ESN Bergen Student Trip to Northern Lapland, Saariselkä (16.11.2016-22.11.2016)
- Departure 16.11.2016
- End date 22.11.2016
- Availability Sold out
- Price from 325€
Discover magical Lapland in Europe’s northernmost ski resort! Visit Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, check out a reindeer farm run by the Sami people, explore the beautiful Arctic landscape and, if you are lucky, see the Northern lights! Try your hand at a variety of Winter sports: snowshoe trekking, cross-country skiing, husky sledding, snowmobile driving, swimming in the Arctic Ocean – and all this at student discount prices! The group will be staying in atmospheric cottages on the slopes of Kaunispää-fell – the perfect place for spotting the Aurora Borealis!
TOUR OF THE ARCTIC OCEAN
from 55€ // Full day // Comfortable clothing recommended
A one-day bus tour during which you’ll not only experience breathtaking landscapes, walk on the shores of the Arctic Ocean and even swim in it, but you’ll also meet and learn about the indigenous peoples who’ve lived in this cold and inhospitable region for thousands of years – the Sámi (Lapp) people and the Finnish Kven’s in the fishing village of Bugøynes. You’ll also get the chance to taste traditional fish soup in a local restaurant. The 550-kilometre tour takes around 8 hours. A definite must-do for your bucket list!
THE CROSS COUNTRY SKIING + LUNCH
from 35€ // 2hrs // Outdoor winter clothes Recommended
Apart from being Finland’s national sport, cross-country skiing is also a lot of fun. Our guides will prime you in the basic skiing techniques, and then you’ll be off, striding and gliding through amazing scenery along the best cross-country ski trails in the world – the very same trails that famous professional skiers come all the way to Finland to practice on! The program finishes with a tasty traditional Finnish soup lunch! Feel like a real Finn!
from 29€ // 3hrs // Warm clothing Recommended
In this program we will do snowshoeing in the wilderness! On the way to the mountain there will definitely be obstacles, which you will have to survive together in good team spirit and with great skills of survivors! There is no better way to begin snowshoeing than just going and doing it. Take the risk, you will love it! Set out on a quiet adventure along picturesque National Park, snowshoe trails with extraordinary views of the lapish landscapes!
REINDEER AURORA SAFARI
from 85€ // 2hrs // Clothes provided by service provider
By sitting in the sleigh we are able to enjoy the peace of wilderness; the reindeer go on quietly in a snowy forest. From the sleigh it is a good place to try hunt the Northern lights from the sky in middle of wilderness and surrounded by forests. After a while of moved deeper in the forest we will have a small break: hot drink will be served by a open fire, cookies to go with. At the same you enjoy your hot drink, the reindeer man will tell you stories about reindeers and the nature of magical Lapland.
THE NIGHT SNOWMOBILE SAFARI
from 95€ // 3 hours // Clothes provided by service provider
Snowmobiles are one of the most convenient ways of getting around beyond the Arctic Circle. The locals use them to go to the grocery store or to visit friends on the other side of the hill. Although you don’t need a license to drive a snowmobile, previous driving experience is recommended. Our snowmobiles are two-seaters, which means that both of you will have the chance to drive for about 45 minutes. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, the route takes you to hidden places way out in the wilderness, from where you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights! For people who like a little adventure in their lives!
THE HUSKY SAFARI (5km) + LUNCH
from 75€ // 2hrs // Warm clothing Recommended
Siberian huskies are cheerful and strong dogs who really like to pull the sledge! After a short instruction lesson the huskies will take you for a tour through the snowy landscapes. The sledge is shared for two people, each can drive about 5km. After the safari you will enjoy a warm snack and tea in the base camp. This activity will be included with a local delicious soup lunch in a big traditional lapish hut with great athmosphere.
SAARISELKÄ SKI RESORT & DOWNHILL SKIING or TELEMARK or SNOWBOARD
from 25€ // 1-3hrs // Warm clothing Recommended
Nestling at the foot of Kaunispää fell and partly located within the borders of Urho Kekkonen National Park, the village of Saariselkä is one of Finland’s most exotic and popular ski resorts. Apart from downhill skiing/Telemarking or snowboarding on a choice of six slopes you can also go on a snowmobile safari or try your hand at husky sledding. The landscape is simply breathtaking! Timetravels students get discounted rates, by mentioning our discount code at the entrance to the resort.
from 25€ // 2hrs // Outdoor winter clothing
Winter Olympics is a mix of traditional outdoor games finns do in Finland. Play some famous childhood game called snowhockey, learn how to catch a reindeer with a lasso, try tandem skiing, compete with your friends who can throw the gumboot most longest. Pull your friends like the reindeer with a sledge. And feel the speed at one of the biggest tobbogan slopes of Europe! 1.8 km long. This activity takes part on the departure day, after check-out. Great way to spend your free time at the village.
