Ready to see the aurora borealis in Finland? Get your aurora-hunting off to a great start with this selection of excellent locally-operated northern lights tours in Finland Lapland, plus several good reasons to join a tour vs going alone.
Travelers from around the world make their way to Finnish Lapland every year to capture a glimpse of the elusive aurora borealis. And although there are many excellent options when it comes to selecting a great tour, not all of the northern lights tours in Finland are created equal.
And while it is possible to head out on your own with your fingers crossed, in hopes of finding an amazing location to hunt for the ghostly lights, it is best to go on a tour with a reputable operator, who offers a more personalized, local experience.
In this article, we share a selection of the best northern lights tours in Finland, to help make your hunt for the elusive aurora borealis a successful one. And if you’re on the fence about whether to book a tour or not, we also share some very good reasons for why you should.
Your Guide to Northern Lights Tours in Finland Lapland
Why Book into Northern Lights Tours in Finland?
Personally speaking, as someone who has travelled to Finnish Lapland to see the northern lights, I highly recommend booking into a locally-operated tour rather than attempt to seek out the aurora yourself. During my trip to Lapland, I joined two separate tours on different nights, and even though the lights didn’t show due to cloud cover (no fault of the tour operators) I don’t regret it a single bit.
Why? The main reason, to be honest, was the access to ‘secret’ rural locations. Staying in resorts, we were surrounded by bright lights which would have obscured the view. But Lapland is a quiet place; you can’t simply call a taxi in the middle of the night, and hiking in the snow at night without a guide was out of the question.
The other reason I loved the tours, was because it allowed me a unique opportunity to experience the local Lappish lifestyle… I enjoyed chatting with locals and learning about my Finnish ancestry, while standing in the thick snow, around a smouldering fire with hot cocoa in hand. Those little touches made it an occasion to remember, regardless of whether the aurora appeared or not.
That’s my personal experience, but here are several more reasons to book into a northern lights tour in Finland, instead of going alone.
#1 Expertise and Local Knowledge
For starters, heading out into the Finnish wilderness with a professional northern lights tour guide will increase your opportunities of not only viewing the elusive lights, but also allows access into some of the best locations for creating that truly memorable experience.
Experienced local guides possess intimate knowledge of the best locations and optimal times for Northern Lights sightings. Their expertise extends beyond predicting auroral activity to understanding the local geography and weather patterns, thereby ensuring a higher likelihood of witnessing the auroras in their full splendor. With this knowledge, they can select locations that will give you the best viewing experience possible, that you wouldn’t be able to access on your own.
#2 Comfort and Convenience
Professional tour guides, also offer their own transportation. Most of the time, they offer reliable and comfortable seats, food, and amazing insight into the auroras, and the local history of Lapland. This comfort makes it more convenient for travelers, as there is no need to procure their own transportation or attempt to navigate through unfamiliar winter terrain. Some local tour guides may even offer snacks and hot cocoa, which will make passing the time more enjoyable.
#3 Specialized Equipment and Services
Because of how cold the Finnish Lapland gets during the peak of the winter months, it’s important to make sure that you have the right equipment to keep you warm out in the snow. Many popular local tour guides go above and beyond by providing you with important equipment such as boots, and thermal suits, to keep you warm throughout the frigid Arctic night. You may even find a tour that can take you out on a sleigh ride, or introduce you to the traditional Sami culture.
#4 Safety Assurance
Dealing with the Arctic environment during the winter months can be challenging even for an experienced outdoorsman. Professional tour operators prioritize safety over anything else and ensure that you have the and follow proper extreme weather behavior that will allow you to focus on the enjoyment of the experience.
#5 Photography Assistance
But let’s not forget, that if you are going to go hunting for the elusive Northern lights, then you’ll want to take some amazing photographs of your experience. Because taking photographs of the night sky is so difficult, many professional tour companies not only provide assistance and training on how to get the best shots imaginable, but others may even offer specialized rental equipment that will make capturing the lights an even easier prospect.
#6 Optimal Timing
Capturing a glimpse of the elusive lights is not just about visiting Lapland during the peak of the frigid winter months, it’s also about knowing what time of night to head out into the field. Professional tour operators in Finland are experienced in predicting where and when the northern lights will appear.
Recommended Northern Lights Tours in Finland Lapland
It is always important to remember that when choosing northern lights tours in Finland Lapland, to support smaller, local tour operators as this will improve the local economy, increase the personal experience, and provide you with insight that larger national tour operators simply cannot provide.
Below is a selection of locally-based Finland northern lights tours, in Finnish Lapland. These tours have been rated highly by customers, and have built an excellent reputation during their time of being in business. To share your own recommendations, please feel free to email us.
- Location: Rovaniemi
- Website: beyondarctic.com
Visiting Finland is more than just viewing the elusive Northern lights. Beyond Arctic, is a local tour company that operates out of Rovaniemi and provides visitors to the region with unique and custom-made adventures that ensure the most memorable viewing experiences imaginable. Not only do they take you out in small enough groups to ensure a more personalized experience, but they also prioritize responsible and sustainable tourism. Head out onto the ice with Beyond Arctic to go ice fishing, or even view the aurora borealis while participating in an exclusive reindeer experience.
