A 5 Day holiday husky mushing, overnighting in a wilderness Cabin. You'll look after your own team of dogs including lacing up & feeding them; learn the musher's art of balance, how to steer and brake a larchwood sled and mush over the mystical snow sparkling Lake Inari. And here in the spiritual heartland of the Sami people you'll spend nights in the wilderness and with luck.
This eponomously named hotel with its Darth Vader helmet like roof faces the frozen Ivalojoki (or Avveeljuuhâ in Inari Sami) on one side and the airport road on the other. Built in the 1980's it has a 'back to the future' feel about it with pale fawn curtains, bed throws and black leather Ikea Tullstastyle chairs in all the rooms and a similar somewhat retro decor in the public areas. Despite in consequence being something of a Marmite sort of place what gets universal approbation is the unfailing conviviality and helpfulness of the staff. Standard rooms all have a shower/wc and some a bathtub (first come first booked), TV, radio, phone and hair dryer. We always go for river facing rooms and there are also family rooms and 3 suites bookable on request. There's a rectilinear swimming pool kept at 20 Celsius to chill out your bones after safaris, 3 saunas and a mini spa with whirlpool hot tubs and glass sided walls facing out over the river. Ditto the restaurant where you can find such goodies as marinated king crab, smoked white fish, snow grouse paté, and tar (sic) flavored ice cream. And on your doorstep is the hotel's own safari operation where you'll be kitted out with thermal clothing and get your issue of of snow shoes, kick sleds and skiis so can get out in the snow and have fun whenever you want.
Guest House Husky started life in Iceland: co-owners Juha-Pekka and Outi were talking with a livestock farmer they were staying with and she asked whether husky breeders like them had guest accommodation which at the time they didn't. So was born the germ of an idea and a dream. Today they have a guest house and three children; the obvious moral being cautious of taking advice form Icelandic farmers. Built from old pine logs the house and spread across three floors there are four twin rooms on the first floor and two larger rooms on the second all with a shower/WC. On the lower ground floor are reception, a dining room with logwood fire and that most Finnish of institutions the house Sauna. Above all this is Outi, Juha-Pekka and their three ambassador children Konsta, Aksell & Kosti's home where you stay as a PG, and which is about as far away from the notion of a hotel as you can get. And of course, alongside are the honoured residents, some 140 huskies, mostly Alaskan ones but with a few Siberians as well. Out in the wilderness, on an island on Lake Inari surrounded by silence, is a wilderness cabin with an adjacent sauna building where you'll spend a night or two during any of our trips.
fly with Finnair to Ivalo in Finnish Lapland via Helsinki; transfer on arrival to the Hotel Ivalo, check in to your rooms and take supper in the riverside restaurant. Afterwards if the auguries are good you may catch your first sighting of the Aurora in the wilderness area close by the hotel.
transfer after breakfast to Guest House Husky's Kennels and meet up your guide for the next 3 days. He'll kit you out in thermals, pack up your equipment for your mush and give you tuition on how to balance your body on a larchwood sled, use the brake, steer and generally handle your own dog team. You'll then lace up your own 4 or 6 dog team and set off on your first mush: the cacophony of barking, yelping and woofing suddenly vanishing into the snow with the only sound to be heard, the slicing of your sled's runners in the snow. Stop for an Arctic Al Fresco lunch around an open fire before continuing through a landscape of crystal glittering lakes and snow draped pines to a wilderness cabin. When you arrive help settle your dogs (and they will be 'yours' by then), light a fire, help with supper both for yourself and the dogs and generally muck in. After supper take a sauna and sleep the sleep of angels.
after breakfast get set for a day mushing across the vast openess of the ice crystal surface of Lake Inari dotted with pine studded islands and enveloped with a silence broken only by your dog team's panting breath and the padding of their paws. Stop for lunch, helping your guide light a fire and resting. Continue mushing, returning to your cabin in the late afternoon, feeding and settling down the dogs before helping fire up the sauna, preparing supper and dreaming Sami dreams.
after breakfast pack up your gear, load it onto the sledges and mush along different trails back to Guest House Husky. En route stop for lunch and gradually begin to feel some sadness at having to sat farewell to your dogs who by now you will know by name. Transfer back to the Hotel Ivalo for a swim, sauna or jacuzzi before supper overlooking the frozen river Ivalo.
breakfast with time for a wander round the Village if you haven’t seen it, before transferring to Ivalo and your return flight(s) back to Manchester.
Return scheduled flight(s) from Heathrow via Helsinki to Kussamo All passenger service charges and airport departure taxes In flight complimentary coffee/tea/blueberry juice and pay on board food service Carriage of luggage (1pc Cabin & 1pc Checked)
Private group return Airport/Hotel transfers
6 nights’ accommodation at the Saija Wilderness Lodge Lodgings in 40 square metre cabin apartment with own porched entrance, private WC/shower, sauna & separate sitting room room
1 night's accommodation in wilderness cabin
7 breakfasts, 7 lunches (2 al fresco)
7 suppers Husky mushing tuition & safaris as per itinerary Northern Lights evening in Kota Optional
night in a Snow Igloo Smoke sauna session
Complete set of protective clothing:thermal salopette & jacket or onesie; gloves, mittens, ribbed socks, snow boots, scarf & deer flapped hat for duration of stay.
Services of local guide(s)
Guide prices are in part based on our mid-level contract air fares which are veriable in real time unlike our ground supplier contract costs which are generally fixed. We don’t do fancy lead in prices and the time you confirm your booking always use the lowest air fare available. This may mean the confirmed price of your holiday being slightly less or more than the guide price in which case a proportionate reduction-supplement will apply. Carpe Diem = the earlier you book the better, especially for public & school holidays.