Preliminary trip program
DAY 1 - Departure day
22.15 Departure from Helsinki railway station square (In front of the Casino)
23.30 Departure from Helsinki-Vantaa airport
DAY 2 - Arktikum Museum , Santa Claus Village , Arrival in Lapland
10.00 Arrival in Rovaniemi, Visiting the Arktikum Museum (approx. 1,5 hours)
11.30 Departure from Arktikum
12.00-13.30 Shopping in Citymarket & Lidl
14:00 Visiting the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi. In Santa Claus village you can take pictures with the SANTA, cross the magical Arctic circle, have lunch in one of the restaurants, buy souvenirs, send postcards from the Santa’s official post office and have a lunch (we recommend SHELL gas station across the street). Duration 2,5 h. Departure to Saariselkä at 16.30.
19:30 Arrival in Saariselkä, briefing and lodging in apartments. Free time for saunas etc. Hint! In the evening the best place to see Northern lights is the local mountain, from the top of it you can see 360 degree panorama all over. You can easily reach the mountain by foot from your cottage.
DAY 3 – OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: HUSKY AND SNOWSHOE TOUR, SNOWMOBILE SAFARI AND REINDEER AURORA SAFARI*
09:30 Meeting at the cabins, transportation to the Husky and Snowmobile activity
10:00 Husky Safari, overall duration with briefing, kennel tour etc. 1,5 hour
19:00 Departure for the Aurora Snowmobile Safari, Remember to take your credit card for deposit (only in the case of accident up to 900€). Duration 3 hours. Departure from meeting points at 18:30.
19:45 Departure for Reindeer Safari. Duration 2,5h. Departure from meeting points at 19:15.
DAY 4 – CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING & SPA + SNOWSHOE SAFARI*
10:00 Cross-country skiing + SPA. Departure from the cottages by bus to the starting point. The program includes a two hour trek by skiing + voucher to the Holiday Club SPA (worth 18 €) 12:30 End of the program
18:30 Departure for the Snowshoe Safari. Duration 3-4h.
DAY 5 – TOUR OF THE ARCTIC OCEAN IN NORWAY*
07:00 Day trip to Norway. Departure from the cottages.
Crossing the border to Norway. Near ocean coast we continue to village Bugoynes (60 min break, possibility to swim in the ocean). A soup lunch inclusive in a local cafeteria. Swim in the Arctic ocean! Back to Finland, last break in Näätämö village (shopping).
20:00 Arrival back to Saariselkä. Free time.
23:00 Student Party in Tunturihotel (until 3.30). Free entrance, cloakroom 3 €.
DAY 6 – FREE TIME IN SAARISELKÄ + DEPARTURE HOME
10:45 Check-out. Free time for own activities, you can go shopping, dining, sledding, SPA, downhill skiing. No structured activities. Bus will stop at ski resort at 11.15 and at SPA 11.30. (You can leave your luggage at your bus)
17:00 Departure from the meeting point for home journey. Gas station stop at 21.00 in Rovaniemi for 45 minutes.
DAY 7 – ARRIVAL HOME
00:00 Arrival in Oulu, 04:00 Jyväskylä, 06:00 Tampere, 07:00 Hämeenlinna, 07:30 Riihimäki, 09:30 Helsinki
*Estimated arrival times
What is included
A round-trip by bus to Rovaniemi & Saariselkä from a chosen departure point
4 nights’ accommodation in 3-14 person cabins with sauna
Visit to Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi
Visit to Arktikum Museum
Tour guide services at the destination
Package price does not include
Catering and food (all cottages and cabins equipped with self-catering facilities)
Bed linen (can be rented in Saariselkä at €15/trip)
- Extra activities as described in the itinerary (can be booked online up to 7 days before departure)
Spend a week like a Finn! Your accommodation is arranged in comfortable apartments/cottages for 4 to 14 people, from 40m² to 300m². Although cottages may differ in size, plan, location and furniture, they are all at the same price level. All apartments/cottages are equipped with the following:
- Own Sauna
- Bathroom (larger cottages can have up to 3 bathrooms)
- Kitchen or kitchenette
- Plates, mugs, glasses, knives, forks, etc.
- Saucepans, frying pans, kettles and other cooking equipment
- Mattresses and pillows
Good to know
Q: ARE MEALS INCLUDED?
A: In order to keep trip prices as low as possible, all cottages are self-catering – breakfast, lunch and evening meals are not included. Each cabin has good cooking facilities, and groceries are no more expensive than in Southern Finland. Cooking in the cottages: There are basic kitchen facilities in cottage living rooms and dorms. Kitchens are equipped with plates, glasses, mugs, knives, 4-ring electric hob and fridge. Meals are not included, but we stop at Rovaniemi City Market to buy groceries. You can for instance decide with your cabin group what you are going to cook together and share the groceries and costs. There are no ovens in the cottages though, so don’t buy things like frozen pizzas, chicken, etc. Grocery shopping: We recommend you do all your shopping on the way to Lapland. Your groceries won’t freeze in the bus’s luggage compartment, unless the temperature drops to minus 35 C. In Kemi and Rovaniemi groceries can be way cheaper than in Southern Finland. In Inari there is also a SIWA and K-market but no Alko. If you’d like to by drinks, please do it in Rovaniemi. You can save a lot of money if you and your roommates decide to cook together.
