This adventure whisks you through the woods of Saariselkä via snowmobiles to a quiet, uninhabited location in search of the Northern Lights. You'll also have a chance to take a break and warm up with a lovely fire and warming hot drink. Adults can share a snowmobile or drive individually (for a supplement) whilst the children travel in a special sled puled behind the guide's snowmobile.
Officially known as the Aurora Borealis, it is created by high energy protons and electrons from sun-spots being brought by a solar wind and then trapped in the Earth’s magnetic field. The red and green colours occur when these particles collide with oxygen atoms and blue shades when the particles collide with nitrogen molecules. Solar winds can reach speeds of over 500 miles per second.
Since time immemorial, the Northern Lights have aroused fear and interest in people. There is an old local legend that says that the lights were caused by an Arctic fox as it ran along the fells, catching its busy tail in snowdrifts and sending a trail of sparks in to the sky. In Finnish the Northern Lights are called “revontulet” or “fox fires” as its name derives from this legend.It is thought that the Aurora Borealis inspired many dragon legends as people imagined fire-breath flashing across the sky whilst cultures like the Japanese are fascinated by natural wonders and there is a story that any children conceived beneath the lights will become intellectuals.
The excursion departs early evening by driving snowmobiles out in to the wilderness to find a good viewing place. Your guide will show you how to drive the snowmobile and then you set off in convoy in search of the Northern Lights. Children travel in a sleigh together behind a guide’s snowmobile. Arctic suits are provided along with helmets and visors. After driving for a while a stop is made and a guide lights a fire and everybody enjoys a warm drink. Don’t forget your camera.
In Lapland, you've got the best opportunity to see the Aurora Borealis and it's now easier to predict when they will appear with satellites constantly taking photos of the sun’s activities. They can be seen from early evening as soon as it gets dark although they do vary in intensity throughout the night.
There are several factors that affect the visibility of the Northern Lights, and they can be notoriously fickle. Because of these natural forces, we cannot guarantee you will see the aurora on your Northern Lights Adventure. However, it will still be a fantastic experience in the serene snowy atmosphere of Lapland. It is one of those things that you need to do at least once in your life. The magic of this natural phenomenon with colours dancing in the skies has to be seen to be believed.
They were originally intended as a winter utility vehicle to go where other transport couldn’t go and were used by hunters and workers transporting people and materials across the snow covered land. Now they are used more for recreation and getting out in to the wilderness of Lapland. The design has evolved so that most snowmobiles carry two people (driver and pillion passenger) with windshields and leg protectors and even warmers on the handlebars.
Drivers have to be at least 18 years old and hold a full driving licence, so please remember to bring this with you, helmets are supplied. There are very strong rules with snowmobiles and safety, consumption of alcohol is completely forbidden and there are dedicated snowmobile trails with ‘Give Way’ signs just as on a road.
There is room for one pillion passenger per snowmobile. There is no specific age limit for pillion passengers, but the passenger must be large enough to reach the footrests and support him/herself on them, and strong and sensible enough to hold on properly around the driver’s waist or using the hand-grips. It is the discretion of our safari guides to decide if the passenger can ride pillion.
For smaller children and any adults who prefer not to ride pillion, the safari company provides large sledges towed by a guide’s snowmobile. Seats in the sledges must be requested at the time of booking for adults. One guide will lead the group who follow in order. This by no means suggests that you will be driving in a slow line throughout your experience, there are many opportunities for you to ride at speed but safety is a priority on these safaris especially as many people have not driven them before.
View Northern Lights Adventure dates and times here.