What To Expect
Boundless Journeys trips are designed for energetic and flexible individuals who like to be active and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. Lapland: Experience the Arctic is rated 2, easy to moderate, on a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being the most strenuous). The terrain we cover is incredibly varied. We enjoy some gentle walks, nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. Please be aware that activities may be changed last-minute due to weather conditions, which are highly unpredictable in Lapland.
Snowmobiling, Dog Sledding, and Reindeer Safari
The driver of a snowmobile must be at least 18 years old and in possession of a valid drivers license. On snowmobile safaris we drive with two people per snowmobile, following our guide in single line. It is prohibited to drive side by side, overtake other machines, or curve or speed up unnecessarily. When we are driving we communicate using hand signals, because it is difficult to hear over the sounds of the engines.
On our dog sled safaris you are the actual musher (driver) of the team of sled dogs. Generally, there are two persons per dog sled; one person mushing and other traveling as a passenger inside the sled. Switching positions can be done during any of the breaks, but never while the sled is moving. The guide travels as the first sled, so as to set the pace and not let any teams pass. It is also common for the safari to be accompanied by a snowmobile.
It is important to remember that dogs respond differently to trail conditions, weather, people and each other on a moment-to-moment basis. For professional mushers, this is part of the thrill of dog sledding, as no two runs are ever the same!
Dog sledding is a team sport, and the musher is part of the team, encouraging the dogs, working with the sled (pushing with one foot or walking behind) when going up hills and steering and braking when coming down hills. By doing this, the dogs gain trust in your abilities, although some may still give you a backward glance with questioning eyes from time to time! While riding as the passenger your job is to enjoy the scenery, the dogs, and have fun!
Before a dog sled ride, your qualified safari guide will always go through driving instructions and safety. The guide carries a first aid kit, as well as an emergency communication device in case of emergencies. The guide also has the authority to prohibit participants from riding if they act irresponsibly, or are otherwise seen unfit to handle a dog sled team.
Reindeer safaris are similar to the dog sledding experience but much slower, and shorter in duration.
All snowmobile, dog sled, and reindeer safaris are operated locally by independent and accredited operators. Before commencing these activities the local operator may ask you to sign an indemnity form, which in such case, will be a mandatory requirement in order to participate in the activity.
Northern Lights Viewing
It is important to see the Northern Lights as just one of many thrills of a winter trip to Finland. With luck we will see the sky ablaze with dancing lights, but this can never be guaranteed. The Northern Lights are only visible when the sky is clear and free of clouds. And, like many natural wonders, they are ephemeral — appearing for a bit, and then disappearing.
The unique colors of the Northern Lights are created by the Earth's spectra of gases and the height in the atmosphere where the collision of particles from the sun and the Earth's gases takes place. Our naked eye can most easily see the green-yellow part of the spectrum where the sun emits most of its light. Green is the most common color observed but the Northern Lights can also appear white-gray.
Please be prepared to wait outside while looking for aurora. It is best to dress warmly, in layers, with good footwear, gloves, hats and whatever else will make you comfortable while you patiently await the possibility of a truly outstanding light show.
Sitting in the Arctic Circle, Lapland's climate is characterized by long, cold winters and short, mild summers. However, the influence of the nearby Atlantic Ocean helps control temperatures, which means that the weather is never too extreme.
March marks the end of winter in Lapland. While spring is on its way and the days are getting longer, the month still remains cold with plenty of snow. The average temperature in March is 20ºF with highs of 30ºF The coldest part of the day is at night, when temperatures can drop to 14ºF , so you are advised to dress in warm layers in the evening. Despite this, the crisp days of March can be quite enjoyable, with dry air and little wind.
Lapland is well-known for its dark winters, but days are rapidly getting lighter in March. Lapland sees around 9-12 hours of daylight each day, with the sun rising between 6:30 a.m. and 7.30 a.m. and setting between 5.30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., on average.
Regardless of the weather, Laplanders head out and get active in the snow! The local saying in the area is, "There is no such thing as bad weather, there is only bad clothing."
You may obtain more detailed weather information by visiting www.weatherbase.com.
Traditional meals in Lapland are quite simple but tasty. Potatoes and other root vegetables have an important role with the cuisine. Before modern days, root vegetables were the only vegetables to be able to store over a long winter. During the winter months, dishes can be quite heavy, and include meat, stews, hearty soups, and creamy dishes, in addition to fresh seafood. Rye or whole grain bread is often served with everything.
Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, and breakfast buffets at hotels are generally abundant. A typical Scandinavian lunch might consist of comfort food such as pea and ham soup, or meatballs with mashed potatoes. You wont find many dishes that have strong spices. Cooking is simple while still using the best ingredients to make it flavorful.