Client journeys: Honeymooning in Finland
In late autumn, our clients Lucy and Tom escaped to Finnish Lapland for their honeymoon. Hidden away in an unexpectedly snowy forest they found a deeper connection with nature and an introduction to Finland's stress-busting outdoor lifestyle.
For some people, a ‘honeymoon’ means sun, sea and sand. However, as busy Londoners who got married in a large wedding in November, all we really wanted was peace, quiet and minimal travel hassle. We’ve done plenty of beach trips before but we knew our honeymoon would need to be extra special. It’s always been our dream to see the northern lights. “Well,” we thought, “if that’s our dream then why not fulfil it on our honeymoon”?
We found Magnetic North online and were presented with a few options. We had a few wishes; firstly, we’re not very hardy but still wanted the feeling of seclusion, so whilst a tent option was out, opting for a cabin with a glass roof. We also didn’t want to travel very far – the thought of a long flight and jet lag after our large wedding felt tiring. And finally, we wanted to be somewhere where food and travel was accessible as we didn’t want to drive.
The Iisakki village in Kuusamo met all these needs, so off we flew at a very reasonable hour to our first stop in Helsinki. Here we stayed at the beautiful boutique Hotel Lilla Roberts, and ate at a rooftop restaurant nearby so we got to see most of Helsinki in one evening. The next morning, we were treated to a delicious Finnish breakfast, including Karelian pasties that we tried for the first time and fell in love with.
We then flew north to Kuusamo which is 37 miles south of the arctic circle. As we landed it was snowing and the setting looked simply stunning! Neither of us had ever been to the Nordics before and were fascinated by the sight of snow and ice on the trees as we took our transit from the airport to Iisakki Glass Village.
On arrival we were shown our cabin with magical views, situated closely to a log fire. There décor was modern yet homely, with a neat bathroom and kitchen area. We were given our first meal in the village’s restaurant, which had delicious Finnish food ranging from reindeer, berries, and fresh fish; we enjoyed every meal we ate there for the rest of the trip.
We ensured a balance of rest and relaxation combined with fun Finnish activities. After a day of getting to know the village, on our second night we went for a late-night northern lights trek. Although we weren’t lucky enough to see the aurora borealis on this occasion, the trek itself was unforgettable. We walked deep into a natural park, seeing river rapids, animal tracks (bears and mink), and were even treated to hot lingonberry juice over a warming fire. The local guides were excellent, very knowledgeable and made sure we walked at a pace suitable for us. They also did everything they could to make sure we got a glimpse of northern lights, checking for us up until the very last minute when they dropped us back to our cabin!
Another standout was the Finnish sauna experience. We were treated to a luxury Finnish sauna with a local guide explaining the traditions including the “löyly” and silver birch. We then did something we never thought we would do, and plunged ourselves into an almost-frozen lake! The experience was exhilarating and surprisingly refreshing after the heat of the sauna. It definitely ridded our bodies of some of our London-tension! It was lovely to learn more about the Finnish way of life and get to know the local customs better – and to end up in a hot tub overlooking the lake.
On our penultimate day we were taken to a local lake for a river-floating experience. Again, this is something we never would have thought to do, but is another fantastic experience. We were fully suited-up in a warm dry-suit, and under careful guidance floated along a beautiful river, listening to birdsong and looking up at the trees. At the end we were given hot lingonberry tea and biscuits. A truly relaxing experience that brought us even closer to nature.
We highly recommend a Nordic honeymoon, which we found to be unique, romantic and convenient. Although we didn't see the northern lights on this trip, the beautiful snow, nature experiences and stunning scenery more than made up for this. Plus, it's an exciting excuse for another holiday to continue our hunt for the elusive aurora! Whilst on the honeymoon, we started looking into another holiday this time to Norway - that’s the sign of a good trip! Thanks so much Magnetic North for making our honeymoon magical and memorable.