7 Alternatives to the Northern Lights

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© Sarah Engler and Christa Rüegsegger


Of course, you go on your trip to Lapland in the hope of seeing the Northern Lights. But a natural phenomenon cannot be planned, can't it? Here are some ideas to have a good time anyway!


1. Reindeer Safari

In Inari, we booked a reindeer safari. In a group of four, we sat on a sledge pulled by our guide on a snowmobile. Driving through the white taiga forest was beautiful. On a clearing, we halted to feed the reindeers. The animals were semi-domestic, and our guides family owned most of them. There were no fences, and they walked around freely. On the way back we defrosted our fingers on an open fire and drank a sweet coffee out of a traditional Kuksa cup. 


2 Siida Museum

The Sàmi cultural centre Sajos is located in Inari. We wondered why it was closed during high season. Apparently, we mistook the centre with the museum Siida, which was not far away. 


3. Driving through endless forest

After a few days in Inari, we drove to Äkäslompolo on the east road. There're two streets, but we were told that the shorter track is narrow and with almost no traffic. It would be difficult to pass an oncoming truck, and in case of a breakdown, you d' have to wait hours for help. It was a scenic route, a lot of white open space and of course a lot of forests. Several times we saw reindeers.


© Sarah Engler and Christa Rüegsegger


4. Souvenirs in Ivalo

We made a stopover in Ivalo to eat a reindeer pie in a nice cafe inside the supermarket. I love to stroll through a local store in another country. We bought some reindeer salami and dry berries as a souvenir. Close by was a souvenir shop with traditional products.


5. Try local cuisine

In the evening we arrived at the lovely KuerHotel Kuerkievari where they served us traditional food with a lot of berries the family collected themselves. As Swiss, we're used to eating cheese for dessert, but the Leipäjuusto was too much for us, although it was tasty. The cheese is made out of colostrum, the first milk a cow gives just after birth. It has a high concentration of protein. The flat cakes are baked until they get dark spots and they're served with Lakka, cloudberries. It's supposed to squeak while chewing.


© Sarah Engler and Christa Rüegsegger


6. Husky Safari

The next morning we went on a Husky Safari day trip with Husky Ranch Lapland; this was the highlight of our stay in Finland. Wrapped in excellent winter gear, we drove each on our own sledge. Before starting, the dogs were all cuddly, but as soon as they were harnessed they were eager to run and we witnessed their pure power. It is a beautiful way to discover Lapland’s nature


7. Spa

Our last day we spent in the village Levi. We relaxed a few hours in the spa and did a lot of Finnish sauna. The last few hours of our trip we had drinks and pizza in the village. It's only a short drive to the airport in Kittilä.


Have you seen all posts about Finland and Catching the Northern Light?


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