Q: IS IT POSSIBLE TO TRAVEL BY TRAIN?
A: The night train option is convenient only if you can afford to book a sleeping compartment, which is quite expensive. Moreover, in our experience, travelling in a seat on the train is less comfortable and less convenient than travelling by overnight bus. That’s why it’s not possible to order a train ticket through us. However, if you really want the extra comfort of a sleeping compartment, you are free to book the train yourself at www.vr.fi and join the trip in Rovaniemi for example.
Q: WE ARE A GROUP OF 8 PEOPLE. CAN WE STAY IN THE SAME APARTMENT/COTTAGE? SHOULD WE BOOK THE TRIP TOGETHER?
A: All rooming preferences will be taken into consideration. If there are people you already know you’d like to room with when signing up, just indicate their names in the message field. But please note: to make this possible, they will have to book and pay for the same accommodation category! If you want to book 8 places at once, you should pay everything in one invoice. If that is not convenient for you, please make separate bookings. About a week before departure, everyone who has signed up for the trip will receive an email containing a cabin sign-up document where you can choose the cabin you would like to stay in and the people you would like to share it with. If you don’t receive this email, check your spam folder, ask your friends to share it with you or contact our Customer Service Team.
Q: IS WI-FI AVAILABLE IN THE APARTMENTS AND COTTAGES?
The nearest Wi-Fi connection is in the SIULA building in Saariselkä, about 1.5 km from the cottages. You will also find free Wi-Fi in the pubs in the centre of Saariselkä and in the Holiday Club Spa Hotel. Please note that there is no Wi-Fi or Internet in the cabins!
Q: DO I NEED TO BRING ANYTHING WITH ME?
A: You should bring the following at least:
- Warm clothes (clothes can also be rented for €12/set/day or €7/day for overall and boots only)
- Bed linen or sleeping bag (bed linen is not included, but it can be rented from the reception at €15/trip)
- Swim suit and towel (unless you want to do it the Finnish way)
- Anything else you may need during the trip: cash, credit card, medicine, etc.
- Student card for discounts
- A small pillow or a special neck cushion for the bus trip
- Flip flops for Arctic swimming and jumping in the snow after sauna.
Q: What if there is no snow?
A: The reason we use North Lapland as the location of our main destinations is that plenty of snow is virtually guaranteed from the beginning of November. However, we cannot control the weather. So, in the unlikely event that the snow is not deep enough for certain activities, we will offer an alternative or a full refund for the cancellation.
Q: WHY DO WE HAVE TO HAND IN OUR CREDIT CARDS AT THE START OF THE SNOW MOBILE SAFARI?
A: The company that organises the snowmobile safaris now requires participants to leave their credit card as a deposit. They kindly remind you that crashing a snowmobile into a tree is not only dangerous but also expensive and can result in the organizers having to pay a minimum of €850. If you follow your guide’s instructions and stick with the group, these accidents are easily avoided. The organizer will collect credit cards at the start of the activity and return them as soon as the tour is over.
Q: SHOULD I GO TO LAPLAND IN FALL OR SPRING SEMESTER?
A: Spring semester is of course more fun because there is more snow and more sunlight. Due to its popularity, the spring semester is slightly more expensive. If you have the choice, we recommend you travel in February, March or early April. During the fall semester there may be less snow. Additionally, the shorter periods of daylight impose certain restrictions on the schedule such as having to get up early in the morning.
Other information you might be looking for:
1. All mobile phones work normally in Lapland
2. Cabins have all the kitchen equipment you need (knives, forks and plates) as well as other essentials such as toilet paper, soap and washing up liquid.
3. You ONLY need to buy things you are going to eat, plus salt, sugar, spices, etc. And don’t buy anything (like frozen pizza) that needs to be cooked in an oven!
4. The best place to shop is in Rovaniemi or Kemi (on the outward journey) – In Saariselkä there is also a K-market, Siwa and Alko for last minute shopping.
5. If you opt out of a prepaid activity you are not entitled to a partial refund! You can, however, sell your place on certain activities to someone else on the tour.
6. If anything goes wrong, immediately contact the Timetravels Tour Representative(s). They will do everything they possibly can to resolve the matter!
7. We recommend you take a travel pillow with you for the overnight bus trip from Helsinki to Lapland.
Timetravels reserve the right to modify the program and adjust prices accordingly at any time. The itinerary is provisional. The final itinerary will be sent to you a few days before departure, as some activities are dependent on prevailing weather conditions.