Long Adventures by Snowmobiles
Are you looking for an unforgettable experience and want to challenge yourself and test your limits? Do you want to enjoy the true beauty of Lapland and its nature or do you see the driving itself as the main purpose for the safari? Whatever is your reason there will be something here for you! Bring some friends, family or work colleagues and come on a long safari with us!
“A long safari is for those who want to experience the wilderness of Lapland”
The safari will take you through areas where you are more likely to see foxes, reindeers or elks/mousses than people! We will follow the snowmobile routes over fell areas, lakes and rivers but also through forests of pine, spruce and birch trees, covered with snow like in the fairy tales…
Above this winter wonderland circle the great Golden Eagle, spreading both fear and respect to the animals on the ground. Wolves and wolverines find their way through the forests in search for food and leave their footprints in the snow. Easily seen are the traces from the hare but more difficult is it to see the little animal itself, dressed in its white winter coat. While driving in the forest one can wonder if maybe there is a den for the brown bear nearby.
Along the route there will be breaks to admire the surrounding landscape and scenery and take photos. Maybe there is a reindeer looking back at you… Though all reindeers have an owner they live in freedom in the forest, spending most of their time searching for food underneath the snow. Owners of the reindeers are the indigenous Sami People that for hundreds of years have been living and working with reindeers, moving from place to place building up their kota tents for sleeping. Still today their work is in many ways traditional even if modern life has had impact on their way of living.
In the evenings the stars are out and with no lights nearby you can search the sky for well-known constellations. The further north you go the bigger is also the chance to see the most colorful and amazing Northern Lights dancing in the sky. Green, yellow, pink, purple and red are some of the colors you might see. Traditional believes say that the Northern lights are created by a small fox running in the forest, making the snow fly behind him by waiving his tail. Therefore the Finnish name “Revontulet”, meaning “fox fire”.
Is a long safari by snowmobile for you?
For us at Lapland Safaris a long safari normally means several days of driving, covering long distances at a slightly higher speed. Driving distances can on certain days be up to 240 km, for example if you go to the Arctic Sea, but there are also “lighter” possibilities with distances around 100 km per day.
A long safari is for everyone who likes driving and being outside in the nature! Experience from other motorized vehicles, like motorcycle, quad bike or Jet Ski, is good and might help you during the safari but is not an absolute must! Curiosity, interest and fascination will take you far but it has to be said that a long safari for sure is challenging, both physically and mentally. Being outside all day, with temperatures even down to -40 degrees, it is very important to be in good physical condition so some exercising and working out before the safari is recommended. If you have any health issues, or are concerned about your health, you should consult the doctor before coming here.
We recommend that every participant drive single but for the shorter safaris it could also be possible to be two persons on the snowmobile. Please note though that it gets a lot colder for the passenger than for the driver. Driving with a passenger is also harder than driving alone.
Lynx is not only the name of one of the animals present in Lapland, but also one of the biggest snowmobile producers. We started to replace our old snowmobiles during 2012 and are now using Lynx 600 with 4-stroke engine. These snowmobiles are specially made for safaris and are equipped with fully automatic engines, which make them nice and easy to drive. Though powerful, they are environmental friendly due to low fuel consumption.
When to enjoy a several days adventure by snowmobile
The long safaris can normally be carried out from the middle or end of January until the beginning or middle or April, although we normally operate them until the end of March, depending on the conditions of ice and snow. Some parts of the safaris are driven on lakes and rivers, meaning that the ice has to be strong enough.
The earlier in the year that you go, the darker it is. In the Saariselkä area the sun does not rise above the horizon for almost five weeks, from the beginning of December until the beginning of January. This period is called Kaamos. Once the sun is back the days get longer very fast but it is still good to be aware that it takes until the middle of February until you have a full day of sunlight. The darkness is an experience in itself and can be very fascinating. If though you want long days with sunshine and blue skies it might be better to wait until late February and March. Snowfall and very cold temperatures can occur at any times but is also part of the adventure.
Where to go
Depending on your interest in, or skills for driving, you can choose between a wide range of programs. Possibilities are endless, allowing you to arrive to one airport and depart from another. Except Ivalo there is also the possibility to fly to Kittilä, close to the ski resort Levi, or of course to Lapland’s capital Rovaniemi. Accommodation in various price levels can be found in all destinations if you want to stay longer and try out other activities.
