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active 3 hours ago

Elina Hutton

I love showing our guests what Finland is for me, nature where I grew up; share its secrets and stories, the flavours and sounds. Northern Norway has become a bit of a home too, that is where we spend weekends, meet friends and have a lot of fun. I enjoy our outdoor adventures and sometimes join Gareth as a second guide, but I am most at home telling stories over the campfire and leading you to calming meditations.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"Above Arctic Circle; Rovaniemi and North-West Finland and Northern Norway. We like to keep you active, so even if you are on a road trip with us, we include at least short nature walks to the programme. Our focus is the nature and all the fun you can do there, whether you like day walks or want us to take you on a three-country Nordic ski trip into the wilderness. We know that visiting the famous cities is important, but otherwise, we like to keep you off the busiest destinations and show you the Finland and Norway we love. Whenever possible, we work with small local companies, where we know the owners and who share our values of fun and respect.

As a bonus on our trips, you have a professional photographer as your guide, so you can be sure to see the most photogenic locations, not only the ones famous from social media. "

How did you get involved in travel?

"My first trip I abroad was when I was 19 years old. I travelled around Europe for a month on my own, managed to find my way around with paper maps and getting peer reviews by actually talking to other travellers at hostels and train stations. In the end, I run out of money and made it back home pretty hungry, and with a travelling bug. I have since travelled, studied and worked in Europe and Latin America. I have been working in business travel and regional tourism development, and now I jump in whenever Gareth needs help at the company. I also lead our nature meditation retreats starting spring 2018."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"On my first trip to New Zealand, among other cool adventures, Gareth took me sea kayaking in Abel Tasman. I had only kayaked once before on a lake and I was terrified of the big waves. Between the super enthusiastic guide who called himself “the Pirate” and Gareth, they managed to convince me that “everything will be ok”. I kept breathing and paddling, convinced that I’d only be happy once I’d be out of the water. Until suddenly, a little blue penguin swam in front of us.

One thing on my bucket list had been “to see a penguin” and I was excited to see this creature in the wild, happily swimming on the waves. So excited indeed, that I forgot the waves. The little blue soon went on his way, leaving me in awe and enjoying the rest of the kayaking. I am learning to challenge myself and come out of my comfort zone because that is the best way to see some amazing things.
"

Featured trips & expertise

Reindeer in Lapland
Rovaniemi and Kemi - 6 Days

Welcome to Lapland! With four days in Rovaniemi, there's so much you can see and do. Visit Rudolph and the elves at Santa Claus Village, catch the Northern Lights, and sled with Huskies through a silent forest. Add on two more days for an optional excursion to the icy wonderland of Kemi.

Hike the wilds of northern Norway
Hiking in Northern Norway and Finland - 10 Days

This 10-day itinerary will take you on a variety of hiking trails in northern Norway and parts of Finland, traversing lush valleys and craggy mountain peaks, wide expanses of tundra and clear glacial rivers. Tackle 5 to 12 miles a day off the beaten path, and immerse yourself in the crisp natural landscapes of the Land of the Midnight Sun.

The Northern Lights
Lapland Highlights - 5 Days

Visit Santa Claus's hometown (Rovaniemi) and fall in love with winter sports haven Ylläs on this snow-dusted, winter wonderland adventure above the Arctic Circle! Snuggle a husky, pose for a selfie with a reindeer, snowshoe through the wilderness, participate in epic snowball fights, and — of course — go hunting for the elusive, magical Northern Lights.

Kilpisjärvi village (one of the best places to see the northern lights)
Northern Lights Trip in Norway and Lapland - 6 Days

Pack your warmest winter clothes and head to the far north to experience the beauty and mystery of the Northern Lights and the snowy communities that bear them witness. Spend your days frolicking in the snow and your nights hunting the aurora borealis from towns and fjords.

Bergen's waterfront UNESCO World Heritage Site after a snowfall
Oslo, Bergen & Tromsø Winter Adventure - 7 Days

Escape the summer crowds with this weeklong winter-themed itinerary that highlights both southern and northern Norway. After a night in Oslo—Europe's fastest-growing capital—you'll take one of the steepest trains in the world to Flåm for snow-covered fjords. You'll then train to Bergen, a UNESCO-listed waterfront city with vibrant restaurants before flying north to picturesque Tromsø. This is where you'll finish the trip, with two nights in the Arctic wilderness dogsledding and searching for the Northern Lights.

Preparing the sled in the Norwegian wilderness
Norway Dogsledding Adventure - 5 Days

This wintry experience in Norway's Finnmark region starts with a night in Alta before three days of dogsledding in the Arctic wilderness. With the help of a private guide, you'll get to know the huskies by name and drive your own sleigh before falling asleep in cozy cabins—or staying up to search for the Northern Lights.

