I cannot begin to describe how much I loved my 4 night stay at Nellim. We came here to view the Northern Lights (which we had fantastic displays of on 2 nights), but the people, scenery and activities were the ones that really stole our hearts. The hotel is located about 45 minutes drive from Ivalo airport, and we had lovely Matti pick us up from the airport. It is has a lake close by to it, which you can walk across in search of the lights if you had no activities planned at night. Take a light with you though!
The rooms were basic but good enough, we struggled a little bit with the cold on our first night, but they sorted us out with an extra portable heater. The hotel provides winter clothing as well, as the other reviews have mentioned, but I would recommend bringing lots of layers and your own balaclava. Food was excellent, we always looked forward to a warm meal after a day out in the cold. There is a sauna in the basement which can be booked for private use in hourly slots as well.
The guides were friendly, helpful and great fun! We were lucky to have had Matias, Matti, Pete and Ben take us around. They were very experienced, and ensured our safety and warmth at all times. We enjoyed all the activities, but the one that we loved the most was the husky sledding. It was a truly magical experience, having beautiful huskies take you across vast lakes. The dogs were incredibly friendly, we were given a chance to play with them after and they just craved attention and cuddles!
At night, we were taken out on snowmobiles (or we drove them ourselves on one ocassion) to hunt for the aurora. You get unobstructed views across Lake Inari, and the guides often built
fires and served hot juice to keep you warm whilst you wait for the lights to make an appearance. A really great way to search out the lights. The guides were also very experienced with cameras (I struggled getting the proper settings on mine), and can give you tips on how or where to take the best shots.
Overall, I cannot recommend Nellim enough as a place for a winter holiday and to view the lights. It's suitable for both families and friends. Thank you to everyone at Nellim (especially Pete, Matias and Matti) for making this an unforgettable trip!
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