“No matter which direction you decide to go; nature is beautiful, driving is fun and interesting places to visit can be found all over Lapland”
Heading to the north you will cross the enormous Inarijärvi or Inari Lake, the third biggest lake in Finland with thousands of small islands. The lake is perfect if you want to try ice fishing during your safari.
Looking out over the Arctic Sea in Norway, surrounded by the fjords and fells, is a moment you will never forget. The water in the fjords is rarely frozen since saltwater must reach almost -2 degrees before freezing occurs. Care for a swim?
Only recently has it become possible to visit the border between Finland, Norway and Russia and the border is still heavily guarded. The importance of the history and the consequences of the Finnish-Soviet Winter war are obvious here. On the Russian side you see the former Finnish land “Petsamo”, lost during the war and nowadays the Russian Petjenga.
In the southern parts of Lapland you find Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland, located only a few kilometers south of the Arctic Circle and combining city life with nature experiences. Rovaniemi is well-known all over the world as the home of Santa and the Santa villages can be visited as well as the Science center and museum Arktikum where you can learn more about arctic life.
In the West the mountains get higher and you find some of the major ski resorts in Finland, for example Levi or Ylläs, and we can do an overnight safari to the SnowVillage. The three-country border point close to Kilpisjärvi offers breathtaking views over Norway and Sweden.
A long safari with Lapland Safaris is a safe way to explore the Arctic area and the beauty of Lapland! All safaris start with a good driving lesson where the driver is told and shown how to handle the snowmobile. Further information and tips how to make the driving more pleasant will be given also during the safari.
Our guides are experienced and used to handle different situations and they also have a great knowledge about Lapland and the Arctic area. The guide carries different safety equipment that might be useful if the weather is very cold or if there are any kind of problems during the safari.
The safety of the long safaris is very important to us at Lapland Safaris. Our safaris follow official snowmobile routes and our guides are equipped with GPS and trackers so the location of the safari can be monitored in our office. In case of any accident or emergency the GPS coordinates will be given to the rescue units. The clients can also alarm from the tracker if something would happen to the guide. There is a continuous communication going on between the guide and our office in Saariselkä and if the group needs any assistance or backup it can easily be arranged from the office.
Taking breaks from the driving to rest and have a snack or something to drink is part of the safety thinking. Warm indoors accommodation in cabins or wilderness hotels with possibility to go to sauna allow you to warm up and get a good night’s sleep. Sheets and towels are provided from the hotels. Dinner and breakfast are served in the hotel restaurant. Lunch will be served along the route and can be either indoors in a restaurant or outdoors around an open fire.
Spending the whole day outside, food becomes very important so please inform us about possible allergies or special diets when booking the safari!
Dressing and packing
Lapland can offer you beautiful, sunny days as well as cold and darkness and you need to be prepared for it all. Good clothing is essential to be able to enjoy your long safari. Lapland Safaris will provide you with a complete safari outfit consisting of boots, woollen socks, overall, balaclava and helmet, mittens, extra woollen hat and scarf.
Underneath the overall you should put several layers of warm and comfortable clothes out of wool, fleece or similar. Depending on the weather and the temperature it is advisable to wear long underwear and jogging pants or ski pants. If it’s very cold you could keep a light jacket under the overall or put several layers or sweaters.
Make sure you keep your feet warm as well and use thermal materials or wool. Cotton is normally not advised since it does not warm at all when it gets a bit wet.
Your personal baggage will be attached on the back of the snowmobile during the journey so it is important to keep it light. Except the warm clothes you use during the safari you should bring some spare clothes to change with if needed or add if cold. You need a pair of pants and shoes for the dinners and some sleeping clothes, extra socks and underwear. Bring also your personal hygienic things but towels and sheets you will find from the hotels.
Lapland Safaris can provide dry bags for packing the personal belongings since suitcases are too big to attach to the snowmobile. A suitcase can be left in the luggage room at the hotel if you need other things during your visit in Lapland.
If the arrival and departure airports are not the same we recommend that you pack your belongings in a backpack, sport bag or similar. A small backpack is good to have with you to easily reach an extra sweater, your camera and a bottle of water. You can also borrow a backpack from Lapland Safaris office.