Recent trip reviews for Elina

Carolyn

Finland - in the wild, Finland - Jul 17 - Jul 25, 2019

Traveler: Carolyn D. - Local specialist: Elina Hutton

We've just spent a wonderful week travelling with Adventure By Design from Rovaniemi (Lapland) to Tromso (Norway). Our trip was all about immersing ourselves in the environment and taking beautiful day hikes. Elina & Sonja organised a great itinerary which gave us a taste of the different types of environment in the Arctic Circle. It wasn't till the end that we reflected how different each day was and how that made the trip so great! The hikes were well marked and really suitable for us in... read more

We've just spent a wonderful week travelling with Adventure By Design from Rovaniemi (Lapland) to Tromso (Norway). Our trip was all about immersing ourselves in the environment and taking beautiful day hikes. Elina & Sonja organised a great itinerary which gave us a taste of the different types of environment in the Arctic Circle. It wasn't till the end that we reflected how different each day was and how that made the trip so great! The hikes were well marked and really suitable for us in terms of difficulty and duration. The night in the wilderness cabin was a highlight- a great way to meet other Finnish hikers and have an authentic Finnish summer hiking experience. The accommodation varied: self-catering cabins (with sauna's) and hotels which were clean and comfortable and in great locations. It was easy to pick up food supplies (snacks, breakfast food) along the way. My partner's need for gluten-free food was NO problem at all in Finland and Norway. Everything is labelled. How refreshing! Gareth and Amanda were fantastic guides and we really enjoyed our time with them. Everything went smoothly, as planned, and we enjoyed every single minute of our fabulous trip. Highly recommended, and we look forward to coming back one day soon.

Elina Hutton profile photo
Elina Hutton, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you Carolyn. It was nice to meet you both, and we're looking forward to seeing you back in Finland! Elina, Amanda and Gareth :)

Kevin

Lapland / arctic circle, Finland - May 4 - May 11, 2019

Traveler: Kevin D. - Local specialist: Elina Hutton

I cannot rave enough about Gareth & Elina. They were so knowledgeable, responsive, and gracious. The agenda they organized for us was exactly what we wanted - they took our travel goals and interests and turned them into an outstanding programme. Both are true experts, customer-oriented, and kind people. We wanted an active, hiking-centric trip through Swedish & Finnish Lapland and far norther Norway. This is what Elina & Gareth delivered, and we could not be happier.

Elina Hutton profile photo
Elina Hutton, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you so much Kevin :)

Lapland northern lights, Finland - Mar 5 - Mar 12, 2019

Traveler: Susan M. - Local specialist: Elina Hutton

Rikka was a great guide - very knowledgeable and helpful and so full of energy! She made our two snowshoeing trips very easy and enjoyable!
Elina and Sonja tailored an itinerary exactly according to my interests and gave me very clear instructions so that I had a very smooth trip and was able to do a lot in a short period of time. When she heard that my camera was not functioning, Elina even helped to adjust it to enable me to successfully photograph the Northern Lights.

Elina Hutton profile photo
Elina Hutton, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you Susan. I'm glad I was able to help with the camera, and happy to know you had a great holiday. It was lovely meeting you. Greetings also from Riikka!
Elina

Finland snow experience, Finland - Feb 1 - Feb 7, 2019

Traveler: tracey m. - Local specialist: Elina Hutton

Right from the start Elina was excellent at helping to plan our trip . Elina and Gareth always responded quickly to our questions and were very helpful in providing us with information from what clothing to wear to what camera to buy.
Our trip was amazing from start to finish . Gareth picked us up in Kittila and drove us to Ylläs and Kilpisjärvi , then on to Tromso. Our accommodation were beautiful cabins in the woods (exactly what I had asked for ). Our activities, snowmobiling, dog... read more

Right from the start Elina was excellent at helping to plan our trip . Elina and Gareth always responded quickly to our questions and were very helpful in providing us with information from what clothing to wear to what camera to buy.
Our trip was amazing from start to finish . Gareth picked us up in Kittila and drove us to Ylläs and Kilpisjärvi , then on to Tromso. Our accommodation were beautiful cabins in the woods (exactly what I had asked for ). Our activities, snowmobiling, dog sledding, reindeer farm , snow shoe walks and Northern Lights hunting were all fabulous. Gareth personally took us on 3 fantastic snow shoe walks which were unexpected highlights . His enthusiasm for Lapland is infectious and he is great company . Gareth guided us on 4 Northern Lights chases. He helped our daughter with her camera and taking the Northern Lights pictures , which we saw 4 nights out of 6 and every night we went looking . Gareth looked after us , took us to the supermarket, lent us bigger boots and ‘grandma’s ‘ knitted socks to help keep us warm. He was totally focused on making our experience as wonderful as it could be .
Thank you Gareth and Elina for an unforgettable stay in Beautiful Finnish Lapland .

