My husband, our two daughters and I visited ' into the wild ' for one week in Febuary. It was one of the most wonderful weeks of our lives! Anna and Heikki are perfect hosts and unique people. The accommodation is beautiful, the scenery enchanting and Duffe so sweet! Every day we spent a lot of time outside and we explored the area with our cross country skis. In the evening we enjoyed the sauna, had fantastic meals and nice and inspiring conversations with our hosts. Although our luggage has been lost on the flight, we have never missed anything! Even -35 °c feel warm and cosy in the company of Anna and Heikki. Thank you so much for this wonderful experience!
For anyone looking for a Lapland/arctic circle nature experience that is totally unlike anything else out there, then this could be for you. We came across Into the Wild and were intrigued by what was on offer. Reading the reviews it seemed like it could be a really special place, and we decided to go for it! Previous reviews explain far more eloquently how this holiday experience is about as far removed from a hotel check-in than you could possibly imagine - which suited us just fine. We wanted to have a lapland experience without 'being processed' by a package or a holiday company, a schedule, or fellow holiday-makers for that matter! In fact I took my watch off upon arrival and only put it back on when leaving. If somebody asked me the time - the answer was 'who cares'?! It might be time for skiing, or sledging, or the sauna or a BBQ, or whatever... but the clock became irrelevant.
Heikki and Anna are two of the loveliest people you could ever meet and are the perfect hosts. You arrive as paying customers and leave as friends. We made the smart move of booking a whole week and loved every minute. As a family of 4 with two teenagers, it was a chance to have a digital detox and enjoy hanging out as a family together - learning to cross-country ski, or going off and making vertical sledging runs in waist-deep snow, or taking some shovels and making a snow cave. Or going 'out for lunch' even further north, making a fire and cooking sausages and brewing coffee, then getting dropped off half way back and skiing home solo with only skidoo tracks to follow and nothing else for miles around! Or tracking and trailing red fox, wolverine (yes, really), reindeer, moose and willow grouse - all of which we did in a morning. You make of this experience what you will. Heikki and Anna facilitate and share their patch of wilderness with generosity and grace.
Last word for Duffe the Husky... a beautiful and fun-loving creature. You are greatly missed, my friend.
This trip was for family-time and memory-making which will last a lifetime.
According to the 7 days 6 nights experience in " Into the wild", there are a few pearls I have to share:
1. This is NOT a hotel you are provided at the check-in reception a set of keys to a room/cabin for a couple of days and are requested to return by a given time of the day of departure.
2. This is NOT a hotel where you will be handed a list of activities with certain price which you have to book in advance to ensure the availability.
3. This is NOT a hotel where you would be given a map of local area with highlighted tourist attractions, famous restaurants and souvenir shops.
You don't find those in " Into the Wild".
The hosts Heikki& Anna (& Duffe the husky )gave the warmest treat and led you into a way of life in Lapland. We are provided delicious Lapish cuisine, traditional Finnish sauna with cold beer every nights, snow mobile trips, snowshoeing, off country skiing, BBQ in the snow, chatting with most genuine and easy-going hosts. Basically, I stopped my day-to-day brain activities and switched to the reception mode and let them carry from there, and came out refresh.
The following are the recommendations:
1. If you are tired of city life and want to take a breath for serenity before diving back into city (like me, and probably many of the guests) , do come.
2. If you want to reset your life goals, meditate, or any sort of soul searching. This is the perfect place.
3. If you are a writer lacking new inspiration, you can spend days writing in the cabin.
4. If you love trekking, off-track skiing, snowshoeing, nature, animals, mountain, changes of the climate, geography. This is a must-be place.
5. If you are a photographer, seriously, do not miss this spot of Lapland.
Almost forgot, the Northern light!! I come from a big city where stars are like the protected species. Can you imagine something makes shooting stars so small. Yes, you got it, it's the Northern light. If you come on the right time, no guarantee of course, but a very good chance you will see it. Countless stars and shooting stars and milky way were just the background picture. We saw the light on the beginning 3 days. It was indeed breathtaking.
Conclusion: Just come, give yourself to Heikki and Anna, and for at least 3 or 4 days, otherwise you will regret not asking for more day offs on the departure day. Only thing you need to do is to make the time and mind free.
Have you ever felt the deep longing in your heart to find a magical, untouched, pristine place, a safe haven from your stressful, mundane everyday life, where you can truly feel at home? Well I had, and from the moment I entered Anna's and Heikki's wooden cabin, time has stopped and I entered another realm, where magic is real and you are surrounded by white serenity.
We arrived to the wilderness in style: Heikki took us on a snowmobile ride, late at night, with shimmering stars and dancing northern lights above our heads. Then, deep in the heart of the winter wonderland, we spotted warm lights coming from a magical cottage, just like in the fairy tales of our childhoods. Anna waited for us with hot glögi (amazing Finnish winter drink) amongst candlelights and the sound of crackling fire.
From that moment on, our week was spent in a magical haze: we went on skiing in the winter wonderland, snowshoeing in the knee-deep snow, we had a fire camping in the middle of the wilderness, eating raindeer burgers in the barbecue hut, watching amazing northern lights and zillions of stars above our heads... I could write a novel about this experience.
Anna and Heikki gave us so much warmth, friendliness, deep, insightful conversations, and a wonderful routine to our days. We had true Finnish sauna every day - stepping out from the sauna with a towel around you, and watching the Aurora above your head is an experience to remember forever!
