the northern lights cannot be seen every day. Being as far north of the Aurora ring as possible is a factor that increases the likelihood of seeing the northern lights. Rovaniemi is inside the Aurora ring but further south. Kemi is further south. You should aim to use your time as far north as possible to increase your chances. If you head north from Saariselka, your chances for Finland are at its best. We also thought of adding Abisko in Sweden to our itinerary for our research, because Abisko is one of the most likely places in the world to see the Northern Lights.

Small Tour to the South

You can do a lot of things from deer to icebreaker by not going north but just spending 4-5 days around Rovaniemi and Kemi. Of course, your chances of seeing the lights in Rovaniemi are less than in the north. We mustn’t forget him either. Rovaniemi is the capital and most touristic place of Finnish Lapland. Here you can find touristic versions of activities that were originally in the north. For example, they put 20-30 deer in a garden and sell toll tours, while in the north the Semites herd herds with hundreds of deer in the forest. Or they set up a show farm called Sami village tour, most of the workers are not even Sami. There are even Americans. Although it does not satisfy people as much as the original, it gives you the opportunity to experience everything in a compact way, and you will wake up happy again. While we were researching, we couldn’t find any very authentic activity other than Nordic Adventures’ sauna.


It is said that the most likely time to see the northern lights is between September and March, especially near the equinox.

Summer: Northern lights can be seen all the time except summer. (Of course there are exceptional days, but very rare).

Autumn: September is good for the lights but not enough snow for winter activities. Because before November, the weather is not cold enough. It even shifted to December due to global warming.

Winter: As you know, the days in the polar regions are very long in summer and very short in winter. If you’re north of the arctic circle, around December 21 is 24 hours a night. Even if the nights start to get shorter after December 21, the days are not long enough for those fun activities we talked about in January. Although the days are still short in February, they are relatively longer (you can think of it as getting dark around 15 or 16 depending on the week of the month and where you are).

Spring: In March, the weather is getting milder, the precipitation is getting lighter, the days are long, and it’s one of the two prime-times for the northern lights. The snow begins to melt in April.

Best Time in our opinion: end of February & beginning of March

In winter

In the summer

Economic accommodation
  • This is one of the two places we recommend you cut down the most. Aurora cabin and ice hotel special experiences. You should consider them as activities, not as accommodation.
  • Accommodation in the city is generally expensive. But you do not have to stay in the center because you have a car. You can also look at the accommodation options that are a little outside the city or in the direction of the place where you will go the next day.
  • Prefer houses and cabins over hotels. Very nice 2 rooms, a living room in the houses 4 people can stay for a total of 100 Euros. There are also places in the camps on the road where 4 people can stay in bunk beds for a total of 50 Euros. The best part is that they have a full kitchen.
Eating and drinking
  • The food is good here, but if you don’t want to spend 20-30 Euros for each meal in a regular restaurant, this is the place we recommend to go to the other section. Because it makes a big difference. If you have eaten venison, salmon and arctic fish of this region in a restaurant, you have already eaten the most special flavors of the region.
  • If you rent a house or cabin, you will also have a kitchen for dinner. You can sometimes make your own dinners in the cabins or houses where you hold your dinner. If there is no northern lights, there is nothing to do in the evening.
  • It is cheaper to buy meat at the grocery store in Finland. And foreign cheeses such as roquefort and gruyere are cheaper there than in other European countries.
  • Fruits and vegetables are expensive.
  • You can find markets in cities. But alcohol is sold in specialty shops, not in grocery stores. It is on sale until a certain hour. Sunday is closed. These shops are not available anywhere. Do your shopping accordingly.
  • The food of the Ice Restaurant inside the Snow Village is legendary. If staying at an ice hotel is beyond your budget, you can have both ice experience and local food together here. Two birds with one stone.

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