Elina Hutton profile photo
Elina Hutton, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Tracy, thanks for the awesome feedback. It's always great to hear that our guests have loved the trip we have designed for them. We're especially happy to hear you loved the snowshoeing! We hope you enjoy the rest of your time in the north. Elina & Gareth

Active winter family fun in lapland, Finland - Jan 4 - Jan 8, 2019

Traveler: Wendy J. - Local specialist: Elina Hutton

Elina and Gareth from Adventure by Design put together an amazing Finnish Lapland experience for our family. After sharing with them the general structure of our holiday they sourced terrific providers and developed an itinerary that would ensure we made the best of the limited daylight. The traditional sauna and ice swimming at Wild Blueberry was a magical experience. As it was a small family business the service was personal and of a very high standard. We had so much fun on a snowmobiling... read more

Elina and Gareth from Adventure by Design put together an amazing Finnish Lapland experience for our family. After sharing with them the general structure of our holiday they sourced terrific providers and developed an itinerary that would ensure we made the best of the limited daylight. The traditional sauna and ice swimming at Wild Blueberry was a magical experience. As it was a small family business the service was personal and of a very high standard. We had so much fun on a snowmobiling tour run by another smaller company, Kinos Safaris. Our nights in a glass igloo and the ice hotel were memorable. The jewel in the crown for our whole visit was our guide Tuija. She was so friendly, welcoming and accommodating from the minute we met her. It soon became apparent that she was a highly experienced and knowledgeable guide, who went above and beyond to ensure our Finnish experience was perfect. She played joyfully in the snow, teaching our children to toboggan, ice fish and snow shoe, and through her local knowledge of weather and location, guided us to see the northern lights. Spectacular! Thank you Elina & Gareth for doing all the background work to prepare for our holiday. And thank you Tuija for making our visit to Lapland even more wonderful than we hoped it would be.

Elina Hutton profile photo
Elina Hutton, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Wendy, thank you, these words give me a big smile - this is why we do these long days at the office, to be able to read feedback like this. Thank you so much. I will pass on your review to our providers who did the hard work, and send an special thanks for Tuija. She is an awesome guide indeed, and we're happy to have her with us!

Victoria

Lapland visit, Finland - Dec 30 - Jan 3, 2019

Traveler: Victoria M. - Local specialist: Elina Hutton

Elina and Gareth did a great job of putting together a nice itinerary for us. We really loved the snowmobile excursion and the boys loved riding the mini snowmobiles. Rovaniemi is just a magical place and I'm so glad we got to see it. There is really so much more to do than I expected so if I ever get the chance to go back I'll know! (Like the amethyst mine!)

The Scandic hotel was just OK. Our friends ended up in the Arctic Light hotel and that is a really lovely place! I loved our night in... read more

Elina and Gareth did a great job of putting together a nice itinerary for us. We really loved the snowmobile excursion and the boys loved riding the mini snowmobiles. Rovaniemi is just a magical place and I'm so glad we got to see it. There is really so much more to do than I expected so if I ever get the chance to go back I'll know! (Like the amethyst mine!)

The Scandic hotel was just OK. Our friends ended up in the Arctic Light hotel and that is a really lovely place! I loved our night in the glass igloos.

Generally the trip went very smoothly. There was one minor miscommunication but I think that was in part due to our friends that joined us on the trip joined the planning late so getting both itineraries synced up was a little challenging.

Elina Hutton profile photo
Elina Hutton, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you Victoria. I loved seeing all these photos, thank you for sharing them! Those happy faces make me smile too. Any time you are looking into repeating the arctic adventure, we'll be happy to help you. All the best to your family, Elina & Gareth

Northern lights in norway: what to know & where to go, Norway - Sep 16 - Sep 19, 2018

Traveler: Audrey L. - Local specialist: Elina Hutton

My husband and I went on a trip to Norway organized by Elina in March this year. Start to finish it was a truly perfect trip. Our first three days were spent at Malangen, an absolutely lovely, modern hotel with breathtaking views of a fjord. The staff at Malangen was extremely helpful and friendly and there were wonderful activities to choose from. We snowshoed, went to a campsite owned by the hotel to see the Northern Lights and had a fascinating session with someone who taught us about... read more

My husband and I went on a trip to Norway organized by Elina in March this year. Start to finish it was a truly perfect trip. Our first three days were spent at Malangen, an absolutely lovely, modern hotel with breathtaking views of a fjord. The staff at Malangen was extremely helpful and friendly and there were wonderful activities to choose from. We snowshoed, went to a campsite owned by the hotel to see the Northern Lights and had a fascinating session with someone who taught us about Sami culture.

