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THE BALTICS: chasing northern lights, Christmas markets + winter wonderland

This once-in-a-lifetime small group trip to Finland and Estonia is filled with pinch me moments - from chasing the Northern Lights dancing across the sky (in a year with the best chances for better visibility) to experiencing the glittering magic of a European Christmas market. From bundling up by the fire in the Arctic Circle to heating up in a traditional Finnish sauna to meeting real life Santa Claus. 

Northern Lights

 Rovaniemi, Helsinki, Tallinn

outline of finland and estonia map

Rovaniemi

Helsinki

Tallinn

 Experience the winter wonderland magic and remotely beautiful landscapes of this once-in-a-lifetime trip in Lapland. This small group trip is curated for solo travellers in their 30s (ish) who are curious, adventurous, open-minded and like a trip with a balance of nature and culture. 

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS:
 

  • Be in awe of remotely beautiful landscapes and catch the Northern Lights dancing across the sky (this is the best visibility year which means our odds of getting a good sight of them are high)

  • Sleep in a glass igloo

  • Get in touch with your inner child at Santa's village - it's a must to visit the jolly fella in his hometown

  • Experience real Christmas magic in the traditional market of Tallinn

the plan

DAY 1 | Arctic welcome! Arrive in Rovaniemi airport (arrival airport code: (RVN). Your driver will pick you up and transfer you to the hotel. Free evening to meet your new friends and explore the charming city centre and traditional Finnish homes. 

 

Note: there are easy flights from many European cities to get here - we can help you find a flight. 

 

Accommodation: Santa's Igloo Arctic Circle or similar

DAY 2 | Enjoy a delicious breakfast at the hotel before we embark on a magical guided tour to the Santa Claus village where you get to meet Santa in person! Free time to discover the village on your own, send post cards from the official Santa's post and shop for handicrafts. Our local guide will give you info on the area and stories about Santa!

Bonus: you'll be crossing the Arctic Circle today and will receive a diploma as a souvenir. 

In the afternoon, we'll be driving to our next hotel and have free time to relax before an Aurora evening by the fire. Meet your guide to drive out of the city to a nice viewing spot for optimal sky gazing. While our guide gets the fire going to make hot juice and grilled sausages, enjoy the sky views (fingers crossed for Aurora putting on a spectacular show! 

There will be snowshoes to use at your leisure! The guide will share stories about Lapland and Lappish culture and we'll enjoy icebreaker games and good conversation by the warm fire.

 

Accommodation: Scandic Pohjanhovi or similar

DAY 3 | Breakfast at the hotel and free time to relax, explore the city or opt for one of the optional excursions (or "safaris" - ie. ice fishing, reindeer safari, husky safari

In the evening, we've planned an incredible sauna experience and traditional Finnish dinner. Enjoy the gentle heat of a traditional wood heated log sauna. Afterwards, dinner is served - a Finnish home made meal with beverages by the fireplace in a luxurious cottage.

 

DAY 4 | After breakfast, we'll head to the airport and land in Helsinki. Upon arrival, check in to the hotel and enjoy a free evening.

Suggestion to go for a yummy dinner and enjoy a night on the town (recommendations will be provided in your OT Things You Should Know guidebook)

OT adventurous moment: try sautéed reindeer with mashed potatoes, lingonberry jam and pickles Karelian stew, known as the national dish of Finland. 

Accomodatin: Scandic Grand Marina or similar

DAY 5 | After breakfast, set off on a guided walking tour to soak in the history and architecture of a city known for its innovative art and culture. Free evening to relax at the hotel or check out the underground dance parties Helsinki loves.

DAY 6 | After breakfast, we're heading to the ferry terminal. Say goodbye to Finland as we cruise over (2 hours) to Tallinn, Estonia. Check into the hotel and enjoy a free afternoon and evening. This is your chance to check out the cozy Christmas market - held every year during the season in the heart of the city. Its old world charm will make you feel like you stepped back in time to a fairytale. A giant Christmas tree dominates the square, twinkling lights cover the centuries old buildings and vendors sell everything from local crafts to mulled wine. 

 

Accomodation: Tallink Express Hotel or similar

DAY 7 | In the morning, we set off on a guided walking tour of Old Town Tallinn. See why it made it has made its way onto the UNESCO World Heritage list. We'll discover how kings, queens and czars have walked the streets of the charming two-tiered city, exploring the winding alleyways, ornate doorways and medieval courtyards. Expect intriguing insights, fun facts and stories from the locals who call this city home (and expect tidbits that other visitors often miss).

DAY 8 | DEPARTURE DAY | Breakfast at the hotel and transfer to airport (departure airport code: TLL). Sad goodbyes!

BOOKING CLOSES AUGUST 10 2024

 

accommodations

In Finland, we're staying in 4 star, highly rated Scandinavian hotels in idyllic locations. In Estonia, our home is a 3-star clean, comfortable and colourful hotel near the Old Town.

Accommodation experience: we're spending one night in Santa's Igloo Hotel. With glass-roofed igloos, get excited by the magic of the Lapland sky. You can fall asleep under the northern starry sky, snowfall or the colorful northern lights! The nature of the North will leave a mark on your heart.

Northern Lights

INCLUSIONS

-Transfer from Rovaniemi airport

-6 breakfasts and 1 dinner

-Igloo accommodation at the Arctic Circle

-Guided visit to the Santa Claus village with transfer

-All double share accommodations (you'll be paired with another solo traveller or let us know if you're coming with someone)

-All transport in Finland

-Aurora hunting excursion with a fire and local guide

-Sauna Experience with Finnish dinner 

-Helsinki half day walking tour with local guide

-Ferry from Finland to Estonia

-Old Town guided walking tour in Tallinn

-Transfer from hotel to Tallinn airport on departure day

TOTAL: $3100 USD

**Payment plans available!

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