For as long as I can remember my husband and I have talked about our dream to see the Northern Lights and booking a snowy adventure holiday. It's a holiday we have mentally planned out in our heads for years and this year it finally happened. In January the overwhelming urge to go to a really cold country and hunt out the elusive Aurora Borealis finally took hold of us and before we knew it we were online booking our flights and researching hotels.
I had heard that February was the perfect time of year to try to see the Northern Lights so it really was great timing to decide to do this. After a little searching around online I came across a new hotel that I hadn't seen before in Lapland called the Northern Lights Village and it ticked all the boxes for us.
This hotel is in a really beautiful location and the individual cabins with heated windows really won us over. You can also book all of your adventure excursions through the hotel, with many even on site, so this made everything really easy for us. We particularly enjoyed the snow mobile trip we went on, and, despite me driving us into a ditch, it was super fun and exhilarating!
If you are going on a holiday like this I would recommend booking as many evening excursions as you can to give yourself the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights. We only booked one evening trip and sadly the cloudy weather meant that we missed out which was pretty disappointing. We thought we'd have a good chance of viewing them from the hotel but the weather during our stay meant that trips out of town were needed to get to a better viewing point.
Lapland really was such an amazing experience and looking back on my vlog and photos it doesn't even seem real that we were there. It all feels like a dream! It was seriously the most magical and memorable place I have ever visited. The scenery and landscape was simply breathtaking.
Sadly I can't say that the vegan options were great on this trip, at times it was a real struggle! I think we had veggie burgers 3 times in 4 days which wasn't ideal but at least there seemed to be at least one veggie option on most menu's. A couple of evenings at the hotel we had mash and vegetables and skipped the reindeer which is a very popular meat in Finland. There was a supermarket close by though so we were able to get some fruit and soya milk for our room. Thankfully our stay in Helsinki afterwards proved to be much better for vegan options with plenty of cafes and restaurants to choose from (there'll be a blog post coming soon on this!).
I also experienced some moral dilemma with the use of huskies and reindeers within this trip. We didn't go on any animal based excursions ourselves but it did cross my mind to take part in the husky sledging as it looked like a lot of fun and it was great to see these dogs within their natural environment and clearly enjoying their work. However, it still comes down to the fact that people are making money out of using these animals for entertainment and that personally didn't sit too well with me. I will admit to feeling torn though and especially as many of the ethical travel sites I read up on suggested that it was ok to take part in these activties.
I'm sad we didn't get to see the Norther Lights on this trip but it's motivated us to plan another Winter holiday for next year and perhaps try somewhere we haven't been before like Norway. We've also learnt that, despite the icy roads, it would be well worth hiring a car so we would have more freedom with our explorations, giving us a higher chance of seeing the lights. I think we would also allow more time and probably stay for longer than 4 nights in order to give ourselves the best chance.
Is this trip on your travel bucket list? Because it should be!