Finnish Lapland - Snowmobile Voyager

Finnish Lapland - Snowmobile Voyager

I had the amazing opportunity to take a trip with Transun on their 4 night Snowmobile Voyager in February 2024.

I flew from Bristol on a chartered aircraft which only had passengers from this operator on and it worked very well, on time and nice staff. It was just over 3 hours flying time and no food was served so it is recommended to take some food of your own. We took off on time and landed into Ennotekiö in Finland which is a very small airport and due to this, we had no delays in getting through passport control as we were the only flight landing that afternoon. After a short wait our luggage arrived on the luggage train from the aircraft and we just had to locate our cases and take them directly off the carts (no carousels in sight)

We had a warm welcome from the Transun reps and advised which bus to get on ready to take us to our hotel. The resort we were going to was one of the furthest away so had a 3 hour transfer incorporating a stop after an hour to collect our thermal suits and boots which were included in the package. This took around 45 minutes and we were back on the road again finally arriving into the resort of Kilpisjärvi and the Hotel Tundrea around 1930. We then had an hour to relax in our apartment and unpack.

The apartment we were allocated was a group of 4 duplex style wooden connected apartments which can sleep up to 4 people. Very authentic and had a little kitchenette with dishwasher, microwave, plates, bowls, glasses, cups and everything you needed if you wanted to cook and eat there. There was warming cupboard to dry off your thermal suits and boots plus a sauna in the bathroom.

We then headed to a little hut with a fire burning inside for our welcome meeting where Olivia, our rep went through the details of the hotel, the excursions that we would be going on and advised us of what time to meet for our first excursion the following morning.

Dinner was next which was welcomed by all as we’d all had a long day travelling and in need of some hearty food. There was a good choice of food including soup, salad, chicken in a creamy sauce with rice and a coconut curry vegetarian option. Desert was also included which was a huge slice of apple pie with cream, followed by tea or coffee.

After dinner we decided to suit up and head to the frozen lake as it was a clear night and a good chance of seeing the northern lights…..and boy we were in for a treat and they came out in all their glory which was incredible to see.

Day 2 started with a good breakfast which consisted of porridge, fruits, cereals, cold cuts of meats, cheese, smoked salmon then the hot food of scrambled egg, bacon, beans, pancakes, meatballs, potatoes so plenty of choice and set you up for the day.

Our first excursion was a short walk to the reindeer farm that morning and we were taken into a tent with a burning fire and learned about the Sami culture and a year in the of life of the reindeer at the farm. Was very interesting and learned so much about how they make a living and look after their herd. Following this we were able to go and feed the reindeer and have a sleigh ride pulled by the reindeer around the farm which was great. We were able to stay as long as we wanted and they also provided hot berry juice and marshmallows that we could toast on the fire.

Back to the hotel, we enjoyed a nice lunch and the afternoon was ours to spend as we liked so we had a walk on the lake, did some sledging and popped to the shop up the road to get a few bits for the apartment. Dinner again was great - soup, salad, salmon, potatoes, vegetables and a sauce followed by carrot cake.

That evening we had our second excursion which was a snowmobile ride to an isolated lake in search of the northern lights. We were taken a short distance by bus to collect our top coats, gloves and helmets and given a safety briefing and tutorial on how to drive the snowmobile. We set off across the frozen lake and headed to a spot perfect for spotting the lights but it was far too cloudy for us to see anything so, after an hour in a little hut with a roaring fire, more hot berry juice and a donut, learning more about the area and local culture, we headed back down to drop off the snowmobiles and our gear. The excursion was around 2 hours long and very enjoyable.

Day 3 dawned with blue skies and lovely sunshine albeit a little cold at -6 (this was a lot warmer than the week previous though which was an average of -15 so we were pretty lucky) We had the whole day free today so decided to book the sauna and outside jacuzzi for an hour which also enabled us to try out the ice hole in the lake.

4 of us booked it together which cost €100 so only €25 each. We did hire a towel for an extra €6 which was not worth doing as they were the same towels as in our apartment so could have saved a little had we known. We decided that we would go straight for the ice hole as were all very nervous about how cold it was, so donned our swimming costumes and walked out through the snow to the hole. One at a time we climbed into the water trying to regulate our breathing as it was shockingly cold… was so invigorating!

We headed back to the sauna to warm up and after about 10 mins decided that we would do the ice hole again which, second time round was much easier and we were able to tolerate the ice cold water a lot more. The jacuzzi after this was very welcoming though and was nice to sit in this for a while and just look aver the frozen lake and the snowy landscape. We finished this experience on a total high and would definitely recommend giving it a go.

Lunch again was very good and the afternoon was spent walking over the lake in search of a bigger hill to do more sledging which we found but the snow was so deep we were shattered by the time we got up it so went down just the once…all good fun though.

After dinner we had our third excursion which was a night hike in search of the northern lights. By this time though, it had become very overcast so were not able to see anything. The walk was nice though and our guide talked about the area and culture again whilst we all sipped on the hot berry juice…it is really tasty.

Day 4 dawned with more snow and very overcast and after another free morning to explore, walk and enjoy the scenery, we had lunch and then went on our last excursion which was a 30km snowmobile ride to point where the 3 countries of Finland, Norway and Sweden meet in the middle of a lake. This 3 hour excursion took us along the frozen lake to the ‘island of the 3 borders’. We were lucky to have a relatively clear day so were able to take in the amazing scenery of the beautiful part of the world. More hot berry juice and a donut was had before we headed back to base for our final dinner which again was hearty and filling.

The final day arrived with us having to get our cases outside just before 11 and getting the transfer back to the airport at 1130. We were all given a packed lunch to take with as too which was good. We stopped off on route to drop off our thermal suits and boots (we were asked not to wear them so as to speed up the drop off) and got to the airport in plenty of time for our flight. Being such a small airport, there is not much there at all, just a small gift shop and a few snacks so was handy that the hotel had given us all a packed lunch to keep us going. The flight was on time and had a smooth journey back home. I can thoroughly recommend this trip to anyone wanting to experience Lapland and the northern lights (weather permitting) and it is well worth every penny. 

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Susan Dearing

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