For people crammed into living in tiny apartments in huge cities, just a brief walk in the forest might be an extraordinary experience. Arctic Sky, operating in Saariselkä, offers peace and silence to its customers. A chance to stay still.
– Our goal is to help people get away from the hustle and bustle. To feel the closeness of nature and give time for themselves, Minna Kataja describes the principle of Arctic Sky.
Although engine power is avoided and activities are done on nature’s terms, it is not a survival camp.
– We combine a safe experience with hotel-quality services. Our customers are in contact with the same employees for the duration of their whole holiday. It’s as if we’re camping together.
Custom-made holiday packages and retreats
A custom-made holiday package including all the activities and meals is designed together with the customer. The customer can pick the activities they like from the vast selection, depending on the season. Here are some examples: a peaceful trip to Lapland’s clean nature, guided outdoor exercises, fishing, yoga, forest baths and workshops for natural products. Alternatively, customers can just come and enjoy Lapland and relax at their own pace.
– The service is personal. I and my husband Aarno shall be working as private guides during the trip. The group size is four to ten people, Minna Kataja tells.
There are three kinds of retreats, ranging from five to eight days.
Arctic Wellness Retreat is for those who wish to improve their wellness by exercises, outdoor activities and meditation.
– The way we differ from many other yoga retreats is that our group size is small, and we offer food made of pure and natural Lappish ingredients.
Arctic Detox Retreat, as the name suggests, is about cleansing the body, but more importantly cleansing the mind.
– Detoxing the mind is the main focus. Our various activities will help you to clear your thoughts and that makes it easier to meet nature and yourself.
Arctic Silence Retreat is about staying in silence for five days and avoiding external stimuli.
– Being bored is good for you, it is creative time. During this retreat we try to disconnect the customer from the network, let them give time for themselves and help them investigate the contents of their own minds. We can also discuss with the customer about the topics arisen during the retreat.
To gain inner peace
Minna Kataja originally hails from the capital region of Finland. There she worked as an engineer in a construction company. But five years ago, she decided to move to Lapland.
– I was tired in all the hurry and long, daily commutes. I thought that I must make a change in my life.
Kataja took study leave to finish her thesis and spend ten leisurely months in Lapland. During the leave she met Aarno from Rovaniemi, and her plans took a different turn.
– It didn’t go as planned but I don’t mind. I decided to stay in Lapland and together we started to think what to do here. We were both working in the construction business, but we wanted something else because the transitory nature of gigs in that branch makes it difficult to stay where one would like.
That’s when it hit them.
– Since we both enjoy nature and silence, we decided to fulfill our idea of guiding small groups into a quiet place in the middle of a forest.
They found the place at Saariselkä.
– I am a hiking enthusiast and Aarno is a hunter and a fisherman so we were familiar with the area beforehand. Two years ago we bought the lot and started constructions.
In the future Arctic Sky is going to continue operating with a small staff to provide as personal service as possible.
– We want our customers to feel relaxed after their holiday. If we expanded rapidly, we would lose the personal touch of our service. We try to do everything we can for a great service. And at the same time enjoy life, Minna Kataja states.
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