After Malangen, we went to Tromso. A charming small city where we went to museums and restaurants. We also had a driver pick us up and give us a tour of the fjords.

Every aspect of the trip went incredibly smoothly. Their was one glitch when checking into our hotel in Tromso, but Elina was reachable immediately and resolved the issue. Moreover, she was prepared to spend 6 hours driving if she needed to address the issue in person! Thank you Elina!

Elina Hutton profile photo
Elina Hutton, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you Audrey. We're so happy to know that you enjoyed the holiday with us. Hopefully we'll see you return one day. Best regards, Elina & Gareth.

Daria

Lapland, Finland - Jun 9 - Jun 11, 2018

Traveler: Daria P. - Local specialist: Elina Hutton

We had the most amazing trip and a great time with Elina and Gareth. Visits to nature center, raindeer farm and husky farm were interesting and educational. The day-long hike was incredibly enjoyable! Overall our whole group was very happy with the experience, especially living in the cabins, going to sauna and making pancakes on the open fire!

Elina Hutton profile photo
Elina Hutton, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you, Daria. We had so much fun with your group! I can't remember the last time I've made so many pancakes, on open fore or elsewhere. All the best to all of you, Elina & Gareth

Norway 2018, Norway - Mar 25 - Mar 31, 2018

Traveler: Julio V. - Local specialist: Elina Hutton

First of all: kudos to Elina - her attention was first-class and, I am very grateful for it - above all, I value the personalized attention. We wanted to experience the artic environment in Norway and we did get it. Our days spent in and around Tromso are unforgettable - to remember thru our lifetime. We took this trip as an opportunity to experience (first time ever) the cold artic in a leisure way and we did -so much so that we skipped some activities to simply enjoy the scenery and the... read more

First of all: kudos to Elina - her attention was first-class and, I am very grateful for it - above all, I value the personalized attention. We wanted to experience the artic environment in Norway and we did get it. Our days spent in and around Tromso are unforgettable - to remember thru our lifetime. We took this trip as an opportunity to experience (first time ever) the cold artic in a leisure way and we did -so much so that we skipped some activities to simply enjoy the scenery and the moments. The schedule was followed as planned, guides showed up as planned, well-mannered and confident - great experience overall, Thanks!

Elina Hutton profile photo
Elina Hutton, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you Julio. I'm really glad you both enjoyed the holiday and had the possibility to just relax and enjoy. Best wishes, Elina

Riddell lapland trip, Finland - Mar 5 - Mar 8, 2018

Traveler: Craig R. - Local specialist: Elina Hutton

Elina planned a fantastic trip for us. Her and her husband Gareth were very accommodating to us given the late notice we gave them, they even managed to condense a 5 day trip into 4 days for us.
The whole trip was a highlight and all the activities exceeded our expectations!!!
- Accommodation in Tromso was great and the breakfast at the hotel was amazing.
- Husky sledding was brilliant and the lunch in and tour of the ice dome/igloo was an unexpected bonus.
- Snowmobiling was fantastic.
-... read more

Elina planned a fantastic trip for us. Her and her husband Gareth were very accommodating to us given the late notice we gave them, they even managed to condense a 5 day trip into 4 days for us.
The whole trip was a highlight and all the activities exceeded our expectations!!!
- Accommodation in Tromso was great and the breakfast at the hotel was amazing.
- Husky sledding was brilliant and the lunch in and tour of the ice dome/igloo was an unexpected bonus.
- Snowmobiling was fantastic.
- Gareth was absolutely awesome, he checked in on one of our party when they were sick. He hunted down the Northern Lights for us two nights in a row. Even took us to a supermarket to get snacks and "roadies".
- The Reindeer Ranch and the opportunity to be hosted by a Sami family in their own home was very special and unique.

Elina and Gareth were an incredible team and we would highly recommend them to anyone thinking of heading to the region. We would absolutely use them again.

Elina Hutton profile photo
Elina Hutton, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Craig, thank you so much for your kind words. It was really great meeting you and all your family. Gareth had a great time guiding you and reconnecting with fellow Kiwis. Please send our love to all of the family and wish you all the best with the new job. Elina & Gareth.

Rebecca

Trip to finland, Finland - Feb 25 - Mar 2, 2018

Traveler: Rebecca E. - Local specialist: Elina Hutton

Elina and Gareth were so much fun and really did everything they could to make sure we had an enjoyable trip. Elina always answered all my questions in a very timely manner- so much that I wondered if she ever slept! I wouldn’t hesitate to book a trip with them again.

Elina Hutton profile photo
Elina Hutton, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you, Rebecca. It was really great to have you two as our guests. I wish you lots of fun adventures in the future and hope to see you again someday. Elina