Anna is an undercover Michelin star chef, who surprised us with delicious, heavenly meals everyday, and Heikki knows everything that there is to know about the wilderness and the rugged style of life up north. And of course, Duffe, the loving, cute, smart and very friendly husky companion who will always bring a smile to your face.
If you consider going here, please, do yourself a favour and don't consider it anymore: just do it. It will be the most magical experience of your life. I promise.
We flew from Helsinki for a long weekend Into the Wild. Trip was planned by my fiance. It was unforgettable, something I couldn't imagine.
We saw mountain birch trees, willow grouses, midnight moonlight, sunrise and set. The mountain brook calmed our minds, candles kept hopes up and our hosts we're friendly and very hospitable. We had among many other things burgers made in a fireplace, and a delicious reindeer soup. Hurraa!
We're keeping our hopes up for a second visit. Thank you big times Heikki and Anna. And Duffe, we miss you too.
Tomi ja Pia
This was a birthday surprise for my husband - who had no idea where we were going until we were at the airport. Arriving to the cabin, sparkiling in candlelight after a 50 minute Snowmobile ride at 11pm whilst the snow fell was magical. The magic accompanied us for the 4 nights we spent here - we could of stayed longer! Relaxing in the cabin with the fire burning and the candles flickering, relaxing in the woodheated sauna and the relaxation room, again with romantic candlelight was heavenly! We were lucky to join Anna & Heikki for their first ski of the season and went cross-country skiing with them on all 3 days. 3 days in which we headed always in a different direction - the Wilderness was beautiful, quiet, still and magical. The light soft and sometimes glowing! Spotting reindeer, moose tracks and birds - what more could you ask for? Making a campfire and cooking reindeer sausages, whilst drinking coffee & eating chocolate, it only got better! We were very lucky and saw the Northern lights on 3 evenings, with the first evening being absolutly specatular! Lovely Anna & nature man Heikki and of course Duffe their beautiful husky made us so welcome, within a few hours we felt we were visiting with friends and had already been there for days. The food was home-cooked and delicious and perfect portions! This place was so beautiful and so perfect, that it actually made me cry on the 2nd day - such an overwhemling feeling of peacefulness! Thank you both so much. We hope to welcome you both to our home one day.
Are you looking to get away from “it all”? Are you looking for a break with a difference? Look no further. “Into the Wild” is an amazing experience that combines relaxation with the exertions of the great outdoors.
I was not entirely sure what to expect when I arrived. I had contacted my host, Heikki, to enquire about what I should bring with me and what clothes would be appropriate for late autumn in Finnish Lapland. I was apprehensive about whether I would over-do it or under-do it. I tried to do my web research on Lapland in Google and Trip Advisor but despite Heikki’s clear advice, I was still a bit nervous when I got off the plane in Ivalo.
Heikki was waiting at the airport and drove us about 2 hours north east of Ivalo airport to the town of Karigasniemi. From there we changed from the SUV to an off-road ATV and picked up Anna on the way. I had been told what to expect about this but was not ready for the 12 km journey across the Lapland moors. I was expecting a farm road or something similar but the uniqueness of this experience started already from here. This is the only way to reach the cottage until the snows arrive, then snow mobiles adds another dimension to the transport. The beautiful autumn colours through a forest track open up into moorland and unbroken hillside revealed the ground colours of late “ruska”. It was here that I started to think, this would not be the normal holiday but something really different.
I had hopes of seeing all sorts of wildlife and wasn’t disappointed when we saw a Golden Eagle while we were crossing the hillside on the way to the cottage.
When we arrive at the cottage and outbuilding area, I was again surprised to find these there were so modern, in contrast to the surrounding nature. The layout is modern and furnishings also modern but the difference of running water from the nearby stream and electricity from a generator gave the clear feeling we were off the grid. It would be difficult not to immediately feel at home in such a place. The location combined with hospitality of the hosts make it so welcoming and relaxing that you can feel the pressures of the world falling off your shoulders.
At this time of year, there was no snow yet. So we spent our days hillwalking across the Lapland wide open landscape. The weather was favourable with great visibility to the Norwegian mountains in the distance and the closer red and golden vegetation. Truly fresh air and plenty walking creates the best combination for appetite . The food for the whole 3 days was just excellent. Breakfast each morning, camp-fire packed lunches during out walks and evening dinners by candlelight in the main cottage. All of these provided by the hosts and prepared with great skill, love and attention to detail. Delicious home-cooked meals better than restaurant quality.
All the daily activities were guided by Heikki and Anna, so no need to worry that I would get lost in this vast outdoor wilderness.
A sauna each evening before dinner in a real Finnish sauna. A couple of glasses of wine with my meal. Fading autumn sunlight. 3 conditions that made me forget about my sleep problems back home and have the most restful 3 nights I can remember in the last 15 years. Bliss !! Getting away from it all really happens and has a positive effect on the mind and then that filtered through to my body. Wonderful. Just heaven!
There were some reports that the Northern Lights would be visible in the wee small hours but due to my luxury sleep, I was not willing to even get out of my bed to go and look. As it turns out, I made the right decision as cloud cover was just a bit too much.
Autumn was wonderful and I can only imagine the beauty and change that comes with the snow covered fjells in the hard Lapland winter. Maybe worth a try next time
I can thoroughly recommend Into the Wild for those of you who would like to experience something different and get in touch with nature. Wonderful.
Thanks Heikki and Anna <3