Today I have a little bit different story for you. In addition to Northern Lights there will also be some info about activities in Lapland. I hope you are going to like it!
I truly feel that I am privileged to live in Lapland. It is an absolutely beautiful region! I travel a lot around here and this time I am heading to Luosto.
Luosto is still one of the “hidden gems” of Lapland. This place is really tiny, but it has a lot to offer. It’s main attractions are its wild and untouched nature, as well as the Amethyst mine.
It is dark already when I start my 1,5 hour drive from my home in Rovaniemi to Luosto. The skies should be clear, so I have my cameras and tripods, anticipating the coming of Auroras. Just an hour into the drive the sky ignites with traces of green and purple lights. When you are an Aurora addict like me, driving starts to be impossible. I have to other choice than to stop and to start shooting! The timing is just right, as the grand Aurora arch is spreading from one side of horizon to another.
Full moon is giving a lot of light, but the Auroras are overpowering it. Some traffic on the road caught in the image as well
A house under the Northern Lights
These unscheduled photography activities are starting to delay my schedule. I call my hotel in Luosto to tell that I am still coming. Reception is already closing, but they say they will be waiting for me How nice! I stop the shooting and rush to Luosto.
When I reach Luosto there are lots of things happening. Some people are returning from a snowshoeing trip, others are unfolding their tripods and heading into the forest to take some Northern Lights pictures. Dinner is in progress at the hotel and people enjoy themselves at the bar. I check myself in, however, I skip the temptation of hospitality and head out into the forest again.
That is a right decision, as the Aurora Show is now in full swing!
The scenery around Luosto is just perfect. I absolitely love it when there is so much snow!
Here is a realtime video that I made from that place:
A few short hours of sleep and I am back on my feet. After a quick brekkie I leave my shelter.
I am packed and ready to go to Lampivaara Amethyst mine – one of the region’s main attractions.
The mine is situated only 5 km from Luosto center, in the middle of Pyhä-Luosto national park. That means that there is no car road leading there, but a simple forest path.
One way to get there is the Pendolino snow machine, which i gladly take, because I have some 20 kilos of equipment with me. It is more expensive, but it’s a right choice if you are with small kids or elderly.
The other way is to ski there, which will be much cheaper and it is a good way to enjoy the snowy forest. It will take you around 30–60 min depending on your fitness level, so make sure you arrive well in time before the start of the excursion. In the middle of winter there are two of them, starting at 11 Am and 14 Pm. The snow machine departs 45 min before the excursion from Luosto center.
Interesting thing about the mine is that it is open only for tourists and you can dig amethyst only by hand – there is no machinery involved. The other thing is that it is also open in winter! There is so much snow, that these small buildings and huts are all hidden underneath it.
The mine itself is located on top of Lampivaara fell and there are some seriously beautiful sceneries around here.
After a warm drink and a small introduction into the geology of the region we prepare to start digging. Look at the size of this Amethyst!
We descend into a rather big space below the ground. Here you are given a hack to help you do your findings. They say that there is a whole lot of amethyst down there, so there is not need to “cheat” or spread the stones to be “found” Easy to believe.
You can take one small Amethyst with you for the price of the ticket. If you are interested, you can buy more stones or even some ready-made jewellery. The prices are affordable.
Snow machine takes me back to Luosto center in the afternoon. Luosto has lost of other activities to offer besides the mine.
There is a small, but cosy skiing center right in Luosto (to the left from this image) and dozens of kilometers cross-country skiing tracks!
Basically, there is a ton of activities that you can do on your own, but there is also a safari house here that offers guided tours into the wilderness or to husky and reindeer farms.
One group of tourists is just out of the forest and another one is ready to depart.
These guys will enjoy a night safari, as it already getting darker. At this second night there are no Northern Lights in the offing, as the clouds settle in, but I will sure catch the Auroras some time later! Stay tuned for more Aurora Hunter posts!
So, Luosto is definitely a place worth visiting! I have high praises for this resort. If you like quietness and nature, this is the place for you.
Btw, we have another great article about Luosto on our blog!