- Location: Levi
- Website: auroraemotion.com
If you are looking for an authentic and memorable experience, then look no further than Aurora Emotion, a local tour operator out of Levi. Not only do they take visitors to the region to some of the most secluded locations imaginable, but most of their guided tours include a reindeer sleigh ride to the location. This allows visitors to create a long-lasting connection with the Finnish countryside and experience the aurora borealis the same as the Sami have for hundreds of years.
- Location: Saariselkä
- Website: taigatimes.com
The Taiga Times is a specialized northern lights tour company, that offers one of the most personalized Aurora hunting experiences imaginable. Based out of Saariselkä, the Taiga Times specializes in photographing the elusive lights and often operates in some of the smallest groups possible. This allows them to take visitors to more offbeat locations than other tour operators can provide, which enhances the chances of witnessing the elusive auroras.
- Location: Multiple locations, including Levi and Rovaniemi.
- Website: laplandsafaris.com/en
When it comes to an adrenaline rush, look no further than Lapland Safaris. This popular, larger tour company which operates out of multiple locations including Levi and Rovaniemi, offers a wide range of experiences. One of their most popular options, is their snowmobile safaris which take you out into the Finnish countryside, for a fast-paced, adrenaline-spiking northern lights experience.
- Location: Luosto
- Website: arcticlifestyle.fi
If you want to visit the Finnish Lapland countryside, much like the Sami have done for hundreds of years, then you will fall in love with Arctic Lifestyle. This popular local tour company is based out of Luosto and offers visitors to the region a wide array of holistic experiences. Head out onto the ice and catch a fish as you wait for the elusive lights to dance across the darkened skies. Or, make your way out into the wilderness on a snowshoeing adventure, deep within Lapland’s unique natural wonderland
Golden Crown – Levin Iglut
- Location: Levi
- Website: leviniglut.net
The Golden Crown not only provides an excellent option when it comes to smaller group excursions, but they are also well known for their unique glass igloo experiences. After taking part in the aurora photography workshop, head out from Levi to the Lappish Kota, as you sit back and relax for a cozy northern lights experience.
Wild About Lapland
- Location: Rovaniemi
- Website: wildaboutlapland.com
If you are Wild About Lapland, then this is the perfect northern lights tour for you. Their professional guides are also Wild About Lapland, and it shows. Not only do they have their own selection of optimal aurora viewing locations, but they take you there across snow-covered landscapes on foot or snowshoes. Enjoy the immersive encounter with nature when you book a tour with Wild About Lapland while you are in Rovaniemi.
Benefits of Supporting Local Tour Operators
Granted, larger tour operators may have more extensive resources, but a lot of the money they collect, does not go to the local economy. When visiting the Finnish Lapland, it’s important to support local tour operators, as this will have a positive impact on the communities you are visiting. Local tour operators will provide you with a more intimate, authentic, and of course, culturally rich experience.
As locally operated tours are owned and run by individuals who are passionate about the region they live in, as well as the northern lights, you will be able to enjoy more local insight by selecting a small tour operator versus a larger national chain. They can provide you with more intimate information about the local culture and traditions, as well as the history of the region. All of this adds more authenticity to the experience.
Since local operators tend to run smaller tour group sizes, this ensures that you are given a more personalized and intimate experience. Larger tour guides can provide big comfortable buses to take you out into the countryside, but going out and larger groups reduces the amount of time that you have to interact with the guides.
Of course, one of the biggest benefits of choosing a local tour operator is their personal knowledge of the region. This allows them to take you out to more lesser-known and secluded locations, where you will not be inundated by the larger crowds created by the national companies. All of this allows you to achieve a Northern Lights viewing experience that is peaceful and more exclusive.
Whenever you spend money with a local tour operator, the money that you spend is directly contributed to the economy of the local community. Simply put, every dollar you spend on a local tour, is circulated within the community, which means that not only does the tour operator benefit from providing you the experience, but all of the local businesses and the residents benefit as well. This fosters more sustainable tourism experiences.
Because local tour companies are operated by individuals, they can be more flexible with their itinerary, to provide you with a more memorable experience. They are capable of adjusting their schedules to fit your needs, and can even incorporate particular cultural activities that you would like to experience while you are in Lapland. Larger operators often overlook these tailor-made experiences.
Final Thoughts on Finland Northern Lights Tours
This brings us to the end of our article on Finland northern lights tours you can book into, to enhance your aurora adventure and increase your chances of seeing the lights. The tours we’ve provided here are just a snapshot of some excellent options for northern lights tours in Finland. If you decide to explore other options, remember to support local providers, who are highly experienced in the local landscape and aurora borealis phenomenon.
Since you’re organizing your travel, make sure you also check out our Finland accommodation articles, including this selection of awe-inspiring Finnish glass igloos that give you the opportunity to lie back in bed and watch the aurora, and the best northern lights hotels in Finland.
For more articles and travel tips, also make sure to browse through all the articles at our Northern Lights Finland category page.
Happy aurora chasing!
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