Marie from our Sidmouth office was very lucky to be able to travel to Lapland in search of the mystical northern lights, also taking part in some winter wonderland activities, with Transun Holidays, here is her feedback.
We departed from Exeter airport and flew into Enontekio, which is a tiny airport situated in the North of Finland, above the Arctic circle.
Upon arrival we were met by very cold, snowy weather and warm, welcoming Transun representatives who showed us to our coaches that took us to our hotel, The Davii Arctic Lodge, stopping off on the way to be kitted out in thermal suits and snow boots, which were a godsend!
The lodge has clean and comfortable rooms with well-equipped bathrooms. As well as the standard lodge rooms, there are log cabins that have one or two bedrooms and private saunas, Fell houses which can sleep up to 8 people, so are ideal for families and the lovely Aurora Houses that are fitted with cosy wood burners and some have private saunas. All these accommodations are located within a short walk of the main lodge building. Situated in the main lodge building are the bar and restaurant which have a rustic feel to them, there is a lounge area here too, as well as a quiet lounge just off the reception area. The food in the restaurant is hot, wholesome and tasty with a good choice at each meal. There was always a vegetarian option too. And as the holiday is on a full board basis, breakfast, lunch and dinner are included.
As seeing the Northern Lights is such an important part of the trip, the Davvi Arctic Lodge has a Lights Alert list, where they send a text to alert everyone that has added their name and number to the list So they can be advised when the Northern Lights are out. So, if there is a mad dash out of the hotel, that’s why!
We went on a number of excursions that are all included in the holiday cost – Reindeer camp and sleigh Safari was the first one. The reindeer are lovely and very quiet whilst pulling the sleighs, we were sat on reindeer skin and had a blanket to keep us warm, afterwards we had a cup of hot Glokki, which is a traditional Finnish blackcurrant drink, and cooked sausages over a campfire in a tepee where we learnt how important reindeer are to the local people. That evening we headed to the hills on the Northern Lights forest trek, hoping for a glimpse of the Aurora, but there was a bit of cloud about, so no lights this evening but a cup of hot Glokki round a camp fire. The following morning, we headed off for the Call of the wild husky safari which was amazing. The Huskies were all barking and very keen to run and once they set off, they were silent, the only noise was the sound of the sledge rushing through the snow. I was a passenger for the first half of the trip and then we all swapped over, and it was my turn to drive the sledge. I was very nervous at first, then my confidence built up and mushing the huskies was one of my favourite parts of the trip. On the last evening we headed off on the Northern Lights snow mobile safari. It was very cold as we drove along the frozen river and into the reindeer reserve. It was very dark and then suddenly, there they were, the magical Northern Lights! We all felt very lucky to have seen them, especially as it was our last night.
Some of our group braved the cold and spent a night in an igloo, which is available for an extra cost. I decided against staying and headed back to my nice warm room and comfy bed.
We also walked to another country and time zone from the Davvi Arctic Lodge, Sweden is about a 20-minute walk away, although it takes a lot longer as there are so many photo opportunities along the way.
This trip has a full programme, and everything ran on time and was really well organised.
I can’t recommend the Transun Northern Lights trip enough and I look forward to returning to this winter wonderland soon.