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As a part of our epic 3 month journey around Scandinavia, one of our biggest goals was to see the breathtaking Northern Lights.
In fact, I’d say that almost everyone who visits Lapland is hoping to see the breathtaking phenomenon as well!
Wouldn't you agree?
Of course you do!
Well, one of the best ways to see the Northern Lights when in Finland is to go on a late night wilderness tour.
That’s why we were so excited to work in collaboration with Wild About Lapland, to see if we could spot the lights as well, and learn more about them from an expert guide.
Well, here’s a look at how we got on with their Northern Lights Wilderness Tour and a cheeky discount at the end!
But first ...
Wild About Lapland are a small, independent tour operator based in Rovaniemi.
This city is easily one of Lapland’s most popular places to visit, as it serves as a great base to go on all kinds of tours and adventures into the nearby nature.
Wild About Lapland offer a variety of daily tours, each one tailored to the time of year you expect to visit.
It was founded just a few short years ago by Theo Turner, an ex British Royal Marine Commando; so you know he has plenty of experience surviving in rugged conditions!
Offering tours with a maximum of 8 people, his goal is to create a more intimate and worthwhile experience on each of his tours, giving everyone the chance to learn more and truly experience the beauty of their surroundings.
If you're keen to find out more about the tours they offer, you can view them here.
But for now, let’s take a look at what you came here for …
The Northern Lights Wilderness Tour lasts for 4 hours and takes you well outside of Rovaniemi, giving you the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights.
To see the Northern Lights in all their beauty, it’s essential that you get away from any light pollution and find places located with near complete darkness.
These locations are, as you'd imagine, best found well outside of Rovaniemi, so our first stop was a lakeside resting spot about 20 km northwest of the city.
This gorgeous spot is popular year round with Finnish locals, be it for ice fishing in the winter or lake swimming in the summer months.
When the sun goes in at night, it served as a peaceful spot to try and hunt for the nights.
However, due to the cloud cover, Theo loaded us back in the van and took us further outside to an even more remote spot, by yet another incredible lake.
Here the cloud cover was much less and, when our eyes adjusted, we were able to see many of the bright stars in the sky.
Just being by the lake, staring out was very peaceful and tranquil.
As a part of our 4 hour tour, we went to a few other remote spots, but unfortunately were not able to see the lights that night.
The thing about the Northern Lights is there is no way to know for sure when they will come out.
Some weeks they will be out in full force every day of the week and other weeks they may be visible just one or two days.
Typically, October is a very good month and they had great success other nights that week, but unfortunately for us, this wasn’t to be our night.
That being said, there was much more to enjoy as a part of our tour ...
This is a key part of every Wilderness Tour, where Theo (or your guide that night) goes ahead and makes a cosy fire, using traditional methods.
Theo taught us how to make a fire without matches, using just a magnesium fire starter and the bark of Silver Birch.
Afterwards, we got to enjoy freshly grilled sausages with sinappi (local Finnish mustard) which tastes amazing!
It was very cosy by the fire, which more than kept away the cold and made for a great spot to relax, talk and keep an eye on the night’s sky.
All throughout the tour, Theo put a lot of focus on the history of the local area and how Finnish locals would have survived for hundreds of years using just simple tools and what nature provides.
He’s very knowledgeable of the history of Lapland and it was a great way to learn more about our surroundings.
Also, if our van ever lets us down and we’re stuck in the woods one night, I guess we now know the basics of how to survive!
So long as a bear doesn’t find us ...
After visiting more than 60 countries around the world, you can imagine that we have been on a LOT of tours!
Well, I certainly can agree with the team at Wild About Lapland that keeping tours to a maximum of just 8 people is a great way to do it.
It gives you the chance to meet everyone there much more closely and gives you more one-on-one time with your guide to ask questions.
It also means you can get to and from sites much quicker, which is a big bonus.
Despite not being able to see the Northern Lights, I can say that the tour was a massive success!
The night was a lot of fun and I would definitely recommend the tour as being excellent value for money.
It set us up with the knowledge and know-how to spot them on our own on future nights.
Writing this a week after our experience, I can report that we have seen the lights, and the knowledge imparted by Theo was crucial in us achieving this!
He also allowed us to capture their beauty, by showing us the best settings on our camera for Northern Lights photography.
Don't worry, I’m not going to let you leave this post without seeing some awesome shots of the Northern Lights.
As a part of your tour with Wild About Lapland, your guide will use advanced photography equipment to take stunning shots of the lights seen that night.
Sometimes, the camera is able to pick up shots that you can’t even see with your own eyes; so there’s even more chance of you walking away having seen them.
The guys at Wild About Lapland were kind enough to see across the following shots they had recently taken, as an example of what you can hope to see on your own tour with them …
Overall, there is nothing too strenuous about this tour.
Your guide will do all of the driving to necessary spots, and there is only minimal walking involved.
Also, much of your time can be spent sat by the fireplace or snuggled up in big winter coats they provide you with.
As such, you don’t need to worry about getting cold or tired, making this a great tour for almost anyone.
However, those that get the most from it are those that are curious to learn more about 2 things:
A key part of this tour is engaging with your guide and gaining a deeper understanding of why the Northern Lights exist, how best to find them and how to photograph them.
As well as learning more about the history of native Finns who used to survive in the wilderness.
You can get 5% off your tour with the code DREAMBIG5
If you’re interested in joining Wild About Lapland’s Northern Lights Wilderness Tour, then it’s best to visit their website here.
You will also find links to the rest of their tours.
Also, feel free to drop a comment below, and I will be happy to offer up any more help I can, based on our experience.
PS, don't forget you can get 5% off your tour with the code DREAMBIG5
**Thank you to Wild About Lapland for hosting us during this tour. As always, all views expressed here are our own.**